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Help with sizing a surly cross check

Old 09-28-19, 07:29 AM
  #1  
Slowridr
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Help with sizing a surly cross check

I know there are numerous threads on this but I want to build up a cross check with flat bars. That will effect sizing right?

I'm 6 feet tall with inseam about 33.5 with shoes off.

I'm in between a 56 and 58 and cant find lbs with stock to try out. I'm leaning to the 58 because the short head tube and becauae I'm using flat bars.

I ride a 56 supersix evo and keep reading on these forums I should either stay with same size or size down. The 58 CC top tube would be 2cm longer compared to my current bike. I don't think the standover height should be an issue with shoes.

When I look at hybrid bikes with flat bars I notice the top tube is longer. This leads me to believe the 58 might be good for me?

Thanks for any imput. I plan to ride this bike in bad weather and around town. Use it like a commuter or take it out in bad weather when I don't want to take out the other bikes
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Old 09-28-19, 12:49 PM
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Surly has a flat bar 700c build on the Bridge Club this year. Have you looked at that?
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Old 09-28-19, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Surly has a flat bar 700c build on the Bridge Club this year. Have you looked at that?
Thanks but don't want disc brakes and I'm just buying the frame and building myself.

Im leaning to the 56. Figuring I can convert it to drop bars if I wanted. But it's hard when I cant actually ride one
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Old 09-28-19, 01:17 PM
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Well then at least look at it for cockpit and size ideas. They also sold a flat bar CC a few years ago. With linear pull brakes and MTB controls, it looked a lot like steel hybrid bikes from the 1990’s so you could compare that too...
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Old 09-28-19, 02:42 PM
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I don’t know if this helps but, I’m 6’1” with a 34 inch inseam and running a 58 Surly Pacer (which I believe has somewhat similar geometry) with flat bars. It’s perfect for me.
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Old 09-29-19, 08:26 AM
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I am 5-10, 33.8 inch actual cycling inseam and long arms. You guys seem to all have short legs for your height? When purchasing the Cross Check do not go by the stated frame size. Look at the top tube length for a better idea of frame size. I bought a 54cm frame per Surley but the top tube is 56cm. The 56cm is my preferred size. (Frame sizing, if going by manufactuer's numbers, I own bicycles from 53cm to 58cm but they all have an effective 56cm top tube plus or minus .5cm, they all measure frame size differently and it causes confusion).

Why is the Cross Check odd? It is a cycle cross bicycle and therefore has a high bottom bracket and a low top tube for standover on uneven ground. The high bottom bracket pushes the seat tube way up and consequently the final seat position when set. The short steering tube results from the low and horizontal top tube, these two things usually result in a fairly aggressive set up with plenty of drop to the bar tops from the saddle. Further the low top tube is going to show a lot of seat post and the high bottom bracket and short head tube will result in plenty of drop from saddle to bar.

If you are truly only a 33.5 inch cycling inseam? You must have a long torso and long arms? To get the top tube length you need you will probably need the 56cm. If you have standover on the 58 you might consider it, see my postulation below on the flat bar dealio. You would size up to get a more upright riding position. Note, you will see many Cross Check owners with a stack of spacers on the head tube to raise the bar up. This is normal for the Cross Check. Make sure to have the shop leave lots and lots of uncut steering tube so you can play with it. Cut it to final size only after living with the bike for a while.

I know nothing about flat bars. I would think you could tolerate a longer top tube because the bars do not sweep forward and there are no hoods, effectively shortening the cockpit. If you intend to use drop bars in the future, I would get the smaller direction so you do not have a short stem. Nobody wants a short stem ya know!

You may want to actually measure your cycling inseam. In stocking feet or bare footed, no cloths but thin undies (or actual, no pad cycling shorts), stand back to a wall on a tile or wood floor (no carpet) and have a buddy shove a hard cover book with a one inch spine up into your crotch until your feet go light and it starts to hurt. Put a mark on the wall at the top of the book spine. Do this three times and average. That is your cycling inseam. Knowing your starting point saddle height and preferred top tube length will help you to size frames. If you have a 33.5 inch cycling inseam, then per the Lemond Formula your saddle stating position, measured from the center of the bottom bracket, along the seat tube to the top of the saddle is 29.6 inches. JFYI.

Me on my CC:


Last edited by Loose Chain; 09-29-19 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 09-29-19, 09:05 AM
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You may want to actually measure your cycling inseam. In stocking feet or bare footed, no cloths but thin undies (or actual, no pad cycling shorts), stand back to a wall on a tile or wood floor (no carpet) and have a buddy shove a hard cover book with a one inch spine up into your crotch until your feet go light and it starts to hurt. Put a mark on the wall at the top of the book spine. Do this three times and average. That is your cycling inseam. Knowing your starting point saddle height and preferred top tube length will help you to size frames. If you have a 33.5 inch cycling inseam, then per the Lemond Formula your saddle stating position, measured from the center of the bottom bracket, along the seat tube to the top of the saddle is 29.6 inches. JFYI.

Me on my CC:

[/QUOTE]
Thanks Loose Chain. I applied your scientific method (replacing book with “Kung Fu Hustle” DVD case) and measured a 35.5 inseam.
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Old 09-29-19, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
I am 5-10, 33.8 inch actual cycling inseam and long arms. You guys seem to all have short legs for your height? When purchasing the Cross Check do not go by the stated frame size. Look at the top tube length for a better idea of frame size. I bought a 54cm frame per Surley but the top tube is 56cm. The 56cm is my preferred size. (Frame sizing, if going by manufactuer's numbers, I own bicycles from 53cm to 58cm but they all have an effective 56cm top tube plus or minus .5cm, they all measure frame size differently and it causes confusion).

Why is the Cross Check odd? It is a cycle cross bicycle and therefore has a high bottom bracket and a low top tube for standover on uneven ground. The high bottom bracket pushes the seat tube way up and consequently the final seat position when set. The short steering tube results from the low and horizontal top tube, these two things usually result in a fairly aggressive set up with plenty of drop to the bar tops from the saddle. Further the low top tube is going to show a lot of seat post and the high bottom bracket and short head tube will result in plenty of drop from saddle to bar.

If you are truly only a 33.5 inch cycling inseam? You must have a long torso and long arms? To get the top tube length you need you will probably need the 56cm. If you have standover on the 58 you might consider it, see my postulation below on the flat bar dealio. You would size up to get a more upright riding position. Note, you will see many Cross Check owners with a stack of spacers on the head tube to raise the bar up. This is normal for the Cross Check. Make sure to have the shop leave lots and lots of uncut steering tube so you can play with it. Cut it to final size only after living with the bike for a while.

I know nothing about flat bars. I would think you could tolerate a longer top tube because the bars do not sweep forward and there are no hoods, effectively shortening the cockpit. If you intend to use drop bars in the future, I would get the smaller direction so you do not have a short stem. Nobody wants a short stem ya know!

You may want to actually measure your cycling inseam. In stocking feet or bare footed, no cloths but thin undies (or actual, no pad cycling shorts), stand back to a wall on a tile or wood floor (no carpet) and have a buddy shove a hard cover book with a one inch spine up into your crotch until your feet go light and it starts to hurt. Put a mark on the wall at the top of the book spine. Do this three times and average. That is your cycling inseam. Knowing your starting point saddle height and preferred top tube length will help you to size frames. If you have a 33.5 inch cycling inseam, then per the Lemond Formula your saddle stating position, measured from the center of the bottom bracket, along the seat tube to the top of the saddle is 29.6 inches. JFYI.

Me on my CC:

That's exactly where I have my seat. All my road bikes I set 29.5 inches from centre of bottom bracket to top of seat

I don't thibk I have long arms. Maybe a longer neck making me at 6 feet lol.

Thanks for the info
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Old 09-29-19, 12:43 PM
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Went for a drive to the closest surly dealer. I was able to stand over the the 58 but the 56 just felt better. They didn't have flat bars just the ones with drop bars. Grabbed a 56 frame. I figure I can make it work with flat bars or maybe I'll do drops. Even the 56 is a little longer then what I'm used to so hopefully larger stem works with flats and shorter stem would work with drops

Just have to get over how many spacers I'm gonna need lol
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Old 09-29-19, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
In stocking feet or bare footed, no cloths but thin undies (or actual, no pad cycling shorts), stand back to a wall on a tile or wood floor (no carpet) and have a buddy shove a hard cover book with a one inch spine up into your crotch until your feet go light and it starts to hurt. Put a mark on the wall at the top of the book spine. Do this three times and average.
You don't actually need to do it so hard
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Old 09-29-19, 09:42 PM
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I hope you enjoy your new 56 cm Cross Check frame. I think you got the right size in the 56 cm (per Surley). Just leave the steering tube long, people may think you are a Fred, let them. The Cross Check is an amazing bicycle. You will enjoy it I am sure.
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Old 10-01-19, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Slowridr View Post
Just have to get over how many spacers I'm gonna need lol
Looks like I'm too late.

I'm a hair under 6', 32" jeans inseam (don't know my precise 'cycling inseam'), and I ride a 60cm CrossCheck. Until recently I had a 110 stem on it too, but as a fit test I've swapped it out for a 60 and it still feels ok. I also have a lot of spacers, so the stem is basically at the top of the uncut steerer.

I would have advised you towards the 58, but If the 56 is more comfortable for you, then more power to you.
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Old 10-01-19, 04:25 PM
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It sounds like it'll be good for you. I normally would ride a 52, but my 48 Cross Check is a great fit. Yes, you will have a stack o'spacers. Note mine! I did raise the bars a bit with a taller stem. Had a cervical fusion a month ago, and my neck's still recovering......

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Old 10-09-19, 11:19 AM
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I'm 5' 11.5" and ride a 56cm Long Haul Trucker, for what it's worth. I have shorter legs (30" pants inseam) and a longer torso. Love the bike and, like you, set it up as a flatbar town bike/commuter. Running it pretty basic right now, but I also have a rack and fenders for it. Currently looking into better light options.

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