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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been looking around online to find info on cross bikes and there aren't too many reviews of these bikes because they are new this year I think.

The LBSs near me carry the Specialized Tricross and I liked the bike when I tested it. They don't have the Trek and Cannondale ones in stock but I could get them if I wanted to (I'm near NYC so lots of options if I want them).

This is going to be the first bike purchase for me that involves me paying (i.e. since I was a kid). I like riding and want to join the NYCC for recreation and to get into it. Given that I want varied riding options I figured a tricross bike would be good (and I like the drop bars which you don't get on hybrids usually).

My question is this, should I go with the Sport or Comp models? The Comp has better specs all round, but I'm not sure if for a total noob like me the additional ~$500 is worth it. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Here are links to the bikes at the LBS I'm planning on getting it from (NYCC members get 10% off on the bike =D)

TriCross Comp - http://bicyclehabitat.com/site/itemdetails.cfm?ID=4555&Catalog=1&sort=Price

TriCross Sport - http://bicyclehabitat.com/site/itemdetails.cfm?sort=Price&itemdsn=bicyclehabitat.com_SB2&ID=4629
 

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depends on if you have the $$$. The spec is pretty good on the COMP, and really wouldnt need to upgrade it (unless something breaks) whereas the Sport model isnt going to be as durable of a build.

But because your a newbie and this really is your first bike, i would buy the sport. and if you really enjoy riding it you can upgrade later. Also, you'll still have to buy helmet, gloves, jersey, shoes, pedals etc so save some money on the bike and spend the rest of it on the gear.

i like the looks of that specialized, have fun.

j
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jeremyb said:
But because your a newbie and this really is your first bike, i would buy the sport. and if you really enjoy riding it you can upgrade later. Also, you'll still have to buy helmet, gloves, jersey, shoes, pedals etc so save some money on the bike and spend the rest of it on the gear.

j

I was considering that option in terms of buying lower and upgrading, but it looks like it would be more expensive to upgrade later if I wanted to get similar specs to the Comp version. Given that this will ideally be a long term purchase, I was thinking it would be a good investment to go with the higher end version. I guess that is another factor I would have to consider.
 

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Why not buy the cheaper one and see if the shop is willing to work with you on swapping out some parts before you take delivery? I don't recall if it comes with a triple crank, but ditch that for sure, the wheels are trashy, so upgrade to a shop-built set or Mavic basic wheels or similar, shifters will be OK, maybe look at the seatpost and seat, make sure handlebar width is OK, swap out the brakes if they are junk, even some Avids are OK. Get some decent tires. Front chain rings need to be about 39-47 or thereabouts and 12-25 or 27 in the back is standard. You should be out the door with those upgrades for a couple hundred over the cost of the bike and it will be a very good bike for you, as you break parts maybe upgrade to ultegra 9 or 105 one component at a time. It's a nice frame.
 

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They key is to find a shop that will take the brand new parts off the bike before you take it and swap out for different parts, for example the stem rise might be too high, so they need a different one, so maybe you say, how much for a little better model.

I looked at that bike on teh link you provided, the key upgrade would be getting rid of the wheels, I'd assume they are total crap, see how much more it costs for a decent set--I'd get 32 spoke, ultegra hubs, 3 cross, mavic box rims and some real cross tires if you plan to ride off road, maybe the maxxis nimo is a good bet or similar. Also, the seat might be awful, that a personal matter. I think the brakes will be OK, might want to swap pads. Should be a good riding bike for you w/ the rest of the parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
jroden said:
They key is to find a shop that will take the brand new parts off the bike before you take it and swap out for different parts, for example the stem rise might be too high, so they need a different one, so maybe you say, how much for a little better model.
Hmm, I will look into that. And thanks for the feedback on the overall setup of the Sport version. If the wheels are the major change I could probably get those without too much additional cost.

In general would you say that a bike shop isn't going to try to rip you off by recommending stuff you really don't need? I know that's not a simple question to answer, but I would think if the people there are bikers too they would be straight up about it.
 

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you need:

1) wheels that won't fall apart--that's a given. You will be throwing those wheels away if you ride much, why bother taking delivery of them.

2) Any decent shop may have to swap stem and handlebars to ensure a proper fit. They should do this as part of the sale, perhaps they only have a more expensive model, but you should be looking at $50 for a stem, minus $20 trade for yours and similar for the bars.

3) If the seat is uncomfortable, most shops have all sorts of new "take offs" lying around and some used, they should be able to set you up with something you like.

I think you can live with the rest, including the brakes, the main expense is real wheels and tires, I'd expect to pay maybe $200-250 for a good wheel upgrade including proper tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
jroden said:
you need:

1) wheels that won't fall apart--that's a given. You will be throwing those wheels away if you ride much, why bother taking delivery of them.

2) Any decent shop may have to swap stem and handlebars to ensure a proper fit. They should do this as part of the sale, perhaps they only have a more expensive model, but you should be looking at $50 for a stem, minus $20 trade for yours and similar for the bars.

3) If the seat is uncomfortable, most shops have all sorts of new "take offs" lying around and some used, they should be able to set you up with something you like.

I think you can live with the rest, including the brakes, the main expense is real wheels and tires, I'd expect to pay maybe $200-250 for a good wheel upgrade including proper tires.

So we are talking anywhere from $200 to $300 in replacements to the Sport version. Given that (after 10% discount) the bikes would be around $400 difference at base versions, my savings could be around $100 - $200 if I get the Sport and upgrade it along the lines you are mentioning here. Hmm, I'm inclined to think it may be easier to just go with the Comp, but that $100 - $200 would still account for a chunk of the accessories I need to get. Gah! Rather inconveniant to not have tons of money eh =).
 

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I looked at the comp the other day in the shop and it is a nice bike, the Roval wheels look pretty good, I don't know much about them. The tires would need a swap, but beyond that the bike is nice right out of the box, note the components are mixed 105 + ultegra if memory serves.

Bottom line is you can buy new decent wheels for $250 w/ tires and ride the sport model just like it comes out of the box and you have a spare set of wheels or sell them as new. The rest of the stuff would be fine.

If you race in the fall, additional wheels are always nice to have.

Shoot, I ruined $250 just in tires this year, it's an expensive sport...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I won't be racing so unless I hit some seriously rough terrain or a major pothole I don't see myself needing new wheels.

Thanks for all the input. It has definitely made it clearer in terms of my options.
 

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Sounds good, I mentioned the wheels because my experience with the low end, machine built Chinese wheels on these low end bikes has not been very good--they tend to use low spoke counts, press in bearings and cheap hubs--they don't hold up that well under normal usage. Just get the bike box stock and enjoy it, if stuff busts, replace with better. Good luck, careful of the fit.
 
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