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I've been riding road and mountain bikes for a long time. Before kids I had more space to store multiple bikes. Now I'm realizing that a cross bike is the most versatile bike one can buy.

 

I intend to use the bike primarily for commuting, but would also like to change the tires on it and go road riding with my roadie friends. I've also looked up the local race calendar and might enter a novice category race or two to see what the experience is like.

 

Because I want to use the bike for commuting I really would like eyelets for racks and fenders, which I think rules out the higher end cross bikes.

 

I've also read about toe clip overlap and wondering if this is more prevalent with certain frames, or is it more related to the size of bike one rides.

 

Finally at 5' 9" my best frame size for the road is either a 53 cm or 54 cm, and 17" for MTB riding. What size would you recommend in a cross bike, would it be the same as my road size? 

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@5'9", a 54 would be too big. A 52cm is probably the way to go for you.
Don't worry about toe overlap either. Sure it happens, but it's a rare thing. I can't remember the last time I scuffed my toe on the front tire.

Check out the Motobecane Fantom Pro @ www.bikesdirect.com
$999 for Rival and it has mounts for racks.

I just built one for a client, and it's pretty nice for the $.
Thanks Mark.

Ironically I was looking at that bike as it seemed to be good value.
I recomend a pre ride. I purchased sight unseen from performance and I get the pedal overlap. I have tried to adjust my cleats, this only helps a little. My road bike is a 55 jamis aurora, the cross bike I have is scattant 54, this bike is too small for me.
Doesn't everyone have toe overlap? I freaked out when I got my bike, I thought the overlap would kill me, but I never notice it.

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