2014 Jake vs. Invite 2 vs. customized Felt Nine-80



alanamcdowell

New Member
Sep 6, 2013
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Hello all!

I'm a college student in Boulder, Colorado and I'm looking to buy a bike!

Most of my riding is going to be on the streets, (with a backpack and books and all that) but I definitely want to do some mountain biking and trail riding, as well as some small bike trips (150 miles or less.) Those would probably be on pavement.

I also want something that will handle well in the rain and possibly snow (or slush.)

I really like the feel of drop down handle bars, as I tend to want to get in the optimal position for really pumping and gathering good momentum. I'm female, 5'4", and I weigh around 115.

I'm considering 2 cyclocross bikes and a customized mountain bike:

2014 Jake, by Kona (Cyclocross bike for $1200)

Invite 2, by Giant (Womens' specific Cyclocross bike for $1150)

Nine 80, by Felt (Mountain bike for $600) For this one i would have drop handlebars installed.
I'm not sure how that would work or feel considering the geometry of a mountain bike is different than that of cyclo-x or road bikes, but I know that I absolutely want the versatility of droppers. I would also switch to thinner tires for more precision on the road. This one might cost up to $800 or $900 after the work I'd want on it is done.

What do you think?
Which seems like the best option? I'm trying to be economical which is why I'm still considering customizing a cheaper bike which would still cost less than either of the cyclo-x bikes. But is that a wonky idea?

Do you know of any other reliable cyclocross bikes that would be a good option for me?
Or really anything that is speedy and smooth on the road but handles the bumps and surprises of mountain riding..

THANK YOU so much for your help!!
Peace.
 

vspa

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2009
2,203
76
0
you have to make up your mind or buy two bikes, a road / cross bike and a MTB, a MTB will work on pavement and for commuting to college, but a road/cross bike will not work on mountain trails and off road mountain biking, cyclocross is a very specific sport really, different from cross country MTB, there is debate about female specific bikes, some bike manufacturers say it is the same, others market for women geometries, from your choices, i can see that the Giant will give you a slightly more upright position than the Kona, which sounds logical considering the female upper body, so my advice is not to convert a MTB to drop bars, you buy one or the other or both of them, p.s. you need to budget for a helmet, security locks like a U-Lock for college parking, and a flat repair set to carry with you
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
6,723
254
63
Quote: Originally Posted by alanamcdowell .
Hello all!

I'm a college student in Boulder, Colorado and I'm looking to buy a bike!

Most of my riding is going to be on the streets, (with a backpack and books and all that) but I definitely want to do some mountain biking and trail riding, as well as some small bike trips (150 miles or less.) Those would probably be on pavement.


I also want something that will handle well in the rain and possibly snow (or slush.)

I really like the feel of drop down handle bars, as I tend to want to get in the optimal position for really pumping and gathering good momentum. I'm female, 5'4", and I weigh around 115.


I'm considering 2 cyclocross bikes and a customized mountain bike:

2014 Jake, by Kona (Cyclocross bike for $1200)

Invite 2, by Giant (Womens' specific Cyclocross bike for $1150)

Nine 80, by Felt (Mountain bike for $600) For this one i would have drop handlebars installed.
I'm not sure how that would work or feel considering the geometry of a mountain bike is different than that of cyclo-x or road bikes, but I know that I absolutely want the versatility of droppers. I would also switch to thinner tires for more precision on the road. This one might cost up to $800 or $900 after the work I'd want on it is done.

What do you think?
Which seems like the best option? I'm trying to be economical which is why I'm still considering customizing a cheaper bike which would still cost less than either of the cyclo-x bikes. But is that a wonky idea?

Do you know of any other reliable cyclocross bikes that would be a good option for me?
Or really anything that is speedy and smooth on the road but handles the bumps and surprises of mountain riding..

THANK YOU so much for your help!!
Peace.




FWIW. I think that a 29er Hardtail has the potential to be the perfect one-bike platform for a rider who only has one bike. A consideration which is dictated by terrain is whether one should opt for a 29er with a Rigid fork or a Suspension fork ...

Based on your criteria & knowing what I know & based on the bikes you are considering, I would definitely be inclined toward the Felt NINE 80 ...

Until you graduate OR feel inclined toward a fairly serious DIY project OR wait until some disc compatible Road shifters are available you can limit your cost to ....

  1. the bike ...
  2. the cost of the alternate set of tires & tubes (+ possibly a second wheelset) ... the rim width will dictate the smallest tire size (hopefully, 700x28 ... I vaguely recall that some of the streets in Boulder are paved with brick ... if that is true of where you will be riding, then 700x28 @ 85PSI-to-90PSI may be better than 700x25 tires).
  3. $30 for a set of ORIGIN DROP BARENDS ...


These are currently available from two different sources on eBay for just under $28 (free shipping), so if an LBS near you has them, then that + sales tax should be the approximate price.

I hate TORX bolts, but if you will be leaving the bike parked anywhere on-or-near campus then I suggest that you consider replacing the Allen headed bolts with TORX bolts.

BTW. I'm in favor of MTBs with Road bars ...

This is a 26er Hardtail with a Road crankset & Drop Handlebars prior to having the cables attached ...


The particular suspension fork doesn't have-or-need a lock-out because it has almost no range & it's weight is barely more than that of a Rigid fork because it has Carbon Fiber lowers.

I'm pretty sure that the mechanical disc brake calipers use linear pull brake levers ...

The DIY project (this is NOT for the faint of heart) is to mate a TEKTRO linear pull Road brake lever with the "working" portion of a Campagnolo shifter.

If you ever opt for the Campagnolo shifters, it would easier to simply replace the SRAM X4 rear derailleur on the FELT Nine 80 (which I think uses the proprietary SRAM 1:1 pull ratio) with a Shimano rear derailleur, but I am pretty sure that you can circumvent the 1:1 pull by simply looping the derailleur cable around the bracket that holds the dongle that is used to guide the cable OR drill an secondary hole through the plastic guide which flanks the metal bracket for a cosmetically tidier installation.

Integrated Road shifters & brake levers for mechanical disc brakes are a future inevitability ... the cost will probably be on the high side, at first.

BTW. Your height & weight could makes a 29er a bit more challenging than you expect when ascending trails than with a 26er. Consequently, it would be really beneficial if you could borrow a 29er for a ride up a couple of hills (paved or otherwise) & compare it against a 26er on the same climbs just so you won't be surprised the first time you go off road ...

By my reckoning, a 'small' 29er is like a 'medium' 26er ... so, you'll probably want a 29er with an XS frame. EMS does not indicate that they have one in stock, so you'll have to have them order one with a 14" (XS) frame.

BTW2, If you aren't racing, then the slacker head tube angle will (probably) be quite pleasant when you are riding on pavement.

BTW3. 650b is an in-between wheel/tire size which may be of interest to you in the future ... a bit on the trendy side at the moment, so there probably won't be any reasonably priced bikes with that wheel size for a few more years.

BTW4. Get a REALLY GOOD lock & use it!