Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
lorryslorrys
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Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby lorryslorrys » 27 Apr 2014, 6:04pm

I'm essentially after a compromise bike. I like a bike to be a functional commuter and decent at light touring duties. I like decent handling off-road and on poor quality roads, but I spend most of my time on roads. You may say a tourer would be ideal. However, I don't lug that much around (never taken more than 2 small panniers) and I can't stand their sluggishness. I'm also after something nippy and capable, after a change of tyres, of holding its own on a roadie club ride.

I think cyclocross disc bikes are the best fit here. Not an extreme race machine, lacking a mount and eyelets. But not a glorified hybrid either. I'm probably going to have two different wheel sets for cross/winter commuter use and road use.

Here's a shortlist. I'm finding the whole thing a very much information overload. Does anyone have any experience with these bikes, know about them, or can make any recommendations?

Pinnacle Arkose Three :
http://road.cc/content/review/90686-pin ... kose-three
Seems like a versatile bike made for the commuter market. My favorite at the moment.

Cube Cross Race Disc:
http://www.bikeradar.com/commuting/gear ... -13-46827/
Versatile and light. I've heard the brakes aren't great and it's not good for difficult off-roading (which is something I think I'll have to accept with my requirements).

Genesis Croix de Fer
http://road.cc/content/review/73063-gen ... oix-de-fer
Seems like a great nippy tourer. It's probably a bit too heavy and sluggish, but I may still be tempted by its sensibleness and good ride quality.

Kona Jake:
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... -07-19171/
Kona's disc option. Perhaps not the same quality as the others?

Boardman CX Team:
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... -11-45403/
Seems very well reviewed. Confusingly there seems to be a "pro", but all I can find is this and the cheaper comp. Unfortunately I think the exclusivity to Halfords pretty much kills this one, as I don't trust them to set up or customize my bike.
Shame, looks like a good bike.

Specialized Crux Elite:
http://road.cc/content/review/45774-spe ... crux-elite
Seems like a great CX bikes, but one that makes too few compromises to utility. On the other hand their Tricross seems too much of a compromise. Probably not in contention for me personally (no fender or rack eyelets).

(did have Cannondale here, but not sure they have a good disc offering in my price range)

Sorry if I'm casting a bit of a wide net. I'm feeling a bit of information overload. But I also reckon that my requirements are pretty typical of a do-it-all cross bike so it may be useful to cover the main bikes here.

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Trigger
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby Trigger » 27 Apr 2014, 7:11pm


grani
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby grani » 27 Apr 2014, 7:24pm

Although not strictly speaking a CX bike I have a Surly Straggler as a commuter. It replaced a Specialized Tricross and I absolutely love it.

Bicycler
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby Bicycler » 27 Apr 2014, 7:31pm

I was going to suggest the more common Surly Cross Check. The Straggler is the disc braked variant. Surly's description is " a cyclocross bike with no pretense about racing".

grani
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby grani » 27 Apr 2014, 7:33pm

I agree that it would be a rather agricultural racing machine, but I doubt it can be bettered as a rugged comfortable all weather commuter.

Bicycler
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby Bicycler » 27 Apr 2014, 7:45pm

Me neither, they'd be ideal. One minor point would be the Stragglers 135mm OLN rear end which could be an issue if the OP really wants road hubs. The Cross Check has 132.5mm to accommodate both.

grani
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby grani » 27 Apr 2014, 7:49pm

True - I made the compromise and I don't think it is much of an issue. In an ideal world I suppose I would have preferred the option of road hubs.

samsbike
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby samsbike » 27 Apr 2014, 8:53pm

I think you have the main ones however you may want to also consider the following (it really depends if you want to have disc brakes or not and how wide you want your tires to run to)

1. Planet x xls - a carbon cyclocross bike, but bodging will be required for mudguards (and no rack fitments are available)
2. Giant Revolt?
3. Specialized tricross - aluminium (and maybe the AWOL although that may not be as nippy on the road)
4. Spa Audax
5. The oddball choice could be a Trek Domane - its a road bike but very plush and may well do very light offroad.

iandriver
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby iandriver » 27 Apr 2014, 8:59pm

I've got a crosscheck as a commuter. Its built up with decent spec parts. It is no lightweight and I would never call it nippy. I use an f series felt for audax and it feels like a rocket competed to the surley. If you want nippy be very cautious with the steel ones. Trek crossrip looks a nice compromise bike. Genesis do an equilibrium disc if you can live with a bit more weight.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

Brucey
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby Brucey » 27 Apr 2014, 9:31pm

I would guess that, if you know your riding position already, you would be able to weed out most of the candidate bikes on the basis that the frame has the wrong geometry, or that the clearances are wrong, or that the wheelset is too much angled to racing or w.h.y.

The priority list should start with;

1. FIT
2. Frame (clearances, bosses, etc)
3. Wheels
4. 5, onwards... Other stuff (most of it easy to get distracted by, none of it that important vs the other stuff).

cheers
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andrewjoseph
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby andrewjoseph » 28 Apr 2014, 8:33am

I had a boardman, I insisted they give me the bike still in the box for me to build up myself.
--
Burls Ti Tourer for tarmac
Saracen aluminium full suss for trails.

Vorpal
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby Vorpal » 28 Apr 2014, 8:40am

If you haven't already done so, go ride some of the bikes on your short list and see how you like them in action.
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reohn2
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby reohn2 » 28 Apr 2014, 9:12am

grani wrote:True - I made the compromise and I don't think it is much of an issue. In an ideal world I suppose I would have preferred the option of road hubs.

Why?
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grani
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby grani » 28 Apr 2014, 9:48am

reohn2 wrote:
grani wrote:True - I made the compromise and I don't think it is much of an issue. In an ideal world I suppose I would have preferred the option of road hubs.

Why?



That's a good question. I think I had the idea of availability of lighter road wheel setups being available but with the disc brakes there really isn't much out there on terms of 130mm road disc hubs.


I initially gave it a bit of thought and was slightly apprehensive but in retrospect there was no need to worry. I haven't looked back.

Brucey
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Re: Cyclocross bike for general use, purchasing advice.

Postby Brucey » 28 Apr 2014, 10:12am

grani wrote: . I think I had the idea of availability of lighter road wheel setups being available but with the disc brakes there really isn't much out there on terms of 130mm road disc hubs....


and I don't think there ever will be... even non-disc road bikes are gradually drifting away from 130mm spacing now.

cheers
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