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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 02-22-12, 01:21 AM   #1
Hula_Girl
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Surly Cross Check question about QR issues

Looks like I'm going to replace my Bike Friday with a Surly Cross Check. I'm planning to use it as my tool around town, light grocery shopping, run to lunch or dinner and run errands within 10 miles of the house.

I decided on the CC over the LHT as I felt the LHT was just a bit too much of a full touring bike for me. But I've read about a common-ish issue withy the near horizontal rear dropouts being a problem. Folks say they have to tighten their QR's so much that it's near impossible to get that rear tire out with out a tool to help pry it open.

Is this something I should be concerned about? Is there a solution to the problem?

And any suggestions for a break upgrade? They felt quite sluggish on a test bike.

Thanks!

Denise
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Old 02-22-12, 09:47 AM   #2
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Unless Shimano has changed from an internal cam quick release to an external, you should be fine. If they did change (I don't think they have), then just get a good Shimano internal cam quick release. The clamping force of the quick release is what is suppose to hold the wheel in place, not the hub axle. So, it does need to be tight. Before vertical dropouts were common, many of us have used quick release without any problems what-so-ever.

The only time you might have a problem is if the clamp is directly over a stay and you can't get your fingers around the lever. Just make sure the lever is far enough away from a stay. But even if that happens, a tire lever gives enough leverage to pull it out.
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Old 02-22-12, 12:08 PM   #3
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Unless Shimano has changed from an internal cam quick release to an external, you should be fine. If they did change (I don't think they have), then just get a good Shimano internal cam quick release. The clamping force of the quick release is what is suppose to hold the wheel in place, not the hub axle. So, it does need to be tight. Before vertical dropouts were common, many of us have used quick release without any problems what-so-ever.

The only time you might have a problem is if the clamp is directly over a stay and you can't get your fingers around the lever. Just make sure the lever is far enough away from a stay. But even if that happens, a tire lever gives enough leverage to pull it out.
This^^ Shimano QR's have enough clamping force to hold it just fine, some of the external cam QR's do not. If you have shimano's and are still having issues you can check out the DT RWS skewers, they are about as close to the clamping force of a bolt on wheel as you can get.
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Old 02-22-12, 01:27 PM   #4
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Thanks everyone! I appreciate the feedback on the QR's.

Any suggestions for a brake upgrade? This bike will be used more for a utility bike than a cross bike. 99% urban use. Here in Hawaii we've got hills, lots of rain and very stupid drivers. Stopper power is important. Mud clearence is not.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
Denise
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Old 02-22-12, 09:50 PM   #5
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What's the problem with the CR720s? They should be plenty strong enough. With me, I have short fingers so I have a hard time getting good leverage on drop levers when on the hoods. This is why most of my heavy duty bikes use flat bars. I can much easier get good leverage on flat bar levers. But, if I ride in the drops, drop bar levers are fine also.

The CR720s are good brakes. The pads are not so good though. Try changing out the OEM pads with Kool-Stop salmon pads. They are very nice in wet conditions.
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Old 02-24-12, 12:06 AM   #6
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I have an 05 Crosscheck. The cantilever brakes were pretty good for tooling around. However, they do not have the stopping power of good V brakes.

Because I haul all sorts of stuff with my Crosscheck, I decided to replace the front brake with an Avid Single Digit 7 V brake. I used the stock lever and added a travel agent so that the lever would work the a V brake. The V brake is a noticeable upgrade that I'm glad I spent the money on.

That being said, I'm not sure why a Bike Friday wouldn't be able to handle utility duty. It's been my experience smaller wheels are stronger than larger wheels. Ultimately, I don't use my Crosscheck for utility cycling anymore, but relegated a hardtail MTB to utility duty. I sometimes haul very heavy loads on the trailer(s) and wanted a bike with smaller/stronger wheels and disc brakes.

Sounds like you've formulated a good "reason" to add to the stable...

Last edited by hopperja; 02-24-12 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 02-24-12, 12:10 AM   #7
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The Bike Friday just isn't for me. For many reasons - one of them being the V brake you mentioned. Hahaha! So we are going to take the money we get from the Bike Friday sale and put it towards the Surly's. It fits for our current needs better than the BF does.
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Old 02-24-12, 09:11 AM   #8
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If i was going to use it only on pavement or trails or dirt roads, I would go for the trucker on account of the lower bottom bracket which gives nicer handling on road. I have a cross check and mine has screws at the back of the dropout to keep the wheel from sliding back and so there is no excessive tension needed.
I have avid cantis on my cross check and once i took the auxiliary levers i had on the top bar off, they will stop the bike going down a mountain with my camping gear on the bike.
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Old 02-24-12, 10:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hula_Girl View Post

Is this something I should be concerned about? Is there a solution to the problem?

And any suggestions for a break upgrade? They felt quite sluggish on a test bike.

Thanks!

Denise
I've used the Surly Tuggnut on bikes with forward facing horizontal drop-outs with good results. http://surlybikes.com/parts/tuggnut

I needed to secure the drivetrain side of the Shimano skewer, even after tightening it to the point of having one fail. The axle would slip forward on low speed acceleration, causing a fall in traffic. This is not acceptable. The Tuggnut holds the skewer, and stops it from slipping forward. Problem solved.

The Tuggnut is designed for rear facing horizontal drop-outs, but works fine with forward facing drop-outs.

I would also add Kool Stop brake pads. I like the Thinline model, dual compond. If using the Tektro CR 720 brakes, get the threaded model, Part Number KS-TLTDL : http://www.koolstop.com/english/thinline.html

Also consider a fork mounted cable holder. These reduce chatter on the front fork while braking: http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=1805

Cheers,

Michael
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 02-24-12 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 02-24-12, 01:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by coldbike View Post
If i was going to use it only on pavement or trails or dirt roads, I would go for the trucker on account of the lower bottom bracket which gives nicer handling on road. I have a cross check and mine has screws at the back of the dropout to keep the wheel from sliding back and so there is no excessive tension needed.
Those stop bolts are to allow consistent dérailleur function.

You need the axle tight to keep it from moving _forward_ due to tension on the chain. With a small chain ring, a rider sprinting can produce several times thier weight in chain tension. Since the chain tension is applied to the right side, that is what normally slips, allowing the tire to rub the left chain stay.

On my IGH commuter it is a fine balancing act between tight enough not to slip and damnit I stripped another axle nut.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:14 PM   #11
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upgrade the brake shoes, learn how to adjust them. I used a wide cable hanger. Works fine. QR works fine. The CC isn't exactly the ideal bike for solitary heavy loads on the rear but is a great all-rounder. I'd put a nice metal basket on the front if there's room.
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Old 03-16-12, 01:33 PM   #12
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I haven't had any issues with the quick releases on my Cross Check, nor have I needed to over-tighten them.

The brakes were indeed underwhelming when new, but a couple of changes fixed that. I swapped out the stock pads with Kool Stop pads, and that improved braking performance significantly. I also replaced the stock brake cable yokes with these:

http://harriscyclery.net/product/tek...rakes-2533.htm

Somehow this improved the action of the braking, but I have not figured out how. Anyway, I'm pretty satisfied with my brakes now.
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Old 04-21-12, 03:45 PM   #13
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If you don't mind putting some money in to it, the Paul Neo Retro brakes provide a LOT of stopping power.
I have a Cross Check and that has been the most worthwhile upgrade.
Coupled with the Kool Stop pads, they stop almost as good as the Dura Ace brakes on my road bike.
I've ridden in horrible weather, mud, fully loaded touring, etc, and they have always been reliable.
They're not cheap but they look great and more importantly, they're very powerful.
I've also given up on any QR except for the Shimano enclosed cams.
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Old 05-06-12, 11:08 PM   #14
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Avid Shorty 4 or 6 brakes
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