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  1. #1
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    First cross bike: Jake the snake or surly cross check?

    Hello,

    I am looking to buy my first cross bike. I currently only own a big downhill bike (04 specialized big hit pro), and am looking to buy something a bit more versatile... which has lead me to cyclocross bikes. I am tall and skinny (6 feet tall and ~135lb), however I am pretty tough on stuff. I will be looking to do some light cross-country trails as well as rip on the local trail system. I have done a lot of research which has lead me to two bikes carried at my local bike shop that are within my price range. The surly cross-check and kona jake the snake. I have some concerns with both bikes.

    I am concerned about the durability of the aksium wheels and carbon fork on the Kona. I am not going to be doing really aggressive trails, but how much can a cross bike take? I have also found a 08 jake the snake in a 58. The price is great, but I fear that it is too big, what do you think? I think that I may be better on a 56. Here is a link to the jake the snake:
    http://www.konaworld.com/09_jakethesnake_c.cfm

    The Surly is a bit more money (about $50 more) , but the part spec appears considerably lower. I also don't know about the bar end shifters, I will have to try them out. I am also a bit concerned about not having a replaceable R/D hanger (I have went through 3 on my downhill bike, though I use that for a different style of riding all together). From what I have read so far the steel frame should give a better ride, and be more durable as long as it doesn't rust). There seem to be a lot of cross-check fans on the boards here. Here is a link to the cross-check:
    http://www.surlybikes.com/crosscheck.html

    I also have some questions on sizing. As I mentioned I am 6' tall and I have a 34" inseam. What size of frame would you suggest?

    I will be going to the shop to test ride both, but wanted to get some feedback and background beforehand. Any info is greatly appreciated

    Thanks

  2. #2
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    If you held a *** to my head then then the Kona but who the heck wants rim brakes?

    drop bar, discbrake, 700c, off the peg

    trek portland - http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...land/portland/

    cannondale cross xr7 - http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/c...del-8XR7C.html

    Brodie Ronin '09 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2009/bikes/ronin.php
    Brodie Ronin '08 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2008/2008_bikes/ronin.php

    rocky mountain solo cxd - http://www.bikes.com/main+en+01_102+...tml?BIKE=606#2

    kona sutra - http://www.konaworld.com/08_sutra_w.htm
    Kona Sutra - http://www.konaworld.com/09_sutra_en.cfm
    Kona Dew Drop - http://www.konaworld.com/09_dewdrop_en.cfm

    Orbea Diem Drop Disc (2009) - http://www.orbea.com/en-gb/productos...icicletas.aspx (see road bikes > fitness > diem drop disc)

    focus cross disc - http://www.focusbikesuk.com/focuscyc...cross_disc.php
    focus mares disc 2009 - http://www.focusbikesuk.com/focuscyc...mares_disc.php

    Devinci Caribou2 (2009) - http://www.devinci.com/11628_an.html

    Raleigh USA Sojourn (2009) - http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/road/sojourn/
    Rei Novara buzz road bike (2009) - http://www.rei.com/product/779985

    rotwild rs1cx - http://www.rotwild.de/en/ (street bikes section)

    Fixie Inc. Pureblood - http://www.cycles-for-heroes.com/bik...oss/pure-blood
    fixie inc. pureblood - http://www.cycles-for-heroes.com/200...pureblood.html

    Salsa la Cruz - http://www.salsacycles.com/laCruzComp08.html
    Salsa Fargo - http://www.salsacycles.com/fargoComp09.html

    Opus Sentiero - http://opusbike.com/site_route.php?lang=en (see 2009 bikes > road > cyclocross)

    Genesis Croix de Fer - http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/series/croix_de_fer

    BikesDirect Motobecane Fantom Cross Outlaw - http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ane/outlaw.htm

    Baron bicycles - http://baronbicycles.com/spec.htm
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the links Markhr!

    I would love to get a cross bike with disc brakes, but looking at your links a lot of the disc brake bikes have a low spec. The bikes with a good spec ( I would like 105) seem to all be out of my price range. I see a lot of good deals right now on Lemond poprad discs, but Trek has put a no shipping restriction on Lemond bikes. I am looking for one in Canada but so far I haven't had any luck.

    Is it possible to run disc brakes and a 10sp cassette?

    Thanks again for your help

  4. #4
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Line View Post
    ...Is it possible to run disc brakes and a 10sp cassette?...

    Thanks again for your help
    No problem. Not sure how much help I was.

    I ran/run dtswiss 240s disc with 10 speed campag ergo and it works great (they also do a shimano version of cassette body). They are premium hubs though so all I can suggest is save for a loooong time (kind of what I did) or start hunting craigslist/ebay/swap meets for either suitable bikes/frames/parts.

    Good luck on finding one of the poprad disc bikes, they're awesome.

    edit: the bikesdirect CX disc model towards the bottom of the list is reasonably priced for what it is and you can swap out the few non-105 parts as and when the others wear out.
    Last edited by markhr; 03-17-09 at 09:01 AM. Reason: BD
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  5. #5
    shoot up or shut up. isotopesope's Avatar
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    whenever i see that list of links, i always think "who the heck wants disc brakes?" hahaha different strokes i suppose. disc poprads are indeed sweet.

    a cross bike can handle a lot, if you're a smooth rider. i'm not sure i would want askiums for a trail-use wheelset though. i much prefer a 3x wheel to a fancy pants one. i've ridden some moderately tech trails around here with a ritchey wcs carbon fork and with my current 4za zornyc carbon fork. both have been fine, though i much prefer the 4za's stiffness. the wcs was a little too noodly.

    you should also choose which ever frame fits you best. i would guess by your inseam, a 58 would fit you. however, you may want to use an online fit calculator to get a better idea or have your lbs give you a fit session. the problem with riding too small a bike is getting your handlebars high enough.

    how long your inseam is is an important fit factor, but many would argue that top tube length is a more important dimension to determine. i'm 6'4" with a bit over a 36" inseam. i would never want either frame just due to how long the top tubes are and that neither seems quite tall enough for me. however, i have a short torso and like a shorter top tube.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    ...but who the heck wants rim brakes?

    Other than these retro grouches, you mean...

    UCI World Cup




  7. #7
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    yeah, don't get me started on the union of (anti)cycling idiots

    no disc brakes
    no aero tubes
    only "traditional" diamond frame bikes
    saddle position restrictions
    etc

    spineless bureaucrats

    edit: and by no disc brakes I mean they're unapproved and not banned. Either way they can't be used for UCIdiot competition
    Last edited by markhr; 03-17-09 at 10:42 AM. Reason: db clarification
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  8. #8
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    Not trying to get you too wound up, Mark, but I, for one, can run faster carrying a non disc brake bike than a disc one. I expect you can too.

  9. #9
    I am Joe's lactic acid. Big M's Avatar
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    Honestly, if it weren't for the barend shifters, I'd go with the the CC. But otherwise, they're so close, the test ride should be the decision maker.

    FWIW, I'm not a big fan of disc's on cyclocross bikes. I can't really justify the weight unless it will see an extreme of downhill action.
    If there was a problem, yo, Ill solve it
    Check out the hook while my dj revolves it

  10. #10
    Hello. crushkilldstroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big M View Post
    Honestly, if it weren't for the barend shifters, I'd go with the the CC. But otherwise, they're so close, the test ride should be the decision maker.

    FWIW, I'm not a big fan of disc's on cyclocross bikes. I can't really justify the weight unless it will see an extreme of downhill action.
    Assuming you don't want the barcons, that's a problem that is easily remedied. I like them however, especially on a bike that is going to get ripped around, beat up, and thrown in the mud. I'm just not a huge fan of cleaning out brifter guts when they're full of crap/sand/whatever, and I'm especially not a huge fan of replacing them when a tiny piece of plastic inside of them strips or breaks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacquie Phelan
    Until mountain biking came along, the bike scene was ruled by a small elite cadre of people who seemed allergic to enthusiasm.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by isotopesope View Post
    how long your inseam is is an important fit factor, but many would argue that top tube length is a more important dimension to determine. i'm 6'4" with a bit over a 36" inseam. i would never want either frame just due to how long the top tubes are and that neither seems quite tall enough for me. however, i have a short torso and like a shorter top tube.
    I'm curious what kind of frame you ride? I have similar dimensions, just a bit shorter overall (6'3").

    Thanks,

    Eric

  12. #12
    shoot up or shut up. isotopesope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    I'm curious what kind of frame you ride? I have similar dimensions, just a bit shorter overall (6'3").

    Thanks,

    Eric
    i ride a 64 c-t 61 c-c ridley crosswind, which has a 58.5 c-c top tube. it fits me perfectly. i really love that bike. my lugged de rosa road frame has the same dimensions. i run each with a 120 stem. the ridley has a super high bb, so the standover is 35".

    as far as other cross frames i've come across with a similar fit, it seems it's mostly the euro ones that have the shorter top tubes in the tall sizes.

  13. #13
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    Found a poprad dealer willing to ship

    Hello everyone,

    Thanks again for all of your responses and help. I have finally tracked down a lemond dealer that will ship an 08 poprad disc. My next question is sizing. I have read quite a bit about lemond sizing and believe that they are sizing C-C. Now given that I am 6 feet tall and my inseam is ~33.75" what size of frame would you suggest? The dealer has both 55 and 57 frames in stock. Any suggestions from current poprad owners (or anyone else)? I am not sure if I should have made this another thread... oh well.

    Thanks again for all of your help

  14. #14
    Senior Member Unagidon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Line View Post
    Hello,

    I am looking to buy my first cross bike. I currently only own a big downhill bike (04 specialized big hit pro), and am looking to buy something a bit more versatile... which has lead me to cyclocross bikes. I am tall and skinny (6 feet tall and ~135lb), however I am pretty tough on stuff. I will be looking to do some light cross-country trails as well as rip on the local trail system. I have done a lot of research which has lead me to two bikes carried at my local bike shop that are within my price range. The surly cross-check and kona jake the snake. I have some concerns with both bikes.

    I am concerned about the durability of the aksium wheels and carbon fork on the Kona. I am not going to be doing really aggressive trails, but how much can a cross bike take? I have also found a 08 jake the snake in a 58. The price is great, but I fear that it is too big, what do you think? I think that I may be better on a 56. Here is a link to the jake the snake:
    http://www.konaworld.com/09_jakethesnake_c.cfm

    The Surly is a bit more money (about $50 more) , but the part spec appears considerably lower. I also don't know about the bar end shifters, I will have to try them out. I am also a bit concerned about not having a replaceable R/D hanger (I have went through 3 on my downhill bike, though I use that for a different style of riding all together). From what I have read so far the steel frame should give a better ride, and be more durable as long as it doesn't rust). There seem to be a lot of cross-check fans on the boards here. Here is a link to the cross-check:
    http://www.surlybikes.com/crosscheck.html

    I also have some questions on sizing. As I mentioned I am 6' tall and I have a 34" inseam. What size of frame would you suggest?

    I will be going to the shop to test ride both, but wanted to get some feedback and background beforehand. Any info is greatly appreciated

    Thanks
    Apart from riding trails, is there anything else you plan to do with the bike, like road riding?

    The parts spec for the Surly sucks. No doubt about it. But the frame is quite sweet. As for bar ends - you can sell them on ebay for around $60 and then, find some 9 speed STIs. Definitely a pain. However, if you plan to do road riding, I would much rather have a steel frame than a low end aluminum frame.

    There's also a sale at Performance right now - seems like a pretty sweet bike for $799. http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3040 If you don't mind aluminum, not a bad choice.
    2012 Niner Jet9 RDO, 2008 Cervelo RS, 1998 Ritchey Road Logic
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