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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 04-08-07, 01:44 PM   #1
ltdansgotlegs
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Steel Cross Bike

Hey all,

I was just kicking around the idea of building up a road bike on a cross frame for training to be a little more comfortable than my aluminum frame. What would everyone suggest? I was thinking of finding a used frame, but I was doing a couple of quick searches on ebay and couldn't find any steel cross frames going for frameset only. Oh yeah, I'm 6'5" and basically need the biggest size, which doesn't help me find anything at all.

The frames that I am considering so far are:

Jamis Nova
Soma Double Cross
Surly Cross Check

I am not so excited about the spacing on both the Surly and the Soma, both have the 132.5mm spacing, and I don't really want to bend the frame to fit the road set up. I have an old Specialized mountain bike which I bent from about 125mm to 135mm and it rides fine, but doesn't quite have the same alignment as it should. Of course that was a drastic difference, but I really don't want to mess with that again. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 04-08-07, 02:16 PM   #2
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You won't have to bend the frame to use road hubs in a frame which is spaced 132.5mm. It is spaced that way so you may use either 130mm or 135mm spaced hubs. My wife uses 130mm spaced Shimano 105 hubs in her Cross Check. Five millimeters is nothing to worry about.
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Old 04-08-07, 05:09 PM   #3
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I just picked up my Cross Check yesterday and so far it seems great. I bought the prebuilt though, I liked the components on it for the price, and you would be hard pressed to build one for cheaper. I can't help you with size issues, except that Surly's run a little bit big. Mine is a 52, and is real close to Kona's 54.
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Old 04-08-07, 11:31 PM   #4
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+1 on the Jamis Nova.
The only change I'm going to make to mine is changing the 34 ring to a 38. And I'm swapping road wheels in & out on mine consistantly with no problems.

Happy Hunting

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Old 04-09-07, 05:28 AM   #5
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I'm finishing a Cross Check build as we speak and am pretty excited about it. Not sure about the Nova, but I liked the Cross Check over the Soma because of the flexibility with tire sizes on the Cross Check - you can fit up to 45c on a CC, I think Somas allow up to 38c. For my purposes, this was a key selling point.
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Old 04-09-07, 07:51 AM   #6
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Itdansgotlegs -

In agreement with LBIkid's post. The Nova does NOT have mondo clearance for super-fat tires. The biggest you might be able to fit into the frame would probably be a 38 with a prayer.
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Old 04-09-07, 10:51 AM   #7
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Hi I am 6'4'' and have newish Surly Cross Check size 62 with campy Mirage groupset. I love it.
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Old 04-09-07, 02:03 PM   #8
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I have a Cross-Check & absolutely love it. I use it for everything from the most aggressive training rides to commuting to pulling my dog on her trailer. It handles wonderfully, much better than the Litespeed Classic it replaced. I wouldn't worry about the rear spacing. I have 130mm & 135mm spaced wheels & it will easily handle either. The paint job is very tough & I think the overall finish is nice.
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Old 04-09-07, 06:48 PM   #9
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I just ordered the Soma Doublecross even though I had looked at both of the other frames that you mentioned. The Soma had the combination of great tire clearence, better weight, and accessory options that neither of the other two had. Your priorities might shift the balance in favor of one of the others though.
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Old 04-09-07, 07:39 PM   #10
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You might widen your search to include older hybrid style frames. I built this from an older steel Specialized Crossroads frame that I picked up for less than $75 with shipping. An eclectic mix of parts I had and NOS ebay finds.



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Old 04-12-07, 08:51 AM   #11
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Don't overlook the Lemond Poprad, Platinum OX steel. I own one and have really liked it. Course, I also own a Surly (LHT) and wouldn't rule out the Cross Check.
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Old 04-12-07, 10:58 AM   #12
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Salsa's new Casseroll is basically they're cro-moly version of a cross-check.
Gunnar's Cross Hairs is OS2 butted tubing if you're feeling a little more spendy.
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Old 04-12-07, 10:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguy
Salsa's new Casseroll is basically they're cro-moly version of a cross-check.
How do you figure that? Road brakes, steeper geometry, lower BB, shorter wheelbase. Not so close. Looks like a nice easy riding road bike, though.
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