Best CX bike for £1,000 or less?

Steezy

Regular
Hi,
Sorry if this has been asked a thousand times, I did try a search but didn't find anything directly related to a wide range of CX bikes in this price bracket.

My employer has just signed up to the Cyclescheme so I'm planning to take advantage and get myself a bike for the maximum value. I'll mainly be using it for commuting (approx 20miles a day) in all weathers so will be wanting mudguards and a seatpost rack or proper pannier, but would like to get something fast and fun too for weekend spins. I figure a CX prob ticks these boxes better than road or hybrid?
I've done a lot of searching around online but am really struggling to find anywhere near me that has bikes in in my size and will allow test rides.

Some that have caught me eye online include:

http://www.cube.eu/uk/bikes/road-race/cross-race/cube-cross-race-disc-blacknrednblue-2015/
But cant seem to find this in stock anywhere at all that I can get to

http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/road-bikes/boardman-cx-team-bike-2014
But I think Halfords operate under a different cycle to work scheme so don't think I can use them

http://www.raleigh.co.uk/ProductType/ProductRange/Product/Default.aspx?pc=1&pt=14&pg=12141
Not sure about the aesthetics of this one though...

http://www.cannondale.com/nam_en/2015/bikes/road/cyclocross/caadx/caadx-disc-5-105
Not the most exciting looking but spec seems good for the price?

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/felt/cyclocross-bikes/
I like Felt as a brand but Tiagra and lack of full carbon forks for best part of a grand seems underwhelming?

http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/city/dual_sport/crossrip/crossrip_limited/
Saw one of these in the flesh last weekend and it strikes me as a beautiful bike and prob the one I'm most drawn to, but is out of my price range and the models below it seem woefully underspecced compared to the others on here, or am I overlooking something?

Have discounted Giant's based on looks and the fact that there are so many of them around here, and not keen on Pinnacles based on looks either.
A shop near me is offering one of these for £700 so was wondering about going for that as it seems excellent value compared to original list price, would leave me £300 to play with for accessories and is a good looking machine. Am unsure though as I was hoping for disc brakes and something tells me if I'm spending £1,000 I should max out on the bike and get the accessories out of my own pocket, as it were, given that they'll be worth nothing as soon as I buy them.

Any thoughts on the bikes and ramblings above would be much appreciated, and am open to any other suggestions I might have not considered. Thanks.
 
OP
S

Steezy

Regular
 

pclay

Über Member
Location
Rugby
I got one of these recently:

http://www.ukbikesdepot.com/m117b0s862p11647/SARACEN_Hack_2_Cyclocross_Bike_2014

I like the bike so far. I know its Tiagra, but if you want 56 or 58 frame, this is a good deal, plus you could upgrade the groupset over time.

I was going to get a Cannondale CX, but was not keen on the colour scheme (Black and white).

the Saracen has compact road gearing, and I have found this is much harder to ride than the road bike. This is due to the heavier bike and the wider tyres. I have never spent so much time on the granny ring.
 

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
Okay! So yeah I've just been through the same thing entirely and finally settled on a focus mares 3.0. I was reluctant to accept (but glad that I did) that the feel of the bikes would be so different and I had all but decided on the cannondale as it seemed to have the most "bang for buck" in terms of componentry.

Once I got out on a few I realised a number of things, firstly, I was going to shoot for a medium 54-56 size but that would have had me way over stretched and it turns out in actually an extra small on the focus. I'm 5'7 so not tiny but id never have opted for that small had I not had a whirl.

Secondly, even just whipping round a local park on the test rides, you can feel a sense of skittishness, which I suppose some might call nimbleness, or a smoothness which others might refer to as comfy!

The cannondale was very skittish for me, more so than the giant revolt and focus mares. I haven't tried all of the ones on your list, and I know it's a pain but there's no substitute for trying them out. All the shops I went to were very accommodating as well.

Where in the country are you?
 

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
Also, with that bianchi you're getting cantilever brakes as opposed to the more readily available discs now. All the bikes I tried had substantially better breaking than I expected!
 

JoeyB

Go on, tilt your head!
I looked at CX for the same requirements but they are a bit overkill imho

I went with a Whyte Suffolk 2015 as it has disk brakes and mounts for guards and rack. It retails at £1199.99 but I got it in the sales for £960. Have you looked at the Cannondale CAADX if you are hell bent on CX? Its about £899 so in budget. (EDIT, sorry didnt notice your link above)
 

Boon 51

Veteran
Location
Deal. Kent.
I had a look for a Cube Race( 105 11-32) but none in stock at my size 52-54cm the Caadx 105 fails because most of the cables are outside and not internal and only a (105 11-28). Lots of other bikes but most only have Tiagra or Sora which is below par in my book, you should get at least 105 stuff for a £1000.. and some just too heavy?
My choice was a Rose Pro DX 2000 with 11-32 cassette and a choice of other component and deliverd to my UK address all for £970..
Good luck with your choice.. :smile:
 
OP
S

Steezy

Regular
@vickster
I'll be going through this scheme so it looks like nearly all retailers except Halfords use it - http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/

with that bianchi you're getting cantilever brakes as opposed to the more readily available discs now
I've never had canti brakes - are discs significantly better?

@pclay That Saracen does look like a bargain but at 5'8" I think I'll be looking at a 52/53/54 frame in whatever I go for.

finally settled on a focus mares 3.0
Thanks for your feedback @mythste. That does look like a nice bike and well specced for the money, though I must admit when it comes to spec lists I only really understand groupsets, forks and frames; the different models of brakes, seatposts etc means nothing to me. If it was 105 I think I'd be really keen on that Focus, though I'd want to change the tyres for something slicker. I see it has a 50/34 ratio as opposed to the CAADX's 46/36 - did you find that made a big difference to the ride in anyway? Can anyone explain to me what that means exactly in practical terms? That the CAADX gives more ratios for hills and the Focus is better set up to push harder on the flat like a road bike would be my assumption but maybe I've got that wrong.

Where in the country are you?
In the middle of nowhere! Sheffield is my nearest city. I went there over xmas hoping to test ride a few but it was ankle deep in snow so I was nervous about taking out a new bike (never ridden drops before) in those conditions on unfamiliar city centre roads. Plus the Boardman, Trek and Raleigh retailers
said they don't do test rides and the shops that would allow it had CAADXs and Croix de Fers in but none in my size :sad:

only a (105 11-28)
Sorry, could you explain what this means please?

I did see the Rose website and think you've made a great choice there but surely you can't buy a German import on Cyclescheme? Also, even if you can my uncertainty around sizing and inability to test ride would make it hard to feel confident buying online.

Thanks all for the thoughts so far :smile:
 
OP
S

Steezy

Regular
@Boon 51 Can't see any brazings for rack and guards on the Rose either, though maybe you can get them to add those with them being built to spec?
 
OP
S

Steezy

Regular
I went with a Whyte Suffolk 2015 as it has disk brakes and mounts for guards and rack. It retails at £1199.99 but I got it in the sales for £960. Have you looked at the Cannondale CAADX if you are hell bent on CX?
Whyte Suffolk looks like another good choice on paper, hope you're enjoying it? I think I am pretty set on CX though as I want to use it on old railway lines at weekends and try some mixed terrain sportives eventually.

Where in the country are you?
Did you test ride your Focus in Liverpool, sir? I've just done a check on dealers local to me and see that 2 shops in Sheffield that I visited last week are listed as dealers but they def didn't have any CX Focus models in when I was there. I guess I could ask them to order one in but I doubt they'd do that unless they thought I was definately going to buy it?
 

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
@mythste. That does look like a nice bike and well specced for the money, though I must admit when it comes to spec lists I only really understand groupsets, forks and frames; the different models of brakes, seatposts etc means nothing to me.
I totally understand, this was the predicament I was in. Don't forget that there really are a ton of other things that are more difficult to measure. For example the Focus has Aero bars which are slightly flatter on the top and flare out a little on the drops, I found this super comfortable and I hadn't even seen a spec sheet that mentioned it. I would never have known until I got out on a ride.
 

Boon 51

Veteran
Location
Deal. Kent.
@vickster
I'll be going through this scheme so it looks like nearly all retailers except Halfords use it - http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/


I've never had canti brakes - are discs significantly better?

@pclay That Saracen does look like a bargain but at 5'8" I think I'll be looking at a 52/53/54 frame in whatever I go for.


Thanks for your feedback @mythste. That does look like a nice bike and well specced for the money, though I must admit when it comes to spec lists I only really understand groupsets, forks and frames; the different models of brakes, seatposts etc means nothing to me. If it was 105 I think I'd be really keen on that Focus, though I'd want to change the tyres for something slicker. I see it has a 50/34 ratio as opposed to the CAADX's 46/36 - did you find that made a big difference to the ride in anyway? Can anyone explain to me what that means exactly in practical terms? That the CAADX gives more ratios for hills and the Focus is better set up to push harder on the flat like a road bike would be my assumption but maybe I've got that wrong.


In the middle of nowhere! Sheffield is my nearest city. I went there over xmas hoping to test ride a few but it was ankle deep in snow so I was nervous about taking out a new bike (never ridden drops before) in those conditions on unfamiliar city centre roads. Plus the Boardman, Trek and Raleigh retailers
said they don't do test rides and the shops that would allow it had CAADXs and Croix de Fers in but none in my size :sad:


Sorry, could you explain what this means please?

I did see the Rose website and think you've made a great choice there but surely you can't buy a German import on Cyclescheme? Also, even if you can my uncertainty around sizing and inability to test ride would make it hard to feel confident buying online.

Thanks all for the thoughts so far :smile:
105 is the group set you can have, Sora, Tiagra, 105, Dura Ace.. and the 11/28 is the cassette ratio's you can have 11/25 11/28 11/32 in most cases..
I'm sorry I don't know the rules of the cyclesceme.
 

John_S

Über Member
Hi Steezy,

I've not ridden lots of CX bikes but one that I have tried and liked on my commute is the Genesis Day One Alfine 8. If the bikes primary purpose is commuting and you're willing to consider something a bit different, because this bike has internal hub gears instead of derailleurs.

I've riddent the 2014 model and liked it and there maybe some 2014 models still available at discounts. I'm not sure how much has changed on the 2015 model but see that they've changed the frame from Reynolds 520 to Genesis Mjölnir.

I won't write loads about the bike because if it's something that you want to add to your list of bikes to consider it's been written about in a couple of previous posts.

http://www.cyclechat.net/threads/genesis-day-one-alfine-8-on-c2w-scheme.145302/

http://www.cyclechat.net/threads/dolan-cdx-vs-genesis-day-one-alfine-8.171284/

If you prefer derailleurs to hub gears then there are other bikes in the Genesis range that have been written about in other threads about commuting bikes including the Croix de Fer.

http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/adventure/b-road/croix-de-fer-10

If you want something with mudguards and racks already on:-

http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/adventure/expedition/tour-de-fer

Or if you wanted flat bars:-
http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/urban/bridge/smithfield
http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/urban/bridge/borough

Now that I've looked back at this it's very Genesis centric so sorry about that but it's just that despite having ridden for about 25 years I've never had many bikes as I've made them all last a long time. I've had Raleigh mountain bikes and a Trek hybrid but whilst searching for my next bike that I'm saving for to use on my 20 mile roundtrip commute I tried that Day One Alfine 8 and liked it.

Good luck finding the right bike for you!

John
 
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