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  1. #1
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    CX newbie seeking advice on purchase

    hello all,

    i have 3 mounties at home which i've used for fire roads, single tracks and even pavements / riverbank bike lanes. one is 25 years old that's hard everything. the other is 6 years old DS, and lastly, a 1 year old 29er HT. however i've been wanting something a bit more versatile and lighter than my currents, so i lurked for a while researching, reading, and drooling on CX posts/pics, and i'm pretty close in making a decision on getting my first to join some of you. but being a newbie with CX, i definitely appreciate some of the knowledge and experiences you have, so please bear with me on 'ignorant' questions i may pose:

    - my budget is between $800-$1000. i know it's not a whole lot but that's what i have to start.

    - settled on 4 bikes from bikesdirect:
    a. Motobecane Cross Outlaw 18-spd / disc brakes $899 bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/outlaw_clearance.htm

    b. Motobecane Cross Outlaw 20-spd / disc brakes $999 bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/outlaw.htm

    c. Motobecane Fantom Cross 20-spd / cantilever $899
    bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom_cross_xi.htm

    d. Motobecane Fantom Cross SRAM 20-spd / cantilever $899 bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom_cross_xii_sram.htm

    - if i can get a little bit more budget, i thought about this bike $1199
    e. Motobecane Fantom Cross PRO
    bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom_cross_pro_rival.htm


    * from your experience given the budget i have, and no i'm not getting it to CX race or anything aside from just normal cardio / climbs / not too technical trails and casual rides, which out of the 4 bikes would you get and why? components bang for the buck?

    ** is bike #e worth me breaking the bank? compared to the other 4?

    *** out of the listed bikes, only the Outlaw has disc brakes. does that affect your decision?


    thank you all in advance for being patient and i appreciate all comments, opinions and advice.

    -kc

  2. #2
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    Bikesdirect is a good deal, esp. if you can do the assembly yourself. I bought my 29er from them.

    I would personally go with D. I like SRAM. Cantilevers are lighter and cheaper than discs. If you want more power, go mini-V. If you ride winters or a lot of wet mud, discs might be a good idea. Otherwise mini-V are up to the job. I debated between a disc or canti frame when I built my cross bike and frankly, good rim brakes are much cheaper and lighter. I have a disc-equipped mtn bike for the really icky stuff.

    strong enough to endo!


  3. #3
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    Thank you 'cr4sht3st' for the word of advice. i ride sometimes in winter but considering i'm in LA, no chance of doing so in snow. also not in mud unless i do come across soggy soil on single tracks. on that note, i can cross off disc brakes so this leaves your recommended choice of D, and possibly E. which begs the question since i'm not familiar with these components... is choice E worth the extra cost over choice D...?

    oh yea and i'm 6', 170-180lbs and 33 inseam. which size is better for me?

  4. #4
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    CX newbie seeking advice on purchase-295568_456946877708465_1130331173_n.jpg

    I replied on your RoadBikeReview Thread. I say wait for Nashbar to put the Blue Norcross SP on 20% Discount again. Best bang for the buck. Tapered Headtube, BB30 Bottom bracket, Avid Brakes, American CLassic Wheels, full Sram Apex. $799 on sale.
    Hammerheadbikes.com

  5. #5
    TXTony
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    Another vote for the Blue

  6. #6
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    That blue does look like a good buy.
    I've looked at bikesdirect bikes a few times, and it seems they cheap-out on the wheels pretty often, and they're not all that lightweight unless you spend some real money. I had a Fantom Pro 29er for a bit that I bought used, it was a pretty good bike, but it weighed 32 pounds in xl, which was a deal breaker for me and I resold it. If they don't publish the weight don't expect it to be super light.
    Have you considered buying a used bike? If you ride a common size you could have some great options used.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    That blue does look like a good buy.
    I've looked at bikesdirect bikes a few times, and it seems they cheap-out on the wheels pretty often, and they're not all that lightweight unless you spend some real money. I had a Fantom Pro 29er for a bit that I bought used, it was a pretty good bike, but it weighed 32 pounds in xl, which was a deal breaker for me and I resold it. If they don't publish the weight don't expect it to be super light.
    Have you considered buying a used bike? If you ride a common size you could have some great options used.
    Bikesdirect is an excellent choice if you cannot find another bike on clearance. At their price points, they are typically 200-300 cheaper than other brands. Recently Nashbar and Performance have been putting their bikes on sale.
    Nashbar: Blue Norcross SP (Apex Equipped) 20% off = $799
    Performance: Fuji Cross 2.0 (105 Equipped) 15% off = $765

    Dont overlook the small details. The things like handlebars. The Fuji and Blue come with Cross Specific dimensions. Shallow drops and short reaches. That kinda stuff matters to me, and I assume would matter to anyone planning on actually riding cross. Another thing is gearing. IMO a 50 tooth chainring is too big for CX. A lot of the mid to lower end BikesDirect bikes use "Compact" 50/34 cranksets. Keep this in mind when shopping.

    Edit: Another issue is dated frames from BikesDirect. Notice how NONE of their bikes (Besides the $2k Fuji Altimera) comes with a tapered head tube?
    Hammerheadbikes.com

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=TheRealKTrain;10212196]
    Nashbar: Blue Norcross SP (Apex Equipped) 20% off = $799
    Performance: Fuji Cross 2.0 (105 Equipped) 15% off = $765

    Dont overlook the small details. The things like handlebars. The Fuji and Blue come with Cross Specific dimensions. Shallow drops and short reaches. That kinda stuff matters to me, and I assume would matter to anyone planning on actually riding cross. Another thing is gearing. IMO a 50 tooth chainring is too big for CX. A lot of the mid to lower end BikesDirect bikes use "Compact" 50/34 cranksets. Keep this in mind when shopping.

    what type chainring is ideal? also these bikes seem to be a lil more expensive today... they look like great bikes though... in my know nothing opinion!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zemasrose View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKTrain View Post
    Nashbar: Blue Norcross SP (Apex Equipped) 20% off = $799
    Performance: Fuji Cross 2.0 (105 Equipped) 15% off = $765

    Dont overlook the small details. The things like handlebars. The Fuji and Blue come with Cross Specific dimensions. Shallow drops and short reaches. That kinda stuff matters to me, and I assume would matter to anyone planning on actually riding cross. Another thing is gearing. IMO a 50 tooth chainring is too big for CX. A lot of the mid to lower end BikesDirect bikes use "Compact" 50/34 cranksets. Keep this in mind when shopping.
    what type chainring is ideal? also these bikes seem to be a lil more expensive today... they look like great bikes though... in my know nothing opinion!
    Gearing is obviously a preference to the rider, but I think a 44/34 or 46/34 is a great crankset gearing choice.
    The Norcross is only 10% off the $999 price this weekend, but I would venture to say that within the next 2 weeks, Nashbar will put it back on a 20% off sale. I missed the first 20% off sale they had,and had to anxiously wait another week till they hosted it again. I have a screenshot of the Norcross on sale at $799 if you need it to get Nashbar to price match!
    Hammerheadbikes.com

  10. #10
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    being a noob that i am, i don't even know what a "tapered head tube" is and what difference it makes. also, the couple Moto CXs i'm looking at has 36/46 gearing so that should be alright?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by peeguu View Post
    being a noob that i am, i don't even know what a "tapered head tube" is and what difference it makes. also, the couple Moto CXs i'm looking at has 36/46 gearing so that should be alright?
    The bottom set of bearings in the headset is larger than the top. It creates a stiffer frame basically.
    The gearing on the moto you are considering sounds perfect. When I was shopping for a CX bike, the BikesDirect prices were about $100 cheaper across the board. Now the Fantom with 105 is the same cost as the one with Apex... doesnt make sense to me.
    Hammerheadbikes.com

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKTrain View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I replied on your RoadBikeReview Thread. I say wait for Nashbar to put the Blue Norcross SP on 20% Discount again. Best bang for the buck. Tapered Headtube, BB30 Bottom bracket, Avid Brakes, American CLassic Wheels, full Sram Apex. $799 on sale.
    Does that Blue Norcross SP have rear rack mounts?

  13. #13
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    The Norcross has the lower threaded mounts, but would require some sort of wrap-around attachment for the upper stuff. There are no mounts of any type up top. Hope that helps.
    Hammerheadbikes.com

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKTrain View Post
    Gearing is obviously a preference to the rider, but I think a 44/34 or 46/34 is a great crankset gearing choice.
    The Norcross is only 10% off the $999 price this weekend, but I would venture to say that within the next 2 weeks, Nashbar will put it back on a 20% off sale. I missed the first 20% off sale they had,and had to anxiously wait another week till they hosted it again. I have a screenshot of the Norcross on sale at $799 if you need it to get Nashbar to price match!
    Thanks soooo much! I cant wait to have my new bike!!! :-D

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