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Need help deciding between two bikes!

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Need help deciding between two bikes!

Old 09-04-12, 03:57 AM
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Need help deciding between two bikes!

Hello Forum Goers,

I am returning to the biking lifestyle after several years of inactivity.
I wish to get back into bicycle commuting, as well as amateur, for fun, cyclocross.
I am getting ready to pull the trigger on a bike.
I am looking at these 3 alternatives, but can not decide between them.
I am hoping that maybe some of you more experienced types can offer some insight!

I will be using the bike for commuting, including ND winter commuting (which means snow and Ice), and amateur cross racing (hopefully).
They do NOT salt the roads in Bismarck city limits where I live, they use sand only, so AL vs Steel for winter commuting (salt corrosion), is not a factor.

Bike one is a used custom-built Surly Crosscheck. I have been in contact with the fellow, and have negotiated the price down to 600. It can be found here:
https://nd.craigslist.org/bik/3221438066.html

Bike two is a used 2010 Specialized Tricross. It is completely stock. I have been in contact with the fellow selling it, and I believe the bike can be had for about 650:
https://www.bismanonline.com/2010_spe...icross_sport_8

Last bike, is a BikesDirect bike:
https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ane/outlaw.htm

All 3 are my size, and are within my budget. The fact that the Surly is the cheapest, or the BD bike is more expensive, is NOT a factor for me, so, advice like "Buy the Surly because it's only 600 dollars", doesn't help me.

While any insight will be appreciated, opinions like "Don't buy from bikesdirect, they suck!" or "I never liked the tricross geometry.", don't really help me out here.
Also, one of my LBS DOES carry both Specialized and Surly, and I have test ridden both a Tricross and a Crosscheck, this was a factor in narrowing it down to those two bikes.
I have not, nor do I anticipate that I will be able to, ride the Motobecane before purchase.

Thank you in advance,

~ D

Last edited by Dakota Revolver; 09-04-12 at 06:43 AM. Reason: Spelling and grammar.
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Old 09-04-12, 04:16 AM
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Personally, for the money, I would always go with a new bike - so I'm recommending BD. All of them have similar components and I've heard good things about all of them - especially the Tricross. The trouble with buying used bikes is that you don't know how much abuse it took. The Tricross is in relatively new and looks to be in good shape. I am leery with anything on Craigslist - that's just me - plus I prefer Shimano over Campy components. Also, even tough they use sand instead of salt for road de-icing where you live, moisture in the air is still a factor, so Steel could be an issue over a long haul. A well built aluminum bike for what you're using it for will last as long as you want it to. Good luck and congrats getting back to the biking world.
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Old 09-04-12, 04:28 AM
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To be honest, I am leaning towards the BD bike for the same reason (plus the disc brakes). I just want to make sure that my lack of knowledge or experience isn't going to cause me to pass up an amazing deal (everyone I know, who knows about such things, LOVES the crosscheck, for example). And, I mean, while all 3 are within my budget, the 300 dollar difference between the surly and the BD bike, IS quite a chunk. Still undecided, but your insight and opinion is appreciated. Thank you Ambro.

Last edited by Dakota Revolver; 09-04-12 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 09-04-12, 10:04 AM
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Winter... Ice on the road? need quite a significant clearance for those studded tires, to fit.
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Old 09-04-12, 11:15 AM
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The big thing the Cross Check has going for it is the Campy components. People seem to fall into two groups with regard to Campy: (1) love it, (2) don't really think much about it. The fact that there doesn't seem to be a "hate it" group says something, but personally I fall into the second group.

The two chief complaints people have with Cross Checks are (1) they're heavy and (2) the head tube is too short relative to the top tube. The first complaint is really misplaced IMO. The frame and fork weigh maybe a pound more than other framesets in the same price range. The weight generally comes from the components, and again is limited by price range. The head tube issue is the main reason I no longer own a Cross Check. I had one for three years, and it was a good bike, but I liked the geometry less than that of my other bikes, so when it came time to sell one the Cross Check went. It's designed like a road bike with a high bottom bracket more so than like a traditional CX bike. (The Outlaw, BTW, looks like it might also fit that way, but they don't specify enough geometry for me to be sure.) If you've ridden the Cross Check and you like it, then that's not an issue.

The great thing about the Cross Check is that you can do nearly anything with it: single speed, IGH, light touring, commuting, CX racing. It is the proverbial "jack of all trades, master of none" bike.

I don't know a lot about the TriCross, but I don't think there's anything hidden there. It is what you see. The 9-speed Tiagra components weren't bad, but 10-speed Tiagra is definitely nicer.

For the same price as the Outlaw, you can get an Airbourne Delta. It's a very similar bike but comes with Apex rather than Tiagra components. It also has BB30 bottom bracket (which gives you an option for single speed down the road if you like) and a slightly better crankset. Shimano vs. SRAM is a personal preference, but most people seem to view Apex as being more on par with 105 than Tiagra. I think the Delta has better geometry for CX than the Outlaw, but for commuting either would be fine.
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Old 09-04-12, 05:32 PM
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Gee thanks Andy, you've given me ANOTHER bike to consider... the purpose of this post is to NARROW IT DOWN!
All kidding aside, that bike does look great, and the components are solid, plus, the discs are a plus.
Just to clarify, I'm not dead set on disc brakes though. I have a friend who runs Avid Shortys with Kool-stops in the winter, and he says he has no braking issues.
BD has the exact same bike I linked above, but with sram apex, and no discs, for 899. That bike was also on my shortlist for awhile.

Last edited by Dakota Revolver; 09-04-12 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 09-04-12, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Winter... Ice on the road? need quite a significant clearance for those studded tires, to fit.
Yes, this is why I decided on a cyclocross bike.
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Old 09-04-12, 07:23 PM
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Ok folks, I have decided to narrow it down to the Surly and the Tricross. I figure, the extra 200-300 I can save by going with one of these, could be used for upgrades and I should be able to end up with a better bike overall.
I still can't decide between the two though. here is a link to the actual spec page for the 2010 tricross sport.
https://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bik...rttriple#specs

Again, the bike will be used primarily for daily commuting, 14 miles round trip, including winter commuting, and hopefully, but not for sure, some amateur cross racing.
I'm leaning towards the tricross, but the Surly reputation is keeping it in the running...

any more insight or opinions?

Last edited by Dakota Revolver; 09-05-12 at 01:59 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-04-12, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
The big thing the Cross Check has going for it is the Campy components. People seem to fall into two groups with regard to Campy: (1) love it, (2) don't really think much about it. The fact that there doesn't seem to be a "hate it" group says something, but personally I fall into the second group.

The two chief complaints people have with Cross Checks are (1) they're heavy and (2) the head tube is too short relative to the top tube. The first complaint is really misplaced IMO. The frame and fork weigh maybe a pound more than other framesets in the same price range. The weight generally comes from the components, and again is limited by price range. The head tube issue is the main reason I no longer own a Cross Check. I had one for three years, and it was a good bike, but I liked the geometry less than that of my other bikes, so when it came time to sell one the Cross Check went. It's designed like a road bike with a high bottom bracket more so than like a traditional CX bike. (The Outlaw, BTW, looks like it might also fit that way, but they don't specify enough geometry for me to be sure.) If you've ridden the Cross Check and you like it, then that's not an issue.

The great thing about the Cross Check is that you can do nearly anything with it: single speed, IGH, light touring, commuting, CX racing. It is the proverbial "jack of all trades, master of none" bike.

I don't know a lot about the TriCross, but I don't think there's anything hidden there. It is what you see. The 9-speed Tiagra components weren't bad, but 10-speed Tiagra is definitely nicer.

For the same price as the Outlaw, you can get an Airbourne Delta. It's a very similar bike but comes with Apex rather than Tiagra components. It also has BB30 bottom bracket (which gives you an option for single speed down the road if you like) and a slightly better crankset. Shimano vs. SRAM is a personal preference, but most people seem to view Apex as being more on par with 105 than Tiagra. I think the Delta has better geometry for CX than the Outlaw, but for commuting either would be fine.
I Was considering the BD outlaw but went with the airborne delta instead. After a couple hundred miles I'm very happy with my purchase.
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Old 09-06-12, 01:40 PM
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Thank you for all the replies.
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Old 09-07-12, 08:34 PM
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I have a 2011 tricross Comp and use it for commuting....I think its a great bike. I like the geometry and the looks of the one you posted in sleek.
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Old 09-25-12, 07:06 PM
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I'm in a similar situation (looking for a CX bike). The Delta is almost sold out with no additional production planned.
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Old 09-29-12, 02:55 PM
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i had a 2009 tricross and it suffered from front brake judder due to cantilever brakes with carbon fork. Not sure what cross check comes with.
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