First things first:
Hi, and thanks in advance for reading,
I am about to invest quite a lot of money on a CX bike (luckily I'm able to do it so, saved for quite some months).
I live in Berlin - Germany, and as you know, there are quite a lot of options around (CUBE, Focus, Raleigh (not sure if British or german), and also many other european ones (such as Bianchi, Fuji (some are done in Poland I believe), etc...)
I would like to know if there's somebody who could give me some advise in CX bike models. So far the one I'm liking the most is this model (British): http://www.boardmanbikes.com/cx/cx_pro.html
The bike looks just awesome, and the setup is quite what I'm looking for. Sadly I can only buy it online, and for that amount of money I'm not even taking the risk (I'd love to try it first, even if I can return it). Based on that model/price, could anybody give me some advise?
Last Dec I could put my hands in this CUBE model: http://www.cube.eu/road/off-road/cross-race/
The bike was bought online and I had to return it due to bad montage (reason why I'd love to skip any further online purchase)
Any feedback will be highly appreciated.
As for small info:
I'm newbie with CX, but I'd love to change that with a good CX machine. I do an average of ~1,5-2k Km/year (mainly on home-office daily route, hehe) and I can't wait in doing some serious tours in offroad.
Thanks for your time.
@CXmagazine: Your site is just awesome.
Welcome to the forum. It might be helpful to better understand what your previous issues were with the Cube and what you are looking to use the bike for (sounds like daily commuting/errands and some touring).
As for the Cube, not sure what you mean by "bad montage". Can you give a bit more detail? That isn't a phrase I am familiar with and the dictionary was no help in trying to provide context.
Some added context will go a long way to us being able to provide good input.
Are you open to used? It is the off-season so there are a lot of great deals out there.
I would stay away from generic (4130 crom-moly) steel frames (like All-City, Masi, Surly etc.) they are quite heavy. Surly is so popular, but the frames are nothing special
If you are set on steel, I love the Lemond Poprad with disc brakes - it is a fairly light (True Temper Platinum OX) and the steel frame that is extremely well built (in the USA) but unfortunately now discontinued by Trek. They show up on eBay sometimes but can be expensive (about $400 for just the frame); but worth it. If you build it up - look for Avid BB7 "ROAD version" disc brakes with 160mm rotors.
Higher end hydro-formed aluminum cyclocross frames are typically lighter than steel. My favorite is the Cannondale CAAD9 CX, but there are many others. I am 6'-2" and need a 60cm top-tube which is very hard to find, but the 60cm CAAD9 CX is a perfect fit.
If you really want lightweight than it will be carbon fiber. It is over your budget, but for my money this Willier Cross Carbon Complete Bike for $2000 (on sale) is the best deal out there: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/frame/2013-wilier-cross-carbon-sr...
I am sure you know, but make sure you get the correct frame size, especially the top-tube that fits. I recommend that people do your body measurements at these 2 free sites:
Wrench Science: https://www.wrenchscience.com/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fSecure%2fFit%... (you need to sign up for a password - still free) and Competitive Cyclist: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO
Then look at the averages between what these 2 sites spit out for your measurements should be for a ROAD bike and subtract 1cm from the top-tube dimension.
Then look for a cyclocross bike that lists the top-tube measurement, the seat tube isn't that important (even though that's how they list the sizes).
I think the first thing to establish is what are you using the bike for. Is it racing CX and nothing else? Or a bit of trail riding and the odd cx race, or bit of road, trail, cx race?
Ask ten people and you'll get ten answers re this, but here's my best shot. In my case, my cx race machines don't get used for any cx training or road riding as I have a separate cx bike for this, with a wider range of gears, very slightly more aggressive position etc and clincher tyres.....
If you're going to have a proper crack at cross in euro conditions, and assuming that the climate is similar in Berlin to the UK, then personally the decision is more if you are going to run one bike or two. If you are going to run one bike, Then you'll probably be best running something with disc brakes and high spec. Two bikes, best spec you can afford.
If the bug has really bitten then for me, a euro rider will pretty quickly want 2 bikes. Two alloy framed / rival equipped Specialized Crux, Scott CX Comps or similar on Dugasts with a willing pit monkey will give you a better race experience than one Carbon dream bike on discs and clinchers in most euro race conditions.
Of course, you could go really sophisticated and have two identical. One on discs, one on cantis. This gives you an option of using one disc bike for those races where it's muddy and you you either don't have or 100%need pit support....or the canti bike for the dry races. I'm not sure how I'd survive going into the first corner on a slick course on a disc bike after jumping off a canti bike though.....
Hope this helps as I've actually confused myself posting this!
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