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Advice on cyclocross bikes

BarkiesnakeBarkiesnake Posts: 244
edited March 2011 in Road beginners
Hi all,
I am looking at trying cyclocross later this year and am wondering if anyone has any recommendations on bikes. Prefferably under £1000. :D
"If you think you can, or if you think you can't, your right" Henry Ford

Posts

  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Planet-X Uncle John, Kona, Kinesis, Specialized, Ridley, Giant, Trek etc all have models at that price point. The most important thing for cross is getting one that fits properly for good handling - which is slightly different to a typical road position plus brakes that work without juddering and squealing the place out and finally probably swapping the tyres for better quality rubber for typical UK conditions if you plan on racing, particularly if its muddy. Schwalbe Racing Ralphs or Michelin Muds are good tyres IME.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,198
    I was impressed with the Decathlon Cyclocross bike when I saw it in the shop. Shimano 105 in a natty metallic blue and Mavic Askium wheels for £879.
  • BarkiesnakeBarkiesnake Posts: 244
    Thanks guys,
    The decathlon bike has changed spec now and is only Sora.
    I like the look of the planet X and the Focus mares isn't bad looking. Will try the local club and see if anyone has these and what they think.
    "If you think you can, or if you think you can't, your right" Henry Ford
  • PhatePhate Posts: 121
    Have a look at the Cube X-race Comp! Got mine in November and love it! Light, agile and loves the rougher terrain! Oh and no need to swap out the tyres as it already comes with the Schwalbe Racing Ralph/Rocket Ron combo mentioned above!
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  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    i LOVE my PX Uncle John. If thats any help.
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,198
    Thanks guys,
    The decathlon bike has changed spec now and is only Sora.
    Where did you hear that? I saw one in the Glasgow store yesterday and it was 105 with Mavic Askiums as described the website. Pretty ugly frame graphics mind you.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Race-level bikes have no threaded eyelets for rack, mudguards or water bottle.
    Entry-level ones (and entry-level for CX is quite high) do have these features which make for an excellent do-it-all bike.
  • PhatePhate Posts: 121
    Also meant to say that the Cube X-Race is more or less the CX version of the Attempt which has just won the Cycling Plus Bike of the Year 2011 in the <1k category!
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  • BarkiesnakeBarkiesnake Posts: 244
    bobones wrote:
    Thanks guys,
    The decathlon bike has changed spec now and is only Sora.
    Where did you hear that? I saw one in the Glasgow store yesterday and it was 105 with Mavic Askiums as described the website. Pretty ugly frame graphics mind you.

    it was on thier website, Only 'cross bike listed.
    "If you think you can, or if you think you can't, your right" Henry Ford
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,198
    Strange. I posted a link for it and it's not sora. Here it is again http://www.decathlon.co.uk/EN/cyclo-cro ... -88610135/
  • WappygixerWappygixer Posts: 1,396
    I can confirm the Btwin cyclocross is indeed 105.
    I think a new model is in the pipeline which will have 2011 105 with hidden cables.
    Not sure when this will be available though.
  • BarkiesnakeBarkiesnake Posts: 244
    Thanks folks,
    Don't know where the link i went on earlier sent me.
    Nice bike, one to consider for sure.
    I notice some newer bikes are using disc brakes rather than canti's, wouldn't they just clog up?
    "If you think you can, or if you think you can't, your right" Henry Ford
  • hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
    Disc brakes being away from the tyres/clearances means that they shouldn't clog up. Better braking, but also a weight disadvantage.

    Be careful when looking at entry level cross bikes, most come as 50/34. A 50 ring is too big for racing, so you'd probably need to budget for having the chainring replaced - it's not actually very expensive or onerous - but should be taken into account.

    I'm a newbie to CX so ride a 44/34, I think most ride 46/36.

    Ebay is a good place to look for CX bikes if you don't want to buy brand new.
  • BarkiesnakeBarkiesnake Posts: 244
    I've come across a very reasonably priced 2010 Kona Jake. Tiagra spec'd but with a triple (50/39/36) anyone ridden one? any comments? is new and priced under £500. Would this be a good starter bike?
    Spec.
    Frame Kona Race Light 7005 Aluminum Butted

    Forks Kona P2 700C

    Rear Derailleur Shimano Tiagra

    Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra

    Shifters Shimano Tiagra

    Chainset FSA Omega (47-49=165, 52=170, 54-56=172.5, 58-62=175mm)

    Bottom Bracket FSA MegaExo

    Chain KMC HG53

    Freewheel Shimano HG50 (12-25, 9spd)

    Headset TH

    Stem Kona Road (6°± , 47-52=90, 54-56=100, 58-62=115mm)

    Handlebars Kona Road (31.8mm, 47-49=400, 52-54=420, 56-62=440mm Wide)

    Front Brake Kore Sport

    Rear Brake Kore Sport

    Brake Levers Shimano Tiagra

    Rims Alex AT-450

    Front Hub Formula

    Rear Hub Shimano Tiagra

    Spokes Sandvik Stainless 15g

    Tyres Continental SpeedKing Cross 700x35C

    Saddle WTB Rocket V Comp

    Seatpost Kona Road

    Pedals Wellgo LU-A9

    Grips Kona Cork Tape
    "If you think you can, or if you think you can't, your right" Henry Ford
  • hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
    For under £500 yes, that's a very good deal.

    If you have upto £1k available gives plenty of room to afford changes/upgrades if you want.
  • BarkiesnakeBarkiesnake Posts: 244
    OK, Missed out on above bike but have narrowed it down to between a Focus Mares 2 or a Scott CX Comp, Both are similarly equiped. The Focus is 2011 and i can get for £800, the Scott is 2010 and £729.
    Anyone know, or have an opinion on which is best?
    "If you think you can, or if you think you can't, your right" Henry Ford
  • I have a Mares AX 1.0. I don't actually race, and it's more CX bike than I honestly need, but I like nice things and the Mares has been fantastic at everything else I've thrown at it. Commuting, winter training, trails etc.
    Cost me just under £1k with my Wiggle discount, and for me you simply can't beat it for value for money - Ultegra, DT Swiss etc
    Buy a Mares and you won't regret it. If budget is a major factor, and buying new is a stretch, used CX bikes don't tend to fetch very much in my experience, but you obviously need your wits about you in case it's been thrased and trashed. It also depends what size you need as well, I'm 6' 5", so as you might imagine frames in my size don't crop up in the used market very often! At least it gives me a strong argument with the Wife for having to buy a new bike when I fancy a change :D
    Good luck with your choice.
  • VariadoVariado Posts: 107
    I have a 2010 Mares Expert (pretty similar spec to the AX 1.0, I think, with Ultegra) and it's a decent bike. Brakes aren't terrific - never been quite sure if that's just how CX brakes are, or if mine aren't quite setup right - but alright, and it's a lot of bike for the money, especially if you can find a good used one on ebay.

    Mine's 50/34 and agree with the comment above that it's overgeared, i'd swap to 46/36 or 44/34 if I was actually going to race it.
  • BarkiesnakeBarkiesnake Posts: 244
    Thanks guys,
    I am ordering a Mares 2:0 which comes with 105 and a 46/36 gearing. Currently out of stock my size but i can wait a few weeks for delivery.
    Will let you know when i get it.
    "If you think you can, or if you think you can't, your right" Henry Ford
  • Totally agree with Variado about the brakes. The AX 1.0 and 2.0 have Avid Shorty 4's, and I was actually thinking of swopping them out for something else completely soon after I bought my bike, but before I got round to that I completely mashed the pads in my first couple of weeks of commuting, and once I replaced the pads they performed far better. I'm fully aware that different pads can make a world of difference, so perhaps the stock Avid pads are just not very good as I'm now perfectly happy with the performance.
  • Good choice Barkiesnake, I cannot recommend Focus bikes highly enough. The pics on Wiggle simply do not do the bikes justice, when you pull it out of it's box I'm absolutely positive you'll be blown away, they look fantastic.
  • VariadoVariado Posts: 107
    Totally agree with Variado about the brakes. The AX 1.0 and 2.0 have Avid Shorty 4's, and I was actually thinking of swopping them out for something else completely soon after I bought my bike, but before I got round to that I completely mashed the pads in my first couple of weeks of commuting, and once I replaced the pads they performed far better. I'm fully aware that different pads can make a world of difference, so perhaps the stock Avid pads are just not very good as I'm now perfectly happy with the performance.

    That's interesting, thanks. My 2010 has Prime Canti2C Race brakes according to the Wiggle page, with decent-looking SwissStop pads. Dunno how they compares to the 2011 Avid's.

    They're not bad by any means, but don't feel as good as either the Ultegra brakes on my road bike or the canti brakes on my (fairly cheap) MTB. Part of the issue is that they require significantly more pull on the brake levels to have an effect than my road bike, making them harder to use from the hoods. The 'cross top brake levers aren't great either.
  • You're blessed to have bar top levers Variado, the AX 1.0 doesn't have them as standard. I was going to add some, but the pads I'm currently running have made things pretty much ok, but that said they're still not a patch on the Dura-Ace calipers of my best bike :(
    The swiss stop pads should be ok, perhaps I just had a dodgy batch with the oe spec Avid pads.
    I don't know your mechanical knowledge, but youtube has some great videos on setting up things like canti brakes, well worth checking out.
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