At last Friday's "Working man breakfast" we discussed cross bikes and what will be the choice ride for the 08 season.
MT Cross is looking for a cross ride for next season. Doug Dale and Pipo both think the Kona Major Jake should be the ride for next year (probably cause Dale already has one). I rode the Ridley Crossbow last year. It was fun for a race or two to ride a light bike that is "cross specific." However, I quickly learned that my type of riding doesn't fit a super snazy cross specific bike. Before the Crossbow I had a Gunnar Crosshairs, and a old Bianchi Volpe. Out of those three bikes the Crosshairs was my all around favorite. It wasn't light, but it had a smooth steel ride and was really comfortable. I under-estimated how important fit was. On the Crosshairs and Volpe I rode a 55 (which is my true size), and the Ridley fit weird and so I rode a 52. The Missoula road rides get old quick. So in the summer and fall we hit long cross rides. It's important on these rides to have a sturdy bike that you can ride for 3+ hours. The Crosshairs was perfect for that kind of riding. Here's the low down:
Elliot, likes the Jamis Super Nova/Nova Pro cross bike. Downtown Joel Brown agrees. The Jamis Nova Pro is an excellent deal. The Jamis cross bikes have always been good riding bikes with solid frames, but never too race specific. It looks like this year there really pushing the cross race bike. The Nova Pro is an aluminum frame with carbon seat stays. The frame is lighter then the old steel Nova's but the components are a downgrade with primarily Tiagra. The top tube is flattened for carrying comfort. It comes in at $1100, which even with Tiagra is a great cross race ready bike. The Alex wheels are cheddar, but you could race them. Look for it under Elliot this up coming season. Were not going to talk about the Supernova because it's out of the "Working Man" budget. Halpin rides the 2007 Supernova and seems to like it. I don't know anyone who has the new model.
Jamis Nova Pro $1100, 21lbs
I've never been a huge Jake the Snake fan (I've seen a couple break in the Wednesday night series), but this year it seems like a killer deal. On Bikeman.com there selling the frame and fork for $399 (also at Missoula Bicycle Works - when they arrive). The retail on the complete bike is $1299. What your paying for is the 105 components and the Aksium Wheels. Which to me is worth it over the Jamis Nova Pro. While Tiagra has come along way I still don't think it's up to par with 105. Also the JTS comes with Avid Shorty 4 brakes, which are better then Jamis's Tektro askldfajklsdfhasd brakes. I ride Tektro on my single speed and I've been worried about stopping at the end of descents. The blue color on the JTS is a nicer touch compared to the neons were used to (don't get me wrong I'm down with neon normally). The Kona is a common bike in the cross scene, ridden by riders like Hartman, Dale, and Horan.
Kona Jake the Snake $1299, weight?
Since were in the mid-level brand name cross bike category lets throw a Cannondale in there. The Cannondale XR 6 comes with a Tiagra package and low end Shimano wheels. I like the CAAD 9 cross frames, but the components are weak on this model. The price is $1249, which is not crazy exspensive, but the bike reflects the parts. Sportsman's Ski Haus, and last year's champ Frank ride the Cannondale's. Frank's looks pretty fast with those Reynold's wheels, but I think he's done quite a bit of after market work. If you've go some coin to spend look at the Cannondale frames, but maybe not as a whole bike. If I could start with a frame and build a nasty bike with any components I might chose the CAAD 9 cross.
Cannondale XR6 $1249, weight??
I still haven't decided what I'm riding for next year, but Curry's peformances last year on the Volpe brought back memories for me. I might trick out a old Volpe and call it good.