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Focus mares ax3 '11 for Newbie?

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Focus mares ax3 '11 for Newbie?

Old 06-23-13, 11:31 PM
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Focus mares ax3 '11 for Newbie?

I am interested in purchasing a new bike for Getting into biking both as a hobby and as a way to get back into shape. I was hoping to hear what other people thought about this focus bike.

I don't see too many reviews online.

I have one friend who says that the shimano Tiagra won't be as smooth and the minimum I should go for is the shimano 105, but most of the bikes with the 105 get me closer to $1000 while I can get this bike for $650. That is about the most I want to spend anyway!

Any other bikes for around this price that people would rather recommend?
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Old 06-24-13, 06:32 AM
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Tiagra is fine for recreational cycling. Properly tuned, in a blind test you'd have a hard time distinguishing between the two. Even Sora shifts nice and smooth in my experience. The main thing you're buying with the higher end groups is weight savings.

I wouldn't hesitate to go with the Tiagra equipped bike to start out. Your first bike is almost guaranteed to be "wrong" since you won't know what you want and don't want in a bike until you have some significant saddle time. Tiagra won't impact your enjoyment at this level, and it the money you save can seed your N+1 fund.
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Old 06-24-13, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kopsis
Tiagra is fine for recreational cycling. Properly tuned, in a blind test you'd have a hard time distinguishing between the two. Even Sora shifts nice and smooth in my experience. The main thing you're buying with the higher end groups is weight savings.

I wouldn't hesitate to go with the Tiagra equipped bike to start out. Your first bike is almost guaranteed to be "wrong" since you won't know what you want and don't want in a bike until you have some significant saddle time. Tiagra won't impact your enjoyment at this level, and it the money you save can seed your N+1 fund.
Agreed, though try to test ride it and some other bikes to ensure that you are comfortable. Because any bike even if it is a good deal won't be as fun if you feel all cramped up or stretched out on it.
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Old 06-24-13, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Kopsis
Tiagra is fine for recreational cycling. Properly tuned, in a blind test you'd have a hard time distinguishing between the two. Even Sora shifts nice and smooth in my experience. The main thing you're buying with the higher end groups is weight savings.

I wouldn't hesitate to go with the Tiagra equipped bike to start out. Your first bike is almost guaranteed to be "wrong" since you won't know what you want and don't want in a bike until you have some significant saddle time. Tiagra won't impact your enjoyment at this level, and it the money you save can seed your N+1 fund.
Originally Posted by majwell
Agreed, though try to test ride it and some other bikes to ensure that you are comfortable. Because any bike even if it is a good deal won't be as fun if you feel all cramped up or stretched out on it.
Thanks, appreciate the advice. So is this a good bike overall for the price? Looking around $650 seemed reasonable especially since I saw this bike listed for $1000 or more at many places. I've also been keeping an eye on Craigslist, but haven't seen anything show up there. Unfortunately the bike is an online purchase and I wont be able to ride it first. I am planning on purchasing the Large size and I'm about 6'
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Old 06-25-13, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by wassupdoc
Thanks, appreciate the advice. So is this a good bike overall for the price? Looking around $650 seemed reasonable especially since I saw this bike listed for $1000 or more at many places. I've also been keeping an eye on Craigslist, but haven't seen anything show up there. Unfortunately the bike is an online purchase and I wont be able to ride it first. I am planning on purchasing the Large size and I'm about 6'
That seems like the price you would expect for an '11 though it is a quite a good deal as the bike sold for around $1400 new. That said the L could fit you well, but it is hard to say. I am just under 6' and I test rode some '12 Mares 2.0 a few months ago and I tried the M and the XL (did have L in stock) and the M felt pretty good though a bit on the small side, and the XL was way too big. So the L could very well suit you, though even if our heights are the same leg length, torso/arm length, etc. could be different and impact the fit. Buying online has its risks but if you can find someone to help set it up for you (maybe whomever builds it can) you may be very happy with it.

Edit: add link https://cyclocross.findthebest.com/l/...cus-MARES-AX-3
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Old 06-25-13, 08:29 AM
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I don't have any first-hand experience with that model, but based on the specs, it's a decent value at $650. The only thing that might give me pause is the alloy fork, since an alloy frame with an alloy fork may ride a little bit harsh. Not a big concern for Cyclocross, but if you plan to put on road tires and do much road riding, it could become an annoyance. One important question is what's your intended use? Cyclocross? Single-track? Commuter? Road? While CX bikes can do all of those, they're not without compromises. If you never plan to take it off-road, a CX bike might not be the best choice.

And I'll echo what majwell said about the importance of fit. Your height alone may not be a good indicator of what size you need. At the very least, I suggest running something like the Competitive Cyclist fit calculator to see how your specific proportions might affect your frame size needs.
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