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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I just posted this same thread starter in the beginner's corner on road bike review, but then I found this page for cannondale and thought it might be more appropriate here. Let me know if it's not, as it's not technically a "mountain bike" topic.

I'm in the market for a commuter bike that will give me a lot of versatility, including the ability to switch mtb tires on every once in a while for an invigorating offroad experience. I am pretty strapped for cash and live in a tiny apartment, so I can't really afford (spatially or financially) to have two bikes. I've narrowed my search down to the Cannondale Quick CX line and the Cannondale Bad Boy line, only because I don't know of other brands that claim to have enough clearance to allow me to put on mtb tires on occasion (the brand is almost immaterial to me, though I have always thought Cannondale was a bit overpriced - looks like I'll have to change my mind on that, at least!).

My local shop has given me all the specs on the bikes (they carry Giant, Specialized, and Cannondale), so I have a general idea of what I want. I'd prefer to go with a rigid fork (to keep the weight down and to avoid potentially expensive maintenance issues), and that leaves me with only the Bad Boy rigid and the Quick CX 4 on my list. However, the components that come on these two bikes are pretty low end (Shimano Altus shifters, Acera derailleur, Acera or Tourney crankset), and I'm wondering whether it'd be worth the $ to upgrade the shifters, at least, to deore or alivio. I can replace anything on the bike myself, as I've got some fun experience stripping down and rebuilding everything on my specialized hardrock, but I don't really know if the Deore or Alivio shifters would be that much better than the Altus, and the only obvious advantage to changing out the crankset (as far as I can tell) would be a different gear ratio (my hardrock is a 42/32/22 set, which makes even the steepest hills a breeze - I could use a bit more in the top gear, though).

Again, I'm sorry if this is posted in the wrong place. Thanks for any suggestions or comments you may have!
 

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Maybe get the Quick CX3 or CX2 as a starter

cx1 1299
cx2 999
cx3 699
cx4 ?

The cx4 is the only non front suspension fork in the quck cx line but does run the same wheels brake frame and crank/gearing as the cx3

I would get something that fits you well, you probably wont need to upgrade unless you want to show off nice stickers

Im just getting back into bikes after a 8 year drought, im going to buy the cx3 because i prefer the paint job and has a great price point (plus ready for pick up) rode a Synapse6 road bike and this bike and like this one alot more (for me)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A few weeks later, follow up

I ended up going the very cheap route, basically just rehabilitating my old bike. I replaced the headset, which had gotten kind of loose, and put some continental city ride tires on it. It rides a tiny bit easier on the pavement now, but I do miss all the surface area on those geax evolution 1 tires when it rains. In the end, it didn't really make sense to fork over several hundred dollars to get a bike that's essentially just an aluminum frame better than the one I ride now. My next move may be to get an extra set of wheels with some offroading tires, so I can just switch them out when I want to get off the pavement, but for now I think the bike I have should work fine as a commuter.
 
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