This is a solid build: Dura Ace hubs , 36 spoke rear wheel, Ultegra/CX-70 group. The idea is durability-this isn' a race bike but an all-around ride anywhere steel 'cross bike. There's room for fenders and larger than race-size tires.
These Shimano cantilevers offer a really excellent feel at a low price. I'm impressed with how easy they were to set up.
There's a set of the new XT trail pedals. I have a set of the XTR version on my 29er and like the larger platform.