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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at getting a new bike this summer, I have a POS that I picked up at Target a few years back before I realized I would actually love riding and of course have put more money into the up keep than the stupid thing cost in the first place..:rolleyes: I was looking at a cyclocross frame because the guy at the LBS said I can switch out the wheels so I can ride the dirt roads back to the lake but be able to switch them out for road riding as well. I know I will be riding at least 3x a week back to the lake when it's warm enough and probably twice as much on paved roads. My only real concern is that what I really like doing are longer stretches on pavement (ok, long to me which at the moment is only about 30 miles), but since I can only afford one bike right now it has to kind of be a multitasker unless I keep riding my POS out the the lake.:confused: I'm leaning towards the Cannondale cyclocross 5, any thoughts on if this is a good idea or not? FWIW, I am only going to buy something that's made in the US so my options are a little limited by the USA only and staying under $1600.
 

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Big is relative
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If I could only afford one bicycle, it would be a cross bike. It is 90% of a road bike with room for fenders, usually has eyelets for a rack, and can fit larger tires. Many road bikes won't fit anything larger than a 25mm tire and unless you are racing, skinnier tires don't do anything for you. With a cross bike you can run 28mm or larger tires that roll well and don't beat you up on rough roads.
 

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Formosan Cyclocross
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There are no cyclocross races where I live, but I built up a CX frame (with disc brakes "gasp!"). I use it for a variety of purposes. I do short urban commutes. I do mountain roads and jungle cross roads. I do groups rides with my LBS (Mainly Italian Race Bikes). I also use it as a slightly overbuilt Roubaix style road bike for long rides on pavement and rough pavement.

I wanted light, nimble, shoulderable, fat tire-thin tire, hill bike... and I as scared to death that I'd get a harsh bike or a bike too heavy in hot weather climbs or or or ...

I got the Salsa Las Cruces frame on close out because I wanted to try the scandium route and disc brakes and it came with a carbon fork. The second part was the fight for good wheel.. I built DT RR1.1 around Chris King hubs with DT spokes and brass nipples.
I run 25c Conti GP4000S on road rides and Michelin CX Jets on bad roads and Michelin Mud 2 on really bad roads.

The combination of frame with wheels seems to have done the trick and I can ride it on century rides win comfort and I can ride on bumpy mountain roads without fear.

I often finish rides thinking I can't believe it all works better than I hoped because of all that could have gone wrong. I ordered online without a trial ride and the sizing was a question. My LBS had never done a CX bike. King Hubs were hard to find. My builder had his own point of view with gearing. The wheels were built wrong as they had never seen disc brakes on a "road bike".

Totally satisfied with my bike for what it is for. You can check my gallery for what I use it for.

I might suggest the Salsa La Cruz as an option. I don't know where it was welded (probably Taiwan... but I am partial to Taiwan and the factory that does steel welding there is quite good), but Salsa is in USA.
 

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There's plenty of CX here near Portland but I have no intention of doing it either. I'm 10+ miles from work and a couple up a gravel road, so when I started looking at bikes after not having one for 20+ years that's the direction I went.
I absolutely love my Pini and feel very comfortable using it it in different conditions. I'm on pavement way more than mud and such so I think your logic is sound.
Good luck in your choice!
 

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haole from the mainland
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I bought a LeMond Poprad specifically for use as a commuter. I wanted to be able to mount fenders and a rear rack, which is something a lot of 'cross bikes are able to do.

Truth be told, I do like the geometry and ride of my road bike better for real road riding.
 

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Cross bikes are awesome. Favorite bike I've ever owned was a Gunnar Crosshairs, and it did everything from singletrack to fast road rides. You can't go wrong with one.
 

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Pinarello = Explode!
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There isnt very much actually made in the US these days, or EU for that matter. The only I can think of are customs/semicustoms and Trek oclv. I heard its all made in taiwan these days.
 

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longcat said:
There isnt very much actually made in the US these days, or EU for that matter. The only I can think of are customs/semicustoms and Trek oclv. I heard its all made in taiwan these days.
Gunnars are made in Waterford, Wisconsin. I heard that Waterfords are made there too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replys, I'm glad that I'm heading in the right direction. I never really thought about building one myself (or having the shop build it) but that's a great idea to. FWIW, I've found that Gunner, Cannondale, Serrotta and Seven are made here as well as some little custom place out west that I can't remember the name of. I don't know if the last two even do cyclocross, but they are made here for anyone that is interested. :thumbsup:
 

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Caren said:
I was looking at a cyclocross frame because the guy at the LBS said I can switch out the wheels so I can ride the dirt roads back to the lake but be able to switch them out for road riding as well.
Nothing wrong with the cyclocross frame idea, but any road frame with enough clearance for larger tires will do that for you as well. As for not using a special-purpose bike for that special purpose, don't give it another thought. The vast majority of all high-end racing bikes sold in the U.S. are never raced. :)
 

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Formosan Cyclocross
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" I've found that Gunner, Cannondale, Serrotta and Seven are made here as well as some little custom place out west that I can't remember the name of. I don't know if the last two even do cyclocross, but they are made here for anyone that is interested."

It looks like you are going to be closer to the first two. Seven makes some very nice bikes and right now you can get on one for the special low price of $3300. That's an awesome deal for a full bike, but far from your $1600.

Any reason why they have to be US built and not just US owned?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well without a big discussion on the trade deficit I would much rather support a company that employs american workers than doesn't. Even if it's a USA company but they are making things elsewhere I would rather support a foreign based company that makes things stateside. Kind of like the big three auto companies making everything in Mexico and Canada vs. Toyota making almost every single care here in the US. One is a US company, one employs far more US workers. I am a small business owner myself and worked for over a year to source all of the components of my product from US based and produced companies and do everything I can to support the same with my purchasing power.

Off my soap box, I knew the other two were out of my price range for awhile still, but they sure are nice to look at for now!
 

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Home Brew User!
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Get a cross bike with wheels built for cross and never look back.

Great all around ride and will fell like a Fn Rocket compared to what you ride now.
 

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I got my cross bike because I wanted a road bike that would not be limited to only paved surfaces. I told people that I had no plans of racing cross last year. Well, I showed up to a race to spectate, and do a lap of the course. It was enough to convince me to enter the next race. Good times. I plan to do some more cross races.

Regardless of racing though, I still love the versatility the bike offers.
 

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I have a cross bike made up as a commuter. I commute about 20 miles round trip and take all my clothes, etc in bags on the bike. I like the higher bottom bracket and the cross brakes (Paul's are great). But, keep in mind a cross bike has quicker steering than a standard road bike. Also, mine does not like to be loaded up, when I pack my bags too full it groans and complains. I won't trade it out, but if I had it to do over again, I would get a commuter bike more like a touring bike than a cyclo cross.
 

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for riding on the road and riding on the dirt, you can't go wrong. They're fantastic.

However, I just started racing road, and a cross bike handles much differently than a road bike. But if you're not going to be competing you won't notice the difference.
 

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Caren said:
well without a big discussion on the trade deficit I would much rather support a company that employs american workers than doesn't. Even if it's a USA company but they are making things elsewhere I would rather support a foreign based company that makes things stateside. Kind of like the big three auto companies making everything in Mexico and Canada vs. Toyota making almost every single care here in the US. One is a US company, one employs far more US workers. I am a small business owner myself and worked for over a year to source all of the components of my product from US based and produced companies and do everything I can to support the same with my purchasing power.

Off my soap box, I knew the other two were out of my price range for awhile still, but they sure are nice to look at for now!
Thank you for putting forth your point of view. If more Americans made at least an effort to support US products, perhaps our economy wouldn't be in the shape that it's in. But back to your point about cross bikes, for your intended purpose, a hybrid or touring bike may also fit your needs. Most cross bikes have gearing that is suited more torwards racing, a hybrid will usually have a triple crank, giving a much wider range of gears. They usually come with mountain bike style handlebars, but can easily be converted to road bars and shifters. Which ever route you choose, having and extra set of wheels will allow you to quickly change between the knobbies for off road and slicks for on road riding, so I would definitely put the extra wheels into the budget.
 

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Lost In OC said:
I have a cross bike made up as a commuter. I commute about 20 miles round trip and take all my clothes, etc in bags on the bike. I like the higher bottom bracket and the cross brakes (Paul's are great). But, keep in mind a cross bike has quicker steering than a standard road bike. Also, mine does not like to be loaded up, when I pack my bags too full it groans and complains. I won't trade it out, but if I had it to do over again, I would get a commuter bike more like a touring bike than a cyclo cross.
Two good points quietly made here. 1. Cross bikes generally are a little quicker – you’ll feel it in the steering input - more fun to ride as I see it. 2. IMO – spend money on good brakes – again, IMO cantilever brakes just do not work as well as a good set of side pulls.

As someone else mentioned if I only had one bike it would likely be a cross bike.

Sounds like you’ve earned a new machine. - hope you love whatever you pick.
 

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To echo the comments of others if I could only keep one bike it would be my cross bike. I have two sets of wheels: one with road tyres the other with CX tyres. Swapping between CX wheels and road wheels takes only a minute or two.

Since you have no plans to race I'd suggest finding a bike with disc brakes as the power and modulation is far better than any sidepull or canti brake and it will make swapping wheels (with different rim widths) and fitting fenders easier.

My bike is a Salsa which may or may not meet your requirements on employment / production - the parent company QBP is American owned and run (and employs a lot of staff) but the frames are Taiwanese made. Either way good-on-you for taking action on something you believe in :thumbsup:
 
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