Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Greetings and Questions
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06-09-03, 08:03 PM
Hello, this is my first day posting here.
I've been looking into buying a bike for a couple of months now and have decided on a cyclocross-type setup. The Surly Cross-Check seems like the bike for me, and I want to go look at one before I consider buying it.
Does anyone know of a bike shop anywhere in or around the SF Bay Area that has Cross-Checks in stock? Any recommondations for similar bikes (that are carried in the Bay Area)? I heard Soma's pretty good and sold somewhere in SF, but I'm not sure.
Thanks in advance.
06-09-03, 11:47 PM
Haven't been to CA in years so I can't answer your shop question. I've heard some good stuff about the Surly but also look at Kona's "Jake the Snake"
Much more bang for your buck with that one! I'd own one if I could get it in my size. (60cm) Not nearly as ugly as the cross-check either!
The Bianchi Axis is a bit more pricey, and is another very nice bike.
Both Fuji and K2 also make decent cyclocross bikes.
06-10-03, 02:33 PM
Don't know a LBS, not from CA, but Surly Crosscheck's are nice. What type of riding are you going to use it for? I think the Kona Jake's make a better cyclocross racer or a singletrack bike, and the Surly makes a better commuter, all-around trail/road bike. I own a Kona Jake the Snake and a Surly Crosscheck and that is what I have found to be the case anyways, that is why I ask what type of riding will it be used for.
The Fuji is a very nice bike and spec'd great for the money too. Jamis also makes the Nova which seems like a good value. The nice thing about the Surly is it's versatility. You won't find a more versatile frame. It can take mountain bike hubs, or road hubs, can be made into a single speed or geared, fenders are easy to mount for commuting or wet weather riding. It is really an SUV bike able to handle most anything. I have used it for road duty and it works great as a road bike too, and the price is right :)
06-10-03, 09:36 PM
"Don't know a LBS, not from CA, but Surly Crosscheck's are nice. What type of riding are you going to use it for?"
Commuting, adventure/fitness rides, some trail riding, general abuse. The bike's main beat will be the roads in my town (not so smooth).
"The Fuji is a very nice bike and spec'd great for the money too. Jamis also makes the Nova which seems like a good value. The nice thing about the Surly is it's versatility. You won't find a more versatile frame. It can take mountain bike hubs, or road hubs, can be made into a single speed or geared, fenders are easy to mount for commuting or wet weather riding. It is really an SUV bike able to handle most anything. I have used it for road duty and it works great as a road bike too, and the price is right"
I'm almost sure I will get the Surly myself, for the same reasons you mentioned. The "plug and play" single speed capability, the way it looks, and Surly's small-company feel are what do it for me. I would consider the Jamis since it's very affordable, but it just doesn't seem to "have it."
Have you checked out the Lemond Poprad? I bought the frame and built it up myself because I had spare parts lying around. It's a real comfortable ride. I use mine for commuting and on dirt road in the Bay area. I test rode the Bianchi Axis but thought that it was too stiff and unforgiving.
I don't recall seeing any Surley's in any of the bike shops I've been to in the area. Have you checked with Surly to find out who their dealers are in thea area?
What part of the bay area do you hail from?
06-11-03, 12:37 AM
"Have you checked out the Lemond Poprad?"
I saw it on Lemond's site the other day. It's one of the better-looking cross bikes I've seen so far, but that's all I know about it.
"I don't recall seeing any Surley's in any of the bike shops I've been to in the area. Have you checked with Surly to find out who their dealers are in thea area?"
I checked for dealers, and there are quite a few nominal ones in the Bay Area. When I called a few and asked about the Cross-Check, they didn't even know what I was talking about; I'll try some more though. There is a shop near Palo Alto on El Camino Real that has a Surly poster in the front window, so I'm going to go there and investigate tomorrow.
"What part of the bay area do you hail from?"
San Mateo. Know of any shops within driving distance that has cross bikes (any kind) right now?
Check with ChainReaction (I only know the one in Los Altos. The other shop in Redwood City would be more convenient for you, I guess.), they might have the Poprad in stock. The Bicycle Outfitter (also in Los Altos) carries Bianchi. I test rode the Axis there. Best give the shops a call first.
06-11-03, 09:02 AM
You can also look into getting a Jamis Nova. It's another good, well-priced (should be able to get a new one for under $1000) all-around bike. I think the component spec is slightly better than the built-up Surly. My roommate has one and has been really happy with it.
I think there are some built up Soma bikes at American Cyclery in SF (I saw them on their website a while ago). Those are sweet bikes with frames made of Reynolds 853.
Sistinas just reminded me that Palo Alto Bikes on University Ave. carries the Soma line. I was in there a couple of weeks ago and remember seeing one on the shop floor. Check it out!
06-11-03, 11:16 AM
I'd check out american cyclery in san francisco. They've got soma bikes, and can get you a surly if you'd prefer that. I believe the missing link in berkeley and the freewheel in san francisco also have surlys.
After test-riding both, i ended up with a soma double-cross instead of a cross-check.
06-14-03, 08:06 AM
An FYI about Surly's if you don't already know this. Surly isn't exactly a small company, in fact, they are a branch of Quality Bicycle Products, the largest bike parts distributer in the US. That's not a bad thing though, I think they're still a cool company. Since QBP is a parts supplier for most local bike shops, it's a really easy bike to find. If your LBS hasn't heard of Surly, tell them to call QBP and ask for a price list.
I bought a Cross Check a few months ago and absolutely love it. I bought the frame as a mutli-use bike. I use it with fatty tires for commuting and switch to a light skiny road wheels for shop rides. Have fun.
06-15-03, 07:00 PM
Thanks for all your help everyone!
I just ended up ordering a green Soma "Double Cross" from American cyclery. Can't wait to ride it.
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