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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 03-12-08, 10:27 PM   #1
bluefrom
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Surly I'm ready to go...well almost.

Hello, recently I have decided to go green and ditch my car. Figuring I could go green and save some "green." At the moment the maximum travel distance I am looking to ride is around four miles (one way) and during the summer my roomies and I are planning to do minor touring.
I have began by looking at Trek bicycles and the Soho was the bike I wanted initially. However after further research I came across other bikes such as (Trek SU, Navaro Buzz, Trek SS) Then I came across the letters "CC." That's when I ditched my idea of a Hybrid, comfort bikes, to a category called Cyclecross.
A whole new list of rides became my obsession (Bianche, 520, and finally Surly). I have read post after post about Surly only to be swayed by other posters that recommended other rides (darn you 520) I have never been more torn in making a decision since the time I bought my DSLR. I'll cut to the chase, I want a Surly Crosscheck. Here's where I need some help from the BF friends.
I have read all of the different way to get measurements to get the right size of the bike. I have done a crude measurement using websites that were recommended by the BF members.

So, here are my stats:
Inseam: 26 inches
Trunk: 27
Forearm: 13.5
Arm: 26
Thigh:24
Lower Leg: 21.5
Sternal Notch: 55
Total Body Height: 67 Inches

Using the Fit Calculator this is what they gave me
Seat tube range c-c 42.7 - 43.2 43.9 - 44.4 45.6 - 46.1
Seat tube range c-t 44.0 - 44.5 45.2 - 45.7 46.9 - 47.4
Top tube length 55.3 - 55.7 55.3 - 55.7 56.5 - 56.9
Stem Length 11.2 - 11.8 10.1 - 10.7 10.3 - 10.9
BB-Saddle Position 56.1 - 58.1 55.3 - 57.3 53.6 - 55.6
Saddle-Handlebar 52.2 - 52.8 53.0 - 53.6 54.7 - 55.3
Saddle Setback 0.1 - 0.5 1.3 - 1.7 0.8 - 1.2
Seatpost Type NON-SETBACK NON-SETBACK SETBACK

whew, now that I got all that info...one quick question...what's the best size for me? I understand I should be somewhere in the 56 cm range but the Surly only comes in either 54 or 56...

Now, for the second part. I live in LA county in California and there are a lot of dealers I could go to but I sure wouldn't mind saving time and trip if someone had previous experience dealing with Surly dealers.

The third part is where it gets interesting, I know I have said I have made up my mind but I'm always open for suggestions. Whether it be an emotional bias one might have that would like to point me in another direction or great deals that I just can't miss out on, please feel free to voice them.

Thank you in advance for any comments this way...perhaps after my purchase we can go ride some day.
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Old 03-12-08, 11:17 PM   #2
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I really can't offer you any suggestions as I'm not very versed in bicycle fit dynamics. But I can mention that I was recently in the same boat as you, in respect to being torn between which bike to choose. I finially settled on the Bianchi Volpe mainly as a commuter and recreational bike (heavy steel frame that's fairly comfortable on the bumps).

I've taken to cycling very well because I just love being on the bike. The only issue I have is that I wish I would have chosen something lighter and more agile (perhaps an aluminum frame with better gearing and slick tires). The Volpe is great but I usually top out at 22mph when riding on the flats. On my friends Lemond Tourmalet with Ultegra and 105 bits, I can hits higher speeds with less effort...and the comfort feels the same on these bumpy LA streets. I'm not sure how you'll take to cycling, but I suspect that most people (like myself) enjoy the thrill of going faster and faster.

All things considered, I'd suggest that you test ride a number of bikes to see which one fits your needs better. Also, if you think you can deal with the negative issues of an aluminum bike, I'd highly recommend getting one over a steel bike because they're just so light and agile. 10 pounds can really make a difference especially if you're treking up the hills of Los Feliz or Silverlake.
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Old 03-12-08, 11:55 PM   #3
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Er, there's not really anything more inherently "agile" about aluminum bikes...what makes a bike agile is the frame geometry. Also, going to aluminum/carbon over steel will save maybe two pounds, not 10. Does your Volpe have wider tires than your friend's bike? More tread?

To the OP: I think you're on the right track thinking about fit, but when you're in between sizes it's probably better to go with the slightly smaller frame and get a longer stem and maybe a seatpost with some setback.
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Old 03-13-08, 12:56 AM   #4
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I'm going to go out on a limb and say that a 56cm x check will be huge on you at 5' 7". I'm 5'9" and would get a 50 or 52cm x-check. depending on use (that is a 54cm or 55cm eff. top tube).
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Old 03-13-08, 02:53 AM   #5
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Ah, thanks for the responses. However, perhaps my long unedited 2 am post might be a bit mumbo jumbo... so, I was wondering what the "perfect" size for a surly xcheck bike would be for me with my stats. My use for the ride would be none racing, only commuting, little touring bike....
on a side note, I did see the bianchi and I think they are great, it's like asking me coke or pepsi....argh... same with 520

Last edited by bluefrom; 03-13-08 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 03-13-08, 05:36 AM   #6
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I know my buddy has a 54cm Cross check and he has a 32" inseam. He has his set up with 700X35 tires and it fits him like a glove. If your inseam is only 26", I would almost think of going smaller than 54.
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Old 03-13-08, 05:47 AM   #7
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yeah i'd check your inseam measurement. you want your "true" inseam, the one that goes all the way up.

standover isn't the only or even the most important concern, but having the top tube 6 inches above your crotch would be problematic...

based on your height i wouldn't go higher than a 54. i'm 5'8" and my 54 crosscheck fits me like a glove.
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Old 03-13-08, 06:45 AM   #8
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You're buying your bike from a bike shop, right? Ask them. They should do some basic measurements and then sell you a bike accordingly.

Also, I'm sure you've already considered it, but if you're only commuting and touring, you should look into the Long Haul Trucker. It's got a slightly longer wheelbase, which will be handy if you're going to carry panniers (both on your commute and during your tours).
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Old 03-13-08, 07:12 AM   #9
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I'm 6'1. My Surly is a 58, and my Steelman is a 57.5. I would do some test rides if you're between sizes. If you're not going to race it a slightly larger (within your size range) bike won't be a problem.

I LOVE my crosscheck, and I've got a campy equipped dream bike to use as a quality gauge.
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Old 03-13-08, 08:51 AM   #10
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Crosschecks have longish top-tubes. Try and find a local shop. There should be one in your area.

Buck65,
Weight is not a factor on flat ground. I suspect you top out at 22 mph on flats because a stock Volpe has 700x32 tires, and a big ring of 48T. For comparison, my road bike has 700x23 tires (much more narrow, less rolling resistance) and a 52T big ring (taller gear for a higher possible top speed).
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Old 03-13-08, 11:05 AM   #11
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Are you in LA? If so, Hollywood Pro bicycles sells a lot of surly. I have no idea if they would have any built but I think they always have frames stocked. I was at orange 20 bikes the other day and they had a volpe and possibly an axis in stock. I Martin has a few models of cyclocross bikes in stock. If you have the time and mental stamina to go around test riding you might as well.
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Old 03-13-08, 12:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_S View Post
Er, there's not really anything more inherently "agile" about aluminum bikes...what makes a bike agile is the frame geometry. Also, going to aluminum/carbon over steel will save maybe two pounds, not 10. Does your Volpe have wider tires than your friend's bike? More tread?
You're right on the money, as I have pretty fat tires (at least compared to a road bike) and my tires are slightly knobby. I've attributed my slow speed to a weak motor that needs to be developed....but this kind of went out the door as I outspun my drivetrain while bombing down a very steep hill the other day.

So, on the flats I still need to build strength but when chasing roadbikes down a hill, I can't compare as I top out at 34mph (cadence of 90-110ish) while trying to stay as aerodynamic as possible....also, I have some stability issues when riding like this.

Thanks for the insight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by efficiency View Post
Crosschecks have longish top-tubes. Try and find a local shop. There should be one in your area.

Buck65,
Weight is not a factor on flat ground. I suspect you top out at 22 mph on flats because a stock Volpe has 700x32 tires, and a big ring of 48T. For comparison, my road bike has 700x23 tires (much more narrow, less rolling resistance) and a 52T big ring (taller gear for a higher possible top speed).
I couldn't agree with you any more as I feel my drivetrain and tires are really sapping my potential for speed. It's good to know that the frame isn't the detriment to what I'm trying to achieve. I was thinking of swapping out the big ring for a 52/53 to gain a little more top end....but then I was thinking about another wheelset with a smaller cassette. Assuming that I don't touch the crank, and get a new wheel set (light wheels/a more compact cassette/slicks), do you think I'll see noticeable speed increase? Or do you think I should just focus on getting stronger and outspin my 48 on flats.

By the way, thanks for the great insight and taking the time to look up the Volpe specs.
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Old 03-14-08, 08:45 AM   #13
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Before doing anything else, I would get more narrow, slick tires. Get some 700x25 or 700x23 without any knobs. The difference from this alone could surprise you.
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Old 03-14-08, 12:31 PM   #14
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Before doing anything else, I would get more narrow, slick tires. Get some 700x25 or 700x23 without any knobs. The difference from this alone could surprise you.

10-4

I was looking for an excuse to learn how to change out a flat.
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