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  1. #1
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    Build it or buy it? Input welcome.

    Buy It = Specialized Tricross Sport Disc


    $1300 OTD.

    Pros: Looks cool. Get on it and ride.
    Cons: Sora components (new gen is pretty nice). Aluminum fork.

    Build It

    Frameset = Motobecane Fantom Crosss aluminum frame + carbon fork from Bike Island = $320
    Groupset = Tiagra 4600 2x10 group (FSA crank) = $310 (I have some parts already)
    Brakes = Avid BB5, 160mm front + 140mm rear = $90
    Wheelset = Vuelta cross wheels = $220 (combined shipping with Frameset)
    Saddle + Seatpost = $100 (Phenom Saddle + Thomson post)
    Tires/Tubes/Cables = $150 (not sure yet on these)

    Total = $1190

    Pros: Cheaper. Nicer parts. Carbon fork.
    Cons: It'll take time to build it

    I'd be sold on the Specialized if it didn't have an aluminum fork. I had one on an old road bike and did not like it. This bike will see light trail duty on the weekends and some commute miles during the week.

    Bob

  2. #2
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    The Motobecane has a 130 rear spacing, which limits the supply of good hubs if you wish to upgrade. Not sure about the Tricross rear spacing. Just something to consider.

  3. #3
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    Is buying the complete bike Motobecane for $999.00 an option? And then adding parts if you need to?

    Just asking.

  4. #4
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    F bikes direct. about 30% of those frames that come into my shop have factory defects. Like bent dropouts, uneven lawyer lips (cause wheel to sit crooked), bent brake mounts that render the frame useless.... Buy it if you have the willingness to send it back if its not what you expected.

    There is a reason they are so cheap.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  5. #5
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    Agree with sheepo!! I deal with the same thing in my shop, I have built a few and I sorta feel bad charging people to build them because of the poor quality. But you might get lucky.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I don't like FSA cranks. Friend of mine took the left crank arm off mine while my bike was on loan to her. I think their design isn't as good as Shimano's for two-piece cranks, and I think Shimano has chainrings pretty dialed. The design of the Sora crank is the same as all the others, although I don't know if their chainring awesomeness goes down to that component level.

    I'm not a huge fan of BB5 brakes. I had them on my mountain bike. While functional, if you're buying parts a la carte anyway, consider BB7s.

    Actually, here's something else to consider.
    Nashbar X Aluminum Cyclocross Frame - Road Bike Frames

    A few posters on the commuting forum have them and like them. Not sure how much the fork costs.

    As far as the issue of the rear dropout spacing - after I killed the rim for a stupid wheel on the back of my Portland, which has 130 mm spacing, I talked it over with my mechanic and built a wheel on a 135 mm Deore hub. It's a little more challenging to get it in there than in a bike with the correct spacing, but everything works fine. Ask me about structural problems in five years or so, but since I didn't need to bend the metal far enough to hit yield, I'm not terribly concerned.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    The Motobecane Fantom Cross frame is built pretty beefy and is not lightweight (good if you are a heavy 200 lb plus rider) also the carbon fork is heavy with the aluminum steer tube. I wouldn't be surprised if it rode as stiff as aluminum. With cross tires, I doubt you would notice the slight variations of steel, aluminum, or carbon, forks like you would with a road fork and 100psi 23c tires.

    Higher-end aluminum Cyclocross frames are very light with thinner wall alum tubing (and can dent if crashed). Some of the best are made by Alan ( Stellina Sport Home ): Xtreme DCS cross (aluminum front, rear full carbon); Xtreme CS (aluminum front, carbon seat stay); Xtreme (all aluminum); Roland 5 (aluminum front, rear full carbon); Klaus Peter 2 (aluminum front, carbon seat stay).

    I like the Lemond Poprad with disc brakes - it is a fairly light (True Temper Platinum OX) steel frame that is extremely well built (in the USA) but unfortunately now discontinued by Trek. They show up on eBay and Craigslist sometimes but can be expensive (about $400 for the frame); but worth it.

    If you really want lightweight than it will be carbon fiber. The going rate for a Chinese carbon frame and fork is $550: You may like the On-One Dirty Disco: On One Dirty Disco Carbon Cyclocross Frameset

    If you build it up - look for Avid BB7 "ROAD version" disc brakes with 160mm rotors.

    I am sure you know, but make sure you get the correct frame size, especially the top-tube that fits. I recommend that people do your body measurements at these 2 free sites:

    Wrench Science: https://www.wrenchscience.com/Login....%2fHeight.aspx (you need to sign up for a password - still free)
    and
    Competitive Cyclist: Fit Calculator - Competitive Cyclist

    look at the averages between what these 2 sites spit out for your measurements should be for a ROAD bike and subtract 1cm from the top-tube dimension.

    Then look for a cyclocross bike that lists the top-tube measurement.

  8. #8
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    If you're not looking at the Specialized because of loyalty or proximity to a LBS why not look at other disk equipped cross bikes?

    2012 JAMIS BICYCLES - NOVA RACE

  9. #9
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    I really like that Jamis. There's a dealer 5 miles from work. Thanks for the link!

    Bob

  10. #10
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    I would buy a complete bike from a reputable shop do some racing or whatever you're planning to do with this bike and go from there. You can be fit at the shop, which is very important and then you can work to improve whatever you feel may be lacking.

    If you start fresh, without knowing exactly what you want/need, then you're setting yourself up to spend more cash in the long run.

  11. #11
    I'd rather be riding
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    I'm a big fan of the Jamis too! I say go complete. I built mine up and could have bought a nicer bike for similar money. Live and learn I guess.

  12. #12
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    UPDATE: I visited the local Jamis dealer. They don't have any 2012 Nova Race models any more. However, they do have the next bike up in the lineup: a 2012 Nova Pro that has been marked down from $1800 to $1200. (making it only $50 more than an undiscounted Nova Race)

    In short:

    Nova Race: Disc brakes, 9 speed drivetrain
    Nova Pro: Canti brakes, 10 speed drivetrain

    Pros: SRAM Apex 10 speed drivetrain. 2 lbs lighter. Great selection of wheels since it uses canti brakes and 130mm spacing like my road bikes.
    Cons: Canti brakes. I was really set on getting a bike with discs.

    Their whole 2013 line is disc-equipped, so it is likely that I could get a 10-speed disc-equipped bike for the same price though it will be with lesser components and I won't get any kind of discount.

    I'm new to CX and don't race yet, but I do like trail riding and some of the trails I ride have long/steep hills and I'd like to be able to go out in inclement weather and not worry. Or, have I been drinking too much disc-brake kool-aid? My road bike uses rim brakes and I can't wait until discs are available since long descents really kill my hands. My 29er has hydro discs and it stops on a dime with one finger.

    Bob

  13. #13
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    For a cross race bike, canti's are preferred; I don't see any competitive racers running discs this season. For an all around bike, used for long downhill road descents in rainy weather - than yes discs are better. I still think that you can do well looking for a really nice alloy or alloy/carbon race frame used. Visit a local CX race; many times I see teams selling used stuff at the race. Also look at the "BLUE Norcross" alloy frame and matching carbon fork for $750: Blue Competition Cycles - Norcross SP If you buy, frame only - for an extra $450 (to equal $1200), you could get a very nice used parts/ wheel package.

  14. #14
    jrm
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    V brakes are better for trail riding

    i run MTB v brakes on my CX bike and they work well.
    you could always swap out the OE canti's for the new shimano road v brakes. That is if the sram lever/shimano v brake pull ratios are the same.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_A View Post
    For a cross race bike, canti's are preferred; I don't see any competitive racers running discs this season.
    Don't listen to this. Canti's are preferred by the retro grouches only. There are a lot of guys racing discs this year and the ones that are not, simply have too much invested in their canti bikes to switch over.

    Discs are here whether the retro grouch likes it or not. You're starting fresh, so do it right and buy the bike with superior braking technology. Make sure the rear spacing is 135mm so that you can use mountain hubs. If it's a 130mm disc frame, you're limiting yourself a lot.

    For me, I won't buy any frame that isn't disc ready. MTB, cross or road. Disc brakes are the wave of the future for all disciplines. Embrace it.

  16. #16
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I have Mini-Vs on my 'cross bike. It's a change for this season and I haven't had them in all weather yet, but I like them a lot so far. Much better stopping power, no chatter. Sweet! Cheap too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I have Mini-Vs on my 'cross bike. It's a change for this season and I haven't had them in all weather yet, but I like them a lot so far. Much better stopping power, no chatter. Sweet! Cheap too.
    I will say that I've heard that mini v's are decent. Or at least better than canti's. I've had various cantilever brakes on my cross bike and they've all sucked. Avid, Shimano and TRP were all equally craptastic.

    Will the canti's stop you? Sure they will... just not as well as a decent disc setup will. a major part of racing is scrubbing speed and if you can scrub speed better than the next guy, then you have an enormous advantage. Just watch he doesn't ride your wheel late into the corner and then T-bone you when he realizes that his brakes suck. Hopefully, you've got enough of a gap that he just blows through the tape instead of ruining your wheel.

  18. #18
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    That Jamis is very nice for the money. Trek has an interesting al frame cx bike with disc brakes, carbon fork, internal routing, no gaudy graphics, etc. Only prob is the Sora components but the price is right around $1100. Enough room left to upgrade now or you can always wait until you blow through the Sora stuff.

    I almost pulled the trigger on the Nova Race until I ran across the Civilian Vive Le Roi (I really like steel frame with sliders for more options down the road). Really nice component spec at the price point but the wheelset is questionable. Also only has a single ring up front which may be a turnoff for some.
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  19. #19
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    I've decided to hold out until I can find a bike that is disc-equipped with 135mm rear spacing. 135 rear means I could swap my Stan's ZTR Crest wheels between the cross and 29er bikes. Those wheels are really light and work great for tubeless applications.

    The whole 2013 Jamis line is disc-equipped, but the shop wasn't sure if they will be 130 or 135. Time to check out the Trek and Specialized place again.

    Thanks for all of the input!

    Bob

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobonker View Post
    I've decided to hold out until I can find a bike that is disc-equipped with 135mm rear spacing. 135 rear means I could swap my Stan's ZTR Crest wheels between the cross and 29er bikes. Those wheels are really light and work great for tubeless applications.

    The whole 2013 Jamis line is disc-equipped, but the shop wasn't sure if they will be 130 or 135. Time to check out the Trek and Specialized place again.

    Thanks for all of the input!

    Bob

    Way to go on not pulling the trigger on an impulse buy! It's tough to hold out, at least for me. Sounds like you're really thinking it through, which should result in a solid bike for you. Having the ZTR's will be nice... you can have them in the pit as backup wheels and/or setup with different tires for different conditions.

  21. #21
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    I like my Lemond Poprad disc (in addition to my Cannondale race bike - w/ cantis), so no retro grouch here - but this season, there weren't any racers running disc brakes at in the 3 mid-Atlantic races that I have see (accept two U19 kids total). If you are an Elite or UCI master running discs, let's see a show of hands. Most people here don't race, do discs are better (long road or MTB downhills when wet). I am sure that this will change in a few years when discs are lighter and more standard equip on the better frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by BShow View Post
    Don't listen to this. Canti's are preferred by the retro grouches only. There are a lot of guys racing discs this year and the ones that are not, simply have too much invested in their canti bikes to switch over.

    Discs are here whether the retro grouch likes it or not. You're starting fresh, so do it right and buy the bike with superior braking technology. Make sure the rear spacing is 135mm so that you can use mountain hubs. If it's a 130mm disc frame, you're limiting yourself a lot.

    For me, I won't buy any frame that isn't disc ready. MTB, cross or road. Disc brakes are the wave of the future for all disciplines. Embrace it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_A
    For a cross race bike, canti's are preferred; I don't see any competitive racers running discs this season.
    Last edited by Erik_A; 10-04-2012 at 10:58 AM.

  22. #22
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I saw a fair number of discs last time I raced.

    I think that speed of takeover in a region is influenced a lot by how often people change out their bikes. I'm in Seattle, so there's definitely a group of tech people with more money than sense and nothing else to do with it. Lots of Cervelos on the roads, lots of shiny new bikes on the 'cross course every Fall, skinsuits and carbon wheels in Cat. 5 track racing, etc.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow View Post
    Way to go on not pulling the trigger on an impulse buy! It's tough to hold out, at least for me.
    This has been gut-wrenchingly hard. Believe me! LOL

    I'm really encouraged by the 2013 Jamis line though. I just can't get a straight answer about the rear hub spacing, so I'm going to wait until they show up at the local LBS.

    Bob

  24. #24
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    I like building my own bikes, but you're getting screwed paying retail for components when they're so much cheaper OEM. I've seen people buy a Bikes Direct bike only for the parts (assuming you get one of the models with nice spec) and sell the frame, using the parts on a better frame of their choice. That's why you see so many Moto frames on Ebay.

    Like sheepo and the others say, the frames are garbage.

    I have discs now and I'm never going back. Racers who buy expensive carbo wheels and wear them out with cantis are just pissing away their money. Using a $2000+ wheelset for a brake surface when you could use a rotor is insane.

    DSC04356

    Love the Crests!

  25. #25
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    I think that it comes down to weight. Cross bikes with disc brakes are heavier (due to wheels).

    Written from the perspective of touring, but good:

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Gunton
    link: The Art of Bicycle Touring: Brakes: Disk vs Rim, oh god not this again

    Pros of disc brakes:

    Strong action
    Less affected by mud and water
    Unaffected by warped rims
    Pads last a long time
    No rim wear and tear
    No heated rims or tire blowouts on long descents
    Disc-specific rims can be slightly stronger
    They look cool, let's admit it!

    Cons of disc brakes:

    Put more stress on spokes
    You need a dished wheel, even in front
    More beefy forks required, since stress is put on one side
    Some risk of pulling front wheel out of the dropout due to torsional stress
    Weaker rear wheel, since more dished both sides
    Complicates rack attachment
    Complicates rear kickstand mounting
    Less standard worldwide, more likely to need FedEx
    Pads become useless if you get oil on them
    Disc rotor is smaller than rims, so heats up more quickly
    On long descents, red hot rotor can heat up hub (bad for bearings)
    Disc rotor can still become damaged in transit, harder to replace
    Disc brakes often need re-adjustment and often squeal for no apparent reason

    Pros of rim brakes:

    Simple, standard system
    Properly adjusted, can stop any bike
    Cheap replacement blocks
    Better mechanical advantage using rim
    No dishing of front wheel necessary
    Less stress on spokes
    Less wheel dishing = stronger wheels
    Less torque stress on front fork
    No tendency to pull front wheel out of dropouts
    Don't interfere with rack attachment
    Don't interfere with rear kickstand mount
    They let you know when your rim needs truing
    No risk of heating up your hubs on long descents

    Cons of rim brakes:

    Wear and tear on rims
    Risk tire blowout from heating up rims on long descents
    Affected by water and mud
    Not always as strong as disc
    Don't look as cool
    So which should you choose? Well,

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