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  1. #1
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    wanna buy a 'cross bike, but had major fit problems with surley x-check

    hey, i just moved to washington DC and i want a nice cyclocross bike to get around town with (given all the potholes) and for getting out on some light trails.

    i'm 6' 3.5"" = 193cm and all legs, so my torso is short. case in point, last night i tried the surley cross check, and the handle bars were way too far away -- on a 58cm! my last bike was a 62cm vintage apollo road bike which always felt small and i've ridden 64cm bikes that felt right. but i couldn't fit on this 58! so they replaced the stem, and they rotated the bars up a bit to make it easier, but it still just felt goofy.

    you guys got any suggestions? any brands with shorter top tubes or whatever would do it?

    i'd spend about 1200 or so, less would be better :-). if it's just too hard, i might just get my bud to ship me my old apollo. i think i want steel, but i don't really know, not enough experience on aluminum.

    thanks so much!!
    Last edited by whorush; 10-29-12 at 06:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Wear One IvyCap's Avatar
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    possibly get bars with a shorter reach on top of the shortened stem?

  3. #3
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    Hey I am right up north in Baltimore so we could meet easily. I have something for sale that should work great for your size (w/ a bit shorter reach than the 58cm Cross Check):


    I have a 2005 - 58 cm Habanero titanium frame with Shimano Dura-Ace 9-speed down tube shifters, and a 1" thread-less carbon front fork.


    Habanero frames are very well respected titanium frames (see http://habcycles.com/road.html for more info). It rides and feels more like a steel frame than titanium by design, with great vibration dampening, but enough stiffness to not flex under load.


    I would sell just the frame; down tube shifters, and carbon fork for $500 (paid $1200 plus shipping/tax for those 3 items in 2005). Or I could build up the bike ready to ride (with wheels, cranks, brakes and all other components) for $900 - which is less than the frame alone cost.


    It has never been crashed and has only slight scuffs from the few hundred miles of use.

  4. #4
    BALM Co. 2005trek1200's Avatar
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    If you want to stick with steel. take a look at a SOMA Double Cross. More traditional geometry that the cross check
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  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    any proper bike shop can do a stem swap.. the one in build boxes
    is not a fixed, but interchangeable, piece.

    if a 64 feels better sizewise, get it, have the stem swapped..

  6. #6
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    Chances are the Apollo was less than a square frame so the "62" may have a top tube that is several cm shorter. This was pretty common with older frames.

    If the Apollo is decent tubing it might be worthwhile to just continue with that. If it was built for 27" wheels switching to 700c would allow you to run bigger tires.

  7. #7
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    thanks so much guys!

    erik, thanks a lot, but i'll pass on that 58. for a good reason or a bad reason, i feel like any 58 would be a goofy fit for me.

    fietsbob, i guess i can't just look at the height of the frame, i also gotta look at the length. which is why i really feel like i gotta try bikes out first. and of course, ZERO bike shops carry my size. what do i do?

    marqueemoon, i guess it has decent tubing, everyone always said it did, it's a super heavy steel frame with 700x28 gator skin tires, and it's been rocking hard since the 80's :-).

    2005trek1200, very interesting. but soma only sells frames, not bikes, right? if i bought a 62, and built it up, it might just not fit me, and then i'd be 1000+ in the hole. what are my options?

    thanks!!

  8. #8
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Salsa Vaya maybe?

  9. #9
    idc
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    Would a shorter stem, and a zero setback seatpost help?

    $1200 will get you a very decent bike for getting around this town/light trail use. I just got a Kona Jake 2013 from Bikenetic (in Falls Church VA). They (and many other stores) will let you test ride bikes they have in stock.

    Have you ever used an online sizing calculator? Figure out roughly what effective top tube size you want and check out the geometry of different models' sizes online to get an idea of the frame "size", since 58cm/62cm etc means different things on different bikes.

  10. #10
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    thanks idc and andy, i will check out both of those bikes.

    in the meantime, i'm gonna ask my buddies to ship me my old bike -- someone will drive it down to Washington state from Vancouver BC and mail it here to DC. i guess Amtrak and Greyhound are the cheapest, right?

    once I get my bike, I'll slowly look for a new bike, this way I won't do anything stupid and out of desperation, and I'll also get some local biking experience, so i'll know what i need here.

    thanks for the help so far guys! will let you know once i try on those bikes.

  11. #11
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    You should go ahead and try a bigger size.
    Just because the top tube is longer does not mean the reach will be farther.

    As you raise the seat it goes back also.
    Plus a lot of times bigger frames have a different seat tube angle.
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  12. #12
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    i'm 6'3" and have a 60cm disc trucker and have the same issue the top tube and reach is too long for my liking and I normally ride a 62 race bike pretty aggressively setup. it probably feels so stretched out because of how many miles I"ve put on the racing bike. I wouldn't give up on the cross check altogether if you can try it in different sizes but i know it's hard to test ride surlys

  13. #13
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    DiscTruckerMF, PartsMan, thanks dudes, I'll add that to my list. My old beater is now o. Its way by greyhound!!! That doesn't mean I'll stop looking but that I'll actually be able to get around town so that I can look. Yeah it'll be tough to try on a 62 xcheck. Maybe REI had a bigger selection than all these small time bike shops.

  14. #14
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    I was just at REI in San Diego on Saturday, and the only Surly they had on the floor was the tiniest LHT you could imagine. Maybe 48cm?

    But I think I recall if you play around with their webpage, you might be able to get an idea what inventory any particular branch may have in stock if you wanted to try a drop-in, or maybe even try calling, seeing if you can speak to somebody in the bike department, maybe they could look something up and let you know how far you'd have to drive to get to a store with a bike in a size you'd like to test?

  15. #15
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    Erik_A.
    Did you ever sell the Habenero?
    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 12-05-12 at 04:31 AM. Reason: edit on e-mail
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwfox View Post
    Erik_A.
    Did you ever sell the Habenero?
    No it is still for sale - PM me.

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