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  1. #1
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    SS Cross bike as only bike

    I finally sold my road bike, freeing up the $ to buy a cyclocross bike. I've been leaning towards getting a singlespeed--probably the Bianchi San Jose or the IRO Rob Roy. My budget is about $600. If I plan on doing a lot of road riding on the bike (in addition to taking it off-road), would I be crazy going with a singlespeed instead of waiting for a used geared cx bike in my price range to show up on craigslist? I won't use it to commute--I have a folding bike for that--but I like to do at least a couple of longer rides during the week for fun (~20 miles one or two weekdays and something 30-40ish on the weekends). I won't be racing it for now, but might be interested in doing so in the future. Thoughts?

    Also, the gearing on the Rob Roy seems kind of high--46/18 is the lowest you can get according to the web order form. Does anyone know if IRO offers any other options besides the ones listed on the website? Another random question--does anyone know the stock stem length on the 52cm San Jose?

    Thanks!
    Salsa La Cruz--one bike for everything

  2. #2
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    it's doable, but you'll definitely want a flip flop hub, giving you one low gear for offroad and one higher gear for street use. on my rob roy i run 42/16 most of the time and 42/20 for races and when i hit the trails. luckily the dropouts are long enough that i don't need to change chains, 42/20 has the axle at the front of the dropout, 42/16 is all the way back but still in there.

    i wouldn't want to ride trails on a street gear or ride on the street in a trails gear. they're a little to far apart to try to compromise in my opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

  3. #3
    Run What 'Ya Brung bonechilling's Avatar
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    How about a Cross-Check? It would seem to be a perfect "only bike," if you're looking for a single speed. Run it SSCX to your heart's content, but if you tire of that, you can throw some gears on there. You should be able to find one in your budget on eBay/Craigslist, or even possibly in a shop

    That said, both the Rob Roy and the San Jose are good choices.
    Quote Originally Posted by doofo View Post
    the main cause of fit problems is riding your bike

    you should have just stopped riding so you could focus on color coordination

  4. #4
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    The Cross-Check would definitely be my first choice, but I'm just not sure I can find one in my price range. I've been emailing with an LBS who sells Surlys about building me a singlespeed Cross-Check, but they still haven't gotten back to me re: price. The ability to add gears later on is definitely appealing, but I suppose I could always add an internal hub to the others. I've seen very few Cross-Checks for sale used on ebay/craigslist, and none in my size (I need about a 54cm top tube). People don't seem to want to get rid of them once they have them

    I think I'm leaning towards the Rob Roy, but I'm hesitant to order a bike before I've had a chance to ride it and see how it fits. I think the nearest IRO dealer is in Philly.
    Salsa La Cruz--one bike for everything

  5. #5
    aaa
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    48/17 fixed; 42/15 fixed aaa's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what the weather is like in your area, but when I'm commuting to/from work and there is a 15+ MPH headwind, there's a voice in the back of my head nagging me to get a geared bike. Even with the San Jose geared at 42/17, it's brutal (I normally ride a Fremont at 48/17; and the San Jose at 42/15). Granted, this only happens twice or three times a month, but when it does it feels like I am going nowhere; and during the return trip your spinning so fast that it's difficult for your legs to keep up.

    San Jose comes with a flip-flop hub (and if you're lucky like me, both cogs). I have a 51cm and could measure the stem for you tonight when I get home -- which points do you want measurements for?

  6. #6
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    Why, pray tell, did you sell the road bike?

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the responses so far. I sold the road bike mostly because I want something I can take off-road in addition to the road riding. I think I'd also like to start cx racing eventually. Plus, my wife has a cyclocross bike and it made me jealous.

    aaa--It would be great if you could measure the stem. I didn't even know the San Jose came in a 51cm. I test rode the 52cm, but was only on it for about 15 min. Felt ok, but maybe just a hair cramped.
    Salsa La Cruz--one bike for everything

  8. #8
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    as long as you are not going to be riding in fast groups I dont think you are crazy.

  9. #9
    aaa
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    48/17 fixed; 42/15 fixed aaa's Avatar
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    Holy crap it's difficult to measure this thing. Handlebars and stem get in the way. Plus, the head tube angle. What measurement is it that you want?

    Actually, my bike is 52cm (I was looking at my Fremont measurements). I have the 2007 with a 15 degree rise. Most people flip it upside down. Here are various shots taken with a ruler (click to enlarge) --













  10. #10
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    If you google "Surly 54 Crosscheck craigslist" you'll be amazed what you find.

  11. #11
    nowheels
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    PMed you on a frame that might meet you goals

  12. #12
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    Damn, just found out I'll have to wait until early March for a Rob Roy. They had been showing that they had 54cm frames and complete bikes available on the website but I emailed Tony and they're all out.

    Don't know if I want to go without a bike for that long...
    Salsa La Cruz--one bike for everything

  13. #13
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    I have a San Jose and really like it. The stock gearing works pretty well for road riding but too high for cross and trail riding. For that I threw on a 34 ring for 2:1 (for mostly trail riding) so I agree with the other poster that CX and road ride gearing are pretty divergent. That being said all you need is an additional chainring and chain to swap back and forth. I think the San Jose will also accept slightly larger tires than the IRO.

  14. #14
    Run What 'Ya Brung bonechilling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popsicleian View Post
    Damn, just found out I'll have to wait until early March for a Rob Roy. They had been showing that they had 54cm frames and complete bikes available on the website but I emailed Tony and they're all out.

    Don't know if I want to go without a bike for that long...
    Well, if you can, over on the Rob Roy Group Buy Thread, someone is looking to get rid of their 54cm green frame. It'll be a whole lot cheaper than buying an off-the-peg RR frame.
    Quote Originally Posted by doofo View Post
    the main cause of fit problems is riding your bike

    you should have just stopped riding so you could focus on color coordination

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
    Well, if you can, over on the Rob Roy Group Buy Thread, someone is looking to get rid of their 54cm green frame. It'll be a whole lot cheaper than buying an off-the-peg RR frame.
    I saw that and I was tempted, but building it myself just seems so daunting. I can do basic repairs, but I've never done much more than that. I'm afraid I'd end up way over budget with a frankenstein bike...
    Salsa La Cruz--one bike for everything

  16. #16
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popsicleian View Post
    I saw that and I was tempted, but building it myself just seems so daunting. I can do basic repairs, but I've never done much more than that. I'm afraid I'd end up way over budget with a frankenstein bike...
    Find a good mechanic and have them build it, then. Easy things to do are screw it all together. You can put the cassette on, put the derailleurs on, get the brakes on in the right spot, etc....then have a shop put the BB in, the headset in, put the cables on and tune it up. Still come in incredibly cheap, especially if you discount shop for quality parts.

    IRO hubs and wheels are reasonable. Tektro Oryx brakes and Tektro levers are bomb and cheap. Find a cheap stem and seatpost, use IROs really nice, really well priced cranks and get an inexpensive square taper BB...FSA Pig headset to round it out and you're in for $600.

  17. #17
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    One can always run a tensioner with a deralieur hanger. Gears on track ends. As for having two (or more) gear options, if you run a disc cassette wheel you can space the rear sprockets to line up with the middle and outer chainrings on the cranks, and with a Tommi Cog, you can run fixed.

    -Rob.

  18. #18
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    I ended up getting a sweet deal on a complete Gunnar Crosshairs--$565--that I couldn't pass up. Picking it up tonight, I'll post pics when I get it.

    Thanks again for all the advice.
    Salsa La Cruz--one bike for everything

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