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I'm hopping someone here can share some experience.  I am looking to get my first cross bike.  I think it will make a great all round bike for me.

I have been looking at 1 on bikes direct Motobecane Fantom Cross Outlaw but there is not much info out there about bikes direct.  It seems to be good and really the only CX bike out there at a descent price with disk brakes.  

Anyone have any thoughts on this bike or other great starter bikes around 1G or less?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/outlaw.htm

 Road Bikes - Motobecane Fantom Cross Outlaw Track 2010 Track Bike

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Moto B's - haven't bought one but I've spent many hours searching forums & thinking about buying one, riding it for a season, swaping the parts over to a sexy "dream frame" & selling the MotoB frame on ebay (search MotoB frames on ebay  - this isn't a new idea).  The short of my time on forums is if you are a competent mechanic they really aren't bad bikes.   The only down side to a MotoB is fitting - it might not be the right geometry and you'll spend $200+ on a fitting and stems, bars, seats, etc...

 

For a good deal (parts mix + frame quality) I would also consider a Fuji Cross Pro from Performance Bikes - wait for a 10-20% off coupon. 

One more thought: I raced my first 4 full seasons of cross in the Oregon rain and mudd (30+ races in all & 3000+ road miles) on a base model Canondale w/ Tiagra / 105 groupo.  I kept it clean, greased, etc & never really had any problems...  If you keep that bike clean it should give you years of good fun. 

Looking at the MotoB specs - I would only change out the tires for Michelin Mud 2's if you are going to race CX.  For road get the Conti Gatorskins in a 28 (or the largest size they make).      

Hi Dave,

 

If I can offer you my humble two cents, I don't think you need disc brakes for your first 'cross bike. They're all the rage right now, having just been approved for competition by the UCI, but certainly not necessary for a first 'cross bike. In fact, by adding them, you might be unknowingly making sacrifices in other areas of the componentry. Since disc brakes cost more than canti's (typically), the manufacturer will often skimp on other parts to justify that additional cost. Additionally, the hubs and wheels of price point bikes (like the MotoB pictured above) are spec'd with heavier hubs and wheels (critical places for weight) than you'd find on a non-disc bike.

 

To be sure, there is a place for disc brakes in cyclocross. I'm all for technology when applied in a way that benefits performance. However, speaking as someone who just completed a season on a bike with canti brakes that performed more than adequately for someone of my ability level, I would suggest that you start there and work your way toward discs in the future. 

 

Oh, and my 'cross bike is my all-around training bike as well. It's already heavier than most road bikes, so when I'm riding with my buddies here locally, I'm glad that it doesn't carry the additional weight of disc brakes.

 

Hope that helps.

Thanks for the feedback!

I really am a noob and just getting back into this from way to long off.  My old specialized Stumpjumper MTB has thumb shifters, no shocks, and old school brakes.   Anything would be an upgrade :)

I didn't realize the hubs and wheels would be that much heavier.  I do pull the kids in the chariot 2-3 times a week so I wouldn't mind the stopping power of the disk but I also want something to heavy. Pulling 2 kids, books, toys, etc in the chariot on my MTB is more of a workout and not the kind I am looking for.

 

My other MotoB choice is below.  Is there much of a difference?  Is it worth giving up the disc and spending $100.00 more?  I don't see to much of a difference with my untrained eye.  My wife told me to buy a Ridley yesterday at the LBS cause it was "pretty".   Guess I have the go ahead to spend "more".  Would it be worth it to buy something like that?  Can I add disc brakes later?

 

PS:  this forum rocks!  Everyone is so helpful.  Can't wait to make a purchase no matter what it is.

Yes, the bike above without the discs is, in my opinion, a much nicer and more performance oriented machine. I think you'll also be pleased with the performance and durability of the SRAM Rival over the Shimano Tiagra.

As others have stated, don't sweat discs for 'cross. In fact, you'd be in the minority there.

I'll second checking out Performance for the Fuji Cross Pro. It's a screaming deal and I like mine (I got it back in October). Also, check out the entry level Focus cross bike at Performance. Under $1000. Yeah it's got Tiagra but honestly, my monstercrosser with Tiagra shifts nicer than the Fuji Cross Pro with SRAM Rival (But I like the SRAM hoods much better). The Focus bikes are quite nice.

If you are handy with a wrench and can figure out most of your fitting, then the MotoB's are a good deal (general school of thought is that thier frames arre old Fuji frames, but I can not confirm this). And no it won't hold you back - one of the local guys in our series runs a Motobecane and is in the top of the B's.

 

I have experimented with discs and I go back to the cantis each time.  I just don't like the feel or weight of mechanical discs.  I wish I could stop better when riding my 'cross bike like a MTB on weekends, but have never wished for better brakes during a cx race.  Cantis are fine.

 

I agree with Jason, I'd go for the SRAM rival MotoB over any frame with Tiagra.  2 of my teammates have that MotoB frame and it is pretty nice.

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