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Checked out the Raleigh Furley.. I like, but better options for me?

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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Checked out the Raleigh Furley.. I like, but better options for me?

Old 02-23-12, 10:21 AM
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Checked out the Raleigh Furley.. I like, but better options for me?

Hey Guys,

Totally new here.. totally new to the REAL world of bicycles actually.
And, I realize this post is HUGE... but please, if you guys can make it through and provide your advice, I can't tell you how much I'd appreciate it. Most people I've talked to in the LBS just have not been helpful enough.

I've been riding an old, super light Cannondale road frame around the streets here in NYC for about two years. Well, more like for one year, but two years ago. I gave up out of frustration with this thing, and the motorcycle took over. Just a constant maintenance pain, parts were hard to find.. and it was crumbling. Flat tubes every ride too. And being a big motorcycle person, doing all my own maintenance on race bikes, dirt bikes, and street bikes.. I'd say I'm relatively mechanically savvy. I just could not for the life of me get along with this Cannondale, and I'm tired of dropping $$$ into it.

So, wanting to get back into cycling, I decided to start doing some research.
My main goals are transportation around NYC, and exercise of course. No crazy long distance, no racing.. Just 40 - 50 mile spirited day rides on occasion, or quick 45min laps around the local parks. But mainly, something to just get around on... to chain up, do my thing, hop back on and off I go. To get to see my wonderful city at a different pace and focus than I can on my motorcycles. Oh, and also to be able to ride in weather that I can't on the MCY!

It seems like a CX frame is the way I should be leaning.

The larger tires are a HUGE selling point. Maybe it was my wheels, bad tires.. whatever, but my 700x24's were getting really frustrating. I want something a little more durable, and a little more functional in poor conditions. Something that can hop some curbs.

I also like the aggressive frame. I'm definitely a spirited rider around the city streets.

So, I was doing some shopping, and bumped into the Raleigh Furley.

I hadn't been planning on spending a lot of money.
I was looking at things like the Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno and the Kilo WT.

I have been thinking single speed for pure simplicity and less headache. Yes, gears would be AWESOME for my 45min workouts and 40 mile rides. But, right now I wanted simplicity. I figured with either the Motobicane of Kilo being so cheap.. I could always just add another bike to the stable if I really wanted to get some gears....

But that's the thing I REALLY LOVE about the Furley. It's a very flexible frame. I can go either Single Speed, or add gears in the future. HUGE selling point. And the disc brakes.. although I read the components on it are not the best, I love that the frame has the tabs. And regardless, the wet weather performance is a plus. Especially with the tight traffic we ride in at times here. And finally, the frame has tabs for fenders and a rear rack. Another HUGE plus. In fact, a must.

So, these are the three things I'm really looking for in a frame.
  • Can do both SS and Derailer (or IGH)
  • Disc brake tabs
  • Ability to accomodate fenders and racks

Since I could not find any specs on weight or max tire size, these were the first things I found out when I got to the shop. We weight the bike, 24lbs, give or take a lb. Not bad. Looks like the widest tire that can fit would be a 36 or 38... 38 being tight. A little disappointed on this, as I was hoping to be able to put on some 42's or something, just for a pure stupid fun factor at some point. But ok, let's be real.. both of these are totally acceptable given the other features this bike has.

My one other item of discussion... the bars. So I both loved / hated drop bars on my Cannondale. They were great at speed, but in the tight stuff, not so much fun. The brakes were never handy. Loving the bars on these CX bikes.. I get the drop, but ALSO get the straight bar levers for the brakes. I can work with this for sure. The one thing though is the bar height. I was hoping that the Furly bars would be a little higher, for a little more relaxed ride. I asked the guy at the shop about this, and he said I could always add a different stem. I'm not sure if all CX bikes have this much forward lean?

Thanks for getting through all of that. Hopefully that should give a pretty good idea of what I want, and also enough information if I need my thought patterns corrected or just to be better informed on something.

Aside from this, I come to you in search of knowledge on other potential options.
The only other potential frame I could find with disc mounts is the Salsa Vaya.. thing is, I don't think I can go SS on it. I'm not hellbent on discs, or SS either honestly. Just feeling like the Furly is a great starting platform, at a great price point.

Others I've thought about though..
All City - Nature Boy
Swobo - Crosby
Salsa - Vaya
Surly - Cross Check
Kona - Jake

So... thoughts?

And let me thank you all in advance. Again, I REALLY appreciate your help in this quest.
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Old 02-23-12, 10:53 AM
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I can't really comment directly on any of the bikes that you have listed, but I will say, my road bike has made me a fan of Raleigh. I really like their approach with geometry and I really like the Furley. I was eying it on the Raleigh site and then found one for $750 at a LBS that specializes in CX bikes. Seeing it in person made me sort of want one, but I already have something else lined up. (Waiting to post it up until it's done). It is a bombproof SS commuter. Comfortable riding with fairly aggressive geometry and the disc brakes are a big plus, but you pay a penalty for it at the scale. I think most of the bikes in this price range are going to stack up about the same. If you are anything like me, you could stand to lose more off the engine than any lighter bike or components will reward you with anyway. The components may not be top shelf, but they are certainly adequate for most riders and the price leaves plenty of room for upgrades.

FWIW, the shop that I visited also had a couple different Kona and Salsa models. Kona makes a good looking bike. The Salsa was....eh. I've seen enough Cross Checks around to not be awed by their aesthetics. Sticktly speaking aesthetically, I liked the Furley, Kona, Salsa, and Surly in that order. Others are likely to disagree.
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Old 02-23-12, 01:47 PM
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Furley, way heavy. Check out soma double cross. Or civia bryant. Lots of options out there.
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Old 02-23-12, 03:10 PM
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Well, just test rode the Cross Check... not a fan.
Geometry was just too relaxed, I'm definitely looking for something more aggressive.

Will check out the others.
Going to test ride the Furly tomorrow.
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Old 02-23-12, 03:29 PM
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Thanks Leebo, just looked into that Double Cross DC. Looks really nice, but I'd like something with the option to go single speed. The Bryant looks nice, but I'm afraid after the cost of the frame I really wouldn't be able to make a decent build.
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Old 02-24-12, 07:09 PM
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+1 on the Bryant

I have one with the Alfine 8, Gates belt, and BB5's and it is terrific. I just rode it home in a snowstorm yesterday and it handled like a champ. All stock except for a B17 saddle.

I have wanted to get a SSCX bike to ride fixed to work on some days and have checked out all the bikes you mentioned except for the Furley. However, if you want a jack of all trades bike, the Bryant is it. It is damn nice.
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Old 02-25-12, 08:52 AM
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Most CX type frames, by definition, are going to be a bit more relaxed than a dedicated road frame. Its the nature of the type of riding that they are designed for. The good thing with these type of frames is that you have a lot of leeway to tailor the height of the handlebars to lower it to a more race efficient configuration. Also, I would not get overly hung up on the weight aspect. I had a chance to speak to a frame builder and several professional bike builders with years of experience on the subject, and each and every one of them where just shaking their heads on the subject. The whole issue of bike weight has been overblown by the different marketing venues for years, to the point where most people ride bikes that are not really fit or tailored to each individual's needs. Weight, they firmly maintained, is an issue ONLY if you intend to ride competitively in events. For any other purpose, proper fit and proper build up to meet intended ride conditions far surpass weight concerns, and this is specially true when discussing steel frame bikes. They maintained that a properly built and fitted frame for an individual rider will last him or her for years, and will be far more likely to be used in a daily basis than any of these ultra light frames that normal people can't ride without getting fatigued or even injured after short periods of time.
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Old 02-25-12, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jconly
Well, just test rode the Cross Check... not a fan.
Geometry was just too relaxed, I'm definitely looking for something more aggressive.

Will check out the others.
Going to test ride the Furly tomorrow.

You were probably on a bike way to large for you. Yes, my CC is more relaxed than my road Pinarello but I would hardly describe it as relaxed.

I read in your original post about jumping curbs, really, there are not many bikes of any sort that will stand up to curb jumping at speed.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:49 PM
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Have you considered the specialized tricross? I think it seems like a good bike for your needs.

1. it has disc brakes(one model anyways)

2. has the ability to mount fenders

3. frame has specialized lifetime warranty

4. can take fairly large tires

5. it also has many other benefits and perks

The only drawback may be pricing as I believe it to be a tad more than the other bikes being mentioned.
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