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I am looking at getting a new bike. I currently ride a cannondale caad8 road bike but it doesnt seem to cope with the punishment from 20 miles a day on poor quality roads so I was thinking of getting a cyclocross bike. I have been looking at the raleigh rx comp but can anyone suggest any other bikes around the same price mark (£1000-1500)?

29 comments

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Caketsar [3 posts] 2 years ago
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You might want a new bike...not sure, but I changed my tyres from 23mm gatorskins to 25mm gatorskins & the difference was unreal! Might be worth changing tyres first if you're on some skinniest!! (On my giant OCR)

I have a dolan multi-x that I use for cyclo-cross & general run-about stuff, and that seems to cope with everything thrown at it - it's a bit of a heavyweight but does the job fine & you'll have plenty of change! Certainly would stand up to a winter commute.

If you want something new, what about a Kona Rove...seems to egg rave reviews & would do for other stuff too...

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johnny1986 [7 posts] 2 years ago
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The main issues I've been suffering with are the rear wheel bearing and spokes. I have broken more spokes than I care to count and have had my rear wheel bearing fixed three times and have finally bought a new rear wheel (2nd hand cyclocross one that is slightly wider) I have noticed the bumps feel reduced with the new rear wheel. In the 2 years that I have owned it doing 20 miles a day 300ish days a year I have had the BB replaced once, 3 new rear mechs, and replaced the front chain rings, cassette and chain once. I have also had all the repairs on the rear wheel and its looking like my front mech will need changing soon as well as possibly the rear brake as the spring seems to be losing its bounce back. Is this normal wear and tear or would something a bit more rugged be advisable?

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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My mate just bought the new Canyon alu cyclocross bike, set up for road with discs and 28mm tyres. He loves it! Says the 28mm tyres make it so comfy and really planted in the corners and descents.
Starts at £1150 for a 105 equipped bike. I'd be bloody tempted!

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Jack Osbourne snr [390 posts] 2 years ago
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I ride 14 miles a day on average road surfaces. In the same time as you, I have replaced 1x bb, 1x front mech (both originals were cheap shit), 3x chain, 1x big ring, 1x cassette and stripped and serviced the rear hub once. My main issue is Scottish weather and the amount of crap that infects every part of the bike.

Max out your tyre size for the frame. This will cut out some of the road shock. Also, run tyres at a lower pressure eg 90-95psi for a 25mm
Clean and lube your drivetrain as much as possible. This is both curative and preventative.
Check all cables regularly (3 rear mechs is an abnormally high death rate)
Clean & lube brakes periodically. They do get gummed up.

Also...

Try another bike mechanic or get some classes for yourself. DIY can save a fortune.

To be honest, apart from the multiple rear mechs, your component replacement rate is fairly acceptable.

Regarding wheels though, reviewing tyres and the weight they are being expected to carry will help.

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Argos74 [383 posts] 2 years ago
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+1 on the bike love/maintenance.

I'm running an Arkose CX beast for 80-100 miles/week of commuting, trail and fun riding. 8 months and not one mechanical so far. Well up to the task of coping with moderate mileage on grotty surfaces, and I'm not the lightest of riders. In retrospective, for an "n" bike, I'd have gone for a decent hybrid (recent Hoy and Raleigh releases look very nice indeed). Very little drop off in performance, and great deal more change out of your budget.

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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The wearing of your mechs is weird, isn't it? Do you cross-chain much, do you know? I imagine if you do, that'll put more strain on things. How about your cadence? Is it quite low? I've heard that can contribute to component wear (and destroy your joints, but that's another matter).

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sm [375 posts] 2 years ago
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My commuter is a steel, single speed, 25mm tyres, not over inflated. Lovely.

Easy to maintain (i'm yet to clean the 1/2 inch chain in 12 months and it doesn't stretch much either) and fun to ride (fixed). I do about 13 miles each day. Depends on how flat your route is.

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Bagpuss [99 posts] 2 years ago
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As said already with that many miles a year on one bike then I'd expect that wear on the drive chain and BB. I'd probably have replace the jockey wheels in the rear mech too but not the mech itself. To get through 3 is, I think, pretty unusual. You're going to get that sort of wear on any bike, CX, road or hybrid. Bit late now but it's cheaper to replace chains more frequently, a chain checker could save you a fair bit in the long term.

As for the wheels, see how the CX wheel you've got goes then when the time comes invest in a new ones rather than throw money at the existing ones. See what your LBS can build for you based on your mileage, and see what your frame will accommodate tyre width wise.

For the rear brake then check the cable is moving freely in the outer, if it isn't then it's time for a new cable and outer. Also give the brake a good clean. If poss remove it from the bike, remove the pads and give it a good scrub with a toothbrush and some GT85 or similar getting the spring freed up.

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mrmo [2064 posts] 2 years ago
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Have to wonder what you are doing to your bike!

So far this year i have done just shy of 8.5k miles, in that time i have changed one cassette, one chain, one set of cables, and a fair few tyres.

Some nice roads, some gravel roads.

In my experience rear mechs on road bikes are virtually indestructible, shifters do wear out after a few years. Decent wheels last until the rim wears out, in my case years.

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mike the bike [613 posts] 2 years ago
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Blimey Johnny, you are an unlucky bloke. Or maybe you have a lucky mechanic?

My last commuter, and I mean last as I have just retired, was a £500 Boardman hybrid. It came with entry-level SRAM X5 gears and I fitted plastic mudguards and Randonneur tyres. What a machine!

I ran it for three years of twenty-five miles a day commuting over some of the worst roads in England. I never suffered a single mechanical problem, had three or four flats, and spent a maximum £35 per year on a new chain and cassette.

But I did take care of it. It was washed and lubed weekly and my Christmas holiday would invariably see me spending a day in the garage attending to both hubs, the headset and the jockey wheels.

When I finally finished work I gave it a quick polish and sold it for £150 to the first potential buyer. Looking back I wish I'd asked £200.

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Joeinpoole [439 posts] 2 years ago
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The CAAD8 is a bottom of the range road bike, built down to a price from relatively cheap components and certainly not intended for the mileage that you're putting it through.

I'm sure that a CX bike, where robustness rather than weight-saving is the priority, would serve you much better. They are more expensive than the CAAD8 because they are built from better components that are built to take punishment.

I'd certainly recommend the Specialized Tricross Sport that I use. You can go anywhere on it and it seems fairly indestructible although I can't claim the mileage that you do. You can pick up a decent 2010 or 2011 model from eBay nowadays for as little as £400. Try one.

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Jack Osbourne snr [390 posts] 2 years ago
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I was thinking about this whilst I was running around with the kids today...

I have changed/replaced two rear mechs. However, that's been the total in over 25 years of riding geared bikes.

I can't help but think someone in a bike shop is ripping the proverbial out of you by diagnosing mech failure rather than manky mech syndrome.

Talking of rear mechs - I have a 90's vintage 7/8 speed Dura Ace rear mech that looks almost brand new having been used for a few hundred miles before I went back to Campagnolo. It's for sale if anyone's interested.

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johnny1986 [7 posts] 2 years ago
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I feel I may not have explained the rear mech situation very well. I am currently on my third mech so have killed 2. The first died of mechanical failure when the metal around the main attachment bolt shattered and the mech flew forward into the spokes (shimano refused to accept responsibility however the UK suppliers did offer me a discount) The second seized up and would not swing freely. All of the other replacements were done by myself and did not involve my LBS, however I do trust them completely as they have always been very good (keeping the cx wheel for me rather than selling it to anyone else for starters).

I try and strip the rear mech and clean and re-grease the jockey wheels every month as well as remove and clean the cassette, chain rings and chain with lube applied to the chain very regularly and TF2 applied to the main brake area (obv not the pads), and any moving areas of the front and rear mech roughly every month.

Thanks for the advice bashthebox but my route involves 192m of climbing over 9 miles which I know isn't that much but the gradients are not friendly at all.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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Quite obviously, the OP is looking for a modern bike but, FWIW, my choice of winter bike is incredibly comfortable, ultra reliable, requires almost no servicing, is surprisingly quick, and only cost me a tenner at a car boot sale a few years ago.

It's a 1950's Raleigh 3 speed, and it only adds 60 seconds onto my 15 minute commute, when compared to my modern hybrid. The only nod to modernism are the slime filled inner tubes (no punctures in five years). The chain, which sits in an oil bath enclosed chaincase, looks like new.

Ok, it it probably sounds a bit daft to you fast boys, but if you just want a bike to get you to work, and you're constantly faffing around with modern parts that are designed to have a short lifespan, why not add an older bike to your collection, for riding around town in the winter? The money you save could mean you can afford a better race bike.

And, if you've never ridden a shallow angled steel framed bike from yesteryear, be prepared to be blown away by the ride comfort. Less punishment passes too.

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philtregear [109 posts] 2 years ago
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i have upgraded an old derailleur bike with SA 3 speed/hub brake/dynamo wheels. I am currently making a customised ali chaincase for it. now that may be extreme, but it is borne out of getting fed up with failing gears and chains, filthy parts and crap rim brakes on my 20 mile commute on country roads in the winter.

the point i am making is why not consider hub gears and hub or disc brakes??? genesis day one is now £1000 but, due to its success, it now has competitors. as a cheap self build, planetx do the kaffenback frame, which will take discs and hub gears. i priced a self build bike with an alfine 8 speed wheelset at approx £800 using this frame.

my SA 3 speed is yet to see the roads due to wanting to sort the chaincase first ( which is proving quite difficult). the 3 gears have a very wide ratio between them, so hills should be no bother. obviously, the more gears, the more choice for cadence etc. I just wanted to keep things simple but be able to survive hills and severe headwinds when knackered.

the weakness of my bike( and any hubgear/braked set up) over a derailleur will be when getting a rear wheel puncture. I am using 35mm schwalbe marathon pluses to minimise this eventuality.

The strengths are: virtually maintenance free; good braking in all weathers; no batteries to replace; no QR to lock up; definitely not a looker, so less chance of being nicked.

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Goldfever4 [218 posts] 2 years ago
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johnny1986 wrote:

I feel I may not have explained the rear mech situation very well. I am currently on my third mech so have killed 2. The first died of mechanical failure when the metal around the main attachment bolt shattered and the mech flew forward into the spokes (shimano refused to accept responsibility however the UK suppliers did offer me a discount)

This happened to me with a Campag mech last year - 4 months old, the rear mech hangar broke off and the chain tension pulled it through the rear triangle into the spokes - I was going about 40km/ at the time on a dual carriageway, lost 8 spokes, wasn't much fun! Stayed up though, somehow. Hope your incident wasn't too bad. For me it took a month to get sorted with the supplier, but apparently some old boy in Campag had seen it happen twice before so they repaired my bike and threw in some new hoops (I wonder what I would have got had I been hurt). Originally Campag tried to argue that I must have adjusted the mech so badly that I changed gear and this pulled the mech into the spokes - err, no.

Anyway, I have a new Specialized Tricross (Tiagra) and it's serving me very well so far - good riding position, predictable point and squirt front end and the disc brakes are excellent when it rains. Also the tiagra groupset hasn't set me wrong once. I do regret not knowing about the Canyon that has been mentioned but I'd suggest giving the Tricross a try.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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@ Philtregear - sounds like a good plan.

I guess the cycle industry likes pushing derailler equipped winter bikes, because it ensures a steady stream of customers replacing prematurely worn out parts. Good for the bike trade, but totally bonkers for the planet.

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Jack Osbourne snr [390 posts] 2 years ago
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Aha. That makes a bit of a difference. I'll drop the conspiracy theory and my apologies if we've inadvertently dissed your grease monkey skills!

Mech one may have been over-torqued, but it's probably bad luck.
Mech two might have lived longer with a weekly GT85ing to blast crap out of the pivots and keep it slippy.

At this time of year, the road crud can overwhelm the majority of cleaning and lubing efforts within days at your mileage. I had to stop into a shop for an emergency can of GT85 yesterday after my entire drivetrain started to misfire on the way to work.

Your problems are much more likely to be what's on top of the road rather than the road itself, so other than to satisfy n+1, a CX bike is probably not the solution.

If pressed for a recommendation, I'd go for the Boardman CX Team at £900. Add full mudguards and some 32mm Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres and you have an awesome commuter bike that will eat crap road surfaces. I cruise comfortably at 20+ mph on these tyres, so don't worry about the bigger tyre being slow.

Previous advice regarding cleaning and lubing regimes remain the same regardless of the bike.

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johnny1986 [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Thank you for all the advice. I know that the regular maintenance is going to be a must regardless of what bike I get, just need to find the time with a full time job, a 3 year old an 18 month old and a wife at university studying nursing!!

Speaking of maintenance a lot of people recommend gt85, I am using TF2 at the moment, is there much of a difference? I use it on all the mechanical moving parts (rear/front mech, spd peddles, brake swing arms etc) and I am using muc off chain cleaner and finish line wet lube on the chain. I also grease the jockey wheels with LM grease. Is there anything I should be doing differently?

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wellcoordinated [204 posts] 2 years ago
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If you keep breaking spokes your wheel has not be trued correctly. The wheel may be round and not wobble so 'true' in the eyes of the unaware, but it will not have had any uneven stresses removed from it. A good wheel builder lightly trues the wheel, then pulls it around in various ways to remove the internal stresses, then the wheel gets trued again. This happens until all the uneven stresses are removed. Get someone who knows what they are doing to rebuild your wheel properly and you'll be fine.

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mrmo [2064 posts] 2 years ago
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johnny1986 wrote:

The first died of mechanical failure when the metal around the main attachment bolt shattered and the mech flew forward into the spokes (shimano refused to accept responsibility however the UK suppliers did offer me a discount) The second seized up and would not swing freely.

On the first rear mech, do you remember when it happened, mechs don't usually snap, it can happen, but is usually something to trigger it, bad shift, chainsuck, twig.

Second one Is actually more perplexing, basically rear mechs that are used don't sieze. You did try and soak the rear mech in GT85 or similar???

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8o8 finch@m [15 posts] 2 years ago
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Why not have a look at the Giant Revolt 1 which is almost a halfway house between a cyclocross and road bike..... It comes in under the £1000 Mark, which means it comes within the "ride to work scheme", it has good traction, disc breaks, and is a very robust bike. Bullet proof....

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johnny1986 [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Well I think I have made a decision. I have been limited to brand choices as my lbs is doing 0% over 24 months for me and taking my caad8 as the deposit so I am going for the Raleigh RX Comp. Pretty much the same kit on it as 1500-1800 colnagos, felts and ridleys but for 1200.

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johnny1986 [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Argh!!! After being so certain on getting the raleigh another contender has reared its head. Kinesis Crosslight pro 6. Any suggestions people?

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VeloPeo [301 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a Crosslight Pro 6 - bloody lovely bike. Built it up with 105 and it's an absolute blast to ride.

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Dave42W [49 posts] 2 years ago
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My bike does not do the same number of commuter miles (my work is based from home) but it is ridden every day whatever the weather and has done over 3,500 miles in it's first year.
Routine maintenance has been virtually zero. Certainly needs nothing at all doing most months (and I mean nothing: it does not get a wash, a light charging or a tyre pumped up).
The key secrets?
- Rohloff hub gears
- Gates Belt Drive
- Hope Hydraulic Disk Brakes
- Schmidt dynamo with front and rear lights
- 32mm Schwalbe Durano tyres

Other elements include a Hope BB with ceramic bearings.

To be sure it is not the world's fastest bike (unless you include all those hours of cleaning/servicing when it easily wins). But it could be setup to be a lot faster by losing some of the racks (rear, front randoneer and low rider), metal long fenders with mudflaps, the Brooks saddle, no kickstand and possibly replacing the Jones Loop H-Bar with drop handlebars - in that guise I am confident it could compete with most cross bikes on most commutes and still not need servicing.

Oh and the real bonus is that 50% of the total cost was for items made in the UK.

See http://42bikes.warnock.me.uk/2013/11/30/reliability-is-not-boring/ which details all the maintenance needed over 12 months/

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smuggers [30 posts] 2 years ago
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I like the look of the Rose Pro DX..And will probably get one for commuting next year.. A great all rounder, with good spec and within your budget.

http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/bike/rose-pro-dx-cross-4400-2014/aid:692456?b...

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smuggers [30 posts] 2 years ago
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Dave42W wrote:

My bike does not do the same number of commuter miles (my work is based from home) but it is ridden every day whatever the weather and has done over 3,500 miles in it's first year.
Routine maintenance has been virtually zero. Certainly needs nothing at all doing most months (and I mean nothing: it does not get a wash, a light charging or a tyre pumped up).
The key secrets?
- Rohloff hub gears
- Gates Belt Drive
- Hope Hydraulic Disk Brakes
- Schmidt dynamo with front and rear lights
- 32mm Schwalbe Durano tyres

Other elements include a Hope BB with ceramic bearings.

To be sure it is not the world's fastest bike (unless you include all those hours of cleaning/servicing when it easily wins). But it could be setup to be a lot faster by losing some of the racks (rear, front randoneer and low rider), metal long fenders with mudflaps, the Brooks saddle, no kickstand and possibly replacing the Jones Loop H-Bar with drop handlebars - in that guise I am confident it could compete with most cross bikes on most commutes and still not need servicing.

Oh and the real bonus is that 50% of the total cost was for items made in the UK.

See http://42bikes.warnock.me.uk/2013/11/30/reliability-is-not-boring/ which details all the maintenance needed over 12 months/

Love your Stoater plus, Dave.. Great to see a independent British company, building such awesome bikes.. I think, I shall have to get saving up after drooling over their website this morning.. Blown away by the quality and attention to detail... Not sure my wife will be quite as enthusiastic though !!  1

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johnny1986 [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Im going to get the pro6 but hopefully getting a hope wheel set and hope bb to make it a bit more durable