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Cyclocross buying advice

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

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:

 

Bianchi Zurigo

Felt F75x

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 - 

 

 

post #2 of 19

Bump for help a guy looking for a bike. smile.gif

post #3 of 19

When I was a kid I used to ride a 27" bike on bush tracks..... back in the day before mountain bikes.  Most of my riding is on my road bike, bit I've also got a FS MTB (Scott Spark) and love MTB, especially single track.  JeffB, are you sure you want a cyclocross bike?

post #4 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffB View Post

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:

 

Bianchi Zurigo

Felt F75x

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 - 

 

 

 

I think if I were you, I'd get whichever one has Shimano shifters just since you have Ultegra on your roadie and (I assume) like it. 105 or above, not that Sora stuff. Or I'd get the Bianchi - because I like Bianchis.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. Tax - I'm sure I want one.  Looks like a lot of fun, depending on the definition of fun I suppose.  Mud, cold, searing pain.  what's not to like?

 

Epic - The Bianchi is on the way to my favored LBS.  It will be 10sp Apex.  I've never used SRAM before but it should be ok.  If I hate it, I can always swap it over to my old commuter/family neighborhood cruiser bike and put a new 105 or Ultegra setup on the Bianchi.  I've been very happy with Ultegra on my road bike and hope switching back and forth with double tap won't be too difficult.  

 

Anyway, Bianchi it is.  There's just something about Celeste.  It's just too pretty not to have something with that on it. And I've never had a Bianchi before.

 

Thanks.

post #6 of 19
post #7 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 

 

I think if I were you, I'd get whichever one has Shimano shifters just since you have Ultegra on your roadie and (I assume) like it. 105 or above, not that Sora stuff. Or I'd get the Bianchi - because I like Bianchis.

 

I keep hearing advice to avoid Sora components, yet I don't see a blessed thing wrong with them. What's so awful about Sora?

post #8 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipshod View Post

 

 

I keep hearing advice to avoid Sora components, yet I don't see a blessed thing wrong with them. What's so awful about Sora?

 

It's just that the shifter is totally different from the higher end shifters.

post #9 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 

 

It's just that the shifter is totally different from the higher end shifters.

 

I know there was a time that Tiagra had a different shifting mechanism then the rest of the Shimano line, but they have updated it:

http://bike.shimano.com/publish/content/global_cycle/en/us/index/products/road/tiagra/product.-code-ST-4500.-type-.st_road.html

 

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

My older commuter, family bike is a Lemond Nevada City that I've converted to a flat bar with rapid fire shifters and a rack, kid carrier, etc.  It still has the old Sora stuff on it though.  Difference between that and my Ultegra roadie is night and day.  The Sora is slow to shift, noisy, reluctant, and doesn't like to shift under load.  There's no crispness in comparison.  To use a car analogy, think manu-matic trans.  Lots of cars have that now and you can toggle the auto stick to get gear changes, but on the average car, it's slow to make the change.  A more sports inspired car, for instance, with paddle shifters, makes the change almost instantly and the changing process itself if imperceptible.  That's the difference, along with weight and, in my experience, longevity and ability to withstand heavy use.

 

There's nothing wrong with Sora per se.  It serves the same function, but it's not the same thing. 

post #11 of 19

Do you already own a MTB?

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Used to, but don't anymore.  Actually thought about getting a new one instead of the cross bike and demoed the Spark Comp 29er, which is in the same general pricing ballpark.  I really liked it and almost pulled the trigger, but slept on it for a few nights.  Ultimately, I think I will use the cross bike more than a FS MTB rig given the land and trails I have easy access to, though I also would acknowledge that a HT 29er might be a good solution for both beginner-level cross and MTB, the whole 2 birds one stone idea.

 

I don't know.  The truth is I just fell in love with that Bianchi I guess.  

 

 

post #13 of 19

Bike quiver coming up..........

post #14 of 19

IMHO:  A 29Ht would be better option.  You can ride a MTB up to the Elite level in cyclocross, but you'd kill yourself on a cyclocross bike in technical mtb terrain. 

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

I completely agree with you re: cross bike in technical MTB terrain.  I have access to good cross areas from my garage, no car portage required, and the lake/pool area we go on weekends has good cross trails and hilly, grassy fields with little if any technical single track.  So, my theory is I will get more use out of the cross bike and can also use it for foul, cold weather training rides, in addition to entering some cross races this fall and winter.

 

Then there's a hole in the stable for a FS MTB rig next year . . .

 

Portrait forthcoming when the Bianchi comes home to meet its family, though perhaps will post in the quiver thread.  The size I need is currently on a brown truck heading this way . . . 

post #16 of 19

Well, in that case, enjoy your new bike!

 

 

 

 

post #17 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Or I'd get the Bianchi - because I like Bianchis.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffB View Post
  There's just something about Celeste.  It's just too pretty not to have something with that on it.

 

 

<_<  >_>   <_<

<Dave Stoller mode>

 

Celeste Zurigo, forma divina,
Mistico serto di luce e fior,
Del mio pensiero tu sei regina,
Tu di mia vita sei lo splendor.
Il tuo bel cielo vorrei ridarti,
Le dolci brezze del patrio suol
Un regal serto sul telaio posarti,
Ergerti un trono vicino al sol,

 

<_<  >_>  <_<  duck.gif

 

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Meeting older brother while pink car looks on in disgust . . . crappy iphone pic.  Decent quality quiver pics to go up in the appropriate thread when I have a chance to take some decent one.

 

thanks all for the advice and assistance  zurigo.JPG

Now it's time to go get her dirty - 

post #19 of 19

Enjoy :)

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