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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got my choices pretty well narrowed down on cyclocross bikes.

I've got a deal lined up on an 06 Jake the Snake.

I read through the reviews and the forums about the snake cx bike.

I had a few questions though as I am really just getting started on my first serious bike.

I'm essentially looking for an all weather commuting bike that is simple, (too a point not single gear) easy to maintain, but tough and fast. I would like to be able to do some groomed trail riding and dirt roads as well.

Is the wheel set on the 06 jake the snake more rugged than your average road bike rim:
the stock wheelset is a Mavic Open Sport. Am I still going to be changing a lot of flats from curbs and pot holes?

Also I've heard a lot of feedback on the forks and that a carbon fork might be a good upgrade to ease up the vibration on the body. Is this something I could live without for up to a year if I am only doing about 100 miles a week or less? (even with commuting)

Otherwise I think most of the stock components will work. Unless there are suggestions?

I did test ride a felt fx1 which was sweet, but expensive, and a specialized tricross, which I didn't care for.
 

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Old, slow, and fat.
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I raced (if you can call it that!) my JtS a few seasons ago. Did OK. Nothing broke, etc. The fork's a tank, weight-wise, but isn't really an issue if you're running cross-sized tires. That's where the vibration's killed anyway!

I'm thinking about another one for a commuter, so...

M
 

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my '04 JtS has the Mavic MA3's and the front's been bulletproof on even harsh New England singletrack. The rear has needed to be trued a few times, but I think that's just because they're factory built wheels....oh and I'm abusive LOL.
 

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Yep

TOZOVR said:
my '04 JtS has teh Mavic MA3's and the front's been bulletproof on even harsh New England singletrack. The rear has needed to be trued a few times, but I think that's just because they're factory built wheels....oh and I'm abusive LOL.

My 05 JTS has the Mavic MA3's and they rock, no problems with them yet.....knock on wood.
 

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I broke a spoke on mine- (rear wheel) this past jan (45 degree day) but rode it home 15 miles. Like it - its a fast bike.
 

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should be pretty good

kwikle said:
I've got my choices pretty well narrowed down on cyclocross bikes.

I've got a deal lined up on an 06 Jake the Snake.

I read through the reviews and the forums about the snake cx bike.

I had a few questions though as I am really just getting started on my first serious bike.

I'm essentially looking for an all weather commuting bike that is simple, (too a point not single gear) easy to maintain, but tough and fast. I would like to be able to do some groomed trail riding and dirt roads as well.

Is the wheel set on the 06 jake the snake more rugged than your average road bike rim:
the stock wheelset is a Mavic Open Sport. Am I still going to be changing a lot of flats from curbs and pot holes?

Also I've heard a lot of feedback on the forks and that a carbon fork might be a good upgrade to ease up the vibration on the body. Is this something I could live without for up to a year if I am only doing about 100 miles a week or less? (even with commuting)

Otherwise I think most of the stock components will work. Unless there are suggestions?

I did test ride a felt fx1 which was sweet, but expensive, and a specialized tricross, which I didn't care for.
I think the jake should be a good choice for you it's similar to the redline but the cromo fork though heavier should be more compfortable and durable then the aluminum redline fork, I think it also has better wheels as well. I run ma3 rims on my ss cross check and have been good to go, I did have to replace the rear rim after about 2 rainy cross seasons cause the brake track was pretty worn, but it stayed pretty true, though they are hand buildt. The mavic open sports look like they should be essentialy the same as the ma3 rims, and they should be better then the machine buildt alex rims that are probaly on the redline and other complete cross bikes. If most of the shifting components are 105 you should be good, tiara and sora are not as good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
also the sizing issue

has been done to death, but for a guy who has not bought a road bike before, I would have to say nothing is more unclear.

The 52cm seems according to all reason be the size, but I tried a 51cm felt fx1 just yesterday at the lbs, and it seemed tiny. And a 52 really isn't THAT much bigger. I had a cannondale dealer size me with some specific measurements, and they quoted 52cm.

So the deal is 29.5 floor to pubic bone measurement, and a relatively short torso, 5'7" tall.

Is a 52cm too small for someone who may or may not cross race? I will most likely do 80% commuting street riding with this bike.
 

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kwikle said:
The 52cm seems according to all reason be the size, but I tried a 51cm felt fx1 just yesterday at the lbs, and it seemed tiny. And a 52 really isn't THAT much bigger. I had a cannondale dealer size me with some specific measurements, and they quoted 52cm.

So the deal is 29.5 floor to pubic bone measurement, and a relatively short torso, 5'7" tall.

Is a 52cm too small for someone who may or may not cross race? I will most likely do 80% commuting street riding with this bike.
With a short torso, you would probably fit better on a "Euro" bike. What do you mean when you say the Felt was small? Were you cramped along the top tube of did you feel like the seat was way too high above the bars?

From you measurements, I's have suggested a 52 as a place to start. With your short torso, you might want to try a "square" geometry -- top tube and seat tube (center to center meansurements) the same length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
it seemed as if my knees were awfully close

to my torso while pedalling hard. So they swapped out the stem with a shorter one, for a slightly more vertical stance over the drops. But the seat was way over the handlebars, 4-6" at least of post showing.
And a 52 cm while not really any taller will actually have a top tube length that is longer too? So hypothetically this will be stretching me out even more?...

I tried a more square geometry bike too a felt racer that was a 54 and it felt a little more (right). But it seemed a tad too big too. I am pretty new to road biking and dealing with all of the fit issues everyone does getting their first bike. So I am pretty mixed up, but bottom line is 51cm, felt a little cramped for a bike I am going to put a lot of miles on? But is 52cm with w/ a short stem going to be any better?
 

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kwikle said:
to my torso while pedalling hard. So they swapped out the stem with a shorter one, for a slightly more vertical stance over the drops. But the seat was way over the handlebars, 4-6" at least of post showing.
And a 52 cm while not really any taller will actually have a top tube length that is longer too? So hypothetically this will be stretching me out even more?...
You'd probably do well on a 50cm Ridley Crossbow. Since that probably ain't going to be happening, you will most likely have to make some compromises. If you have to pick between the Jake and the Felt, go with the Felt. Was the stem flipped up? Can they add some spacers below the stem? See if you can get them to set up the bike with a short stem an 1-2 cm of spacers. See if that helps out.

Your best option is custom. It'll cost about a K but you'll get a bike that will be exactly what you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I test road the bike

again and I think really the issue is that to get me to fit on a 51cm they had the seat WAY up which forced me to really be stretched along the top tube. Really if the frame were just a little bigger I think the seat wouldn't have to be quite as high, and they wouldn't have to play with the stem either. So I am wondering if maybe I am more between a 52cm and a 53cm bike and all they have to sell is a 51cm cross bike?

I tried a 54 cm felt bike again and it felt a lot closer than the 51cm. But I will see about the jake which I have not test ridden yet, but is a 52cm.

Just sort of afraid of dropping a grand on something that doesn't fit.
 

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kwikle said:
I tried a 54 cm felt bike again and it felt a lot closer than the 51cm. But I will see about the jake which I have not test ridden yet, but is a 52cm.

Just sort of afraid of dropping a grand on something that doesn't fit.
If I were you, I wouldn't buy anything I didn't ride first. The Konas have relatively long top tubes and you might get stretched out. See if they can get the Felt in the next bigger size. Also try the Kona. Do any of the bike shops in your area offer custom fitting? If so, it might well be worth the $50 to $100 a typical fit session costs so you really have a good idea of what you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am going to get fit again on friday

before test riding the 52cm jake the snake.

The felt 53 cm is not available until mid july, and with local shops kona and felt are really the best options, unless I go cannondale, which I am not opposed to but, it is more money than either bike.

I am certainly a try before buy type.

Coming from kayaking a test paddle tells you a lot about the boat, a hell of a lot more than looking at stats. The difference is if the fit is off, everything is fixable with custom minicell foam! Not so with bikes, or is it?
 

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kwikle said:
has been done to death, but for a guy who has not bought a road bike before, I would have to say nothing is more unclear.

The 52cm seems according to all reason be the size, but I tried a 51cm felt fx1 just yesterday at the lbs, and it seemed tiny. And a 52 really isn't THAT much bigger. I had a cannondale dealer size me with some specific measurements, and they quoted 52cm.

So the deal is 29.5 floor to pubic bone measurement, and a relatively short torso, 5'7" tall.

Is a 52cm too small for someone who may or may not cross race? I will most likely do 80% commuting street riding with this bike.
The 52cm JtS should have a 54cm TT. It's gonna be a titch on the long side for someone 5'7", but nothing that can't be fixed with a shorter stem. The 50cm frame is possibly a better fit. (I don't remember if they make a 51... if they do, its probably about perfect)

IME you're probably looking at somewhere around a 52-3cm TT to get the 'optimum' fit. Buy whatever frame size has that and you *should* be OK.

HTH,

M
 
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