what i will say though is i think they have the gearing wrong on that bike, like some other brands, the big boys are building cross bikes but fitting a compact chainset, it's the right bolt pattern but the wrong ring sizes in my opinion, the top should be smaller, most good cross racers that i know tend to run 44/45/46/48 rings for the top and 34 for the inner aswel as having the wide ratio block at the back , the off the shelf builds tend to have gears for a commuter, which i guess is what they are probably mostly used for but even a 50t x 11/12 rear end is over kill for most people for commuting.
overall though i like the look of it, also reading that it's US made is good as opposed to far east, also i like that brant richards is involved, i don't always like his stuff, meaning the cheap stuff, and usually i don't like the style of branding (meaning graphics etc) but i like that he's got a hand in it.
Agree with everything you say! 50T x 11/12T with a light knobbly tire.....hell you must be fit to push that a long, and when on gravel that is completely pointless except for the rare occasion it's down hill with no corners and no walkers and no cars. Somewhere like Kansas perhaps
On my MASI CX Speciale the first mod I did was rip off the 34 / 50 compact for a 30/39/46 triple - can do more serious off-road, good chain-line in the frequently used middle gears, and the top-end is on a practical limit and actually get's used.
Favorite quote on Retrobike:
Not worth the petrol to take it to the tip so it's down to the angle grinder to make it small enough to put in the wheely bin.