Looking to get a 'cross bike...is this Marin any good? (or any other suggestions?)
Right now I have two MTB's, both 26" HT's.
My newer one is trail-only, while my older one is running slicks and is used just for riding around town. Most rides
so far are 20-30 miles long. I want to get into doing longer rides, such as progressing to 40, 50, then on to 100
by the middle of the summer. Even with the slicks, that MTB is slow and it's also heavy. It's a '05 Marin Bobcat Trail.
a low end 24spd with Shimano mech disks. It's been a great bike, it's just not ideal for all the road riding I want to do with it.
I was thinking of getting a road bike, but the more I look at CX bikes, the more I want one. I like the versatility and the ability do so some light trail work. Plus the roads around here are horrible, and the shoulders of the roads I usually ride on always seem to be full of gravel & sand.
No immediate plans to seriously race CX with it, although I'll probably give it a shot for kicks and giggles, it looks like fun.
I was looking at the BD bikes such as the Motebecane FantomCross and the Liberty CXD, but I'm also looking elsewhere as well.
Things I really want are a tripple and disks. Maybe I'm used to my MTB's, but I can't imagine going back to messing with canti's, and road bik brakes look pretty useless as well. I rode a co-workers Long Haul Trucker last fall, and was appalled at how bad those brakes were. As far as the tripple, I like having gearing options. I htink the small ring would come in handy if I ever hit trails.
The Airborne Delta looks good at $750, although all the have left is 53CM bikes - not sure that's my size.
I also found the Marin Lombard MARIN BIKES**|** Road**|**Cyclocross **|**Lombard
The 13's are more than I want to spend, but I found some '12's on ebay for 650-700 shipped. I've been searching, but really haven't found that much info on this bike. It's a little dull looking, but it's got all the features I want and the price seems good.
Any thoughts on this bike, as far as the specs and geopmetry? I really don';t know much about road parts, and nothing about geometry or wheels. That's one thing about this bike, the wheels look to be junk, considering it's got machined rims on a disk bike.
If not either of these bikes, any other suggestions for under 1k?
Thanks for any info!
You've got to face the facts when shopping for a specialty bike in your price range. At Sub-$1k, you're going to have to cut some corners somewhere.
On the Marin, Sora components and Tektro Disc brakes will leave you wanting a lot more. The problem is, bike companies know putting disc brakes on a bike that conventionally doesnt come equipped with them is a selling factor. The Tektros they use are super low budget, heavy, and most likely not an improvement over canti brakes or V brakes.
In my personal opinion, between those two bikes, I would save the $100-$200 and buy the Motobecane Phantom Cross @ BikesDirect.
Save up to 60% off new Cyclocross Road Bikes - Motobecane Fantom CX Clearance
The only upgrade the Marin has over that bike is the Carbon fork (Which in my opinion you wont notice the difference between a cheap steel fork and cheap carbon, except looks)
You can always keep an eye out for a sale at Performance Bike or Nashbar?
The Norcross SP is a VERY nice bike at the current $1k price tag. Tapered FULL Carbon fork, BB30 bottom bracket, Full Sram Apex 10spd components.
Blue Norcross SP Cyclocross Bike - Our Best Bikes Up to 70 Percent Off
If you subscribe to Nashbar's email service, they send out notices everytime they have a sale. About a month or two ago I snagged one of those Norcross SP's for 20% off.
***(((They currently have a 20% off coupon for any one item! Code 37487)))*** That brings your total to $839.00 shipped! (Today only)
I'd keep an eye on that before I bought either bike you mentioned.
Either way, good luck, and welcome to the addiction known as Cyclocross!
If you save a bit more there are some better deals to be had.
You could probably get a Trek CrossRip for under a grand (Trek stores constantly have sales it seems). Al frame, internal routing, carbon fork, bb5 brakes, etc for $1099 retail. Drivetrain is a little low end but it is functional stuff. You can always upgrade later.
Civilian Vive LeRoi is also another good one for $1124. Steel frame, carbon fork, bb7 brakes, 1x10 with SRAM drivetrain (a little low end on the rear der but mine worked very well until I trashed it with trail debris), sliding dropouts, etc.
Jamis and Kona also have some good choices in the very low $1k range.
I wouldn't rule out bikes equipped with canti's if you like everything else. You can replace them with a pair of mini-v brakes for around $40, e.g. Tektro RX5. and realize a big improvement.
Originally Posted by StuntmanMike
Based on your other requirements, I'd suggest you pay close attention to tire clearance. For road work, most cross bikes are fine. But if you plan on doing extensive off road riding with wide, high-volume tires, then you'll need to find a bike that will accommodate such tires.
I'd look at the Surly Cross Check and Specialized Tricross along with the other suggestions mentioned above.
Thanks for the info. It's certainly something to think about.
I hate to have to give up on disks, I ride around some high traffic areas and being able to stop would be great.
My beater MTB retailed for 500 back in 05 when it was new, so I'm sure the Shimano disks on it are quite low end. They work great though.
KTrain, how are you liking that Blue? It looks nice, except for the brakes. Is it at least pretty light?
I'll visit my local Trek store, and as for James, what about the Nova Sport? Or is that along the same lines as the Marin?
Nova Race seems a bit better equipped for a little more money. Carbon fork, brakes, and drivetrain are the main features that stand out immediately. But...if you find a nice bike even with the lower end brakes (Tektro, Shimano, whatever) don't count it out. If everything else adds up on it you can always upgrade the brakes down the road. BB7 brakes can be had fairly cheap second hand or new with the right sales.
I was just looking at the Cross rip, and as much as I dislike Trek, that looks like a good bike if I could find one on sale.
Is there a list of road components in order of quality somewhere? I'm really unfamiliar with them, I have no idea what is low end and what isn't.
All in order from Highest to Lowest.
My Norcross is a dream bike. It's retail price 2 years ago was $2500, and it's still worth every penny they want for it, but I only paid $738 shipped.
Like I said before, you are being blinded by the phrase disc brakes. The modulation strength feel etc are not the same on a Cyclocross bike and a Mountain Bike, so lets keep this apples to apples. Tektro CX brakes and other LOW end brakes are not going to "stop" any better than Avid Shorty or similar Canti brakes.
The real question is, in your budget, are you looking to get the most out of your money, or a neat gravel trail bike with discs, no matter what performance losses you suffer?
You want bang-for-your-buck? You buy the Norcross while it's 20% off
You want to go to Starbucks with your friends and brag about discs on your bike? Get the Marin, Jamis, or Motobecane you looked at.
Edit: My Norcross SP is 6 lbs lighter than a CrossRip in the same size.
Thanks for the info on the components.
Originally Posted by TheRealKTrain
And thanks for your other candid repsonse. Point taken.
Like I said, I know very little about or cross bikes, hence my fixation on the brakes. You made a good point about perception and price vs. performace.
Reminds me of when I bought my Marin back in '05. I hadn't bought a bike before that since '96, and was a little overwhelmed by the new tech. Since I was replacing arather expensive bike that was stolen, I was only willing to spend about 500. I was actually avoiding bikes with disks at that pricepoint, thinking that to put the disks on there they had to cheap out somewhere else.I ended up with the disk'd Marin becasue it was a leftover and on clearance, and even though it had low end compontnets on it, I liked the way it felt and it shifted great (I attribute the great shifting to the bike shop guys, as all the other shops I rode bikes at told me that Acera would never shift smooth. It's a shame they're no longer in business).
Anyway, yes, I want the best bang for my buck. I plan on riding the bike, and keeping it a long time. Can't say for sure if I'll be racing it, but the more I look at cross racing, the more appealing it looks. I need to check out the local scene, see where the races are.
And Starbucks? Man, I don't even drink coffee.. You're more apt to find me in the bar ABOVE the Starbucks! (Yes, there is a bar about our local starbucks, haha). None of my friends are even into bikes, so I'd have no one to brag out my *****in' disk brakes even if I wanted to.
I'm liking the looks of the Norcross a lot, to tell you the truch. Unfortunately they don't seem to have my size, I think a medium would be what I need (5'9, 31" inseam) , and they only have larger sizes. D'oh!
Oh, and that's awesome the Blue is so much lighter than the CrossRip! I like the idea of a light bike! MTB's are getting so heavy it's ridiculous.
My vote is for the Fantom Cross, as that is the route I took. I for the titanium Rival version and love it, but I have two friends with the Aluminum version as well. I understand that you mentioned wanting a triple and discs, but do you have experience with a good set of cantis and a double? My cantis (with good pads, none of that stock crap) work beautifully, and you can get a good spread on a compact double.
I just got back from a grocery run on mine ten minutes ago. Was riding single track with it yesterday. You'll love the versatility of a cross bike.
No, no experience on a double. I'm just going back to my MTB experience...I've been riding since I was a kid in the '90's, and always rode MTB's with triples.
Although come to think of it, I was riding canti's at the time. I remember when I bought my first expensive bike that v brakes came out like a year later. I honestly don't remember having problems with the canti's as far as stopping, I just remember having to adjust the pads a lot. And cramped hands after alot of downhills! Which is why I fell in love with the juice disks on my trail MTB the first time I took it in the woods.
And going back to the double, on road I rarely (if ever) use my smallest chainring, so I probably wouldn't miss it. I like to power up hills rather than spin, as most of the hills around here are fairly short climbs.
Last edited by StuntmanMike; 04-02-2013 at 04:38 PM.
Sounds like this would be the bike for you then. It's nice that you actually used some logic when thinking about the options. I see so many people who "wouldn't dream of a bike without discs" or some such nonsense just because they want to be cool, or a friend of a friend told them Rim brakes suck.
The only things on the Motobecane I would definitely change off the bat are a saddle of your preference and Kool Stop Salmon brake pads. Cantis will still take more work at the lever, but you will have great modulation and the ability to lock up the wheel whenever you prefer, especially with the narrower tires.
Post up any more questions, and let us know what route you go.
Well I didn't get the Blue. Looks like a great bike, but they don't have my size.
What I need to do before making any snap decisions is to get to a few LBS and actually ride a few of these to see how I like the feel and sizing. Then I can start looking online to buy.
Excellent thinking! When I re-read my last post, it certainly came across as condecending. I apologize.
I recently bought my wife a 29er, and was sucked in to spending a bit more because the brakes were hydraulic instead of mechanical discs... sadly, BB7 discs would have been twice the quality.
My first new CX bike purchase was a Motobecane Phantom Cross Pro, with Rival. I bought it because at the time, it was $899 and you couldnt hardly buy the components for that much. At that pricepoint though, the quality in the bars, stem, seatpost, clamps, fork, wheels, etc were all compromised.
I parted it out on ebay for $100 less than I paid for it less than 3 months later.
I apologize for pushing the Norcross so hard without knowing your size and Nashbar's stock too. It is a hell of a deal, and a bummer you couldnt snatch one up.
Any direction you take, starting off by riding more than two brands of CX bikes at your LBS will benefit you the most.
Why not buy locally? What you might discover is that the bike you like in person isn't available online. And rather than take a gamble and buy something similar, wouldn't it be a safer bet to buy the bike you know will work? Finally, IF you find that there's a better online price (incl tax, freight, assembly) for the same bike, you might want to see if your LBS can make you a deal. One of my local independent shops actually offers price matching, so there's no downside to buying from them.
Unless you have the right tools, adequate workspace and decent mechanical ability (or an experienced cycling friend), I think buying local is the way to go. Not only does the bike come assembled but you'll probably get extras, e.g. free maintenance, bike fitting, stem/seat swap, saddle bag, mutli-tool, water bottle/cage, return service, etc.
(more) food for thought
did you look at these ?
they are not cross race level bikes
they have compact style frame geometry - slope top tube
and you really have to read the size specs
cause for me i would ride a 42 or 43 cm in their sizing
Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes
Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes
it looks like i was able to locate the jamis nova sport for 880.00
i hope this works out.
KTrain, no problem.
Yeah, it's a shame they don't have the Blue in my size, a little research shows that it's a discontinued model, so I guess whatever they have is all they're ever going to have. Although I wouldn't have bought it last night either way. I really need to ride these to find what I like, as I've never ridden one before.
Nasbar runs those sales all the time, I get emails from them every day with some sale or another, that 20% will roll around again soon enough I'm sure.
Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. And you're experience with the Motobecane is kind of why I'm starting to lean away from it.
Personally, I try not to be dazzled by components. IMO it's easier to start with a decent frame and upgrade the components as you go and they break or wear out. Like I said, the cheap stuff on my Marin beater MTB still works fine 7 years later. I'm not especially hard on bikes (that I don't take offroad, anyway!) Honestly I don't think the XT rear drl. on my Trek shifts noticeably better than the Acera on my Marin.
Anyway, I'm hoping to hit a few bikes shops in the near future, and I'm going to go with what's comfortable and feels good.
Joe, chances are I'm going to buy locally at this point. I DO have a co-worker who offered to help me build a bike (he wrenches on them and used to work in a shop), but the idea of buying one I haven't ridden IS getting a little unsettling, as I think about how many bikes I rode before I settled on my last two that I purchased.
I was initially thinking of buying online becasue I'm cheap. I like not paying the store markup, and I like not paying sales tax, especially when you're spending almost a grand.
However, like you mentioned, a free tuneup would pretty much wipe the cost of the sales tax away. And I remember seeing an ad for a somewhat local shop that offered free tune-ups for life. DEFINITELY worth then! And something else I was thinking about today that I think I want: an actual fitting. Bars, stem, seat, all adjusted so the bike fits the best.
Luna, that Jamis is on my list of bikes to ride, if I can find a dealer!
Actually, that's one reason I was going to avoid the LBS's.... I don't want a Specialized, Cannondale, or Trek, which is mostly what they all carry. It's bad enough I have one Trek already, I'm embarassed to hit the trail with that thing, lol. Price was right though, I got it free through a work rewards program. It works okay, and I mentioned I love the hyd disks, but the riding postion feels less than ideal, if I were to have test ridden it I probably would have moved on to something else. I try not to be a brand snob, but it seems like every one and their brother has one of those 3 bikes, and I like to be different as well as not pay for a name.
Anyway, thanks for all the advice, I appreciate it. After I look at some bikes I'm sure I'll be more confused than ever and have more questions, lol.
Anyone notice how the internet makes decisions like these HARDER, not easier??
Did some more research, and found a few semi local places that caryy Jamis 7 Felt, so I'm going to check those out.
I'm starting to totally blow away my budget, as I'm really liking the Jamis Nova Race (and not just becasue it has disks!) It looks to be well spec'd for the money, at least compared to other things I'm seeing. Than again, of course I'm no pro.
What does everyone think? JAMIS BIKES Race&cat_grp=road_4
What made you decide to sell the Moto?
Originally Posted by TheRealKTrain
too far from me and no disc brakes.
Just a one more opinion.
I bought several bikes (road) before I got a cross bike. I wanted a cross bike from the beginning and wish I had gotten it sooner. Cross bike versatility is awewome IMO.
price and components. I now ride 2 cross bikes regularly-one with SRAM rival and the other with shimano sora. They work differently but honestly the sora works and I enjoy my cheaper redline conquest sport as much as my nicer lemond propad. If you want one (disc brake or otherwise) get what YOU want and ride it. you will be happy!
dealer specific brands like jamis are tough
maybe it is odd, but the local jamis dealer went out of business recently.
and the bicycle bananas place that also sold the jamis went out of business.
our local jamis dealer is now under new owners.
but because of the old owner. i still would never go to that shop.
the local shop does not stock the bike i want.
so i can't go and ride it
or check fit or feel
i basically have to buy it at full msrp,
and then wait for it to come in
and see if it fits.
so buying on line is worth the hassle i feel
So this is going to be harder than I thought.
I went to 3 bike shops today, two of them had ONE cross bike each, and the third had 5, but none remotely near my size/price range.
One of the stores that had only one had a Lapierre full carbon bike they had built for a customer, about 4500 bucks. It was feather light, the guy said they weighed it at a hair over 17lbs. He said I should strongly consider a road bike unless I have plans to CX race, since I already had the offroad part covered by having a MTB. Good point, however if I DO ofroad the cross bike, I see myself taking it on smooth winding trails that would otherwise bore me on my MTB. I usually like to ride technical stuff.
The other store had one bike, a '12 Scott CX Comp. The price tag said 1,199. I thought it was more than I wanted to spend, but it was the only one they had. The owner had one of the mechanics take it down and show it to me, and he pointed out the features. He asked what my budget as and I told him less than this. He then called to the owner and said "what can do on price for this?" The owner thought for a few seconds, then said $900. He said it was a bike he bought to have one inthe store, but he doesn't really have a big market for them so it's been there awhile.
It seemed pretty light and looked to have good specs, Tiagra with a 105 rear dlr.
I didn't ride it, but I think I want to go back and give it a closer look. They also carry Felt and Ridley, but didn't have any of the CX bikes in stock.
The store with the carbon Lapierra carries Cannondale and Felt as well, and he said he can order me whatever I want. He was showing me the bikes in a catalog. I understand they're a small shop, and I've been in there before and have gotten good info, but I can't see buying a bike I haven't ridden. If that's the case I might as well just go mail order.
The 3rd shop had a few Kona Jake & Jake the Snakes, along with a sweet looking Focus. None of them were in the 54-56cm range, and the shop was super busy so I didn't talk to anyone.
There's still a few more shops I want to check out, maybe tomorrow.
On paper, the Scott CX Comp appears to be a pretty good deal. 2x10 drivetrain with 46/36 FSA Gossamer crankset. Schwalbe Rocket Rons, approx. 21 lbs. Tiagra/105 component mix and "decent" rims are to be expected but, for $900, you won't find a much better setup. No shipping or assembly required and you may get the aforementioned "extras" by buying local.
Go for it!
Still thinking on that Scott, although I read a few reviews last night and both mentioned a lot of fork judder under braking.
Just not sure I want or need to spend that much money. I'd describe myself as a casual rider, I'll prob only use it 2 or three times a week at most, and hardly ever if at all during the winter months.
The Nashbar CX1 is on sale again today, 20% off brings it down to $479. Seems to be decently spec'd for a low end bike, and I've read nothing but good things about it (other than the seat. I think it may suit my needs just fine, while saving me a nice chunk of change. It also has top run cables, which I really like, and bar top brake levers.
Buying locally will be tough I'm finding, as I don't think I'll be finding many CX bikes in stock, and the two shops I spoke with told me to figure on about a grand as a starting point.
That Scott sure LOOKS good though, doesn't it? And I found some white road tires on clearance at bike tires direct...how pimp would THAT look, haha.
Yeah, you'd be a baller if you cruised around with some white rubber on that bike.
CX1 is a pretty sweet deal, though. If you're not racing, the Scott probably isn't worth the extra cash.
I'm not sure the Nash bike has the top mount brakelevers, though, but they're cheap to add. Nice for getting around town but optional, IMHO.
Crankset is a 50/34 compact matched with a 12-25 which is very versatile and great for road rides but not ideal for cross. And the chromoly fork is a little heavier than the Scott's but it's also pretty durable. It didn't sound like the Scott carbon was a strong point.
The CX1 also comes with the NEW Sora brifters. They no longer have the button located inboard near the top of the hoods--they have double levers. It's nice if you shift from the drops but, again, not a big deal.
The brake levers also accommodate long and short pull brakes, i.e. calipers, cantis, v brakes, min v's and mechanical discs. Nice versatility.
Kenda Small Block 8's are pretty nice tires, too. For less than $500? I'm sold.
Yeah, I saw the bar top shifters in a review, but I think it was an older one. I think they change the specs occasionally Also, the one in the review was a great blue color, it seems that now it's black. No biggie.
I had a productive, informative day.
I went to 3 more shops, and rode 5 bikes.
First shop had no cross bikes in my size, but the girl there was so helpful, she put me on a few Trek road bikes to get an idea of sizing and how they ride. I'm definitely a 54cm.
2nd shop was the same thing, however I DID get to ride a Surly Pugsly, that was the coolest bike I've ever ridden, I was grinning like an idiot when I got back from the ride. She was also telling me a bit more about cross bikes, and also showed me a few nice road bikes if I were to go that route. She's mostly a MTB'er, and she agreed that cross was probably the way to go. She also told me that thier other location was bigger on cross bikes (I was planning on going there anyway).
First bike I rode at the 3rd place was a Specialized TriCross disk for $1300. I actually really liked it. I think the cool orange color didn't hurt, lol. It had bar top brake levers and disks. I'm now sold on the idea that road/cross bike disks are not yet up to snuff. They were very "meh". The bar top levers were especially weak, they only kind of applied the brakes. I would consider the non-disk version of the bike. It had Tiagra/Sora componants, and seemed to shift nicely.
2nd bike was a leftover (I think it was an '11) Ridley X-Ride. VERY nice bike, very light. 54CM. As soon as I got on it I liked it. It felt sharp, very racy. It has a tapered head tube, full carbon fork (thanks to you guys I actually know what that stuff is now, haha), and top tube cable routing. Also a flattened top tube, which along with the light weight, will make it very easy to carry. (The more I think about it, the more I want to try racing). It also has Sram Rival group, which I'm not 100% sold on. I liked the way the rear shifted, but the front didn't seem to want to go up to the big ring. Maybe an adjustment is needed. The Tiagra bikes I rode had better front shifting. Price on this one is $1,300, marked down from $1,999. Which I must be f'in crazy to even be considering a bike this much, and I'd have not even ridden it if they were really asking 1,999. 2011 Ridley X-Ride/ 1015b - Cyclocross Bike Details
My inner cheapskate that loves a bargain really likes this one, it seems like a lot of bike for the money. Saving $700 off retail is pretty awesome.
3rd bike was a '11 X-Bow.52CM Definitely felt heavier, and had Tiagra components. Still a nice bike, though not as attractive as the X-Ride, not that it's a huge concern, but liking the way the bike looks is impotantI like the way the Tiagra front shifts, and the bike didn't feel that different from the X-Ride. Oddly enough, even though it was a 52cm vs. the 54cm's I rode, I felt a lottle more stretched out on it. It may be I'm just not used to that position, although the salesman was telling me one of the differences in the bikes other than components is the frame, the X-Bow has more of a sport design vs. the competion X-Ride, and the tube lengths are a bit different. The original price was 1,395, they're asking 950. 2011 Ridley X-Bow/ 1116a - CX Bike pricing, sizes, and components.
At that point he also mentioned that they have a full fitting process, where they'll change stems and what not to get the fit right. It's $125, which is credited to the price of a bike if/when I buy. I think that's a smart move.
All 3 of these shops today were great, they were all very helpful. It's nice to talk to people that actually like bikes and aren't just working on commision. When I told the guy at the last place what I was looking for, he was all excited... "Yeah man, cross bikes are GREAT! You should definitely get one!". He actually races cross, so he was able to tell me about the local racing scene, and the fact that there IS a pretty big local racing scene. Good to know.
And all 3 of these shops do weekly group rides and hold free classes a few times a month. Nice.
And I know these Ridley's have been sitting around for a while, A) because they're 11's, and B) I've seen them in the clearance section of their website for the last few months. They're also not going to be selling any more Ridleys after these are gone, they are discontinuing carrying them, and Felt as well. (They had a few Felt cx bikes, but I didn't really like the look of them). So I'm wondering if I make them an offer I can get either of them for even less.
So, in conclusion, still undecided.
God d@mn Nashbar and these one day sales, making me have to decide right away. Well not really, these 20% sales roll around every few weeks.
Rival work great, the front just has a bit of a long throw. Once I got used to it, I've had no problems.
Originally Posted by Sleeveless
That's what the guy at the shop said, don't be gentle with it, just jam it over all the way. He also said most of the local cross guys like them because they eliminate inadvertantly applying the brake when shifting.
Any thoughts on any of the bikes I rode?
Any imput on the price of those bikes?
Mmmmm. I love that X-Ride. Looks like a black version of the Blue Norcross, with better components. The X-ride is a PURE cx bike. Very high bottom bracket, very stiff, very light weight.
IMO, obviously based on my actions, I have no qualms with buying a closeout 2011 bike. The warranty is still valid, the brand is still in business.
The fact you get to ride the Ridleys before buying is VERY nice.
DO IT DO IT. Just depends on how much money you've got, and whether you prefer Sram or Shimano. (Sram's internal cable routing sold me on their stuff over Tiagra, and Rival shifts/brakes smoother than 105 according to reviews)
Not sure you can go wrong with any of the options you're considering. I'm a little surprised that the 52cm X-Bow felt more stretched out than the 54cm X-Ride. The biggest difference in frame design/geometry is head tube length.
For the same size bike, the X-Bow will have approx. an inch taller headtube than an X-Ride. That will produce a more upright/relaxed riding position. But you tested a smaller size with a relatively tall headtube? That should've felt smaller, not stretched out as you explained.
When you get down to pulling the trigger, I'd encourage you to get to the bottom of this. Reach can be altered by flipping the stem, adjusting the stem height/length, saddle fore/aft, saddle height, handlebar tilt or any combination thereof. There's a difference between bike setup and bike fit which you should recognize.
What I'd recommend is that you figure out a good reach dimension (saddle tip to center of handlebar at the stem) so you can do a good apples-to-apples test ride. And make sure you know exactly what saddle height works for you. Have the bikes set up in this manner to eliminate as many fit "variables" as possible so that you can focus on the differences in ride quality, feel and performance of the bikes you're considering.
I agree with TheRealKTrai recommendation, the Blue Norcross is a great ride for the price, it looks like a solid contender!
Yeah, the X-Ride sure is sexy! On looks alone that thing wins. And yes, super light. I was thinking that about 20 min ago as I was hefting my slick tire Marin hardtail and carying it up a flight of stair to my apartment after a ride. I swear that thing weighs at least 30lbs. The spec on the X-Ride is 19.8lbs. And I'm with you, I have no problem buying a closeout, my last 3 bikes I've bought have been the previous year's model.
Originally Posted by TheRealKTrain
Being able to ride it was great, I just can't imagine doing it any other way. Plus the guy at the shop was very helpful, it seems like the kind of shop that would have great post purchase support.
Thanks for the info. I'm confused about the fit issue too. The shop guy said it was a bit strange as well. It might just be I'm not used to that riding position. I know I DEF felt a little stretched on the 56cm Trek roadie I rode, and the girl there said the same.
Originally Posted by joeinchi
The Ridley stems looked the same, I'm wondering if maybe the seat was in a different position or the post had a bit more setback? One thing I noticed with the XBow that I forgot to mention was some serious fork judder, and while pedaling and turning tight, I had some foot to wheel contact. I didn't notice that on the X-Ride, and the fork judder was there, but not nearly as bad. Maybe the tapered head tube and full carbon fork helps out there. The Ridley literature for that model says judder is eliminated, but I felt it was there. On the XBow I could really see it as well. I had a discussion with the shop guy and the mechanic about it, he had an explanation that made sense, and it seems to be somewhat of a fact of life with some of these bikes as I've read. They said the trick is to adjust my braking style, I'm used to MTB disks, which are a whole different animal. I need to learn not to rely on the front as heavily.
As far as the fitting, they offer that service. He said very rarely does a bike leave that shop with the stem that it was born with. It's $125 for the service, which is then credited to the price of the bike I purchase. Seems like a no brainer to go that route.
I agree! Unfortuantely it's not in my size, all they have left in stock is the Large size, where I need a small-medium.
Originally Posted by rickcin
I think I'm leaning towards the X-Ride.Even a little while ago I was torn between it and the cheaper XBow (which is still a very nice bike) but after describing it's faults I'm not in love with it. I know I'm a nut for paying that much when just a few days ago I was thinking BD or Nashbar, but realistically it won't break the bank, and I like nice stuff. Plus it put a smile on my face when I rode it.
And I have to admit I'd be really jazzed to have such a high level bike for $700 less than msrp. I'm wondering if I go in there with cash I can get it for a bit less.
One more question about it though. With being a pure CX bike and having the more agressive geopmetry, is this something that will beat me up on longer rides? I'll be regulary doing 30-40 milers on it, and I hope to do a century at some point this summer.
I had considered buying a Ridley online when I was looking for a cross bike, but the stand over height kept me away—not being able to throw a leg over it. At 54cm they are 850 mm (33.5 inches) and at 52 cm they are 835 cm (32.9 inches) and my inseam is 32 inches (I’m 5’9” tall). With my limited coordination I prefer at least a little bit of clearance to keep things safe. If you are comfortable with that or their geometry tables are incorrect the X-Ride looks like an outstanding deal. I was fortunate enough to get a Blue Norcross SP from Nashbar in Medium before they sold out. My wife got the Norcross EX version, which is Carbon Fiber in a Small. We absolutely love these bikes, sorry that you missed out on them.
Both my wife and I have been avid mountain bikers for many years, but were clueless on cross bikes and hadn’t touched a road bike in 20+ years. On another thread both TheRealKTrain and joeinchi were extremely helpful with their advice into geometry and cross bikes in general, which helped us close on the Blue Norcrosses without riding them. Obviously, I yield to their superior knowledge.
Thanks for the info on the Ridley fit! I was concerned with standover, but I was able to do it just fine.
That 33.5" can't be right, or maybe it's measured at the highest point of the top tube. I'm 5'9" as well and have about a 31.5" inseam and the standover seemed fine on both the 52 and 54.
I'll have to keep a special eye on that if I ride it again. But I know for certain a 33.5" standover would have been very uncomfortable if you know what I mean!
I'm glad you like your Blues, and yeah, I wish I had gotten this idea maybe a month or two ago, maybe I'd have been able to snag the right size. And that's a dead sexy looking bike too, btw.
And yes, many thanks to KTrain and joeinchi for all of thier help and guidance. Thanks to what I learned here I was asking the shop if the bikes had tapered head tubes and full carbon or alloy steerers!
You probably won't get beat up riding on 32mm tires at 60 psi. Having aggressive geo simply means the rider's position is more aero on one bike vs other bikes within that manufacturer's line.
Re: brakes, if you can't eliminate the judder or want better (mtb-like) stopping, consider mini-Vs.
I think if you pass on the X-Ride, you'll definitely suffer buyer's remorse with anything else. Going in with cash is definitely worth a shot. Good luck!
The bike shop should ensure the exact fit for your specific use when selling you a bike.
I got a great price on a left over Cannondale XC and based on my specific use, the bike shop swapped out the stem and no additional cost. It is not just about your size since your age and exact usage could determine a better body position on the bike.
Just like you mentioned, commuting more than true cyclocross. I purchased a cyclocross to ride on pavement, I did not want a road bike. Wanted something a little more rugged and a bike I could commute with and ocassionally ride on hardpack.
The bike shop also guaranteed I would be happy with the canti brakes, and if not they would provide the labor to change them to mini-V's or any other brake of my choice.
I don't think anyone else has said this yet so here goes.
You should race cross if you buy a cross bike! It is WAY fun!! Don't try to win, try to not finish last and you will have fun, before you start and after you finish, but not while racing, or you might, you could be sick like most of us.
On the Bikes, It's a tough one. No matter what you buy, you will find a reason however small to wish you had bought a different one. This is how we cope with the fact that we don't have enough cash or space to have all the bikes we want. I bought a Surly frame, (cause I don't like the QBP build kit), from a local shop. It was the right size, I like steel, I like the color (which Surly doesn't make anymore) and he cut me a little bit of a deal cause it was left over. Built it up buying parts mostly on the cheap, but I didn't order anything through an online retailer. I believe in buying locally (and US made) when the products are available and meet my needs.
You may not race your bike, however, I have had my bike two seasons and raced one. If I race a full season this year I will need to replace my rims. That is how quickly racing on cantis with aluminum rims can wear them out. I will need to rebuild my wheels. That is a whole lot more expensive than replacing rotors. I also went through 4 or 5 sets of pads in 16 races. Not to mention, cantis/v-brakes are another place for mud to collect, slowing you down and making your bike heavier.
On cost, buy the best bike you can, without hurting your wallet or relationships.
Good luck, and enter a few local races.
Thanks for the advice Joe.
Great point about the wheels, I hadn't thought about that too much. Makes a great case for disks! I rode a disked TriCross, and wasn't impressed with them. Once the hydros come out I think that's prob when I'll go disk. I LOVE them on my MTB.
And the more I think about it, the more I want to race! The guy I'm dealing with at this shop is into it, and he's encouraging me to do so as well. Sounds like a great time!
I went back last night and rode both Ridleys again. I was on the fence at the time, I didn't know if I reallly needed to spend the extra 350 on the XRide over the XBow. Riding them they both felt good, although it's a question of Rival vs. Tiagra and the 'Ride has cx gearing, as opposed to the more road oriented gearing on the 'Bow.
I did not like Rival at first, but after riding it again I htink I understand it better, and it seems to work well. I like the rear shifting, the front is still not as good as I'd like, but the Tiagra really wasn't any better. Just different. I'm not into the long shifter throws when upshifting in the front, but it is what it is.
I also did not like the brake lever reach on the Rival, but I was informed the shifters and brake levers are adjustable for all that.
The guy I'm dealing with there has been super cool, when I was there last night he gave me some more info about the bikesn and didn't press me to pick one. He was actually honest when I asked which would better suit me, and told me the XRide is probably overkill for what I'm going to use it for, I'd just have a very nice bike.
I figured out while I felt more stretched on the 52cm XBow than the 54cm Xride. A) the stem on the XBow is about 1CM longer, in the store guy's estimation, an B) the Tiagra shifters have different hoods than the Rivals, which put my hands in a different spot.
He suggested if I do the fitting process, then can set each bike up (plus the TriCross for kicks and giggles) up the same exact way to fit me perfectly, then I can ride them and decide.
So I decided to go through with that. Of course now I'm commited to buying a bike from them, as the fitting was $125, which is applied to the price of the bike when I buy.
I'm going back Sunday morning, and I WILL be taking one of them home!
I was on the fence when I left the store, but after more thinking, I just really like the XRide better, if nothing else simply for the look.Chances are that's the one I'll be taking home.If I don't get it whenever I ride the XBow I'd be thinking about the 'Ride, so I might as well just get what I want.
And the cash offer didn't work, but was worth a shot. The bike was actually tagged as 1,399 down from 1,999. He said 1,300, which is their bargain basement price. I offered him less cash, he said he probably could do any better, but would check to see what they paid for the bike. He said they actually paid 1,343 for it, so I'd actually be getting it at less than cost. I'm still gonna try to get a free bottle cage or something. On sale or not, that's still a lot of money.
Anyway, thanks for all the advice, I'll keep you posted!
Getting ready to head to the shop, but it's kind of rainy. Might not be the best time for test rides.
I was just rereading this thread before I went to make sure I didn't miss any important info. Funny how I started off looking at $600 bikes and am now probably going to buy a $1,300 one! Thanks a lot, guys! lol.
I was doing more research last night and realized the X-Ride does not come with any mounting bosses at all, not even for a bottle cage. Guess that really IS a race bike. Looks like there are a few option for mounting bottles for bikes like that, so it might not be a big deal. I'll check with the shop, maybe they'll throw something in. I have a camelback for when I go for longer MTB rides, but for road I think it's overkill, even for a 3 hour ride 1 bottle does me fine.
I hope buying a bike with canti's isn't akin to buying a VCR.
Ok, off to the shop!
Bought the X-Ride!!
Brought it home Sunday evening, took it for the first ride yesterday. Just a quick ride, about 8 miles.
DEFINITELY different from road riding on a MTB! The gearing is much different, I thought I was getting to be in good shape, but I did most of the ride in the small ring up front. I can see climbs will be a challenge with this gearing. I know of one that I grind up on my MTB in the granny ring, I seriously doubt I'd be able to do it on the Ridley, at least at my current fitness level.
But I look on getting fitter as a good thing, so I'm sure the extra work will pay off as the spring goes on.
It rides surprisgly well, it's the first rigid bike I've ridden since 1995 or so.
Handling is way different, it's very quick compared to the mtb.
Riding on the drops under certain situations was fun.
This thing really cooks...on one long flat I got in the big ring and was really moving! No speedo yet, so I'm not sure how fast.
I normally avg. 12.5-13mph on the mtb, I avg'd 14.1 on the XRide, on platform pedals. (I couldn't get the damn SPD's off my older bike, so I threw the platforms on just so I oculd get out and ride. Not being clipped in was wierd).
Still trying to get used to the Rival. Rear is good, still having a hard time getting the front to do what I want it to.
The brakes are rather scary. Canti's are less than stellar. Fork chatters like a MoFo braking from speed, so I was using the rear brake pretty heavy. Having to get down in the drops to be able to brake was strange as well, I'll get used to it I guess.
Think I'm going to talk to the shop about converting it to mini V's. Like the bike, but kinda feeling like a bought a VCR right now.
Congrats on your purchase! Looks like you have a great cross bike!
Initially on my Blue Norcross, with Avid canti brakes, I was really disappointed and afraid. Fortunately, I was able to channel my younger self from the 1990s when I had canti on my MTB. After a bit jiggering around was able to make them perform pretty decently. Not like XTR V-brakes, but not so bad. But, the Avids seem to be much better than the old XT cantis that I had (though I'm nearing 50 and likely my memory is failing me). In setting them up, remember to toe in and have them hit the rim flush.
The bike mechanics at your shop may not know what a VCR is, so you may have to set the brakes up yourself. Or, you are in this deep, I'm sure the mini V's are better.
Either way, Enjoy!
Nice going, a mtn bike and a CX, you are all set!
First off, do not try to compare the two bikes, its like a4WD pickup and a sports car, two different animals. Everything is different and it should be that way, you just need to get use to the new bike. You will discover the the benefits once you have spent more time on the bike.
I was like a fish out of water on the Cross bike. Between the dropped handle bars, the brakes, the shifting the two chain ring crank, it is all different. My very first sensation was one of instability on the bike since the handlebar position is way narrower than the wide bar on my FS bike. It just takes time and some miles and it will all make sense and the differences will become more meaningful.
I was ready to have the brakes changed prior to bringing the bike home but I find myself getting use to it all. Just give it a chance and just ride.
One thing you should do, post a photo and keep us posted!
Agree with the above insight. It is all a little foreign at first due to how different the riding experience is, but you get used to it very quickly and intuitively. I'd just give it some time before making any adjustments.
I am confused about this part though:
"Having to get down in the drops to be able to brake was strange as well, I'll get used to it I guess."
Where are you gripping the bars as a standard riding position? If you just ride on the hoods shifting and braking is all there at your fingertips. Unless gripping the hoods is what you mean by getting down on the drops and your standard grip is in the middle of the bars, in which case I'd suggest not doing that as your standard for a number of reasons.
Anyway it looks like you got a great bike and as a very recent cyclocross convert myself I'm sure you will love it. Post pics please!!
Congrats! Nice bike.
On the stubborn clipless pedals, I find it helpful to secure one of the crank arms to the chainstay with a strap. It's almost impossible to get enough leverage with just your hands. But with the crank locked in place, you can apply serious force and keep your wrench squared. And don't forget (in case it's been a while), the right side is "righty-tighty" but the left is "righty-loosey."
I think the biggest adjustment in handling is that a lot of it happens while seated on a road bike. You still turn by looking in the direction you want to go and then leaning the bike but instead of using a wide bar to carve up corners, you use subtle hand and weight shifts to change course.
Finally, check out this video on climbing. Sure, this guy is a pro but he demonstrates all the different approaches you can take to get up a hill. Of course, strength and conditioning are critical but good technique definitely helps. Enjoy!
Took it for another spin this evening, I'm getting a little more used to the brakes. I had canti's on my first 3 MTB's, but I don't remember them ever feeling weak. Once again, must be that difference between MTB and road stuff. I'm pretty sure I can figure out how to adjust them, I used to do it when I was a kid, I'm sure it will come back to me.
Originally Posted by wjabboud
Yeah, I know what you mean about the instability. I find myself slowing a lot more than I probably need to for corners, between not being used to the skinny tires and skinny bars, I have this feeling like I'm going to lose it if I hit a corner too hot. Reality is that I'm probably nowhere near the speed that would cause that to happen.
Originally Posted by rickcin
It really IS like a sports car.... it's like I just have to THINK about making a move, and the bike just goes there on it's own. Very cool feeling.
I got my clipless pedals on tonight, and did the same lap as monday...I went up to 15.8mph avg. speed. Highest ever for that loop! That thing really cooks when I have the energy!
My normal position is riding o nthe hoods, I find that compfortable and convenient for shifting. I just find that I can't get enough leverage on the brakes with my hands in that position to really stop. It only kind of slows down when I brake from the hoods. To get good braking I have to be in the drops and brake from the end of the levers. I tried it again on my ride this evening, and I don't feel confident in stopping power unless I'm braking like that. I'll admit I have small hands, maybe that has something to do with it. I just can't squeeze the lever enough from the hoods.
Originally Posted by LTT777
Thanks for the tip in the cranks! Worked like a charm! I ended up taking the pedals off my trail MTB, I fall too much with them and am going to give platforms a shot on that bike. I'll probably still ride my "city" MTB, so I left the SPD's on that one.
Originally Posted by joeinchi
Bike was more fun with clipless! I like being locked in on the road. Ride was great tonight, as I said above I set a new personal best in my loop as far as avg. mph. I wish my phone app had highest speed, I'm curious as to what I got up to. That bike really moves when you stand and hammer!And it's fun too...is the proper technique for doing that to have your hands in the drops or on the hoods? I stood and hammered with my hands on the dropps and I like that position. Not for a long period of time, but for a quick sprint it felt effective.
This is crazy, I'm just realizing that even though I've been riding since I was about 5, I pretty much need to learn to ride all over again with this bike!
WRT the brakes that makes sense. I'd say it is a combination of the design of the bar you have and likely the smaller hands causing your inability to brake. I have no problem braking from the hoods which is why I was confused. Maybe look into some after market bars/hoods at some point that will close that gap for you?
I'm glad to hear the clipless set up has made your experience better. Clipless pedals are next on my list. I've never had them as I've only really ridden MTBs and didn't feel ready for them, but I think I'll really like them with the CX bike. And yea I put a computer on it and was really impressed with the speeds I was able to reach. I crushed the AVG speed on my normal loops and was able to cruise around 23 mph during some flat road portions and got up to 27mph which was the fastest I ever went on a flat surface.
Anyway, glad to hear you are enjoying it. Now just show us some pics!
There should be a lot of adjustment with regard to your brake levers and shifters. Wife and I have Apex and adjusted them quite a bit in from their default setting and that was a big improvement. Look at their website and follow the instructions. Shift levers first, then brake levers. I have average hands and still liked bringing them in. Wife has small hands and I brought them in all the way.
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