Original offroad cycling
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
Long time listener first time caller.
I have been eyeing off the Drossiger CXA 3.1 www.merlincycles.com/drossiger-cxa31-cy ... 62352.html and the Genesis Croix de Fer frame set (Evans Cycles). Both options seem like excellent value. Any views / experiences with any of these bikes and in particular bought from these retailers would be much appreciated.
Not sure, what are you looking to use the bike for and are you restricted to mail order only? The Merlin Cycles price is competitive for the spec and price, but shipping adds quite a bit and for around the $1400 mark there are quite a few options in Australia that will be as well equipped, if not better - especially if you accept a 2013 model. I've seen a 2013 Merida with Ultegra for $1400 in Adelaide (but like lots of 2013 models only with cantilever brakes). The weight of the Merlin bike isn't particularly light (the sizes available won't be 10kgs) and the external cabling is a bit messy I think (compared to say a Norco Threshold or Focus Mares). But a Mares will be more like $1600. I know a Threshold A1 can be got for $1400 in a store and less online.
The Croix de Fer 2014 seems pricey for a Tiagra bike. Unless you really love steel. Also I'd say that any claim that it would be a good bike for multi day touring is somewhat misleading. Unless you do credit card touring. Invariably cyclocross frames won't have long enough chain stays to really locate a rear pannier AND big saddle bags without heal strike. Touring frames are longer in this area. I'd want to see the bike in the flesh if touring was my preferred option.
If you hold out for the new 2014 models coming in about the next 3 months you'll get 105 in 11 speed if that's a concern...
Of course getting the size you want might be an issue if you need smaller than a 54. I just bought a cyclocross bike the other day after looking and looking very intensively at every shop I could get into and there are lots of big sizes, but little below 54.
I've bought little things from Evans ands never had a problem. In fact I've never had a problem with any online retailers over the year that wasn't fixed up ASAP and to my total satisfaction. Looks like they use a safe a reliable method of shipping.
Thanks for the detailed reply. Purpose is mostly gravel / cross training away from pure road and MTB (plus I just want another bike!). I think the Merlin bike looks more like $1700 with customs but the spec still compares well given the mostly 105 groupo. But, your remarks re weight are well founded. I did have the chance to look at some well set-up cantis versus rather mushy Hayes (GX?) today so will keep my mind open to this option.
Yep the Genesis interest reflects my love of steel and I still do think a 725 frame and fork into the country for $825 looks ok.
I bought a Boardman CX Comp from wiggle ~3 years ago on specs alone. It is heavy, even after upgrading it to 105, but there was not a lot of choice regarding disc CXs at the time, I wanted one to commute on quite urgently and bikes in general were still really expensive in Oz because prices had yet to normalize post GFC. On the plus side it was 20% off due to a wiggle voucher code and got in under customs duty so was helluva cheap (even after upgrading from Sora to 105 10,000km or so later < $1500).
However, if I was to buy one again, I would look at my LBS and test ride etc. There are loads of disc break cross/gravel bikes now. A point I would make though is that 46/36 11-28 is a little highly geared for a gravel bike IMHO, awesome for racing, but from my experience can make steep dirt/rocky climbs difficult. I'd be looking at a bigger cassette on it (and even a smaller crankset) which seem to be the difference between CX and gravel bikes.
I'd add a couple of kg onto the quoted weight of the Drossinger ... and remember that some of that could be in the wheels which makes a massive difference to acceleration and climbing (especially with the higher gears). You cannot really tell that from the specs.
One thing also to consider is, IIRC, 105 hydro brakes are coming. Having just bought my first proper MTB which has hydros, I'd consider waiting. I've only got BB5 roads on my CX. They stop really well in the wet like they should, but have little finesse (although can be fixed on the roadside easily, so are great for commuting).
YMMV of course .
look locally, plenty of great deals at the moment.
i've just picked up a 2014 Norco Threshold A3 for under 1k, and a Sram Force 10spd groupset for it... cheaper than both the bikes you've listed too.
the A1 with 105 gear is going for a good price as mentioned above as well.
holding out for new 11spd/hydro 105 might be great, but it's not going to be in the $1500 range i would have thought?
i've not yet ridden the CX-5's on my Norco, but my road bike has Avid BB7's, they do the job fine. (although that said i want to upgrade cause i'm a weenie. , they may end up on the CX)
Designs by Mitch - drafting specialist.
I have seen the Lynskey CX frame & forks on CRC for some amazing prices for a Ti frame.
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mobi ... -prod86278
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
Looking at CRC, buying 105 shifters + BB7 roads vs RS658s looks to be ~$200 cheaper. So, yeah, probably not $1500, but would you get on the $200 extra slippery slope ...?
This is exactly the thing with bikes "Just a coupla hundred more" (repeat as necessary until your credit card cries 'no more!'). I originally intended to buy a Masi CX but there were only 56 and bigger available, which is just too big for me. I thought that the steel frame, cheaper components and circa $850 price tag made the Masi a great deal for my use (riding on the many dirt rounds starting at my front door). But no stock and all the dealers I spoke to said that they wouldn't be getting more, etc. The next cheapest options were the Norco Threshold A3, but I couldn't get one for less than $1150 in Adelaide, but for $250 more I could get a Threshold A1. I liked the Norco more than any of the old stock 2013 models and thought 'well I can't upgrade to 105 for $250 bucks.' Job done. But it is a slippery slope. Fortunately a somewhat muddy one in my case
However getting back to the original poster's query I would also recommend buying in a shop where you can test fit and really see if one size or another really is right based on what you intend doing with the bike, if the wheels really are good quality or not. I know that's really obvious advice, but I was surprised how strong my reactions were to specific models (positive and negative) when I actually saw them in the flesh versus on my computer.
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