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  1. #1
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    If you were building a Surly Cross Check for commuting and

    wanted to make it:

    Fast
    Smooth
    Comfortable
    Retro looking

    how would you build it up?
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  2. #2
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Smooth & comfortable. If you want fast or retro, start with something else.
    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

  3. #3
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Smooth & comfortable. If you want fast or retro, start with something else.
    Yea, I should have said it a different way, I don't mean fast in terms of something like my Tarmac, just fast in terms of this type of bike. I've also seen some folks build them up with just a touch of retro which looks pretty cool.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Smooth & comfortable. If you want fast or retro, start with something else.
    It has downtube shifter braze-ons, horizontal dropouts, and it is made out of steel. I think it well on its way to being retro.

    EDIT- I vote comfort.
    Surly Pacer

  5. #5
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    It's a matter of preference. The CC can be just about anything, which is great. But since this is the commuter forum, smooth & comfortable has special merit.

    What major components are you considering?
    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
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  7. #7
    perpetually frazzled mickey85's Avatar
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    Fast:
    700c tires, triple chainrings, 7-8 gears out back

    Smooth:
    70X35-38 tires

    retro-looking:
    down tube shifters or bar end shifters
    polished aluminum components
    super wide centerpull or side pull brakes

    Comfy:
    get the bars high up and get one that fits.


    That's how I'd build up a fast, comfy, retro, smooth Cross Check.
    1951 Raleigh Lenton Sports
    1967 Phillips Sports
    1974 Peugeot UO-8 fixed gear
    1978 Raleigh Super Course
    1981 Schwinn LeTour
    1984 Nishiki Riviera GT
    1987 Nishiki Modulus
    1988 Fuji Palisade
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    Master of the low end garbajj!

  8. #8
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    It's a matter of preference. The CC can be just about anything, which is great. But since this is the commuter forum, smooth & comfortable has special merit.

    What major components are you considering?
    This will be my first build ever, so it's all new to me. I was thinking about going with Shimano 105 or Shimano Deore M771K (not sure if I should go with 165, 170, 175 or 180 crank).

    I have a Mavic Kysrium Equipe wheel set with an Ultegra cassette that I hope I can use for commuting with slightly larger tires (not sure if this will work).

    I was thinking about a Cane Creek headset with mustache handlebars and a Brooks leather seat.

    This is just my first attempt at bringing together all the parts.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  9. #9
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    PM on the way...
    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

  10. #10
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickey85 View Post
    Fast:
    700c tires, triple chainrings, 7-8 gears out back

    Smooth:
    70X35-38 tires

    retro-looking:
    down tube shifters or bar end shifters
    polished aluminum components
    super wide centerpull or side pull brakes

    Comfy:
    get the bars high up and get one that fits.


    That's how I'd build up a fast, comfy, retro, smooth Cross Check.
    Thanks Mickey, this is good stuff. I like the idea of the bar end shifters and I had a black Cane Creek headset in my shopping cart but I'm going to switch to the polished aluminum.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  11. #11
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MulliganAl View Post
    wanted to make it:

    Fast
    Smooth
    Comfortable
    Retro looking

    how would you build it up?
    Salsa Delgado rims
    Vittoria Randonneur 35mm tires
    Shimano 3N80 front hub and IQ Cyo light
    Velo-Orange Tourist or Nitto North Road bars w/ shellac cork grips
    Alfine rear hub
    Honjos
    Brooks saddle

    It won't be the fastest of fast, but it will be reasonably quick, very comfy, and if you unbrand the frame it will have a nice retro look.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I went with a modern-retro look and setup.

    And so far from the feed back from other readers they are pointing you in the direction of my bike pictured below.

    2008 Surly Cross-Check , 1x9 gearing, Ultegra Cassette, 105 Derailier , Nitto Mustache bars, Dura-Ace 9sp bar-con, Shimano Canti’s (BR-550), Mavic Open Pro’s laced to 105 hubs and wrapped in Vitoria Randonee tires, recycled rear rack, recycled SKS fenders, Ortlieb Roll Top Panniers.



    Last edited by Metricoclock; 05-01-09 at 11:15 AM.
    derailleur? I hardly know her
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  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    I have a 2000/2001 Bean Green CC. I have it set up as 1x9 (39 - 11x32) with a bar end
    shifter. I use a Salsa Xing Guard and Nstop for the inside. Front wheel is a Velocity Dyad(silver) with Scmidt SON Dynamo hub with B&M headlight. Rear wheel is a Velocity Dyad(silver) with
    Ultegra hub. I have a Brooks(British Racing Green) B17 Champion Special saddle, the Salsa Bell
    Lap bar with Grey cloth tape and twined off with Green twine that is shellac'ed. I have a Small Minnehaha saddle bag as well. Then I have Planet Bike Cascadia fenders in silver, and use 700x32
    Panaracer Pasela TG's for tires. I think this has a good mix of looking retro(classic) and yet is designed for fairly fast commuting. It is my main commuter bike.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metricoclock View Post
    I went with a modern-retro look and setup.

    2008 Surly Cross-Check , 1x9 gearing, Ultegra Cassette, 105 Derailier , Nitto Mustache bars, Dura-Ace 9sp bar-con, Shimano Cantiís, Mavic Open Proís laced to 105 hubs and wrapped in Vitoria Randonee tires, recycled rear rack, recycled SKS fenders, Ortlieb Roll Top Panniers. Winter ride Ď09

    Now Metricoclock, that's what I'm talking about, beautiful. That is the bike I want, color, handlebars and all. Did you build it yourself? I like the idea of passing on the front Derailleur, I don't really need a triple or even a double.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    ^^^^
    Yep, built the whole thing up myself. I already had the brooks on another bike and transferred it over to the CC. It's my main ride these days, i can do just about anything i want with it. I am going to get a little steeper and shorter stem to help raise me up a lil bit.
    Last edited by Metricoclock; 05-01-09 at 11:23 AM.
    derailleur? I hardly know her
    http://a2bikegeek.wordpress.com/

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nopinkbikes View Post
    I have a 2000/2001 Bean Green CC. I have it set up as 1x9 (39 - 11x32) with a bar end
    shifter. I use a Salsa Xing Guard and Nstop for the inside. Front wheel is a Velocity Dyad(silver) with Scmidt SON Dynamo hub with B&M headlight. Rear wheel is a Velocity Dyad(silver) with
    Ultegra hub. I have a Brooks(British Racing Green) B17 Champion Special saddle, the Salsa Bell
    Lap bar with Grey cloth tape and twined off with Green twine that is shellac'ed. I have a Small Minnehaha saddle bag as well. Then I have Planet Bike Cascadia fenders in silver, and use 700x32
    Panaracer Pasela TG's for tires. I think this has a good mix of looking retro(classic) and yet is designed for fairly fast commuting. It is my main commuter bike.
    pictures please!
    derailleur? I hardly know her
    http://a2bikegeek.wordpress.com/

  17. #17
    Senior Member halfro's Avatar
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    I built a cross check as a commuter. Part list if it will help:

    Lever: Cane Creek Drop V
    Brakes: Cane Creek SCX-5
    Seat Post: Thomson Elite (27.2x330mm)
    Headset: Chris King
    Stem: Thomson Elite 4X
    Crank: FSA Gossamer
    Saddle: b17
    Fenders: Planet Bike
    Handlebars: WTB mountain drop


    Wheels:

    Spokes: DT Champion
    Nipples: Black Alloy
    Rims: Salsa Delgado Rim
    HUbs: Surly
    freewheel: 16T DX

    It's relatively fast and comfortable. I could put on a mustache bar and flip the stem so make it a super comfort ride.

    Have fun with the build. The Cross Check is a great start. There are so many options with this frame it can be scary to pick which part because you can pretty much pick anything.

  18. #18
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MulliganAl View Post
    wanted to make it:
    Retro looking
    how would you build it up?
    Retro = no black parts, all silver, IGH....

    Drop bars with old school levers, bar end shifters, loopy cables and all

  19. #19
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    This thread came in a very timely way. A friend of mine is entirely too generous, and he's practically GIVING me a cross check. He sneaked into my house the other day, and I noticed it in the basement this morning accidentally as I went for the laundry. My God, it's gorgeous. I'm not sure it's the right size, but it probably is.

    I'm not even sure what kind of bike I want to build out of it. An expensive commuter bike may not be wise, because a commuter bike ought to be disposable. Maybe I'll make a touring bike out of it, as I'm getting interested in doing long distance riding once again after many years of not doing it.

    I'm thinking of putting upright bars on it, since I don't like bending over any more. I'm 48 years old and starting to have back problems.

    I tend to like narrow tires.

    It will have fenders, for sure, and cantilever brakes. I will probably be able to put on a used Ultegra 9-speed drivetrain on it. Other than that, I don't know yet. But I guess it's already taking shape in my mind.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  20. #20
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metricoclock View Post
    pictures please!
    Ok. My cross check. It's very comfortable. It goes as fast as I can pedal it. To the uninitiated it looks pretty retro. It's bomb proof. There's a million ways to build one of these up. This is how I did mine.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #21
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    Retro = no black parts, all silver, IGH....

    Drop bars with old school levers, bar end shifters, loopy cables and all
    True, gotta' love those silver parts on the retros. I'm now looking at a Soma Double Cross also that I'd set up to look something like this.

    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  22. #22
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MulliganAl View Post
    True, gotta' love those silver parts on the retros. I'm now looking at a Soma Double Cross also that I'd set up to look something like this.

    That is one nice looking commuter
    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

  23. #23
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
    Ok. My cross check. It's very comfortable. It goes as fast as I can pedal it. To the uninitiated it looks pretty retro. It's bomb proof. There's a million ways to build one of these up. This is how I did mine.
    Looks petty sweet to me modernjess, did you remove the decals to give it more of a retro look? That seems to be one of the advantages to a Surly; at first I thought it was a bad thing.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  24. #24
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MulliganAl View Post
    Looks petty sweet to me modernjess, did you remove the decals to give it more of a retro look? That seems to be one of the advantages to a Surly; at first I thought it was a bad thing.
    Yeah, I removed the decals for a few reasons; I don't like the way they look. I like Surly a lot, but not their graphics, and I like that they made them removable by not clear coating over them. I did keep the head badge on, I think it looks nice that way. I could care less if people know what type of bike I'm riding. Every cross check owner knows what it is when they see it.

    I also think this type of a bike looks way better plain (maybe that is retro, I don't know) The classic road bike geometry, the utlilitrain nature of it and how I use it it just seems right.

    Third; Since I use this in an urban environment and lock it up frequently I think the no decal look makes it less enticing to thieves. If you know what you are looking at you would want to steal this bike but if you know what you are looking at you are probably not in the bike stealing business.

  25. #25
    Senior Member rugerben's Avatar
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    Fast
    Smooth
    Comfortable
    Retro looking
    Fast-
    700cX28 of a good tire like Conti gatorskin or Panaracer Pasela TG

    Smooth-
    It'll be smooth with the 28's and it's nice steel frame.
    Also, I'd recommend an 8 speed cassette with either double or triple chainrings depending on how hilly your area is.

    Comfortable-
    Same as smooth. Add a Brooks B17 to it (you can get them for $70 delivered) and you're set. Also se the saddle height approx the same as the handlebars.

    Retro-
    Well, it's already steel so that's a plus. Brooks saddle will help. I'd say get the 8 speed ultegra bar-end shifters from Jenson. They are $56 and are FANTASTIC quality for the price. I have them on my C-dale touring bike and love them.
    You also might want to think about a quill stem rather than threadless headset if you really want to get the retro look.
    MOLON LABE

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