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  1. #1
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    Surly CrossCheck Sizing

    I've decided to buy a cross check, but I have not been able to locate one nearby in order to test ride it & determine which size frame I need.

    I'm 5'5, but I think my legs are disproportionately short and I have a large head which may also add to the height.

    I stuck a book up in my crotch with my back against a wall and measured my inseam to be less than 29 inches. I'd guess 28.75 ish.

    My last bike was a giant via 3 size: small

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...f/11502/55839/

    The via 3 seemed to fit me perfectly and had a top tube length of 22.2 inches and a stand over height of 28.6 inches.

    Due to this, I'm leaning towards ordering a 42 inch Surly Cross Check. This is the only frame size that will give me enough clearance in the crotch area.

    http://surlybikes.com//uploads/downl...ckComplete.pdf

    What do you guys think ?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    It's really hard to say. The geometry (and intent thereof) is so different between the Cross Check and the Via that fit on one provides almost no information about fit on the other.

    I'd really suggest that you do whatever it takes to find a Cross Check to ride before you buy one. I owned a Cross Check for three years and my ultimate conclusion is that there is no size of Cross Check that would fit me the way I wanted it to. That is, I just don't like the geometry. I always wanted the handlebars higher and closer than they were. The next smaller size would have brought the bars closer, but it also would have made them lower. I could "fix" it with a short, steep stem -- and I did -- but that's different than having a bike that fits.

    What I'm saying isn't that the Cross Check is a bad bike. I'm saying that you need to ride it to figure out if it's really what you want. A lot of people love the Cross Check geometry. Other people, myself included don't. The fact that you're coming from a bike like the Via will make this geometry issue all the more pronounced.

  3. #3
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    I'd really suggest that you do whatever it takes to find a Cross Check to ride before you buy one.
    +1

    At 5'5", even with somewhat out-of-the-oridinary proportions, I'd be surprised if the 42cm Cross Check is the best fit. I'd be more inclined to guess (important to note that this is only a guess) that a 46cm would be the best size with the info given.

    Regarding standover clearance, yes, it's a factor in the fit of a bike, but I've always thought the way a bike fits you when you're riding it is far more important than when standing over it. As Andy_K says, sometimes there is no size that truly fits.

  4. #4
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    +1 on trying one out before buying. Cross-Checks have kind of an odd fit. Besides, is this bike for actually riding cyclocross, or are you just asking here because it's a "cross" bike?

    Also, +1 on the fact that standover is more important for some riders than others. I have about 0-0.5" of standover on my favorite bikes, with no issues.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    I bought my CC w/o a pre-ride. But the shop I worked with had a guaranteed fit, even for frame-up builds like I was doing, and the bike came with a free 2 hr fitting session. Otherwise .... ride it first. Not what you wanna hear, but better safe than sorry.
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  6. #6
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Order size by effective tt meaurement -- find out where your at with any current ride that fits and match it up with the CC geometry. I ended up ordering too big -- 52 in any other brand fits me well, CC was too long. I'm 5'7", 29" inseam, and if I were ordering one, I'd be getting the 50.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  7. #7
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    New info.

    I went in to my not so local bike shop to test ride a 50cm ( smallest I could find ). Now I'm more confused than ever. The stand over height on the 50cm bike is supposed to be over 30 inches, and I have a bike SOH of than 29.5 inches. I measured the standover height of the bike at the shop to be 29.5 inches which was perfect. I made sure to measure it at the center of the top tube, from the top of the tube like Surly says they make their measurements. What gives ? Why was my measurement about inch different than the one on the website ?

    As far as top tube length, I'm not sure I'm experienced enough to know how to tell if the TT length is right for me. I may have to worry more about that on my next bike :/

    Also, the guy at the bike shop said that getting a 46 cm cross check would make my riding position more aggressive. Is this true ? It seems counter intuitive to me because the smaller frame has more slant in the top tube. His argument was that the length from the top of the seat to the ground is constant on both bikes.

  8. #8
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericwithakay View Post
    I went in to my not so local bike shop to test ride a 50cm ( smallest I could find ).
    The most important question is, how did it feel when you rode it? Again, standover is a factor in fit, but not the most important factor (within reason). And you say the standover was fine anyway. So how did the 50 cm feel when you rode it?

    The guy at the LBS spoke the truth in regard to the smaller frame giving a more "aggressive" fit. The reason is you will end up with more saddle-to-bar drop with the smaller frame because the seat tube is shorter.

    Effective top tube length is indeed the most important factor, it will have the most influence in the fit of the bike whileyou're riding it.....so again, how did the 50cm feel when you rode it? Feel a little too stretched out? Feel relaxed and comfortable? I've sold 50cm Cross Checks to customers who were your height, but based on your original post I thought you might be better off on the 46. But you've got some real-world experience on a Cross Check now......

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked View Post
    The most important question is, how did it feel when you rode it? Again, standover is a factor in fit, but not the most important factor (within reason). And you say the standover was fine anyway. So how did the 50 cm feel when you rode it?
    Even now, several hours after riding it my back feels a little tense, like I stretched muscles that hadn't been stretched in a long time. Is that an indicator that I was too stretched out ?

    My old bike had a very upright geometry so it's hard for me to say.

  10. #10
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericwithakay View Post
    Even now, several hours after riding it my back feels a little tense, like I stretched muscles that hadn't been stretched in a long time. Is that an indicator that I was too stretched out ?
    Well, I would say that doesn't sound good, but without being there and seeing you on the bike, there's no way I, or anyone else here, can say for sure if the bike was a decent fit for you or not. I would spend some time at that LBS and have them work with you in getting on the right bike..... whether it's that one, a 46 CC, or a different bike entirely. Good luck-

  11. #11
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericwithakay View Post
    Even now, several hours after riding it my back feels a little tense, like I stretched muscles that hadn't been stretched in a long time. Is that an indicator that I was too stretched out ?
    It's really hard to say. It could be that your back is sore because it was holding your upper body up more than usual, in which case when your back gets tired that task would fall to your hands on the bar and you soon find you had numb hands. This would be a symptom of the top tube being too long and/or the bars being too low.

    Have you test ridden any road bikes? It would give you a good point of comparison for the Cross Check as the Cross Check has somewhat road-like geometry.

  12. #12
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    I'm 5' 5" and slightly leggier than you. I ride a 46 cm Cross-Check.

  13. #13
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    +1 on being a hard bike to fit perfectly. I am 5'10". I bought a 54 and felt way to cramped like my knees where banging the bar ends and it was a stock complete with bar end shifters. I was able to return the bike and get a 56 which I rode for a few months and decided it was way too big so I sold it. Looking back if I probably could make the 54 fit with brifters and different stem and etc but I ended up getting a different bike that just fit
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

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