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I don't know if this is the right place or not so if it isn't please excuse me.

I am currently debating between getting a new road or cyclocross bike to suppliment my MTB. I'm 6'2'' 240lbs and am mainly looking to use this as a commuter to gradschool (~2 miles round trip, definitely walkable but why walk when you can ride?) and general cardio for my cut after my winter bulk. I'd like to attach at least a back rack if not rack and fenders if possible. Coming from a MTB, I've heard that the riding style of a cx bike is slightly more lax than a road bike which my terrible back would apprecaite more. I'm not looking to race the thing or ride in a group of hardcore riders or anything.

I know next to nothing about all the different components involved and am not really comfortable building one up from the frame. As such, I've been looking at two different completed cyclocross bikes: Specialized Tricross and Surly Cross Check. From some of the things I've read about it, the aluminum might not hold up to my *festively plump* frame over time but the steel on the surly is a little heavy.

I'm looking to spend roughly $1200 or less if possible but if there was a bike that was essentially twice as good as anything else for like $100 more I won't get bent out of shape over the money.

I'd love to go to my LBS to go test ride them but being from the wonderful state of AR many of the local shops do not have cx bikes in stock. They have plenty of mountain and road however:mad2:.

Any information/opinions would be greatly appreciated!!
 

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All of the Specialized Tricross bikes have aluminum forks, except for the Tricross Elite Steel model, which has a chromoly steel fork. While that bike would have been ideal for your wish list, it's unfortunately and unfairly beyond your current budget. OTOH, the Surly Cross Check aslo has a chromoly steel fork and fits neatly into your budget. Therefore, I would gladly select the Cross Check!

However, in order to address your actual commuter needs, you might wanna take a look at the GT Corsa 1.0. It lists at $1100 and has Tiagra componentry.

www.gtbicycles.com/2013/bikes/road/performance/corsa-1-0

* For such a short commute, if there are no serious inclines, perhaps a single speed would be more to your liking:
www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1116806_-1_400317_400317
The Fuji Declaration - $450
 
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