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  1. #1
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
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    Surly Crosscheck decision--now the build

    Hi all,
    Thanks for all the feedback about Crosschecks, Soma's, Poprads, and the like. I've decided, for now, on the Surly. The shop has a used frame in good shape, they did a pretty comprehensive fit-kit fitting on me and they think the Surly will be better than the Soma because of the shorter top tube on the Surly which should make it easier to get the bars up high to take the pressure off my back. I think the other frames suggested--Gunnar, Lemond, etc are more aggressive in their geometry and less good for me. I'm still hoping to keep the bike down to 23-25 lbs so I can lift it, even with my back problems.

    Anyway, now the focus turns to components for my commuter--bike trails--fire roads--light tourer--all around bicycle.

    I welcome any and all feedback on the choices so far:

    Surly Crosscheck 54cm frame (used $340--seems a bit high, no?)
    Jones H-bar
    Bontrager Select wheelset (shop suggestion)
    Suntour XC-something cantis & levers off an old Fuji mtn bike I had
    Sugino (I think) cranks off the same old bike (I'm still thinking about going with something new here)
    Shimano XT front & rear derailleurs
    Cane Creek S3 headset
    Shimano Dura Ace 9spd bar ends
    Shimano XT 11-34 cassette
    pedals off the old Fuji

    Haven't figured out tires yet or the saddle.

    I'm trying to decide between a sprung saddle (Brooks B.67) or a regular saddle and a suspension post (Thudbuster ST or Rockshox.) I want something to take some of the bumps off the back while not adding ridiculous amounts of weight.

    Tire suggestions for an all-rounder? (Panaracer Paselas, Kenda Kwicks, Schwalbe Marathons or Marathon X's--probably not the last ones, they are incredibly heavy.)

    Oh my god, I am so excited for this bike. I can't wait to ride it. My next surgery (this time on my neck) is scheduled for early April--I want to ride this a chunk before then (one month at least no riding after---Aargh!!)

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    That price does seem high. You could probably snag a new one for not much more than that with some savvy internet shopping. Even at your LBS, a new frame should be somewhere between $400 and $420.

    As for the components, it sounds good. After all, it's your bike, you should build it up how you like it! I'll recommend those Panaracer Paselas, though. They're pretty good tires for a pretty price. You can't really go wrong with them. Kendas are generally on the cheap end of things, with Marathons being more expensive. The Paselas are a good mix of quality and affordability. The tread is grippy but lasts a good long while. Good stuff!

    Enjoy building and riding your bike!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    If money is a concern I'd axe the XT FD for an LX. If you're not racing there is no functional difference between the two. Same with the cassette.

    I'd also go with a sprun Brooks over a suspension seat post. Suspension seatposts are expensive, heavy, and don't always work as one would have hoped. My wife uses a Brooks Conquest and loves it. It really smoothes out the rough roads, even cobbles stone ones.

    Good luck with your new build.

  4. #4
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
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    I got the XT for the same price I could have gotten the LX for--and the XT is a little bit lighter. The XT cassette was $30 more, but I'm trying to save weight where I can--not for racing or general principle but because of a bad back. It also offsets the somewhat heavier Surly frame and fork.

    Thanks for the advice on the saddle. I'm leaning toward the Brooks.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson
    I got the XT for the same price I could have gotten the LX for--and the XT is a little bit lighter. The XT cassette was $30 more, but I'm trying to save weight where I can--not for racing or general principle but because of a bad back. It also offsets the somewhat heavier Surly frame and fork.

    Thanks for the advice on the saddle. I'm leaning toward the Brooks.
    The weight savings on the cassette is only abot 85g, that's three ounces.

    If weight is a big concern perhaps you should look at a different frame, or at the very least a different fork, as the Cross Check fork is quite heavy. Nashbar has a carbon cyclocross that is reasonably priced that will offer you some noticable weight savings.

  6. #6
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    ^^^^ What Ziemas said !
    My CrossCheck set up as a commuter with only water bottle,
    a rack and detachable lights is 80's style heavy !
    No problem at all for me but if that stuff concerns you..............

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson
    I welcome any and all feedback on the choices so far:

    Surly Crosscheck 54cm frame (used $340--seems a bit high, no?)
    Jones H-bar

    I'm trying to decide between a sprung saddle (Brooks B.67) or a regular saddle and a suspension post (Thudbuster ST or Rockshox.) I want something to take some of the bumps off the back while not adding ridiculous amounts of weight.
    $340 for a used Crosscheck is too high, do they know how much they sell for new?. Personally I wouldn't pay much more than $275.

    That Jones H-bar is like $200, isn't it?. He must laugh himself all the way to the bank.

    I'd go for a sprung Brooks, but they do weigh about 900g. It's a shame you have to spec your bike around your back

  8. #8
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    I'm just finishing my current Cross build, I'll have to snap some pics.

    Contact Cullen at aeBike (www.aebike.com). I got my Cross-Check for $315, shipped.

    One watch out on the frames, my black frame I purchased early last year had cable stops on the down tube. The green one I purchased just last month had bosses for downtube shifters. Not a big deal, just something to plan for/on.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  9. #9
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Just finished the basic build last night and have had it out and about for dialing in the bars and seat. You can see the T-handle wrenches stuck in the side of tour bag. One advantage of this two stem setup is the fact I can dick around with the height of the bar stem without affecting the headset.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  10. #10
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    ^^^

  11. #11
    Senior Member pharnabazos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby
    That price does seem high. You could probably snag a new one for not much more than that with some savvy internet shopping. Even at your LBS, a new frame should be somewhere between $400 and $420.
    Yojimbo's website has a 52cm '05 frame and fork for $307.50, though I don't know if that's just sold and not updated.

    Cross-check
    nikę d' epameibetai andras

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    I'd also question the Jones H-bar. It's damn expensive at around $200. Why do you need this over a standard bar that weights a bit less and cost a lot less? You could put the savings into a lighter fork or frame.

  13. #13
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
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    I was interested in the Jones bar for a couple of reasons. First and most important was wanting a bar that had several hand positions--drops will never be comfortable to me, but I want more than the two positions you get with flats with bar-ends. The Jones main position is like an old roadster--upright, hands pretty far back and neutral. This suits my usual riding, but there are a lot of places to move around on the Jones, giving me some good options for longer rides. Second, the bar weighs less than most similar options. The Jones is 310 grams, the Riv. Albatross is 362, Nitto Mustache's are 335, trekking bars from Nashbar 506. The Mustaches aren't comfortable for me, and the others seems less versatile. As to weight, 50 grams here, 40 grams there--it starts adding up, so where I can lose weight I do. Savings other places will allow me to get the Brooks.

    It does suck to have to build up a bike around my back, but that's where it is. The other options are lighter, but even a Moots is only a pound or so lighter as far as I can tell--and a heck of a lot more pricey.

    I've considered a carbon fork, but I don't want to baby this bike at all, and I don't trust carbon would put up with my casual attitude toward gear--and if something goes wrong with carbon it just goes, no warning. Makes me suspicious.

    As always I learn a lot here, I appreciate having folks think this stuff over with me.

    Thanks

  14. #14
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
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    Cool bike Dobber, I like the two stem thing. Reminds me of the weird bike setup Sheldon Brown has at Harris Bikes--flats and drops, rim and disc brakes--very funky.

  15. #15
    Senior Member jimcross's Avatar
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    Universal Cycles has new cross-check framesets for $369, and then a 10% off cupon. I got mine there in December, and after an additional 10% backorder discount (the 56cm weren't in stock at the time) I got mine new for about $300 even. The only downside was I waited about 30 day for delivery due to the backorder.

  16. #16
    Senior Member SteelCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson
    I was interested in the Jones bar for a couple of reasons. First and most important was wanting a bar that had several hand positions--drops will never be comfortable to me, but I want more than the two positions you get with flats with bar-ends. The Jones main position is like an old roadster--upright, hands pretty far back and neutral. This suits my usual riding, but there are a lot of places to move around on the Jones, giving me some good options for longer rides. Second, the bar weighs less than most similar options. The Jones is 310 grams, the Riv. Albatross is 362, Nitto Mustache's are 335, trekking bars from Nashbar 506. The Mustaches aren't comfortable for me, and the others seems less versatile. As to weight, 50 grams here, 40 grams there--it starts adding up, so where I can lose weight I do. Savings other places will allow me to get the Brooks.

    It does suck to have to build up a bike around my back, but that's where it is. The other options are lighter, but even a Moots is only a pound or so lighter as far as I can tell--and a heck of a lot more pricey.

    I've considered a carbon fork, but I don't want to baby this bike at all, and I don't trust carbon would put up with my casual attitude toward gear--and if something goes wrong with carbon it just goes, no warning. Makes me suspicious.

    As always I learn a lot here, I appreciate having folks think this stuff over with me.

    Thanks

    Well, get what you want, but if it was me I'd nix the Jones bar. It's a very expensive bar, and I don't think it solves any problems that can't be dealt with other cheaper bars. The Nitto butterfly bars might be heavier but they are worth a shot, and you can easily save that weight somewhere else with that money. While everyone's experience can be different, it's hard for me to imagine that a drop bar raised the right height would be uncomfortable. Some people put them up very high, so that the drops are where the tops usually are, and they use them all the time. These people, incidentally, were convinced before hand they would never use drops. Of course, it doesn't look "cool" by modern road bike conventions, but screw that. By using the right height and reach, it's doing the same thing the Jones bar is doing, but for less money.

  17. #17
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
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    How would I get drops that high with a threadless headset? I'm certainly willing to try, but that seems like the stem would have to be practically straight up.

  18. #18
    Senior Member pharnabazos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson
    How would I get drops that high with a threadless headset? I'm certainly willing to try, but that seems like the stem would have to be practically straight up.
    On my Surly the steerer was obscenely long. I had 4.5 inches of spare steerer on a 60cm frame.

    I'd just put in my plug for randonneur bars for longer distance comfort. I've got Sakae bars--and if you're interested there are a pair here on ebay:


    Sakae randonneur bars

    edit: here's another pair--nobody on ebay can spell randonneur!

    bars
    Last edited by pharnabazos; 02-13-06 at 06:41 PM.
    nikę d' epameibetai andras

  19. #19
    Senior Member SteelCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharnabazos
    On my Surly the steerer was obscenely long. I had 4.5 inches of spare steerer on a 60cm frame.

    I'd just put in my plug for randonneur bars for longer distance comfort. I've got Sakae bars--and if you're interested there are a pair here on ebay:


    Sakae randonneur bars

    edit: here's another pair--nobody on ebay can spell randonneur!

    bars
    I wonder how long the steerer is on this used frame? Emerson, do you know? If it was cut short, you can get an extender from Harris.

    I'll plug the Nitto Noodle handlebar - has a very nice wide top and usable ramp section. Check it out.

  20. #20
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
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    I don't know for sure--it looked pretty long. I'll ask. They're asking so much for the used frame that if they don't want to come down, I may buy a new frame elsewhere.

    I see folks feel strongly about drops--I'm still unsure they would be better for me than a trekking-style bar, or an albatross, or the admitedly excessively priced Jones'.

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