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been riding mountain and road bike--looking to start riding single speed cyclocross--since I haven't raced before am looking for suggestions on what to buy for a first bike and how to get started-aluminum vs steel frames and the like--all I know is what I have read--

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Welcome! Lots of people (mysef included) get too worked up on what frame, what gears, what tires... When it boils down to ride what feels comfortable to you. Although the All-City is a good recomendation.

I say that because what I've seen is that until you can regularly card top-5s in the B class, it's more about the engine and less about the vehicle.

Don't sweat it, just show up and race. Run with the beginners, run with the SS catagory, whatever. Ride hard and have fun! Be prepared to fall. It will happen, sometimes multiple times a race. But you won't be the only one. Don't worry about getting in anyone's way. They were beginners once, too. And you'll probable surprise yourself with how good you do.

Thanks for the feedback and encouragement.  I have the chance to mt bike where the trails aren't clear or  don't exist, so falling isn't new. I am going to see what I can get through my local bike shop.  Should be good fun.




JT, thanks for all the info on the frame. I ran into you at nationals during the time trial and asked you a bit about the frame. I have decided to purchase a nature boy frame next month and had a question about the sizing. They seem to run large. I'm 5'10" with normal proportions and I'm trying to decide between the 52 and the 55. I'll be ordering it through a shop here in town so I can't test ride it first. Any help would be appreciated. Cheers.
Hey Mr. Barton, good call on getting a Nature Boy. I'm 5'8.5" and ride the 49 (53.5 tt). For you I'd recommend the 52 (55 tt). Definitely not the 55. Generally speaking, a person your size could ride the 49, although it would be on the small side. If you like to run a long stem (120mm) and/or you seat set way back, maybe the 49 would be best. I run my seat a little forward of center on a layback post and a 100mm stem. So yeah, hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks for the info JT. I got my frame the other day and just completed the build, took it for a spin around the neighborhood and it feels great! I went with the 52 and it fits perfectly. I'll be breaking it in next weekend on a 60 mile ride in The Dalles, OR I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again for the advice.
Awesome! You made a great choice, Matthew. Have a great time with the break-in ride and please do let me know how it goes. Pedal Power!

Me again--just curious--trying to do this on the cheaper side to start--so, the choice is a 2008 Specialized Tri-cross (aluminum) with about 1,000 miles or a new Motobecane.  The weights are about the same, I think.  I am also presuming that I will need , at some point, to upgrade parts on either one.  I have done some research and listened to you, so am leaning toward the Motobecane. Thanks again for the help.


As a side note, we got five inches of snow last night.  Guess my winter riding will continue for awhile.




Yeah Kevin, I'd go with the motobecane... but that's me. I love steel and really dislike aluminum. The motobecane should be pretty to lighten up over time... a carbon fork would be a nice upgrade eventually and shave a lot of weight. Really, everything on it could be replaced with lighter components... but it's a great starting point, especially for the price. I should mention this... I put together three of these bikes, out of the box, and found that they all came with 130mm stems, regardless of the smaller sized bikes... way too long! I don't know why they came with such long stems, but it's not a big deal to replace with a proper size (100-110).


Here in Idaho we got hit with a foot of snow a couple weeks ago... I had already been lulled into the false idea that Spring was here. Kind of a slap in the face! But that snow has since melted off, and the non-winter bike riding continues! Have fun in the snow and keep me posted on the bike purchase.



My friend just got a Motobecane and he loves it. He had the same problem with the stem. It was ridiculously long. He's been commuting on it for a month now and it still rides great. 

JT - I did that ride I mentioned above (Dalles 60) on the Nature Boy and loved it! The bike was very comfortable and handled perfectly on the descents and climbs. It was a casual, unsanctioned ride/race and I managed to finish 3rd and was the only one on a single speed. I can't wait for cross season. Thanks again. Cheers.


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