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  1. #1
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    building the appropriate bike

    so it's that time for me to get serious about building myself a proper steed to get me where i want to go. The bike i have is a roadie that will soon be relegated to party/lock-up bike, once i have something better. my needs/wants are:

    - all steel, no carbon fiber anything
    - must be sturdy enough to not flex under my 260lb weight
    - must beable to handle at least 35mm tires with fenders, if not 38s
    - it'll be primarily for road use, but being able to eat up crappy roads is a must, as is being stable on long fast downhills.
    - it'll also need to be fairly snappy and quick, i dont want a boat!
    - i'd prefer building it up with components of my own choosing, as i want good wheels and gear ratios appropriate for climbing the first few mountain roads without getting too discouraged.
    - i'll probably want to put racks, i may have interest in touring, but certainly only overnight camping trips to a nearby lake for the time being.
    - lastly, durablility over all else.

    pretty much what i'm looking at, is surly bikes, either a cross check or long haul trucker. my main (and only) concern with the cross check, is that it might not beable to handle my weight. i've test ridden one before, although it was a size or two too small it left me with a very good impression. the long haul trucker, on the other hand, will handle my weight for sure, and will be stable as can be. i'm afraid that since most of my riding in is the flatlands, it'll be sluggish and not the kind of ride i'm looking for. i haven't had the opportunity to test one, but i did test a trek 520, which i understand to be fairly similar. i liked the 520, but prefered the cross check.

    i'd probably be starting with the frame, and moving all the stuff from my current bike onto the new frame just to get started, eventually swapping everything back out and ending up with two bikes again by summer. i'm hoping to buy good handmade wheels from rivendell or harris cyclery, along with one of sheldon brown's cyclotouriste (or similar) cassette, something at least going up to a 32 in the rear. on the derailers and whatnot, i'd be getting shimano, but i dont know if the difference between deore-lx-xt is only weight or if the xt would actually be sturdier and more durable. i'd fork out for the durability of its worth it, but nothing i've read has seemed to convince me.

    if anyone has anything to add or suggest, i'd be all ears. as you all can probably tell i've been thinking about it quite a bit, but i'd love to hear other peoples opinions!

  2. #2
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2009 Spesh Singlecross
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    Since you mention the Cross Check, lemme tell you about me and mine.
    I started out on it at 255 - 260, so believe me when I say your weight isn't going to be an issue with the frame/fork.
    I built up a pair of DT RR1.1 rims on a SON28 hub up front and the stock Deore hub in back and they're riding just fine. The stock Deore cones are sorta crap and I pitted one out in about 8000 miles, but I replaced it with a Wheels Mfg. cone and new balls. It's been smooth since the rebuild because the cup race was fine. I would use a better hub if building from scratch. When I replace this one it will be with a quality road hub; Phil or King, likely.
    I replaced the stock crank with a Sugino XD700 34/48, which is equivalent to the Alpina but not mirror polished. The cassette is an 11 - 32 SRAM PG970 with a Deore long cage derailleur. There's no need to go with anything higher if you're like me: Not concerned with a gram or two on components, and run your shifters in old-school all friction mode. I've done a 400km brevet on this bike and everything held up admirably.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  3. #3
    Love my Felt! notbrant's Avatar
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    I weigh 290 and my Felt F95 aluminum frame with Alex wheels are holding up just fine!
    2009 Felt F95 Team Issue

  4. #4
    New Meat
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    Quote Originally Posted by jart View Post
    my main (and only) concern with the cross check, is that it might not beable to handle my weight.
    I bought my Cross-Check when I weighted 350#. Replaced the wheels with some 36-spoke wheels (ebay deal) and never looked back. Still riding it now, at 295#, and will be riding it next year when I drop down to my goal of 220#.

    Don't sweat the frame, in other words. Sounds like you have the rest of it under control!

  5. #5
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Also consider the Soma Double Cross: http://www.somafab.com/dcdc.html . During the last 12 months, my Soma has provided 4700 miles of high quality travel. Equipment problems include 3 flat tires and one blistered tire. No other problems to report, I just ride when I want without equipment concerns.

    The rides and rider have changed. Originally built as a commuter, The Soma has evolved into a long distance “Brevet” bike that is fast enough for most group rides, Century events and fitness riding. I’m also considering touring. This is one versatile bike.



    The bike has been updated during the last year. Bike fit issues determined one set of changes, long distance performance needs prompted other changes. As my monthly mileage increased to 500 plus; the seat, handlebar and pedals began to create issues. Look Keo pedals and road shoes eliminated hot spots on both feet. A 35 year old Brooks saddle reduces seat discomfort and FSA compact handle bars improved hand comfort while on the hoods and made the drops more accessible. I have zero rider discomfort, even after 8 hours.




    Drivetrain changes were made mostly to experiment, I could ride a single-speed given the mostly flat riding here. A Cyclocross 46 & 38t double worked fine, but I rarely used the 38t chainring. I installed a 44t single chainring and used that for 4000 miles with a 12-27 10 speed cassette. This set-up forced me to attack every hill out of fear of walking. The range also required a rapid cadence at higher speeds. It was a good training drivetrain. I put a 50, 39 & 30t triple crankset on the bike this month. My plan is to ride more hilly Century rides next year. I use the 39t chainring and only need the 50t above 27 mph. The 30t chainring is not needed, but will be used as a convenience a few times a month.



    32 spoke Mavic Open Pro wheels with Shimano 105 hubs save significant weight over the CPX 22 Mavic wheels that were first on the bike.





    The bike is the ultimate in comfort and versatility. It’s a keeper.
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

  6. #6
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    I have a 63cm Miyata 610 I can sell you...

    touring bike butted cro mo triple up front 5 in the back

    mountech derailluers... needs a lil tlc it'll take some big meaty tires...
    2012 Surly Karate Monkey (morphed from the Sawyer)
    2011 Trek Sawyer (retired, sorta)
    1988 Scwhinn Premis

  7. #7
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    i've looked into the soma double cross as well, i think the main issues with me is that i dont have anywhere to go where i can try one out. it looks way prettier than the surly though! would anyone know of an online retailer that might have a price (with the steel fork) that's comparable?

  8. #8
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

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