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  1. #1
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    looking for a super versatile bike for road/varied surfaces, and long distances.

    not sure if this is the most appropriate forum to post in but im looking for a road/cross type bike. something that i can really haul and ride fast on across town or on longer distance road rides, and swap out the tires and ride a mix of paved, fire road, and mellow mtn bike trails if needed. id also like to be able to throw some racks on it to carry gear for multi day trips/camping.

    im very new to anything non squishy mountain bike related, so far a friend told me to check out the traitor crusade which looks pretty sweet, but i really have no idea what to look for and what i need in a bike to do what i want it to do.

    it would be nice if the bike could be built fairly lightweight, both to save weight when i load it up, and because a lot of the medium-longer rides ill be doing will be on some steep up and down mountain roads, so id like it to have a little of that tiny tire carbon race road bike feel, or at least not get blown away by those guys.

    ive also got a singlespeed road bike on 45c tires, set up more for around town bashing and fun, so thats my go to bike when im 40 minutes from one side of town to the other or spending time in the city. i may use this new bike for a little of that but that kind of riding isnt a concern with this bike.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a cyclocross would be your best fit for the jack-of-all-but-master-of-none sort of application. One that always stands out is the Surly Cross Check. Not exactly light but extremely versatile when it comes to tire choice (huge clearance) and the ability to load it up.
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    yeah i looked at the crosscheck, seems almost too "master of nothing" for me. ive been looking at tons of cross frames and there seem to be two pretty different styles, at least from what ive seen. the super race oriented race ready bikes, designed purely around performing in a racing environment, and then bikes like the crosscheck that are pretty much aimed at being as versatile as possible while still being a cross bike.

    the race bikes are designed around something ill probably never do, race a cross bike, so they have a lot of features and design characteristics that would be pointless for me, and lack features i need. and the all arounder cross-check type bikes are a little too comfort/cruiser oriented and in general seem too heavy.

    so im looking for something in-between, something really versatile, but made to be able to race, and ride aggressively, responsive, not soft when you really want to charge and pedal hard etc..

    so far ive found these..
    Genesis vapour and croix-de-fer
    http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/...ur/vapour-disc
    Croix De Fer | Genesis Bikes

    Traitor crusade
    http://www.traitorcycles.com/2013/Bikes_Crusade.cfm?Token={ts_2013-06-03_22:51:35}-5175b8aab9afcb6a-59227DC8-D620-7604-F444F2FB087CD6DC

    Cotic x
    the Product of COTIC cycles : X steel cyclocross

    on-one planet x
    Planet X XLS SRAM Force Carbon Cyclocross Bike

    Boardman cx pro
    Boardman Bikes : CX : PRO

    Cielo cross racer disc
    Cross Racer Disc ? Cielo Cycles

    Spot mod disc (id run it geared)
    Spot Brand Bicycles Product Page Mod Disc SS

    civilian vive le roi
    Vive Le Roi - Civilian - Civilian


    so far the traitor crusade just looks like my kind of bike, not really sure why, i think i heard traitor is run by the guys who own transition bikes? i love everything transition makes so maybe thats why..

    the spot would be probably the highest end id go, but also looks pretty ideal for me.

  4. #4
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    Throw the All City Macho Man into the mix too.

    Available in either canti brake or disc brake, but not both.

    All-City Cycles Macho Man
    All-City Cycles Macho Man Disc

  5. #5
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    I love my Vive Le Roi and I pretty much use it for what you outlined...but there are no braze ons for racks. There are ways around that, however.

    Reason I say jack of all but master of none is there will be compromises with this sort of do everything bike. Gearing to make it tolerable offroad is not optimal on road. Tire size as well can be a little bit of an issue for some offroad adventures depending on the types of trails (many cx bikes don't have clearance for anything greater than a 35-40). Don't get me wrong I really like the idea of these sorts of bikes, just don't be surprised if you find it lacking on certain aspects. That is kind of why I suggested the CrossCheck. You can put some pretty fat mtn tires in that to make it a great offroad machine then swap on some skinny slicks for road duty as well as just running tires okay for both. Gearing would still be a factor but you can overcome that somewhat.

    Another good one is the Origin8 CX frame. TONS of braze ons, disc or v-brake, HUGE tire clearance, etc. Lots of possibilities with that frame.
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  6. #6
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    +1 for the Crusade. The new disk version is #1 on my shopping list, depending when availability is confirmed.

    Others you haven't mentioned:

    Raleigh Roper - Raleigh Bicycles Roper

    Vassago Fisticuff - waiting to see what their 2013 offering will be due out 'mid 2013' as i love my Jabberwocky. Potentially too heavy?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    I love my Vive Le Roi and I pretty much use it for what you outlined...but there are no braze ons for racks. There are ways around that, however.

    Reason I say jack of all but master of none is there will be compromises with this sort of do everything bike. Gearing to make it tolerable offroad is not optimal on road. Tire size as well can be a little bit of an issue for some offroad adventures depending on the types of trails (many cx bikes don't have clearance for anything greater than a 35-40). Don't get me wrong I really like the idea of these sorts of bikes, just don't be surprised if you find it lacking on certain aspects. That is kind of why I suggested the CrossCheck. You can put some pretty fat mtn tires in that to make it a great offroad machine then swap on some skinny slicks for road duty as well as just running tires okay for both. Gearing would still be a factor but you can overcome that somewhat.

    Another good one is the Origin8 CX frame. TONS of braze ons, disc or v-brake, HUGE tire clearance, etc. Lots of possibilities with that frame.
    yeah im not too concerned with the ability to fit really big tires, i guess it'd be nice to have the option, but ive got two mountain bikes already, im not looking to do any real kind of aggressive trail riding with this, i just want the ability to ride on more mellow singletrack, and just be able to make it through anything rocky or technical, id imagine im mostly going to use it on service/access roads and mellow hiking/biking trails.

    and i dont NEED racks, it would be nice to have the ability to install one, but i bet i could fit everything id need in a backpack or just one small rack.

    im more concerned about its road performance. i want this to be good for those 20-100 mile road rides, a super common ride for me would be 15 miles to a local lake, be able to get around the flat singletrack around there, then ride back. another ride id imagine doing a lot is a 40 mile ride one way to a small town with lots of trails, lakes, hiking etc to either camp around or just go out and back in a day.
    so to put it simply i want a bike that will be good on the road, wont be soft/heavy/sluggish for those long road rides, but will be able to at least get around on varied conditions when i encounter them. im looking for something that puts road performance a little over dirt performance.

    heres another couple i came across

    CYCLOCROSS | Rock Lobster Cycles

    this one looks interesting!
    All Roads

    Cyclocross Limited Edition: Cross is Boss

    Stoemper Bikes - Ronny - Handmade Aluminum Cyclocross Frames and Bikes

    Milwaukee CX Frame Builder - OX Platinum - Disc - In Stock! : Milwaukee Bicycle Co. Ben's Cycle


    I dont think id spend over 3000 unless i found the PERFECT bike. there seem to be a ton of great steel options that are priced very well. i think my top couple options so far are the traitor crusade, the civilian vive le roi, and the milwaukee cx.

  8. #8
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    Probably biased, but my vote goes to the Vive Le Roi. The newer ones that I think are still being preordered have 135 spacing in the rear which makes it much easier to swap wheels since disc brake mtn wheels are the same spacing. Mine is 130 in the rear but I crammed a 135 back there without an issue. I really can't say anything bad about the bike. It does well on the road and on gravel. I take it on rooty single track every once in a while and, suprisingly, it feels pretty good despite the lack of volumous tires I am accustomed to offroad. The worst part about the bike is the wheelset but at the price point something had to give considering what the rest of the bike has to offer component wise.

    My usual loop is 50 miles with about 20% of that being gravel or sand. Overall does great but I do have issues sustaining road speeds over 17mph. Gearing is fine but the huge volume tires I run on it seem to be hurting me...or maybe I just need to muster more HTFU.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    Probably biased, but my vote goes to the Vive Le Roi. The newer ones that I think are still being preordered have 135 spacing in the rear which makes it much easier to swap wheels since disc brake mtn wheels are the same spacing. Mine is 130 in the rear but I crammed a 135 back there without an issue. I really can't say anything bad about the bike. It does well on the road and on gravel. I take it on rooty single track every once in a while and, suprisingly, it feels pretty good despite the lack of volumous tires I am accustomed to offroad. The worst part about the bike is the wheelset but at the price point something had to give considering what the rest of the bike has to offer component wise.

    My usual loop is 50 miles with about 20% of that being gravel or sand. Overall does great but I do have issues sustaining road speeds over 17mph. Gearing is fine but the huge volume tires I run on it seem to be hurting me...or maybe I just need to muster more HTFU.
    yeah the more i look at the Vive Le Roi the more I like it. its pretty equal between that and the crusade, but id have to wait till late august for the crusade which is a big turn off. the milwaukee cx seems awesome too but i just havent heard much about it yet and its a little too oldschool looking for me.

    all three of these frames seem to be more oriented toward all around riding than some of the really specific, hardcore race bikes out there. seems like there are a lot of little quirks and things that a CX race bike needs in its geo/design that are super specific to a CX race environment that i'll never need in my bike.

    how much does the Vive Le Roi frame weigh by itself?

  10. #10
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    Not sure. I think in stock spec my 61cm complete bike was in the upper 20s...possibly close to 30. Granted it has a steel frame but the wheelset is extremely heavy....I seem to recall someone weighing them and they were in the 2200-2300 range.

    Civilian is going to start selling frame/fork combos with the next generation so they may have some accurate specs for you on the frame weight.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    I love my Vive Le Roi and I pretty much use it for what you outlined...but there are no braze ons for racks. There are ways around that, however.

    Reason I say jack of all but master of none is there will be compromises with this sort of do everything bike. Gearing to make it tolerable offroad is not optimal on road. Tire size as well can be a little bit of an issue for some offroad adventures depending on the types of trails (many cx bikes don't have clearance for anything greater than a 35-40). Don't get me wrong I really like the idea of these sorts of bikes, just don't be surprised if you find it lacking on certain aspects. That is kind of why I suggested the CrossCheck. You can put some pretty fat mtn tires in that to make it a great offroad machine then swap on some skinny slicks for road duty as well as just running tires okay for both. Gearing would still be a factor but you can overcome that somewhat.

    Another good one is the Origin8 CX frame. TONS of braze ons, disc or v-brake, HUGE tire clearance, etc. Lots of possibilities with that frame.
    Did you ever think about just getting a 29er and a road bike? It sounds like your off road qualifications almost MTB like instead of dual purpose. Good luck on whatever you choose.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    Not sure. I think in stock spec my 61cm complete bike was in the upper 20s...possibly close to 30. Granted it has a steel frame but the wheelset is extremely heavy....I seem to recall someone weighing them and they were in the 2200-2300 range.

    Civilian is going to start selling frame/fork combos with the next generation so they may have some accurate specs for you on the frame weight.
    ouch thats pretty heavy, my 150mm hardtail mtn bike built pretty burly is around 26-27lbs and i beat the crap out of it. that much weight in a cross bike seems unnecessary. but like you said, if the wheels are that heavy, a new set would drop a lot. maybe ill have to see about just getting the frame only and doing my own build.

    i really want to keep it fairly light, im hoping high teens to low 20's.

    maybe ill have to look into some more aluminum frames.

  13. #13
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    I recommend that you stay with the steel frames. The aluminium will just make into a bone shaker of a bike. I have studied the list that you have above, and this is only my personal view, but if you go the frame and build up your bike route, that Spot and Milwuakee are the pick of the bunch if you purchase the frame only, IMO.

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    Gunnar has several options, Crosshairs, Fastlane, Hyper X and Grand tour would fit your needs depending on your brake preference.

  15. #15
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    I really like my 29er with road gears and drops. Once I put on the correct gears (I put on a road crank and 36 / 54 rings) I can hang with the roadies. I also can put on the 2.3s and ride the single track. It is heavy - but so am I and with the 11 - 34 in the back - I can ride up anything. Right now I have 32mm cx tires on it and it rides really well.

    I also run a salsa enabler fork - so really anything goes.

    Vassago Geometry just is plain good.
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Malcolm View Post
    I recommend that you stay with the steel frames. The aluminium will just make into a bone shaker of a bike. I have studied the list that you have above, and this is only my personal view, but if you go the frame and build up your bike route, that Spot and Milwuakee are the pick of the bunch if you purchase the frame only, IMO.

    Eric
    I might try and demo an aluminum cross bike and see how i like it. i could definitely see the benefit for rough surface stuff, but i dont feel like ill get too beat up on long rides with aluminum, i do pretty good at ignoring anything uncomfortable or sore. my friend who switched from a steel to aluminum singlespeed road bike swears that his aluminum bike is much better/faster. could just be other factors too.

    but im leaning towards steel anyway purely because of price, the more i think about it, i dont want to dump a lot of money into this initially. i think a medium priced frame like the vive le roi or the crusade would be perfect for me to start with, and if i feel like i could use something lighter/stiffer in a year, then ill drop money on a light/expensive frame when i KNOW what i want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Weinerts View Post
    I really like my 29er with road gears and drops. Once I put on the correct gears (I put on a road crank and 36 / 54 rings) I can hang with the roadies. I also can put on the 2.3s and ride the single track. It is heavy - but so am I and with the 11 - 34 in the back - I can ride up anything. Right now I have 32mm cx tires on it and it rides really well.

    I also run a salsa enabler fork - so really anything goes.

    Vassago Geometry just is plain good.
    that would be too much of an overlap in bikes for me, ive got a freeridey 26" hardtail but built pretty light that actually pedals super well with the fork locked out and the right tires. and i dont think id want to do super long all day road rides on a 29er, just makes more sense to get something road oriented when that probably what the bike will see 80% of the time.

    if i ever got a 29er mtn bike id have to get something with a big fork and tires that i could charge and abuse, a rigid mtn bike wouldn't fit me well.

  18. #18
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    The Cannondale CAADX bikes might be worth a look. Geometry that is a bit more relaxed than a pure race bike, and with rack mounts. Although some of the options listed are probably more appealing, it's worth a look.
    Race Reports, PreRide Reports, and General Rambling:

    www.roostersbikersedge.com
    http://www.ENVEcomposites.com

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsa101 View Post
    ouch thats pretty heavy, my 150mm hardtail mtn bike built pretty burly is around 26-27lbs and i beat the crap out of it. that much weight in a cross bike seems unnecessary. but like you said, if the wheels are that heavy, a new set would drop a lot. maybe ill have to see about just getting the frame only and doing my own build.

    i really want to keep it fairly light, im hoping high teens to low 20's.

    maybe ill have to look into some more aluminum frames.
    Keep in mind this is also the 61cm frame. Not sure if you are looking at smaller frames so there could be hope.

    The only time I notice the weight is if I have to shoulder it (forced to do that a couple times on a ride). Really don't notice it when riding the bike and I wouldn't trade this for a stiffer lighter aluminum frame. Feels most excellent on all terrain.
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  20. #20
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    I was in your same situation a couple months ago, and ended up going with the Surly Cross Check. Steel frame, lots of room for fenders and racks, wide enough stays for up to 1.9" tires, and pretty affordable at $450 for the frame and fork. I build mine up in pretty much "commute mode", but I'll be doing some bikepacking and have already done a few trail rides on it. VERY nice ride, on or off road. I'm going to look into building some beefy wheels to mount up some wider tires on for dedicated dirt trips, and have the existing set for skinnies.

    Build thread: Surly Cross Check Build (and questions!)



    "Got everything you need?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I was in your same situation a couple months ago, and ended up going with the Surly Cross Check. Steel frame, lots of room for fenders and racks, wide enough stays for up to 1.9" tires, and pretty affordable at $450 for the frame and fork. I build mine up in pretty much "commute mode", but I'll be doing some bikepacking and have already done a few trail rides on it. VERY nice ride, on or off road. I'm going to look into building some beefy wheels to mount up some wider tires on for dedicated dirt trips, and have the existing set for skinnies.

    Build thread: Surly Cross Check Build (and questions!)



    very nice!

    I really really like the cross check, seems like the kind of bike you can just get on and go wherever you feel and it will handle it..it seems like something I will have to own eventually, but it seems a little too all around for what im looking for. the title of the thread might be misleading now that i think about it.

    I dont need to fit huge tires, 35c is plenty for what im looking for, i want this to be a stiff, responsive, somewhat aggressive and slightly more road oriented bike. i dont need to carry lots of stuff, the longest trips ill do is a day or two, and I dont need it to be a super comfortable do everything go anywhere bike. more like a fast road bike, with the versatility to go offroad if i have to.

  22. #22
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    In that case, I'd be looking at something like the Salsa Warbird. Light, more road oriented geometry, and can fit 38mm tires. It doesn't have rack mount points, but it's not like you'd need them. Rock Lobster also makes some great frames, and they're built in Santa Cruz, CA, USA.

    Salsa Cycles | Bikes | Warbird Ti Frameset

    2013 Salsa Warbird Review and Details | ridingagainstthegrain

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  23. #23
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    Instead of a rack and panniers, if you're only doing short trips I'd pickup one of these bags from Revelate:

    https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...=4&ProductID=1

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    yeah ive been checking out that frame a bit too looks really nice. its a little pricey for the frame, 1300 i believe. thats about the very most id spend. only thing i dont like, is that id always be mad i dont have the ti version...

    im really thinking i want to stick with a sub $1000 dollar frame(ill go a little over if its really nice) which probably means steel. i think id rather put my money towards a good wheelset and components rather than a expensive frame material (thats not necessarily better) and have to skimp on components. it will give me a good idea of what i like and dont like in a road/cross bike, and what to look for if i decide to upgrade to a real nice steel or ti frame in the future.

    plus from everything ive heard the civilian vive le roi is a damn good bike for the money, i think thats at the top of my list right now. comes out in early july so i dont have to wait too long either.

    ill consider the salsa and the spot if i hear anything super convincing about either, but at the moment they dont really appeal any more to me besides being a little lighter.

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    Have you looked at Black Mountain Cycles? $635 shipped, lots of tire clearance and sensible geometry.

    Black Mountain Cycles: Get The Goods

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