Opinions on Cyclocross Bikes

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  • Opinions on Cyclocross Bikes
  • Jamie
    Member

    What size you after? As at this point of the year, availability might become an issue.

    samonesix
    Member

    Anyone have an opinion on cyclocross bikes? I moved to England last year and now that it is summer, I want to start riding around the countryside, enjoy the weather and maybe commute to work a few days a week. I used to own a Cannondale triathlon bike. But it’s been years since I owned a good bike and its time to correct that situation.

    I’ve been looking at the Boardman CX Team 2014, Genesis Croix de Fer and Merida Cyclocross 4.

    The Boardman is on the top of list now despite the recall and the cosmetic paint issue. Has anyone found it to be more serious and a problem with the frame? There is plenty of complaints on the web about it and people that took the 10% discount. But little about performance after the purchase.

    Next is the Genesis. It is just a nice simple bike. I’m not a fan of the Tiagra shifters and cable routing. But I may be able to get over that. This is just seems like a non-flashy bike that will not attract much attention and eventually disappear.

    The Merida comes recommend by the LBS. The sing all the praises but don’t have one for me to test ride. And I can’t find one within a distance I am willing to travel. To be honest, this bike is loosing traction with me the longer I think about it. But there is a rave review for an older model with regular updates over a long period of time

    Any thoughts would be appreciated?

    samonesix
    Member

    Im usually a medium to a large… on my old bike I had a shorter stem because my torso is a little short when I got into the aero bars. The Boardman I tested was a medium but Halfords had a Large in stock with a more discrete “crack.” It felt short for my legs but long in the top tube. So I may need to do the same thing again.

    I’ve been looking some more tonight and I found the Giant TCX SLR 2. It has all the same specs as the Merida and the same price and doesn’t have the things I hate about the Merida. I had a Giant MTB years and years ago as my first “cross training” bike. It was good. So I think I’d go with the Giant before the Merida due to the lack of unbiased info on the web on Merida.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    I’ve got a Boardman CX (2012/13) and love it. Great on/off road. Doing the Day 1 TdF route on it today.

    Boardman and Merida are the same factory if it helps

    rubymurry
    Member

    Have a look at the Dolan CX I have one and use it for work, leisure and the odd race great bike and you can spec that up pretty light for £1000

    rp16v
    Member

    unsure what the stock levels are like on the slr2 but last i looked they were prety much out bar a couple of showroom stock,giant also do a couple of other cx based bikes abit less racey geometry

    also worth throwing the trusty tricross on the list i love mine but just a smidg to big for racing cross

    slparsons
    Member

    If you don’t want to race and do a bit of everything a cross bike will suit you.

    I’ve just built up a Croix de Fer from a frameset as I couldn’t find what I wanted.

    Kinesis/On One/Planet X/Whyte also have various suitable offerings.

    monkeychild
    Member

    I bought a TCX SLR 2 a month or so ago. I wish I had bought a cx bike sooner as they are brilliant fun. I’m contemplating getting rid of my carbon road bike as it doesn’t get much love now.

    samonesix
    Member

    Thanks for the info guys. Yes I’m definitely more focused on enjoy-ability wight he flexibility to do a race and not feel held back by the hardware.

    That being said, I looked at the Planet X… how is that bike £999? It has a carbon frame and fork with internal cables and Shimano 105? And it is spec’d as lighter but weight is always questionable until it is in front of you.

    I am driving to Sheffield to look at one tomorrow.

    samonesix
    Member

    So I went to Edinburgh Bike Shop in Sheffield but did not bother with Planet X. I tried several bikes but the only one that was my size was the Croix Der Fer and I was surprisingly unhappy about it. It was just a rough ride. I could not figure out if it was just the seat or the steel frame or the geometry. But I took a Genesis Vapour for a spin today and it felt significantly better. The virtually the only difference between the two bikes are the aluminum frame/carbon fork and steel frame/fork.

    So of the bikes I tested, in order of least happy to most happy… Giant Revolt 2 – (Hated it. It felt off balance, but it was also one size too small. It also has that slanted top tube which I don’t like for shouldering it.) Genesis Croix Der Fer (I felt every bump on the road.) Specialized Tricross Sport Disc – (Nice. One size too big but felt very smooth and responsive.) Charge Plug 4 – (This bike was awesome! It was one size too small. It was super smooth and just felt amazing. I kind of wanted to buy it even though it was small.)

    I’m headed south to test a Plug 4 in the right size. If I like it, I may make a snap decision and buy it to avoid the drive again. But if not, I going with either the Plug 4 or the Genesis Vapour.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    I have had a Merida CX 4 since Feb 2013. I raced the last cross season on it, but mostly it’s been used for mixed trail and road riding. It’s just a great bike, very versatile. The best thing I can say about it is that have changed nothing on it since I got it and it has seen loads of use. Merida don’t scrimp and use nasty headsets, BBs and hubs etc.

    stumpy_m4
    Member

    Surprised no one has mentioned the pinnacle Arkose range of cross bikes from evans ?
    Great spec and price and good reviews in the mags and on here 🙂
    Haven’t got one myself but on the verge of hitting the buy button as they seem so versatile

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    If you go for the Boardman then join British Cycling first as you get 10% off at Halfords.
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership/article/halfords-discounts

    But in true STW style I’ll plug what I own:

    http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/bike/rose-pro-dx-cross-4400-2014/aid:692484

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    The XLS is a cracking bike for the money and looks great in person. You can get a PickenFlick for £1499.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    Aside from the seatpost, that Rose is a pretty bike.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    What’s up with the seatpost Daffy? Not like the graphics on it?

    Here’s a real-life picture of mine in commuter mode.

    Premier Icon paul4stones
    Subscriber

    I’ve had a Vapour since they first came out in 2007. Done thousands of miles, five times the three peaks, several hundred mile plus days and one of 220 miles. I can’t fault it. I’ve never had a ‘modern’ road bike but struggle to imagine it would be worth it for me when the vapour does everything I’ve asked of it and still allows proper off road with a change of tyres. Keep expecting it to break but tough so far.

    Premier Icon monkeysfeet
    Subscriber

    Graham, that Rose looks great. I have one of their full suss bikes and have been pondering getting a cx bike. Hmmmmm….

    trickydisco
    Member

    The XLS is a cracking bike for the money and looks great in person. You can get a PickenFlick for £1499.

    Nope.. you can’t. Have emailed them and they aren’t doing a pickenflick build 🙁

    I’m torn between the xls an the pickenflick (mainly for racing) xls looks more race orientated but the pickenflick seems more versatile and has huge clearances!

    Toasty
    Member

    I’m in a similar boat, although looking for something more on the do-everything front, rather than a speedy CX, it’s replacing an old Tricross.

    Not the best value out there, but I’m quite keen on the look of the Crossrip at the moment:

    samonesix
    Member

    So I found a Charge Plug 4 in my size and scooped it up on the spot. It is fantastic! I’ve done a couple hundred miles on it over the last 2-3 weeks mostly along paved paths and two-track dirt roads. It took a little tweaking to get my position just right. But since then, I love it! I can’t believe how well it absorbs shocks when I’m “off road.” I did change to a slight wider tire with more aggressive tread. That likely helps with the shock absorption.

    Small note on color, the Plug 4 looks light gray in the pictures and even in person it still looks light gray. But when the sun hit it, it is actually iridescent. Some people will say it looks pinkish, but i think it looks more like an oil slick… but I suppose I would say that given that I’m the one riding it.

    daftvader
    Member

    Wish I’d seen this a couple of weeks ago when I first advertised my cx bike…

    oldgit
    Member

    Didn’t notice this was old and was going to recommend a Giant Revolt or a bike of that ilk.

    monksie
    Member

    Well, just in case you’re still looking, I’ve been out today around Goyt Valley, Buxton, Perryfoot, Rushup etc. on and off road and yet again, I’ve had a great time on this (no guard or rack mounts though).

    20140608_111725 by nichola.davidson, on

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    Not the best pic but my Kona get ridden more than anything else at the moment just because of it cover so many bases. Todays ride from home was back lanes, sustrans, muddy disused railway track, back lanes, open moorland / sheep track, gravel double track, back lane, mainroad, sustrans and towpath. 48k and 821 m of climbing in the first 24k.


    kona 002 by jamesanderson2010, on Flickr

    antigee
    Member

    think we might need this again

    [video]http://vimeo.com/89689947[/video]

    Interesting, I’ve just spent the last few weeks trying to decide on either a steel ‘all rounder’ style bike, or a racer (I’m in Vancouver and wanted to take advantage of the exchange rate before I returned).

    I finally decided on one of these

    It was either the Salsa or the Surly Straggler. I liked the fact that the straggler could fit (and came stock with) fatter off road tyres, but I’ve always wanted a Salsa and they both rode very similar.

    Was always considering a Plug but didn’t want the SRAM discs, and felt I could get more for my money buying over here. The Plugs looked really nice though, I’ve always liked the brand too after buying one of the original Dusters.

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