2013 Trek Crossrip Elite at Scheller's
The CrossRip is a chugger, not a tight and twitchy ride.
If you're looking for a disc-equipped, cyclocross-inspired do-it-all-bike, look no further than the 2013 Trek Crossrip. It's a great option as an "all-arounder" and works great as a commuter.
It starts with Trek's Alpha 100 Aluminum frame, and the Crossrip is nicely built and finished. The carbon-bladed, alloy steerer fork is cyclocross length so that lifts the front of the bike over what you'd expect from a road fit. The resulting position is comfort-oriented; with the stem pointing down so you can flip for an even higher front.
You can generally tell whether a company things a CX bike will actually be used for CX by looking at the gearing and tires. On the CrossRip, you find a road compact chainset (FSA Vero) and wide cassette, and Bontrager 32mm hardcase touring tires. Other touches mark this out as more of a town bike, for example the security-conscious skewers that open with an allen key, and the urban camo paint job.
(FSA Vero Crank pictured right)
So this disc-equipped commu-tourer is a bike for a bit of everything. It's very capable on the tarmac and it's perfect for unsurfaced paths too, as the beefy Bontrager tires can shed off flints and thorns easily. Another nice feature of the CrossRip Elite is the traditional bend drop bar, which some people find to be more comfortable than the ergonomic bends on the market.
The brakes are really, really good. They are Hayes CX5 mechanical discs that work superbly: lots of power and great modulation. This control and reliability makes downhilling lots of fun. This bike is good at speed, stable and reassuring with it's direct steering.
(internal routing pictured right)
Shifting-wise, Shimano's Sora is massively better than it's previous incarnation. There's one more ratio, but the real change is from thumbshift to proper Dual Control with the downshift behind the brake lever. Much easier to use from multiple position and lighter too. The Sora's STI shifters create a nice and flat hand area and feel comfortable on the hands. They have a smooth action when shifting and pulling the brake lever.
In the rear there is an 11-32 cassette coupled with a 50/34 compact up front. The CrossRip also comes with rack and low rider mounts too. Bontrager's Racelite IsoZone Handlebar is comfortable in all positions and the SSR stem is quite stiff.