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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 06-10-11, 04:26 PM   #1
knightrk
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Cross Check or....?

I am in the market for my first new, fancy, real bike. I will use it for commuting and semi-leisurely semi-fast 20+ mile rides. I may use it for short tours. I could be convinced to get a commited road bike and continue commuting on my cheap costco comfort bike if that is a better deal.

I have been planning on a Surly cross check. I have been keeping an eye out for one on craigslist but these bikes get snapped up fast. My LBS is very pro Surly and said that the cross check is without a doubt the bike I am looking for. I keep poking around and finding other bikes that look pretty good, though. I test rode a Kona Honkey Tonk and loved it but it would be harder to commute on because of less clearance for tires, fenders etc. I looked at a Trek Lane, but they did not have one in my size. It looked like it did about the same thing as the cross check but I dont know how the components compare. Basically what I want is a steel frame that will be fun to ride and good for commuting and costs about 1000. Any other suggestions?
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Old 06-10-11, 05:17 PM   #2
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I'd say Bianchi Volpe (I have one) but it's pretty much identical to the crosscheck and if it's not readily available, there's not much reason to go for it over the cross check. It's an awesome bike though!
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Old 06-10-11, 05:33 PM   #3
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Bikes to consider would the the Bianchi Volpe pointed out by happa95, Jamis Aurora, and Trek 520. Redline Conquest Classic is also worth the look. Those are the Steel ones I can think of. But why Steel? Ride all kinds of bikes in your price range and see which ones fit or feel the best.
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Old 06-10-11, 05:52 PM   #4
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The Cross Check is definitely a good bike for your purposes. I realize you're looking for steel, but I'd suggest test riding a Kona Jake if you want something else to compare with the Cross Check. The Jake has STI shifters and is easier to set up with a less agressive riding position.

You probably wouldn't have a problem putting fenders on the ***** Tonk, and 28's are plenty wide for commuting. If you like the ride of that best, you should go with it.
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Old 06-10-11, 06:02 PM   #5
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Cross-Check hands down. Mine is simply the best all round bike I've ever owned.
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Old 06-10-11, 06:21 PM   #6
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Pretty much every manufacturer has an cyclocross entry at around the same price point of the Cross Check. There is no magic in the Cross Check. Do a couple of google searches and you'll find a lot of good choices. I'd not worry too much about the frame material.

There was a thread on this not too long ago (week?) that went through this in detail and there were a lot of choices listed in that.

Found that thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post12738658

J.

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Old 06-10-11, 10:25 PM   #7
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I can't commit to bicycles. I buy and sell all the time. I'll say "this is the one" and 3 months later it's sold and I start over. Since I started commuting I've gone through a number of bikes, just looking for that "spark" or the "oh yeah" feeling. I bought my Cross Check in September 2009. I love this bike, it does everything I ask of it. Sure I still eye other bikes, but nothing else has come along that is worth getting rid of my Cross Check for. Surly has a magic to it, it's hard to describe. Some people can ride a Surly and move on like it's no big deal. Others take one ride and it's love. When I get bored with it I throw racks and fenders on. Or strip it down and put slicks on it. Or the knobbies and go play in the mud. It loves it.

With that said, when you're talking about spending over a grand on a bike, make sure it's love, and not "it'll do". I think you'd find some of that love in a Surly. Or a Kona. Or a Salsa. Or a....you get the point.
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Old 06-10-11, 10:58 PM   #8
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These look nice, too. http://www.masibikes.com/steel/speciale-cx/

http://www.masibikes.com/steel/randonneur/ - not CX, but excellent for commuting or light touring. I'd swap the DT shifters for bar-ends, personally (though the DT's are pretty cool).
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Old 06-10-11, 11:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knightrk View Post
I am in the market for my first new, fancy, real bike. I will use it for commuting and semi-leisurely semi-fast 20+ mile rides. I may use it for short tours. I could be convinced to get a commited road bike and continue commuting on my cheap costco comfort bike if that is a better deal.
you will miss having a cheapo bicycle. i went through 5 bikes before i realized that.
i recommend iro phoenix
http://jensonusa.com/store/product/F...+Frameset.aspx
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Old 06-11-11, 07:21 AM   #10
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Surly Cross Check, all the way.
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Old 06-11-11, 09:02 AM   #11
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The biggest thing the Cross Check has is tire clearance up the wazoo. You can run wider tires than any of the others. And the stock complete model comes with bombproof components.
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Old 06-11-11, 10:22 AM   #12
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Alwys Cross Check
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Old 06-11-11, 11:42 AM   #13
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The biggest thing the Cross Check has is tire clearance up the wazoo. You can run wider tires than any of the others. And the stock complete model comes with bombproof components.
Pretty much true of most of the cyclocross bikes - there is nothing magical about a CC (and the color choices are, well... awful). Once you get past 32c it really starts to head to Mtb territory and the frame gets kind of wide. For "semi-fast" road rides, might want to look at a full out road bike too and keep the cheapie for commuting if it isn't far.

When I looked at this a couple of weeks ago, there was even a 105 based bike in this price range. I'd take that over the CC with Tiagra any day.

J.
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Old 06-11-11, 03:13 PM   #14
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How bout touring bikes?

How bout touring frames? I just looked at the Fuji Touring which another LBS here was pushing. Would it be significantly less zippy? The shop that carries Surly said the distributer wont have a cross check until the end of the month. They also said the price went up to 1150 which is getting past what I can pay right now and they said there is no room for negotiating. The Fuji Touring is 950.
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Old 06-11-11, 03:33 PM   #15
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I am in the market for my first new, fancy, real bike. I will use it for commuting and semi-leisurely semi-fast 20+ mile rides. I may use it for short tours.
While touring bikes don't have to be slow, they are usually not the first choice for semi-fast rides. Touring bikes are designed to be stable while carrying loads.

While you may not want to, your best option is to wait until the CC comes into stock so you can compare it to other bikes. In the meantime ride everything you can. You won't know what the best bike for you will be until you try them all.
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Old 06-11-11, 07:48 PM   #16
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I'd look for at as many cyclocross bikes as you can. And possibly some road bikes with more relaxed geometry.
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Old 06-11-11, 10:46 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the input. I will hold off on buying until I can test the CC and will shop around more in the meantime. I am learning alot in this process.

Right now I am feeling that this kinda comes down to whether I want a bike that is made more for speed but can handle a bigger load, bigger tires etc OR if I want a touring bike that is made more for handling a big load but can also be used for my 'fast-ish' loops out in the county.

In the short term I got bar ends to make my cheapo commuter more ridable.
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Old 06-12-11, 03:13 AM   #18
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Just chiming in to recommend the Salsa Casseroll. It's a little more expensive at $1200, but it's pretty similar to the CC except it has integrated shifters rather than bar ends. I have one and I love it. <3
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Old 06-12-11, 04:57 PM   #19
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Get the CC. When you get bored with it, you'll start switching things out... from stock build, to winter beater, to single speed, to 1x9, to pissing off your spouse because she is getting annoyed with your cross check obsession..
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Old 06-16-11, 09:09 AM   #20
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Success! I got a used 09 cross check for 800 bucks off of craigslist. I have the day off and I am going to clean it up and take it for a long ride.
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Old 06-16-11, 09:30 AM   #21
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Sweet! congratulations!

When *ahem* you post pics, proper BF etiquette is to make sure the drive side is towards the camera, and to include AT LEAST one drive side, whole bike picture in front of a white garage door.
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Old 06-16-11, 09:48 AM   #22
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Totally jealous of you americans and your crosscheck deals, impossible to find a deal in Canada
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Old 06-16-11, 10:42 AM   #23
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The CC is a killer bike. I had one for a while. I replaced it with the Salsa Vaya as it is a little more relaxed and I wanted disk brakes. Much more comfortable ride in my personal opinion and it will still run fat tires. I had 700X40s on it with no problems and pretty sure I could go 700X42. It's a bit more expensive, but you'll have this bike a while. Personally I think the Vaya is the perfect bike.

Cx bikes are really nice, but also consider a few of the more relaxed semi-touring frames on the market like the Pake C'mute and the Soma Saga. Not sure if you can buy completes, but building a bike is a great learning experience and a blast. Personally if I were you, I would go....

1. Salsa Vaya (A bit over your budget as a complete, but I built mine for under $1K)
2. Soma Saga
3. Surly CC
4. Pake C'Mute (the Pake frames are fairly inexpensive! They run long in size)
5. Kona - Jake
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Old 06-16-11, 10:56 AM   #24
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Cx bikes are really nice, but also consider a few of the more relaxed semi-touring frames on the market like the Pake C'mute and the Soma Saga. Not sure if you can buy completes, but building a bike is a great learning experience and a blast. Personally if I were you, I would go....

1. Salsa Vaya (A bit over your budget as a complete, but I built mine for under $1K)
2. Soma Saga
3. Surly CC
4. Pake C'Mute (the Pake frames are fairly inexpensive! They run long in size)
5. Kona - Jake
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Success! I got a used 09 cross check for 800 bucks off of craigslist. I have the day off and I am going to clean it up and take it for a long ride.

I like my cross check, I'm sure you will too, the versatility to practically turn it into another bike is what is great bout it IMO.

Waiting for pics!!!
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Old 06-16-11, 11:14 AM   #25
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Success! I got a used 09 cross check for 800 bucks off of craigslist. I have the day off and I am going to clean it up and take it for a long ride.
Congrats!
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