Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Anyone have a familiarity with both the Cross Check and a cro-moly Trek Multitrack?
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07-28-12, 08:50 PM
I've got a 1995 Trek 730 Multitrack that I'm upgrading significantly. I've been doing this with the thought of possibly upgrading the frame at some point in the future. The top contender right now is the Surly Cross Check and I'm wondering how the two frames compare as far as ride quality, weight, etc...
I may just stick with the Trek but I was unhappy with the amount of trail it had (74mm) and changed to a longer rake fork to get the trail down to about 63, which is much, much nicer. The only issue is that the fork is much smaller in diameter than the rest of the frame and I have concerns about it's durability (I'm a large clydesdale) and it looks funny. The Cross Check geometry indicates that that with the same tires it would have 66mm of trail. Also, I plan to eventually get the Trek powdercoated so that's an added expense that might better go to a new frame.
Has anyone here ridden both the CC & the Multitrack? The longest possible rides I might do would be the possibility of training for and tackling a century. I have no interest in touring and almost all of my riding is brisk, sub-10 mile rides for fun and fitness.
08-02-12, 10:10 PM
I have an 1990 Trek 700 Multitrack (the difference between the 700 and 730 as I understand it is that your main tubes are butted and you have a chrome-moly fork) that is set up as a light touring bike. I love the frameset and find it very comfortable to ride having done several centuries, some group rides, and lots of training on it. I have upgraded it to all Deore and Deore LX, Specialized Avatar endurance seat, Ergon GC2 grips, and handbuilt 36-spoke touring wheelset. I had a discussion with a shop owner about "upgrading" to a CrossCheck or LHT frameset but when I looked at the specs, the LHT frameset was just a half pound lighter than my 700 frameset and I could gain half of that back just by switching to a chrome-moly fork. The CrossCheck was about a pound lighter and had a more aggressive geometry. Both the LHT and the CrossCheck are excellent framesets and would be entirely appropriate as bikes for recreation, fitness, and centuries, but I decided the small weight savings wasn't worth it for me. I am still carrying an excess 30+ pounds of bodyweight and it seemed foolish to put $500 into switching framesets for a pound or less of weight savings on a bike set up for touring and non-competitive charity rides.
With butted tubes and a chrome-moly fork, I'd be willing to bet that your frameset isn't significantly heavier than an LHT and only slightly heavier than a CrossCheck. The 700 series Treks are well known for durability and comfort so if you decide to go with a CrossCheck frame, contact me and I'll gladly take that 21" 730 frameset off your hands.
08-04-12, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the indepth response! I'm now leaning towards just keeping this frame. The only thing about it that I'm not completely happy with is the amount of trail and that issue is solved, just not with an ideal solution. My current trail figure is about 63mm and it's made the bike an absolute joy to ride. There were several late 90's models of Multitracks that had forks with 50mm of rake (instead of the 40 mine has) so I'm going to keep an eye out for one of those in the same size frame (tech manual lists all 21" frames as having 100mm head tubes). I'm also waiting for a quote for a custom fork from a local builder I just found. If I go custom I'll probably have them rake it so I end up with an even 60mm of trail. The Cross Check would have about 66mm of trail and that's high enough to disqualify it for now.
Here's the bike as it currently looks. Maybe that skinny little fork is sufficient for my weight but it sure looks ugly.
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