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Old 06-30-06, 08:16 PM   #1
Quickener
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What other frames fit like Gunnar Sport or Cross Hairs?

Hi all - I've lingered here for the past few months or so, and have recently decided to buy myself a new bike.

I've been commuting & weekend riding an old, heavy, steel beater for about 2 years now, though not seriously until the last few months.

After hours of scouring these forums & other sites, I've created a big list of bikes to check out at the many LBSs here in Seattle:
Surly Cross & LHT, Soma Smoothie ES & Double Cross, Bianchi Volpe, maybe a Trek or two, and Gunnar Sport & Cross Hairs.

I really like the idea of the Gunnars as they seem to have a reputation a step above the others. However, I can't find any local shops that carry them. So, I was wondering if anyone can recommend a bike that fits similarly so I can maybe get an idea of what it's like before I start driving out to the sticks to try one out. Either way, I'd prefer to buy from a shop, and definitely won't buy anything without checking it out in person first.
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Old 07-01-06, 12:55 PM   #2
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Waterford is the same company (the Schwinn family), so you might see if any of those dealers are in Seattle. Did you try the dealer locater on the Gunnar website?

I would think the Soma smoothie ES would be similar to the Gunnar Sport, the Double Cross similar to the Crosshairs, but you'll have to check geometries.

It seems most dealers don't really carry built up Gunnar bikes, since you order your favorite color and build it up as you like. It seems like they should have some stock bikes in stock colors for dealers to have on the floor for buyers to ride. It probably costs them lots of sales (not that the Schwinn family needs any $).

You might add the Jamis Nova to your list of bikes to look at. It's a cross bike with 631 steel tubing. Aurora is quite a bit cheaper. More like the Volpe.
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Old 07-01-06, 01:26 PM   #3
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Not to come off as a shill, but Free Range Cycles in Fremont carries Soma, Surly, and Jamis and they're nice folks. Second Ascent in Ballard carries Bianchi and Kona.

Looks like the closest Gunnar dealer is in Tacoma.
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Old 07-01-06, 01:46 PM   #4
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Actually, Free Range and Second Ascent are the two shops I'm looking at right now; specially since they have different bikes. Second Ascent has always treated me well, both when shopping for climbing gear, and quick bike tunes/repairs. Unfortunately, I'm not really too keen on Bianchi at all (too many of them around) and Kona doesn't seem to have a very good Road line.

After trying out Surlys Cross Check and Pacer today, both of which were built up to > $1600, I think Gunnar is falling off the radar. I'm trying to budget myself under $1500, and it looks like a decent build will probably run me closer to $2000, at least at the prices I've seen so far. Or perhaps I need to switch my internet research over to parts to try to figure out which ones I can skimp on a bit.
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Old 07-01-06, 02:00 PM   #5
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I have a Pacer as my road (sport-touring) bike, albeit a 42cm model. I like it a lot. It's not a super light bike, but it's very comfortable. I've had it for 3-4 yrs. I've done many rides 50-100 miles on it, lots of climbing and descending. I have the Surly steel fork.

My SO has a Cross Check he has built for his touring bike. He likes it a lot. He also has a Gunnar Roadie that is his favorite bike.
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Old 07-01-06, 03:26 PM   #6
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I think I remember seeing a Gunnar at perfect wheels, a small shop on Roosevelt. Probably going to cost you though.
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Old 07-02-06, 12:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickener
After trying out Surlys Cross Check and Pacer today, both of which were built up to > $1600
That must be one sweet build. I wouldn't hang $1200 off a Surly, but that's just me. Hard to believe it could be better than a stock Jamis Nova at $1375 MSRP. There's not a single junk component on it. The tubing is way better, carbon fork, 105.

Personally would build it up to maybe $8-900 & call it good, like this one available at probably every single bike shop in the country via the QBP catalog:

http://harriscyclery.net/page.cfm?Pa...ils&sku=BK0554

IMHO.
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Old 07-02-06, 04:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickener
Actually, Free Range and Second Ascent are the two shops I'm looking at right now; specially since they have different bikes. Second Ascent has always treated me well, both when shopping for climbing gear, and quick bike tunes/repairs. Unfortunately, I'm not really too keen on Bianchi at all (too many of them around) and Kona doesn't seem to have a very good Road line.

After trying out Surlys Cross Check and Pacer today, both of which were built up to > $1600, I think Gunnar is falling off the radar. I'm trying to budget myself under $1500, and it looks like a decent build will probably run me closer to $2000, at least at the prices I've seen so far. Or perhaps I need to switch my internet research over to parts to try to figure out which ones I can skimp on a bit.
Yeah. I'm getting a singlespeed Cross Check through Free Range. Waiting on my hubs to come in at the moment. Still need cranks, a headset, a bottom bracket, and and brake levers. I've been collecting higher end used parts as I find them.
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Old 07-03-06, 11:38 AM   #9
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custom build

Well, the 1600 price tag came with a full 105 setup, including STI shifters and (I believe) a custom built wheelset - they build them at the shop.

However, I'm starting to think that price is outlandishly high. Can someone throw me an estimate for what they think a 105 built cross check with mid-range 36 spoke custom wheels should cost? I know they aren't their best wheels, because the $1690 priced Pacer there had "better" wheels as the shop owner told me.

So marqueemoon, are you having them build yours up for you or are you just buying the frame from them? Are they pretty open to building it up with whatever parts you bring in? Are most shops cool with this, or do they usually want to only use parts that they can order?

I'd like to start by dropping the STI shifters for some bar ends, probably on a Nitto Noodle (love the way those look), then start figuring other ways to trim the price down. While I'd be willing to go to a $1500 budget, I think I'd much rather shoot for $1000-1100, then add a rack & panniers.

I haven't actually decided on a frame yet, but I'm definitely leaning towards either the cross check, double cross, or smoothie ES right now. The pacer was a nice ride too, but I'm not sure how I feel about a max wheel size of 28cm.
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Old 07-03-06, 01:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickener
So marqueemoon, are you having them build yours up for you or are you just buying the frame from them? Are they pretty open to building it up with whatever parts you bring in? Are most shops cool with this, or do they usually want to only use parts that they can order?

I'd like to start by dropping the STI shifters for some bar ends, probably on a Nitto Noodle (love the way those look), then start figuring other ways to trim the price down. While I'd be willing to go to a $1500 budget, I think I'd much rather shoot for $1000-1100, then add a rack & panniers.

I haven't actually decided on a frame yet, but I'm definitely leaning towards either the cross check, double cross, or smoothie ES right now. The pacer was a nice ride too, but I'm not sure how I feel about a max wheel size of 28cm.
I'm going to do some of the stuff myself. Basically I'm going to have them build the wheels, press the headset, install the star nut, help select the bb for correct chainline and install that. I'm having them do the parts of assembly that are beyond my expertise or require tools I don't have that are not cost effective to buy.

I think ditching STI is an excellent idea. You could also use Kelly Take Offs or Paul Thumbies for some other options mounting your shifters if bar end doesn't thrill you.

Nitto Noodle bars are great. Unfortunately the 46 and 48 versions about about twice the price of the narrower models due to the heat treating. If I hadn't scored some Specialized BB-1 dirt drops on ebay for cheap those would be my bars.

As far as the tire size thing goes, it probably depends on what else you want to do with the bike. 700x28 (with fenders) should be ok for most commuting. I went with the Cross Check because I want to take it off road at times and it will take some pretty hefty tires.
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Old 07-04-06, 03:03 PM   #11
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I still think you ought to give the Jamis Nova a look see. You could get one for about 10% off the $1375 MSRP, maybe even $1150-$1200. Take a look at the build; it reads like what you want without sacrifice. You will not likely find a custom built up for less than a production built bike. Often on production builds, when you add up the prices of the parts if you were to buy them, you get the frame free (i.e., parts cost minus frame = msrp). Exceptions when you get into exotic/expensive frames. You're not getting that with the $1600 Surly. They're charging you retail for every part, including the frame.

Getting bikes built up (or building them yourself) just isn't economical. About the only time it's really done is on the high end. And on the high end people don't care. Everyone will tell you "buy" when you ask them whether you should buy or build. Only exceptions are if you have half the parts already, or a production bike doesn't exist with your specifications. In this case, I believe that is not true.

I think the Bianchis are a good value too. I know you said they are too common, but that may be for a reason. The Volpe is $900 MSRP, so that means probably $800ish. Not 105, but also $4-500 less than the Nova. Frame/fork is not quite as good as the Nova either, but probably not a big deal.

There are a few people on the forum that have these (search function!).

Let us know what you decide.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:21 AM   #12
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Quickener....what ever came of your plan? Find myself going through a similar conundrum. As for the Nova...pretty bike but for commuters...no eyelets make it more of a pure xcross bike than a commuter. I was excited to have another entry. I have Gunnar Cross Hair....likely too much $$$, Soma Double Cros and the Surly Cross Check. The Gunnar only has one rear eyelet and the "extra" fork appears to have nadda....but it is 13 oz lighter than a Cross Check....and you can get much better colors!

Look forward to the update.
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