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weird build of Surly Cross Check

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weird build of Surly Cross Check

Old 10-25-11, 12:57 PM
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weird build of Surly Cross Check

Sunday night, I spent about 8 hours building my new bike. I spent a few more hours yesterday, and it's working except that I have to install the shifters.

I realized that building my Raleigh International has to go on the back burner, since the frame needs paint. If I start on the paint very soon, it could still take weeks or a couple of months for the paint to cure. And my frustration is that I now only have two bikes I can ride, my Super Course and my McLean. I won't count my Twenty, since I dislike that bike so much.

So I took the funky new wheels and many things I was thinking of putting on the International, and I built up the Cross Check. I got this in a frame-for-frame trade with some craigslist dude in Northampton, MA. I had a 58cm. He said he had a 56cm, but it was a 54cm. I realize now that this is probably better, since the seat tube protrudes above the top tube, and since it's better to have a small frame if I ever do any cyclocross.

I lost the hardware for the rear drum brake, so I improvised with some makeshift nuts and bolts.

I took it up and down the block in the dark Sunday night. Rides nicely, but darn, it's heavy. It's heavy to lift, but it rides light, since the rims and tires are fairly light. The rims are CR-18, and the tires are 35mm Paselas.

Yesterday, I rode to the bike shop and supermarket. I brought groceries home on the rack.

I'm undecided on the Sturmey Archer hub's braking. It's adequate, but barely. Not at all inspiring. Then again, it won't get any worse in the rain, which was one chief reason I started with drum brakes. Did I hear someone say they get better after a break-in?

I'm trying mustache handlebars for now. Of course, I had to have at least one bike with them, right? I might like them. They're really heavy, though. They look like they're aluminum, but they're steel.

I discovered the Shimano "roller brake" hub can accept an 8-speed cassette, not a 9-speed cassette. No big deal, really. I just sacrifice the 12T which is a stupid thing to have, anyway. What would I ever do with a 12T. If an 11T or 12T is the difference between 8 and 9 speeds, then feh!

Pictures coming soon.
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Old 10-25-11, 09:01 PM
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Very interesting. Can't wait to see some photos. How heavy is it? I know a stock Cross Check isn't exactly what you'd call light.
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Old 10-25-11, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Sunday night, I spent about 8 hours building my new bike. I spent a few more hours yesterday, and it's working except that I have to install the shifters.

I realized that building my Raleigh International has to go on the back burner, since the frame needs paint. If I start on the paint very soon, it could still take weeks or a couple of months for the paint to cure. And my frustration is that I now only have two bikes I can ride, my Super Course and my McLean. I won't count my Twenty, since I dislike that bike so much.

So I took the funky new wheels and many things I was thinking of putting on the International, and I built up the Cross Check. I got this in a frame-for-frame trade with some craigslist dude in Northampton, MA. I had a 58cm. He said he had a 56cm, but it was a 54cm. I realize now that this is probably better, since the seat tube protrudes above the top tube, and since it's better to have a small frame if I ever do any cyclocross.

I lost the hardware for the rear drum brake, so I improvised with some makeshift nuts and bolts.

I took it up and down the block in the dark Sunday night. Rides nicely, but darn, it's heavy. It's heavy to lift, but it rides light, since the rims and tires are fairly light. The rims are CR-18, and the tires are 35mm Paselas.

Yesterday, I rode to the bike shop and supermarket. I brought groceries home on the rack.

I'm undecided on the Sturmey Archer hub's braking. It's adequate, but barely. Not at all inspiring. Then again, it won't get any worse in the rain, which was one chief reason I started with drum brakes. Did I hear someone say they get better after a break-in?

I'm trying mustache handlebars for now. Of course, I had to have at least one bike with them, right? I might like them. They're really heavy, though. They look like they're aluminum, but they're steel.

I discovered the Shimano "roller brake" hub can accept an 8-speed cassette, not a 9-speed cassette. No big deal, really. I just sacrifice the 12T which is a stupid thing to have, anyway. What would I ever do with a 12T. If an 11T or 12T is the difference between 8 and 9 speeds, then feh!

Pictures coming soon.
Which mustache bars are they? I have nittos right now and use to use nashbars. The nashbars were pretty heavy, but had a nice matte finish, and a longer sweep then the nittos. I went the with the nittos though since they are nittos.

Can't wait for pics. I wonder how my Xcheck would have looked as a porteur... at least it has been sold so I can foolishly spend my money elsewhere.
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Old 10-25-11, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I discovered the Shimano "roller brake" hub can accept an 8-speed cassette, not a 9-speed cassette. No big deal, really. I just sacrifice the 12T which is a stupid thing to have, anyway. What would I ever do with a 12T. If an 11T or 12T is the difference between 8 and 9 speeds, then feh!
do you mean it takes a 7 and not an 8? aren't 8 and 9 speed cassettes exactly the same width?
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Old 10-25-11, 09:28 PM
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In the future, please post pics first, then post words later
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Old 10-26-11, 01:45 AM
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2 bikes noglider? i figured you for a few more no?
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Old 10-26-11, 03:01 AM
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pictures!
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Old 10-26-11, 07:16 AM
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noglider, I had to smile when you wrote "I took it up and down the block in the dark Sunday night. Rides nicely, but darn, it's heavy. It's heavy to lift, but it rides light, since the rims and tires are fairly light. The rims are CR-18, and the tires are 35mm Paselas.". Same first impression I had when I built my touring bike this year.

I have the same rims and tires on the touring bike as your Cross Check and while I don't think of them as "fairly light", they do deliver a pretty nice ride unladen at 60-65 PSI. The tires are also good for non technical off road/path riding.

Brad
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Old 10-26-11, 05:10 PM
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I have about 40 bikes here, but so many are project bikes, and many are beyond hope. Of course, many don't fit me. The part of my fleet that I consider keepers has about six or seven bikes, and of those, only two were ready to ride when I wrote that.

I haven't shot pictures or weighed the bike yet, but when I lift it, it feels like it's about 35 pounds. My Super Course, which has a bigger rack and various other accessories, is lighter.

But I do like these tires. I rode it a couple of miles again today, down my hill and back up to my home. It still doesn't shift. I'm in the middle of installing the shifters now.

The bars are the Nashbar bars. I think they're the narrower choice. I had the wide one briefly, and it was enormous. This one is pretty big, too.

I don't know if the brakes broke in or if the rear adds just the right amount, but I think I'm now satisfied with the amount of braking power. My rough impression is that on this bike, the rear brake provides 40% of the braking whereas on my Super Course, the rear brake provides 25% or less of the braking. Overall braking power is about the same, I think, but I need more time to see. Of course, braking in rain and snow won't degrade as much on this bike as on bikes with rim brakes. The limitation will be my tires' traction, of course.
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Old 10-26-11, 05:41 PM
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OK, here's a teaser picture I just shot in my kitchen. Fuzzy cell phone picture with inadequate light. No bar tape yet, and the shifters are on but not connected.

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Old 10-26-11, 06:50 PM
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That looks really cool. Love the frame color. Can't wait to see the finished product.
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Old 10-26-11, 08:36 PM
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It won't look much different for a while. In a few months, I'll move these wheels to my International.

I'm taking a long ride tomorrow, and this one hasn't been shaken down, so I shouldn't bring it. But I might do something dumb and bring it anyway.

illwafer, I can't explain why I couldn't get all 9 cogs on. But I only skipped the 12T cog which I have no use for, so it's fine with me.
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Old 10-26-11, 08:37 PM
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I can't imagine why anyone would want the Long Haul Trucker. This is plenty smooth, and I wouldn't hesitate to take this bike across a continent. The LHT is even heavier. I guess that extra weight isn't a bad thing if you're carrying a lot of stuff, but I don't know what it offers that the Cross Check doesn't.
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Old 10-26-11, 08:43 PM
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Looks like it's a good thing it turned out to be a 54 instead of a 56!
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Old 10-26-11, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
OK, here's a teaser picture I just shot in my kitchen. Fuzzy cell phone picture with inadequate light. No bar tape yet, and the shifters are on but not connected.

Whenever I see naked canti posts I think it'd be neat if someone made little skulls with blinkies inside to cover them... just my juvenile self coming out. Are you going to tape just up to the brake levers?

Brad

Last edited by bradtx; 10-26-11 at 08:57 PM. Reason: corr
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Old 10-27-11, 04:19 AM
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I know, it's a shame about the canti posts. I do want to do something with them, but I don't know what.

I'll tape as if they're drop bars. The tops are actually usable. I'm getting used to the bars, but I think I might like them quite a bit. I've found lots of positions.
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Old 10-27-11, 08:30 AM
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noglider, I suppose if you want a rear rack you could attach the stays to the bosses, I did this with an OMM rack and looks quite clean.

As good as the bike is looking and as good as it's likely to ride, if it were my build I'd consider another wheelset for the International.

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Old 10-27-11, 08:33 AM
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Are you going to keep the levers angled down like that? For me, the levers are most comfortable closer to the stem where I can reach the levers at the bends. Any further down the bar than that, I use some kind of flat bar lever.
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Old 10-27-11, 08:51 AM
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Why not use the same inexpensive front rack on the rear as a saddle bag support? Good way to use those canti posts.....
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Old 10-27-11, 08:51 AM
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I agree, I find the brake levers a bit hard to reach when located there but Tom may have longer fingers than I do.

Looking really great Tom, the wheelset is very cool.
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Old 10-27-11, 08:56 AM
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Old 10-27-11, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I don't know if the brakes broke in or if the rear adds just the right amount, but I think I'm now satisfied with the amount of braking power. My rough impression is that on this bike, the rear brake provides 40% of the braking whereas on my Super Course, the rear brake provides 25% or less of the braking. Overall braking power is about the same, I think, but I need more time to see. Of course, braking in rain and snow won't degrade as much on this bike as on bikes with rim brakes. The limitation will be my tires' traction, of course.
My wife's dutchy bike with dual SA drums is heavy as a dog. When the wheels were new, stopping was vague, and I was disappointed. But after some riding, I can lock up the wheels going down hill with ill-fit v-brake levers. I would be almost scared to clamp down on a set of the correct levers.
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Old 10-27-11, 09:06 AM
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Looks great, I'm a fan of that color too.

What's the actual measurement of the 35mm pasela's? My 32mm run a bit small, and I'm thinking I might be able to fit 35's.
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Old 10-27-11, 09:07 AM
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I still need to figure out the right kind of levers to use with upright bars.
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Old 10-27-11, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I can't imagine why anyone would want the Long Haul Trucker. This is plenty smooth, and I wouldn't hesitate to take this bike across a continent. The LHT is even heavier. I guess that extra weight isn't a bad thing if you're carrying a lot of stuff, but I don't know what it offers that the Cross Check doesn't.
There's the slightly-lower bottom bracket, longer wheelbase, and maybe slacker angles IIRC... but those are minor features that would be lost on riders like me.

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