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GMF
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Bicycles

I haven't had a bike in awhile, and I've never really had a decent bike in my life to begin with.

I recently read an article about cyclo-cross bikes, and this seems like something I might want to get into. I don't really know anyone who's into road bikes and the like, so I'm just going to go around some of the shops and see what they have to say. I'd be using the bike in and around town, but it needs to be able to handle gravel roads and the like so a I don't think a straight road bike would suit me. I'm wondering how well CX-bikes are for long distance (travel) riding. Most of them don't seem to be fitted with any possibility of travel bags, hell... most of them don't seem to have optional mud guards either. But right now I'm prioritizing a smooth ride even outside of ideal conditions.

IDK, so far the only advice I've gotten is to invest in a quality frame. That way, even if I tire of riding after some while. I'll atleast have a reliable frame that'll last me forever. I'm also wondering how tough locking peddles/shoes are for someone who's never tried them. Should I just bite the bullet and spring for locking peddles and riding pants and the works? What about disk brakes, do they justify the extra moolah?

Either way, this what I'm looking at right now.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:32 PM GMF is offline  
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WILLIAM NOT
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Depending on how intense your gravel roads are, you may want to consider a mountain bike instead. If they're not that bad (and you're not riding very long on them), then cyclocross wouldn't be a bad idea.

Most cyclocross bikes are primarily intended for racing, so not many are fitted for loads. However, one exception that I know of is the Surly Cross Check which has lugs for rear racks and space for fenders.

Whether or not you get the whole shabam now depends on whether or not you can afford it. I don't think you need clipless off the bat though; clipless means you have to carry shoes around with you if you're just riding it around town. Toe clips let you use whatever shoes, saving you the cost of pedals and bike shoes.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:53 PM WILLIAM NOT is offline  
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XJumper84
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disc breaks takes the load off the rim of your wheel which if you brake hard you could bend the wheel. i've seen it happen on cheap $100 bikes from toys r' us.

i have disc breaks on my mtn bike and i love them.
Old 05-23-2010, 02:05 PM XJumper84 is offline  
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GMF
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disc breaks takes the load off the rim of your wheel which if you brake hard you could bend the wheel. i've seen it happen on cheap $100 bikes from toys r' us.

i have disc breaks on my mtn bike and i love them.

Well I have no intention of buying a 100$ bike. That Focus I'm looking at is listed at 999€, I can afford it but I'm not sure if it's wise to spend so much on what'll essentially be an "entry level" bike. I can imagine disc brakes being essential on a mountain bike, but I'm what I'm looking for is more of a road bike.... also, for some reason disc brakes are banned in competitive CX, so most packages come with rim brakes.

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Depending on how intense your gravel roads are, you may want to consider a mountain bike instead. If they're not that bad (and you're not riding very long on them), then cyclocross wouldn't be a bad idea.

Energy efficiency on tarmac coupled with decent grip offroad is why I'm leaning towards a CX-bike. I intend to ride down to my cottage and around the country side once I get a hang of the bike. So I'd be doing like 5-10x more km's on tarmac than gravel, there are lots of gravel roads but they are essentially highways. So I figure a CX should be able to handle it. I'll look into the Surly, looks like most people don't carry American bikes around here and from what I hear they're grossly overpriced.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:21 PM GMF is offline  
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A CX bike is an excellent choice to get around town here, you cant go wrong. Remember though that CX bikes, like road bikes, have a really low and bent forward riding position, so wearing a backpack while riding is a bit clumsy. Doesn't matter if you're buying it just to ride and clock up mileage, but if you intend on commuting it might be an issue.

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Most cyclocross bikes are primarily intended for racing, so not many are fitted for loads. ...... lugs for rear racks and space for fenders.

This.


What stores have you checked out? Velosport (on Mäkelänkatu a bit north from the velodrome/Käpylä park) is a good store for road oriented stuff atleast. Best Brakes in Lauttasaari is also a good store, as is Kauppaveljekset in Meilahti. IIRC bike planet is a bit overpriced for what you get.

Also a couple of friends have gotten good deals and positive experiences ordering from germany. If you go that route, remember to go test ride somewhere first. On the other hand, going to a store you get a professional fitting the bike for you (you should anyways), and they should do the first (important!) maintenance for free.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:51 PM demosh is offline  
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Also locking pedals are definitely worth getting, though not essential at the start. A lot of bikes starting around that price range dont come with pedals at all, in that case it might be worthwhile to invest in locking pedals and shoes straight away.

It takes an hour of practice, and a few accidents of the stop-and-fall--sideways-into-a-puddle-because-you-cant-get-your-foot-out-the-pedals sort to learn to use them.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:54 PM demosh is offline  
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WILLIAM NOT
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Well I have no intention of buying a 100$ bike. That Focus I'm looking at is listed at 999€, I can afford it but I'm not sure if it's wise to spend so much on what'll essentially be an "entry level" bike. I can imagine disc brakes being essential on a mountain bike, but I'm what I'm looking for is more of a road bike.... also, for some reason disc brakes are banned in competitive CX, so most packages come with rim brakes
Yeah, disc brakes are unnecessary on most bikes. They're overcomplicated and are expensive to maintain (relative to rim brakes).
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:58 PM WILLIAM NOT is offline  
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demosh
 
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Yeah, disc brakes are unnecessary on most bikes. They're overcomplicated and are expensive to maintain (relative to rim brakes).

I wouldnt say they are expensive or hard to maintain. Pads may cost more, but they also last a lot longer. In a wet climate, disc brakes are a big improvement over rim brakes. Its not the end of the world, but it is annoying with rim brakes to wait for a turn of the wheel while the pads wipe the rim dry before braking starts properly

Edit: I'm not saying the OP should be considering disc brakes essential by any means. In this case it doesn't particularly matter
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:20 PM demosh is offline  
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WILLIAM NOT
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I wouldnt say they are expensive or hard to maintain. Pads may cost more, but they also last a lot longer. In a wet climate, disc brakes are a big improvement over rim brakes. Its not the end of the world, but it is annoying with rim brakes to wait for a turn of the wheel while the pads wipe the rim dry before braking starts properly

Edit: I'm not saying the OP should be considering disc brakes essential by any means. In this case it doesn't particularly matter
Kool Stops do a fine job of getting water/mud off of the rim. Disc brakes require maintaining the hydraulics and the braking surface as well as the conventional braking system.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:23 PM WILLIAM NOT is offline  
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demosh
 
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Kool Stops do a fine job of getting water/mud off of the rim. Disc brakes require maintaining the hydraulics and the braking surface as well as the conventional braking system.

I haven't had to mess with the hydraulics a single time in 5 years on my bike, and I ride maybe 2500km a season. Changing pads is a breeze. I might have just been lucky though
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:28 AM demosh is offline  
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WILLIAM NOT
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I haven't had to mess with the hydraulics a single time in 5 years on my bike, and I ride maybe 2500km a season. Changing pads is a breeze. I might have just been lucky though
Meh, I just subscribe to the KISS philosophy for commuting bikes. I don't even have brifters; I use bar-end shifters instead.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:30 AM WILLIAM NOT is offline  
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I won't wade into the BS about disc brakes on a road/CX bike except to say: you're limited way more by rolling resistance of the tire than by available brake friction, which is to say, if you can lock the tires up, you've got more than enough power.

GMT, that Focus has lugs for a rack, so you should be good if you get that one. I've put racks on lugless frames before using these, and a good fastener combo (hex screw and nut w/lockwasher). It cuts down the maximum load you can put on it, but it's perfectly safe to throw a set of panniers on, and the cushion on those hold-downs won't cut up your carbon frame.

And at the very least, get toe cages to go with your pedals. On a CX bike, I'd throw a pair of Shimano SPDs at it (or something that accepts SPD cleats), as opposed to the SPD-SLs, which use a Look-type cleat. The SPDs are easier to bail out of, and on gravel, that's a big bonus. The downside as compared to the SPD-SL is that they're heavier, and you're a little more prone to clipping out when you don't intend to.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:27 PM Jehannum is offline  
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CX with a taller stem and normal handlebars FTW
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:00 PM wwilliam54 is offline  
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demosh
 
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The downside as compared to the SPD-SL is that they're heavier

Better exercise
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:27 PM demosh is offline  
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