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My experience is just watching a few races here in Bend, OR and I'm stoked to have the next two nationals. I'm in the market for my first CX bike. Being unemployed, I need it to be in the under $1200 range. I'm actually going to sell my car to get a bike. I do a ton of commuting and a fair bit of mt. biking too so would really like a versatile race-ready bike. To give you an idea of how up-to-speed I am, my current bike is a mid-90's Giant ATX 780 w/ a Softride suspension stem. Also don't want to be needing to do a ton of maintenance or repairs. That's where my ATX is at.... $50 here, $100 there. I want something that can handle abuse. Besides suggestions on CX bikes, I'm looking for the best places to obtain info (of course cxmagazine being at the top of that list). Thanks.

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There are some decent bikes out there for $1200, Redline Conquest comes to mind. You may want to look at the Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro. It's $999, comes with Ultegra components, and a compact crankset. You can use the extra $200 on a decent seat and pedals. It's got braze-ons for fenders and racks so you can use it as a daily rider as well.
Thanks for the response. You actually picked the two bikes at the top of my list currently too. I found a screaming deal on the Motobecane but no local shop carries it so haven't been able to test ride it. Have a hard time buying an untested product. Just curious, why did you choose the Pro model for the Motobecane and not for the Redline? What are the upgrades you get with the Pro models?
Cost is the main difference. I think the Conquest Pro or Team are great bikes but the Motobecane gets you Ultegra components for $999. I rode the Fantom Cross (which may have been discontinued), it has the same frame as the Pro, last all last fall and winter and it was a great bike. Really, the only thing you'll need to change is the Seat. The only downside is you don't get the LBS support for your bike, which can be helpful in getting things adjusted when you first get it.
I think Moto is Internet only now?

Had a friend here that bought one and it was such a piece of crap. It must have weighed 25lbs sparkling clean on a 48cm frame.

Check out the Van Dessels or Blues. Great bikes for not much coin.

Remember to check the front triangle clearance for your shoulders on 'cross frames. Some bikes (like the Giant thats in my profile picture) had such a small front triangle that I couldn't properly shoulder the bike on run-ups. VDs, Cannondales and Blues have great clearance for all sizes. ATMO.
Hmmm, you're the first person I've heard say Moto is crap. Now I really wish I could test ride them. Took out the Surly cross-check yesterday and didn't really care for it. Hate the shifter location at the bottom end of the bars and was not impressed with the brakes.

Don't think anyone here in Bend carries the Van Dessels or Blues but I will start researching them. Thanks for the advice. Great tip on the triangle clearance too, something I would not have thought of.
Single speed may be the way to go. You can't break too many parts since you don't have them on their.

Plus you can get a fast, durable, light complete bike new for less than $1k.

They are great to have, especially in a muddy race. I see friends ruin $200 derailleurs and get mud all over the place and can't ride, if you're on a a budget, go ss!
I'd actually love to race single speed, I just don't like the idea of commuting on a single speed and that is actually what I will be using the bike for mostly. Ah...if only money wasn't an issue, I'd have 6 bikes.


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