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  1. #1
    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    why surly cross check over soma double cross?

    Decided to post this in Commuting because a search for "surly cross check" resulted in most posts here.

    Thinking about building up a cross bike for commuting and maybe some light trails. Unlikely to enter an event. It seems like the Surly Cross Check is recommended about 20 to 1 over the Soma Double Cross. But when I compare them, I think the Soma seems like a better choice. It's got better steel (631 vs 4130) so it's lighter by about .7 pounds. The only thing I see better on the Surly is the disc mounts, but I don't plan to use them anyway. Oh, the Surly web site is better too. But I can't ride a web site.

    I've been to a few shops where they sell Somas only, and they say they are great. But nobody has both or enough experience with both to give me a useful comparison. So I turn to you.

    Maybe it's because nobody is familiar with Soma. Could that be it?

    http://www.somafab.com/frames.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Why use cyclocross geometry for commuting? There is no advantage.
    The Surly Pacer has traditional road bike geometry (it's a copy of a Rivendell), the LHT makes a fine commuting bike, and I understand
    Soma has a road bike as well. I think any of those would be better
    suited to commuting.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsyptak
    The only thing I see better on the Surly is the disc mounts, but I don't plan to use them anyway.
    ...and you can scratch that off the list since the Cross-Check doesn't actually have disc mounts.

  4. #4
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    The pacer is really not a copy of any Riv. model, and might be a decent commuter if you can live with 28c tires, max. The chainstays are short for a rack, but you'd have to try it.

    The Soma bikes come with (IMO) better tubing and look to be slightly lighter. My pick of the bunch would be a Soma Smoothie ES, though the double cross looks nice too. Maybe even a Surly Long Haul Trucker. It really depends what *else* you want to do with this bike, the tire sizes you want to run, and whether racks/panniers are nice or necessary.

  5. #5
    militant commuter
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    I commute with a surly pacer. I love it. I run freddy fenders and Conti top touring 28mm there is plenty of clearence. Even covered in hockey tape and fendered, I can do 22mph pulls for quite a distance. I read this forum because I want to build up a "Salt" commuter, I was thinking of the cross check so I could run studded tires. I would love to know what you decide.

  6. #6
    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth
    The pacer is really not a copy of any Riv. model, and might be a decent commuter if you can live with 28c tires, max. The chainstays are short for a rack, but you'd have to try it.

    The Soma bikes come with (IMO) better tubing and look to be slightly lighter. My pick of the bunch would be a Soma Smoothie ES, though the double cross looks nice too. Maybe even a Surly Long Haul Trucker. It really depends what *else* you want to do with this bike, the tire sizes you want to run, and whether racks/panniers are nice or necessary.
    LOML got a new bike in November so we have an "extra" Trek sitting around. Since it probably would sell for about 1/2 of what we paid for it (not worth it IMO), we have decided to use most of the components from the Trek and put them on a new cross frame. It would be a bike we could both ride to work and be an alternate ride as compared to our rack and pannier adorned daily commuters.

    We wouldn't put rack/panniers on it; probably just use a backpack or messenger bag on the days we rode it, thus providing an upright, agile and spirited ride.

    Tires I'm thinking about are Ritchey Speedmax Cross. Knobbies on the sides and pretty flat in the middle.

    There's an outside chance I might enter a cyclocross race with it, but undoubtedly in the slowest of the slow category. Saw a race last fall and laughed our butts off at all the mud on the bikes.

  7. #7
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Can the Pacer take the 35mm snow tires and fenders that my Cross Check can take? I think 28's are the minimum for a fully-loaded commuter. You might end up wanting wider tires than that.
    Last edited by Daily Commute; 01-17-05 at 12:21 PM.

  8. #8
    militant commuter
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    That sounds right to me, 28 with fenders, and 32's(?) with out.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Any chance you'd ever want to set it up as a single speed / fixed gear bike? The Cross Check has semi-horizontal dropouts so that's an option if you ever want to try it out (unlike the LHT or Soma Double Cross). Otherwise, I was not aware of the Double Cross, and if the price were about the same I probably would do as you say and go with the one with the better tubing.

  10. #10
    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    I doubt I'd ever convert it to a fixed gear. But someday I'd like to buy an old beater road bike and build the poor man's version. Just not this one.

    Price is about the same. I've seen the Soma in the low 300s w/o fork and about $400 with a lugged fork.

    I would think the Soma would be less theft prone as well, due to it's name not being as well known. Surly says "steal me" to me.

  11. #11
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    Soma also offers the "Smoothie ES," a road frame designed around long brake calipers and with rack/fender mounts. That's another good frame to look at and maybe caliper brakes have a little less "steal me" about them than cantilevers.

  12. #12
    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    They seem fairly similar except for the longer top tube and wheelbase and obviously cantilevers. I think these bikes are great looking:

    http://www.somafab.com/dcxblu58built.JPG
    and
    http://www.somafab.com/dcxgrn_hdtube_newstd.JPG

  13. #13
    18 dog baby
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    Nothing much, except for the Surly mystique. The mystique and the drop outs. I find myself second guessing my Long Haul Trucker purchase. The only thing that sold me on the Trucker over the Soma Smoothie ES was the mystique.

  14. #14
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    It's not so much a "mystique" as it is a cult.

    -(Happy) Surly Owner

  15. #15
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    I have a cross check, and I love it. But check out something like the All-city Mr. Pink. My 80's schwinn super le tour is similar, but cleared 42c tires. It's feels faster on the road than the cross check, and still handles gravel and the fire roads just fine. I have taken numerous shortcuts thru the local trail and both bikes do fine. If you have the coin, talk to rock lobster about custom, his bikes are amazing.

  16. #16
    Steel is real, baby! frpax's Avatar
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    Both are so similar... I do like the vertical rear dropouts of the Soma, though.

  17. #17
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
    Soma also offers the "Smoothie ES," a road frame designed around long brake calipers and with rack/fender mounts.
    I was majorly coveting an ES and then I got one of these instead.

    That's another good frame to look at and maybe caliper brakes have a little less "steal me" about them than cantilevers.
    really?

    The big thing for the CC is the horiz dropout; it also has slightly more tire clearance and slightly shorter wheelbase, but the Soma has a longer headtube which for me would trump the latter 2 points but not the first.

  18. #18
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsyptak View Post
    I doubt I'd ever convert it to a fixed gear. But someday I'd like to buy an old beater road bike and build the poor man's version. Just not this one.

    I would think the Soma would be less theft prone as well, due to it's name not being as well known. Surly says "steal me" to me.
    - The semi horizontal drops are a big plus for me. Over the years I've run my CC as a single speed/fixed, IGH Alfine 8, and 1x9 geared. You might think now that you wont ever but you would have the option if you ever decide to.

    - The surly decals are easily removable. I don't know about the Soma decals. The first thing I did when I got my CC was remove all Surly markings for a less obtrusive "ignore this bike" look.

    I honestly don't think you can go wrong with either frame. I can and will recommend the CC as I've been on one for the last 6+ years and love it. It gets 90% of my yearly mileage. Also the Surly peeps are my hometown brothers and they aren't as "culty" in person.

  19. #19
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    The Soma is a little lighter than the Surly. The Surly takes larger tires, up to 700x45, Max size on a Soma Double Cross is a 700x38. The Surly has horizontal drop-outs and could be a single speed. The Soma has disc mounts and 132.5 mm rear spacing and can run road or MTB hubs.

    Both are good bikes.

    Also look at the Nashbar CX Bike: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_526536_-1___
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
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  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Business : Surly , because it's a QBP brand is easier to get your local shop to order,
    than Soma, a Merry Sales brand, because South SF based Merry Sales
    is not as common a wholesaler account
    bike shops do business with.. in comparison with QBP.

    4130 is an industry wide standard nomenclature for a specific alloy of steel
    631 is a product of brand name Reynolds company.

    better gets really subjective there.. better for what?
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-20-12 at 12:09 PM.

  21. #21
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    You guys realize that someone ressurected a thread from 2005, right?

  22. #22
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    You guys realize that someone ressurected a thread from 2005, right?
    Wow, and no I didn't realize it. Dang, Funny that essentially nothing has changed with these frames or the discussion in the last 7 years. Maybe that was the point of the resurrection. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member AlanK's Avatar
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    I have a question about the double cross: Is it possible to set it up a mountain bike crankset and 44-32-22 chain rings? The Soma website seems to indicate that only road cranks can be used, but I want to see if this is correct.

    I emailed Soma yesterday, but they haven't responded yet. Thanx.

  24. #24
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
    I have a question about the double cross: Is it possible to set it up a mountain bike crankset and 44-32-22 chain rings? The Soma website seems to indicate that only road cranks can be used, but I want to see if this is correct.

    I emailed Soma yesterday, but they haven't responded yet. Thanx.
    I just built up Soma DC with Sugino 48-38-26 cranks. They spin just fine. Why wouldn't smaller rings work?

  25. #25
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    They'll last a lifetime... and then some.

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