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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 11-12-07, 11:26 PM   #1
glenng
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Surly Crosscheck...right bike for me?

I`m looking for a nice winter/spring/pot-hole/mup/touring bike. I ride 40% paved, 30%gravel, 30% light single track. Normally I use my MB for riding/training in the winter but my MB is 12 years old and needs a complete rebuild "again". I`ve been itchin` to get a cross bike and I think the Crosscheck might make a nice winter bike for me. My LBS has one in my size for $799 which I think is a good deal. The only thing that concerns me is that I weigh about 205# and I put a lot of stress on a bike. The major reservation I have is the Surly component group is tiagra and I`m not very familiar with it. I have used XT/Ultegra/105 on my bikes for the last 15 years and am unsure if Tiagra is up to the mashing that the bike will have to suffer under my tonnage

Also at the present moment I don`t plan on CX racing but if I do decide to race I will probably get a race specific CX bike. Right now I`m just looking for an all-weather-on-crappy-roads bike.

Last edited by glenng; 11-12-07 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 11-12-07, 11:46 PM   #2
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You're not too heavy for that bike...not even close. If you dig it, get it. Riding anything in the winter is better then not riding.

As for Tiagra, when I was even poorer then I am now, I raced a full 'cross season on a set. Don't worry about it. Tiagra works just fine and will operate the same as Ultegra or 105, just perhaps not as nice.
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Old 11-13-07, 04:16 AM   #3
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i ride a CrossCheck (CxCk), my mASS is a 100 kg. when i got the CxCk had the LBS convert it to 1x9,
got it primarily for winter riding, a HPV SMGTe recumbent had been my pimary ride. well for lots of reasons i cannot explain this past year i've put a lot more km on the CxCk than the SMGTe, about 3500 km so far. i live in a rural area with lots of my riding on rough gravel/dirt roads, have not ridden it on a fire trail- the bike is solid. The 1x9 probably stresses a RD more than a double or triple chainring set up does, i blew the stock tiagra after about a 1000 km, that included a winter's use in all sorts of grime, plus i only cleaned my drive chain when it was above freezing, replaced tiagra with an LX much more satisfied. going to put the snow tires back on it soon for this winter's riding, the SMGTe is in the basement on a trainer for the winter.
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Old 11-13-07, 05:14 AM   #4
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I have a Surly Crosscheck. It is a pretty durable frame. It's components are pretty much designed for sole road/ lite commuting. I like it. But, it is not my sole bike. / A friend has a Declathaon bike. It has narrow tires, but disk brakes and a front shock. Still mostly used for the road. - Maybe that is what you need
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Old 11-13-07, 07:03 AM   #5
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Get the Cross Check, get some Avocet Cross II in 35C, a pair of fenders, and Bob's your uncle.

Just be sure to get the right size. I chatted with a guy over the weekend who got one, and based on the long seatpost, he undersized the frame and sure enough complained about it feeling "cramped" and was looking into all kinds of remedial measures (setback seatpost, etc) that could have been avoided if only he'd gotten the correct size in the first place.
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Old 11-13-07, 07:49 AM   #6
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^^^
+1

I typically recommend sizing your 'cross bike by top tube length.
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Old 11-13-07, 11:00 AM   #7
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As the poster above said, Tiagra will be fine for what you intend to to with this bike. In fact, I'd feel a lot better about riding Tiagra in all kinds of weather, etc., than Ultegra. It's eminently replaceable.
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Old 11-13-07, 11:27 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies and insight I appreciate it.
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Old 11-13-07, 11:30 AM   #9
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In fact, I'd feel a lot better about riding Tiagra in all kinds of weather, etc., than Ultegra. It's eminently replaceable.
I never thought about it that way before. Cheaper to replace cheap parts than expensive parts. Ebay probably has a ton of tiagra parts from folks upgrading.
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Old 11-13-07, 06:50 PM   #10
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At 205, you won't hurt a Cross Check. I am 190 and have been using mine strictly as a mountain bike for a couple of months now. When it had 32mm cross tires on it rock gardens, jumps and drops were sort of painful, because I had to keep them at 70 psi to avoid pinch flats. Now I have a Kenda Klaw 1.9(trimmed slightly) on the front and a 44mm Mutanoraptor on the back, and all is right in the world as long as I watch where my feet are at. I also changed the cassette to an 11-32 to help with grunting up hills. I have had no issues with the shifters in 2500 miles, but I did add a chain watcher, because the chain tends to fall off to the inside during crashes and gets hung on the mounts for the third chainring that isn't there.
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Old 11-13-07, 07:39 PM   #11
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Well thanks everyone for taking the time to write. I bought the bike today. I will have to wait till tomorrow ride it since it was dark out. Plus I will have to get the bike all nasty and covered with mud before my wife takes a look at it. If I grunge it up enough maybe she will think its one of my older bikes. If she finds it all clean and pretty she`ll want one also. She`s a cyclist to. I might get her one for Christmas though.

Anyways thanks for all the replies. I know I will love it.

[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by glenng; 11-13-07 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 11-13-07, 07:43 PM   #12
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One more question. Hows the stock saddle? I have a San Marco Rolls that I could put on it. Should I just put the new seat on right away or is the stock saddle good enough?
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Old 11-13-07, 10:07 PM   #13
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Stock saddle is OK but not as nice as an after market saddle. If I ride mine longer than 40 miles or so I wish I had an another Specialized Alias for the Cross Check, but it does not bother me enough to do anything about it.
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Old 11-14-07, 03:34 PM   #14
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What is it like shifting bar end when you are hitting bumps and trying not to hit trees.... are brifters not beter?
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Old 11-14-07, 05:01 PM   #15
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Sweet ride!

I'd ride for a while on the stock saddle just to see if you like it, if not, change it out and save it for practicing remounts.
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Old 11-14-07, 09:21 PM   #16
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I like the bar end shifters. The learning curve is about 30 secs. Shifts "click" into place very positively. On a long, steep and tiring "standing climb" while in Low/1 , I bumps the shifter with my right knee causing the rear derailer to shift to the next higher gear. That sucked since I was already maxed out and then bam, unpredicted gear change. I need to put a longer stem on the bike to fit me better. I`m hoping the new stem will take care of the accidental knee-shifting snafu.

Other than that the bike is a blast and feels great to ride. I wish I had bought this bike years ago.
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Old 11-14-07, 11:50 PM   #17
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I have a 58 on order from bikers direct I dont like buying one that I cant test ride first,I like the simple idea of bar end shifters,I was worried about control of the bike when shifting the the barend while off road.Didnt think of my knee hitting it.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:58 AM   #18
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Off road you need to plan ahead with your shifting. I ride a single speed mostly, so when I'm on my geared bikes I don't shift a lot anyway. Yes, I've bumped that shifter with my knee on steep climbs too.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:59 PM   #19
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What is it like shifting bar end when you are hitting bumps and trying not to hit trees.... are brifters not beter?
brifters might be the most easily damaged parts on a bike if a crash occurs. The brifters are expensive to replace. Since bar end shifters are aft of the handle bar they might be better protected in a crash . When I was first looking at the bike at the LBS, I noticed the bar end shifters and thought to myself 'hmm..they put those bar end shifters on the bike just to make it cheaper'. And while there may be some truth to that I also think the bar end shifters were installed for a good reason. They shift very nicely. You can hold on to the bars tighter while shifting the bar-ends , with brifters I find shifting can be awkward if going over big bumps. I like the bar end shifters. I have no interest installing brifterson this bike even tough I have used them on all my road bikes since `98. The only thing I think might work better would be MTB index/thumb shifters on a flat bar if the course was a tight course with lots of up/down and sharp curves that required constant split-second shifting.

Thats my take...^^^is all theory and guess..... feel free to disagree.

Last edited by glenng; 11-15-07 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 11-15-07, 09:25 PM   #20
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Thats good info ,I test road a touring bike that had them last spring and liked the ability to adjust on the fly,on the front derailer.but bought a bike with brifters because it was cheaper.
thanks for the answer.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:30 PM   #21
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brifters might be the most easily damaged parts on a bike if a crash occurs. The brifters are expensive to replace. Since bar end shifters are aft of the handle bar they might be better protected in a crash . When I was first looking at the bike at the LBS, I noticed the bar end shifters and thought to myself 'hmm..they put those bar end shifters on the bike just to make it cheaper'. And while there may be some truth to that I also think the bar end shifters were installed for a good reason. They shift very nicely. You can hold on to the bars tighter while shifting the bar-ends , with brifters I find shifting can be awkward if going over big bumps. I like the bar end shifters. I have no interest installing brifterson this bike even tough I have used them on all my road bikes since `98. The only thing I think might work better would be MTB index/thumb shifters on a flat bar if the course was a tight course with lots of up/down and sharp curves that required constant split-second shifting.

Thats my take...^^^is all theory and guess..... feel free to disagree.
They both have pros and cons. I have a bike with each. Though Dura Ace shifters and Aero levers probably aren't much less expensive than a set of Tiagra brifters.
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Old 11-16-07, 02:03 PM   #22
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I just built up a Cross Check with Dura Ace 9sp bar end shifters-- they're awesome feeling, and won't break down / wear out as quickly as more expensive brifters.
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Old 11-19-07, 10:06 PM   #23
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Well I fixed the bar-end knee shifting problem. Using a tubing cutter I removed 1 inch of the bar-end and re-fitted the shifters. Works like a charm cost was $0
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Old 11-20-07, 03:11 PM   #24
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Got mine set up as a single speed for the winter 39/21 so I can get up the hills
Spooky brakes, 105 crank and Mavic ksyrium wheels

Last edited by nowheels; 11-20-07 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 11-20-07, 03:58 PM   #25
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I just picked a cross-check up in Gray a few weeks ago as well. Thought the gray with the black accents would stand out nice. Bike comes pretty well set up, so the only changes I made were to the tires (switched to 700x28 ultra gatorksins for communting), the brake pads (switched to kool stops), and the saddle (switched to a black Brooks b-17). The stock saddle was the most uncomfortable thing I hade ever sat on IMHO. Also put on a pair of planet bike fenders. The black brooks and black fenders round it out well. Would recommend the cross check to anyone who wants a good all around bike with drop bars.
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