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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-13-09, 01:53 PM   #1
dirty tiger
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230ish: Cross Check vs. LHT

Which bike would be better suited to a 6'4" 230-240 pound rider, the Cross Check or the Long Haul Trucker?

My first instinct is that a touring bike would hold up to my meatheaded abuse. But I like the concept of a cross bike.

Touring sounds cool, but it is not my top priority. I am looking for something to hold up to daily short commutes and long weekend rides.

FTR, I don't plan on dropping below 225.
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Old 01-13-09, 02:01 PM   #2
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Either will be fine. I'm your weight and ride regular road bikes with no problem. Worry less about the frame and more about a good strong wheelset.
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Old 01-13-09, 02:06 PM   #3
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No reasonable bike frame/fork are going to be your limiter. Of those two choices ,or any really buy what fits best and then spring for a decent wheelset. The definition of decent will vary with your riding style and the condition of the roads you ride.
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Old 01-13-09, 03:18 PM   #4
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I think they are both good bikes. If you haven't ridden them both, do so and see if one speaks more to you then the other. Is it hilly where you ride? If so I would make sure they come with a triple crank. I know the LHT has one, not sure about the cross check but would assume it could come with one.
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Old 01-13-09, 03:51 PM   #5
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I live in SW CO, so long steep hills are an issue.
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Old 01-13-09, 04:35 PM   #6
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The stock LHT will come with gearing for the hills, and the long chainstays will make it easy to accept large panniers for loaded commuting.

The Cross Check needs some modification for extended climbing: I put a 34t inner ring and an 11-32 SRAM cassette on mine without any other drivetrain changes. It's a solid commuter, but the stays are a little short for large panniers if you have big feet.

For a distance bike, either is a good choice. People do extended tours on the LHT, I've done a double century on my Cross Check and I'll be doing a 400k brevet on it this year.

The wheels on either one will hold you just fine. I'm 250 pounds and I beat my bike like it owes me money. The stock wheels have held up fine.
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Old 01-13-09, 05:11 PM   #7
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If you decide on the Cross Check, also take a look at the Soma Double Cross. Especially the Double Cross DC, which will work with either cantilever or disc brakes. IIRC, geometry is similar to the Cross Check. The steel tubing used in the Double Cross is slightly better; the Double Cross frame is about a half-pound lighter than the Cross Check, if you care about such things. The frame will accept 700c x 38 tires with fenders, so it makes a great all-weather bike. Especially if you get the DC model and install disc brakes.

With all the wet-weather riding I've had to do recently, I sure wish I had a Double Cross! My Cervelo RS is a sweet ride, but wet weather braking is scary and the lack of fenders means I spend almost as much time cleaning as riding...
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Old 01-13-09, 06:09 PM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

I forgot to mention that the road conditions around here are less than ideal. Very few bike lanes. We do have some long scenic chip-n-seal county roads and fire roads.

The guys at the LBS tell me they usually convince wannabe roadies to try a 'cross bike. The owner rides a Cross Check as a road bike.
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Old 01-13-09, 06:12 PM   #9
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Would you guys consider the LHT to be a better climber?

If/when I do get into touring, I would like to be able to ride in the mountains around the Telluride are.
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Old 01-13-09, 06:31 PM   #10
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In my experience canti brakes and large people bring the massive suck. This may have been a function of the particular cantis on the Felt cross bike I started with, but no amount of finagleing or pad replacement/upgrades ever made them work worth a ****. I got them to barely tolerable at best. Mini V's solved that problem.

Watcha wanna do on this bike? Cross bikes have slightly different geometry than a "true road bike" this may on may not affect you and those around you depending on what you want to do with it.

Are full fenders or front bags in your future? Does the cross bike fork have the needed eyelets?

By "less than ideal road conditions" do you mean potholes and lots of cracking or just the chipseal issue.
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Old 01-13-09, 06:49 PM   #11
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By "less than ideal road conditions" do you mean potholes and lots of cracking or just the chipseal issue.
Both!

This bike would see many miles of chipseal. The highways around here do not have consistent bike lanes, they will just simply vanish for several miles.

I would like this to be a all-roads bike. I know the CC can handle light single track but that's not a priority. I would like to be able to ride some of the long scenic dirt roads around here.

I've never owned a traditional "road" bike. I was really into cycling ten years ago when I was living in Maui, I would go every where on my Cannondale mtb. It had slicks, old-school Scott trekking bars and a 44t chainring. I now own to single speed mtb's 29 & 26.

I am just getting back into riding after a while, I am less interested in technical single track and more into long rambling fun rides....on crappy roads.
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Old 01-13-09, 08:42 PM   #12
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I vote Cross Check. It is a tank and you can ride it like it's a mountain bike if you want. As long as you don't jump or drop higher than 3 feet or so to flat you won't hurt it. The bars rotate in the stem when you are riding on the hoods if you start to push your luck. If mine will take the abuse I have put it through you have no worries on anything resembling roads. If you think the gearing range is too narrow on the stock Cross Check, an 11-32 cassette will fit with a little derailer adjustment.
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Old 01-14-09, 01:42 PM   #13
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Shooter, how comfortable is the Cross Check on 50+ mile rides?

I'm leaning heavily toward a CC.
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Old 01-14-09, 02:04 PM   #14
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Again, either bike will suit your needs. Both can take wider tires, fenders, racks, etc. The LHT will have a longer wheelbase, a lower BB and will be slightly heavier (assuming identical components). The CC will feel more responsive, the LHT more stable. Comfort on long rides is more a function of proper frame size and fit of the bike overall, so either can be plenty comfy, or plenty torturous.
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Old 01-14-09, 02:56 PM   #15
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Shooter, how comfortable is the Cross Check on 50+ mile rides?

I'm leaning heavily toward a CC.
If it's set up properly, the CC is a great distance bike. I use one as my brevet bike. Last year I did 7 centuries, 3 metrics, a double century, and a couple double metrics on it. Even for having a tall BB height, it's stable enough to track well when riding no-hands, even with a loaded front platform bag.
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Old 01-14-09, 07:51 PM   #16
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The Cross Check is great on long rides. I have done a few centuries on it, a few 8-9 hour days of mixed trail and road riding, and I rode it loaded with camping gear from Fort Worth to Corpus last spring. If you tour on it make sure you balance the load front to back, once you do that it is even more stabile than unloaded. Oh yeah, here are some pictures.
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Old 02-23-09, 10:15 PM   #17
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FTR, I went with the Cross Check. I've only had it 12 days, but I am very pleased.

It's gonna be a good summer!
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Old 02-24-09, 06:37 PM   #18
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Pictures or it didn't happen.
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Old 02-24-09, 09:46 PM   #19
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Both!

This bike would see many miles of chipseal. The highways around here do not have consistent bike lanes, they will just simply vanish for several miles.

I would like this to be a all-roads bike. I know the CC can handle light single track but that's not a priority. I would like to be able to ride some of the long scenic dirt roads around here.

I've never owned a traditional "road" bike. I was really into cycling ten years ago when I was living in Maui, I would go every where on my Cannondale mtb. It had slicks, old-school Scott trekking bars and a 44t chainring. I now own to single speed mtb's 29 & 26.

I am just getting back into riding after a while, I am less interested in technical single track and more into long rambling fun rides....on crappy roads.
You have three choices:

1) The LHT, you may want to run slightly wider then normal tires, so you can run them at a slightly lower pressure to help deal with the crappy roads. Cross tires might work really well here....

2) The cross check, some cyclocross bikes don't have front forks that can accommodate fenders or front racks, so if you need these, then make sure that the bike your looking at can accommodate them.

3) Turn one of your MTB's into a hybrid, you may need to replace a few parts, but sometimes that can be done over time, while indexed road shifters often have trouble with mountain gearing, bar cons in friction mode do not, You would need bars, brake levers and barcons, then change out the suspension fork for a solid one with rack mounts later on, the MTB gearing is excellent for hilly terrain. Many MTBs have rear rack mounts and fender mounts, and it's amazing what you can do with some aluminum wire to attach a front fender to a bike without the mounts.

I am debating about doing more of #3 myself, if I can find some inexpensive bars, v brake levers and bar cons without breaking the bank. Another couple of years I will have a great touring bike.
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