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CrossCheck build report: pics, parts, costs

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CrossCheck build report: pics, parts, costs

Old 05-05-13, 08:46 PM
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RubeRad
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CrossCheck build report: pics, parts, costs

I finally finished my Surly CrossCheck build! I bought the frame last fall, immediately built it up by borrowing all the components (except brakes) off a road bike, and now finally this bike has all its own parts (and the other bike is back together again).

This post provides complete details of all the parts involved, listing the part that comes on the full bike offered by Surly, vs what I used, and how much it cost me. I originally thought that by shopping carefully and buying used, I could do better than the stock price. You'll see that in the end I didn't, but I maybe could have if I had bought comparable wheels, instead I decided to spend more for handbuilt, which is I think what put me over "budget". I post all this here partly as a record to myself, partly as a utility to others that might want to build up a commuter bike, or are trying to decide between a stock bike vs a custom build, and partly to stimulate discussion -- what do you think? Did I end up with a "better" bike than if I had just gone to REI and gotten one off the floor? (Or LBS, assuming they would price comparably?)

For me, the question takes the form of, did I get $161.69 worth of entertainment from all the shopping and assembling myself? And the answer is Yes.

UPDATE: Checking back, I just realized, I had accidentally added in $189+8 for Retroshifts twice! So for the new totals, my equivalent bike came in $5.32 cheaper than stock from REI! I'm even happier now!

Here are the numbers, you'll have to read (or at least scroll) through them to get to the pictures!

[TABLE="width: 800"]
[TR]
[TD]Part[/TD]
[TD]Stock[/TD]
[TD]Build[/TD]
[TD]Condition[/TD]
[TD]Source[/TD]
[TD]Cost[/TD]
[TD]Ship/Tax[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Frame/fork[/TD]
[TD]Surly Cross-Check[/TD]
[TD]SAME[/TD]
[TD]New; 60cm; Dark Dirty Blue[/TD]
[TD]eBay[/TD]
[TD]$410.00[/TD]
[TD]$10.40[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Crankset[/TD]
[TD]Andel RSC6 48/36[/TD]
[TD]600 52/39[/TD]
[TD]Used[/TD]
[TD]had[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]FD[/TD]
[TD]Sora 5500[/TD]
[TD]105[/TD]
[TD]Used; good[/TD]
[TD]eBay[/TD]
[TD]$3.26[/TD]
[TD]$2.99[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]RD[/TD]
[TD]Deore M591[/TD]
[TD]Deore M510[/TD]
[TD]Used; scratched[/TD]
[TD]eBay[/TD]
[TD]$19.00[/TD]
[TD]$6.20[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Cassette[/TD]
[TD]Tiagra HG50; 11-32[/TD]
[TD]Tiagra HG50; 11-34[/TD]
[TD]Used; as new[/TD]
[TD]eBay[/TD]
[TD]$8.50[/TD]
[TD]$7.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Chain[/TD]
[TD]SRAM PC-971[/TD]
[TD]KMC X9.93[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]eBay[/TD]
[TD]$13.55[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Headset[/TD]
[TD]Cane Creek 40[/TD]
[TD]Aheadset slimstak[/TD]
[TD]Used[/TD]
[TD]donor[/TD]
[TD]$8.00[/TD]
[TD]$10.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]BB[/TD]
[TD]UN54[/TD]
[TD]Sugino[/TD]
[TD]Used[/TD]
[TD]had[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Brakes[/TD]
[TD]Tektro CR720[/TD]
[TD]SAME[/TD]
[TD]New (takeoffs)[/TD]
[TD]eBay[/TD]
[TD]$20.50[/TD]
[TD]$4.99[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Levers[/TD]
[TD]Tektro RL341[/TD]
[TD]Retroshift CX-2[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]Retroshift[/TD]
[TD]$189.00[/TD]
[TD]$8.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Shifters[/TD]
[TD]Microshift BarCons[/TD]
[TD]Retroshift CX-2[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]Retroshift[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Stem[/TD]
[TD]Kalloy AS-008[/TD]
[TD]FSA OS-190[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]Nashbar[/TD]
[TD]$14.99[/TD]
[TD]$10.49[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Bars[/TD]
[TD]Salsa Bell Lap[/TD]
[TD]FSA Omega Compact[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]Nashbar[/TD]
[TD]$19.99[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Saddle[/TD]
[TD]Velo VL1353[/TD]
[TD]Selle Gel Flite Ti[/TD]
[TD]Used[/TD]
[TD]had[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Seatpost[/TD]
[TD]Kalloy SP-342[/TD]
[TD]Bontrager Carbon[/TD]
[TD]Used[/TD]
[TD]had[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Hubs[/TD]
[TD]Deore M590[/TD]
[TD]105[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]LBS[/TD]
[TD]$400.00[/TD]
[TD]$30.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Rims[/TD]
[TD]Alex DA-16 32H[/TD]
[TD]Velocity Dyad 32H[/TD]
[TD]New; Reflective Black[/TD]
[TD]LBS[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Spokes[/TD]
[TD]DT Swiss 14g[/TD]
[TD]DT Swiss[/TD]
[TD]New; 14/15; 3cross; handbuilt[/TD]
[TD]LBS
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Skewers[/TD]
[TD]Something[/TD]
[TD]Shimano[/TD]
[TD]New; black[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Tire[/TD]
[TD]Ritch Spdmx Cmp 32mm[/TD]
[TD]Continental[/TD]
[TD]Used; CountryRide; 37mm[/TD]
[TD]LUVBS[/TD]
[TD]$10.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]FD clamp[/TD]
[TD]Shimano[/TD]
[TD]Origin8[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]LUVBS[/TD]
[TD]$8.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Boss Adpt.[/TD]
[TD]Shimano[/TD]
[TD]SAME[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]eBay[/TD]
[TD]$15.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Total: My Build[/TD]
[TD]$1229.86[/TD]
[TD]$1139.79[/TD]
[TD]$90.07
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Total: REI[/TD]
[TD]$1235.18[/TD]
[TD]$1149.00[/TD]
[TD]$86.18[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Delta[/TD]
[TD]-$5.32[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Extras[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Pedals[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Shimano SPD[/TD]
[TD]Used[/TD]
[TD]LUVBS[/TD]
[TD]$15.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Cages[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Plastic; Green (2)[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]eBay[/TD]
[TD]$2.76[/TD]
[TD]$2.13[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Pump[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Silca Impero[/TD]
[TD]Used; Campy Head[/TD]
[TD]LUVBS[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Front light[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]CREE XM-L T6[/TD]
[TD]Flashlight/batt/charger[/TD]
[TD]eBay[/TD]
[TD]$22.99
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Light mount[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]hose clamps[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]auto parts[/TD]
[TD]$5.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Rear light (not shown)[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Cateye[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]Performance[/TD]
[TD]$10.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Computer[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Cateye MITY 3[/TD]
[TD]NOS[/TD]
[TD]CL[/TD]
[TD]$5.00[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Rack (not shown)[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Voager Multi-Rack[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]Nashbar[/TD]
[TD]$19.99[/TD]
[TD]$5.00
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Panniers (not shown)[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Daytripper[/TD]
[TD]New[/TD]
[TD]Nashbar[/TD]
[TD]$24.99[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Extras Total[/TD]
[TD]$105.73[/TD]
[TD]$7.13
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Grand Total:[/TD]
[TD]$1342.72
[/TD]
[TD]$1245.52[/TD]
[TD]$97.20[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]






Last edited by RubeRad; 06-12-13 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 05-05-13, 09:03 PM
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Something seems a little off with that steerer...
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Old 05-05-13, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kyselad View Post
Something seems a little off with that steerer...
Can't you tell, I'm using those new 0g spacers!

OK, I lied, I'm not quite done. As per my SOP, cheap carbon spacers are on order from China. Might take another few weeks. But I got the wheels yesterday, and had time today to take pics and post.

I did borrow spacers from another bike to install the stem with proper headset tightness, and at least I put the cap back on! Before this I was riding this bike around with the steerer tube open, until a friend warned me that in a crash, I could core myself. I can't bring myself to cut the steerer; it's can't be undone, and with a taller steerer I'll have the option of swapping spacers around to get various stem heights for various rides.

Last edited by RubeRad; 05-05-13 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 05-23-13, 08:29 PM
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Just curious, what did you find lacking in your CC? Mine is a bit heavy but it is a utility/commuter/touring machine. Racks, fenders, mirrors, 2x bottle cages, fat 700x38 tires, saddle bag with tool kit, sprung saddle. It's great as a long distance bike and as a town errand bike i.e. laundry, groceries, etc. But for daily commutes to work and just around, I really don't need all of that, so I bought a cheap $170 Jamis Beatnik FG/SS to kick around on. It's only been 2 days, so I'll see how it works. It's way lighter to be carrying up and down stairs and I don't worry very much about thieves now.
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Old 05-28-13, 11:41 AM
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Didn't really find anything specifically lacking, I like it, but when I started riding it, the clouds didn't open up and angels climb up and down a sunbeam sprinkling glitter and singing Hallelujah. Turns out I still have to push hard with my legs to make it go fast. It does do a little bit of everything (commute, climb, descend, haul, etc), but when I handle the old alu road bike and feel how much lighter it is, it does trigger a bit of wannabe weight weenie nostalgia. But mostly that lighter feeling is in the hand, not really so much on the road. But 22lbs for the old alu bike, 33 for the CC with rack/bags/lights/etc, an extra 11lbs is not nothin.
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Old 05-28-13, 04:03 PM
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Without the rack, bags, lights, fenders, etc. the weight of your cross check isn't much different than the weight of your old bike, is it?
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Old 05-28-13, 04:50 PM
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Trek 1000 = 22#, CrossCheck as naked as I can still ride it = 27#. I guess largely due to heavy wheels/tires (incl Mr Tuffy)
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Old 05-31-13, 11:17 AM
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"Did I end up with a "better" bike than if I had just gone to REI and gotten one off the floor? (Or LBS, assuming they would price comparably?)"

Absolutely, and not just for the fun and satisfaction of building it yourself. You've got quite a few components on there that are miles ahead of the stock pre-built, such as the Microshifts and the wheelset. I almost dropped an extra $400 on a double crankset and some 2x10 microshift bar ends.
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Old 05-31-13, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
Absolutely, and not just for the fun and satisfaction of building it yourself. You've got quite a few components on there that are miles ahead of the stock pre-built, such as the Microshifts and the wheelset. I almost dropped an extra $400 on a double crankset and some 2x10 microshift bar ends.
Thx for the reinforcement. Do you mean you "almost dropped $400 but decided not to", or you "did actually drop almost $400"?

If you intentionally chose the microshift barends, how do you like them? In the comments of my other thread here, I describe how my 9sp are overshifting the indexing when I downshift (push against the RD springs to move to a larger cog). Upshifting it snaps into the indexing perfect every time. I'm kinda wishing I had bought separate DA shifters for my retroshifts, so I'd have hopefully better indexing, or also a friction option.
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Old 05-31-13, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
Did I end up with a "better" bike than if I had just gone to REI and gotten one off the floor?

Absolutely...
Agreed.

I just went through a similar process building a Surly Pacer. I started the build with a doner bike and collected parts until I had enough for assembly. While it did take some time, buying it a piece at a time allowed me to find NOS Shimano 105 5500 and Ultegra 6500 parts to complete the build. I found the parts significantly cheaper than even new Tiagra (The stock equipment on the Pacer) and Sora parts.

Now that it is all said and done, the bike has a better quality drivetrain than what comes stock. And, I did this for a little less than what a stock Surly Pacer retails for.

Attached Images
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Old 05-31-13, 04:26 PM
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I just finished getting a Handsome Devil frameset built up from all new components that I bought new, including having a set of custom wheels built. Total cost ended up being a couple hundred more than a complete Long Haul Trucker but this build was an 18 month project that became my primary hobby and the result is a bike that I'm absolutely thrilled with and is exactly what I envisioned. Sometimes it just makes sense to do your own build, even when it will end up being more expensive.
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Old 05-31-13, 04:57 PM
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Nice ghetto build, but untold hours invested. I've never understood the allure of eBay/flea marketing to build a bike, but many seem attracted to the prospect of saving a few bucks regardless of how much effort it takes. Maybe the same mentality as ultraight backpackers.
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Old 05-31-13, 05:14 PM
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I have hard time defining shopping around on the internet with a few mouse clicks and/or waiting for the right price as "effort" and come on "untold hours"

I'm shopping for a new bike and find myself saying "but it has _______" or "I wish it had_____" a lot. OP doesn't have to say that...

Originally Posted by gruppo View Post
Nice ghetto build, but untold hours invested. I've never understood the allure of eBay/flea marketing to build a bike, but many seem attracted to the prospect of saving a few bucks regardless of how much effort it takes. Maybe the same mentality as ultraight backpackers.

Last edited by ricebowl; 05-31-13 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 05-31-13, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by gruppo View Post
Nice ghetto build, but untold hours invested. I've never understood the allure of eBay/flea marketing to build a bike, but many seem attracted to the prospect of saving a few bucks regardless of how much effort it takes. Maybe the same mentality as ultraight backpackers.
Well there is the pipe dream of building a lower-cost bike, but for me at least there's also an allure of having a unique bike at the end, that has a story and special me-ness that a store-bought stock bike wouldn't. Kinda vain I know, in the end it's really about the image my bike helps me to project, or at least see myself in.

Plus I simply derive entertainment from screwing bike parts on and off of bikes. Frankly, I'd rather buy a bikesdirect.com bike than an equivalent LBS bike or even craigslist bike, just because I would get to assemble it. If REI or Surly offered a CrossCheck build kit in a box (nothing assembled except for wheels already built), I'd find that attractive. Or in general if there was a brand or website that offered a la carte bikes (pick all your own components) at OEM + 20% prices, I'd be shopping there in a heartbeat!
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Old 05-31-13, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ricebowl View Post
I have hard time defining shopping around on the internet with a few mouse clicks and/or waiting for the right price as "effort" and come on "untold hours"

I'm shopping for a new bike and find myself saying "but it has _______" a lot. OP doesn't have to say that...
Well I wouldn't have been able to buy a frame last fall, and wait around until now to be able to ride it. That's why the temporary donor bike for the immediate build was an essential part of the plan. Plus I got the extra fun of stripping the donor, then building the new frame with donor parts, then eventually stripping all the donor parts back off and building up the donor again. If I had just waited, I would have only gotten one build!
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Old 05-31-13, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by gruppo View Post
Nice ghetto build, but untold hours invested. I've never understood the allure of eBay/flea marketing to build a bike, but many seem attracted to the prospect of saving a few bucks regardless of how much effort it takes. Maybe the same mentality as ultraight backpackers.
The cost of my bike was within $100 of the MSRP of a new Surly Pacer. My TOLD hours were approximately 8 to build, tune, and get the bike going. The time I spent shopping, buying and researching parts I still would have spent researching, test riding, and listening to some condescending 20 year tell me how epic carbon is and that steel is lame. I make my money, I decide where it goes.

Point is, if I added the value of the time it took me to build my bike I would add $225 to the total cost. Still, I cannot find a Shimano 105/Ultegra equipped quality steel frame bike within about $300 of what I paid for mine in parts and my labor.

And, no matter what, it was worth building my own bike. I learned more than I would have paying the local mechanic to wrench on it.

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Old 06-03-13, 09:31 AM
  #17  
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I decided not to drop $400 on shifters and 2x10 drive train. In the end I think it was a good choice, as the granny ring has already come in handy on the trails. And really, there was nothing wrong with my Ultegra shifters.

Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Thx for the reinforcement. Do you mean you "almost dropped $400 but decided not to", or you "did actually drop almost $400"?

If you intentionally chose the microshift barends, how do you like them? In the comments of my other thread here, I describe how my 9sp are overshifting the indexing when I downshift (push against the RD springs to move to a larger cog). Upshifting it snaps into the indexing perfect every time. I'm kinda wishing I had bought separate DA shifters for my retroshifts, so I'd have hopefully better indexing, or also a friction option.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:09 AM
  #18  
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Yes, it's hard to imagine that Ultegra would ever be a bad choice.
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Old 06-12-13, 08:08 AM
  #19  
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
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UPDATE: I realized my original table double-counted the cost of Retroshifts -- OP is edited now, my bike came in $5.32 cheaper than stock!
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