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I started racing cross again this season, but the MTB doesn't always cut it. So I'm looking to get my first cross bike soon & wanted to see if anyone had any opinions, feedback on some of these 2010 models or any other bikes. I like these as they have longer headtubes to make up for my short torso. Budget is around $1500 and sizes are 59-61.

Unfortunately no shops have any sizes in stock for me to test ride.

Kona Jake the snake
Cannondale cyclocross 5
Trek XO 1 (09 model)
others...

any info is appreciated.

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I have a Trek Xo-1 I think the price point is kind of high for what you are getting. Check out the new Fuji's they are a little more reasonable and have some nicer components. You do however need to consider if you want SRAM or Shimano or Campy on it and if the shop you are buying from will allow you to switch the components out.
Gregg,

The Trek i found is a 09 close-out so the price is around 1400. Actually Fuji is the only bike i found to test ride, but it felt a bit too small with the smaller headtube & the 7 degree stem set up as high as possible. There was no more room to go up after all the spacers were added. a shame as it was discounted heavily.

shimano 105 is fine with me as i don't want to go lower with Tiagra. SRAM Rival looks good, but I've seen it on the 2K priced bikes. i already run shimano on the road bike.
I've been very stoked on the Specialized Tricross I picked up this summer. You might be able to find a closeout in your price range.
Congrats on your decision! Even if your local shop doesn't have the exact size, consider taking a smaller one (one size down) for a spin. Yes you'll feel cramped but you shouldn't be test-riding to see how the bike fits. Feel how it corners, shifts, climbs, etc. Test riding a smaller frame will at least get you a feel for the general handling characteristics of each bike. If you ever have a warranty issue with the frame, Trek's service is second to none.

Paying for a good fitting will save you the trouble of mixing and match stems and stuff as well. I think that fit comes before all that other stuff. You can have an awesome bike with lots of bling'd out components, but if it doesn't fit right, your riding and body will suffer. Good luck!
Mark -

I can't recommend the Kona Jake the Snake enough. Great specc'd bike for the price.

I got mine this past July to use as a daily commuter here in Germany, where I spend a fair amount of time on forest trails, along farm roads and a bit of twisty small-town road. Jake is spot on, no matter the conditions, which have been everything from 100°F heat to 10°F cold, pissing down rain, deep snow and black ice (studded tires help with that, though).

I've yet to ride it in a CX race, but its performance on the trails leads me to believe that it would do just fine.

My serious bike background goes back to the mid-80's, with everything from steel, aluminum & carbon road bikes, several MTBs and a few triathlon-specific tri-bikes; all told, 12 bikes. The Jake is easily top 3 of those.
hi mark a!

great decision to try a 'cross bike.

CXM reviewed both a fuji and the XO 1. both were fine bikes - the treks are impressive with their mud clearance and the housebrand parts were actually pretty nice (wheels, tires, cockpit). you're right in that the XO 1 has a taller head tube (than say, the fuji, or a jamis) but I think you might not want to go with taller headtubes as a way to compensate for a shorter torso. instead, go for a bike with a shorter top tube and adjust the bar height as comfortable. a top tube that fits will allow you to hit the drops in corners and lower your center of gravity. staying up high will make some situations more difficult, and more weight on your butt.

good luck!!
See if you can find someone at an event that has one of the bikes you are after and see if they'll let you have a go.
thanks for the input. I went ahead and ordered a Jake the Snake.

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