Cross Bike vs. 29er Rigid
OK, here's my dilemma/problem/lusty issue right now. I don't race cross, but I love the things that a Cross bike can do. That being a bike tough enough to handle rough roads, some dirt roads, and some fatter than 23 or 25c tires.
While I have done some Cross races (2 to be exact), I am more interested in a Cross bike for what I like to call "Enduro-Cross". Iron Cross, Southern Cross, Hilly Billy, and a multitude of mountain and ghetto farm road loop that I've been doing over the past two years.
I have looked at a couple bikes that are catching my attention. One being the Cannondale CX 5, the other being the Bianchi Axis. I could score either at a very good price via my shop sponsor, but I just don't think I can justify the expense given other options. The other option being a couple parts swaps to the Mamasita or the ordered but not even close to having yet Salsa Ti El Mariachi.
A swap to a rigid fork and fatter cross tires, or 29er semi slicks like the WTB Vulpine would have the 29er in the stock weight range of either of those two Cross bikes by only a pound or so. A semi slick could easily be set up tubeless for flat protection, AND there would be the comfort factor (both mentally and physically) of using the bike that I most often race on. Not to mention hydraulic disc brakes (bling!).
Sice I have no plans to race legit cross, it's totally legal to race a 29er in the above mentioned races, and I have some pretty sweet 29ers, it seems like a no brainer to me. For about $275 I can get the Mamasita built as an Enduro Cross/Shit Road bike, and stick with the 29 inch wheels that done brought me. Hell with the money I save not buying a Cross bike I can get a freaking light ass wheel build to propel me further to the head of the mid pack.
By all means weigh in on this if you have an idea, recommendation, etc.,