I ordered the Cooper about two weeks ago...scheduled for delivery tomorrow. I should have it built by the weekend. I'll let you know what I think after putting some miles on this weekend. So far..great service and price for ti. They've been building bikes since their days with Litespeed so I expect the quality to be good.
I've gotten a chance to put in about 7 hrs on the Cooper CX, and I couldn't be happier! I've taken it on pavement, single track, jeep roads, and climbed about 4800 ft this morning. The ride quality is excellent, craftsmanship is superb, asthetics of the matte finish looks great with the Easton 90 CX fork and rival groupo. The fit is great. No toe overlap. Just a nice stable ride. Granted I haven't raced it yet, but I've put it through the ringer over the last couple days. The only other crossbike I have to compare it to is the Redline...which wasn't a bad bike whatsoever, but the Cooper is definitely worth the extra few hundred bucks. I'm a lighter rider at 130 lbs so I can't say much about its stiffness for heavier riders, but I can't imagine it being a problem. If there's any concern about that, the Pro Cross with the Helix looks awesome and adds stiffness. I'm a self proclaimed bike snob with a Colnago 6/4 ti with rear carbon triangle road bike and and a Cannondale Slice carbon TT bike and the Cooper does not feel "entry level". The Redline felt "entry level". Having riden Dura Ace on my road bike and Sram Red on the TT, I am 100% happy with the Rival groupo. The ergonomics, crisp shifting, and braking on the Avid Shorty 6's are excellent. The Avids won't clear mud as well as TRPs, but I had no problem in the mud today. The braking is responsive. The only suggestion would be to put some Swiss Stop pads in right from the get go. I went with a 50/34 and 11/28 gearing...I know sounds a little weak, but the Wasatch Front/Back in SLC/ParkCity has some steep, technical sections that that are pretty tough so it's nice to have the option of some easy gearing. I have a pair of 9 yr old Mavics and new Ritchy Speedmax tires...for $18 bucks I was not expecting much, but I've been quite pleased on gravel, pavement, a little snow (at 9000 ft), and mud.
If you haven't hooked up with a salesman yet, ask for Don Erwin. My sales experience with Don was excellent. I have absolutely no regrets.
For the abuse bikes can go through, Ti just makes sense for a CX/commuter bike...just invest in a good lock. I look forward to many epic cross country rides on my Cooper.
I am considering the Cooper CX for a randonneering bike, 100-400 mile rides, since it has that long wheelbase. But I want a bike that is vertically compliant, flexible, so it planes well and is comfortable for my 170 lbs. A frame that is torsionally "stiff", but has the vertical softness of a Reynolds 531 frame set. Would you recommend it for this? Or should I get it with butted tubing?
Would you have any concern with hidden derailleur as well as brake cables coming to the top tube cable stops? A little concerned about the cables binding.
I would like to get one of these frames but need some advice on size. I am 5'6" and am not sure if I should get the xs or small. What do you think? How tall are you and how is the fit of your small frame. Thanks