Author Topic: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010  (Read 19240 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ginarae

Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« on: November 14, 2009, 03:46:30 pm »
Hi, Gina from Arizona here.  I'm brand new to touring, and have never done a single tour.  I've been dreaming about it for years though, and now is when I'm going to start.  I'm shopping around for my first touring bike, and my LBS is interested in selling me a 2010 Specialized Tricross Comp.  I have read reviews of the 2007 - 2009 models on other web sites, and they were all pretty good reviews, but they were all written by either cyclocross enthusiasts or pure roadies.  I searched this forum for info on this bike, and I found where some folks had recently bought one, but not much yet about their performance as touring bikes.

I'd like to buy a touring bike from my LBS -- not only do I want to support my small community, but the shop folks are also my weekend riding friends.  I believe they want to help me get a fabulous bike, but I definitely want to run this by some seasoned touring cyclists.  Some traditional touring bikes that they don't carry but could order for me include the Surly LHT, the Fuji Touring, and the Windsor Touring.  I supposed they could also get me the Specialized touring bike (not sure what that model is).

One of the things that concerns me about the triX is the double chainring (48x34T with 12-27 10-speed cassette).  I don't know much about bike specs, but I read in one of the bike buying guides on this web site that the gear inches on a touring bike should be 25 or less.  I used an online calculator to find that the triX gear inches are 34 (if I calculuated it right).  I'm wondering if this gearing will kill me on the hills.  If so, would changing it out be very problematic?

Here are my personal specs:  I'm 45, 5'9" and 150 lbs.  I'm a moderately fit road rider, but pretty slow on hills compared to most of the folks I ride with (just not getting any younger, argh!).  I ride a Trek Pilot 5.0 for local rides, and chose it for its relaxed geometry.  I do use the "granny gear" on steep hills once in a while.  My plans for touring include starting off with a couple of supported rides while I learn the ropes, then probably doing unsupported credit card touring mixed with fully loaded touring (I think I'm a bit spoiled and prefer cc touring, but if I ride with others who want to camp, I'll camp).  I'll be a weekend and vacation-time touring cyclist for a long time because I work full time.

Any advise on the Specialized Tricross Comp, as well as any other newbie advice, will be greatly welcomed.  Thanks!

Gina

p.s.  I'm planning on doing my first cc tour with my mom driving support for me will be over the holidays this year, planning to go to California somewhere, please see my other post if you think you might have any advice about that:  http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=6359.0



Offline paddleboy17

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 12:43:46 pm »
I don't think the bike has enough gear inches to tour on. 

For the price of the Tricross comp bike, I think you could buy a touring bike from some one else.

Here are some things about this bike that would bother me.  It is a cyclocross bike, and that implies short wheelbase and higher center of gravity due to the raised bottom bracket.  Touring bikes are stable, something that is important when you are tired from hauling all of your gear around or have rough road conditions.  You may not have clearances for panniers on this bike.  It does look like there are mount points for racks.  The posture may not be comfortable for a day of riding.  Some of us feel that Shimano STI shifters are not reliable enough for touring (others disagree!).

The '09 touring bike review is not online, but the '08 one is: http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/TouringBike_Shurbert.pdf.  I would start with that to see what feature you really want.  Some people happily tour on whatever bike they can pedal.  Since you have a pretty good budget (it looks like the Tricross sells for $1900), I would encourage you to shop for a touring bike, and not what the dealer has in stock.  Maybe there is another dealer that has more to offer you?



Danno

Offline jsieber

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 12:50:55 pm »
Here is a link to the 09 touring bike buyers guide article by John Schubert.
http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/BuyersGuide2009.pdf
A list of past Adventure Cyclist buyer's guides can be found here:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/buyersguide.cfm

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 05:38:13 pm »
Here is a link to the 09 touring bike buyers guide article by John Schubert.
http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/BuyersGuide2009.pdf
A list of past Adventure Cyclist buyer's guides can be found here:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/buyersguide.cfm

Thank you for finding the '09 link.  This is probably the best worded variant of this annual article that I have read.  I had forgotten how well written it is.

Gina, please fire off your next line of questions after your read the 2009 Buyer's Guide.
Danno

Offline AnnieBikes

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2009, 05:22:21 pm »
My husband and I both own Specialized Tri-cross Sport bicyles (not comp) for our touring.  We read extensively about this bicycle prior to buying.  Although circumstances have prevented me from loaded touring yet, my husband has used his on three self-supported trips since May of this year, one of 1000 miles and two others, one 450, and one about 350 miles.  These bikes have a triple crank, eyelets for racks, and room for fenders.  They also run 32mm tires.  He has absolutely loved this bicycle and he plans to ride it on the Southern Tier in March, 2010.  There is plenty of heel clearance for the panniers when they are adjusted correctly.  I have ridden my Tri-cross unloaded over 350 miles and it is the most comfortable bicycle I have ever ridden, fits me better, and yes, it is a bit more upright.  I think this is a plus on the touring bike.  I have also put over 4000 miles on my regular road bike this year and still love the Tri-cross for the fit and comfort. 

We, too, were interested in supporting our LBS, and this bike was much more readily available than any other touring bike such as the Surly or other true "touring bike." 

Please try out this bike for fit and ride before going to a more expensive "touring"  bike which may or may not work for you.

Good luck, Gina, and have a great tour, when you go!

Offline alfonso

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2009, 05:45:52 pm »
The comments by AnnieBikes are worth considering, but note that her bike has a triple chainring whereas the bike you're considering seems to have a double. If your LBS can't offer a triple, I doubt if it's suitable for loaded touring.

I've never ridden one, but the Surly has an excellent reputation in this regard. If (as you say) your LBS can supply one, then you could probably end up supporting the local business and riding a good touring bike. I've also read good reports of the Fuji.

Offline ginarae

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2009, 10:14:26 pm »
Thanks for all the feedback!  I think I should have clicked on the notify button at the end of the thread (or check the forum more often), because I didn't realize I had some replies.  I saw the bike assembled the other day in the LBS, and I fell in love with it immediately, but I'm pretty sure it's not the bike I'm looking for right now.  If I had a whole lot of money to spend, I'd get it as a commuter and play bike for sure.  But for now I'm shopping for something to tour with (I have to keep reminding myself, lol!). 

I wasn't dressed for test-riding the bike the day I was there, which is probably a good thing, because it just looked incredibly comfortable (and beautiful).  What's not selling me, though, is the gearing, and the spokes (think I counted 24).  I would probably already own it if not for that.  Annie, I did see a Tricross (not the comp) in the LBS, just not in my size so I never tried it out.  It did have the triple though. 

I like the idea of the Surly, except for the shifters.  I imagine they are great for folks who are used to them, but I've grown very used to the STI shifters on my road bike, I really like them.  I have no idea how difficult (or expensive) it would be to put STI's on the Surly.  This is definitely not easy shopping, especially with very few touring bikes to actually see and feel in person, but since my holiday plans to tour have been curtailed I have a little time. 

Thank you all again!

Gina 

Offline alfonso

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2009, 11:42:25 pm »
Possible solutions to the shifter problem:
  • Look into Paul's Thumbies (http://www.paulcomp.com/rdthumbie.html).
  • Look into having the LBS instal STI shifters. You should be considering some changes to the original specs of the bike, whatever you buy. You may, for example, want to install a cassette that would give you lower gears.
  • Consider the Fuji.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2009, 10:41:02 am »
I am in the camp that believes that touring with STI shifters is not worth the risk/hastle associated with mechanical problems.  I ride STI road bikes for sport/exercise and my Surly LHT with bar ends for commuting and touring.  Bar ends take very little time to get used to.  After the first couple of times trying to shift using the levers your mind will train itself to reach down.  (Keep in mind that you probably won't be shifting nearly as often as you do during a road ride.)   Then after a very long tour with bar ends if you jump back on a bike with STI you might find yourself reaching for the non-existent bar ends for the first shift.   :)  Other aspects I like about the LHT are it's comfort, gearing and durable wheels.  I am a big guy and carry a good amount of weight when I laod up, and I have only had the wheels trued once since taking it home over a year ago, and that was only made necessary due to a mishap.

Offline whittierider

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 02:12:55 pm »
STIs last last tens of thousands of miles, and most of the malfunctions require no actual repair or replacement but can be corrected simply by cleaning.  That can be a problem on tour though.  One of the STI-equipped bikes in our family needs it about every thousand miles or even more often.  Another one has only needed it two or three times in 10,000 miles.  Another one has had no trouble at all in its 16,000 miles.

When an STI shifter has the problem, it gets to where the shorter lever acts like it is no longer connected inside.  I take the LPS-1 aerosol can with a tiny straw, open the brakes' quick releases so the levers can be pulled in farther, and spray the penetrant/lube into the inside of the shift mechanism.  While it's saturated and dripping (actually I use rags to keep it from running down the handlebar or onto the front wheel and tire), I pedal the bike on the little stand and work the shifter up and down the range many times, and repeat.  It only takes a few seconds to make a totally non-op shifter work absolutely like new again.  It is not necessary to remove the shifter from the handlebar.  LPS-1 leaves a dry lubricating film, so it doesn't attract road dirt.  The shifter mechanism resides in kind of a cylinder in the lever housing, and there's a hole in the side, near the front, where the cable is fed through during installation.  I put the straw into that hole and aim it back toward the inside of the mechanism.  The LPS-1 comes out foamy and this foam fills the whole mechanism.

I mostly ride on the aerobars now myself though, even all day, so I put the bar-end shifters on the aerobars, and I don't expect to ever buy STI again.  The same goes for our two sons.  Our bikes with STI don't get ridden much anymore.  Having shifters on the brake levers has been around at least since 1949 but hasn't been popular until the last 15 years or so.

I should probably mention that we did have a bar-end shifter go down at maybe 4,000 miles a year or two ago, although that's probably extremely rare too.  The indexing ring broke and was sticking out from under the plastic cap.  IOW, bar-end shifters are not immune to breakdown either.

I have no experience with cyclocross; but an extremely knowledgeable man on the industry in another forum says a true cyclocross bike is made to be maneuverable at low speeds, not stable under load.  He says it has a short wheelbase and it has a high BB to get over obstacles, not traits you want for touring.  He has several and finds that they have a terrible ride with road tires on pavement.  That's not to say all manufacturers make them the same though, just as many so-called "hybrid" bikes are not true hybrids but rather flat-bar road bikes.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2009, 02:15:48 pm by whittierider »

Offline manjack

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2010, 10:48:38 am »
If, and only if, you could get a Tricross Comp with a triple it makes an great touring bike. I've been riding mine for about a year now and I think it handles very well when loaded down, it's very comfortable (as the geometry is a little more upright than other cyclocross bikes), and I have only a little trouble with pannier clearance. You're right to think twice about the wheels, but given your build I don't think it would be a problem. I had to change the brakes but Specialized has started shipping the Tricross with better brakes since I bought mine.

Offline vanvalks

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2010, 12:42:45 pm »
See the reply I wrote in the other thread on the TriCross bike.

Bob