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New Bike Rec(8 posts)

New Bike Recdaz I
Sep 2, 2002 3:15 AM
I plan to buy a cyclocross bike for use as a road bike (our roads are horrible).
I have a Cannondale Jekyll 800 now but plan to do long (for me) distances on the road.

I am looking at the Cannondale Ultracross with Headshok. I need something that ;
1. Can take lots of bumps
2. Durable
3. Light
4. With good components

I will be using the bike in Port Harcourt in Nigeria and HAVE to do all repairs and fixing myself so I am looking at reliability. Bike will be mainly used on road. I will post some sample raod pics later.

Any rec? Apart from the Cannondale above. Oh, I will have like 1 hour in a bike shop to pick and basically just ride in the parking lot to check basic fitness. I bought the jekyll at 'Ski and Sun' in Houston and will likely pick up upcoming bike same place (unless better rec of shop in Houston area)

Budget? Upto 2000 USD.

Need to pick a mtb for the wife, will ask over at the mtb review forum.
re: New Bike RecVelocipedio
Sep 2, 2002 3:52 AM
$2000 will buy you a whole lot of bike. Since you don't have the time to shop for smaller marques, you probably do want to stick to the big manufacturers.

I've heard some good things about the Cannondale and bad things about the fork. I've never actually ridden a Cannindale with a headshock, but someone I kow who has says the fork does little more than add weight and complexity to the bike. It doesn't, I am told, improve the ride quality at all.

Remember, if you're going to be doing all of your own maintenance, you'll have to do the maintenence on the fork, too.

I ride a substantially modified Kona Major Jake, which is basically this year's Jake the Snake frame. I find it to be a wonderfully comfortable, responsive bike. You could also look at the Redline Conquest Pro, though a buddy of mine says that it's a pretty stiff, harsh ride.

Whatever the case, you have enough budget that you could get a carbon fiber fork to go along with the bike to smoth out the ride a bit. I'd suggest that would be a better solution than the headshock.

You might also consider the Fuji Cross and the Bianchi Axis. They're both very nicely specced bikes, with carbon fibre forks and enviable reputations. A friend of mine got an Axis earlier this year and really loves it. He can't say enough good things about it.

Another thing you might consider is buying a bike [or frame and build kit] on-line from cyclocrossworld.com. Buying on-line is always risky, but I'm told the people at cyclocrossworld.com are very good at fitting you over the phone/net.

$2000 is a lot to work with.
Quick down and dirty advicewspokes
Sep 2, 2002 4:35 AM
Scrap the Cdale plans, just my opinion though. Here's my thoughts. Cannondale headshok offers little travel for the bumps in fact I have read and agreed but never responded to previous posts on the list that say, don't waste the extra bucks on the Cdale headshok X model, just buy a fork. I would go for a Bianchi Axis also. Great bicycle and you can find parts and maintain. Another thought on the Cdale, how many Cdale dealers exist in Nigeria that have the knowledge to replace or repair or fix the headshok? I would wager not many, and if you don't think you'll need the work. guess again. I worked on many a headshok models both bumper types and expensive types. They need maintenance too. Good luck and enjoy your time over there.

Walt
Quick down and dirty adviceOffRoadTourer
Sep 2, 2002 5:21 AM
If you really want suspension on your road bike think about a Manitou Luxe or RockShox Metro fork.

I have a pair of Manitou Luxe and find that on the 75mm travel setting you get worthwhile suspension for nasty terrain. (You can also set them up for 50mm travel which kinda defeats the purpose). The internals are simple (spring and elastomer) so not much can go wrong with them. They are also very light given their cheap cost. Same ballpark weight as a pair of RockShox SIDs.

One drawback, they will lift the front of most cross bikes significantly, so it's better to start with a frame that has a very steep steerer tube angle (say 73 or 74 degrees).
thanks and still researchingdaz I
Sep 2, 2002 10:26 AM
Thanks for the recs so far. I will check up on them.
Zero Cdale dealers here!
I am a little bit wary about buying online, a missing screw will cost me a lot to ship by DHL to Nigeria.
My experience is that online dealers (apart from amazon.com) are not geared up to handle international enquiries or hassles.
A 'please call back' or 'please stay on hold' could cost me lots in phone bills (at a $ a minute).
Anybody out there riding in Nigeria? Port Harcourt or Warri area?
Steel + Fat Tirestriangleforge
Sep 3, 2002 12:39 PM
While the repairability of steel frames & forks gets a lot of unwarranted mileage from retro-grouches like me, you're one person who just might find it handy! Finding someone with a MIG welder who can stick two pieces of steel back together is usually doable most anywhere in the world; break any other frame material, and you're looking at warranty service at best, which isn't going to be very convenient or inexpensive for you. A Gunnar, Waterford, Kelly, Soma, VooDoo or other steel frame/fork should do you nicely.

I like the Cannondale Headshock more than most here seem to, but agree completely that maintenance issues (and the lack of spare parts) are a huge drawback in your situation. For suspension, I'd look for a 'cross bike that can fit big fat tires (35c +), and let those be your magic carpet.

Cheers!
Speaking of steelbk19
Sep 5, 2002 7:23 AM
I was thinking the same thing. If repairability is an issue, steel may be a better choice. I was thinking of the Jamis Nova, which has a dealer in Houston:

Cyclone Cycles
2528 Sheridan
Houston, TX
713-668-2104

I can't say whether or not it is a good shop (don't live in Houston), but give them a call to see if they have a Nova in stock, or can get one for you in time for your trip.

Also, a Surly Crosschek, prebuilt from Surly would be a good choice. While definitely not the lightest, a lot of folks that I have talked to have loved the ride of it (like a "barcalounger on wheels" kind of comfortable). Also, the barcon shifters will be a lot more simple and durable than STI. To further echo triangleforge's thoughts, the Surly can take some superfat tires (up to 45c), which will smooth out most rough roads. Check Surlybikes.com for dealers in your area (there are about 5). At $895 complete, you can buy one for yourself, and your wife and still be under budget.
Getting theredaz I
Sep 5, 2002 11:39 AM
Thnx guys. Can't imagine what I would have done in a pre internet era!
I have checked out 'Jake the Snake' & the the 'Fuji Cross'. Not much luck with the Bianchi website though.
Will look at the Surly and Jamis now
Was planning on getting an MTB for my wife but not a bad idea to get the cross bike.
Walt, I am here for keeps. From this parts.
Will let u guys know what I settle on and how it goes.