Recommend me a cx/gravel commuter

So with a work bonus paid in this month, I have a budget to replace my old trek with something nicer. Given its primarily going to be a commuter I want to limit it to around 2k.

Specs wish list includes 11sp, hydro discs, drop bar, tubeless compatible rims, and decent tyre space (hence cx/gravel idea). Might not get all in the budget, but still hopeful.

Been looking at:

  • Polygon bend RV
  • Norco threshold Apex
  • Norco search A 105
  • Fuji Jari
  • Giant tcx SLR 2
  • Nukeproof digger comp

Anyone recently bought something they would recommend, or had good/bad experiences with the above bikes?

You could probably build something nicer than those things for 2k, if you’ve got the time.

Sequoia? Currently on sale, might be able to haggle down some more.

Looked at this, but doubt it would actually work out. Once I source group, wheels, finish kit, I’m leaving myself without much of a frame budget. Groupsets seem much more expensive buying direct instead of bundled with a complete.

Maybe… Spesh might be nice. But don’t know it would come down that far.

Focus? Bombtrack? One of ChainReaction’s gravel/cx bikes gets super good reviews (i read recently), but of course you can’t try before you buy.

True. I remember looking at those. From memory the Bombtrack had a steel frame, but cable discs and apex spec. I think the focus mares was more like 2.5k unless tiagra 10sp and cable disc.

Kona Sutra!

EDIT: Ahhh. Not hydro… wonder what the Sutra LTD is going for at the moment + also the Rove ST

I noticed (while looking up CAAD12s) that Hyrdo Ultegra equipped CAADX’s are on sale for close enough to 2K at the moment which looks like great value for dosh

i love my Fuji Jari.

mine’s the 1.5, so mech discs, but it’s been great. i think sime at st. cloud got the newer/nicer one maybe?

Thanks! Had not seen those, but would love a caadx (685 hydro too). Sent a couple of inquires to see if they have stock/will ship (from Melbs to Syd). Also asked if BikeBug will price match. They stock it, but aren’t priced as sharply atm.

Giant - I’m no longer on the freebie teet but can vouch for how good the TCX are.
This is insane if they come back in stock

What’s your commute like?

There’s a big difference between a disc brake roadie with larger tyres to basically a drop bar mountain bike that all get the terms gravel and commuter thrown at them.

Commute is 40km-ish one way. I do it in the morning at the moment, and train it home to do the last 4kms back from the station. Currently I skip a firetrail section at the start that would knock a couple of kms off because I’m on 25c skinnies. It’s just too steep (down and up). But most of the ride is on back roads and sydneys green cycle paths (which sometimes feel as rough as gravel!?) Occasionally I ride some of the way home.

Honestly I’m more comfortable on a MTB, but drop bars are more aero and long stretches into the wind are hard with wide flat bars.

That’s not too different to mine, 40 odd k’s that I mix and match with the train depending on the day, bit of back road, some bike paths, or a big road smash on the weekends when the traffic is light.

Anyway, I’m still a steel tragic, and like the Kona Rove as others mentioned because it is pretty upright and MTB oriented. But I totally see how with the budget and the distance you’d go something a bit speeder. After 40ks a little bit of efficiency starts to make more of a difference. Maybe look for something that runs well with a 28-30 c tyre, and can fit something bigger fo off road on the weekends?

The steel Jamis Renegade always impresses me, but you need to go the hire spec bike to get higher spec steel.

Giant TCX, they are great bikes, and good value

Kona Rove ST has been on the research list before, as has the Renegade Expat (but the nicer steel is in the Exploit as you say, which is more like 3k and still only has 105 and cable brake spec).

One of the bike stores I emailed came back to me by email and seems to have stock of the CAADX Ultegra at the sale price. However while my LBS (local-ish) couldn’t exactly match it they could do it for $2199, which is pretty tempting.

I kind of see the CAADX and TCX as equivalent. Except the Giant I thought had a proprietary seatpost. But correct me if i’m wrong.

TCX have the D-Fuse seatpost, so yeah proprietary.

giant or you’ve dogged yourself.

Ughh. Fear of making the wrong decision has me making no decision. Well that… and fear of HMC’s judgement.

Still keen on caadx. Willing to pay a bit more for a local store who I can rely on.

But wondering if Rove St would be better given my preference for MTB (seems a bit slacker), steel (is real), and front AND rear thru axle goodness… Might come in a little cheaper, but doesn’t have hydro brakes (and I do love my MTBs hydro brakes).

Carlin - have you ridden the Rove?