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Old 06-24-08, 09:26 PM   #1
6strikekickball
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Cross-check improvements

I am getting a bike for my graduation gift from my father (top of my class, cheers for me). I have decided to build up a surly cross-check, and so far the only deviations from the C-C complete are going to be an 8 speed gear hub on the back, a triple crank in the front, and a leather saddle. Where else would upgrading a part be advisable? I read something about the brakes not being spectacular, but I couldn't locate the thread again.
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Old 06-24-08, 10:05 PM   #2
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Go with a compact double on the front unless you have a really good reason for the triple.
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Old 06-25-08, 03:19 AM   #3
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CxCk stock brakes are ok,
the stock brake pads need replacement- suggest salmon koolstops.
also the stock wheels- make sure they tensioned and trued correctly.
don't forget the FrameSaver.
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Old 06-25-08, 04:34 PM   #4
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make sure they tensioned and trued correctly
Definitely! If you ride the stock wheels, check the spoke tension on the rear wheel often during the first month. Mine started to self-destruct on the ride home one night about 3 weeks after I got it. Replaced the stock wheels with ultegra/open pros.
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Old 06-25-08, 04:36 PM   #5
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If you're going that far, why not just build the frame up from scratch.
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Old 06-25-08, 04:45 PM   #6
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Definitely! If you ride the stock wheels, check the spoke tension on the rear wheel often during the first month. Mine started to self-destruct on the ride home one night about 3 weeks after I got it. Replaced the stock wheels with ultegra/open pros.
The stock wheels are fine as long as you de/re-tension them initially, and check them again around 200 miles.
Iv'e got over 2000 miles on mine since January and they're fine. I haven't even had to true them since 300 miles in, after they initially 'settled'.
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Old 06-25-08, 09:35 PM   #7
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If you're going that far, why not just build the frame up from scratch.
+1 - the complete is a decent bike, but really like most complete bikes it's series of compromises in order to come in at a price point. IF you can build one up from the frame the way you want it. It's the only way to go if you got the money and the time.

It deserves better wheels: a nicely built set of open pros with Ultegra hubs is a good choice.
105 level group at least.
Avid shorty 6 brakes with koolstop pads (I prefer black to salmon, they're too grippy for me, and make the fork shudder at times)
I'd put different levers on it, The feel of the Cane Creeks are much better to me than those skinny shimano levers. OR get some 105 brifters. Better yet get Dura ace, wait I'm getting carried away....
Brooks saddle is a good choice.

You sure you need a triple? Compact crankset would work better, but unless you are in hill country or going to be huffing a big load all the time a regular double is usually plenty.

oh yeah, congratulations on your school performance. That's something to really be proud of. Well, that and you new cross check!
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Old 06-25-08, 10:08 PM   #8
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Maybe I'm missing something, but how does the chain stay tensioned with a triple crank and no rear derailleur?
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Old 06-25-08, 10:46 PM   #9
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The shop guy mentioned a compact double but when I said I wanted to do some light touring he advised me to go for a triple. In what ways is a compact double superior to a triple and vice versa?

I'll definitely research the wheels some more.

The tension problem occurred to the me as well but the shop guy says he can set up a tensioner. Does that ruin the point of an internal derailleur?
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Old 06-25-08, 10:56 PM   #10
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it doesn't ruin the point, I guess, but make sure the tensioner takes up enough slack.

I'd personally go with a standard rear derailleur and triple for touring.

If you want to tour though, why are you getting the crosscheck and not the Long Haul Trucker?
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Old 06-26-08, 09:05 AM   #11
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I am going for the Cross-Check because I felt sluggish on the LHT and will only do light touring, which I have been told the C-C check handle just fine. Plus, I am going to be using this bike to get around and when I am not touring I will appreciate the zippier frame.

On a side note, since I am building the bike up, I am going to go get the frame painted something other than black or grey. I really like the olive color the LHT comes in.
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Old 06-26-08, 09:20 AM   #12
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Y'know, you have a common problem.

I wonder when bike mgers. are going to notice the trend and come out with a bike that has a touring bike's comfort and overall amenities but in a zippier package.

The Pake C'Mute was and is a good attempt, and I'd take it for the geometry, except the steel they use sucks and it's heavy.

Give me some quality Waterford, a 400mm fork with braze ons, slacker touring/cross geometry with, say, 430mm chainstays and a taller headtube and I'm happy! Oh yeah, and the Cross Check BB is WAY high! I mean, 70 is fine for BB drop. I don't need 66!

Maybe I'll just get a custom shop to build this for me when I have the duckets...
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Old 06-26-08, 01:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 6strikekickball View Post
On a side note, since I am building the bike up, I am going to go get the frame painted something other than black or grey. I really like the olive color the LHT comes in.
I like the blue of the Traveler Check
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Old 06-26-08, 07:24 PM   #14
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Y'know, you have a common problem.

Oh yeah, and the Cross Check BB is WAY high! I mean, 70 is fine for BB drop. I don't need 66!
Not trying to flame, but is 4mm of BB drop really going to make that big of a difference? Can you guys really tell the difference if you hopped on a bike with a bottom bracket that was 3/16ths of an inch different than another? Or am I missing something here?
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Old 06-26-08, 08:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 6strikekickball View Post
I am getting a bike for my graduation gift from my father (top of my class, cheers for me). I have decided to build up a surly cross-check, and so far the only deviations from the C-C complete are going to be an 8 speed gear hub on the back, a triple crank in the front, and a leather saddle. Where else would upgrading a part be advisable? I read something about the brakes not being spectacular, but I couldn't locate the thread again.
I just bought one. The brakes work, but they are super cheap. Ask me in about a hundred miles if I think they work well enough. I think they're about as strong as the caliper breaks on my road bike (which aren't spectacular, but they're not junk).

The tires that come on it suck. They might be nice for cross, but they're awful on the pavement in a turn. That should be obvious from the tread though. I can't wait until my slicks come in .

I also stuck a Brook's saddle on it. It rides nice with the Brook's saddle. I feel the bumps, but in a very different and much gentler way than I feel them on my aluminum road bike.

I haven't even ridden the bike enough to get the saddle height where I want it yet, so I'm afraid you'll have to wait a while before I can give a better report!
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Old 06-27-08, 08:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ok_commuter View Post
Go with a compact double on the front unless you have a really good reason for the triple.
+1

A triple is unnecessary unless you're going to be doing some steep hills. I rode my Cross Check on a 5-day tour last year with road slick tires and it performed great with the stock double crank.

My road bike has a triple and the occassional chain rub from cross chaining is annoying.

Also, the stock Cross Check is great as it is. I slapped on a Brooks, SKS fenders and 38 WTB trail tires and couldn't hope for a better city bike. People get too hung up on 105/tiagra/Ultegra issue. You're not racing it, so the stock Tiagra is fine.
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