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Old 10-11-17, 12:01 AM   #1
taz777
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Specialized Crosstrail competitors?

Before I commit to buying a Specialized Crosstrail, are there any other models I should add to my shortlist? I have a Specialized shop close to me so its usually my first port of call for a new bike. Plus, my shortlist only has that one bike on it currently.

Id be interested to know whether anyone has ended up buying a different male and model after trying out a Specialized Crosstrail, and the reasons for that.
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Old 10-11-17, 12:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
Before I commit to buying a Specialized Crosstrail, are there any other models I should add to my shortlist? I have a Specialized shop close to me so its usually my first port of call for a new bike. Plus, my shortlist only has that one bike on it currently.

Id be interested to know whether anyone has ended up buying a different male and model after trying out a Specialized Crosstrail, and the reasons for that.

The most obvious competitors are the Trek DS, Giant Roam and Cannondale Quick CX.


I'm sure there are other makers like Fuji, Merida, etc who also sell bikes of this sort.


There probably isn't any stand out frame amongst these brands, so what you then tend to look at is things like :


1. Price
2. Quality of Shifters, Derailleurs, brakes, forks etc
3. Colour
4. Affinity for the brand.
5. If after a test ride, one bike suited you better for whatever reason, which could be related to point 2.


Generally Giant is considered one of the best bang for buck bike manufacturers, but that alone may not be enough to garner a sale.
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Old 10-11-17, 03:28 AM   #3
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I have a Specialized Roubaix SL4 road bike that I've hardly ever ridden in my two years of ownership. My local Specialized store is willing to part-exchange it for a hybrid so that's the main reason I was looking at the Crosstrail. It would mean a low or no cost to change for me, depending on which Crosstrail model I went for.

However, I also don't want to buy another bike that I never ride! Hence, it's important to get the right bike.
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Old 10-11-17, 05:00 AM   #4
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The crosstrail will not disappoint!
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Old 10-11-17, 10:53 AM   #5
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Compare the Crosstail with a non suspension hybrid like the Specialized Sirrus. Test ride both if possible so you can feel how both ride.
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Old 10-11-17, 11:27 AM   #6
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Compare the Crosstail with a non suspension hybrid like the Specialized Sirrus. Test ride both if possible so you can feel how both ride.
^^^This.

Crosstrail suspension is useless. I used to own one.
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Old 10-11-17, 02:54 PM   #7
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^^^This.

Crosstrail suspension is useless. I used to own one.
I extremely disagree.

I wouldn't go raving my crosstrail in the back country across mud and rocks and tree roots, but for potholes, flying off a curb, and hitting the occasional crack in the pavement the cheap crosstrail suspension does a great job of smoothing out the ride and making it a more comfortable experience.

I've done my commute with the suspension locked out and done it with the suspension engaged. It's a noticeable difference in the overall comfort level of the ride.

I do understand that some people would prefer to feel the road and absorb all the bums with their arms, but I'm not one of those people. Suspension is a preference, but it's not useless.
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Old 10-11-17, 03:57 PM   #8
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I think comparing the Crosstrail to something like a Sirrus is the right thing to do, so you can see if you like the suspension or not. Some people prefer it, some do it. It's just that -- a personal preference and nothing more. I have two hybrids that I ride regularly. One is a 2015 Trek with a suspension fork and the other is a 1997 Trek with a rigid chrome-moly fork. I enjoy both bikes for different reasons, and the suspension fork is part of that difference.
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Old 10-12-17, 12:48 AM   #9
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I think comparing the Crosstrail to something like a Sirrus is the right thing to do, so you can see if you like the suspension or not. Some people prefer it, some do it. It's just that -- a personal preference and nothing more. I have two hybrids that I ride regularly. One is a 2015 Trek with a suspension fork and the other is a 1997 Trek with a rigid chrome-moly fork. I enjoy both bikes for different reasons, and the suspension fork is part of that difference.
I've just had a look at the Sirrus online. It seems to be quite similar to my Roubaix road bike, apart from the handlebars. Obviously some of the kit is also different.

Perhaps it's a faster non-suspension version of the Crosstrail?

I'm leaning more towards sacrificing speed for more comfort these days!
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Old 10-12-17, 06:06 AM   #10
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Perhaps it's a faster non-suspension version of the Crosstrail?
They would definitely have different geometries, both bikes. The Crosstrail will likely have a taller frame at the front (to allow room for the suspension fork) with a more sloping top tube.

Sirrus' head tube angles are between 70.5* for the smallest frame to 72* for the largest frame, with 73* or 73.5* seat tube angles for all sizes. Chain stay length is 445mm on all frames and wheelbase spans from 1056mm to 1103mm. Trail is between 60 and 70mm depending on frame.

Crosstrail's head tube angles are between 70* and 70.5*, depending on frame sizes, with a 73* seat tube angle on all sizes. Chain stay length is the same 445mm as the Sirrus and wheelbases run from 1067mm to 1117mm. Trail is 84-87mm depending on frame.

The Crosstrail will VERY likely feel like the more comfortable bike to you. It has slacker head tube angles and more trail, which contribute to a stable steering feel, with a greater tendency to want to track straight. The steeper head tube angles and reduced trail on the Sirrus will make it quicker to react, but will also have it to feel less stable. The longer wheelbase of the Crosstrail will also increase its stable feel and reduce its maneuverability.

It's one of those things where you have to strike a balance between something like a pure race bike at one extreme and a laid back beach cruiser at the other extreme. Somewhere in the middle is the right balance for you. Both the Sirrus and Crosstrail have designed-in compromises for both comfort and maneuverability. The Sirrus draws that line closer to road/race and the Crosstrail draws that line closer to mountain/cruiser.

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I'm leaning more towards sacrificing speed for more comfort these days!
There's nothing wrong with that. My 2015 Trek is a Verve 3, which is similar to what the Specialized Crossroads used to be: a comfort hybrid with a suspension fork. It's large, it's heavy, it's incredibly comfortable, and sometimes that's exactly what I want to ride.

Two other ideas in the Specialized lineup include the Crossroads and the Roll.

The Crossroads is a comfort hybrid with large volume tires and a rigid fork. You might consider this if you don't like the suspension, but still want a more relaxed geometry. The Roll is even more in that direction -- it has a rigid frame and fork, but uses smaller wheels with even larger volume tires (650b size) so that the rolling diameter is about the same as a traditional hybrid, but it's got even more air volume for comfort. The Roll has very relaxed geometry and is a pretty interesting bike in my opinion. They sell it in both step-thru and traditional top tube versions.
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Old 10-12-17, 06:46 AM   #11
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@hokiefyd, thanks a lot for that very detailed technical breakdown of the different models. I'll research the Crossroads and Roll models as still have until Sunday before I visit the Specialized shop.

My plan is to trade in my road bike, sell my old budget hybrid and end up with just my cruiser and (probably) the Crosstrail. The Crosstrail would also serve as my Winter bike and general go-to bike, whereas the cruiser would be my 'smiles per mile' bike for the summer.

My current hybrid, a GT Zum S2, has served me well for 6 years now and has proved remarkable value for money considering I bought it for just 399 GBP (approx 524 USD). To save on additional costs, I plan to transfer the pedals, saddle and lights over to the Crosstrail.
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Old 10-12-17, 08:45 AM   #12
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@hokiefyd, thanks a lot for that very detailed technical breakdown of the different models. I'll research the Crossroads and Roll models as still have until Sunday before I visit the Specialized shop.

My plan is to trade in my road bike, sell my old budget hybrid and end up with just my cruiser and (probably) the Crosstrail. The Crosstrail would also serve as my Winter bike and general go-to bike, whereas the cruiser would be my 'smiles per mile' bike for the summer.
I didn't realize that you also had a Townie. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably lean towards the Crosstrail as well, vice the Crossroads and Roll, since you do already have that beach cruiser type comfort bike. Assuming you can find the right size and assuming it fits right, I'm sure you'd be very pleased with the Crosstrail.

I don't know what terrain you ride, but you can put some smooth tires on the Crosstrail and turn it into a REALLY comfortable bike. I have Schwalbe Little Big Bens on my Verve (in 40-622/700x38c size) and they're great tires. They roll very easily and have a thin puncture protection layer, so they don't ride too harsh. They seem to be more popular on your side of the Atlantic than they are over here (Schwalbe in general seems to be less popular in the 'States than in Europe).

Happy riding!
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Old 10-12-17, 09:51 AM   #13
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^ Thanks again! I usually ride on UK roads (= US pavement) and cycle paths. The cycle paths are slightly rougher than the roads and can get a little bumpy. However, they're nothing like MTB trails! Lots of road cyclists use the cycle paths with no discomfort or other issues.

On the topic of Schwalbe tyres, my current hybrid has Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres which are very comfortable and puncture proof compared to the Kenda Kwest tyres that it came with.
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Old 10-13-17, 08:50 AM   #14
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I have a Crosstrail, and a Sirrus, and I love them both! If I were forced to choose - the Crosstrail is the one that will stay in my garage....... It's a great bike, one of the best do it all bikes on the market!
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Old 10-15-17, 09:43 AM   #15
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^^^ +1
Between, the Sirrus and Crosstrail Elite, I prefer cycling on my Crosstrail Elite. The Brain Suspension is fantastic and I like the flexibility of being able to go on gravel trails with the Crosstrail. Although you could go on gravel trails with the Sirrus, the Crosstrail is far more comfortable and stable. As a result, I rarely ride my Sirrus anymore.
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Old 10-15-17, 10:18 AM   #16
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Good to know. The deal is done. I should have a Crosstrail in the next 1-2 weeks.
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