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So I'm looking to get my first 'serious' bike... I'd like to do roads, touring, and rail trails... It was suggested that cross bikes might be the way to go...

I've settled into a $1000 budget. The Kona Jake seemed to be the best at this entry level price in terms of components...

UNTIL...

I ran across bikes direct and the Motobecane Fantom CROSS Pro.. It seems to be a SERIOUS upgrade in terms of components and carbon fork. All for the same $999 price. (I'll have a LBS build it for about $50)

Now.. my concerns are - 1) Am I missing something that makes the Kona Jake a better bike despite the major degradation in components and no carbon fork?

2) Is the 2 ring front derailleur going to be an issue with only 20 speeds? I live in a very hilly area.. Hills are par for the course on any road ride.

Any other input/advice is MUCH appreciated.

Ken
 

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Looks like the main difference is the drive train. If you are going to ride on steep terrain, you will probably appreciate the triple.
 

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Buddy of mine ordered a MB Fantom Pro MTB 29'er from bikesdirect.

I was impressed with the fit and finish, and the bike arrived in less than one week. For $900, it even included hydraulic disc brakes.

Service from that website was top-notch, and you can ask them questions, they will give you answers.
 

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Grenouille
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whatever your budget, remember to leave some over for the peripherals--bike clothing, shoes if you are going w/ clipless pedals, air pump or cartridges, multitool, saddlebag, bike computer.

But after all that the marginal cost is zero! Compare to golf, skiing, whatever, it's a cheap exercise regime.
 

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Wow! I am surprised how the Motobecane is 'only' 999$ with an Ultegra groupset, while a Cannondale CaadX is around 1400$ with 105..

Anyone care to explain?
 

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Wow! I am surprised how the Motobecane is 'only' 999$ with an Ultegra groupset, while a Cannondale CaadX is around 1400$ with 105..

Anyone care to explain?
Cost of marketing and profit margins. Cannondale does a lot more marketing and research and development then Motobecane, just as Trek does, someone has to pay for that marketing and R and D, plus with Trek and Cannodale they give bikes to race team for free, again someone has to pay for those expenses. Either of the three bikes come out of either China or Tiawan so the cost to make the frame and components is virtually the same.

So for the price the Motobecane Fantom cross pro bike is a great deal. If you could swing an additional $700 bucks you could really up grade to a Titanium Cross bike where the Ti frame would never wear out and extremely crash resilient. It may be a bit of a stretch financially but worth taking a look at; see: Titanium Cyclocross Bicycles | Road Bikes - Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Titanium | Cross Bikes
 

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American Expatriate
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The Fantom Cross Pro is a really nice bike, especially at that price. The specs are good and it seems to be put together well from the one I have seen. Cyclocross bikes are quite versatile and can be ridden on many surfaces. You are not missing much at all by getting it.

Be sure, as you said, to have your LBS look it over and get fit properly. You will have yourself a fine bike after that.

Cheers,

Brian J.
 
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