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  1. #1
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    Cross Check size 46cm for 5'7" rider?

    Hi,

    I've been trying to get as definitive an answer on this one as is possible with a subject so subjective. I think from looking at the S.O. heights and from the heights and inseam reported on the web that the size 46cm would be the right Cross Check for me.

    I'm 5'7" tall with an inseam of 29" (in socks). My LBS suggested 54cm Cross Check. I suspect they're way off the mark, but they have put some doubt in my mind.

    I really don't mind playing with a range of different stems and bars to fine tune the ride (I'll probably want them for different riding conditions anyway).

    If you're a Cross Check rider or know them can you let me know what you think, especially if you're near my height!

    Oh yeah, and importantly, red, green or black?

    Thanks!
    Al.
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  2. #2
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    54 is definately too big. I'd be on a 56 and I'm 6'1. The 58 works but doesn't offer me quite enough clearance for cross racing. My friend is about your height and on a 50 or 52 I think, or whatever they have that is close in that range. His girlfriend is about 5'10 and on a 54. Generally the rule for crossbikes is one size smaller than your road bike.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  3. #3
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    I'm 5'-9" and ride a 54cm. A 52 would work for me also, the 54 was a better overall match, focusing primarily on top tube length. I'm not so sure about the one size smaller scheme, I guess it depends on what you're actually using the bike for.

    They have Red Cross-Checks again? Just another nail in my coffin..........


    PS: Heres a 46 that just went off on eBay http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1

    Owner states he was 5'-7".

    That just seems small. But then again, my whole perspective comes from what works for me.
    Last edited by dobber; 09-19-06 at 10:23 AM.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  4. #4
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    I'm 5'6 (30 inseam) and ride a 52 commuter/cyclocross. I think that 54 may be too big, as the same model for me in a 54 too big. check the website for the measurements. I don't have much clearance for stand over on my bike, but everything else is great. I would try different bike with different sizes and geometry. But the cross check looks like a great bike. maybe a 49/50?

  5. #5
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jase1
    I'm 5'6 (30 inseam) and ride a 52 commuter/cyclocross. I think that 54 may be too big, as the same model for me in a 54 too big. check the website for the measurements. I don't have much clearance for stand over on my bike, but everything else is great. I would try different bike with different sizes and geometry. But the cross check looks like a great bike. maybe a 49/50?
    Same here. I think if you go smaller than 52, yeah better standover, but I think you'll find the cockpit too cramped. YMMV
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber
    PS: Heres a 46 that just went off on eBay http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1
    Don't make me cry!
    Quote Originally Posted by eBay
    eBay Item Not Won: Surly Cross Check 46cm Fixed Gear Single Speed Cyclo (120030433913)
    I stayed up til 3am to nail that auction - placed the winning bid with 15 seconds to go and got beaten out by someone with a faster connection. That would have been a sweet starting position to work from.
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  7. #7
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrocket
    Don't make me cry!


    I stayed up til 3am to nail that auction - placed the winning bid with 15 seconds to go and got beaten out by someone with a faster connection. That would have been a sweet starting position to work from.

    Bummer. But then again, you might have wound up with a bike too small.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

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    Go down the bike shop and test ride some bikes. I think you'll probably need a 52 or 54, a 46cm is for the kind of people that inhabit Willy Wonka's factory.

  9. #9
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    Too small can be dealt with in various ways ... stems, seat manipulations, cranks even, especially if it's not far off. Too big on the other hand, is probably fatal.

    I'm still unsure between the 46 and 50, but swinging toward the 46 If Surly did a 47 or 48 I think it'd be perfect...

    I tried a 19" CB Levante (that's actual measurement, no virtual seatpost business going on). Nice bike. I was just clearing SO height. Might have been a bit too far upright but it's flatbar. I can't find much info on Levante geometry online but I think it's compact. It was the closest size I could find on the floor in LBS this evening.

    I'm going to take a look there tomorrow, try and get a definitive answer. Their ex-road racer is working tomorrow, the other guys got a glazed look when I mentioned "compact geometry" so I didn't get much help.
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  10. #10
    Daily Rider hairlessbill's Avatar
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    I don't think you can get a red one in this year's model. Only black or green. I ride a 54 Cross-check and I am 5'8" with a 29-30inch inseam. But I don't plan on doing any Cyclocross with it. Mostly roads with some fireroads riding. The frame fits great. I was going to go with a 52 but my bike shop recommended staying with my road size so I did. I test-rode an older (Red!) used 50cm but it was way too small for me. I would have had to use a wicked long stem to fit it to me (like a 14cm) and that seemed dangerous. It was a sweet deal though ($500.00 for a single-speed setup) so I had to try. And the post would HAVE had to be a 350mm+ to get enough length for me.

    Hope that helps.

    Here's what it looks like, fitted for me:
    http://www.indra.com/homepages/hairl...urly_right.jpg

  11. #11
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairlessbill
    I don't think you can get a red one in this year's model. Only black or green. I ride a 54 Cross-check and I am 5'8" with a 29-30inch inseam. But I don't plan on doing any Cyclocross with it. Mostly roads with some fireroads riding. The frame fits great. I was going to go with a 52 but my bike shop recommended staying with my road size so I did. I test-rode an older (Red!) used 50cm but it was way too small for me. I would have had to use a wicked long stem to fit it to me (like a 14cm) and that seemed dangerous. It was a sweet deal though ($500.00 for a single-speed setup) so I had to try. And the post would HAVE had to be a 350mm+ to get enough length for me.

    Hope that helps.

    Here's what it looks like, fitted for me:
    http://www.indra.com/homepages/hairl...urly_right.jpg
    Nice

    Heres my opther Check outfitted for commu-touring. Just goes to show, similar height but different inseams can change the setup (looks like I got a bit more seatpost exposed, my inseams a 31")
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  12. #12
    sport fanatic
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    This reply from the ebay seller of the 46cm fixie mentioned earlier (5'7 same as me):

    Quote Originally Posted by ebayer
    The top tube on the 46cm may be a tad short for someone of our size depending on personal preference. Iliked it shorter for off road use as it was very easy to maneuver through the tight twisty stuff. If I were to use it more for a touring or commuting bike,I would probably go for the 50cm,but definitely not the 52cm.I would recomend measuring a bike you know you like (Top tube length, not standover height),and judge it based on that.I hope that helps you out and email back if you need any more info.Good luck!
    It'll see trails, but I'm probably less hard core than this rider (I have XC specced MTB), and I will definitely be commuting and touring on this one. I think that does it for me... looks like the 50cm is the one... unless my visit to LBS and a few phone calls to UK frame builders turn up anything interesting
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  13. #13
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    I'm 5'9" and the 54cm Cross Check fits me perfectly. I test rode a 56 with short tires and it worked as well. I decided on a 54 because I want the option to run fat tires. My advice to you: go to http://www.wrenchscience.com/WS1/Sec...ing/Height.asp to get an accurate size. This calculator told me a 55 would fit perfect. Of course, Suly doesn't make a 55.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrocket
    Too small can be dealt with in various ways ... stems, seat manipulations, cranks even, especially if it's not far off. Too big on the other hand, is probably fatal.
    Sorry, what?

    How are you going to make a 46cm, which is quite possibly a full 8cm too short in top tube, ride anything like a 54cm(which is certainly far nearer the size you should be riding). I know what you're thinking, it is possible to manipulate a siginificantly smaller frame, but that is called a fudge.

    Too big=fatal....where did you pick up that nonsense?. Please try to justify that comment, because quite frankly I think you've just fallen foul of some scare mongering.

  15. #15
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    "Too big=fatal", far from being nonsense, is plain common sense. I can go and buy a new seat post, stem and bars, no problem. What am I going to do with a frame that's too big - hacksaw off a section (4 cuts) and get it re-welded?

    Back to the 46cm. I have good reports from several CC riders same height and inseam riding 46s. Some 5'8 guys riding 50s. That was the purpose of this thread

    Surly says standover height for 46cm SO 29.6", 50cm SO 30.3", 52cm SO 30.6", 54 SO 31.2". With an inseam of almost exactly 30" myself (I remeasured, more "aggressively" - ouch) I'd just fit the 50 and maybe the 52 with thin tyres on, *barely*. A 54 with fatties? Unlikely.

    The only thing I can see about the SO issue is that it's from the middle of the top tube, and that means I've got some more space to work with.

    Here's some pics from the 46cm setup for a 5'7" rider. Gonna be some TO, but that's life.

    http://i2.ebayimg.com/03/i/08/56/e4/9f_12.JPG
    http://i23.ebayimg.com/01/i/08/4f/e0/c8_12.JPG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrocket
    "Too big=fatal", far from being nonsense, is plain common sense. I can go and buy a new seat post, stem and bars, no problem. What am I going to do with a frame that's too big - hacksaw off a section (4 cuts) and get it re-welded?
    What's common sense, that if a person 5'7 glances, let alone stands over a 54cm frame it can cause sudden death?.

    You talk as if someone's telling you to go with a 64cm frame

    Back to the 46cm. I have good reports from several CC riders same height and inseam riding 46s. Some 5'8 guys riding 50s. That was the purpose of this thread
    To convince yourself that a tiny frame was the one to go for, why start a thread in the first place?

    You want a 46cm frame, fair do's, it's your ride. But to propogate utter bs about frames being "fatal" and then being unable to quantify why is pathetic, please think before you type, someone might be watching...

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrocket
    "Too big=fatal", far from being nonsense, is plain common sense. I can go and buy a new seat post, stem and bars, no problem. What am I going to do with a frame that's too big - hacksaw off a section (4 cuts) and get it re-welded?

    Back to the 46cm. I have good reports from several CC riders same height and inseam riding 46s. Some 5'8 guys riding 50s. That was the purpose of this thread

    Surly says standover height for 46cm SO 29.6", 50cm SO 30.3", 52cm SO 30.6", 54 SO 31.2". With an inseam of almost exactly 30" myself (I remeasured, more "aggressively" - ouch) I'd just fit the 50 and maybe the 52 with thin tyres on, *barely*. A 54 with fatties? Unlikely.

    The only thing I can see about the SO issue is that it's from the middle of the top tube, and that means I've got some more space to work with.

    Here's some pics from the 46cm setup for a 5'7" rider. Gonna be some TO, but that's life.

    http://i2.ebayimg.com/03/i/08/56/e4/9f_12.JPG
    http://i23.ebayimg.com/01/i/08/4f/e0/c8_12.JPG
    Check out how much seatpost that 5'7'' rider has. Do you really think that frame is the best fit? In my experience cross bikes fit more like road bikes than mountain bikes. So much seat post showing leads me to beleive that top tube is way to short, unless he has some bizzare body that is all legs and no torso.

    Why's he selling it anyway? Perhaps it's too small for him.....

  18. #18
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    After talking with my LBS I think 50or 52 looks like the one to go for. We talked about effective TT and SO clearance on the 52 and 50 and some other stuff.

    ----

    What's common sense, that if a person 5'7 glances, let alone stands over a 54cm frame it can cause sudden death?.
    Regarding use of the word "fatal", I usually use the English language the way I speak. Just like when someone says "that's cool", most of the time they don't mean "that's of a lower relative temperature". A "fatal mistake", in my country of native English speakers (sadly), means a really bad mistake, usually unrecoverable. If you want to use OED definitions you're in the wrong thread. I'm concerned about bike sizes here.

    To convince yourself that a tiny frame was the one to go for, why start a thread in the first place?
    I started the thread with the intention of exploring whether it was suitable or not. Why? Because some anecdotal evidence suggests it was, and I wanted to discuss and confirm or deny it.

    please think before you type, someone might be watching...
    The Thought Police are on my case. Apparently they're working with Interpol, the Grammar Nazis and the Frame Size Secret Police.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    Check out how much seatpost that 5'7'' rider has. Do you really think that frame is the best fit? In my experience cross bikes fit more like road bikes than mountain bikes. So much seat post showing leads me to beleive that top tube is way to short, unless he has some bizzare body that is all legs and no torso.

    Why's he selling it anyway? Perhaps it's too small for him.....
    I don't think he was selling it due to bad fit, but your point about the seatpost is dead on the mark. I'm coming from a MTB user perspective and like a lot of standover there. The only thing I'd say is that I've seen people talking about going a size down for cross bikes in order to have niftier handling and more standover. How much more size is the matter for debate. There is the old "fist of seatpost" rule of thumb for roadies, but that was in the 60s and 70s geometries, no?

    I think I'll get my drawing square and some squared paper and try comparing the frame sizes on paper. Old school but should help.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrocket
    Too small can be dealt with in various ways ... stems, seat manipulations, cranks even, especially if it's not far off. Too big on the other hand, is probably fatal.
    A longer stem is only going to buy you so much before the steering is effected. If you push your seat too far back you are going to loose power. Those are the kinds of changes you make when you are one or two sizes too small, you are better off getting a bike that fits you than making too many compromises to force the issue with one that doesn't.

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    i agree with 42x16. I went through a standover dilemma with my bike but the ride and reach is great. I don't feel cramped on it. However I did consider a conversion to 650B rims/tires to "lower" the bike, but with my bike I was advised that it would not be a reasonable option. Maybe look into a bike that would accomodate the smaller wheels or look at other bikes such at the Jake or the X-ray. Also, those bikes are are cheaper than the cross-check if price is a concern.

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    I would first worry about reach and leave standover out of the equation. I have noticed that there are bikes that on paper should be too big for me (IE, a 58cm Pacer) based on SO clearance, but in real life (even with 35c tires), the bike fits me PERFECTLY. Two things to take into account is that SO is generally measured at the bike's highest point or thereabouts, and you wear shoes when you ride. My riding shoes add an inch since I wear mountain shoes all the time. Top tube length and reach is probably the most important measurement as it affects your control, posture and steering. Too long or too short of a stem will alter your handling negatively. My advise would be to go to the LBS you are ordering the Crosscheck from and find other CX bikes or even road bikes with a comparable top tube length to the various Surly sizes and try them out. Thats how we generally size someone for a Surly and its always served us well.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  23. #23
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    I've had fairly extensive discussion in my LBS with the really experienced guys. They reckons 46 is the size based on SO mainly I think, not excluding unquantifiable "experience". They reckoned 50 would be too big. I tried some bikes with similar geometry, but we weren't happy with the comparison.

    Is there any site with more info on Cross Check geometry than the Surly page? They wanted more extensive data on spec.

    My next trick is to ask them to order both frame sizes in so I can try both. That one needs to pass the boss though :/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrocket
    I've had fairly extensive discussion in my LBS with the really experienced guys. They reckons 46 is the size based on SO mainly I think, not excluding unquantifiable "experience". They reckoned 50 would be too big. I tried some bikes with similar geometry, but we weren't happy with the comparison.

    Is there any site with more info on Cross Check geometry than the Surly page? They wanted more extensive data on spec.

    My next trick is to ask them to order both frame sizes in so I can try both. That one needs to pass the boss though :/

    No offense, but I don't think your LBS guys have a clue what they're doing. Why not contact the guys at Surly directly? Ask em thier opinion, they're a right helpful bunch of guys (they're all at the expo / vegas love in this week, so any response will be slow).
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber
    No offense, but I don't think your LBS guys have a clue what they're doing.
    None taken, I'm a bit concerned that they weren't as knowledgable about sizing as I'd hoped. They're the biggest LBS in the city and I'd guess that 90% of messengers, roadies and MTB guys buy their bikes there, it's often difficult to get served there they're so busy. Mind you, once he was free, that guy spent an hour talking to me about my intended purchase and even asked to look at my build price comparison spreadsheet and gave advice on what to do if I decided not to buy from them, no bullsh!t.

    But you're right, they weren't on the mark when it came to sizing this. That's why I'm thinking about getting the 2 ordered in. Aside: one of the part-time staff, messenger (it was Saturday) said "I've spent less time buying a house"

    Quote Originally Posted by dobber
    Why not contact the guys at Surly directly? Ask em thier opinion, they're a right helpful bunch of guys (they're all at the expo / vegas love in this week, so any response will be slow).
    I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy at Surly
    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.
    Not as helpful as I had hoped. Here's the attachment he mentions.

    Learn to Build Your Own Website | Twitter: @AMcDermott
    '04 Trek 4300, '07 Surly Cross Check, '08 Giant Bowery (stolen)
    Bike info | Pics of CrossCheck (touring) | CrossCheck component list Touring pics: 2005 | 2006 | 2008

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