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  1. #1
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    Cross Check: help deciding size, please

    Hey folks,

    So, for two years I've wanted a cross check. Now, I'm down to actually getting one, but I'm torn between the 54cm and 56cm frame and which one would fit better. Of course, it would help if the local dealer had one on hand for a test fit, but such is not the case. Because of that, I've been relegated to research and comparative figures; comparing Surly's fit chart, my current rides, and my body measurements. I'm 5'7.

    The 54cm frame has a TT of 22 inches while the 56cm is about 22 1/2 inches. I'd be fine with the reach of either. My '82 Trek 614 has a TT of 22 inches, but the seat is adjusted all the way back on the rails for me to fit comfortably with drop bars and an 80mm stem. I could even go 90mm on the stem and move the seat forward a bit and still be comfortable.

    The standover clearance on the 54cm 31.2 inches while the 56cm is 31.9.....a difference of about 1 1/2cm's. Not much at all until it comes to tire sizing, I suppose. Which brings me to.........

    I saw a CL listing for a 56cm Cross Check complete. The fellow measures the standover clearance at 32 inches with 700cx32 tires. That would be enough for me, I believe. With riding shoes, I can stand over my early 90's Trek 520 (I'm selling) with bare 700c wheels with a little room...very little......but, enough so that I have to squat a bit to sit on the TT. It measures 33 inches of standover, in this way. Put some tires on and I'd be having to lean over the bike to get on and I wouldn't have any clearance.

    Now, if I went with the 56cm and put like 700cx45's on, is this going to markedly change the standover height on the ride? I ask because I've never had tires over 32mm in size, so no experiential comparison. I mean, obviously by measurement it's a difference of a hair over 1cm, but I've no idea how much it would change things in reality.

    If any of you were me, which way would you go with it and why? What would be the more important aspects of consideration? I intend to use the bike offroad on mild mtn bike trails, city trails, all round riding, and touring, if that helps in the replies.

    Thanks a bunch!

    Matthew
    Last edited by thook; 01-04-12 at 06:27 PM.

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    Well, ran across a thread a mtbr.com forums and it's suggested there to size down one size from one's standard road bike size. So, maybe the 54cm is the ticket for me.

    Any input is still welcome.

  3. #3
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    What's the seat tube angle on your Trek 614?

    I'm 5'9" and I've got a 54cm Cross Check, which frankly is bordering on being too big for me. I've got a 100mm stem with a 25 degree rise (because despite being so long, the head tube is lower than I'd like) and Salsa Poco bars (very short reach) to make it work.

    It may be that you like a more agressive position than I do and like to stretch out. You may also have very different body proportions than I do. That said, if I were in your shoes, I'd be trying to decide between a 52 and a 54 (and leaning toward the 52).

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    At 5'7, regardless of the type of bike, road, cross, whatever....I wouldn't be doing higher than 54.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    What's the seat tube angle on your Trek 614?

    I'm 5'9" and I've got a 54cm Cross Check, which frankly is bordering on being too big for me. I've got a 100mm stem with a 25 degree rise (because despite being so long, the head tube is lower than I'd like) and Salsa Poco bars (very short reach) to make it work.

    It may be that you like a more agressive position than I do and like to stretch out. You may also have very different body proportions than I do. That said, if I were in your shoes, I'd be trying to decide between a 52 and a 54 (and leaning toward the 52).
    So, in what way is the 54cm bordering on too big for you? Reach or standover?

    The seat tube, and the head tube, are at 73* on my 614. Forgive my ignorance here, but how would this affect fitting if the reach/TT length is still about the same? The Cross Check seat tube angle is the same, but has a sharper HT angle. Will it be the sharper HT angle throwing the stem a bit further forward?

    I don't know.....maybe I do like a more aggressive position. Never really thought about it those terms. I just know if I can't stretch enough, I feel cramped.......particularly on long rides. My 614 has it just about right for me. I'd had a Univega Gran Tourismo with a 21.5" TT and I struggled to stay comfy on it. With the seat all the way back and an 80mm stem, I always found myself ooching towards the back of the saddle. So, I got rid of it.
    Last edited by thook; 01-04-12 at 08:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonaway427 View Post
    At 5'7, regardless of the type of bike, road, cross, whatever....I wouldn't be doing higher than 54.
    Okay. Duly noted!

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    Maybe I should note I have about 4 or a little more inches of seat post showing on my Trek. The bars/stem sit a tad lower than the saddle. Maybe about a cm.

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    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    So, in what way is the 54cm bordering on too big for you? Reach or standover?
    It's the reach. The Cross Check's short head tube effectively increases the reach (see here for a discussion). It also has a longer top tube than I like to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    The seat tube, and the head tube, are at 73* on my 614. Forgive my ignorance here, but how would this affect fitting if the reach/TT length is still about the same? The Cross Check seat tube angle is the same, but has a sharper HT angle. Will it be the sharper HT angle throwing the stem a bit further forward?
    The seat tube angle effects reach because to get your hips in the same position relative to the pedals you need to slide the saddle back on a bike with a steeper seat tube angle (relative to what you're used to) or forward on a bike with a slacker seat tube angle. As a rule of thumb, every degree decrease in seat tube angle makes the bike feel longer by about a centimeter -- at least in theory. Head tube angle makes an insignificant difference in this regard because the distance from the head tube to the bars is so small.

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    Well, golly..........I just found a thread with some sizing info in this forum. One fellow, seemingly in the same predicament as I, is the same height and same cycling inseam. He found the 54cm to feel cramped. Funny....I sincerely always thought I had short'ish limbs, but it appears some guys at a good two or three inches taller than I have the same inseam or even a little less. ????

    I'm really gonna have to buckle down and find someway to test ride one before I buy anything.....that is, if I can stand comfortably enough over my Trek 620 at 33" SO height (w/o tires) and 22.5" of ETT length (measured everything for the fifth time again last night) and taking into account my riding/comfort style. Gawd.....bodies are weird. This is frustrating, too. I just found a 54cm complete for less than $500 on one of those Yakaz ads while perusing last night. It may be gone by the time I get a test ride in! Pftth.....cez la vie.

    FWIW, I appreciate you guys taking your time to reply. That Riv site was informative. If I'd realized all this has been gone over before in other threads, I wouldn't have wasted space. Keywords are everything in a search.

    Wish me luck! Thanks!

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    Oh....duh, people are measuring their SO height without shoes. I feel a bit dumb.

    Edit: Maybe not so dumb. Seems to me a better fit would be made taking into account riding shoes since that effectively changes saddle height/pedal reach.......which, in turn, affects bar reach. I'll never be riding barefooted, would I? No.

    Nevertheless, once again, it's looking more and more like the 54cm will be the way for me to go. This'd be 'bout right for me.....all things considered:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nanobik...n/photostream/
    Last edited by thook; 01-05-12 at 09:42 AM.

  11. #11
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Fit is a personal thing, the charts are a waste of time unless you are the charting model...a lot like clothes. I'm about six feet, my tourer is 54cm and very comfy, and I ride in the drops for long periods of time. I also ride 56cm and 58cm bikes. If you are knowledgeable about your reach, drop and desired geometry, you can figure it out by looking at the specs. If you are going by standover height, you are probably lost...it's the least important measurement you might go by, other than color, imho.

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    Color.....yeah, lol! I'm looking at the black frames, but I like the brown or light grey, also. Who knows? Maybe wind up painting, anyway.

    I realize I can't entirely go by the charts. I started this thread because I was at a loss of info, in that moment, after already several hours of searching and asking about locally only to be confounded by contradictions. However, somehow I managed better keywords than I was originally using and found a ton more info......much more helpful/experiential info, at that. I "say" the 54cm is looking like the fit (more going on other riders' posted measurements), but really, at this point, I'm not doing a damn thing until I can get on a frame to see. <<<Challenging because I'm impatient.....hehe.

    I'm acquainted with a fellow that lives 30 miles from me, but I only see him once in a while. He's the only person I know with a CC around here. His is a 56cm. He's about 2 inches taller, as I recall, but seems to prefer a more compact fit from talking with him in the past. Personally, I can't stand it. Maybe I can manage to contact him and see if he'd let me try out his ride. I just don't know where he lives or have a phone number for him. I've only ever run into him at the local natty food co-op a few times.

    SO height is not my major determining factor here. I just want to be able to fit up to 45mm tires without crackin' the sack. That being said, I've been riding a 23" TT (horizontal) with 32-33" SOH mtn bike all summer for lack of having anything else, ATT. My GT.....that does fit much better....is in parts. I just haven't had the will to completely rebuild it. I rode the big bike with 175mm cranks (normally ride 170mm) and the saddle post nearly flush all around the city mtn trails without much issue. Never hurt the particulars, but the big frame was cumbersome to throw around. I'm gonna sell that frame; DB'd cromo, late 80's Giant "Boulder". Great bike....just way too big.
    Last edited by thook; 01-05-12 at 10:47 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    agreed, one size down works fine.. I ride 59.5 and 60cm road bikes and a 58cm crosscheck is a great fit for me..

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    ^^^^ Fair enough, but I'm not going to be racing cyclocross. And, so now I'm wondering if the "one size" down is the recommendation with XC in mind....or is it CX? Anyway.....

    I'm gonna spout off some stuff/questions here in probably a haphazard manner, but it'll be more of an exercise in my understanding frame geometry, why I have my current rides set up the way I do for my comfort, and what I might be looking for in another frame more than any definite conclusions on anything. If I hadn't made it clear, most of my riding is relaxed style for long duration comfort, as with touring, with performance as a secondary consideration, as with some trail riding. So, if you would, humor me and feel free to help me clarify wherever it seems I'm off track.....<<pun intended>>

    As I said, I had a Univega that was too small. I kept pushing my rear towards the back of the saddle. It seems to me, now, it was to get better back comfort and better pedaling power when seated and, particularly, when in the drops.....which I tend to use more than the flats because of the grip/wrist position/etc.

    From what I've been reading, smaller frames tend to have a steeper seat angle than larger frames. The CrossCheck is a good, illustrative example. On the Surly frame chart, the 54cm frame has a ST length of 22" and a ST angle of 73*.....same as my Trek 614. However, on the 614, I have the saddle all the way back on the rails. It's where I feel most comfortable in relation to the crank for pedaling power and that puts me squarely on the best saddle placement for seat bone comfort. It's no wonder I couldn't find comfort on the Univega; ran out of saddle adjustment, felt cramped, and too far forward over the pedals in normal riding position.

    The ST angle of the 56cm CC is at 72.5*.....a bit more slack than 73*, if I'm understanding geometry correctly? So, hypothetically, the slacker ST angle could afford me better saddle adjustment; ie, positioning the saddle more rearward and on the center of the rails still giving me preferred pedal reach and seat bone placement. I realize, though, this adjustment will affect bar reach with a given TT length, intended bar/stem height, and the type of bars used. And, of course, the HT angle also affects this, as was noted above. My 614 has a HT angle of 73*. The CC's have a HT angle of 72*; a bit more relaxed, right? Won't this effectively will bring the stem/bars closer to reaching from the saddle?

    Another consideration.... my intention is to bring the bar/stem height up to greater than saddle height on the tops and a bit below on the drops. I'll be using either a Midge or Gary bar which also have shallower drops than road bars and the recommendation on those is to bring the drops up to where one would normally have a mtn riser/flat bar position. I like mtn bars equal to the saddle, but I want to be able to tuck in more with the dirt drops. I know this will affect a frame fit, as well.

    So, once I had all this in mind, I went back to the Surly chart to compare measurements between the 54cm and 56cm frames. But, guess what? I found a notable contradiction! Maybe it's inconsequential, but maybe I should ask here, I figure. The Surly chart says the TT of the 56cm is 22.4 inches while the 54cm is an even 22 inches. My 614, again, has a 22 inch TT. BUT!!!!!!!! I went to a conversion chart site and 56cm actually equates to 22.04 inches....not 22.4. In inches, according to the conversion chart and a measuring tape, it makes a difference.....particularly with a frame in mind. Furthermore, 54cm equates to 21.25 inches!!!!!! That's freakin' short! A good 3/4 inch difference. It would appear, from this, with a 54cm frame, I'd be in the same fitment boat I was in with the Univega.

    I realize there's room for play with either frame size by using a certain stem to achieve proper reach. But, from everything I've gone over and pointed out, I'd have to use a longer stem and, possibly, a set back seat post to get where I'd like to be on the smaller frame. It was mentioned that the CC's had short head tubes. The 54cm HT is shorter than my 614, but the 56cm is equal. So, I don't see quite how this is considered "short" unless comparing to other modern frames......which I have almost no experience with.

    Anyway, still gonna see about getting on a CC for fitting. But, this is all certainly very educational, nonetheless. If you got this far through my ramblings, thank you kindly........and, feel free to comment/correct.

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    How long the top tube is matters more to me.

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    I'm 5'11 and I'm riding a 56cm Cross Check. I don't race it and I like to be comfortable over my 10 to 20 mile commutes. The top tube just feels too long for me. I'm making my 56cm an upright commuter with a shorter stem and mustache handlebars and sizing down to a 54 for a drop bar road bike. Again, I'm 5'11 and I have pretty long arms. And a 56 just doesn't feel very comfortable over long distances. If I were you, I wouldn't even consider the 56. I'd go with a 54 or even a 52. But if your riding style is more aero, go with a 54. If it's more comfort and distance oriented, go with a 52.
    Last edited by SurlyLaika; 01-06-12 at 05:10 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    As I said, I had a Univega that was too small. I kept pushing my rear towards the back of the saddle. It seems to me, now, it was to get better back comfort and better pedaling power when seated and, particularly, when in the drops.....which I tend to use more than the flats because of the grip/wrist position/etc.

    From what I've been reading, smaller frames tend to have a steeper seat angle than larger frames. The CrossCheck is a good, illustrative example. On the Surly frame chart, the 54cm frame has a ST length of 22" and a ST angle of 73*.....same as my Trek 614. However, on the 614, I have the saddle all the way back on the rails. It's where I feel most comfortable in relation to the crank for pedaling power and that puts me squarely on the best saddle placement for seat bone comfort. It's no wonder I couldn't find comfort on the Univega; ran out of saddle adjustment, felt cramped, and too far forward over the pedals in normal riding position.
    Bike geometry and bike fit are dark arts indeed. IANABFP but I'm slowly gaining an understanding of the mechanics of bike fit. Your frequent references to sliding the saddle as far back as possible are interesting, and it may not mean what you think it means. I could be completely off base here, but hear me out.

    There are two things that would cause you to be constantly pushing yourself back on the saddle that aren't immediately obvious. The first is that your saddle may actually be too far back. This seems counterintuitive, but your body has a tendency to seek out the most natural riding position and if your saddle is too far back your legs may be pulling your hips forward. If you're constantly finding yourself farther forward than you intend to be, this may be the cause. The other possibility is that your handlebars are too low and/or too far forward. Again, this probably seems contrary to your intuition. The thing that's going on here is that in order to balance your body when you lean forward your hips have to go back. (Try bending over with your legs against the wall for a demonstration.) If your hips aren't far enough back, you'll feel like you're falling forward all the time.

    It is entirely possible that you aren't experiencing either of these effects. All the same, I think it might be worth your time to visit an LBS and test ride a bike that you think is way to short in the top tube but has high bars and see how it feels.


    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    The ST angle of the 56cm CC is at 72.5*.....a bit more slack than 73*, if I'm understanding geometry correctly? So, hypothetically, the slacker ST angle could afford me better saddle adjustment; ie, positioning the saddle more rearward and on the center of the rails still giving me preferred pedal reach and seat bone placement. I realize, though, this adjustment will affect bar reach with a given TT length, intended bar/stem height, and the type of bars used. And, of course, the HT angle also affects this, as was noted above. My 614 has a HT angle of 73*. The CC's have a HT angle of 72*; a bit more relaxed, right? Won't this effectively will bring the stem/bars closer to reaching from the saddle?
    The head tube angle doesn't make nearly as much difference as the seat tube angle because the seat tube angle has an effect relative to the bottom bracket and the top tube angle only has an effect relative to the top of the head tube. As an example, suppose your saddle is 750mm above the bottom bracket (along the seat tube) and your bars are 100mm above the top of the head tube. In this case, one degree of decrease in the seat tube angle would move the top of the seat post 13 millimeters further away from the head tube, but one degree of decrease in the head tube angle would only move the handlebars 1.7 millimeters closer to the seatpost.


    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    Another consideration.... my intention is to bring the bar/stem height up to greater than saddle height on the tops and a bit below on the drops. I'll be using either a Midge or Gary bar which also have shallower drops than road bars and the recommendation on those is to bring the drops up to where one would normally have a mtn riser/flat bar position. I like mtn bars equal to the saddle, but I want to be able to tuck in more with the dirt drops. I know this will affect a frame fit, as well.
    This may be a bit of a trick with a Cross Check. The Cross Check is notorious for its short head tube. The short head tube is fine if you want an agressive riding position with the bars below the saddle, but if you want the bars above the saddle, you have to do something a bit wonky. Here's a picture of my 54cm Cross Check.



    Notice the spacers and the inclined stem. That just gets the bar tops level with the saddle for me, and based on your comments in this thread about standover, it sounds like you have longer legs than I do so your saddle might be a touch higher. Head tube length increases with frame size, but it would be a mistake to pick the frame size based on desried bar height.

    I know the Cross Check has a lot of appeal, but I think you should seriously consider the possibility that it isn't the bike you're looking for.


    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    So, once I had all this in mind, I went back to the Surly chart to compare measurements between the 54cm and 56cm frames. But, guess what? I found a notable contradiction! Maybe it's inconsequential, but maybe I should ask here, I figure. The Surly chart says the TT of the 56cm is 22.4 inches while the 54cm is an even 22 inches. My 614, again, has a 22 inch TT. BUT!!!!!!!! I went to a conversion chart site and 56cm actually equates to 22.04 inches....not 22.4. In inches, according to the conversion chart and a measuring tape, it makes a difference.....particularly with a frame in mind. Furthermore, 54cm equates to 21.25 inches!!!!!! That's freakin' short! A good 3/4 inch difference. It would appear, from this, with a 54cm frame, I'd be in the same fitment boat I was in with the Univega.
    Stated frame sizes are only vaguely related to actual measurements on the frame, and it's usually referring to the seat tube length. I have measured and I can tell you that my 54cm Cross Check does indeed have a 56cm top tube.


    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    I realize there's room for play with either frame size by using a certain stem to achieve proper reach. But, from everything I've gone over and pointed out, I'd have to use a longer stem and, possibly, a set back seat post to get where I'd like to be on the smaller frame. It was mentioned that the CC's had short head tubes. The 54cm HT is shorter than my 614, but the 56cm is equal. So, I don't see quite how this is considered "short" unless comparing to other modern frames......which I have almost no experience with.
    When I say the Cross Check has a short head tube, I mean short relative to the style of riding it's typically used for. People usually get Surlys for relaxed riding, and the head tube isn't conducive to that. I'm a bit surprised that your 614 has the same head tube length as the 56. That's a touring bike, right? A 2012 Trek 520 touring bike in the 57cm size has about the same top tube length as the 54cm Cross Check and has a 140 millimeter head tube compared to the Cross Check's 102.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post

    I know the Cross Check has a lot of appeal, but I think you should seriously consider the possibility that it isn't the bike you're looking for.
    Yes, I've already been wondering that. In fact, I've started looking at a Bianchi Volpe as a possible alternative. I just don't know, right now. Like I said, I won't move on anything until I can get on a CC for a test fit.

    Anyway, I really appreciate the responses, guys. I'll have more comments later on your replies. Particularly yours, Andy. I gotta digest that, a bit.

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    Boy, do I feel like a real effin dumb***! Really sorry........ I don't know why I was looking at the chart wrong yesterday. I had it all correct in my first post. Crap. So, right.........the Surly chart is,<< OF COURSE >>, referring to ST length when stating 54cm or 56cm., etc. So, the 54cm frame has a TT of 56cm. Jeezus. I've been looking at all this **** too much for too long lately, I guess. Thanks for being so patient, guys.

    Yeah, I'm not doing the 56cm frame. I will go with the 54cm, though. I did some messing around with ALL my current frames....5 of them....and came to some much better conclusions given the input you guys have recently shared.......which, again, I seriously appreciate.

    More later. Time for work. But, I'll leave youz, FTM, with a link..........a little music my two buds and I did a few months ago. Hope you like mellow, rhythmic, instrumental stuff. Enjoy!

    http://ozarklogic.com/songs/goats/26...ack04_mix1.mp3
    Last edited by thook; 01-07-12 at 07:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    The first is that your saddle may actually be too far back. This seems counterintuitive, but your body has a tendency to seek out the most natural riding position and if your saddle is too far back your legs may be pulling your hips forward. If you're constantly finding yourself farther forward than you intend to be, this may be the cause.
    The Univega was the only bike I had the problem on. It was too small, period...haha. I simply felt too crunched up whenever riding it. I kept scooting back to try and stretch out when getting down in the drops, but there wasn't enough room. It was okay, though, whenever I'd ride on the tops or the hoods. On my 614, there is enough room in the drops, but the saddle is all the way back and my seat bones are on the saddle good. My center of gravity is good, also. I like to stretch out AMAP so I can keep my diaphragm open, back straight, and a get good movement with my legs. The only way I describe it is that I like to be pull on the pedals as well as push. This way I get good power through the range of pedaling motion. And, this may be what you're referring to about finding myself too far forward only to have to push myself backward, again. However, I don't really find this to be a problem. I don't have clipless pedals. I have the old style Christophe cages and wear street shoes. What I've found, for me, is that I get much better power by being able to incorporate my hamstrings by almost pulling up and back on the pedals as if my feet were hands gripping the pedals, and then pushing down once the pedals are towards the tops. Otherwise, it's like having to pull up on the clips with the upper thighs not necessarily "gripping" the pedals. Maybe I need monkey feet...hehe. Seriously, though, maybe clipless pedals would eliminate this, but that's a whole 'nother ball of wax to get into.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    The other possibility is that your handlebars are too low and/or too far forward. Again, this probably seems contrary to your intuition. The thing that's going on here is that in order to balance your body when you lean forward your hips have to go back. (Try bending over with your legs against the wall for a demonstration.) If your hips aren't far enough back, you'll feel like you're falling forward all the time.
    I know what you mean, here. I had that falling forward sensation on the mtn bike. And, I was wrong on the TT measurement of that back. I measured it, again, the other day and it's actually 23.5 inches long. Man.....tooooo big. Reaching the bars was kinda hard without losing my COG. It was an "okay" fit once I put some 2" riser bars and an 80mm riser stem on it. I figure, though, if I was able to bring the bar back towards me about an inch, it would be a good fit without losing COG. I kinda tested by balancing myself over the bike without my hands on the bar and with my arms stretched out.

    Also, when I was measuring, I didn't notice or think about before, but I have the saddle all the way back on the rails with it like on my 614. I tried moving the saddle forward a bit, but then I felt like I was mounting a unicycle and, again, falling forward. Maybe it is that my legs are relatively long and my torso is short'ish with that whole COG thing going on. Hmmm....

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    The head tube angle doesn't make nearly as much difference as the seat tube angle because the seat tube angle has an effect relative to the bottom bracket and the top tube angle only has an effect relative to the top of the head tube.
    Yeah, I see what you mean. I was thinking both HT and ST angles were relative to the same horizontal plane.



    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    This may be a bit of a trick with a Cross Check. The Cross Check is notorious for its short head tube. The short head tube is fine if you want an agressive riding position with the bars below the saddle, but if you want the bars above the saddle, you have to do something a bit wonky. Here's a picture of my 54cm Cross Check.



    Notice the spacers and the inclined stem. That just gets the bar tops level with the saddle for me, and based on your comments in this thread about standover, it sounds like you have longer legs than I do so your saddle might be a touch higher. Head tube length increases with frame size, but it would be a mistake to pick the frame size based on desried bar height.

    When I say the Cross Check has a short head tube, I mean short relative to the style of riding it's typically used for. People usually get Surlys for relaxed riding, and the head tube isn't conducive to that. I'm a bit surprised that your 614 has the same head tube length as the 56. That's a touring bike, right? A 2012 Trek 520 touring bike in the 57cm size has about the same top tube length as the 54cm Cross Check and has a 140 millimeter head tube compared to the Cross Check's 102.
    Nice ride you got there, Andy. I like that blue. I wish Surly offered more color choices in their current frame sets. It's only Robin's Egg blue and black, right now.

    From appearances of your photos, I can't say if my saddle's any higher than yours. It doesn't really look like it. I can say the quill stem on my 614 is at the max height level line and my saddle is a tad higher than the tops of the bars.

    I was wrong, also, on the HT measurement of the 614. Atleast, I stated it wrong. It's actually at 5.75 inches in length..........so, yeah, longer than the Surly HT. My bad. I still don't see how this is a problem in getter the stem/bars higher up on the Surly, though. I mean, you can keep a long steer tube and a stack of spacers or even use an extension as I've seen others do. I guess I'll just have to give it more thought.

    It seems to me the HT is shorter because, possibly, Surly has to bring the DT up at a steeper angle to the HT relative to the horizontal plane of the BB to make room for large tires and a longer fork and therefore needing a shorter HT....like having to shave off the bottom of it an inch or so. This way, the TT stays horizontal and not inclined as seen with other bikes like a Salsa or Bianchi Volpe does. Maybe I'm wrong. Won't really know until I can get my hands on a frame for comparison............which, btw....

    I hooked with up "bubba" yesterday....the guy with the 56cm CC. He let me ride around the bike shop parking lot for a little bit. Aside from his saddle being too high for me and having a 90mm stem, the stretch to reach the bars was not terribly difficult. Still a bit too long, but not much. Seriously. I was curious to know if lowering his saddle and moving it forward (it was set backward all the way on the rails) would improve the reach comfort, but I didn't mess it. I just decided, regardless, the 56cm was indeed probably a little too long in the TT. The standover height was great, though! I had atleast an inch, probably more, of room. And, he had 32mm tires on it! So, so, so.....I pulled the trigger on a black 54cm frame...woohoo! It ought'a be in next week. If it's not quite my size, the shop owner will order the 56cm for me.

    I tell you, I love how that bike accelerated and handled. Felt solid and responsive and not at all twitchy, at the same time. He had a small pannier on the front and a basket on the rear rack and it never felt like they hindered handling sharps turns.

  21. #21
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    Nice ride you got there, Andy. I like that blue. I wish Surly offered more color choices in their current frame sets. It's only Robin's Egg blue and black, right now.
    Thanks. This one actually started out as beef gravy brown. I had it powder-coated. I also had a rear brake hanger added.



    The thing I discovered is that having a beautiful Surly made me hesitant to use the bike as it was intended. I got over it, of course, but I think the ugly colors that Surly sells make it feel more natural to give the bike the kind of abuse it's made to withstand.

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    Lol....I actually like their brown. But, then, I like browns and other earth tones. The interior of my red '86 4runner is brown.

    The blue of your bike looks even better up close. Wow! I can see why you'd be hesitant to gnarl it up.. I just can't handle the Robin's Egg color they have. Too vibrant.....stands out too much, for me. Black? Well, most everyone has black. It's kinda uninteresting. I'm figuring I'll talk with the local powder coat folks and see what kinda colors they can do. If they aren't able to do something I'm interested in, I'm either gonna talk to my buddy who does body work or get some nice rattle can paint.....like an epoxy or something. That makes me curious where you got the replacement decals, then. ???? I may not put some decals back on and just glue an old Schwinn headbadge on the sucker. Go incognito....hehehe. We'll see.

    And, why'd you have a hanger added? Is there an advantage over the seat binder type? Stiffer braking, perhaps?

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    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    That makes me curious where you got the replacement decals, then. ????
    I think they're part of the standard QBP catalog in either white or black. I'm not sure where I got mine except that I ordered them along with some other components.


    Quote Originally Posted by thook View Post
    And, why'd you have a hanger added? Is there an advantage over the seat binder type? Stiffer braking, perhaps?
    The safety pin these things come with just seemed too flimsy to me. Since I was having the frame taken down to the bare metal anyway, it seemed like it was worth having this done.

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    Righto! Thanks for everything, Andy......and all.

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    I am over 5'10" and have relatively long legs, 86cm PBH, and long arms and I run a 76cm seat height from top of seat to center of BB on all of my bikes. I ride a 56cm road bike (classic types) and I ride a 54cm Cross Check which fits me exactly like my typical 56/57mm classic road bikes. If the OP is 5'7"" I suspect a 54 would be too large for him.

    Of course, I have no illusions of having the bar top higher than the saddle nor can I have any reason to do so. I like my saddle high and my bars low and my bike tight. The CC is not a good choice for a high bar top relation to the saddle without buying a frame that is otherwise too large--by a bunch.

    The Cross Check short head tube results from the relatively high bottom bracket (as is typical of cycle cross bikes for pedal clearnace--it is a cycle cross bike--right) and the lower than normal top tube (for stand over on uneven ground--it is a cycle cross bike---right) compressing the triangle and thus the shorter head tube.

    Last edited by Loose Chain; 01-11-12 at 08:03 PM.
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