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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am getting ready to put together my first CX bike. I have a few questions though.

I plan on riding it more like a road bike with some dirt sometimes. I tend to be very light on my Mtb equipment. No intention on racing

Here is the general build I am considering.

54cm Soma Double Cross frame
105 Drivetrain
Gossamer CX 2 piece cranks
Open pro rims on DT 240 hubs
Winwood Dusty Cross Fork
Salsa Bell Lap bars
Salsa cheater levers

Will the Soma be a good choice? I want to be comfortable on the bike. I hear steel rides nice. Is there an alternative that would better?

My bud wants me on a Veloce drivetrain for it's durability and rebuild capability. Is this viable for CX? Would ultegra be cool? Should I go 9 or 10 speed?

Is there a lighter option on the rims that would be good for cross beyond the Open Pros? I am convinced the 240s are the hubs for me.

Thanks a bunch,
Louis
 

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Severum said:
Will the Soma be a good choice? I want to be comfortable on the bike. I hear steel rides nice. Is there an alternative that would better?

My bud wants me on a Veloce drivetrain for it's durability and rebuild capability. Is this viable for CX? Would ultegra be cool? Should I go 9 or 10 speed?

Is there a lighter option on the rims that would be good for cross beyond the Open Pros? I am convinced the 240s are the hubs for me.
Soma is nice. You might also consider a Gunnar. You can't beat a well made steel frame for durability.

Campy vs. Shimano? Get what your other bikes have so you can swap parts with minimal compatibility issues.

Get 10 speed. The 10 speed 105 looks to be very nice. I'd probably get that if I were buying a new group for my cross bike.

Open Pros are a fine rim and you probably don't want anything lighter. I'd also suggest 3x lacing with 14/15 spokes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gripped said:
Campy vs. Shimano? Get what your other bikes have so you can swap parts with minimal compatibility issues.
This is my first road bike of any kind. I have always been a mtber. So, which would you prefer.
 

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I'll second the nod for the Soma--it's a terrific frame for the money, well-made, well-finished but not flashy, and the ride quality is great. OPs will work fine, although I prefer CXP33s, as they seem stronger. As for the Campy vs Shimano thing...ahhh, jeezzzzzzzz. O.K., I use both and don't have any preference from an operational/performance standpoint; both makes do what I need them to do, both have been reliable. There are a couple of factors that would make me lean ever so slightly in favor of Shimano over Campy. First, people love to tout the rebuildability of Campy over the repair-by-replacement approach of Shimano, but that's kind of a moot point if there's no one near you who's familiar with Campy. (If you don't mind shipping it off to be worked on...or you're mechanically-inclined, have access to the parts and can get the tech bulletins, then that doesn't matter.) I also like the greater flexibility in gearing that I can get with Shimano; I use my 'crossers on singletrack and steep fire roads, and oftentimes find a need for a cog lower than a 29t. I have a Bianchi Axis with a 34/34 low-end that can climb walls and pull out tree stumps, and I'd never get that with Campy. ...but that could just be my middle-aged carcass looking for an easier way to go.
 

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Shimano 10 spd 105 very good...

Gripped said:
Get 10 speed. The 10 speed 105 looks to be very nice. I'd probably get that if I were buying a new group for my cross bike.
Brooke is absolutely correct on this one (he's usually dead on with anything cross related, duh!). I did a demo on a bike for a cross race last fall, running Shimano 10 spd 105. It performed beautifully in the oatmeal soup that the course condition was in.

Of course, I opted for something different on my new cross/commuter bike... one gear seems to work fine for me.
 

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Soma DoubleCross

My commuter bike is a Soma. It'll take road, dirt, fenders, rack etc. It performs well as an all rounder. Be careful of the sizing though, tope tubes are waaaaaaaay long for a given size. One small quibble, paint chips easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am now a little concerned that they changed from Reynolds 631 to Tange Prestige tubing. Anyone have any thoughts on this please?

So 105, maybe Ultegra.

Any thoughts on carbon seatposts for CX?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here is a smokin good question. If the price was the same, would anyone take a set of Chris King road hubs over the DT 240s? I hate kings for thier loudness, but I hear that is all gone with the new seals.
 

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Kings would be good

Severum said:
Here is a smokin good question. If the price was the same, would anyone take a set of Chris King road hubs over the DT 240s? I hate kings for thier loudness, but I hear that is all gone with the new seals.
I just recently had a open pro king wheelset made with 14/15db spokes, for my curtlo cross/road bike. I only have a couple of rides on it but they ride very nice, you can still hear the hub, but it's not nearly as load as some of the king mt hubs I have heard before. I decided on king cause the price and weight difference wasn't a lot, king as a very good reputation, and I like the choice of cool colors, I went for the pewter colored hubs. I'm not sure if they would still be too loud for you, but they don't seem to be louder then a acs single speed freewheel, but there still not silent like a shimano hub. My friend who has 240 disc hubs from a couple of years ago says my kings are not as loud as his hugi hub on a cannondale hardtale, though aluminum frame usually magnify freehub noise some.
YOUr build sounds good, I don't think you could get a better frame for the money, gunners are nice but a bit more expensive, somas are also a little lighter then a cross check, but don't have single speedable dropouts, I run a ss cross check for racing. I havn't run 10 speed, yet but my 9speed with dura ace shifters and 105 derailers works pretty well.
 

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if you're riding it more like a road bike with some dirt roads i'd stear clear of the cross version of the gossamer crank. i think the 34/50 will give you a better range for road riding and even climbing. the cross crank is really best for cross racing in my opinion.

on the campy vs. shimano issue i'd say ride both and see if you feel strongly about the ergonomics of either. they feel and function pretty differently. the rebuildability vs. throw away issue may or may not be important to you. if you can't find a local shop that is capable of servicing the campy stuff - and are not willing to ship them away if you need to - the previous poster is right: it's a moot point.

if you do have a local shop or are willing to ship them for a rebuild, consider that a) it's rare you'll be able to find just one shimano shifter to replace a worn/broken shifter, b) the cost of a pair of 105 shifters is about $300, and c) you can generally get a campy shifter rebuilt for $100 or less (half parts, half labor).

me, i hate the idea of literally throwing $300 worth of used shifers in the trash - and love the idea of keeping the same basic lever as long as i want - and replacing parts as needed. my road and cross bikes have always been campy 10 speed and i've been very happy. running the rear der. cable housing all the way from the top tube to the rear der. has made it immune to bad weather, mud, etc.
 

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Severum said:
I am now a little concerned that they changed from Reynolds 631 to Tange Prestige tubing. Anyone have any thoughts on this please?

So 105, maybe Ultegra.

Any thoughts on carbon seatposts for CX?
Some would argue that Tange Prestige is nicer than 631...back in the day (1980s, early 90s) Prestige tubing was used by many custom builders and was considered right up there in terms of quality with SL/SLX and the venerable 531. I'd say it adds some old-school coolness to a frame that already looks kind of old school.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
After hearing some kind words about the Tange Prestige over the 631 from Ted Wojcik today and you guys, a black Soma double cross is in my future. Even Soma thinks it is an upgrade. I am into the old school vibe on this bike for sure.

So, Black Soma frame with all black components with Chris King "pink" hubs and headset. Would that be cool or what?

Is the Winwood Dusty Cross fork too light for everyday use?
 

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Severum said:
Is the Winwood Dusty Cross fork too light for everyday use?
Isn't this a brand new design? If so I'm guessing someone like you will have to be the guinea pig and tell US if it's too light for everyday use. Having said that I've been running a wound up with the carbon steerer (and aluminum sleeve) for quite literally everyday use and it has held up just fine. My point is just that a carbon cross fork in that weight category certainly can hold up to everyday use - and if you're worried about a full carbon steerer, you shouldn't have to with the dusty... And the price is unbeatable eh?
 

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the only thing i wished my double cross had was a pair of long horizontal dropouts like the crosscheck.
 

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the soma's a nice choice...

i have the soma frame and i've outfitted it as a commuter.
i built a set of wheels with xt disc hubs laced to mavic t221 rims. i usually use a set of vittoria randonees (32's) on that set of rims and the bike is really very comfortable. what's great about the frame is that i can also put a set of wheels on it that are lighter and faster (mavic open pros with continental ultra 2000 tires) and the bike has a nice little bit of zippiness to it. i have a set of sram attack shifters on it, and i run two sets of bars - a oversized bontrager riser bar and a set of rei "safari" bars, a set of bars that allow a lot of different hand positions. i just take the brake levers and shifters off one bar and put them on the other when i feel like changing. it goes from a commuter/touring bike to a bike i can crash around on, when i put the straight bars on.
i'll keep this frame around for a long time - i have a tendency to switch bikes and frames often - because you can do so much with it.
 
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