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Old 01-19-12, 03:13 PM   #1
Bob Ross
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Wife wants Surly Cross Check; anything else she should be considering?

So the missus finally decided it's time to add a winter/crap roads/dirt, gravel, schmütz/wet weather (fendered)/beater bike to her collection. She probably won't ever do a cylcocross race -- though I've learned never to say never, and once she sees a "Cross Fckin Rules" bumper sticker she may get the fever -- so she's basically looking for something that can get her in more-or-less the same position as her road bikes, but that will accept fenders and big tires and be essentially bombproof. Her girlfriend has been raving about the Surly Cross Check, so now wife wants one too.

Is there any other frame/fork in a similar price range & with similar accoutrements that might be a better value, or that would be a marked improvement?

Note: If money were no object she'd be all over one of these: http://www.strongframes.com/frames_&_pricing/special/ because A) that's exactly the sort of functionality she's looking for, and B) we love the road bikes Carl built for us last year. Sadly, we're on a Surly, Salsa, Soma budget this year. So basically we're talking ~$500 for frame & fork, ±3dB.

Anything else she should be looking at, or is the Cross Check fine for her needs & budget?

Thanks.
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Old 01-19-12, 03:21 PM   #2
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I think you've hit the three I'd be looking at: Surly, Soma & Salsa.
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Old 01-19-12, 04:13 PM   #3
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The Soma is a little lighter than the Surly. The Surly takes larger tires, up to 700x45. 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___

$750 & free shipping today and tomorrow.

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Old 01-19-12, 04:25 PM   #4
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A little higher up the food chain, but sufficiently popular that you might into a nice, used frame. Love mine: Gunnar Crosshairs.

Something that recently came to my attention as a budget option, but no personal experience. Can run discs too.: Origin8 CX700 (sub $300 F/F).

I've also recently completed a first generation Salsa Casseroll as a winter beater, with a Sram i-motion 9 rear (much better when cold after filling with ATF), studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta a10's, and fenders. Initial impressions on ride, and overall quality are quite good, but snug clearances, fenders and horizontal drops are not a great mix. Dread the thought of having to deal with a flat in nasty weather. In the future, vertical drops will be a higher priority since I don't have any single speed aspirations, and like fenders.
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Old 01-19-12, 04:30 PM   #5
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The Origin 8 CX700 is a monstercross bike. It needs a MTB cranks and can run up to 700x50 tires (a very tight fit).

It's a little too heavy for road riding with a lighter rider.
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Old 01-19-12, 07:40 PM   #6
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Salsa Vaya might fit the bill. About $600 frameset.
http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=40276

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Old 01-19-12, 08:03 PM   #7
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Here are two I'm looking at:
http://salsacycles.com/bikes/casseroll/
http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/gran-fondo/volpe/
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Old 01-19-12, 08:13 PM   #8
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+-3db???thats interesting for a bike page ,works better for antennas,,,

Bud
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Old 01-19-12, 08:53 PM   #9
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I think Redline has some lower priced 'cross bikes and I know they work because a friend won a state championship on one.
Also, Performance and Nashbar have specials from time to time.
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Old 01-19-12, 09:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
The Origin 8 CX700 is a monstercross bike. It needs a MTB cranks and can run up to 700x50 tires (a very tight fit).

It's a little too heavy for road riding with a lighter rider.
The OP mentioned carped up winter roads and gravel plus fenders, so I was thinking something that would handle at least a 700x32. Had to go to pull some tricks, like using a chainring nut on the front fork mount to the Daruma bolt, to make fenders work with a 32 on my Casseroll. That wouldn't be an issue with the CX700.

I knew it wasn't light, but thought is was in line with Surly's offerings.

The newer Salsa Vaya looks well thought out for the OP's purpose. Not quite a beater price though.
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Old 01-19-12, 09:29 PM   #11
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How 'bout the Nashbar steel touring bike.

Looks pretty good with 105 for $700.
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Old 01-19-12, 09:46 PM   #12
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I think you've hit the three I'd be looking at: Surly, Soma & Salsa.
I love Surly, Soma, and Salsa!
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Old 01-19-12, 10:14 PM   #13
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Here's another possibility from Velo Orange.
http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...lent-mkii.html

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Old 01-20-12, 01:18 AM   #14
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Your wife has already decided she wants a Surly Cross Check (very good bike), and you are going to try and change her mind. Not a very smart move.
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Old 01-20-12, 06:40 AM   #15
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Here's another possibility from Velo Orange.
http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...lent-mkii.html

BD - you brute. I was quite happy with bikes I already have, and then you had to..
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Old 01-20-12, 07:27 AM   #16
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I would say that if she doesn't argue with you on what bikes you want to buy, then get her the one that she wants to buy. If that is what she wants and isn't happy with the one you buy, then she isn't going to be very happy with you.
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Old 01-20-12, 08:51 AM   #17
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Nothing wrong with the guy helping his wife to be aware of other options before she makes her choice.
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Old 01-20-12, 09:36 AM   #18
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Your wife has already decided she wants a Surly Cross Check (very good bike), and you are going to try and change her mind. Not a very smart move.
+1.

If you want to "help," find her a shop that has one she can test ride. (If they have some other models to compare, that's just gravy.) When she tells you, "I want that one," pull out your credit card.
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Old 01-20-12, 10:05 AM   #19
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Nothing wrong with the guy helping his wife to be aware of other options before she makes her choice.
Depends on the wife and current relationship with the husband.
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Old 01-20-12, 10:27 AM   #20
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Depends on the wife and current relationship with the husband.
I'll defer to him to make that call, as he is the one to reap the rewards of helping or pay the price for butting in.
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Old 01-20-12, 04:00 PM   #21
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Nothing wrong with the guy helping his wife to be aware of other options before she makes her choice.
Just to be clear: The missus has indeed asked me explicitly what I think of the Surly Cross Check and whether there's something else she should be considering. She's not completely committed to that particular model, just inspired to finally get a cross (or cross-type) bike by the positive review her girlfriend gave that particular model.

Now...

One of the things we've both learned since posting this thread is that the Cross Check has "semi-horizontal" rear dropouts, which might make removing the rear wheel a bit more of a nuisance than she's used to. That alone could be a dealbreaker...so if anyone who recommended a particular model would kindly chime in on what sort of rear dropouts that frame has, we'd both appreciate it. Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
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Old 01-20-12, 05:42 PM   #22
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The Soma Double Cross has vertical dropouts. Removing/installing the rear wheel is easy.

I checked, and the Nashbar also has vertical dropouts.
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Old 01-20-12, 06:16 PM   #23
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A GT for under $700?
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_10000_203275
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Old 01-20-12, 07:10 PM   #24
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VO Polyvalent has horizontal dropouts.

Salsa Vaya has vertical dropouts.
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Old 01-20-12, 07:52 PM   #25
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You might add the Specialized Tricross to the bikes worth looking at.
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