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Newbie to CX

steve1556steve1556 Posts: 23
edited August 2014 in Cyclocross

I'm looking for a cyclocross bike and was hoping to get some advice.

I'll start from the beginning, a few months ago I was told I need a knee operation for a big tear in my cartilage, and losing weight and building up leg muscle would have decrease my recovery time. As I can't run or use the treadmill at the gym, I used the cross trainer and bought a mountain bike. I'll be honest, I don't care much for the cross trainer as I get very bored very quickly. However, I really enjoy riding my bike. I've managed to lose a fair bit of weight and build up quite a bit of leg muscle over the last few months through riding and weights though.

I did start looking at road bikes, but I enjoy the freedom of my mountain bike (fields, pathways along the river, bridal ways, etc), so I think a cyclocross bike would be a good compromise. I do want to do some events next year (both cyclocross and road races), so would ideally like a bike that could do both, with a budget of £800-1200. I went into a small independent shop that sold Saracen bikes, and was looking at the Hack 1 and Hack 2 models

I don't know much about bikes, sprockets, etc, but I would like disc brakes (as I've a few moments on my mountain bike where the brakes didn't work as the rims were covered in mud), and a good gear set for road and off road riding. £1200 would be my absolute limit though.

Answers on a postcard to the usual address!


  • ThatBikeGuyThatBikeGuy Posts: 394
    Genesis croix de fer
    Cannondale caadx
    Boardman cx
    Specialized crux
    kinesis crosslight

    Just to name a few. Perhaps see about going to your LBS and test ride a few see which takes your fancy? You can get quite a lot of crossbike even for a grand.
    Maybe spend a little less and put the spare change into another wheelset, one for road one for off-road?
    Cannondale SS Evo Team
    Kona Jake CX
    Cervelo P5
  • curto80curto80 Posts: 314
    Ridley x-bow disc definitely worth looking at
    Rose Xlite Team 3100 Di2
    Kinesis Tripster ATR
    Orro Oxygen
  • DCDBDCDB Posts: 27
    Giant TCX SLR2. £1000. Very happy with mine.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Road racing with disc brakes is currently a no-no. Expectation seems to be that UCI will ultimately change the rules, but there's no guarantee or timescale for this. At the moment the only way you can use the same bike for CX and road racing is if it has cantis (or V-brakes).

    Cantis are perfectly adequate for CX racing, though that's partly because you shouldn't be using the brakes that much in a CX race anyway.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • steve1556steve1556 Posts: 23
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I've just had a date come through for my operation, so although I really want to get a bike now, there just isn't much point in having 3 weeks use out of it before its put away for a while.

    TGOTB - I didn't mean proper road racing for the bikes use, my mistake, I should have made it clearer. I would like to do a lot of charity rides over the next few years, and as I would be doing them with a friend who is stupidly fit (runs a lot of marathons and currently training for a triathlon), we would be kind of racing against each other to try and get the best time possible on it. The reason I want to have disc brakes is because I do a lot of riding down by the river paths, and I've nearly ended up in the river because of my brakes being covered in mud and not working properly. It's good to know that I wouldn't be able to use the bike for proper road races though! Also, there isn't a chance in hell of me being ready for a CX race this winter, hopefully next year though.

    Thatbikeguy - I've seen a few reviews on the Genesis and it does look like a good bike. I bought a bike magazine and they also highly recommend the Specialised one. When you say another wheel set, is that lighter wheels or different gear ratios. Sorry if it's a stupid question, still trying to learn all the terminology. Ideally, I'm after a good frame, and a bike that's good off road, and fast for on road use. I know I'll probably need different tyres for different uses though.

    Curto80 & DCDB - I'll check them both out, thanks :)

    I'll be going to a few bike shops in the next couple of weeks to try some out, and after my operation I'm hoping to be back on my bike around end of July, so I'll buy one then most likely.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Worth considering that by July you've reached the end of the 2014 model year and remaining models will be discounted in preparation for 2015 models arriving in September/October from the big brands. However, popular models and sizes may be sold out.
    Best bike for your money is Planet-X XLS for £999, particularly in comparison to the likes of Specialized, Cannondale, Giant or Trek where you're simply paying a premium for brand.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • steve1556steve1556 Posts: 23
    I did see the Planet X bike when i first started looking, and it does look like a really nice bike, although a carbon frame worries me in case I manage to brake it. Would it be able to survive a few crashes here and there which I'll inevitably have?

    Hmmm, I didn't think about the sale for the new season, I assumed it would be end of the year, but if it's sooner then I may try and wait until they start going on sale. My problem is when I got back into cycling a few months ago, I got my bike in a sale, didn't know anything about frame sizes and just went with what the sales guy recommended, and I know realise that the frame is too small me. But like I say, after the 12th of next month I won't be able to ride for a bit due to my knee operation, so waiting for the sales shouldn't be too bad.

    Also, can anyone recommend some decent pedals that are very easy to unclip shoes from? Been reading reviews, watching videos, etc, and it's a minefield with the amount of choices. I've seen some Shimano ones with clips both sides for mountain bikes, I'll try and find a link, which look pretty decent. The way I see it is that if I'm spending a lot of money on a nice bike, I don't want to be skimping on the pedals and get rubbish ones.
  • mikpemmikpem Posts: 139
    For pedals the Shimano PD M520's are good for the job, I've found them easy to get used to (had my first race last year after only a month of using them) and they are relatively cheap. Everyone will forget to unclip at some point but I've managed to get away with only once up to now.

    Quick tip: Make sure you screw your cleats to your shoes properly before clipping into the pedals. I wasn't sure where to put them so only lightly screwed them in and thought I'd adjust them to suit. The problem was that to unclip I was rotating my foot and the cleat was moving with it, I had to fall, take the shoes off with a bike on top of me and then fiddle about trying to unattach the shoe from the pedal!
  • steve1556steve1556 Posts: 23
    I've checked out some reviews on the Shimano PD M520, and they seem a really good pedal. Seem to have a lot of good reviews!

    Unfortunately, I've been told I'm not allowed to ride my bike until the next month when I go back and see the specialist, so I'm still window shopping for bikes. Does the drive train on bikes really make that much difference? I keep seeing the higher priced bikes with ones like the Shimano 105, and cheaper ones with different ones sets like the Shimano Sora ST-3500 for instance?
  • steve1556steve1556 Posts: 23
    Finally pulled the trigger on a bike! I did a lot of research into different group sets, and the one to go for looked to be the Shimano 105, however, all the bikes were reasonably pricey. After a lot of searching, I came across the Eastward CX 2.0 that seemed to have great reviews, and on Tredz it had 25% off. They are also running a discount where you get £75 off a £500 or more purchase, which was a big deciding factor in ordering the bike tonight.

    Also got some Shimano PD-M520 pedals and some mountain style trainers today. I've got a feeling it's going to hard to resist riding it before I can though. But I've started at the gym again using the cross trainer on the lowest setting and my knee seems to holding up alright, so I'm hoping it shouldn't be too long.

    Here is a link to the bike
  • I changed the cleats on my shoes to the Shimano SH-56 ones to make it easier to release my feet and went for a ride last week and had problems with the brakes (Avid BB5). Phoned up the warranty place, and they walked me through the setup process for the brakes, which didn't fix the problem. Ended up taking the bike to a local bike shop (turns out the warranty guy used to work there), and after nearly an hour of playing around with the brakes and various test rides, at the end of the test ride the brakes were starting to bind again. Turns out the calipers were dodgy, so they are being replaced by Shimano ones under the warranty.
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