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Hi...i'm new to this forum...my name is jordan and I am going to be around here for a while so I am going to enter with the question that everyone asks...what should I buy...and what do you think about these bikes...

I've ridden everything under 1500 that I can get my hands on except the cannondale cross

my favorites are
Fuji Cross pro '05...new with alex wheels

Surly cross-check new...'05 but I guess they have been the same forever...it has a mavic wheelset...

redline conquest disc, used with velomax wheels (http://cgi.ebay.com/2004-REDLINE-Co...ryZ98084QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

since I am new to the market...I am primarily concerned about the feel of the bike and the quality of the wheelset..it's primary duty will be a 20 mile commute in light traffic halfway and city traffic the other...with some fun trails thrown in on the weekend

the fuji and the surly were really nice rides...but the fuji's wheelset is crappy from the research I have done and I don't want to spend the extra money on the extra wheel set in the near future...the surly would be about 170 more expensive...after taxes...

I haven't been able to ride the redline...it's on ebay...but it seems like is put together with slightly better components and much better wheels...I am a newb so I could be talking out of my rear...

I welcome educated comments or simply thoughts on the subject...

thanks all
 

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Since this is your first time with a 'crosser, I would definitely recommend against buying anything you can't test ride; until you've lived with a bike for months and determined what suits you, you don't want to be relying on the specs an eBay seller provides. No matter how good a deal it seems to be, if it doesn't fit you it's no kind of deal at all.

I can't comment on the Surly or the Fuji--my experience is with VooDoo, Bianchi and Kona--but I'd say your instincts about the Alex wheels are good. I had a set that came on a Redline, and the seams were poorly joined, the finish was pretty rough and I ultimately had to rebuild them because the tensioning of the spokes was so bad they'd keep loosening during rides. (I use them now as a commuting wheelset, and they've served pretty well--I would never take them offroad again.)
 

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See if the LBS will cut you a deal on a wheel swap for the Fuji. Try to drive a hard bargain -- let them know you are prepared to shop elsewhere but would prefer the Fuji. You can probably swing that deal for the same price as the Surly you mentioned.
 

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If you have a Performance Bike shop nearby, you might want to check them out, for two possible reasons. 1. The ones near me now carry Redline bikes so you might be able to test ride one similar to the eBay model; 2. Last week I got an excellent deal on an Ultegra/Open-Pro wheel set ($150). If that sale price is available in your local store (I don't see it online) then that would let you replace the wheelset on the Fuji and stay close to the cost of the Surly.

-Neal
 

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best bet would be an aluminium bike that the shop lets you trade out the wheels for some standard ultegra or even 105 level hubs and Mavic box rims for maybe $100 extra. Rdeline, specialized, fuji, giant (I think) all make a nice bike in more or less this price range, you need to look at the fit considerations as a priority.

The Surly is an awfully heavy bike, but it has a following. I'd opt for something lighter myself.

Oh, and I'd steer clear of the 135 MM rear spacing unless you are sure that disk brakes are something you need and you don't need to be able to swap wheels with another road bike. The disks work very nicely in all conditions but the oddball wheels can be a pain if you have a bunch of road equipment already.
 

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I really liked the 05 Lemond I bought in late 2004. The True Temper frame is really nice for a bike in the price range. The components are a little lacking but that stuff can be replaced as it wears out. The key point was getting a good frame that can last you for years.
 
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