Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Well, I'll be the first to admit that once again I am not always the first to hop on treads, often I notice things either long after they were 'cool' or just when they begin to become vogue. [On a quick side note, sparing no pride, I'm pretty impressed with myself right now using vogue in the blog in its proper usage] For the last few weeks, especially after my transition to the new shop, I have been debating what would be the next bike for the stable. I have done a good job lately with the Soho just recently finding a new owner and I'm supplying Bottke with the 1x1 frame to build up with an Xtracycle kit, the basement and entry way of my house was beginning to feel a bit empty. After parting ways with the Poprad months ago, I've missed the set-up I've had with it even though I never got to really put in miles with it nor use it for it's intended purposes. The versatility of the cross bike is amazing.

That realization topped with going to the Kisscross even here on Sunday has gotten me sold on the idea of getting a cross bike. The Kisscross event at Highland Park was amazing, although my love for cycling has never transferred over to racing, the laid back yet competitive set up of the event has me extremely intrigued and I'm hoping to get a bike before the cross season is over so I might join in on the fun. I have also began to really focus on Trans Iowa or at least begin the process of preparing [be that just mentally at this point] since there is 7 solid months before the event, a cross bike seems to be the best weapon for that battle.

Carlos, I'm sure will be pleased to hear, that I know that buying a complete bike will be the better way for me to go since if I do a build from scratch I often go a bit 'far', saying that I keep landing on Cannondale's cross bike.

Out of the new stuff, I think I'd land on this:

The XR4

But at the shop, we've got a left over in this:

The Optimo 3

So what to do, what to do? Sizing? Proper Cross sizing is going down one size from what you would normally ride, I am typically a 58 or 60 depending on the bike, does that mean I go 56? That scares me for some reason.


bluecolnago said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh a. lo...... go to a bike that fits. some say smaller, some say no. my cx bike is the same size as my road bike and it fits just fine. ya gotta do what works for you, buddy.

The Jackal said...

Sizing is very important and Cannondale does a great job of making it easy for the consumer, assuming that you know which size ROAD bike you would ride in Cannodale's lineup. Generally speaking, it is normal to have the saddle-to-bar position on your CX bike to be about 1cm shorter than your road bike. That is just a starting point and not necessarily what you will finish with.

I'll use my size for an example since both you and I have about the same inseam. I ride a 58cm Cannondale road frame with a 57.5cm top tube and a 120mm long stem. For me (key words) it fits great. On a Cannondale CX frame (wish I had one) I would ride a 56cm frame with a 57cm toptube and the same 120mm stem. This gives me the same saddle position on both bikes and a slightly shorter reach for the cx bike. I also run my stem about 10-15mm higher on my CX bike than I do on my road bike, which is another detail that you need to keep in mind.

If the Optimo 3 that you have in the shop is a 56cm frame I would probably grab it. Not a ton of money tied up in it that way and a great way to get started.