New commuter bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New commuter bike?

    So my trusty old 1992 purple Kona AA mountain bike that I got when I was 13 was just stolen, I had relegated it to commuter/city bike status about 10 years ago, slick tires, proper road gearing, etc., and now it is gone

    Living in Boston now, been looking for a new commuter for a while, and now I guess it is now more urgent. I don't want to spend a ton of money, as it may just get stolen again, but this seems to fit the bill for being a 700c/29er that I can fit wider tires on, burly frame, discs, and mounts for a rack/fenders (all requirements of mine) and can serve double duty as a semi-cyclocross bike to play with. What say you all? Anything I am missing? Anything else I should consider in the price range?
    Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes

    I had been looking at a cross check, doublecross disc, pompetamie, fisticuff, etc., but this seems to be an inexpensive and the best option. I'll am not a huge fan of the bent top tube, but that is more aesthetics than anything else...I wish the rear brake mount was between the seat/chainstays to make rack mounting easier, but I think there are solutions for this...suggestions?

    Thanks!

    edit: I should say, my commute is about 7 miles each way on rough city streets and bike paths and occasional dirt.

  2. #2
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    Sorry to hear about the thievery, that is disheartening. I have never had that horrible experience . . .

    As for your desires/frame requirements, the cross check does not have disc capabilities. BUT I do recommend cross bikes for commuting. I currently use a tricross singlecross and find the position great. it is still fairly upright for visibility and i can still hide from the wind if need be. Also, many a cross bike come with rack and fender mounts unless you opt for something with real race heritage.

    I would suggest a salsa fargo, but that price might be a little steep. Fun bike though and a true jack of all trades.

  3. #3
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    Check out a Salsa Vaya.

  4. #4
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    Dude, buy one of these - Either one will more than get the job done, with disc brakes, ultra reliable shimano drivetrain for under $435 or $445, respectively(I bought the YUL it was such an insane deal):

    Rocky Mountain Metropolis Yyz '10 Bike at JensonUSA.com

    Rocky Mountain Metropolis Yul '10 Bike at JensonUSA.com

    Otherwise, this is a really nice option:

    Nashbar Steel Cyclocross Bike - Massive Bike Liquidation Sale

    One of those should more than get done for you and last for years...

  5. #5
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    Btw, bikesdirect.com is awesome - highly recommend them.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the suggestions all.

    I'd love a Salsa, but there isn't any way I'd get into one for less than $1000-$1500 without taking months and cherry picking parts off ebay. I need the bike kinda soon, and I don't want to lock a bike up around the city that is flashy or worth as much as the the salsa will end up being.

    Those Rocky Mountain bikes are nice, but there is just something that screams 'Hybrid' to me about a flat bar road bike, and neither is available in the size I would need (16"-17"). The nashbar is nice, but it doesn't have discs (or any way to mount them) and I like the wider tire option of the Zilla for riding around the horrible streets of Boston. I think I am going to go with the Bikes Direct option.

  7. #7
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    Let me know how you like the zilla.

    I've purchased a Windsor 29er (rebranded fuji) from Bikesdirect and it was great.

    I looked at the zilla after you mentioned it in this thread and now i'm REALLY interested.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Well, I ended up buying the Gravity Liberty CXD (Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes), it was on sale briefly for $399 today, which seemed too good a deal to pass up. Cross bike that will fit 29x1.7" tires, carbon fork, disc brakes. Yeah, it is going to be heavy, and the components are not awesome, but it will probably get stolen at some point, and will get beat up in Boston, so I figure it was a good deal and will be a little smoother than the Zilla (due to the carbon vs. aluminum fork) with slightly worse parts (cranks, wheels, shifters, derailleurs, etc). I'll upgrade as things break, but for now it should be fine.

    I'll ride it for a bit and see if I like the bars, may switch to something like the on-one Mungo or Midge at some point.

    Now to find some fenders, lights, and rack for this bike...

  9. #9
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    Ugh!! I have been eyeballing the Zilla for the last couple of weeks now. Hell, I didn't even know about the Zilla until YOU mentioned it...then of course, I HAD to have one. ;-)

    I had sent an email to bikesdirect last night with a BUNCH of questions about the Zilla. I got the reply this morning, which I have to say, was less than stellar as far as info goes and answering the questions I had.

    So, I went back on the site this morning to ogle the Zilla again...and just happened to click the cybermonday link...what a mistake. That's when I saw the Liberty CXD like you.

    Yeah...the orange one will be here in the next week or so.

    Dear sweet baby jesus...I now can acknowledge I have a problem.
    Last edited by will-lee wonka; 11-28-2011 at 02:36 PM.

  10. #10
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    hahaha enjoy your new bikes, wonka & colorado!

  11. #11
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    I know you already got a bike but another option is to find a few local biking boards and do a post in the classifieds section that you are looking for an old cheap bike to commute with.

    Most real bikers have an old bike or two sitting around in the garage.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by will-lee wonka View Post

    Yeah...the orange one will be here in the next week or so.

    Dear sweet baby jesus...I now can acknowledge I have a problem.


    Hah, guess it is partly my fault. I thought about it all some more, and realized that I have a really nice mountain bike (Ibis Mojo) and in reality, I wanted what a cyclocross bike could do, riding the Zilla on real trails would just make me regret not bringing my Mojo, so the CX bike should suit me well for city riding and the occasional dirt path, and not make me feel like I am riding a hybrid like my parents...

    Let me know if you spend any time looking into fenders/racks for the CXD and what you find...

  13. #13
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    I'm in the same boat.

    I have a 6" travel am bike, a 29er carbon hardtail, a 26er rigid ss, a 29er rigid ss and carbon road bike that hangs on the wall. So, I have every base covered, but there is something about a cyclocross bike that has always tugged at me.

    I was commuting to work on a Schwinn Fastback that I picked up cheap on craigslist and loved it. Carbon fork, stiff frame, switched to flat bars...but I let a friend borrow it to train for a triathlon and she ovalized the headtube (she didn't know what that clunking was when it started to come loose and just kept riding it that way and never told me...no biggie...just kinda sucked).

    Anyway, I was looking for something to replace it...tried converting an older mtb frame I had to do commuting service with a rigid fork...but dang it was just not comfortable. I also had an extra 29er wheelset for my carbon 29er that I threw cyclocross tires on, and while it rode awsome, I didn't want to commute on a carbon 29er around town...grocery runs...etc...too many tears would be shed if it got stolen or smashed riding around town. So, when you mentioned the Zilla and I looked at it...holy smokes, that seemed to fit the bill. Although, I still had the whole cyclocross thing in my head and had done some looking at them, but couldn't find the complete package I was looking for...discs, rack mounts...and at a price I could justify. I was pretty set on the Zilla until I saw the cyber monday link yesterday by accident...and it was a no brainer. The Zilla I believe to be more of a drop bar 29er, whereas the Liberty is an actual cyclocross frame...the Zilla has a steel fork, whereas the Liberty has a carbon one...and the Liberty has discs (same as Zilla) and rack mounts...done and done. It was just the complete package (and then some) for WAY cheaper than anything comparable or even the Zilla.

    So, here I sit waiting for my Liberty to pull the same kind of duty you got yours for.

    BTW, I still blame you ..at least that's what I'm telling the wife

    Post up pics when you get it and I'll do the same.

  14. #14
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    Update:

    So, I received the Liberty CXD today. I didn't take any pictures...I know, I know...threads are worthless without pics. I'll get to it ;-)

    Anyway, I ordered the "small" (46cm in their measurements) frame in orange. Now that I've built it up, it's pretty much spot on, with very little adjustment, to the measurements of my Trek Postal 52cm.

    The bike built up weighs 24.5lbs, with plenty of fat to easily be cut.

    The wheels are of course, low end...and eventually (probably sooner than later) will die and be replaced. Whenever I get a new (or even new to me) bike, I rebuild the hubs. These formula hubs DESPERATELY need to be rebuilt before they are ridden upon. And, as with all crappy wheels and parts, they are filled with that low grade crappy grease...and not even that much of it at that. So, after I repacked them, they actually spin VERY nicely and were fairly easy to get good adjustment out of compared to some other lower end wheels. I did have to true the front a little, but really, it was me being anal about it as they didn't HAVE to have it done to be ridden.

    I also had to replace the stock seatpost with a raceface I had in my parts bin. The only reason I HAD to do this is that the stock seatpost is pretty tall and I couldn't get my correct length of 27 1/4 inches from center of BB to top of saddle...stock the lowest I could get was 27 1/2 inches. I know it's not much, but it's the difference between me rocking my hips and not.

    I will have to trim down the housing for the brake cables (not sure about the derailleur cable housing just yet) and absolutely need to adjust the brakes and derailleurs to my finicky likings, but I would do this with ANY bike.

    I know I'll also need to adjust the flat brake levers as they are a bit too tilted for comfort.

    Overall, I am very pleased with it so far (admittedly I haven't ridden it yet...too cold and too late and too tired ;-)). It's everything I've expected. The frame came packed well and in excellent condition. The frame and fork are good quality as I can tell and the welds are nice and typical of mass produced frames (fuji, giant, trek, etc).

    I will finish adjusting tomorrow and maybe give another update afterwards. I plan on giving it's first shakedown ride Wednesday, so maybe later this week I'll give ride impressions then.

    But, I'm happy with it so far. Can't beat it for the price
    Last edited by will-lee wonka; 12-06-2011 at 08:26 AM.

  15. #15
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    Mine came in on Friday, been sitting in the box since, just haven't had a moment to even unpack it but I pulled the bike out and everything looked well packed and nicer than expected. Planning on building (well, full breakdown and a proper build) on Saturday hopefully. My buddy wants to learn how to work on bikes, so this will be a teaching/beer drinking event. Closely followed by swapping the snow tires onto my car as well, been cutting it close in Boston...almost no snow to speak of by december...

    Those wheels and cranks are a little painful to look at...I'll replace things as they break/wear out. I went with a 50cm, I am 5' 8", and my normal road bike is a 52cm (old cannondale)

  16. #16
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    I know what you mean about the wheels and cranks. I also find it hilarious that they put machine walled rims on a bike that doesn't have brake posts..lol.

    More building/adjusting tonight...

  17. #17
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    Last night I was able to get back to building the cxd.

    I noticed last night upon further inspection that there was some grip that had been rubbed/worn during shipment. Not a big deal, as I'll be switching out handlebars anyway, and hence regripping. On the plus side, where ever it was rubbing, it doesn't look like it affected the frame or fork.

    The front and rear brakes needed several inches of housing cut down. Also, the calipers are a little finicky to get adjusted just right. Since there is no adjustment on the pads themselves, like BB7s or BB5s, you have to line up the caliper just right, then pull some cable to get a decent amount of pre-tension so your lever doesn't go all the way to the bar. You still have to do this even though there is a barrel adjuster on the caliper, since it doesn't pull enough cable to get it tight enough for the levers.

    The shifting was actually pretty good right out of the box. Just a quick couple turns of the barrel for the rear and it was good to go.

    Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to make the rides I was planning on today/tomorrow, but I did get to ride it around a little last night. The frame was stiff, yet compliant (HATE noodly frames)...the brakes worked well...and shifting was fine. From here on, it's just getting the cockpit correct for me.

    Just for fun, I checked on the rear spacing and I was able to fit my 29er wheelset into the dropouts very easily, so I am assuming that the rear spacing is 135mm. Pretty cool but don't know if I'll actually run 29er wheels or not.

    And speaking of clearance, it seems like there is clearance for days for tires. not sure just how big you could go, but I'm certain you could fit any of the largest cyclocross tires, and maybe even some narrow 29er tires for extra ballooning ;-)

    Oh, and as with the hubs, the headset needs to be checked. It had ZERO grease in it. So, a quick clean and regrease and good to go.

    Good luck with the build this weekend.

    Hopefully, I'll be able to ride it sometime...at least enough to get a solid impression of how it rides.

  18. #18
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    So I built my Liberty CXD up yesterday, I am most impressed at what I for for $400, I would still be impressed if I had paid $500. To think, that when I worked in a shop from about 1997-2001, the cheapest bike we sold was $229, this bike is light years ahead of that. It isn't even all that heavy when you think about it.

    I had similar issues as Wonka, the seatpost hits the bottle cage bolts when about 1/2 way down, fortunately, that is pretty much spot for with height. I'll trim it down a bit...I broke my pipe cutter blade a while back, need to get a new one. The seatpost is super long.

    I repacked the hubs as well, they were super rough, and the grease in them was nasty thick stuff, much better now, although I had some difficulty getting the seals to seat properly after rebuilding. I'll replace the wheels someday, no rush, they were fairly straight, I'll ride it for a few months and straighten them as needed, truing is not my specialty, but I can hold my own.

    The front brake housing was the only one that needed any trimming, only a couple inches (mine is a 50cm frame). My headset had grease, but I cleaned it out and repacked as well. Definitely tons of room for wider tires, I'll wait for the Kendas to wear out, then replace them.

    I re-routed the derailleur cables so they cross under the downtube instead of being routed down the same side as the lever, I hate those bends that this can cause. Also, almost none of the bolts on the bike had any grease on them, so I pretty much broke the bike completely down and rebuilt...comes from working in a shop with meticulous mechanics.

    One major issue I have is that the front derailleur hits the seat tube when I shift to the small chainring, preventing good, crisp shifts down from middle to small, and it will also scratch/bang the paint below the derailleur. It wasn't shifting well on a test ride, made some adjustments, but haven't tested again off the stand (I am in a 3rd floor apartment). Will test again soon. The brakes are also fairly difficult to adjust, if I adjust them tight enough that they pull well, they rub the rotors, if I adjust them so they don't rub, then the levers go all the way to the bar. Will work on them some more soon.

    Will post pics soon, the orange color is very very orange...makes me a little worried to lock it up.

  19. #19
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    I worked in a shop just 5-6yrs ago and some of the low priced stuff I see on the sales floor is impressive. Some not so much. Sometimes I think rather than cheaping out on a complex part and making it work like crap, I think bike companies would be better off simplifying and reducing the number of complex parts to meet a particular price point.

    I'd recommend getting the disc tabs faced if you have not already. Disc brakes rely on a certain degree of precision and it's likely that the cheap frame on this bike has disc tabs that are not straight and I HIGHLY doubt they were faced from the factory. Even many more expensive frames are not straight and need facing. Facing them helps alignment issues IMMENSELY.

    Adjusting disc brakes takes a certain amount of patience and attention to detail, too. I've seen many seasoned mechanics who just hate adjusting them because they lack the patience or whatever and they pass off disc brake jobs onto other guys who do them better. I worked at a shop who had a couple mechs who hated them, and a couple who were good.

    Not sure about the front derailleur. Maybe the spacing on the crankset needs changing? What's the chainline look like?

  20. #20
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    For the front derailleur, I'd try to adjust the low stop (bottom screw turn clockwise) to prevent it from going so close to the frame.

    Yeah, the brakes..finnicky. It would probably help to get them faced, as mentioned. I didn't feel like doing that and just made sure that the calipers were as straight as could be and had equal spacing from the pads to the rotor. I mean, like crazy meticulous, which also takes some finesse of holding the rear part of the caliper while tightening down the front bolts to make sure the caliper doesn't move during tightening. It took a few passes each, but they are good to go now.

    LOL...that orange really IS orange, huh?

  21. #21
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    Greetings

    I just found this thread by googling for Gravity Liberty CXD.

    I'm having my eyes set on this bike and I'll definitely try to snap it if it goes on sale again. As a newbie I find your whole discussion about the adjustments extremely interesting as I am looking to get a lighter commuter than the one I use now. Reading this I understand now why the bike shop guy said the $150 bike I got from walmart a couple of years ago doesn't need any tuning before starting to use it: he was probably in the category who just hated greasing the hubs.

    Right now I have a Bionx kit which saves me about 20 minutes on a 12 mile commute but the Bionx also adds considerable weight. I hope to be able to get back on human power only and the Gravity Liberty seems to fit the bill.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificstart View Post
    Greetings
    Reading this I understand now why the bike shop guy said the $150 bike I got from walmart a couple of years ago doesn't need any tuning before starting to use it: he was probably in the category who just hated greasing the hubs.
    My old shop just refused to work on bikes like that. The problem is, that to do a tuneup on those bikes, to the extent that it would work as well as any tuneup on a higher end bike, meant really doing an overhaul on the bike, which cost us a lot more in labor than we could charge for a normal tuneup. They truly needed a full overhaul, and we could never convince someone that just bought a new bike to spend $100-150 for an overhaul. We could not in good conscience send out one of these bikes with just a simple tuneup because they would come back in a few weeks with problems, so we pretty much refused to work on them. The other problem is that many of them would come in with holes in the welds, bent bolts, and such low level components that we could never get them to run properly.

    I haven't ridden mine much yet, but I think that even at $500, it is a hell of a deal on this bike. I spent some more time on the brakes last night after reading up on how to adjust them (I have never worked on cable-pull discs, only hydraulics with dual pistons) and they are just about perfect. Centering the caliper is critical, and you cannot center it like one does with a hydraulic system (loosen caliper, clamp brake lever, tighten). I will get the gears done tonight maybe...yesterday was my birthday and I decided to drink beer instead of working on my bike all night. I am also a perfectionist, so the bike needs to be right before I take it out...

  23. #23
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    Here is mine, sorry for the lighting and quality, you get the point though. Probably going to take it out tonight for a short ride...heading downtown for drinks...don't worry, using my big ass chain lock.

  24. #24
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    There has been a lot of discussion about this bike on BF as well. Lots of people waiting for reviews from owners on these bikes. I really like the color. It could be a great winter commuter. There's not a lot of choice for affordable bikes with drop bars and disc brakes. No more Trek Portland. It seems to have rack mounts by no fender mounts! FAIL!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiveFreeThenDie View Post
    There has been a lot of discussion about this bike on BF as well. Lots of people waiting for reviews from owners on these bikes. I really like the color. It could be a great winter commuter. There's not a lot of choice for affordable bikes with drop bars and disc brakes. No more Trek Portland. It seems to have rack mounts by no fender mounts! FAIL!
    It doesn't have dual mounts at the dropouts, but it does have single mounts, and holes on the rear seatstay and chainstay bridges, and has a single hole on the fork crown as well, no fork dropout mounts, but there are plenty of options for fitting fenders.

    Took it for a ride to the gym yesterday, frame is nice and stiff and feels lively, shifting was smooth, felt really nice. The one complaint that I have is that the brakes are significantly worse than the Avid Elixirs on my mountain bike, and are not noticeably better than the calipers on my road bike. I've never ridden cable discs before, I have a feeling that with some better cables with less stretch, they might work better, but I think they will be fine for my purposes...I can barely lock up the rear wheel, and they pulse a bit...I think the rotors are slightly warped.
    Last edited by Coloradoxj13; 12-24-2011 at 10:48 AM.

  26. #26
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    oops, double post

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    Hey fellas!

    I'm very interested in this bike, but the sizing chart provided does not show standover heights. I emailed bikesdirect twice asking for additional information but never got a response. That was over one week ago.

    Anyway, I was hoping "will-lee wonka" (46 cm) and "Coloradoxj13" (50 cm) could take some time to measure the standovers of their respective bikes. This would help me choose a size.

    Thanks...

  28. #28
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    I was going to recommend the Ghost Cross range but looks like they haven't made it over to the US yet....

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by vksy View Post
    Hey fellas!

    I'm very interested in this bike, but the sizing chart provided does not show standover heights. I emailed bikesdirect twice asking for additional information but never got a response. That was over one week ago.

    Anyway, I was hoping "will-lee wonka" (46 cm) and "Coloradoxj13" (50 cm) could take some time to measure the standovers of their respective bikes. This would help me choose a size.

    Thanks...
    Don't you know, I can't measure my standover right now since my front wheel is being used for another bike and I don't have anything to replace it with to even measure it with temporarily.

    Hopefully, I'll have it back later in the week and can tell you then.

    Don't be too hung up on standover though...effective top tube is more important.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradoxj13 View Post
    The one complaint that I have is that the brakes are significantly worse than the Avid Elixirs on my mountain bike, and are not noticeably better than the calipers on my road bike. I've never ridden cable discs before, I have a feeling that with some better cables with less stretch, they might work better, but I think they will be fine for my purposes...I can barely lock up the rear wheel, and they pulse a bit...I think the rotors are slightly warped.
    Try cleaning the rotors with rubbing alcohol. Also, give them some time to bed in. Mine were weak at first, but are getting better as they wear. And the best way to bed them in is to give them some REAL hard brakes...I mean REALLY squeeze the hell out of them to try and lock them up. Do this a few times over a couple rides.

    Cable discs are weaker than quality hydros...no question about it. I have used BB7s and BB5s for years. And even between those two, it's amazing how much better the BB7s are over the 5s.

    That sucks about your rotors, mine are ok. If they are really bad I'd contact BD about it and have them send you another set.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by will-lee wonka View Post
    Don't you know, I can't measure my standover right now since my front wheel is being used for another bike and I don't have anything to replace it with to even measure it with temporarily.

    Hopefully, I'll have it back later in the week and can tell you then.

    Don't be too hung up on standover though...effective top tube is more important.
    It's the OCD in me. I have to know everything about a product before buying online.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by vksy View Post
    Hey fellas!

    I'm very interested in this bike, but the sizing chart provided does not show standover heights. I emailed bikesdirect twice asking for additional information but never got a response. That was over one week ago.

    Anyway, I was hoping "will-lee wonka" (46 cm) and "Coloradoxj13" (50 cm) could take some time to measure the standovers of their respective bikes. This would help me choose a size.

    Thanks...
    Mine is ROUGHLY 28 1/2 to 29 inches. I mean, I'm not sure where exactly along the top tube you'd want me to measure to the ground, so I just kind of guesstimated a little in front of the saddle.

    Hope that helps.

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    Thanks for measuring the SO height. Specs normally use the TT center, so I'm guessing your big number is probably just a hair short. I also came across a thread which mentioned that both the CX and CXD have identical geometry to Defy road bikes. So I went to a local Giant dealer and tried a couple of frame sizes just for peace of mind.

    I'll post pictures when the CXD gets here.

  34. #34
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    New Commuter Bike?

    Hi all, thanks for all the information in your posts. I am looking to buy a cyclocross bike not to race but something that is durable enough for rail trails etc and also can take road tires for other rides/touring. My budget is pretty limited so I was also looking at the Gravity Liberty CX. Coloradoxj13 noted that there are some mounts for possibly mounting fenders, I was wondering if it would be possible to mount racks if I decided to do short tours.

    Also, I am curious about the difficulty of building the remainder of the bike. I did work in a bike store for a summer but that was a while ago. There is a community bike resource near where I live where I could get some help if needed. It sounds as if adjusting the derailleurs is necessary as well as repacking the hubs. Any thoughts?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by providencebiker View Post
    Hi all, thanks for all the information in your posts. I am looking to buy a cyclocross bike not to race but something that is durable enough for rail trails etc and also can take road tires for other rides/touring. My budget is pretty limited so I was also looking at the Gravity Liberty CX. Coloradoxj13 noted that there are some mounts for possibly mounting fenders, I was wondering if it would be possible to mount racks if I decided to do short tours.

    Also, I am curious about the difficulty of building the remainder of the bike. I did work in a bike store for a summer but that was a while ago. There is a community bike resource near where I live where I could get some help if needed. It sounds as if adjusting the derailleurs is necessary as well as repacking the hubs. Any thoughts?
    You can absolutely mount racks.

    Putting it together out of the box is pretty simple really. It might need some minor adjustments (brakes, der.'s) but you can find a ton of how to videos on youtube for these types of adjustments.

    Repacking the hubs is fairly simple...BUT, you'll need cone wrenches. Similar to open end wrenches but extremely flat since basically, the axle is bound with thin locknuts on each side. And, it also takes a bit of feel so you don't overtighten or undertighten the hub, both resulting in bad things happening. It took me MANY MANY practice runs over the years to feel comfortable with how tight/loose a hub should be. Plus, you'd also need some good grease and some degreaser. And, I'd highly recommend the hubs be redone before much riding was put on them. I think the community bike resource could easily walk you through how to do it.

    Anyway, I think the Liberty CX would be an excellent bike for what you stated.

    Good luck!!

  36. #36
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    Will, thanks for your post. One more thing I forgot to ask. Sizing. Based on the sizing chart on the bikes direct website, I would probably go with a medium frame, 50 cm, (I an 5' 7" tall). They do not give geometry specs, not that I know a whole lot about that. Does this seem reasonable? Thanks.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by providencebiker View Post
    Will, thanks for your post. One more thing I forgot to ask. Sizing. Based on the sizing chart on the bikes direct website, I would probably go with a medium frame, 50 cm, (I an 5' 7" tall). They do not give geometry specs, not that I know a whole lot about that. Does this seem reasonable? Thanks.
    That's hard to say.

    I'm 5'6", typically ride medium sized mtbs (17-18) and have a 52cm Trek Postal (with an 80mm stem).

    Right now, my small CXD has almost the same measurements as my postal (effective top tube, etc) although I still wanna try a even shorter one than stock (95mm) to feel a little more relaxed for commuting and even light offroad duty. If I wanted to commute on my road bike I would, but I want something a little less aggressive and want to feel not as stretched out for offroad.

    But, your body proportions might be completely different to mine and your personal preferences might be completely opposite of me.

    I know that doesn't really help you make a decision, but there's no way for me to be able to recommend an exact size for you. It sucks because you might be smack in the middle of the small and the medium. But then again, maybe you could actually make either work for you.

    I guess if I HAD to make a guess, I'd say go with the small and if need be get a slightly longer stem.

    Of course, if you get it and you think it's too small, you can return it and exchange it for the medium.

  38. #38
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    Zilla and fenders.

    I'm looking at a BD commuter bike. I like the CXD, but you cannot mount fenders to the fork (which is strange considering it does have mounts for a lowrider rack).

    The Zilla looks like a great bike, but I'm not sure if you can put fenders on that fork either.

    I also like the Fantom Outlaw, but I wish it had the lower gears that would come with the Apex group or a triple.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by smckenzie23 View Post
    I'm looking at a BD commuter bike. I like the CXD, but you cannot mount fenders to the fork (which is strange considering it does have mounts for a lowrider rack)..
    Says who?

    Fenders SpeedezHybrid/ Touring

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by smckenzie23 View Post
    I'm looking at a BD commuter bike. I like the CXD, but you cannot mount fenders to the fork (which is strange considering it does have mounts for a lowrider rack).
    Surely you ARE kidding. With a little perseverance and tenacity you can add fenders to almost any bike on the market......
    Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.. Ferris Bueller

  41. #41
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    "Fenders SpeedezHybrid/ Touring"
    "Surely you ARE kidding. With a little perseverance and tenacity you can add fenders to almost any bike on the market......"

    So the Speedez look interesting, but the reviews are mixed. And yes, I *can* add fenders with some tenacity. But I am buying this bike primarily as a commuter in Vancouver, BC. Fenders are not an afterthought up here on the rain coast. If I already had a bike without eyelets I could make do. But I want super solid fenders and a back rack.

    The Outlaw looks great in that it has all the mounts I could want. But I wish it had a compact double like the Apex group, or a triple. The Zilla may be perfect, but I wonder about front fender eyelets.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by smckenzie23 View Post
    But I am buying this bike primarily as a commuter in Vancouver, BC. Fenders are not an afterthought up here on the rain coast. If I already had a bike without eyelets I could make do. But I want super solid fenders and a back rack.

    I use my Transport as a commuter. I completely agree with the fender issue. They have to be solid. Otherwise, what would be the point of them. I had to add one to the rear as, for some reason, Trek chose to put one on the front and NOT on the rear. And the front one extended out a lot less than what I liked so I extended that one as well. ((don't much care for face splash))
    Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.. Ferris Bueller

  43. #43
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    I use my Surly LHT as a commuter bike. I currently have it equipped with a rear rack, panniers, fenders and 2" slicks. Rides like a dream while keeping the weight off my back
    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

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    I would love a Surly Disc Trucker.

    But a used LHT without disc brakes would cost me the same as the Zilla (if I could even find one). I'm not sure what the disc trucker runs, but I'm guessing it is around $1700 like the Salsa Vaya.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by smckenzie23 View Post
    I'm looking at a BD commuter bike. I like the CXD, but you cannot mount fenders to the fork (which is strange considering it does have mounts for a lowrider rack).
    Plenty of people mount the fender to the low rack mount then just cut the excess off the fender rod.

    EDIT: You would probably have better luck finding a cross check which can easily handle commuter duties. If you still want discs get a Vaya fork for it, then put a v brake out back.
    Mr. Krabs: Is it true, Squidward? Is it hilarious?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57 View Post
    Plenty of people mount the fender to the low rack mount then just cut the excess off the fender rod.
    .
    Working this out now myself, got a set of SKS P45s, had to drill the fork crown out (there is only a hole in front, not in back, but now I need a longer bolt than the fenders came with. Also got some spacers from Jaand (Disc Brake Adapter for Racks and Fenders) on the way to space the left side mounts out (front and rear) as the disc brakes interfere. I think I should be able to get these fenders to work ok, will post pics when I am done. The one annoying bit I didn't notice is that the lugs on the fork are not very square with the fork, the left side one is at an angle...kinda poorly made fork I have to say but I should be able to tweak the metal supports for the fender to make up for it...

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    As promised...install went pretty well, a borrowed dremel made the job a lot easier, gotta buy one of those things someday...

    Sorry for the crap quality of the pics, the battery in my real camera was dead. I re-routed the front brake cable and it works much better (less bends) than the way it was supposed to be routed inside the fork, after riding the bike a bit, seating in the pads, and re-adjusting the brakes, they work a little better than at first. The fender job isn't super pretty, but not bad for my first time. Yes, I got into the bourbon in the background of the first pic post-installation. Maybe should have started earlier...





  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradoxj13 View Post
    The one annoying bit I didn't notice is that the lugs on the fork are not very square with the fork, the left side one is at an angle...kinda poorly made fork I have to say but I should be able to tweak the metal supports for the fender to make up for it...
    After you mentioned this I went and checked mine...YIKES!!!

    It's a non-issue for me since I'm not attaching fenders or front racks, but wow, that left mount is really out.


    I rode it this past weekend in an Urban Assault Race and came in 6th out of 192 co-ed teams (22nd overall). The bike itself handled great. I get a little bit of brake shuddering, but it's not too bad (and it could have been partly the tires I was running...long story). The brakes have worked in pretty well. Not like traditional Dura Ace road brakes/pads, but I think if you had a better set of brakes like BB7s, it would have killer stopping power.

    In the end, you have to keep in mind that it's a budget bike. It's still great and all, but it doesn't have the refinement of a $1700 bike and shouldn't be expected to...but in cycling, it's not about the bike ;-)

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by will-lee wonka View Post
    In the end, you have to keep in mind that it's a budget bike. It's still great and all, but it doesn't have the refinement of a $1700 bike and shouldn't be expected to.)
    yup...thats why I bought a $400 bike...city commuting duties, I expect it to get beat to hell, leave it locked up, etc....something I would never do with either of my other two bikes.

  50. #50
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    I've had this bike for several months now. The CXD is definitely a solid purchase for riders who don't care about fancy logos and 30 speeds. If you're short on cash, add this to your list of choices.

    There is, however, one catch which has not been mentioned yet. The gearing is way too high. This is a major design blunder. It seems like the factory got a great deal on a huge lot of cheap cranks and decided to make bikes out of it. So unless you have monster legs that consistently pushes 52 x 11 with ease, I highly recommend that you spend an extra $40 to get a 48-36-26T Shimano touring crankset. The stock setup is useless for 99% of those searching for budget rides. I spent most of my time in the middle ring and finally gave up after 70 miles. It's a cheap fix.

    I personally went with a 48-38-28T, but do this only if you have the technical experience or want to fork over money to a really good shop. The clearance between the 38T chainring and FR cage is next to nothing. Spacing is critical, and there's probably less than 1mm of it. A 48-36-26T crankset should be an easier swap.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by vksy View Post
    This is a major design blunder.
    I don't know if I'd go quite so far as to say that, and you know you can use other cogs when you are in the 52t ring right

    For city riding, I've been happy to tool along in the middle ring, switch to the granny for the steep climbs (only really one that I ride normally, and I can stand and crank up in the middle) and the big ring is for the downhills. It is definitely geared more like road bike with a triple than a cross racing bike, but I wouldn't bother replacing anything.

    My rear brake on the other hand is making this strange clunk that I cannot for the life of me figure out almost like the caliper or adapter is loose (they aren't)...I am about to start swapping pads and calipers around. And when I rake on the front brake on rough terrain, that carbon fork flexes around a hell of a lot...kinda scary in traffic

  52. #52
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    offroad singlespeed ratios tend to be near 2:1.
    with my beloved 56 up front and a 12-28 out back I'd basically have that gear covered.
    heck, I could run an old xt 11-30 and have gear to spare over a singular offroad-only gearing choice.
    #you'reworryingtoomuch#

    I say if you have the legs for it, go big.
    you can't find a harder gear past that 11, but you can find easier gears in the other direction.
    especially if you're running multiple chainrings! 3 rings for commuting??
    even with the trailer in winter, I don't think I ever fully used 2 and the entire cogset.

    I think the words "do what you need to do" are most appropriate when it comes to something under constant threat of theft. otherwise it's just more stuff to have to buy again.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  53. #53
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    One more update on this bike for sh*ts and giggles.

    I am really sick of the Tektro brakes, so I bought some avid BB7 road calipers and HS1 rotors to put on the bike....not so much. The post mounts on the fork are so damn close to the rotor that with the slightly wider mount on the BB6, the caliper and bolt, even as outboard as possible, rubs the rotor. Even re-mounting the Tektro Avila so I could ride into work today, had the same problem, I had to grind the washer a bit to stop the rubbing. As for the rear, with a rack and fender mounted, there is not enough space for the rear caliper at all, it is too wide and hits the stays for the fender and rack. Damn, guess the brakes are going back up on ebay where they came from. Lesson learned.

    As for the clunking, I think I have it figured out, the brake pads have a lot of play in the caliper, they can be moved around a lot by hand, and I think that when the brake is applied, they clunk into place each time. Annoying.

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