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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 12-03-11, 06:52 PM   #1
Spld cyclist 
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Bikes: 2012 Motobecane Fantom CXX, 2012 Motobecane Fantom CX, 1997 Bianchi Nyala, 200? Burley Rock 'n Roll
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Stock Surly wheels ok?

I'm considering buying a Surly Cross Check complete and I'm wondering how the wheels are. It currently comes with 32-hole Deore hubs and Alex DA16 rims. I'm not going to be racing this bike. It will mostly be used for commuting, recreational road rides, and probably a little bit of non-technical trail/dirt road riding. I weigh about 180 lbs.

The reason I'm asking is that my current good bike (a Bianchi Volpe) also has Alex rims (36 hole ACE19) and was in the same price/quality ballpark as the Cross Check. However, the wheels don't like to stay true and I've broken a couple of spokes on the rear wheel. (I've never broken any spokes on any other bike). It hasn't been a huge problem, just annoying.

My sense is that a lot of this depends on quality control when the wheels were built, and whether the rims were true to begin with. So, does Surly make good wheels, taking into consideration that the rims are relatively inexpensive?

I told the the guy at the LBS about my experience with my Bianchi wheels and I said I was considering just biting the bullet and buying hand-built wheels. He surprised me by saying that they would be happy to build me some, but they think the stock wheels are pretty good. Any thoughts? Sorry for the long-winded question.

Jim S.
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Old 12-03-11, 09:26 PM   #2
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Forgive the personal question, but how much do you weigh?

Unless you are significantly over 200 pounds AND you are rough on bikes, you should not be breaking spokes on a properly built 36 spoke wheel.

The cross check wheels are good quality, but if you are concerned, have the shop hand-tension the wheels as soon as you get the new bike. This shouldn't be expensive.
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