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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 09-15-06, 04:12 PM   #1
Alrocket
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Cross Check - too heavy?

My LBS are trying to talk me out of a Cross Check - the weight weenies! I'm not looking for a high end racing bike, what I love about the Cross Check is that it's something I can use for everything - single track, cross, commuting, touring, even fixed gear. CC is my friend.

Is it really that heavy? Was it enough to put anyone else off going for this wonderful Surly? What did you get instead?

Other options I was looking at: Lemond Poprad, Planet X Kaffenback. Any comments?
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Old 09-15-06, 04:54 PM   #2
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I looked into the same purchase recently and just ordered a cross check frame and fork for $303 from edina bike shop: http://edinabike.com/page.cfm?PageID...ils&sku=FM0442

As far as a complete bike goes, I think the poprad is a better value. My LBS quoted me a price for a poprad about $1,100 for a 2006. compared to the complete cross check, the poprad has a better wheel set, brifters rather than barcons, and better components.

Lemond's tech department told me that the frame is 3.7# or about 1/2 pound lighter than the cross check. If you also throw in the fork, then the poprad is about 1 pound lighter than the cross check in total. However, IMHO, 1 pound difference is totally nothing in terms of speed or performance. 1 pound is a good dump or 2/3 of a water bottle.

There is a price for light weight and that is risk of failure. Does anyone remember George Hincapie's (spelling?) steerer tube breaking during Paris Rubaix? IMHO (again) light weight for a non-elite racer is a complete wast of time. All risk and no reward, and higher prices too. Get the bike you want and blow past someone on an ultralight racing machine with a smile on your face and a wallet full of money.
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Old 09-15-06, 05:30 PM   #3
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Mine is in the 18-19 pound range with Ultegra, XT and DurAce goodies. I also have a carbon post and a bar end shifter (single up front). I built a crosscheck so i could enjoy my bike year round. When the season is over I turn her into a touring rig and ride along the coast. It's a great cross frame and an awesome do all frame.

That said... I'm wanting a Vanilla something bad!
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Old 09-15-06, 05:36 PM   #4
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Do a search on the great Cross-Check and see if you can
find two posts saying anything bad about them.
The Swiss Army Knife of bicycles
As a former CrossX owner the weight is not that bad and
if you ride alot on bad roads and such it can actually be
of some benefit as far as comfort and stability goes.
A great bike.
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Old 09-17-06, 04:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamr22
I looked into the same purchase recently and just ordered a cross check frame and fork for $303 from edina bike shop: http://edinabike.com/page.cfm?PageID...ils&sku=FM0442

As far as a complete bike goes, I think the poprad is a better value. My LBS quoted me a price for a poprad about $1,100 for a 2006. compared to the complete cross check, the poprad has a better wheel set, brifters rather than barcons, and better components.

Lemond's tech department told me that the frame is 3.7# or about 1/2 pound lighter than the cross check. If you also throw in the fork, then the poprad is about 1 pound lighter than the cross check in total. However, IMHO, 1 pound difference is totally nothing in terms of speed or performance. 1 pound is a good dump or 2/3 of a water bottle.

There is a price for light weight and that is risk of failure. Does anyone remember George Hincapie's (spelling?) steerer tube breaking during Paris Rubaix? IMHO (again) light weight for a non-elite racer is a complete wast of time. All risk and no reward, and higher prices too. Get the bike you want and blow past someone on an ultralight racing machine with a smile on your face and a wallet full of money.
+1

Tim
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Old 09-17-06, 04:36 AM   #6
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Being in Ireland I'm going to assume that the Cross Check will cost you a fair amount of money. How much does it cost? What other options is the LBS offering?

You might want to check out some of the frames frome Mercian or other British builders. They might be able to build you something like the Cross Check that is a lot higher quality for just a little bit more money.

http://www.merciancycles.com/
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Old 09-17-06, 07:47 AM   #7
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Tim (cs1): What does "+1" mean? do you have any pix of your waterfords? whish I could afford one.
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Old 09-17-06, 11:33 AM   #8
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^^ +1 basically means "I agree". In essence it reiterates your point.

Cross Checks are the Cadillac of cross bikes. They are very nice and you will be happy with it.
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Old 09-17-06, 12:15 PM   #9
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Even though I don't have one (out of my price range). I really liked the cross-check. My current bike is steel and as they say, steel is more forgiving. I rode an aluminum hybrid bike for a bit and my P.2 is aluminum as well. I like the way my steel bike feels.
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Old 09-17-06, 02:08 PM   #10
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Seeing as the Crosscheck is £300 this side of the pond, it isn't something i'd go for. For a little more money you could get Mercian/Witcomb/Whoever to build you a frame, in a better quality steel to your specific dimensions.
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Old 09-18-06, 02:21 PM   #11
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I was quoted 500 euros ($635 USD!) for a Cross Check (frame only) in my LBS. Built up with Tiagra, 850 euros, excluding wheels.

They were trying to talk me into a Kona "Jake the Snake". Holding the Jake... well, I've see heavier water bottles - empty! The comparison was to a Surly Steamroller, and they said the Cross Check was even heavier again than the Steamroller.

You guys are right though, every single thing I've read about the Cross Check has been positive. I'm going to ring that Edina Bike crowd and see if I can convince them to ship international.

Some of the other stuff they were suggesting - a complete Trek 520 (great bike) - 1,275 euros (1,619.43 USD), complete Ridgeback Element 800 euros (1,016.26 USD) (I've never heard of this one, but I like Ridgebacks, especially Velocitys). I asked them for a price on a built up Poprad.
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Old 09-18-06, 02:51 PM   #12
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For the record, my correspondance with Surly and Planet X... If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know

Surly first:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrocket
Have you any experience with 5'6-7 riders on the Crosscheck? Any pedal clearance problems on 700c wheels?

My other question is about the Surly 4130 cro-moly steel. I haven't
found much information on it online - do you have any links or
documentation? How does it compare with Reynolds 853 etc?

Thanks for your help
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly email
Hi Al,
Tubing: our tubing is the same diameter and wall thickness as Reynolds
631. Ours is not air hardened, but this does not affect ride quality at
all, only the general 'toughness' of the metal, or resistance to dents.
However, this tubing is thick enough not to warrant such a feature; an
853 tubeset would benefit because it is much thinner-walled. In fact,
we used 631 on our original frames and had problems with availability,
price, and material strength. When we switched to our own tubing, tube
related warranty claims completely disappeared. Our tubing is better
than name brand tubes of the same dimensions and alloy.
Toe overlap: this skirts on the sizing issue, so it's a good starting
place for size discussion.
My guess is yes, you will have a certain amount of T.O. There are
design limitations that make T.O. more of a problem on any smaller frame
that uses larger wheels, limits that simply cannot be avoided. You
can't make the bike too long or add too much rake to the fork because it
will not fit or handle well. Also, there are a lot of other issues that
go into determining T.O.: foot size, foot placement on the pedal (using
platforms vs. clipless for example), tire size, fenders, and crank arm
length all make a big difference in how much T.O. any person
experiences. My personal opinion about T.O. is that although annoying,
it is almost never dangerous. First, your foot and wheel have to be in
the right position, and steering angle while riding is usually shallower
than the T.O. angle. Also, most riders choose some sort of freewheeling
drivetrain, which means you can stop your feet momentarily if you really
need to. The only time I have ever found T.O. to be both unavoidable
and potentially problematic is riding fixed gear offroad. And even so,
I have never crashed or even come close, at least due to T.O. That
said, I'd like to reiterate that T.O. will be more pronounced on smaller
frames using larger wheels.
Size: there are 3 main things that are true or any sizing theory.
>Effective top tube length. Not true TT, but effective, sometimes
called virtual TT (see attachment). Compare the ETT of a bike or two
you find comfy to the the specs of same for the Crosscheck. This will
give you a good idea which size is closest to that you already find
comfy.
>Standover height. Know your true pubic bone height (crotch to floor in
socks). This is the minimum clearance you need to be able to stand over
the frame, and is listed in our specs also. Use in conjunction with
ETT.
>Personal preferrence. There are a lot of things that make a person
feel the fit is right or not, and this is not an absolute. I prefer
longer top tubes, for instance. Think about wat position feels most
comfy to you. If you like to be stretched out, perhaps a larger frame.
Keep in mind that component choice plays a big role in this. Pick the
closest frame size and change the stem or bar if necessary.

Hope all this helps
Planet X, re: Kaffenback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrocket
It was suggested that I investigate the Kaffenback, particularly your "Budget Build"! Is this still available?
I'm looking for something with a Tiagra or better set (depending on budget), steel frame with rack eyelets, strong > wheels (I'm 15 stone) My budget is about 800 euro (negotiatable).

I am 5'7 short, 29" inseam, heavy upper body (front row rugby player) so I'd be looking at the smaller end of the range.

So let me know what you think, if you have any suitable frames in stock, and if I can't afford the built up I'll consider frame on it's own.

Cheers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Planet X
Due to product availability, we're not doing super-budget stuff right
now.

We're onto 105 10spd now, and we're looking at £699 built up with a
spec like this:-

Kaffenback frame
Kaffenback fork
6061 planet x 42cm bar
Anti Gravity seatpost
Seatclamp
Planet X 2 bolt stem (110, 120, 130mm)
Selle Italia Initiale Saddle
105 10spd cassette
105 10spd chain
105 10spd front mech and 31.8mm clamp.
105 10spd rear mech
105 10spd STi shifter/brake lever with brake and gear cables
105 10spd crankset
on-one retro cross canti's or tektro mini v's
Xero wheelset
Conti Top Touring tyres
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Old 09-18-06, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamr22
Get the bike you want and blow past someone on an ultralight racing machine with a smile on your face and a wallet full of money.
That wallet full of money might slow you down a lot!
And the aerodynamics of a pocket full of green doesn't bare thinking about!
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Old 09-18-06, 06:59 PM   #14
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I recently discovered the thrill of riding ATV trails on my fixed Cross-Check. She now sports big old 700x42 IRC knobbies

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fixedty...7594288056971/

I've got another Check set up for touring. Next spring I'm pretty sure I'll build another one, targetting a old fat fart cyclo-cross look
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Old 09-18-06, 08:20 PM   #15
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dobber, what kind of handlebars are those? can you ride on the brake hoods comfortably?
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Old 09-18-06, 10:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrocket
I was quoted 500 euros ($635 USD!) for a Cross Check (frame only) in my LBS. Built up with Tiagra, 850 euros, excluding wheels.

They were trying to talk me into a Kona "Jake the Snake". Holding the Jake... well, I've see heavier water bottles - empty! The comparison was to a Surly Steamroller, and they said the Cross Check was even heavier again than the Steamroller.

You guys are right though, every single thing I've read about the Cross Check has been positive. I'm going to ring that Edina Bike crowd and see if I can convince them to ship international.

Some of the other stuff they were suggesting - a complete Trek 520 (great bike) - 1,275 euros (1,619.43 USD), complete Ridgeback Element 800 euros (1,016.26 USD) (I've never heard of this one, but I like Ridgebacks, especially Velocitys). I asked them for a price on a built up Poprad.
Damn, that's pricey! I picked up a Long Haul Trucker from this place in Germany for a lot less. Their Cross Check, after shipping, will be 100 euro less than your store. That's a huge amount. http://www.bike-components.de/catalo...0bdd603ce7eea8
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Old 09-18-06, 10:52 PM   #17
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At my shop, we will build you a NICE Crosscheck for around $1000. Picking your parts wisely its not hard. Truvativ components combined with a Shimano barcon driven drivetrain equates to a very nice bike at an affordable price. Figure the frame weighs less than 1lbs more than a Poprad. You're talking miniscule weight differences and a much more versatile bike. The quality is fantastic as well. Very nicely finished frame, albeit basic.
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Old 09-19-06, 04:11 AM   #18
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Bikes are stupid expensive in this country

Seely, I've sent on a PM, see what your LBS can do for me. Are you on commission?
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Old 09-19-06, 04:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamr22
dobber, what kind of handlebars are those? can you ride on the brake hoods comfortably?
On-One Midge bars, and yes I ride the hoods quite comfortably. My hands rest more on the outboard side of the hoods, which I find gives me better support.

You'll note that I have the bars mounted quite high.

1. Because I just do't bend like I use to
B. All I've read about the Midges suggest the higher mounting as it better facilitates getting into the drops
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Last edited by dobber; 09-19-06 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 09-19-06, 05:05 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=£em in Pa=-
Do a search on the great Cross-Check and see if you can
find two posts saying anything bad about them.
The Swiss Army Knife of bicycles
As a former CrossX owner the weight is not that bad and
if you ride alot on bad roads and such it can actually be
of some benefit as far as comfort and stability goes.
A great bike.
I commute (but don't race) on a cross check. As to commuting, the cross check has the braze-on's needed for a rack and saddle bags. At some of the racing cyclocross bikes don't have those. That puts the cross check well above the others for commuting purposes. As to racing, I'll leave that to people who have actually raced.
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Old 09-19-06, 09:09 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrocket
Bikes are stupid expensive in this country

Seely, I've sent on a PM, see what your LBS can do for me. Are you on commission?
Once you pay shipping and customs your $1000 Cross Check will end up being a $1600 Cross Check. Seriously, check the link I gave you, they are the cheapest prices in Europe.
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Old 09-19-06, 12:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrocket
Bikes are stupid expensive in this country
Umm, wrong!. Like I said get a custom builder to build a frame for you. Magnitudes better than a Crosscheck and magnitudes cheaper by the looks of it. Don't let English artisans fall by the wayside for the sake of some everyman bike.
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Old 09-19-06, 12:52 PM   #23
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highly: I'll give one a call tomorrow, you're right, I shouldn't leave the option unexplored.

Honestly I didn't see any prices on the few sites I had a look at, and from experience, no list price usually == very expensive.
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Old 09-19-06, 04:44 PM   #24
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When i was shopping for a cyclocross bike to ACTUALLY use for cyclocross (*gasp!*) my decision came down to the Cross Check or the LeMond Poprad. I ultimately decided on the Poprad primarily for the (perceived) better quality of the materials and components-- 105 and Bontrager component mix, True Temper Platinum OX tubing and US fabricated frame.

As for weight, one of the guys at Surly (such nice folks) let me know that the "Cross Check complete" weighs in at 25.4 lbs for a 52cm frame with their Tiagra spec.

Not too bad. My aluminum Cannondale F700 weighs in at about 25lbs.

However, the Poprad has been criticised for weighing about 21.5lbs! Whatever-- there's just no pleasing magazine editors.

That said, if you're going to be lifting a bike "suitcase-style" over barriers at a full run, a few pounds might make a difference by lap 5 or six.


But weight was low on my list of priorities. You see how the weight drops quickly with better quality components.

Oh-- and as for the "brifters" somehow being better than bar-end shifters... whatever. Bar-ends plus aero brake levers are lighter and simpler and cheaper than brifters. But slightly less convenient to use. When by 105 brifters succumb to cold, rain and mud i'll replace them with aero levers and bar-ends. And use the money i saved on booze.
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Old 09-19-06, 04:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobber
On-One Midge bars, and yes I ride the hoods quite comfortably. My hands rest more on the outboard side of the hoods, which I find gives me better support.

You'll note that I have the bars mounted quite high.

1. Because I just do't bend like I use to
B. All I've read about the Midges suggest the higher mounting as it better facilitates getting into the drops
Dobber-- i run Midge bars too. Best thing since... sliced bread, i suppose! Is that Salsa stem the 40-degree rise? I recently decided that i neede more height and got the 15-degree. I'm not sure that it was enough.

And yeah-- higher mounting for Midges is better. When riding off-road (or in traffic) i'm in the drops all the time. Better control and it just feels more "secure" there as opposed to riding on the hoods of the levers.
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