New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

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New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby benam80 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:32 pm

Hi all, looking at getting into the commute thing and figure I want to do it properly to remove any excuse for not riding.

It seems a cyclocross bike is the best bet and now I am just intrigued by the advent of disc brakes on CX bikes.

Therefore I think I am tossing up between the 2012 Kona Jake the Snake and Merida CX 4d.

I am a complete Noob so hopefully some knolwedgeable people can provide some good comparisons or Pros/Cons for both.

Thanks in advance.
Also if it affects it I will be fitting ether with rack and panniers and commuting 15-20km each way.
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by BNA » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:40 am

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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby silentbutdeadly » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:40 am

If you are commuting then the JTS or its even cheaper cousin, the Dew would be a better bet. Most cyclocross bikes don't have the right geometry to be comfortable commuters - they are often too short and twitchy to be comfortable.
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New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby benam80 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:05 pm

Also realised the Merida is about $500 cheaper, would anything on the kona justify it over the Merida ??
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby raistian » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:23 pm

I was actually looking at the Kona Jake the Snake last week - it would make an awesome commuter.

I've never seen the Merida in flesh, just checking it on their website. I'm leaning towards JTS more because of:
- cantilever brakes (simpler = better)
- internal cabling (i carry my bike upstairs)
- dark colour (don't like white for a commuter)
- rear rack/ pannier friendly

The worst part with JTS is the green paintjob - it's hard to find green gears to match it :)
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby simonn » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:19 pm

IMHO, If you are going to commute in the rain there is no comparison, go with disc brakes.

Maybe even consider the 3d to save some bananas. Tiagra is more than good enough for commuting. FWIW, my CX/commuter has sora and I've even raced it successfully :).

raistian wrote:cantilever brakes (simpler = better)


Although I generally adhere to the KISS principle, I have to disagree that anything other than disc brakes on commuter is better. They are heavier and make hills harder work to a degree, this has very little impact on the commute time though. Traffic lights etc have a much bigger impact. You do however wear out rims a lot slower and the pads are easier/quicker to change with discs, although, IME wear a little faster. Being able to stop in the rain is quite handy too :).
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby raistian » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:34 pm

simonn wrote:Being able to stop in the rain is quite handy too


Any brakes work in the wet. Before disc brakes people commute & got wet too.

IMO rider attitude is more important than the braking system:
(a) it's pouring so I ride slower OR
(b) it's pouring but I got disc brakes, no need to ride slower

I agree that disc brakes are mostly good but they need more owner's know-how. Most people don't know how to treat discs properly (greasy hands on disc, rubbing, bent etc). And most newbies don't commute when it rains period :) Weather resistance is something we all build over time :twisted:

Between the 2 bikes OP is looking at, 1 is disc the other canti. Easy decision if the OP's decision is based on brakes.
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby simonn » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:02 pm

I get what you are saying and to a large extent I agree with you, but sometimes you just need to drop the anchors quickly and you might have forgotten to regularly unnecessarily use your rim brakes to clear the water off etc.

raistian wrote:Most people don't know how to treat discs properly (greasy hands on disc, rubbing, bent etc).


Most people don't know how to treat rim brakes properly either. "My brakes are making a funny noise", "Errm, yeah the pads completely worn" etc.
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New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby benam80 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:52 pm

Thanks for the input , I am leaning towards Jake. I think learning to ride responsibly and being aware I should be fine with cantis's( thx for tip about clearing water :) ) I also prefer the black over white I think. Also as far as gear goes I'll just stick to black and white hehe and not worry about looking for green highlights eheheh.
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby AndrewBurns » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:23 pm

Assuming you know what size frame you need and have no intention of test riding them you can have a look at the Boardman CX bikes from wiggle:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/cyclocross-bikes/

I got the CX Pro which they currently have for $1520 which IMO is a steal (of course after you pay shipping and GST it will be more like $1800). The CX Team is cheaper still with SRAM Apex running gear, still very nice stuff.

Here's a photo of my CX commuter bike just because I like looking at it:

Image
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New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby benam80 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:10 pm

Thx @andrewburns that looks kinda neat. Would look o/s but cash flow a little tight so the 10% deposit no interest fortnightly payments from LBS is actually pretty attractive. As I can bundle all the kit I need( which is everything) so will probs end up going that way. They have offered a test ride so may do that tomorrow :)
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby queequeg » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:05 am

raistian wrote:
simonn wrote:Being able to stop in the rain is quite handy too


Any brakes work in the wet. Before disc brakes people commute & got wet too.

IMO rider attitude is more important than the braking system:
(a) it's pouring so I ride slower OR
(b) it's pouring but I got disc brakes, no need to ride slower

I agree that disc brakes are mostly good but they need more owner's know-how. Most people don't know how to treat discs properly (greasy hands on disc, rubbing, bent etc). And most newbies don't commute when it rains period :) Weather resistance is something we all build over time :twisted:

Between the 2 bikes OP is looking at, 1 is disc the other canti. Easy decision if the OP's decision is based on brakes.


I used to think that my V-Brakes and Calipers worked in the wet too, then I got a CX Commuter bike with Discs. What a difference! Yes, when riding in the wet you can ride slower (and I do, even with Discs). With non-Discs you can plan to brake much earlier than you would, which is all good and well until you need the brakes in an emergency and find that you get a delayed response when you squeeze the levers. The Discs give you back that delay, and when you do apply them they do not suffer from a reduction in braking performance in the wet (though they might squeal a bit!).

So, really it comes down to what the OP wants. As you say, if it is a choice between Discs & Cantis, it is pretty easy to choose the bike. I know when I chose my current commuter, the two "mandatory" items were Drop Bars & Disc Brakes (due to the all weather commuting).
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby simonn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:06 pm

Here's a photo of mine as a commuter

Image

Only ~$1000 landed.

More fun like this though:

Image
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby raistian » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:56 pm

simonn wrote:"My brakes are making a funny noise", "Errm, yeah the pads completely worn" etc.


People who've worn the pads and still not learning about maintenance deserve to get hurt :twisted: When you wear a component out you lost your "clueless newbie" license.

Grease/ oil on disc could happen waaay earlier, before wear and tear - something as innocent as: look, I have disc brakes *touches disc with grubby fingers* or my favorite: taking bike out of the car by pulling the disc :shock:

My suggestions are based on OP's being a newbie - not because I dislike disc brakes (2 out of my 3 bikes have disc brakes).

C'mon mate, decide already so we can see pictures of your new ride :)
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby benam80 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:38 pm

Proposal is before the minister for finance. Hopefully approval lands and will be grabbing on Thurs/Fri next week.
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby raistian » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:59 pm

benam80 wrote:Proposal is before the minister for finance.


Pro tip: don't show her the second pic from the above post (the first pic is OK) when presenting your case :D.
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby jasonc » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:41 am

AndrewBurns wrote:Here's a photo of my CX commuter bike just because I like looking at it:

stop teasing me!
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New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby benam80 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:38 am

Hhmm more research having a look at the Cube cyclocross as well now. Looks kinda neat
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby panda1971 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:54 am

just a quick question, what sort of mud guards are they on the boardmans, ive been searching but i can only find ones for a 23c x 700 tyre
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby AndrewBurns » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:04 pm

The ones on mine are SKS chromoplastic P45's. They're good for up to 37C tyres but I'm only running 28's so they're a bit too big (keep me dry anyway).
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby panda1971 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:08 pm

AndrewBurns wrote:The ones on mine are SKS chromoplastic P45's. They're good for up to 37C tyres but I'm only running 28's so they're a bit too big (keep me dry anyway).

cheers thanks andrew
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby benam80 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:55 pm

Looking at this

http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bicycles ... /102068969

Doesnt have mounts for rack but thinking a Seat post mount rack with a quick release could be cool.


Specs seem nice and I like the look of it heheh.

Any thoughts?
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby panda1971 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:09 pm

do you know what size you need? as i know of a merida cross 4 disc for half that price but its the 2011 model
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New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby benam80 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:36 pm

Have to double check I'm 6ft tall but unsure. Can find out tomorrow :)
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby panda1971 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:44 pm

benam80 wrote:Have to double check I'm 6ft tall but unsure. Can find out tomorrow :)

my guess is a 55, in merida, this one is a 52, tt of 535 and seat tube of 520
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Re: New Commuter , Merida Cyclocross 4d vs Kona JTS

Postby Mugglechops » Tue May 01, 2012 9:30 pm

I have the merida cx4 and just clocked up 7000kms on it today. If your heavy you will need to keep an eye on the wheels. First back wheel lasted 4200kms and second was 2000kms.

Apart from that its been great. If I was buying again I would get the boardman or a specialized crux.
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