CX Bike

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mogwaiboi
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CX Bike

Postby mogwaiboi » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:51 pm

Hi All

I'm looking to buy an entry level CX bike to add to the stable in the next month or so. I'm keen to explore some dirt / gravel tracks and have an alternative to road riding. I've narrowed it down to the Giant TCX SLR 2 ($1900) and Cannondale CAADX 105 ($2200). They both have TRP mech disc brakes which I have read mostly good things about. Does anyone here have experience with those specific brakes? I'm not so keen on spending more on a full 105 hydraulic groupset as those bulbous 105 hoods look like they would be uncomfortable, and I have read plenty of things saying exactly that. Also think I would be happy enough with standard 105 as long as it had a 32 on the back for any steep dirt action, but curious to know if anyone thinks it's worthwhile going to the next level up for SRAM Apex or Rival 1? Any other brands/models I should consider?
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cyclotaur
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Re: CX Bike

Postby cyclotaur » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:23 pm

CAADX 105 has been a good bike for me, though I have an older non-disc version.

Newer 11-sp 105 (which I have on another bike) is great and I personally wouldn't pay more for SRAM Apex.
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familyguy
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Re: CX Bike

Postby familyguy » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:32 pm

Can't comment on the brakes, but on running gear the 105 goes plenty well for road. I've got two bikes with 105 (5700 and 5800), two with Force. The Force is a step up, but I don't reckon the Rival stuff was (from short time I used it and my memory). I'd certainly go 105 over Apex and Rival unless they've smartened it up lately. You could get the 1x11 for Rival, but gearing is a whole other issue.

My Alan CX runs Centaur with a Tiagra compact crank, but it's got canti brakes.

Second hand you'd get some screaming deals now surely? But only if that floats your boat.

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Re: CX Bike

Postby lone rider » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:11 pm

Ive got a CX bike with canti brakes with 105 and wouldnt bother with any higher level groupset. You will probably surprise yourself where your travels on a CX end up taking you, any goat track looking path soon becomes a cycling route, your drive train will get covered in crap and possibly collect the odd stick, better off having nice priced parts if they need replacing.

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mogwaiboi
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Re: CX Bike

Postby mogwaiboi » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:37 pm

Yeah I think if I spent too much on a CX bike I'd be too precious about it getting dirty or damaged, so what's the point!
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Thoglette
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Re: CX Bike

Postby Thoglette » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:56 pm

mogwaiboi wrote: I'm keen to explore some dirt / gravel tracks and have an alternative to road riding.


Theoretically* you want a "gravel grinder". Halfway between a CX bike and a tourer.

Frankly, anything that can fit 35mm tyres will do nicely, with some file profile tyres (unless you're expecting mud or wet grass_)

*I'm so old I remember a time when there were just three types of bikes. BMX, MTB and Road.
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Re: CX Bike

Postby koshari » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:57 pm

Thoglette wrote:Theoretically* you want a "gravel grinder". Halfway between a CX bike and a tourer.

Frankly, anything that can fit 35mm tyres will do nicely, with some file profile tyres (unless you're expecting mud or wet grass_)



I pretty much set up my own "gravel grinder" by putting drops, 35mm tires and a compact double on my old giant CRX.
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Re: CX Bike

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:26 pm

TRP Spyre brakes?

Doing the job nicely for me on 4600 brifters. EDIT, steel road frame.
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limetang
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Re: CX Bike

Postby limetang » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:07 am

The TRP Spyres on my 2014 TCX were frankly very average.
Even when the shop swapped out the rotors to SRAM centreline for free, the braking was still worse than Sora rim brakes!

They are ok for me now, but I have installed Ice-tech rotors and metallic pads. Good enough to do the job but if I could get hydraulic for a few hundred more I would.

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Re: CX Bike

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:49 am

With your budget, I would classify it closer to mid-range as there are a heap of budget CX style bikes coming onto the market.

A CX / Gravel style bike that has caught my eye is the Niner RLT 9. Unfortunately the complete bikes are a bit out of budget (with the Australia Tax) - but they are great eye candy.

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mogwaiboi
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Re: CX Bike

Postby mogwaiboi » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:34 am

AUbicycles wrote:With your budget, I would classify it closer to mid-range as there are a heap of budget CX style bikes coming onto the market.

A CX / Gravel style bike that has caught my eye is the Niner RLT 9. Unfortunately the complete bikes are a bit out of budget (with the Australia Tax) - but they are great eye candy.

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Yes I quite like the Niner bikes. I'll have to go and see them in the flesh :D
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Re: CX Bike

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:57 am

Look up Rowny Sports. Based in Sydney - near Mascot it is MTB focussed (Niner were a 29" MTB pioneer brand) so the CX is just a drop in the water - but through them you can also see if there is a dealer close by to you.

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Re: CX Bike

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:07 am

AUbicycles wrote:A CX / Gravel style bike that has caught my eye is the Niner RLT 9.


Trust me...is good. Especially now the frame has thru-axles. Responds really really well to a laterally stiff wheelset too.
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Re: CX Bike

Postby baabaa » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:16 am

All City and On-One do good budget cx bikes with plenty of single speed options. (SS is such a good option if you ride in mud or sand and hate cleaning drive train; also a really good way to learn how to cx and a good way to get about on single or double track) Soma are worth a look. No budget, get a Ritchey swiss cross

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Re: CX Bike

Postby daft1024 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:36 pm

I've got a cheap Jamis CX bike and one of the bigger issues is its limit to 35mm tyres. Totally fine for CX racing but gravel grinding/single track has me wanting something with fat bags on a number of occasions. Something with the ability to take 40 mm tyres would definitely be on my shopping list if looking again.

I've read online that the TCX can fit 40's not sure of CAADX.

Don't forget that many get CX bikes to try as the N+ 1 bike meaning plenty of secondhand low km options. There is a tasty rival spec Focus Mares CX on FB Bicycle Market in Ringwood for $2.4K. Pretty good value for full carbon and hydro brakes. I think the Mares can take fat 40's as well :-)

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mogwaiboi
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Re: CX Bike

Postby mogwaiboi » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:41 pm

daft1024 wrote:I've got a cheap Jamis CX bike and one of the bigger issues is its limit to 35mm tyres. Totally fine for CX racing but gravel grinding/single track has me wanting something with fat bags on a number of occasions. Something with the ability to take 40 mm tyres would definitely be on my shopping list if looking again.

I've read online that the TCX can fit 40's not sure of CAADX.

Don't forget that many get CX bikes to try as the N+ 1 bike meaning plenty of secondhand low km options. There is a tasty rival spec Focus Mares CX on FB Bicycle Market in Ringwood for $2.4K. Pretty good value for full carbon and hydro brakes. I think the Mares can take fat 40's as well :-)


From what I've read the CAADX is limited to 35mm tyres, so that's a positive for the TCX.
I've kept an eye on FB for second hand bikes but being 172cm I need a small in most brands, and I haven't seen that many small frames pop up.
In search of up - Hells 500

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Re: CX Bike

Postby macca33 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:14 pm

Don't discount the Focus Mares CX - fantastic CX and all-round rig.
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Re: CX Bike

Postby daft1024 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:26 pm

mogwaiboi wrote:From what I've read the CAADX is limited to 35mm tyres, so that's a positive for the TCX.
I've kept an eye on FB for second hand bikes but being 172cm I need a small in most brands, and I haven't seen that many small frames pop up.


I'm just partial to the Mares - the paint on them is pretty cool.

The TCX seems to be a great choice as well - I see plenty around - they seem to have a strong rep and cable brakes can always be replaced with HY/RD's.

Another option might be the GT Grade - according to the web (so it must be true) it can take 38's and comes with Rival spec hydro brakes. I've never seen one in the flesh though.

Keep in mind that the gain ratio on a 40/32 1x setup (2.6) is not quite as low as a that on a standard road compact 34/28 (2.4). Looking at the SLR2 spec it seems to come with a 36/46 CX chainset and 11-28 which would have the same gain ratio as the GT Grade (2.6).

I've got a road compact (34/50) 12-30 setup on my CX (2.3 gain) and I'm pushing up some pinch hills. Some of that is lack of traction and lack of skills though. I'd like to try a 32 cassette (for a 2.1 gain), but I don't mind running up a few hills.

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mogwaiboi
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Re: CX Bike

Postby mogwaiboi » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:25 pm

daft1024 wrote:
I'm just partial to the Mares - the paint on them is pretty cool.

The TCX seems to be a great choice as well - I see plenty around - they seem to have a strong rep and cable brakes can always be replaced with HY/RD's.

Another option might be the GT Grade - according to the web (so it must be true) it can take 38's and comes with Rival spec hydro brakes. I've never seen one in the flesh though.

Keep in mind that the gain ratio on a 40/32 1x setup (2.6) is not quite as low as a that on a standard road compact 34/28 (2.4). Looking at the SLR2 spec it seems to come with a 36/46 CX chainset and 11-28 which would have the same gain ratio as the GT Grade (2.6).

I've got a road compact (34/50) 12-30 setup on my CX (2.3 gain) and I'm pushing up some pinch hills. Some of that is lack of traction and lack of skills though. I'd like to try a 32 cassette (for a 2.1 gain), but I don't mind running up a few hills.



Yes if I got the TCX I'd definitely ask for a medium cage RD and a 32 tooth cassette.
I've always liked the Mares as well but the 2017 105 model has the bulbous hoods which I'm not interested in. If I could pick up a 2016 I'd be happy but not many of them left by the looks of it. I've never been much of a Giant fan to tell the truth but they are obliviously good value and have a solid reputation. The GT Grade gets some good reviews, I think if I had the 1x setup I'd want 36/32 as well.
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Re: CX Bike

Postby Rex » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:03 pm

I'm in the same boat here... looking to get into CX next year so scouting for my first CX-focused bike.
Definitely in the 2nd hand market as my budget is lower at around $1500.

I would have one by now but I'm having trouble with sizing.
I'm 193cm tall and run a 58cm road bike. Problem is it seems most on the market are 54cm or 56cm.

Does geometry size carry across to CX bikes about the same?

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Re: CX Bike

Postby daft1024 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:08 pm

Rex wrote:I would have one by now but I'm having trouble with sizing.
I'm 193cm tall and run a 58cm road bike. Problem is it seems most on the market are 54cm or 56cm.


On the QLD cyclocross FB group there is a guy selling a 58 tt Felt F1x frame for $800 (full carbon frame, fork h/bars, bb, crankset and stem), or $1700 complete (105, carbon Roval/DT Swiss rims, thudbuster etc).

The F1x is a CX race bike so probably wouldn't fit fat tyres (like 40s) but would still ride pretty nicely I'd say due to carbon frame. The specs on this frame though is pretty impressive. The carbon layup on these are really really nice.

I bought something from the same vendor a while back and he was a tall fella. Might we worth signing up to QLD cyclocross FB?

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Re: CX Bike

Postby Rex » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:39 pm

Thanks for that daft1024, I'll hunt it down and have a look at the details.
Sounds exactly what I'm looking for.

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Re: CX Bike

Postby Rex » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:47 pm

daft1024 wrote:On the QLD cyclocross FB group there is a guy selling a 58 tt Felt F1x frame for $800 (full carbon frame, fork h/bars, bb, crankset and stem), or $1700 complete (105, carbon Roval/DT Swiss rims, thudbuster etc).


Can't seem to find it.
Do me a favour and PM me a link?

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Re: CX Bike

Postby daft1024 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:46 pm

Rex wrote:Can't seem to find it.
Do me a favour and PM me a link?


Done!

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Re: CX Bike

Postby Bentnose » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:06 pm

My Cube Cross Race Disc easily takes 40mm tyres, nice 26/36 low gear as well. I bought a 59cm CX bike, normally take a 56cm road bike, it is actually very similar in all dimension to my roadie just has a slightly shorter reach.
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