I've been toying with the idea of getting a cross bike and trying my hand at that discipline for fun and a little change of pace. I currently ride my road bike about 150 miles per week, usually solo, but sometimes a group ride and average mid 16 mph over 30-40 miles of rolling terrain. I'm not a gear masher or a category racer, but I do enjoy it and think cross would be a fun thing to take up for variety, general laughs, and the challenge.
I'm looking in roughly the 1500 ballpark, plus or minus 200 or so. So far, I've considered the following:
Colnago World Cup
Fuji Cross Pro
Ridley X-Fire (1014).
My main road bike is a traditional geometry 853 steelie with full Ultegra in 53cm. I'm 5'8'' 160.
Out of that list, and keeping in mind the World Cup slightly extends the pricing ballpark, do any of you more experienced folks have any opinions about best value/bang for the buck? Or same question re: a bike that's not on the list but perhaps should be.
I appreciate any insight -