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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking 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 10-08-05, 09:26 AM   #1
scottblanco
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I'm moving to Seattle where it rains a lot and plan on using my bike for different purposes including commuting to work even in the rain. Now I'm a complete cycling novice, i.e. I know how to ride a bike but I've never taken it too seriously, but I like to build things and I thought it would be fun to build my own bike from mostly used parts. Ideally, the bike I would build would be a Surly Cross Check but I'm having a hard time finding any used 56cm frames. So I have two questions for people:
1) Do you think building a bike from scratch, having never done it before and not knowing that much about bikes, is a bad idea (even though I'm willing to do all the research)?
2) What other relatively light steel frames do people recommend that can be had for cheap that are in the same class as the Surly Cross Check frame, e.g. long chain stays, accomodates thicker tires, horizontal dropouts, disc mounts, etc.?

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Old 10-08-05, 02:06 PM   #2
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1. no
2. the surly is not light, and other steel frames in that price range are not really light either. the lightest in that price range would be a lemond poprad. another one is the jamis nova. neither have hz dropouts though. you might be able to find a used kelly knobby-x for cheap. it may or may not have hz track ends. bianchi also makes a steel all-around frame, or at least they used to. i cant think of the name right now. really, the surly is the best for what you are looking for, unless you want to go WAY up in price.
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Old 10-10-05, 04:46 PM   #3
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1) no, If you are willing to put in the time not only in the research but in time the bike correctly(since its your first time building a bike your problably going to make a couple mistakes and its there that will cause some frustration). Its basically how much are you willing to deal with. Also its a great way to learn how to wrench on bikes.

2) For commuting dont worry to much about wieght. concentrate on something that is strong and wont break. As for horizontal dropouts there not really needed unless you plan on running singlespeed or fixed.
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Old 10-10-05, 05:02 PM   #4
scottblanco
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Cool thanks guys. I think I will go ahead and try and build one.
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Old 10-10-05, 05:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by scottblanco
Cool thanks guys. I think I will go ahead and try and build one.
just one more quick word of advice....

most of the things you can do yourself with basic tools, but a few things might be better left to a bike shop. for example, you might consider letting them install the headset and/or face the headtube/bb if it needs it. making a mistake on one of these things could really mess up your frame.
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Old 10-10-05, 06:47 PM   #6
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I am sure you are already aware of this but it will cost alot more to buy parts and build up a bike from scratch. That said I just finished building up the new Specialized TriCross S-Works frame and couldn't be happier.
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