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  1. #1
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    need help picking frame

    I知 hoping you guys can help me out with a few opinions. I知 looking for a bike to be my commuter, early spring/foul weather training bike and trying some cross races in the fall bike. I知 commuting to work on a great bike it痴 a custom steel Serotta. My ride is about 12 miles each way half smooth country roads, half urban pothole stuff. I want to get a commuter rig (steel, to absorb the bumps) so I can ride in and not worry about my nice bike. Something I can put a rack on and not have to worry about. My original thought was a CrossCheck, and I love the ride of it very smooth. But, it痴 also heavy. I知 afraid the lack of 奴ip will make me miss the road bike. So, I知 trying to figure out what would be the next step up something steel, a little lighter, with a little more snap for the occasional race to beat a yellow light. So far, I致e looked at the Soma DoubleCross, which seems great. Anything else out there I should look at? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I'd try a few different cross bikes and not limit yourself to one particular frame material, especially if you're concerned about weight. You're going to have to carry the thing in a cross race.

    A cross bike will let you run wider tires for extra cush anyway if that's what you want. If you end up with a steel framed bike anyway that's great but at least you haven't excluded some potentially very nice bikes from your test rides.

  3. #3
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    I ride a Soma Double Cross. I am a dedicated bike commuter and wanted a durable, reasonably light bike that offered mounting points for a rack and full fenders, and mounts for disc brakes. The Double Cross fit the bill in all regards. I have over 4000 miles on mine and have been very happy with it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JeremyLC's Avatar
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    I ride a CrossCheck daily. I can cruise around 20-22mph and I've hit peaks of 27-30mph on the way to work (with loaded panniers and fenders, btw ). How much "zip" do you need? (My fastest speed ever, unloaded, was ~38mph)

  5. #5
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyLC View Post
    I ride a CrossCheck daily. I can cruise around 20-22mph and I've hit peaks of 27-30mph on the way to work (with loaded panniers and fenders, btw ). How much "zip" do you need? (My fastest speed ever, unloaded, was ~38mph)
    For commuting the extra zip may not be as important, but if he wants to do cross races, a light bike is a nice thing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JeremyLC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    For commuting the extra zip may not be as important, but if he wants to do cross races, a light bike is a nice thing.
    I missed the racing part. I'm not sure I'd want to commute and race on the same bike.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    I ride and commute on a boat anchor, ...errrr... a Surly cross check.

    I put road tires on it, and will continue to use it as a trainer, as well as my do everything bike.
    If I wanted to race it, well it's very heavy, but I could do it. Heck, I wouldn't win on the best/lightest bike in the world.

    I'm looking for a road bike now, something light and quick to try to ride with the fast guys on the weekends.
    IMO; Riding the heavy CX bike during the week can only help when I get on the lighter one. at least thats the plan.

  8. #8
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheel View Post
    ...commuter rig (steel, to absorb the bumps)...rack...My original thought was a CrossCheck,..heavy....next step up – something steel, a little lighter, with a little more snap for the occasional race to beat a yellow light. So far, I’ve looked at the Soma DoubleCross, which seems great. Anything else out there I should look at? Thanks!
    How much lighter is a Double Cross compared to a CC? A frame made of steel, takes a rack, fenders and >32mm tires will weigh about what a CC weighs. If you want lighter and just as strong, get an aluminum frame, it'll save ~1.5 lbs...As if that matters once you put rack, fenders and a bunch of junk for work.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JeremyLC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    How much lighter is a Double Cross compared to a CC? A frame made of steel, takes a rack, fenders and >32mm tires will weigh about what a CC weighs. If you want lighter and just as strong, get an aluminum frame, it'll save ~1.5 lbs...As if that matters once you put rack, fenders and a bunch of junk for work.
    Well, per Surly's and Soma's websites, there is a .68lb difference in weight between the two frames, and a .46lb difference between the weight of the forks (assuming you use the IRD steel cross fork on the Soma). So, 1.14lbs total weight difference, with the Surly being heavier. (I always say it's easier to take weight off the rider (well, me anyway ) than the bike. <brag>The 90lbs I took off myself makes a huge difference vs. the ~1-2lbs I could save with a lighter frame </brag> )

  10. #10
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I recommend both a lighter bike and a lighter body.

    Especially if he's going to do cyclocross, a light bike is a good thing. You have to shoulder them, run over obstacles and up hills. When you're already tired, an extra pound or two matters.

  11. #11
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyLC View Post
    I missed the racing part. I'm not sure I'd want to commute and race on the same bike.
    It sounds like he might be like myself and compete only casually, - at least at first. For me commuting with my "racing" bike has only a few downsides and a lot of upsides. Having a limited budget for bikes and a limited time to train, training with the same bike I commute on makes a lot of sense. Cross bikes make pretty good commuters.

    My bike is hardly an ultra expensive racing machine though and I have a reasonably safe place to keep it.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 08-25-10 at 02:07 PM.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I would get one with Disc Brakes , Now
    years back also a 12 mille commute .. fitted a Zzipper Thriller road fairing in front,
    a tall but near reach stem and aero/cowhorn bars tall as the fairing broke the wind, and provided weather protection
    and the arm pads got weight off my hands ..

    checked out 'books on tape' from the library and listened to those on the quiet country road part of the trip....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyLC View Post
    I ride a CrossCheck daily. I can cruise around 20-22mph and I've hit peaks of 27-30mph on the way to work (with loaded panniers and fenders, btw ). How much "zip" do you need? (My fastest speed ever, unloaded, was ~38mph)
    Ha - that should be enough zip! I test rode a CrossCheck and it was so smooth, but then tried a Major Jake right after and it just seemed to have more acceleration. I guess I'm looking for the perfect bike - the ride of steel, but with a little less weight. I'm thinking what I might do is go with the DoubleCross and get a carbon fork. That way, it's lighter for the hypothetical race, but still steel. And ideally, if I had more money, yeah, I'd get two bikes, but I'm trying to do two things with this one. Trying to strike a good balance. Thanks for all the advice!

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