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Discussion Starter #1
Dear all,

after years of riding only mountain bikes, I am thinking to come back on-road. However, I´d like to change my old GT aluminium frame (basically because it never really fit me). I want to go for steel, and Gunnar seems quite a good choice given the value-for-money-ratio?! But which one to choose?! First, I have no intention to race and I´m not a weight-weenie, which means I don´t care for 200g more or less. On the other hand, I want a bike that is fast and response, and offers enough comfort for long long rides... So here I am, looking at the Roadie, Sport or maybe even Crosshairs, and I just can´t decide! Unfortunately, I am living in Germany, and we don´t have a Gunnar dealer, so I can´t just give them all a try... So what do you think?

Cheers
 

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Crosshairs! Great all-around frameset that is light, plenty of tire clearance and has eyelets for fenders/racks for light touring. I had one for several years and it was great on and off-road. If you had only one bike, this would be a terrific choice.

Also, Gunnar/Waterford's customer service is top notch if you ever need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply. How comfortable is the crosshairs for long rides? i could imagine that cyclecross bikes are stiffer and therefore less comfortable than a "real" road bike?
 

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Sport if you'll be on paved roads only. Crosshairs or Fast Lane if there might be gravel or dirt. The Fast Lane is basically an updated version of the Crosshairs.

From the Gunnar site:
We started with our proven CrossHairs steering: bigger tires get you stable steering for commuting and medium touring, while skinnier tires make steering more responsive for club rides. Our proprietary chainstay mount is elegant and light-weight, yet strong enough to withstand the forces generated by a disc brake. Plus, it doesn’t interfere with racks or fenders. Add in rack and fender mounts, clearance for 40mm tires, and there’s not a lot the Fast Lane can’t do – centuries, commuting, light touring, cyclocross – you name it. You could even build it up as a rugged city bike with a flat bar, trigger shifters, and hydraulic brakes.
Sounds a lot like what you're looking for, doesn't it?
 

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I didn't find the bike stiff at all - alot will depend on the size tires that you use. I used 700x28 tires, which allowed me to use the bike on roads as well as smooth trails. They soaked up bumps well yet rolled smoothly. With a road racer, it can be more jarring due to more narrow, high pressure tires. Wider tires allow you to run them at lower pressure without the risk of pinch flats.

A good tire for all around riding is the Rivendell Rolly Poly (www.rivbike.com). Ride very nicely and despite their round profile, roll quickly. I heard that Andy Hampsten (7-Eleven racer that won the Giro d'Italia) uses them on his bike; he now has a Italy touring company and bicycle company.


I think the frame is well built and being steel, has some compliance for comfort. But it has good stiffness in the bottom bracket, as I used the bike to tow my kid's trail-a-bike (about 80lbs of kid and steel) on hilly terrain and it didn't flex so that the brakes would rub the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hi platypius,

how comfortable/aggressive is the crosshair? For the moment I don´t aim to go on gravel/dirt roads, but this is something that i could really get to like, so if I would not loose a lot of onroad ride qualitiy in the crosshair compared to sport/roadie, that might be a good choice...?!
 

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A cross bike (Gunnar or otherwise) will be more than capable on the road, especially with a lower BB drop like the Crosshairs has (70 drop is low for cross, but pretty average for a road bike). I race my cross bike in Cat 5 crits all the time and it isn't the bike that is holding me back. I had a Crosshairs for a short time and really liked it. It was plenty fast, light and very comfortable. Unfortunately I bent the rear dropout when the RD got stuck on an overshift. I had the frame repaired locally, but never fully trusted it. Should have sent it back to Gunnar, but instead sold it. I haven't done a side by side of the geometries, but I doubt you will find significant differences between the Sport and Crosshairs.
 

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Well obviously the Roadie.

Forget all the "well I might ride on...someday..." If you are going to drop a couple K buy what you want to do right now. I've made that mistake and invariably wished I had gone with my first choice.

I'm on my 8th season with my Roadie. Have done everything from fast group rides to centuries to multi-day tours to double centuries on it. Ridden it year round in all manner of conditions. I have some routes that cross short stretches on dirt roads and had very little trouble with regular 23 mm tires. You don't need a cross bike if you "might" occasionally ride some dirt. If at some point you do find you want to ride a LOT of dirt trails and such, then think about a second bike.

If you've already got the mtn bikes, go with a real road bike.
 

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Ride comfort is more a function of the tire pressure you CHOOSE to ride. Problem is, most people just blindly inflate their tires to rough riding pressures rather than experiment.

The Roadie will fit 26mm tires which are plenty fat enough for road riding at lower pressures or for heavier riders. Even a 23mm racing tire at the correct pressure can offer a comfortable ride so consider your body weight and experiment; you may find a racing frame like the Roadie is actually a comfortable yet fast ride.

The Sport fits even wider tires and fenders, with slightly more tame steering, but you can still ride fast and hard on it.

The Crosshairs can do it all.

If you plan on carrying a load or in need of fenders, get the Sport.

If you think you'll tackle dirt roads and there are a lot of them where you ride, then get the Crosshairs.

The Roadie is strictly a road machine, but don't be frightened by that. Gunnar wants to sell a lot of bikes, so the handling on this bike will be fine for even then newbie road rider.

Gunnar bikes are truly a great sleeper of a value.
 

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It all depends on your intended use. If you plan to just ride on roads, I would get the Sport or Roadie. The Sport will allow you to use larger tires (28 mm) and fenders as well as a rear rack. The Roadie is more of a pure road machine with no accommodations for fenders or larger tires. The Crosshairs is more versatile, allowing you to use even larger tires and canti brakes if you intend to ride on dirt roads and some trails.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
First of all thank you all for your replies! I guess I am slowly moving away from the sport for several reasons:

- no need for fenders/fatter tires or rack mount as I already got a cross check from surly build up as commuter...

- so crosshairs or roadie?! Let´s put it this way, assuming I get a crosshairs and build it up using the same light road equipment (except the brakes), what do I loose compared to the roadie build?! is it slower? More/less comfortable

Best,

Björn
 

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Hi Bjorn

My wife and I have ridden Gunnar Sports for 8 or 9 years now. Both of them are technically a little short in the seat tube for us, but that makes the more important top tube length match up.

She loves hers. It was briefly joined by an 09 Trek Madone, which she liked for about a month, then ended up selling. Amongst other things, the bottom bracket was too high, giving minimal stand-over and she's the sort of rider who appreciated her Gunnar's more practical standover height.

My Sport is possibly the best all round bike I've ever owned. I've used it for everything from grocery shopping - I hate to admit it, but being able to drop a shopping rack on it in a minute or two is great - to a criterium. Okay, the engine was pathetic, but the bike behaved impeccably.

Roadie or Crosshairs? If I remember correctly, there's a couple of degrees difference in seat tube angle between the two - that could affect your choice, well worth checking out. If I got another, would definitely be a Roadie for the snappier handling.

Whatever, you will get a really good frame. The welding on both of ours is excellent and they just feel good on the road. My wife was a novice road-rider when she got hers and took to it in a couple of miles.

Another good point - colours. Unlike the majority of off the peg, there is a choice of colour schemes. We got ours done in what was then called 'colour of the month' - hers was metallic light yellow, mine was in a yellow to red fade that you needed sunglasses to get close to. Last year, we treat our babies to a repaint and hers is now black cherry, mine's a mid-blue with a little sparkle to it plus white contrast panels.

Gunnar have just re-worked their website, last I looked it had a few glitches, but it'll have all the geometry details for the various models.

Me? I'd just get a Roadie - its geometry is pretty close to my custom build Bob Jackson from England. Go for your favourite mid-range drivetrain, whatever bars and saddle make you happy, and splash on some decent wheels.

Hope that helps

Dereck
 

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brettsportler said:
First of all thank you all for your replies! I guess I am slowly moving away from the sport for several reasons:

- no need for fenders/fatter tires or rack mount as I already got a cross check from surly build up as commuter...

- so crosshairs or roadie?! Let´s put it this way, assuming I get a crosshairs and build it up using the same light road equipment (except the brakes), what do I loose compared to the roadie build?! is it slower? More/less comfortable

Best,

Björn
Your Cross Check would fill a similar role as the Crosshairs, so the Roadie is likely the direction you want to go.

I have owned a Crosshairs since 2001. My main bike is a Waterford 2200, which is similar in concept and execution to the Roadie. I bought the Crosshairs to use as a commuter/rain/fire trail bike. It has rack and fender eyelets and will take fairly fat tires. I have ridden a couple of centuries on it, and it's a comfortable bike and a decent climber. But probably 90% of my miles are on the Waterford, which is also comfy, somewhat lighter, and a better climber.

I spent a month riding a Waterford RS22, whose frame geometry is nearly identical to the Gunnar Sport. It was a loaner from the shop from whom I was buying the 2200. I was not happy with that bike. The long chainstays seemed to negatively affect the bike's climbing feel, and there was some noticable flex in the bottom bracket - at least I could make the chain rub on the derailleur cage at will. I can only speak to my experience, but I would not choose to buy an RS22 or the equivalent Gunnar model.

(just in case you weren't aware, Waterford and Gunnar are owned by the same folks)
 

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I've been riding my Sport for about a year and am quite pleased. It's a great all day bike and responds nicely to my input. I've been a fan of Gunnars and Waterfords since long before I worked at this shop (we sell them.) One of our customers has gone through a pretty impressive stable of bikes by anybody's standards and his favorite bike is a Gunnar Sport. He even had his customer carbon bike built to the same specs. Guess which one he still pulls out the most? You won't go wrong with any of the three above, my pic for you would be either the Sport or the Roadie with the Roadie getting the edge.

Bob
 

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brettsportler said:
First of all thank you all for your replies! I guess I am slowly moving away from the sport for several reasons:

- no need for fenders/fatter tires or rack mount as I already got a cross check from surly build up as commuter...

- so crosshairs or roadie?! Let´s put it this way, assuming I get a crosshairs and build it up using the same light road equipment (except the brakes), what do I loose compared to the roadie build?! is it slower? More/less comfortable

Best,

Björn

Usually I would say compare geometry, but since this is really your first road bike you probably don't know exactly what works for you. Like someone mentioned above, don't be intimidated by the "Roadie" name. It doesn't have a real aggressive geometry and you will probably spend your first couple seasons tweaking your fit anyway. I came from a mtn biking background and the Roadie was my first road bike. The great thing is that it has "kept up" as my riding skills have improved. It is responsive without feeling overly twitchy and is rock solid on descents.

Truth is you probably can't go wrong with either bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
believe it or not, but I have to re-open this thread: I would have the possibility to get a 2004 Waterford R-33 frame at a good price (used, around 700 USD incl Carbon fork), presumably in my size (altough I won´t be able to test-ride it). Again, talking of comfort, is the R-33 comparable to the roadie? or is it more "serious" race bike?

best,
 

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An R33 should be a nice ride, assuming it fits you. The geometry is nearly identical to my 2200, but the R33 uses an oversize True Temper tubeset and TIG welding rather than the 853 and lugged construction found in my bike. The owner of the shop where I bought my 2200 usually rides an R33. He's in his early 80's so it's not too harsh a ride (he finished 2 passes on the Death Ride last weekend and blames inadequate training for not doing better - I hope I'm in as good shape when I reach his age).
 
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