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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 07-26-03, 05:34 AM   #1
Buzzbomb
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Surly frame

All right, here's the deal. I am a die hard MTBer who finds himself strangely attracted to the road lately. I guess part of it is that, unlike the trail the road starts right outside my front door. I have been jonesin to build something up to ride on the road, but the family CFO has been frowning on the idea and I have yet to win the stamp of approval, especially since I just finished building my new MTB in Feb. I've been looking at the Surly Crosscheck for a couple of reasons, but I'm not really sure if what I want to do makes sense. The pros as I see them for the Surly are these: 1. Steel frame 2. 132.5mm between the rear dropouts means I can use a MTB or road hub 3. Braze-ons for racks and fenders 4. Plenty of clearance for a good sized tire 5. Price for a new frame is around $400.00 The only con that I can think of in terms of the frame itself is the weight, I think it's around 7 pounds. If I build it up with fairly light wheels and reasonable components I think the frame weight would be a non-issue, but what do you guys think? The other thing is that I was looking at a new Bianchi in a shop yesterday that was retailing for around $1250.00, and while it doesn't have braze-ons the rest of the bike is very nice. I would have a hard time building the Surly up for any less than that. So, what would you do?
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Old 07-26-03, 06:48 AM   #2
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Go with the Bianchi. It'll be abut 2-3 pounds lighter, and it's really a nice bike. If you want to mount racks for light touring, you can always get clamp-on racks (there are rack eyelets in the dropouts, no?).
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Old 07-26-03, 07:29 AM   #3
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Here are the weights for the Surly frame:

Size Frame
42cm 4.45 lbs
46cm 4.45
50cm 4.45
52cm 4.57
54cm 4.65
56cm 4.73
58cm 4.74
60cm 4.88

You can buy a built Crosscheck for considerably less than $1250, if you like their parts selection.

It's a nice frame. If it fits you, go for it.

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Old 07-30-03, 05:59 AM   #4
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Wow, these are a lot lighter than I thought. That does it, I'm gonna build a Surly. I was just drooling over a pair of King hubs, think I'll have them built into some Salsa Delgados for this project, and just picked up a set of barcons...I've got a spare XT rear der to use, probably will go with 105 front, and 11-32 cassette, with what for chainrings? 36-48? (I'm envious, Carpe Diem is my dream frame for this project.)

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Old 07-30-03, 07:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Buzzbomb
(I'm envious, Carpe Diem is my dream frame for this project.)
I'm very happy with it, but the same bike built on the Surly frame whould have still been sweet. And I do have a Surly cro-mo 'cross fork on the Airborne.

The difference between the steel Surly frame and the ti Airborne frame is almost exactly one pound. Nothing, really. People put much too much emphasis on frame weights, IMO.

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Old 07-30-03, 07:54 AM   #6
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I think the thing I would like about the ti frame would be ride characteristics. I'm gonna start squirreling away my extra pennies, I can get the Surly frame, but the wife would have a fit if she knew what I wanted to spend on two bicycle wheels, without tires even! LOL. You'd think after all this time together she would realize you get what you pay for, especially with bikes...
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Old 07-30-03, 09:30 AM   #7
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Your CFO may take issue with Chris King hubs, sure they are fine piece of engineering, strong, reliable and light, but grossly overpriced for a hub. If you must have some CK on your bike (and some people must), their headset is probably the jewel in the crown.
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Old 07-30-03, 10:17 AM   #8
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SSHHH, the plan is not to let her know. I will wait till I have the cash scrimped together , but it'll be worth the wait. I had a King hub built onto an Alex TD17 for the front of my MTB, and that 20mm axle can definitely be felt in the seat of the pants...
It's funny, but when we were dating I bought her a Cannondale Killer V with LX and XT so she would ride with me, and she said the difference between that and her Huffy was amazing. I really think her opposition to this bike is more an issue she has about me road riding.

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Old 07-31-03, 12:43 PM   #9
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I have a Surly Crosscheck built with Ultegra and Mavic OP rims with Ultegra hubs and I am using it as a road bike with fenders for rainy rides and commutes. With these components and wheelset, it is a very rideable road bike and is nice and comfortable, as well as durable. I think you can't go wrong with Surly frames and their prices. Built with a reasonably cheap component group, it is a fairly good deal.

It is also nice to have the flexibility with racks, fenders, tires, etc. You can use mountain bike hubs, road hubs, make it a single speed, geared, cylocross, road, it is very versatile.
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Old 07-31-03, 01:27 PM   #10
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They really seem like a great do all machine...
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Old 08-04-03, 11:43 AM   #11
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buy one. all the kewl kids have them. seriously, I like my surly. I just did RAGBRAI on it last week and I'm taking it to wisconsin next week for what I hope will be alot of mixed (road/trail) use. I've got no real complaints about the weight, mines set up with a fairly light campy group but Ive got some conti touring tires on it that are not lightweights by any means. still heavier and not as quick as the steamroller Id been riding previously but its alot more versatile. great frame, especially the new ones with the extra rack mounts.
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Old 08-10-03, 07:22 AM   #12
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I have a Surly with a dean fork. I am running a single 44 on the front with a 12/27 cassette. I just built it recently and am having a great time, especially now that my 5200 is back in Wisconsin at the Trek factory being repaired. It seems to be pretty much bomb proof as I already crashed into a tree hauling ass and just had to do a little brake readjustment to get back on the road.
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Old 08-10-03, 08:20 AM   #13
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Hi,
I built a bike up last year. As a card carrying clydesdale; I looked into the heavy duty hubs like Phil Wood and King. They are great products, but I just did not need them, even with a total weight on a touring bike hitting 300 pounds. Either Ultegra, or if you want more guts.....XT would be perfect.
If you were putting together a $3K ultimate cyclocross bike.....it would be a different story. Save those bucks for that ti frame. Another option would be to take that money and get a better steel frame. I have got to tell you, I am very impressed with some of the newer steel frames.
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Old 08-19-03, 09:14 PM   #14
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Good point about the Surlys. The Cross Check is way versatile as a do all bike. It is available through some dealers complete from the supplier, QBP.

For racing:
In terms of drivetrain, has anyone thought of a single ring in front? I started racing last seaon and modeled the build after a pros Ridley Supercross with a single 42T front and a 12-27 cassette. It was great! Never lost the chain (more common in cross than road with all the bouncing), removed one more moving part that needed to be cleaned, and lightened it (not a big factor). I guess it depends on what you're using it for.
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Old 08-20-03, 07:26 AM   #15
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I really want those King hubs everyone! It really makes more sense than at first glance, these wheels would work on my MTB as well, cause I ride a 29"er.
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Old 08-20-03, 08:55 AM   #16
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Then get them! I'm building up a Surly Cross Check right now and I just got finished building up my wheels. King hubs laced to Salsa Delgado Cross rims. Nice looking set of wheels.
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Old 08-20-03, 09:03 AM   #17
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That's exactly the build I'm gonna do. Sweet.
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Old 08-20-03, 09:18 PM   #18
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GET THE SURLY! I was in the exact same boat as you: a mountain biker with a hankering for some road action. I got a Surly this spring.

The Cross Check is truly t most versitile bike I have ever owned. Half the time I throw on Mavic Helium wheels and road tires, and do group road rides. No problem. The other half the time I throw on my Mavic Open Pro's with cross tires. Commuting and off road work is no problem at all. And best of all, it was only a $400 frame, so if/when I ever upgrade, I wont feel like I'm wasting a good bike. I have a feeling I'll aways have the Surly though.

Have fun.
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Old 09-02-03, 02:27 PM   #19
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I'm also planing on getting a Surly Crosscheck frame either Xmas or this coming Spring to replace a too-small steel Reynolds 531 frame (which I might turn into a fixed gear). I'm so EXCITED!!!

I think I might build it up with alot of lightly used classic Campy components that I have. Strada crank and non-sealed bb(144bcd, 54-43, which I might buy a 51t to replace the 54, or remove it entirely). 980 deraillers, which shifts quite well with my Shimano 600 13-32 6spd freewheel. Wheels will be Sun M19 tubular rims/ old Record hubs.

All I'll have to get is a 1 1/8 headset and bar-end shifters with a friction option and I should be all set. Oh yea, 27.2 seatpost and 'cross tubulars, I almost forget.

Anyway, I don't want to bore you with all that, but I think cyclocross bikes make alot more sense these days with thier go-anywhere versatility since mtn bikes have morphed into engineless motorcycles and are no longer of any interest to a dedicated cyclist like me. It's fun to go off-road, but I don't want to have to drive twenty-five miles to the local trailhead and even if I did, I am getting too old for all that technical singletrack stuff.
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Old 09-03-03, 09:05 AM   #20
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If you aren't racing 'cross, get the Surly. I have the original blue version with 1 inch threaded fork - it is the best riding bike in my stable (I race road, track and cross, and have been crossin' for five years as a Master 40+). Weight is an issue in racing - at the end of 50 minutes you feel every freakin ounce! I race a Trek 01 with Winwood carbon fork (definitely stay away from aluminum forks - they beat the crap out of you!). The Surly is like silk compared to it, but it weighs about 2 pounds less.

From a lot of the responses it appears a few of them are from non-racers, so thought I'd drop the competitor's view in on you.

BTW, if you do want to race the best deal in my opinion is Fuji, especially if you can catch a deal on a 2003 (it is spec'd better than the '04, with a Ritchey crank, hs, seatpost). It is al frame with Carbon fork, and is ready to race right out of the box. Gearing is 12-26 with 38/48 rings - if you need a lower gear in a cross race, you need to be off the bike and running! And Time ATAC are THE pedal.
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Old 09-20-03, 11:05 PM   #21
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ya gotta love a project bike! The local CX season is near and I scratched together enough $ to get a new Surly Cross Check frame. The frame, stem, & bars will be new... the rest of the parts will be leftovers, begged, borrowed, & stolen.

Regardless, this bike will be a blast. I've never done cx, so this rig & I will expirence a few firsts together... I can't wait.
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Old 09-21-03, 08:45 AM   #22
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jayt, what shop is that? it looks like the basement of the Penn cycles on clif rd in eagan. and, nice frame! I really dig that blood clot red!
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Old 09-21-03, 12:18 PM   #23
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it's at Trailhead Cycling in Champlin. It's a new shop that just opened this spring. Hwy 169 & 114th Ave.
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Old 09-26-03, 10:04 PM   #24
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Done! Finished it up the other night and I've even got a couple rides in. The local CX season starts here in MN this weekend (9/27), but I think I'll miss the opener The other CX event we have going on is a Wednesday series all through Oct. The cool thing about the Wed. series is it's an after dark under-the-lights race held in a local park on lighted XC ski trails. 5 Wednesday's in a row! That's in addition to the MN Cyclocross Rider of the Year (CRY) Series.

Check out the Minnesota CX scene at www.mcf.net
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Old 09-27-03, 09:06 PM   #25
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Nice ride! What components are on it? Good luck on your cross season.
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