keith take a hard look at the jamis nova pro! its a little over your price range at around $1200 but it has carbon fiber seat stays and cf fork with a cf steerer tube easily worth $500 on its own! the components are tiagra/105 I belive and so far they've been rock solid the sizing runs big I ride a 56 felt road bike but the guy at the shop insisted I try a 51 jamis and it fit like a glove hope this helps
Thanks Rob. I'll probably end up spending right around that $1200 anyway as I know me well enough to know that I like good stuff. I found a place here in town that has a 51 Jamis nova pro in stock and I'm headed down to see it tomorrow.
I really fel where this guy is comming from. I have a great old beater 1994 Diamondback road bike. i hate being constricted to the pavment, so I've attempted to compensate with 25.5 Armdillo tires and Slime for off road perpouses. U guessed it...not working. Ive been putting about 100mi/week worth of pavment on it. But im dying to hit some trails and dirt. Im coming back from deployment so i can finaly aford a good CX bike. Heres the problem...Im 6'6", 38" inseam, I like the Felt FX1, but dont feel its big enuf. Should I settle for a "kona Jake series", or do you have some other ideas? ($800-$1400)
Hey Drewbyrd-not being a CX guy yet, I can only speak to prices as I have been doing a lot of researching.
Don't know anything about Motobecanes but theres a bunch of them in the $800-$1000 range. That may be the way I go but I need to do more homework and get input from guys like Rob Kephart who replied to my question here on the forum.
That Kona Jake series is getting rave reviews and if I go up to the $1200 range I'll be checking those out too in addition to the Jamis.
Welcome. Always exciting to see a new person discover 'cross.
In your bike search, I'd first consider a few things:
1) Fit - Since 'cross bikes still don't have quite the sales of road bikes, many cross models don't come in as many sizes. I find often I'm between sizes - I'd first find one that fits you for sure - go by top tube length, and then just make sure you have some standover. I ride the same TT or .5 cm shorter than my road bike, ideally. If you use that guide, make sure your road bike fit is something you're happy with.
2) Consider where you'll be riding/racing. I'm just guessing that in AZ most your races will be dry and fast, as opposed to muddy, rooty, technical? Geometry varies a lot in bikes, especially in terms of bb drop and wheelbase. these factors can affect the handling and make some bikes better than others for certain terrain. you might also consider whether it'll be used a lot on the road or on trails.
3) Which local shop will give you the best service? Maybe you're a DIY guy and don't need any service, but this is often a big factor in a satisfactory purchase.
Some other brands to consider that folks haven't mentioned that have affordable entry-level cx bikes are redline, bianchi, raleigh, and giant. The first three have advertised with CXM.
Drewbyrd - Giant has some very big cx bikes if I remember correctly - check them out. Given that you're taller than Treefarm and Wicks, and they have their frames custom made, I don't know if the biggest Kona will fit you.
Jacob-No reviews on the Motobecanes. I think they'd be a safe bet as long as the geometry looks right. Since all I've seen is mail order, you'd have to be a DIY guy to take adjustments/repairs (unless you've got a ton of dinero.
Redline Conquest I got one new for less than 1k last fall. 105/Tiagra. I raced it all season with zero problems. The Kona Jake was alson in that price range, but the wheels were not as nice as the Redline. The Redline also fit me better,
Nothing wrong with the Kona series. A couple big name riders, both guys and gals ride those and ..ahem...do quite well. Also, consider materials. The Surly Cross Check is a solid bike and has the classic steel feel. It fits 130 and 135 rear hubs with its 132.5 rear spacing too. It is a bit heavier, but won't knock your fillings out like a light aluminum bike. Also check standover as mentioned above. With the bottom bracket higher on cross bikes, the seat tube will not be the same as your road bike, but look at standover and also TT length as mentioned above. Good luck and welcome!!