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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 09-14-08, 07:25 PM   #1
Unagidon
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Surly Crosscheck vs. Scattante X560 vs. Fantom Cross

I'm considering buying my first cross bike. Any thoughts re. the frames mentioned?

Scattante: 105 componentry, aluminum frame @ around $900
Fantom Cross: Ultegra componentry, aluminum frame @ around $1,150
Surly Crosscheck: Tiagra componentry, steel frame @ around $950

I usually ride road bikes, and definitely prefer my carbon bike and my steel bike over my aluminum bike. But with fatter tires, probably lower pressure, don't know if the difference between the materials will be as distinct.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

Thanks.
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Old 09-14-08, 07:43 PM   #2
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If you plan to use the bike for CX racing, lighter is better. If you plan to be on pavement, the steel bike might make better sense based on your stated preferences.

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Old 09-16-08, 01:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input. Wondering if others have experience with cross frames in steel vs. aluminum?
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Old 09-17-08, 10:28 AM   #4
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I just bought a 2008 Surly CC and I love it. It has a great ride. I got it for $930 from Jenson (1050 list). I would snap up a 2008 if you can because the list on the 2009 Cross Check is going up $120, I have heard. I wouldn't worry about the Tiagra, because you can swap out the rear derailluer for something better later, the bar end shifters are Dura-Ace.
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Old 09-17-08, 10:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input. Wondering if others have experience with cross frames in steel vs. aluminum?
I've always avoided aluminum after riding an alu 98 rockhopper for a while because it just felt dead, but I recently put together a motobecane fantom cross and have been pleasently surprised at its ride. It's stiff but it doesn't feel dead. I no longer fear (decent) aluminum.
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Old 09-17-08, 12:18 PM   #6
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I just bought a 2008 Surly CC and I love it. It has a great ride. I got it for $930 from Jenson (1050 list). I would snap up a 2008 if you can because the list on the 2009 Cross Check is going up $120, I have heard. I wouldn't worry about the Tiagra, because you can swap out the rear derailluer for something better later, the bar end shifters are Dura-Ace.
Hi Erik - thanks for the response. Do you know if the chain rings that come with the bike will fit 10 speed cassettes? I like the Surly a lot, but as noted in my original post, any upgrades on components will drive the price up substantially. Would be cool if I can upgrade to 10 speed by changing just the shifter (i.e. a 105 or ultegra brifter), front & rear derallier + cassette (without having to change the crank system).
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Old 09-17-08, 01:41 PM   #7
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Just curious, any particular reason you need 10 speeds? If you do race cross, I think 9 or even 8 spees are preferred for mud clearance. If you are planning on mostly road, I'm not sure there is that big of a difference in 9 or 10. I ride a Giant TCX with a compact double in front and Tiagra 9 in rear and have no real issues with the hills here SoCal. The only hills I have issues with, it would matter how many gears I had!

As far as 9 speed availability, I think they will be around for a long time...

But, get what you want because you can!
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Old 09-18-08, 10:23 AM   #8
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Just curious, any particular reason you need 10 speeds? If you do race cross, I think 9 or even 8 spees are preferred for mud clearance. If you are planning on mostly road, I'm not sure there is that big of a difference in 9 or 10. I ride a Giant TCX with a compact double in front and Tiagra 9 in rear and have no real issues with the hills here SoCal. The only hills I have issues with, it would matter how many gears I had!

As far as 9 speed availability, I think they will be around for a long time...

But, get what you want because you can!
It's not the 9 speed I'm concerned about - it's the bar end. I'm a STI Brifter junkie
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Old 09-18-08, 10:55 AM   #9
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Ahh, I see...

I recently got a Rivendell with bar ends and wasn't sure if I'd like them, I actually don't mind them at all. Are they as convienient as brifters? No, but it's not that big of a deal...
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Old 09-18-08, 10:30 PM   #10
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I ordered my Surly Crosscheck Complete today. Hope they have it in stock. Also bought some Ultegra brifters. According to Sheldon, all I need is a 10 speed cassette to transform into 10 speed... Wonder how the Tiagra's will run as 10 speed? Can't wait to get it... Don't know why I like bikes so much. Not like I don't have one...or two...or three...or four (again).
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Old 09-22-08, 08:35 PM   #11
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How's this bike working out for you? It's obviously too late, but if you are planning on racing CX, then I think you made the wrong choice. I had a CrossCheck last season and can testify that it is a good bike, but just not made to race. Its HEAVY and the barcons are the extra cash you spent on the Ultegra shifters could have gone toward a better bike with 10spd STI and a much better frame.
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Old 09-22-08, 10:02 PM   #12
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I don't race, so the weight isn't a big deal. More for winter riding and just the flexibility of going on gravel roads/trails. I haven't picked it up yet, so can't comment. But I do like my shifters - just got them in the mail today. $160 off ebay, brand new SL. Not a bad price I guess. Almost want to put those on my Look!
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