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new to cyclo-cross need some help,please(16 posts)

new to cyclo-cross need some help,pleasemqtrider
Sep 16, 2003 9:06 AM
Ok here's the scoop, I'm looking to get a cross bike for next year. I'm going to use it mostly for commuting, but also plan on doing some touring, and trail riding with it. Probably no racing, but that could change. I work at a shop that carries, Kona, Lemond, and Surly. I really don't want to spend that much money on a bike, and am looking to maybe just get a frame and build it up with parts lying around the shop. So here are my choices, Lemond Poprad(doesn't have rack eyelets, only problem)or getting either the Surly Cross Check frame or the Kona Major Jake frame. Price difference between the Kona frame and the Surly frame is about fourty bucks, but the surly comes with a fork. The Kona is Scandium and the Surly is 4130. Someone please shed some light on this subject. Oh yeah the Kona is ugly as hell. Thanks
re: new to cyclo-cross need some help,pleasecanal_pdx
Sep 16, 2003 11:36 AM
There are actually some pros that ride/have ridden the Major Jake. I doubt you'll ever see one of them on a Surly (much too heavy for serious racing). On the other hand if you're not going to race, and price is an issue, a fork for the Kona may set you back another another $150+ (unless you get a Surly fork). The steel of the Surly will most likely also last longer then the Scandium of the Kona.

re: new to cyclo-cross need some help,pleaseswimbikerunjump
Sep 16, 2003 12:01 PM
Your issue should be fit - The bike that fit me was "old ugly" the Jake. It's not the bike I wanted but it rides like a dream for me (new wheels make the bike look pretty good now). I had the $ to buy better but the fit was all wrong. Make your decision after trying them all out then modify them to suit your taste.
re: agree, fit and geometryrichpierce
Sep 16, 2003 12:16 PM
Everyone has different body types and handling skills and so the frame decision is a big one. I am 6' tall and prefer slacker angles and longer wheelbase. I think it has to do with me not being as "quick" and having a higher center of gravity. When the course is harsh (choppy) or wet and has off-camber downhills in the slop, I actually do better on a touring/hybrid frame than a cross frame because of the longer wheelbase, slacker angles, and lower bottom bracket. I raced a Cannondale H400 hybrid converted for cross with success last year. The freaking wheelbase is about 2" longer than most cross bikes of similar size. Never squirrely.

I built a KHS softail up for the quicker, tighter courses for this year. Wheelbase is much shorter and angles a little steeper, bottom bracket marginally higher. Much quicker in corners, not as stable descending in a wet field pushing the big ring.

I cannot push the big ring on a descent in a field on my team-mate's Jake. Scares me to death. Can barely hang on.

Like I said, everyone has different skills and needs in a frame. Wasn't putting flame bait out there. I know plenty of guys who could not ride my hybrid well but can rock on a Jake.
thanks for the reponses so farmqtrider
Sep 16, 2003 1:11 PM
Just like to say thanks to all those who have answered my ?'s. Probably am leaning towards the Surly, it's steel, has rack eyelets and is a little cheaper. Still not sure though I can get a killer deal on the Lemond Poprad, but it doesn't have eyelets. Anyone know if I can still put a rack/fenders on it? Thanks.
old man...buffalosorrow
Sep 16, 2003 1:47 PM
yeah old man mountain, or old man river.... they make swayless rear panniers, they are difficult to come by...
If you look through the pic gallery many months ago, there are two colnago's with the rack system.

regarding frame and frame price, ebay has a few lemonds and more that a few redline's. You can pick up a bike that has been ridden around the block for a good deal. Go to you local shops, find a few that fit and if your in no rush, look over ebay. I dont want to knock surly's, love the company, but they are an all-rounder 'cross frame and for most they lack in the race portions.
If you want steel, possibly look into Soma fab, Kelly or Gunnar. There have been a few of each recently on ebay, there is a 54cm gunnar right now.
Going the ebay route got me a super bike! A Colnago, I re-built to campy 9, bought a ti-stem off ebay, new deda 215's and got a second wheelset (OP/ daytona). I think I am around $1500 total! Ready to race...
Sep 16, 2003 3:18 PM
I would also go the Ebay route myself. Your 'cross frame should be about two centimeters shorter than your road bike in the toptube. Use the same length stem and that should about cover it. If you don't already have a road bike then go to a local race and talk to some of the racers that are your size. Most guys are willing to let a new rider take a short spin on their bike as long as you do it after the race. They will also be a good source of info for the stuff that works in your area. (eg. if you live in Arizona then you are probably not going to need ceramic rims for the mud courses) GOOD LUCK
rack and fenders? surelaffeaux
Sep 16, 2003 3:43 PM
Your options for racks and fenders are more limited without eyelets, but they can still be used. Thanks to FS bikes, there are now rear racks that accept panniers and only connect to the seatpost. I've used one and it worked great on a 200 mile ride - there is a lower weight limit than conventional racks (maybe 25 pounds?). Front racks might be an issue.

Neither my front or rear fenders attach via eyelets. I generally only use a rear fender, and again it attaches to the seatpost. My front fender is held on via a plug that insert into the headtube of the fork.
re: new to cyclo-cross need some help,pleasekilgoretrout
Sep 16, 2003 4:34 PM
You may want to check out the SOMA double cross:
I beleive that they are distributed by Wilson.
Blow out sale on Redline Conquest $350 @ nmpitt83
Sep 16, 2003 4:45 PM
wow thanks againmqtrider
Sep 16, 2003 6:26 PM
thanks for all your input on this. Thing is I work at a shop in Michigan, and I have never seen a cyclo-cross bike enter the doors or leave the shop. So it's not a really happening thing in the U.P. I can get great deals on Kona, Lemond, or Surly. It's down to the surly frame, kona jake frame or the lemond poprad complete. I kind of want steel cause of the ride, but am wondering if I should just get the complete or build it up just using a frame. Not knowing next to nothing about cross bikes, i'm thinking my best bet is just to get the complete.
lemond frame-my votebuffalosorrow
Sep 17, 2003 4:15 AM
They are reynolds 853, I just wonder why people dont rave about them...?
I believe they offer frame and fork for a while, not sure about this year....
Perhaps you can get an even better deal from your distributor on an '00, '01, '02.
If you do go complete you can upgrade as need be.

Here is the order I would go.
#1 Lemond
#2 Kona
#3 Surly
My experience with Surly...slide13
Sep 16, 2003 9:25 PM
I too work in a shop and just bought my first CX bike. We arn't a Kona dealer so that wasn't an option, but the Trek XO1, Lemond Poprad and Surly Cross-Check were all on my list. I ended up getting the Cross-Check frame and building it up from there. Sure, the frame is a little heavy, but hey so am I, so what do I care. The ride is great and the price is deffinetly great....especially for us shop guys! I'm a big fan of steel, so that helped sway my decision some. I built it up pretty nice because it's going to be my only bike, but the nice thing about the Surly is that it's easy to build on the cheap. Have some road or mtn hubs laying around, use them. The 132.5 dropout spacing lets you use either 130 or 135 spaced hubs without a problem. Seatpost size is 27.2, fork is 1 1/8"....all the most common sizes are used to make building a Surly easy with parts you have laying around.

I really like the ride of the Surly, but make sure you get a small enough frame. I was riding a 57cm Lemond road bike and ended up getting a 56cm Surly. The ride is great, especially for on the road, but for off road I think I would have rather had the 54cm. It's a big 56cm bike, bigger then I expected it to be. All in all though I'm very happy I chose the Surly and I would recomend it to anyone looking for a durable CX/commuter/all-around bike, thought not to a racer.
My experience with Surly...byker
Sep 28, 2003 12:32 PM
I was in the same position as slide13 as far as bike choices go. The Poprad complete is a piece of junk. I ended up with the cross check in a 52. The sizing is definatly big as I usually ride a 54 road bike. The frame is heavy but I just wanted to use it as a winter training and dirt road bike. I'm also a Michigander so I'v gotta deal with the same crappy winter weather you do. Go with the Surly, its cheap, a sweet ride, and pretty cool looking.
re: new to cyclo-cross need some help,pleasePoptart
Sep 17, 2003 7:27 AM
one other frame you might want to look at is the interloc crossfire. pricewise, it's in between the soma/surly and the gunnar/kelly. the orange color looks good and unique, tho i haven't seen it in person. 853 with rack/fender eyelets for $520 (+ $90 or $100 for steel forks). i ended up getting a gunnar, but i considered a soma (it felt just a little heavier and slower-reacting compared to the light and lively gunnar, but that may have just been the build it happened to have. also, the color scheme of the somas just didn't do it for me). the interloc was brand new when i was shopping, no one had it in stock yet, and i couldn't wait around.
Jamis Nova, Reynolds 631, all eyelets and mounts...Spunout
Sep 17, 2003 9:15 AM
looked at one in my LBS, very sweet bike.