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Budget CX bike: Motobecane, Nashbar or Windsor?

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Budget CX bike: Motobecane, Nashbar or Windsor?

Old 06-10-14, 10:33 AM
  #1  
Blowdryer
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Budget CX bike: Motobecane, Nashbar or Windsor?

Hi all,

I'm a newbie on this forum and in bike's stuff as well.
I'm looking for CX bike, which I want use on asphalt and unpaved roads. Also I want to go to light (8-10kg) tour, so it should be possible to mount a rear rack.

Right now I'b looking on following bikes:
Nashbar
Nashbar CX1 - alloy frame, chromoly fork, Shimano Sora - $650
Nashbar Steel Cyclocross - chromoly frame and fork, Shimano 105 - $922
Those bikes sometimes become 20% cheaper, so it's a good deal

Motobecane:
Motobecane Fantom CX - alloy frame, chromoly fork, Shimano Sora/Tiagra - $570
A bit better equipment than in Nashbar CX1, since it has one Tiagra instead of Sora

Motobecane Fantom Cross Trail - alloy frame, carbon fork, Shimano Sora/Claris - $600
Carbon fork is an advantage, but derailleurs are cheaper. Also this bike has MAVIC CXP22 rims, instead of no-name in Fantom CX.

Motobecane Fantom Cross Outlaw - alloy frame, carbon fork, Shimano Tiagra/105 - $800
Disc brakes

Windsor
Windsor Cyclo - alloy frame, carbon fork, Simano 105/Ultegra - $800
Better equipment.


I heard some of this bikes has bad/cheap rims, which should be replaced.
Can you suggest whick bike should I buy? I can't go to local shop and try any of these bikes. I'm 5' 10" (178 cm) tall.
Thanks!
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Old 06-10-14, 11:12 AM
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Pay attention to the shifters and the frame/fork. Those make the biggest difference. Wheels aren't a big deal - none of those comes with exceptional wheels AFAICT - neither good nor bad. The Mavic CXP22 probably isn't much better than the "no-name rims". There's not that much difference in derailleurs, especially front ones at this level.

The chromoly frame and/or fork will probably be a bit more durable and will be heavier. FWIW, if you ever plan on towing a bike trailer you probably want the chromoly frame.

As far as size goes, at 5'10" you'd probably fit a 54 or a 56. Probably.
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Old 06-10-14, 11:45 AM
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achoo, thank you. I hope to have a light touring, with 8-10kg luggage. Is it necessary to have a chromoly frame?
I have a limited budget, so the main question: Is it worth to spend $230 more and get Windsor Cyclo or Motobecane Fantom Cross Outlaw insteed of Nashbar CX1 or Motobecane Fantom CX?
It will be my first bike
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Old 06-10-14, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by achoo View Post
As far as size goes, at 5'10" you'd probably fit a 54 or a 56. Probably.
For a road bike, I'd agree. I'm just shy of 5'10" and I normally ride road bikes in the 53-55 cm range. But I find that I need to drop 2-3 cm for cyclocross bikes. Maybe because a higher bottom bracket means a shorter seat tube?

If you're buying a "cyclocross" bike online, I'd recommend looking closely at the geometry chart, particularly the top tube length. Compare it to other bikes you ride, or if you're a newbie, to the recommendations from a fit calculator like the one on the Competitive Cyclist web site.
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Old 06-10-14, 01:00 PM
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Ask if they have eyelets for racks and fenders.
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Old 06-10-14, 01:18 PM
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None of these bikes lists a weight for any size frame. Too bad because the reviews for the Nashbar CX1, the first one in your list almost all use the word "heavy" under the cons. Go online and Google on "reviews for bikebrand/model" for each of the ones you are interested in. If you are interested in touring, the weight of the bike should be a prime factor in which one you buy. When I was much younger I used to tour on a 21 pound Motobecane road bike and it was a lot of fun. It wouldn't have been so much fun if it had been on a 40+ pound Schwinn Varsity. BTW, the Motobecane of today has no relation to the one I owned. The company name was bought out when Motobecane ceased to exist and now is made in China, not France.

If you went just by components, the bikes with Shimano 105 are much nicer than Tiagara/Sora. It is a mid-level component and they work very well and last for years. I have one trike with a Shimano 105 rear derailleur. I replaced it just once in 27,000 miles. No complaints about that.
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Old 06-10-14, 02:26 PM
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VegasTriker , reviews said that weight of complete bike is up to 24-25lbs (Nashbar CX1 for example). I think I can deal with it. And yes, I know, these bikes are Chinese.
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Old 06-10-14, 02:36 PM
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Last summer a friend of mine picked up the Nashbar Steel Cyclocross bike on sale for somewhere around $750, so I've had the chance to see that one first hand. It's a heckuva nice bike, especially at that price point. Not too heavy, probably in the 25 pound range (lighter than my vintage Panasonic.) I certainly wouldn't have any qualms owning it.
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Old 06-10-14, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by achoo View Post
The Mavic CXP22 probably isn't much better than the "no-name rims".
Ah,yes they are. Much better.
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Old 06-11-14, 07:53 AM
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I limited my choise for this two bikes Nashbar Steel Cyclocross and Motobecane Fantom Cross Trail as a cheaper option.
Read about high gearing in Nashbar Steel Cyclocross. Could it be a real problem for touring/city bike?
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Old 06-11-14, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Blowdryer View Post
I limited my choise for this two bikes Nashbar Steel Cyclocross and Motobecane Fantom Cross Trail as a cheaper option.
Read about high gearing in Nashbar Steel Cyclocross. Could it be a real problem for touring/city bike?
If you bought it and found the gearing too high, $20 could easily fix that problem (assuming you did the labor yourself.)
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Old 06-11-14, 09:56 AM
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Any component you don't like can be changed for one you do like.

Its not like it will be the last bike you ever own ..

by having one you may learn what you really Need.

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-12-14 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 06-11-14, 01:21 PM
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That Nashbar steel cyclocross bike looks good. Reviews are very good. If you caught a Nashbar sale and got it for 20% off, looks like a heck of a deal.
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Old 06-11-14, 01:43 PM
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Between those 2? The Nashbar unless you're on a really tight budget. 5700 shifters are much, much better than 2303 shifters.

The CXP22 rims on the Motobecane are bog-standard low-profile alloy box rims just like the rims on the Nashbar bike. You wanna pay extra for the "Mavic" decals? That's on you.

If you're worried about the gearing, the Nashbar will probably work fine with a 32-tooth big-cog cassette.

See this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...ete-105-a.html

Lots of options there to get a lower gear ratio if you want.

Last edited by achoo; 06-11-14 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 06-11-14, 04:01 PM
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achoo, your suggestions regarding a cheaper option? Nashbar CX1 has an alloy frame and chromoly fork. Is an alloy frame much worse than chromoly? I think alloy would be a bit lighter and not such durable as chromoly, right? Except the cheaper sora equipment, what else can be cons? It's $550 right now, but with 20% could be $450. Is it a good deal or should I spend more money to get Tiagra/105 equipment or chromoly frame?
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Old 06-11-14, 06:31 PM
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Just so you understand, chrome-moly is shorthand for chrome-molybdenum steel alloy used to make bike frames. Here's what Sheldon Brown lists in his glossary of bike terms:
Chrome-Moly
Steel that has been alloyed with small amounts of chromium and molybdenum. This is the material used for most high-quality bicycle frames and forks.
Even today's aluminum frames are alloys, not pure Al. 6061 is one of two aluminum alloys 7005 is the other. From what I can read, 6061 is easier to work with and 7005 may be a bit lighter.

There are a lot of crap bikes out there with overbuilt aluminum frames and useless suspensions that add even more weight. I don't know why so many people listed the weight of the bike as a "con". I doubt most who ride this particular bike would have picked up a really light bike. 24 lbs isn't heavy in my book. My old Motobecane was a 21 pound "chrome-moly" steel frame bike. It was all about the type of tubing used and how it was brazed. You are over-analyzing things. I would take the bike with the better components.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:54 AM
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A steel or chromoly frame is going to tend to be heavier and more durable than an aluminum or "alloy" frame. Yes, the frames are both technically alloys because pure iron or pure aluminum aren't good frame materials, but "alloy" in this context tends to mean "aluminum alloy".

Steel tends to be very forgiving - you can bend it and bend it back without much issue. You can't do that with aluminum frames as aluminum will fail from fatigue cracking very quickly. Also, because of material properties, aluminum frames use larger, thinner tubes to get the desired mechanical properties for the frame. Large diameter tubes with thin walls do not handle denting very well at all - even small dents in the wrong place can lead to catastrophic failure of large-diameter thin-walled tubes.

For any given price point of frame, steel frames will tend to be more durable but heavier than an aluminum frame. Yeah, you can buy a light $3000 steel frame. But it'll still be heavier than a $3000 aluminum frame (if anyone still makes those...).
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Old 06-14-14, 06:41 PM
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A good alloy frame won't dent or deform except in a situation where the frame is overly stressed. That's why they're built to take into account fatigue failure. A properly cared for alloy bike will last forever.

Steel is much heavier but alloy's weight advantage is undeniable and its why the bike industry has largely switched to it.
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