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  1. #1
    Cyde adam12's Avatar
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    Anyone use cross check as main ride?

    I've heard it said several times that if someone could only have one bike it would be a cross check.

    So here's my story. I caught the bug in late '94 on mountain bikes. I had always ridden mountain bikes. So when It came time to take it up again I bought a mountain bike. However I bought a Karate Monkey because it seemed so versatile. Now that I've had it for awhile. I'm beginning to think the cross check may have been the better way to go. Due to my limited trails around here I ride mostly road, and the occasional trail. I have personal restrictions limiting me to one bike. So I'm asking if anyone uses their cross check as their do it all ride? Commuter, road bike, mountain bike, touring ride.
    Living to ride.

  2. #2
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    I've encountered several people who use the CC as all those things and more. Some simple part swaps and it can do almost anything

  3. #3
    Mr. cost-benefit analysis
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    My main ride is a Crosscheck. And like Raiyn said, it's versatile enough to be nearly anything to anybody. This is especially true because it's generous clearances and semi-horizontal rear dropouts allow it to run just about any drive train you wanna try. So if you find you didn't quite nail the spec' the first time out you can reconfigure it till your hearts content.

    I first built up my Crosscheck commuter/all-arounder with a Sram 7 speed hub. (Yea, I'd heard they were heavy, but I had to go find out for myself!) Once I got tired of lugging that around, I modified it into a single speed. When I wanted just a bit more I made it a 2 speed by fitting 2 rings up front with a Paul's Melvin tensioner and a cheap front derailleur. I've also run it with a single ring up front and an 8 speed cassette in the rear with a cheap twist shifter. Recently I broke the spindle of my bottom bracket and the spare I had on hand was only wide enough to support the single speed set-up. Thats OK. It'll do fine for a while.

    If I'd bought just about any other frame - say, a road frame with fixed rear dropouts that won't take a tire bigger than a 23 - I would've had to either sell it if I wanted to change much, or just settle. Instead I can make it anything I want.

    I could go on. But you get the idea.

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  4. #4
    One Hep Cat Joe Dog's Avatar
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    Cross-Check is my main ride. Mine is outfitted as a commuter (rack, fenders, 700c x 32 Conti Top Touring tires). I have done some limited trail riding with it using the CrossMax tires that came with it. For me it's ideal, but if I rode a lot of trails I think I would want a true mountain bike. For commuting and running errands it's hard to beat, though.

  5. #5
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    I have a Cross Check that I use for commuting and various other rides. I am considering doing some cyclocross or light trails later this year with the same bike. It is very capable but probably not a great trail bike.
    However if I was in your position I would probably stay with the KM. Put some Big Apple tires for daily road use on the bike and keep a set of good knobbies for really hitting the trails. I'm not a fan of flat bars so I would probably use some dirt drops or moustache bars. I almost got a KM for my commute but decided I prefer more of a road bike with narrower cranks.
    Either bike will work well it depends on your goals. The CC will take a rack an fenders easily and is a good daily commuter, and errand runner, not a bad road bike, and capable of light trail duty. The KM will take a rack and fenders with a little work, is a good daily commuter, a great trail bike, but a little slow for long road rides.

    Craig

  6. #6
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    I recently built one up with a Rohloff ... and I LOVE it (and yes, I might just marry it!). I originally intended it for commuting, but it is becomming my favorite for most purposes. But, I don't think it would be a good replacement for a mountain bike off road.

    BTW, have any other CC riders found that it fits on the big side? I normally ride a 56cm frame, but I ended up with a 54cm and even it feels a bit big.

  7. #7
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    I have a Crosscheck as well. For urban riding on the roads it can't be beat.

    Between the KM and the Crosscheck, the Crosscheck is better for road riding.

    My experience would say the Crosscheck is great for road, commuting and touring.

    As for as trails, I wouldn't know. I have skinny tires and a dedicated bike for the asphalt.
    Would you like a dream with that?

  8. #8
    Biking Gunslinger BigDave's Avatar
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    My only ride is a 62 cm Cross-Check. I ride road, but I also ride on the LBSs alley ride on the east side of Indy. Everything from good pavement to bad, sand, gravel, potholes big/small/shallow/deep - there's even some singletrack. Good rig.

    However, if I had a 2nd choice it would be a KM. Why not just put some skinny semi-slicks on it and go nuts? I would think that you have more options on the KM than the CC.

  9. #9
    Cyde adam12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave
    My only ride is a 62 cm Cross-Check. I ride road, but I also ride on the LBSs alley ride on the east side of Indy. Everything from good pavement to bad, sand, gravel, potholes big/small/shallow/deep - there's even some singletrack. Good rig.

    However, if I had a 2nd choice it would be a KM. Why not just put some skinny semi-slicks on it and go nuts? I would think that you have more options on the KM than the CC.
    That's what I've done, I was just thinking that the cross check might be better suited to do all things, but the more I think about it I might need both.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rextwelve
    BTW, have any other CC riders found that it fits on the big side? I normally ride a 56cm frame, but I ended up with a 54cm and even it feels a bit big.
    I've just come back from vacation, and found 3 different threads on cross checks -- yeah! Because I'm picking up mine today!!! (I ordered the complete one, though I'm planning on swapping many things out over time -- I'm going to go to an internal hub, though may not be able to justify the Rohloff...)

    But as to size, I'm hoping I ordered right... I'm 5'9, and ride a 54 cm Trek 5200 road bike -- but it feels a bit big. I sat on a 54 cm CC in my LBS, and it was *huge* -- so on their advice, I've ordered a 50 cm CC... We shall see; I was worried that I should have gotten the 52, but given these discussions I'm cautiously optimistic that the 50 cm was the right choice. (And I'm cautiously optimistic that if not my LBS will swap me out for a 52.)

  11. #11
    Senior Member FRANKIEJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgossett
    I've just come back from vacation, and found 3 different threads on cross checks -- yeah! Because I'm picking up mine today!!! (I ordered the complete one, though I'm planning on swapping many things out over time -- I'm going to go to an internal hub, though may not be able to justify the Rohloff...)

    But as to size, I'm hoping I ordered right... I'm 5'9, and ride a 54 cm Trek 5200 road bike -- but it feels a bit big. I sat on a 54 cm CC in my LBS, and it was *huge* -- so on their advice, I've ordered a 50 cm CC... We shall see; I was worried that I should have gotten the 52, but given these discussions I'm cautiously optimistic that the 50 cm was the right choice. (And I'm cautiously optimistic that if not my LBS will swap me out for a 52.)
    I think you probably made the correct choice. I bought a 56 cm cross check, because that is what I normally ride, and it is actually too big for me. I am around 5'9", and there is about 3-4" of post showing, and I had to put a 60 mm stem on it to compensate for the long top tube.

    One thing I didn't realize until after I got my CC and took it on a couple of rides is that Surly measures from the center of the BB to the top of the TOP tube, not to the top of the seat tube. I conveniently found this info in the owners manual that came with the bike after I measured my 56 frame after using it a couple of times. It measures about 59 cm to the top of the seat tube. I was ready to take it back, thinking that they had ordered the wrong size, but after finding the frame measurement graphic and measuring it as they do, sure enough it's a 56.

    If I'd have known this before my purchase, I probalby would have ordered a 52, but I tend to like my bikes a bit on the large size. Just not this large! I have it where it's comfy now, but I wouldn't want to do much off roading with it, on account of the fact that I have zero standover.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRANKIEJ
    I think you probably made the correct choice. I bought a 56 cm cross check, because that is what I normally ride, and it is actually too big for me. I am around 5'9", and there is about 3-4" of post showing, and I had to put a 60 mm stem on it to compensate for the long top tube.
    Well, I got it -- the 50cm. So far I'm not 100% sure yet of the size, but the bike shop folks think it is right, and I expect with some playing I'll be convinced, too. My one problem so far has been that with a bike this size the rack they had at the bike shop -- a fairly typical one -- is too small to mount my briefcase pannier (the Arkel) far enough back that I don't have heel-strike issues... But I just ordered an OMM Red Rock, which is 3" longer, and am hoping that will solve the problem... Has anyone else had this problem with a smaller CrossCheck, and if so how did you deal with it? Thanks!

  13. #13
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    Check out mine

    I've used it on a century, and put about 3500 commuter miles on it since last summer. It's gotten me across the Yolo Causeway in searing heat, torrential downpours, and even in the dark. With 28mm tires, I'm as fast on it as I'd be on just about any road bike. Best of all, I'm only one tire change away from being able to ride fire roads on Angel Island. I've never tried, but apparently it will take really fat tires.

    And it has horizontal dropouts, so I could make it a fixed gear if I ever so desired. As far as I know, it's the only cross bike made like this.

    I wouldn't say that the Crosscheck is the only cross bike for all-purpose, utility use, or the best one for that matter. But the frameset is affordable and all the sizes are standard, so you really can do just about anything to it.

  14. #14
    Get on your bikes & ride! xB_Nutt's Avatar
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    If you are never going to ride it as mountain bike then I think the Crosscheck is the way to go. However the KM will do it all and allows the use of disc brakes or cantis. Here's how I have had my KM set up (so far)




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  15. #15
    One Man Fast Brick hubcap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgossett
    Well, I got it -- the 50cm. So far I'm not 100% sure yet of the size, but the bike shop folks think it is right, and I expect with some playing I'll be convinced, too. My one problem so far has been that with a bike this size the rack they had at the bike shop -- a fairly typical one -- is too small to mount my briefcase pannier (the Arkel) far enough back that I don't have heel-strike issues... But I just ordered an OMM Red Rock, which is 3" longer, and am hoping that will solve the problem... Has anyone else had this problem with a smaller CrossCheck, and if so how did you deal with it? Thanks!

    I had the same problem with my Langster which has very short chain stays (405mm) and solved the heel strike issues the with Red Rock rack. I use the locking tab on my Arkel Bug to push against the support near the back of the rack to keep it from sliding forward. Some people wrap some duct tape around the rack tube that the pannier attaches to just in front of where they want the pannier hooks to sit on the rack to keep it from sliding foward. I imagine that works just as well.

  16. #16
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam12
    That's what I've done, I was just thinking that the cross check might be better suited to do all things, but the more I think about it I might need both.
    Sounds like you're just looking for an excuse to spend more money.

  17. #17
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRANKIEJ
    I think you probably made the correct choice. I bought a 56 cm cross check, because that is what I normally ride, and it is actually too big for me. I am around 5'9", and there is about 3-4" of post showing, and I had to put a 60 mm stem on it to compensate for the long top tube.

    One thing I didn't realize until after I got my CC and took it on a couple of rides is that Surly measures from the center of the BB to the top of the TOP tube, not to the top of the seat tube. I conveniently found this info in the owners manual that came with the bike after I measured my 56 frame after using it a couple of times. It measures about 59 cm to the top of the seat tube. I was ready to take it back, thinking that they had ordered the wrong size, but after finding the frame measurement graphic and measuring it as they do, sure enough it's a 56.

    If I'd have known this before my purchase, I probably would have ordered a 52, but I tend to like my bikes a bit on the large size. Just not this large! I have it where it's comfy now, but I wouldn't want to do much off roading with it, on account of the fact that I have zero standover.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    I was just about to pull the trigger on a 58 cm LHT frame, but was a bit worried about top tube length (which seemed too long for a 58 cm). Now I'll have to take another look at the sizing and probably go with the 56 instead (I'm 5' 11", with a 34.5" inseam).

    No wonder people often say the Surly frames "run large".

    Given that the sell a lot of bare frames to enthusiasts, you'd think they would provide the "standard" seat tube measurement (BB to top of seat tube). And to further confuse the issue, they list their seat tube measurements as "ST C-T", which I read as "Seat Tube - Center of Bottom Bracket to
    Top of Seat Tube. Unless you look carefully at their diagram, it's not obvious that they're using a non-standard frame sizing.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    I was just about to pull the trigger on a 58 cm LHT frame, but was a bit worried about top tube length (which seemed too long for a 58 cm). Now I'll have to take another look at the sizing and probably go with the 56 instead (I'm 5' 11", with a 34.5" inseam).

    No wonder people often say the Surly frames "run large".

    Given that the sell a lot of bare frames to enthusiasts, you'd think they would provide the "standard" seat tube measurement (BB to top of seat tube). And to further confuse the issue, they list their seat tube measurements as "ST C-T", which I read as "Seat Tube - Center of Bottom Bracket to
    Top of Seat Tube. Unless you look carefully at their diagram, it's not obvious that they're using a non-standard frame sizing.
    I am 6'0" with a 34.3 inseam, and my 58-cm LHT is slightly too big for me, even though my 58-cm Trek 5200 fits perfectly.
    I think you'll be happy with the 56-cm.
    You'll love the LHT... it's not light, but is tough, versitile, and stable under load. I bought the LHT complete bike and couldn't be happier with it.

  19. #19
    Cyde adam12's Avatar
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    Haha...that's exactly what my wife said. I've decided the KM is suiting my needs right now and if I switch I'll probably end up getting another mountain bike. So I'm just gonna buy a few different parts for the KM, and stick with it. If it's not broken why fix it right.
    Living to ride.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRANKIEJ View Post
    I think you probably made the correct choice. I bought a 56 cm cross check, because that is what I normally ride, and it is actually too big for me. I am around 5'9", and there is about 3-4" of post showing, and I had to put a 60 mm stem on it to compensate for the long top tube.

    One thing I didn't realize until after I got my CC and took it on a couple of rides is that Surly measures from the center of the BB to the top of the TOP tube, not to the top of the seat tube. I conveniently found this info in the owners manual that came with the bike after I measured my 56 frame after using it a couple of times. It measures about 59 cm to the top of the seat tube. I was ready to take it back, thinking that they had ordered the wrong size, but after finding the frame measurement graphic and measuring it as they do, sure enough it's a 56.

    If I'd have known this before my purchase, I probalby would have ordered a 52, but I tend to like my bikes a bit on the large size. Just not this large! I have it where it's comfy now, but I wouldn't want to do much off roading with it, on account of the fact that I have zero standover.
    Frankie:

    I looked on Surly's website and didn't see any pictures regarding how they measure the seat tube, but that makes sense. I have a 62 cm Trek road bike with pretty straight lines, and my Trek's actual stand over height and top tube length are closer to the Surly Cross Check 60 cm size than the 62 cm. I know based on Trek's website that they measure their bikes from center of bottom bracket to the actual top of the seat tube. Thanks for the info! I'll feel more confident ordering the 60 cm Cross Check instead of the 62 cm (no real LBS stores in the area that could give me better sizing information than I can research on my own).

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rextwelve View Post
    BTW, have any other CC riders found that it fits on the big side? I normally ride a 56cm frame, but I ended up with a 54cm and even it feels a bit big.
    Really?

    I mean, I heard that the Cross-Check (like all Surlys) was sized larger than normal compared to other bikes of their frame sizes. However, I normally roll on 54's, and when I test rode a 54 Complete, it felt perfect (except for that darn cut-too-low steerer tube).

    I generally don't look at Seat Tube size much, but I am noticing that a lot of bikes that fit me generally have seat tubes around the same area. I tend to look at Top Tube measurements a lot more, so that it's easier to fit the right size stem on them. And stand-over heights 'cuz I feel uncomfortable with a top tube that pushes up into my nads when I stand-over it

  22. #22
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbuitend View Post
    Frankie:

    I looked on Surly's website and didn't see any pictures regarding how they measure the seat tube, but that makes sense. I have a 62 cm Trek road bike with pretty straight lines, and my Trek's actual stand over height and top tube length are closer to the Surly Cross Check 60 cm size than the 62 cm. I know based on Trek's website that they measure their bikes from center of bottom bracket to the actual top of the seat tube. Thanks for the info! I'll feel more confident ordering the 60 cm Cross Check instead of the 62 cm (no real LBS stores in the area that could give me better sizing information than I can research on my own).
    Spec's for all Surly bikes can be found on this web page:
    http://www.surlybikes.com/downloads.html

    Spec's for the Cross-Check (including frame size measurements), can be found here:
    http://www.surlybikes.com/files/Cross_Check2010.pdf
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Jeffbeerman2's Avatar
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    A bike that could be built into anything? Cross Check

    but...


    They each have options the other doesn't. You can get fatter tires and disc brakes on the KM. You can get a rack on the cross check (rear only, and the chainstays are a bit short so you will likely have heel strike issues with many racks/panniers). There are places to mount fenders, but you will tangle your toes+fenders if you ride the fattest tires that will fit on there (I've learned not to pedal when turning sharply).

    If you are considering a second bike get the long haul trucker. I think a KM+LHT would be the ideal combo if you are just going to own two bikes, CC is ideal if you can only have one

  24. #24
    pj7
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    Attack of the necroposting.
    this is the 4th thread tonight I've seen brought back from the dead, cool!
    I am a sig Virus. Please put me in your sig so that I can continue to replicate.

  25. #25
    Mirror slap survivor
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgossett View Post
    I've just come back from vacation, and found 3 different threads on cross checks -- yeah! Because I'm picking up mine today!!! (I ordered the complete one, though I'm planning on swapping many things out over time -- I'm going to go to an internal hub, though may not be able to justify the Rohloff...)

    But as to size, I'm hoping I ordered right... I'm 5'9, and ride a 54 cm Trek 5200 road bike -- but it feels a bit big. I sat on a 54 cm CC in my LBS, and it was *huge* -- so on their advice, I've ordered a 50 cm CC... We shall see; I was worried that I should have gotten the 52, but given these discussions I'm cautiously optimistic that the 50 cm was the right choice. (And I'm cautiously optimistic that if not my LBS will swap me out for a 52.)
    My height is what kept me from buying a CC. I'm 5'6" so if I size the CC like a road bike I'm on a 52. Combining suitably fat tires and fenders would result in unacceptable(to me) toe overlap. So I ride a Surly Pacer and a Gunnar Sport. The Surly is unfendered with 700x28s, and I have no overlap. The Gunnar has the same tires and fenders and overlap is a bit of an issue. I believe that smaller bikes which are capable of being fendered would benefit from smaller tires. Why more manufacturers don't do this as a matter of course is beyond me.

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