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  1. #1
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    Fixed/SS frame recommendations for LD riding

    I used to have a Surly Cross Check that I rode single-speed for long road/gravel rides. I'm considering building another one, but a few things about the frame (toe overlap, short headtube) have me looking around for other options before I get another. I'm looking for something with fairly relaxed geometry and I'd really like to have the option to run larger tires (at least 32mm). The On-One Pompino is a good candidate, but I can't get myself to like the look of the seatstays on it. Is there anything else that's similar out there, or should I go with another Cross Check?

  2. #2
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    Have you looked at the surly steamroller? I have one that I've used for a few 100 mile rides, and I'm planning to do a 200k on it next month. Surly's website says it can take tires up to 38. I have 700x28 on mine with fenders. With that setup, my toes just barely touch the fender at very slow speeds. The only thing I don't really like about it, is the frame only has bosses for one bottle cage. I've attached a second cage with strap-on bosses, but it seems a little chintzy. It also doesn't have cable stops, so you have to use full length housing to run a rear brake, but that doesn't bother me.

  3. #3
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    The Steamroller has even steeper geometry and more potential for toe overlap than the Cross-Check. Have you ever had any true mishaps on the road, or are you just worried it might happen?
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  4. #4
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    I never wrecked on my old Cross Check because of the overlap, but had a few scary moments when I took it on some tight trails. It's really not that big of an issue though. I really don't know if there's another production frame that can compare to the versatility of the CC for my needs, but I've been trying to search around before I go ahead and order something.

  5. #5
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    I'm also interested in this discussion. Steel is probably preferable to aluminum, right?

    What about the All-City Nature Boy?
    Last edited by Netdewt; 10-29-12 at 04:53 PM.
    1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport
    1997 Specialized Rockhopper

  6. #6
    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    There are about ga-jillion old sport touring frames from the late 70s through early 80s out there that make excellent single speed rando bikes. Almost all road bikes from that era have horizontal dropouts, and many also used strap-on shifters and cable guides, which I think is a plus for that application. Most have clearance for tires up 28mm with fenders, and quite a few could handle even 32mm with fenders.

    I did most of my randonneuring this year on a 1982 Trek 311 set up as a single speed. I love that bike for randonneuring type rides. It's not the lightest bike out there, but it's certainly no heavier than a comparably equipped Cross Check. I have a weakness for the old Treks, but they aren't the only bikes of that era that would make very capable randonneuses.

    And the prices on those old bikes are pretty good too. I paid $75 for my Trek 311. That's the complete bike, not just the frame.

    "You can buy status, but sucking is immutable. After a certain point, upgrading only makes you suck more ostentatiously."
    -Bike Snob NYC


    My Randonneuring Blog

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chesha Neko's Avatar
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    I'll let someone with more knowlegde judge the geometry, but how about the Surly Ogre:

    http://www.culturecycles.com/2011/12...-ready-winter/

    Seems like in full kit it could go just about anywhere.
    "I stick to my basic plan of simply keeping the pedals turning."
    -- Kent Peterson, The Way of the Mountain Turtle

  8. #8
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    I second the 70's/80's road frame suggestion, particularly the earlier end of that spectrum. Even the ones that were higher-end and used for racing have more tire clearance than a modern road frame, and the ones a notch or two down the line have more. Alternatively, since such things have become sort of trendy not only in the fixie world but also in the rando world, there are getting to be a fair number of modern versions that are similar, from places like Rivendell and Velo Orange. Also, even the racier ones have less toe overlap than modern road bikes, partly due to a somewhat longer wheelbase but also due to longer fork rake. And it just so happens that the longer rake/lower trail geometry is particularly favored for randonneuring because it handles better with a front load. Something like an early 70's Raleigh International might be a good bet.

    My rando bike is my absolutely beloved 1974 Raleigh Professional, which is set up as a fixie and which I've been riding long distances on for probably ten years. This isn't the best photo, but it was convenient: http://www.dillpicklegear.com/wp-con...-19-48_293.jpg
    Unfortunately the steerer of the original fork broke a few years ago and I replaced it with what you see there, which has less rake. One of these times, I'll dig up another more like the original, because I liked the handling better and this one gives me a tiny bit of toe overlap with the fender.

    FWIW, I commute on a Surly CrossCheck and it feels like riding a cinder block compared to my Raleigh, even when the weight is equalized with luggage. There's no comparison.

    Alternatively, you could always use a White Industries eccentric hub, which would open up more frame possibilities since you could use vertical dropouts. My better half has one on a Ritchey Breakaway for travel, and he loves it. It doesn't slip and if anything it's even easier to adjust the chain tension than with a normal hub. Not the cheapest thing you can find, but a high quality and very viable alternative.

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