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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 04-18-10, 01:54 PM   #1
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Newbie: Getting a new bike, need advice on some components and where to ride in DC


I'm new here and I'm looking for some advice for some pedals and a saddle for a new Motobecane Fantom Cross Outlaw.

I've been riding a Novarra buzz for the last 6years and after it got stolen last fall I decided to upgrade to a cyclocross bike. Did a bit a research and the Motobecane bikes from BikesDirect seemed like a good deal. I've ordered one and found a local bike shop to do the assembly and true the wheels for me. The bike does not come with pedals and I've read that the stock saddles are not very comfortable.

So I'm looking for some advice on upgrading these two components

I will be using this bike for a lot of street/traffic riding commuting, some off road and hopefully a bit of recreational racing. I want to be able to ride with regular shoes, so a pedal with a cage/ and platform would be ideal. Not sure what what would be a good pedal and a reasonable amount of money to pay for this type of pedal . The tioga surefoot 8 pedal looks cool but not sure how functional it is. But a light, comfortable, low profile platform with a toe clip (no strap) would be ideal.

As for seats I'll be riding probably less than 200 miles a week, and rides of up to 20-30 miles a day, occasionally more but not too often. I'm willing to spend up to $200 for comfort, but would rather not have to.

Thanks for your patience and any advice you may have to offer a beginner cyclocross rider in DC, like cool places to ride, amateur races, group rides.
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Old 04-18-10, 03:24 PM   #2
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First of all, its great to hear you are getting into cyclocross. I don't know much about the bike you selected but I do know a lot about saddles and pedals. The saddle could be panned by 95% of its users but be perfect for you. I'd try the seat it currently has on it and then decide. If you hate it after a month go to a larger bike shop and ask them if they have any good used saddles for you to try. For the pedals I prefer Shimano SPD and have been using them since I bought the first version in the early 90's. They have a couple versions which has a one sided cleat and a regular cage on the other-just pick a pair up off ebay.

We have tons of great bike paths throughout DC and of course plenty of roads that go to cool neighborhoods. Cyclocross bikes are perfect for this town since you can go from dirt trails and rough asphalt bike paths to roads in one ride. Hope you plan to do the DC cyclocross race (DCCX) held usually in October each year. We have ton of CX races in the mid-Atlantic region. You're in for some fun!
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Old 04-20-10, 06:19 AM   #3
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In DC proper a good ride is beach drive on weekends. Mix in the capital crescent trail for a nice loop -- some routes here :

There are several group rides too. Though I have found I prefer to be out by myself. Come the end of summer, there were a few groups hosting CX clinics. Last year was my first year cycling and I went to as many as I could.
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Old 04-24-10, 10:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JBinDC View Post
Hope you plan to do the DC cyclocross race (DCCX) held usually in October each year.
+1. It's an awesome race. Fun course.
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Old 04-24-10, 02:36 PM   #5
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I lived in Arlington until last June, and while I didn't bike while I was there, I can highly recommend the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) trail, which I used to jog a lot. The eastern portion is more than wide enough to make foot traffic not a real issue, the view is great, and I believe that good off-road trails are accessible further west. Depending on where you live, you could ride over to Ballston and pick it up at Bluemont Park.

Last edited by nice_marmot; 04-24-10 at 02:39 PM.
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