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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-15-10, 02:43 PM   #1
crdean1
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New Cross Check Build (yawn)...

So I am joining the ranks of commuters and building a Cross Check for an on/off road commute, a 40 mile commute about 3 times per week.

Having only been a road and mtb rider for the last 12 years, I've done some research on this, but there is so much to learn.

I wanted to use this thread to document my build w/ pics, ask questions, and ultimately make good decisions in the building process.

I have decided I would like a blacked out Cross Check and need some tips. 1st step, order the frame. I am doing that this afternoon and will immediately have it sent to the paint shop and painted matte black. Then as the LBS suggested, I will put gloss black decals on the bike.

I have a wheel set and will be ordering a black Brooks saddle. I've also ordered lights for the front and back. However, I'm stuck on the group. I'm thinking that an Ultegra SL group (like a gray color) would be a good overall look, but is that realistic for a commuter?

What group have you used for your cross check, and how has it worked out for you? Also, I will post some pics of the frame when I receive it next week before and after the powder coat.

Edit: It is 2/26/2011, and the bike is finally done. Final pics on page 5.

Last edited by crdean1; 02-26-11 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 12-15-10, 09:05 PM   #2
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I'm using the Tiagra derailleurs with Ultegra brifters, it's been bombproof so far. If you're looking for evil black darkness colors, get a SLX or XT rear D.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:36 PM   #3
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good choice!

I also have a blacked out CC. I decided to go with shimano IGH w/bar end shifters on the drops and Dynamo hub on the front. I do mostly city commuting and was looking for something that was winter proof and very little maint. I made I made the right choice for me. Let me know if you need any more info. experience is a tough teacher.
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Old 12-16-10, 05:10 AM   #4
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105 5700 might be a good choice i you want black? Seems highly thought of, and under-the-tape cables!
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Old 12-16-10, 08:28 AM   #5
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How's the geometry on a Cross Check, it's a cross bike so I'm guessing fairly aggressive? Just wondering if a Brooks is the best choice. I'm sure it's not he most popular opinion, but I found that for anything approaching a racing geometry a standard B17 is not he best fit i.e. if you are sitting forward on the saddle. Plus the added weight, lack of any cushioning in the urban environment, price, break in period and fact it's not waterproof aren't great either. Again, I'm sure I'll get shot down for this, but if you're looking for advice, that's mine!

Plus I would say run to run at least 32mm tires (vittoria randonneur or Panaracer T-Serv's are both great) and get rims that are wide enough for them. You can run wider tires on rims that are not meant for that width sure, but it does make changing the tires a pain.
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Old 12-16-10, 08:53 AM   #6
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I'll be riding a Vassago Fisticuff come late spring (no winter riding) and am using mostly Nashbar parts including their derailleurs. Everything seems to work fine they also have road derailleurs (went mountain for more range).
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Old 12-16-10, 09:43 AM   #7
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Hey, Ryan, good to see you back! How's the family?

The Ultegra should be fine for what you need, just consider the range of the cassette and chainrings relative to the weight you'll be carrying and the climbing you 'll have to do with it.

For what it's worth, Campy has some really pretty black stuff out...
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Old 12-16-10, 10:09 AM   #8
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I recently built a Pacer and considered paining it black as well, but when I found out the Surly frames are all powder-coated, I decided to embrace the green. I wonder if you could lightly sand the gloss black PC and get a matte finish that way?
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Old 12-16-10, 10:54 AM   #9
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The cross check is nothing to yawn at! It's a really fun bike to ride.

I've got a pooped out cross check (gravy brown with decals removed). I built mine up as a ssfg, used NOS 105 crankset. They can be had for pretty cheap on ebay and are a great compromise between cost and quality.

What color did you order? I am confused about you powder coating it as you can already find it in black. The paint job on the CX is pretty tough and personally I don't think it's worth it to drop the dough to repaint it. Instead spend the money on nicer parts.
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Old 12-16-10, 11:52 AM   #10
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All threads need more pictures:



Here's the current component spec on my Cross Check:

Ultegra 6603 STI levers
105 5603 front derailleur (better matched to a 50T chainring than the Ultegra FD)
Ultegra 6700 GS rear derailleur
Tektro CR720 front brake
Avid Shorty 4 rear brake
Alex AT-450 rims with Deore front hub and Tiagra rear hub
Specialized Phenom saddle
Salsa Poco handlebars
Cane Creek S-3 headset
Profile Designs Aris stem
FSA Gossamer crankset
Egg Beater 2 pedals

I had an Ultegra SL rear derailleur, but I destroyed it in spectacular fashion in a CX race.

Overall, I think these are pricier components than I'd need to be happy with the bike, but it shifts so much better than my Tiagra-equipped winter bike. I've got another bike with 5600 105 gruppo and I'm not sure I can tell the difference between that and the Ultegra stuff.

The only thing I'm not in love with about this setup is the braking. The Tektros are better than the Shorty 4's, but for commuting I'd like a bit more stopping power. I'm planning to try out a V-brake with Travel Agent in the front early next year.

One thing I did, on the advice of another Bike Forums member, was to have a rear brake bridge added while it was stripped down for powder coating:



I like this a lot better than the little dangly bit they give you with the frame. It only cost me $25 to have this added.
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Old 12-16-10, 11:58 AM   #11
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I went w/ square taper BB and black sugino crankset. Mine is a single (although I think I could put a 2nd ring on the inside?). Google shows this is a black Sugino basically cyclocross crankset:

http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...oducts_id=6455

Could maybe find cheaper on ebay?

oh wait - that one is octalink and not ST - whatever. Sounds like a fun project, curious about gloss decals on matte finish, could be cool.

I went w/ v-brakes and dropbar v levers.
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Old 12-16-10, 12:57 PM   #12
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I wrapped my top tube and seat post with black Tressostar cloth tape. Keeps it from sliding off of racks and signposts when locking up.
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Old 12-16-10, 01:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have decided I would like a blacked out Cross Check and need some tips. 1st step, order the frame. I am doing that this afternoon and will immediately have it sent to the paint shop and painted matte black. Then as the LBS suggested, I will put gloss black decals on the bike.
I'm confused about this. The crosscheck already comes in black. Okay, it's a glossy black, but still...

I built up a black crosscheck this fall. In my case, I went with 105 throughout. Ultegra just seemed like overkill on a steel frame. 105 is light enough for me, it's rugged, and it works very well. The bike rides great! Quicker than my touring bike, but just as comfortable when unloaded.
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Old 12-17-10, 04:11 PM   #14
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Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I'm going to read through these and really think about gruppo options. I ordered the frame yesterday, and it should be here next week. To answer a couple of questions, I know it comes in gloss black, but this is the first bike I've built from the ground up, and I just have preference for the matte black with gloss black decals. I think that would look pretty cool. Nothing against the gloss black. That Robin's Egg blue is pretty cool, but they are out of stock until possibly Feb.

One thing I am going to do is see how much it costs to add disc tabs (before painting) and run disc brakes. I'm just starting to do my research on this, and if the cost goes through the roof I might scratch that. I hear that 105 shifters would work with cable disc brakes. Anyone have this type setup? The only one I've seen that had disc brakes was set up as a fixie, so he didn't have to worry about the shifters, etc.

I will just have to see the final estimates as this setup would change my hub selection and ultimately my wheel set. I just saw that new matte black 105 (5700) with a gloss stripe down the crank, looks sweet!

What up Truman. Long time no see.
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Old 12-17-10, 05:07 PM   #15
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Another option would be to buy a disc-specific fork (IRD or Kona P2 maybe) and have that painted along with the frame. Then you could run a disc brake in the front (where braking power matters) and cantilevers in the back (where less braking power is often a good thing). I've thought about doing that myself.

FWIW, I'm running the road version of the Avid BB7's with Tiagra STI levers on my winter bike, and it works great. The cable pull is supposedly different with the new 105 and Ultegra levers, so you might not need the road version with those (but then again, you might).
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Old 12-17-10, 07:21 PM   #16
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My Crosscheck has a Brooks. On any given day, it's the most comfortable thing I sit on. Not waterproof, sure, but hasn't seemed to be a problem for millions upon millions of English cyclists.

They are pretty aggressive. A very short head tube.

Last edited by MrCjolsen; 12-17-10 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 12-17-10, 07:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
I wrapped my top tube and seat post with black Tressostar cloth tape. Keeps it from sliding off of racks and signposts when locking up.
That is an EXCELLENT idea! i might do that. I hate how it always slides.
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Old 12-17-10, 07:55 PM   #18
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Rain got to my Brooks through 2X saddle covers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
My Crosscheck has a Brooks. On any given day, it's the most comfortable thing I sit on. Not waterproof, sure, but hasn't seemed to be a problem for millions upon millions of English cyclists.

They are pretty aggressive. A very short head tube.
My Brooks got soaked overnight. I had a velo-orange AND a Brooks saddle cover. That was good enough for half the saddle, but the other half is still wet. Is it ruined? Do I need it re-tensioned? I hope it just dries out, but I kind of don't have an option but to ride the SOB. it's how i get around. =/
what do?
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Old 12-17-10, 08:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by albertmoreno View Post
My Brooks got soaked overnight. I had a velo-orange AND a Brooks saddle cover. That was good enough for half the saddle, but the other half is still wet. Is it ruined? Do I need it re-tensioned? I hope it just dries out, but I kind of don't have an option but to ride the SOB. it's how i get around. =/
what do?
I took the Brooks off and put on the stock WTB saddle. it's so hideous.
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Old 12-18-10, 01:56 AM   #20
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brooks saddles belong on any Surly, the B-17 is the perfect saddle for my cross-check
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Old 12-18-10, 03:54 AM   #21
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I have a B17 on my crosscheck too. I agree it's the perfect saddle for that bike. Surly should just make it standard on their completes.
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Old 12-18-10, 01:34 PM   #22
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Brooks vs. WTB

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
I have a B17 on my crosscheck too. I agree it's the perfect saddle for that bike. Surly should just make it standard on their completes.
they really should. I don't know of anyone who keeps and rides on the stock WTB. I'm riding it right now cos my Brooks is drying out from a good drenching and damn is the stock saddle uncomfortable. I mean seriously, uncomfortable. oh well it's something to ride on and I don't care if it gets wet.
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Old 12-18-10, 02:01 PM   #23
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I bought one complete and put a brooks and ribmo tires on it for about 3,000 miles. I found I didn't like the crank set so I took all the componets off. I put a campy chours on it with deepV rims and campy record hubs. It works great, and it lost over 5 lbs.
Oh yea, I took the decals off my black CC, the day I got it.
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Old 12-18-10, 05:19 PM   #24
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Here's a CC that I put together about 3 years ago. It has a Nexus8 internal gear hub, tektro canti brakes, brooks B68 saddle and nitto albatross bars. This is my wet weather bike for commuting, but gets used on lots of good weather commutes and for most errands around town.
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Old 12-18-10, 05:35 PM   #25
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I have all 105 on mine and of course a B17. Mine gets wet all the time, I dont think it is a problem is it? And has anyone else ever heard of all 105 componets?
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