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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 10-27-04, 06:16 PM   #1
SAB
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Surly Build-Up: Before Picture

Here's my Surly CrossCheck that I'll be building up. It just got painted after installing S&S bicycle couplers. I'll be doing some off-road riding, as well as using it as a travel bike for "light" touring. Will I need to use a "mountain" length seat tube, on account of the sloping top tube? I've ordered a set of M760 XT brakes - I hear they squeal less than the previous M750 model. I'll be using shimano ultegra STI shifters, and a set of travel agent pulleys for the V-brakes. Suggestions for gearing? Ultegra triple with 12x27 cassette is one possibility, or the ultegra triple up front and a mountain cassette, say 11 or 13x34 in the rear. But could a long cage XT derailleur handle 30 or 32 by 52? Another option is to use a mountain crankset up front with a road cassette, such as 11x23 in the rear - this would be like a "compact" crank set up. Fourth option would be xt cranks and mountain cassette in the rear - but this would probably be too low gearing for road use.

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Old 10-27-04, 06:20 PM   #2
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Why travel agents? I'd get rid of them if possible, they're kind of a pain to set up and maintain. It chewed up some of my brake cable so I gave up on it.
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Old 10-27-04, 07:49 PM   #3
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Yup. They're hard on brake cables alright. But you can't use STI shift levers alone with V-brakes - the amount of cable pull isn't right. You can use STI's with centerpull brakes, but I wanted the stopping power and clearance of the V-brakes.
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Old 10-27-04, 10:34 PM   #4
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If you get Avid shorty's you have stopping power on part with many V-brakes and better clearance than v's

For your crank/cassette combo its a toss up. CX cranks are the moderate approach, if you want something thats ok onroad and ok offroad but not great at either (though your cassette makes the final determination of course). Whatever derailleur you use, you will probably need a long cage.
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Old 10-27-04, 11:02 PM   #5
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If you go with a triple, use a narrower cassette range. If you go with a double, get a compact crankset 34/50 and use a 12-25 or 12-27 cassette. That should get a big range for whatever terrain you may encounter.
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Old 12-28-04, 07:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAB
Yup. They're hard on brake cables alright. But you can't use STI shift levers alone with V-brakes - the amount of cable pull isn't right. You can use STI's with centerpull brakes, but I wanted the stopping power and clearance of the V-brakes.
Just use Dia Compe 287V levers.
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Old 12-28-04, 10:57 PM   #7
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Just use Dia Compe 287V levers.

Did ya' not catch the part about him using STI shift/brake levers..................?
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Old 12-28-04, 11:17 PM   #8
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Did ya' not catch the part about him using STI shift/brake levers..................?
Shifting is overrated. (Actually, I assumed a bar end - what I used )

Last edited by Mindless; 12-28-04 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 12-29-04, 10:41 AM   #9
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I've had no problems with my travel agent. Getting them threaded properly and seated correctly has made them something I never think of.

But, I think I'd go with cantis. Especially if you get them with the old style brake pads. They'll last for, well, forever, as opposed to cartridge style pads conveniently designed to last for a season or 2. Cartridge pads are not superior evolution.
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Old 12-29-04, 03:50 PM   #10
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I'll tell ya, I think it would be pretty cool to build up a surly cross bike as a singlespeed cross racer...the simplicity is an attraction...especially after dissasembling my STI on my road bike.
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Old 12-29-04, 09:48 PM   #11
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it's a blast! caveat: i don't race, so......

i've got a crosscheck set up SS fixed/free right now. it's my commuter, and sees most of it's time as a fixie. i've taken it on a few of the mellower trails around me though (in freewheel mode), and it's a h#ll of a lot of fun! no pics up at th moment, as i'm at work.

if it dies, it'll be replaced with this frame, which i consider far more dead sexy.

http://www.on-one.co.uk/products/ilpompino.shtml
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