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Hey guys new to the forum!!! Wanted to run a few things by you all. I'm thinking of upgrading my cross ride by selling my cross bike and Merlin frame (road) and taking the Campy Chorus and Neutron wheels off the merlin and build up a nice cross and rain bike. I'm leaning toward the Ridley X Ride and X Fire. I'll do about a dozen cross races on it this year and hopefully the coming years and want to know if you think the X Fire Carbon frame is risky vs Aluminum? I also notice the new X Fire has no water bottle mounts which is a bit of a strike against it as well. Anyone racing on the Campy Neutron wheels...will they hold up? Yelp me out please. Any insights would be great.

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Hey Bob,

welcome! having ridden carbon mtb, road, and cyclocross frames, I don't think carbon is "risky" if constructed properly. it's more expensive for sure, which is a different kind of risk (usually involving significant others), but should last a long time and not corrode or dent.

as for whether it's worth it, it's all about budget and how much weight matters to you. and will you race tubulars? i find that the bigger and softer the tires, the less the frame material affects the ride, but you can always feel the weight difference. that's not to say material doesn't matter and you can't feel a difference but I feel less of a material difference on a mtb than on a road bike with high-pressure tires, for example, assuming frame stiffness is the same between materials (granted that's a big assumption).

for bottle mounts, check out twofish's removable bottle cage - it's a fix for occasional rides needing a bottle.

if you plan to commute or want a winter rain bike, perhaps you want something that's not so race specific and has fender mounts and bottle mounts? many bikes do come with those.

we have prob 15 bikes reviewed in the last three issues of our print mag if you're looking for more info...

any thoughts on staying with ti?

good luck!
Good info!!! I do believe the weight difference is only about 80 grams for the X Ride (alum) and the X they are pretty close. There's about $500 difference in cost so I may need to sell my Fender Guitar to make it happen. The Ti Merlin is a Road frame not Cross and I think is a bit big for me anyway. Thanks for the insight.
many folks use the $1/gram benchmark for weight savings...80 grams certainly isn't much!

re: ti, i was just wondering if you thought of ti for a cx bike if you were happy with the merlin. it certainly won't rust!

good luck.
Yup...I think Ti would be perfect for cross. It's light, absorbs terrain well, non corrosive and who cares about scratches if you care about that. Only downside is the cost :-(


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