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  1. #1
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    First Cyclocross Bike!

    Hey guys!

    My friend just recently turned me onto the sport of Cyclocross and after watching him compete in a race and playing around with his bike - I am sold. So, naturally, I am looking at bikes to purchase for my first Cyclocross bike and I am extremely lost with all the options.

    I don't think I will be taking part in any actual races, but I still love the idea of having a Cyclocross bike because of the duality of the road and the trail (I enjoy both very much). That being said I will probably use it a lot more often on paved roads (Before hearing about Cyclocross I almost solely focused on touring and hope to be able to continue with this new bike).

    My budget is $500-$1200, but I doubt I'll go over $1000 unless there is a FANTASTIC reason to. Thanks!

    -Jackson

  2. #2
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    Get a touring bike, be happy.

    The Cross-check is a touring bike that's badged as a cyclocross bike. Specialized's Tricross is supposed to straddle the categories now. Both will take front and back racks. (And fenders.)

    Salsa and Jamis have some cool bikes. One of my friends got an Aurora Elite not too long ago that he's pretty stoked on.

    A lot of more committed 'cross bikes are pretty bare as far as eyelets and things go, and if you want a triple crank, you need to plan ahead some. Some particularly racy models don't even have water bottle mounts. Be aware that some 'cross bikes have pretty high bottom brackets. Whether this is for historical reasons or for riding off-camber courses in the present is debatable, but it's there and it may not make you very happy when you're carrying a load.

    'cross racing is fun - why not give it a shot? Actually my second and third 'cross races were on a touring bike...

  3. #3
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    Hi, I'm very please with my Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro from BD. Cost me $1000 and it has the eyelets for fenders and or rack. Has plenty of room for oversize tires if needed. Mine came with the Ritchey Speed Max 32 tires and I'm very happy with these tires for mixed on and off road ridding.

    Hope this helps, Axlenut

  4. #4
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    I recently picked up a 2009 Kona Jake (bottom level one) and have been using it as strictly a commuter bike. I have some roadie friends (that also mtb which is how I met them) and did two short lunch road rides and i have to say that it has performed beautifully.. I got some Vittoria Cross XG Pros over the weekend and put those on for the 3 mile ride to my gym on saturday and found they performed quite well on pavement. Geometry seems pretty relaxed and comfortable and I have been impressed with it thus far. Can't go wrong with the Jake and the 2012/13 model should be right in the $1k price range.

    KONAWORLD

  5. #5
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    Hey guys,

    I think I've narrowed it down to two bikes.

    1. Nashbar Steel Cyclocross Bike - Restricted Items
    2. Diamondback Steilacoom RCX Bike 2011 > Complete Bikes > Cyclocross Bikes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

    Any thoughts on these two? Which one is better in your mind, etc. Thanks

  6. #6
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    The Steilacoom has a steeper head angle. It's also named after a place where I've raced. So clearly you should get it.

    The Nashbar bike will accept a rack more easily. To my eye, it looks like it's got a bit more bottom bracket drop, but since it's not reported on the Diamondback, hard to say. It seems likely that it would have better manners with a load than the Diamondback.

  7. #7
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    get the nashbar bike and use the $150 for other things you may need.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    So, looking at that Motobecane and the Zilla XX, what would you say are the main differences?

    Sorry I'm a newbie to bike technical things

    Also, I've heard conflicting things on APEX vs. 105 vs. Tiagra vs. Rival.... any thoughts ont hat?
    Last edited by WAD93; 03-20-2012 at 08:00 PM.

  10. #10
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    My situation is very close to your's. I bought a 2010 Scott CX Comp for $860 on closeout. The same LBS has a 2011 for $950. It was too big or I would have bought it.

    Right now my bike is set-up with Michelon Krylion 23's. I run the cross tires in the fall and winter.

    Check out the Scotts too.

  11. #11
    Hucken The Fard Up !
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    Quote Originally Posted by WAD93 View Post
    Hey guys,

    I think I've narrowed it down to two bikes.

    1. Nashbar Steel Cyclocross Bike - Restricted Items
    2. Diamondback Steilacoom RCX Bike 2011 > Complete Bikes > Cyclocross Bikes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

    Any thoughts on these two? Which one is better in your mind, etc. Thanks
    I like the Nashbar one, very nice to build a commuter on,

    If I understand right you want a bike more for light touring/commuting right ?

    I would advice you to get a bike with a triple for that. Cyclocross oriented bikes come equiped with a compact 50/34 or a 46/36

    from my own experience, I did built my commuter/tourer on a cyclocross frame with a compact 50/34.

    It didn't last long, the 50 is too big for most commuting in traffic, the 34 is too small. so I switched to a tripple.

    I prefer the good old standard 48/38/28 12-27 for touring ( or 50/39/28 13-29 on Campagnolo )

    a 38 ( or 39 ) is the best for commuting speeds because it puts the ideal commuting speeds in the center of the cassette ( 18-25Kmh or 11-16mph) on a 50/34 those ranges are in the ends of the cassette so you will be most of the time cross-chained.

    a 46/36 would be better for commuting, but then you would need lower gears for long climbs specially when loaded where you would find the 28 very useful.

    Also other problem with the racing specific cyclocross frames is that they have short head tubes, then you will need a high stack of spacers and flipped up stem to have a higher riding position that is more desirable to ride in traffic.

    finally, many cyclocross frames have a high BB and that would put the bike's gravity center a bit too high to do loaded touring.

    here is a picture of mine,
    Quote Originally Posted by zank
    They're just bikes. Ride 'em in the rain, salt, snow and crap to fully appreciate them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Kelly
    The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WAD93 View Post
    So, looking at that Motobecane and the Zilla XX, what would you say are the main differences?

    Sorry I'm a newbie to bike technical things

    Also, I've heard conflicting things on APEX vs. 105 vs. Tiagra vs. Rival.... any thoughts ont hat?
    Apex works just fine.

    The Zilla has disc brakes. There is also much more tire clearance than on the typical CX bike and is more off road orientated. It has 135mm rear spacing and uses MTB wheels which are stronger than road wheels.

    The Motobecane is a fine bicycle but it wouldn't be as good on the dirt with narrower tires and rim brakes.

    I built up a Zilla from a frame and fork and spare parts I had laying around and wheels from a 29er MTB. I'm glad I went that route. I have so much more confidence on the trail with discs, truly strong wheels, and fat tires.

    Discs and 135mm rear spacing seem to be the wave of the future for road bikes and the Zilla already has both.

  13. #13
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    @WAD93

    I'm in a similar situation, but I'm looking at the Kona Jake versus the Canondale CAADX6. About $100 difference between them, but I don't know enough to know which is the better bang for the buck. Have you by chance looked at either of these (they're toward the top end of your price range for the 2012 models)? Just curious on your thoughts if you've looked at them and ruled them out.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illinois Rec Rider View Post
    @WAD93

    I'm in a similar situation, but I'm looking at the Kona Jake versus the Canondale CAADX6. About $100 difference between them, but I don't know enough to know which is the better bang for the buck. Have you by chance looked at either of these (they're toward the top end of your price range for the 2012 models)? Just curious on your thoughts if you've looked at them and ruled them out.
    $100 isnt that much and the difference in spec will be minimal. If you have not taken either for a spin you would want to as I test rode a number of Cannondales when I was looking at my mtn bike and found that I did not like the geometry as much (this included a few road bikes for fun and a baseline CAAD cyclocross bike). Conversely I picked up a used Kona Jake (2009) on a whim and found that the geometry is good for road and cx but that their sizes run a little big. I am 6' tall and should probably be on a 56cm but riding the 54cm is quite comfortable in the stock manner.

  15. #15
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    Same situation, first cyclocross bike. What would the differences be between these 3 bikes:

    Gravity Zilla XX: From Bikes Direct $500
    Gravity Zilla Monster: From Bikes Direct $800
    Specialized Tricross $990 at LBS

    (sorry, I can't post links yet since I am a newbie on the site)

    I have very limited knowledge of components at the moment sadly. I am not a name brand type, I like quality overall but I am not the type to pay for name brand. Don't care if it says Gravity or Specialized on the tube and don't care what others think, I would prefer the tube be blank really if I had the choice. I just want to ride. Resale value isn't a concern of mine since I will probably have the bike for a while.

    So I guess my thoughts are, I will move soon and will have to pay for shop support anyways after that, so LBS free tuneups don't matter and name brand seems pointless and I just want the best bike for the least amount of money. Do the Gravity bikes seem like a good bike in comparison to name brand or should I keep looking?

  16. #16
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    ^^^
    What do you want it for?

    When I bought my bike, test-riding ended up being a big value-added. I ended up going down a size from what I've always ridden based on that, and it's my best-fitting bike.

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