Cell SS100 vs Giant CRX4



Kneedown19

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Sep 20, 2007
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Hey Everyone

Another newbie to the forum from Perth and to this whole cycling caper.

I am looking for a cheap flat bar road bike and have been trying to get a hold of a cheap second hand Giant CRX1/2/3/4 for about $500 without much luck. I plan to use this bike for occasional commuting to the city which is about 18km each way and the odd weekend ride (not in organised group rides).

Have since been considering buying a new CRX4 but came across the Cell SS100 which seems well priced.

447_photo.jpg


http://www.cellbikes.com.au/p_447_CELL_BICYCLES__SS_100__Flat_Handlebar_Road_Bike

Can anyone offer some advice about the quality or performance of this bike in comparison to say a Giant CRX4 as far as components go?

Any comments will be much appreciated.
smile.gif
 

gclark8

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In a word, service? :eek:
Where in Perth would you get you Cell fixed?

I have many friends with a Giant CRX4, only one friend with a Cell, I do most of her work or take it to my LBS for the tricky jobs. Her next bike will be locally purchased. :)
 

Kneedown19

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Sep 20, 2007
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Hi George

Thanks for the reply. Forgive my ignorance here but I thought a bike is a bike is a bike? :rolleyes:

Why would any bike shop not be able to service a bicycle which has wheels pedals and other gear similar to most other bikes? They all seem to use the same Shimano/Tektro/XYZ Brand gear anyway.
 

gclark8

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Cell is a mail order/internet shop in Sydney.

I'll wager if you try to book it into any Perth shop they will be "too busy"...

Besides, the CRX4 is a better bike, I'm buying one next week. :D
 

BikeBloke

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Aug 25, 2006
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Kneedown19 said:
... I thought a bike is a bike is a bike? :rolleyes:
'Recognised' brands have their advantages, especially as brand names become strong keywords for internet shoppers, (eg, Quokka, eBay, etc). If you buy an obscure brand, you'll have a hard time selling it (unless you fit a Brooks saddle on it!) because people just don't take much notice of something that isn't so well known. That's not a problem if you're going to keep it for a while, then pass it on to a relative/friend when you've ready to part with it.

Kneedown19 said:
... Why would any bike shop not be able to service a bicycle which has wheels pedals and other gear similar to most other bikes? They all seem to use the same Shimano/Tektro/XYZ Brand gear anyway.
Whilst Perth seems to have a lot of bike shops, you may find that unless you've purchased a product from a particular shop, their willingness to work on something 'foreign' probably won't be a priority job for them. There's probably exceptions, but you wouldn't want to travel far from home to get the service you really want.

In my case, I think I chose well to buy a CRX4 back in September 2005. I bought it from Shop(A) and after 1,000km or so, the bottom bracket started to make serious creaking sounds. I took it back to the place where I bought it from for a 'service' (hoping they would address the BB problem), but they did little more than check the tyre pressures and call me back 3 days later saying it was 'ready'. So, then I took it to another place (next to the Porsche shop) for service and to my surprise, they were willing to service the bike for no charge, simply because it was a Giant. I could have not said anything and paid nothing for the service & BB repair, but it was only fair to offer to pay for their time & materials as I didn't buy the bike from them. If it had not been a Giant and I'd gone to a dealer that didn't deal in Giant, then I really doubt that I would have been so welcome. Finally, I got the bike serviced on the same day (a few hours in the workshop in total).

In the case of the flat-bar bikes from Cell, they seem OK for the price, but if you're going to be spending their asking price for a SS100/200/300, then you might as well pay a little bit more and go for a Giant/Avanti/Shogun or what's in that range. Don't forget to allow for the freight cost when buying from Cell Bikes.

If the Cell bikes were 50%~60% of the price of a 'brand name' bike, and you consider yourself to be competent in maintenance/repairs, then they're a good buy, especially if you lived right near their store where you don't have to pay freight. But the fact is, the Cell bikes aren't a hugely cheaper than other mainstream brands and a lot of people (myself included) are really only able to do 'basic' work (tyre changing, brake adjustment), so they're probably going to depend on a good LBS who provides good service & repair work beyond the initial purchase. Yes, you pay more up front, but in the long run the unit cost (day or km usage) then diminishes to the point there the brand-name bike is a more attractive buy.
 

Kneedown19

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Sep 20, 2007
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Cheers for the replies guys.

George, I really like the look of the Felt you have for sale but unfortunately it's too big and too many $$$ for me. :cool:

With regards to the whole brand servicing issue, it seems to me that bicycle shops are making a mountain out of a molehill. Or rocket science out of a bicycle. :confused:

I race 1000cc superbikes and can quite understand why a Yamaha dealer may not have all the necessary expertise to diagnose and service a Honda/Suzuki/Kawasaki and vice versa even though essentially they are very similar. I do most of my general maintenance and modifications on my bike myself but leave the complicated stuff like fuel injection tuning and valve clearance adjustment etc to trained pro's.

But when I hear about servicing issues based on 'brand/make' with a bicycle...just makes me shake my head in dismay. What a bunch of ****! :rolleyes:

Will keep looking for a reasonably priced flat bar roadie for now.
 

gclark8

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Yes the Felt is nice. :)
What size are you looking for?
How tall?
I sold a 2 year old Avanti Blade last week for $250. :cool:
 

Kneedown19

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Sep 20, 2007
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We have a winner!

Did a bit of looking around and picked up one of these on the weekend...

2007 Avanti Blade Sport!

Was comparing it to a Specialized Sirrus Sport found it much more suited to me in tems of fit and feel and so far I am extremely happy with it. Have been for a couple of quick rides already and it such a quick bike compared to my old moutnain bike or my g/f's Giant Elwood! :D
avablaspl07.jpg
 

BikeBloke

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Aug 25, 2006
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Kneedown19 said:
Did a bit of looking around and picked up one of these on the weekend... 2007 Avanti Blade Sport!
Well done! Nice bike. With a bit of leg power, that sprocket combination would have you rolling along pretty quickly.
 

Kneedown19

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Sep 20, 2007
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Yup, definitely a very quick bike compared to what I'm used to! I really like the ergonomics of the frame as I can go head down really easy or potter along upright when the girlfriend comes for a ride.


Only thing I don't like so far is the saddle which is a bit big for my liking. I was thinking of getting a new one until I saw the prices of 'race' saddles!!! :eek:

Will probably consider step in pedals at some stage but can't be stuffed with special shoes etc for now.

Paid less than $600 for it brand new too! :D
 

BikeBloke

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Kneedown19 said:
Yup, definitely a very quick bike compared to what I'm used to!
What size tyres are you on? 700C-28 or narrower? I upgraded mine to the Conti Gatorskins; 700C-23 and they go really well. They roll wel, yet don't transmit too much vibration back through the bars when on coarse road surfaces.

Kneedown19 said:
I really like the ergonomics of the frame as I can go head down really easy or potter along upright when the girlfriend comes for a ride.
Yes, flat-bar bikes are excellent in that way. That's the main reason why I got the Giant CRX; if I rode a drop-bar race bike with my wife & kids around the park or along the river cycleway, not only would I look silly, but I'd either have to ride painfully slow or sprint ahead and not be part of the ride. The flat bar is great for that, but if I want to go quicker out on the road, then the CRX can handle a 'touring pace' better than a mountain bike with knobbly tyres.

Kneedown19 said:
Only thing I don't like so far is the saddle which is a bit big for my liking. I was thinking of getting a new one until I saw the prices of 'race' saddles!!! :eek:
.

You can get race-style saddles without breaking the bank. For example, something like http://www.cellbikes.com.au/p_739_PRO__Eagle__Road_Bike_Saddle

What I recommend you do, is go to a bike shop where they can offer any saddle on an exchange-if-required basis. Glen Parker Cycles in Nedlands are usually pretty good like that; you buy a saddle, but they'll happily let you change it so something else within a short period as long as the item is unmarked and can be resold with original packaging.

I've got a few saddles, the main one being a Selle Italia FLX Gel Flow
which cost about $49. It's a good compromise for both road use and parks/cycleways.

Another one I bought not long ago is a Selle Italia SLR XP, which is fairly light, leather clad and rather 'Spartan'. See: http://www.nrcycles.com/images/slrxp.jpg

I got the Selle Italia SLR XP for longish road rides, particularly the www.greatbikeride.com.au coming in late November (see you there eh?).

The SLR XP is really good out on the road, but absolutely awful around the local parks. Why? Quite simple... the roads where cars drive are really quite smooth, but the parks & cycleways have pavement joints, which will give you a very jarring ride with a 'race-style' saddle.

Just recently I bought a Huffy mountain bike for my 12 year old son. The saddle that came with it has a fantastic contour, almost like a San Selle Marco Rolls. I will mount that on the CRX one day and ride it for an hour or so. Who knows, I might even leave it on indefinitely. I'll keep you posted on this one. Interestingly, the Huffy saddle I'm talking about can't be bought separately. I've seen other Huffy saddles in K-Mart, but not the same as the one supplied on the bike I just bought.

Kneedown19 said:
Will probably consider step in pedals at some stage but can't be stuffed with special shoes etc for now.
I've got a set of Shimano M324s, which I quite like.
http://www.cellbikes.com.au/p_85_Shimano__PDM324_SPD_PEDALS__SPDPLATFORM

Sometimes Cell Bikes advertise 'shoe & pedal bundles' at hugely discounted prices, so look out for them! Just make sure you know your correct shoe size before ordering. Going to a LBS might cost a bit more, however you're guaranteed of not making a misteak when you pick the shoe that fits you.

Kneedown19 said:
Paid less than $600 for it brand new too! :D
That's good, you did well in that respect. Buying a good bike with the intention of keeping it for the long term really makes sense. I've had my CRX for 2 years now and I realise now that it's unlikely to be replaced by anything else. (famous last words).

Have fun on the Blade!
 

Kneedown19

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Sep 20, 2007
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Hey Bike Bloke cheers for all the great advice.

Yes, the Blade does have 700Cx28 tyres. At the moment I really like the versatility of the bike as it is. The slightly fatter tyres are not too bad over the concrete paths and still really nice on the bitumen as well.

When these tyres wear out or I start commuting regularly I may consider the ones you mentioned as a few people have given them the thumbs up here.

As for the saddle I will just see how I go with it for now. If it becomes a major annoyance then I will have to throw some money at it. Maybe I will ask Fleet what they can do for a trade as the saddle is still unmarked.

Thanks for the advice on the pedals. That looks to be exactly what I will need! The abaility to use regular shoes as well as cycle shoes, when I want them would be great. Cell bikes seem to have some great specials online. They have a MTB pedal/shoe combo on special at the moment. Will have to wait for the road option to come up.

Lastly cheers for the heads up on the bike ride. Already thinking of doing the 53km ride. The g/f is looking at the 12km! :p See you out there!
 

gclark8

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On the pedals, the Shimano M324s are a MTB style pedal, so the Cell offer may be the right one... ;)

If you are up Bassendean way, call in and let us see the bike, BB is only a couple of Ks from me. :)
 

Kneedown19

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Sep 20, 2007
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Cell has a special on M424 pedals/M075 shoes which are a MTB combo.

There are some M324 pedals on Ebay for about $69 + shipping atm but I am not in a rush.

If I'm ever coming up Basso way I will let you know George. I live in Bicton so it is a bit of a hike for me. My bum wouldn't last that long!! :p
 

BikeBloke

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Aug 25, 2006
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Sorry, I was mistaken about the shoe/pedal deal. The specials was for mountain bike riders, hence the M424, not the M324 pedals.

Anyway, the specials vary from time to time, but you can always check:
http://www.cellbikes.com.au/specials.php
for the latest offers.

I've ridden through Bicton a couple of times, in both the 2005 and 2006 www.greatbikeride.com.au event. In 2005, I used the standard pedals, an overly wide saddle, and the stock Maxxis Detonator 700C-28 tyres. I averaged 23kmh for the 53km. In 2006 I had the Conti Gatorskin 700C-23 tyres, clipless pedals & narrow saddle, the route was slightly different with a bit more hill-climbing, but a constant east headwind which made it a bit of a chore. I averaged 25kmh for 2006. I reckon that if there was no headwind, I would have done slightly better. So the tyres & pedals didn't really make a huge difference, and I think it was just determination to do better that kept my legs working a bit harder. This year, I'll have 2 slight changes to the bike; a pair of oval shaped handgrips http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/119NXNADJTL._AA160_.jpg and a stem riser that looks a bit like http://www.nashbar.com/nashbar_photos/medium/YS-10B-BLK-ANGLE.gif . These items will just make the ride more comfy, which may just help me to sustain a bit more effort over the course. I'm not an A-grade rider, so the flat bar bike with the comfort enhancements is probably perfect for me. In the meantime, I just need to train a bit... get on the trainer and the road!
 

etrust

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Oct 14, 2007
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First Post.

After 20 years away from cycling (triathlons back on the 80's ["man"]), I have just this year got back in to riding - commuting 150km a week plus weekend rides up to 60km.

I chose the Giant CRX4 - more through having owned 2 Giant MTB than anything else - but can say I am pleased with the bike/price combination so far. (Already I am considering where to make upgrades on the bike of course!)

What would be a reasonable pedal/shoe combination for this bike by the way?

This is the first flat bar bike I have had, and have noticed some occassional neck pain after a long ride - but this could be more my rooted back than the flat bar itself. Is there any reason you couldn't or wouldn't put a tri-style bar on of these bikes (forgive me I dont know what they call those long bars that sit out the front to rest your arms on!) ?

One thing I may consider is some lighter rims with narrower tires for the weekend rides - the standard tires are excellent for my commute (50% bike track - 1% across grass 49% road.
 

BikeBloke

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etrust said:
What would be a reasonable pedal/shoe combination for this bike by the way?
I've got Shimano M324's on my CRX4. They're a 'combo' pedal; clipless on one side and standard on the other. They cost me $99 for the pair. I think these pedals are worth the money, much better than the $35 Wellgo equivalent.

etrust said:
This is the first flat bar bike I have had, and have noticed some occassional neck pain after a long ride
.

Get yourself a stem riser like this: http://www.performancebike.com/product_images/500/50-1188-BLK-SIDE.jpg

etrust said:
Is there any reason you couldn't or wouldn't put a tri-style bar on of these bikes (forgive me I dont know what they call those long bars that sit out the front to rest your arms on!)?
.

Personally, I can't see the benefit of putting tri-bars on a CRX4. A friend of mine has a Norco flat-bar bike and he put on the tri-bars (not sure why, maybe he thought it would make a good 'roo bar). I sat on his bike and it was way too uncomfortable (unsafe?) as it was an incredibly long reach to 'fit myself' into the arm-rests and get into a riding position. No thanks! But I'll blame the ageing process. I'm 44 now and comfort is #1 for me!

etrust said:
One thing I may consider is some lighter rims with narrower tires for the weekend rides
.

Keep your rims, but change your tyres. Continental Gatorskins 700C-23.

Good luck!
 

gclark8

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Stem Risers are available locally (me :D ) in black or silver, look up Zoom, Heads Up, Dimension.

Aero Bars on a Crx, :eek: ! Well, maybe the chocolate variery.

Tyres, like BB says Conti 23mm Ultra GAtor Skins.

Also, I know of only one (40+ rider) CRX without a stem riser, the owner was to tight to buy it and is still going to rehab 3 times a week. :p

Pedals, I use MTB Pedals with Strapless Toe Clips. ;)
 

etrust

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I assume the stem riser just gives me a higher handle bar position - is this a common problem/ cause of the neck pain I allude to? With Flat Bar bikes in particular?

Thanks for all the tips.


gclark8 said:
Stem Risers are available locally (me :D ) in black or silver, look up Zoom, Heads Up, Dimension.

Aero Bars on a Crx, :eek: ! Well, maybe the chocolate variery.

Tyres, like BB says Conti 23mm Ultra GAtor Skins.

Also, I know of only one (40+ rider) CRX without a stem riser, the owner was to tight to buy it and is still going to rehab 3 times a week. :p

Pedals, I use MTB Pedals with Strapless Toe Clips. ;)
 

gclark8

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Choose your CRX by Top Tube length.
You will find you need most of the seat post out.
The steerer tube will be a bit short, don't bend the stem adjustment vertical, add the stem riser and leave the stem at 100mm. All good ! Good position and good control.

If you buy by seat tube length the top tube will be way too long! :eek:
 

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