New to the forum here! I'm interested in getting a competition-ready new CX bike in the $1250-1750 USD range. In truth, this bike will be used mostly as a commuter with a fair amount of use in the rain (I'm in Seattle), so the ability to mount fenders would be nice, although I don't plan on mounting a rack. However, I would like to be able to take my bike into the trails and mud on occasion and am also contemplating dipping into cyclocross racing in the near future. I'm essentially looking for the best performing bike I can get in my price range, so aluminum frame + carbon fork rather than steel, although ride comfort and geometry do still factor into "performance"
At the top of my list right now are the Cannondale CAADX and Ridley X-Ride series. However, I've also started to fall in love with the look of the Masi CXR Comp. There doesn't seem to be much written on Masi cyclocross bikes online, but from what I've found, it seems like they were historically known for their frames. It looks like you pay a bit of a premium for similarly spec'd 105 drivetrains, but I'm willing to pay that if the quality is at least comparable and I love the lock rather than like it.
With that in mind, I was wondering if anyone has experience with Masi CX bikes (particularly the CXR Comp) and what their thoughts are. Additional suggestions for buying a first cyclocross bike are appreciated!