Bike choice for cyclo-newb in Oz
Lots of good info here about which bikes are solid entry level steeds, but lack of availability in Australia (more specifically South Oz) leads me to a more specific question.
I am essentially after a gravel grinder to begin with, with high hopes of giving the cyclocross comps a whirl down the track. From the local shops in my 50km radius, my choices are
2015 Kona Jake $A1600
2015 Norco Threshold A3 $1100
2015 Norco Threshold A1 $1600
2015 Trek Crossrip Elite $1500
2015 Cellbikes Brunswick $1400
Experience in any or all? Let me know what you think about them! Opinions welcome too.
Thanks in advance
I can only give you an over-view from a frame builders perspective. Reading geometry specs:
Kona and Cell Bike are similar and will fit in the middle of this group.
The Trek is long in the TT and therefore wheelbase. This a good choice if you are longish in the back, has a tall Head Tube for a more up-right riding position, and will be the best here on gravel in terms of stability.
The Norco's are short TT and are setup more for racing as they are shorter in wheelbase and offer a quick response bike.
I speak here in low tech terms, just so you get an idea only. Realistically, you need to get yourself sized up to know how you will fit on each bike, to know what suits you best.
And if possible, try to get a ride on each one. This is a worthwhile effort as you narrow down your choices. Also, all these bikes are alloy, have you looked at steel as they ride better on gravel. I have always found alloy to ride harshly, and you pay for it in body pain on long rides.
All these bikes are kitted up with group sets that are normal for this price. I would take the A1 over the A3 in the Norco line-up. There is not much between them at this price point. Of greater importance is fit and a good saddle.
If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?
Did the hard yards today and visited about six bike shops, asking questions and seeing what was available.
Ended up with a 2014 Kona Jake. Pick up later this week. Happy with what i got, because a lot of the bikes were sold out in my size, and a few tempting ones out of my set price range.
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