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Surly Crosscheck vs. Surly Pacer

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Surly Crosscheck vs. Surly Pacer

Old 07-10-08, 11:46 AM
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TwoTones
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Surly Crosscheck vs. Surly Pacer

I'm looking to get a new bike. I'll be honest, this bike will be used for in town riding only. I won't be taking it on dirt, I won't be touring, I won't be doing centuries. I'll probably be riding it daily but for less than 1.5hrs each ride. I live in Seattle so this bike will need to be able to tackle hills and rain (fenders are crucial). I can do without racks for bags. Would the Pacer be better for me? Why doesn't anyone ever talk about the Pacer?
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Old 07-10-08, 11:50 AM
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yeah i like the pacer.
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Old 07-10-08, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TwoTones View Post
Why doesn't anyone ever talk about the Pacer?
Because it doesn't come as a complete bike. Also no rack mounts is a big minus for most people.
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Old 07-10-08, 01:59 PM
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I have to ask - why Surly at all? There are a gazillion entry-level road bikes out there. Hell, buy used and save 50% or more... Justsayinknowwhatimsayin?
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Old 07-10-08, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkrobe View Post
I have to ask - why Surly at all? There are a gazillion entry-level road bikes out there. Hell, buy used and save 50% or more... Justsayinknowwhatimsayin?
actually, i do know what you're saying j-roc. i was so gung ho on getting a crosscheck then saw the pacer and am now wondering if i should just get any road bike. got any recommendations?
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Old 07-10-08, 02:22 PM
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LOL! Nobody ever gets that reference!

I would just get any old road bike. This one would work. The biggest thing is making sure it fits well. You can also piece together a bike from odds and ends. That's what I've done for my last few commuters, and it worked out great. It's fun to wrench on bikes!
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Old 07-10-08, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TwoTones View Post
I'm looking to get a new bike. I'll be honest, this bike will be used for in town riding only. I won't be taking it on dirt, I won't be touring, I won't be doing centuries. I'll probably be riding it daily but for less than 1.5hrs each ride. I live in Seattle so this bike will need to be able to tackle hills and rain (fenders are crucial). I can do without racks for bags. Would the Pacer be better for me? Why doesn't anyone ever talk about the Pacer?
Tackling hills is more a matter of what you put on it, rather than the frame/fork itself. The Pacer can be outfitted to tackle the Seattle hills just the same as any other frame: Compact double and a wide-span cassette in the back.

Fenders are another issue. You can go up to a 28mm tire with fenders on the Pacer, and a 32mm without. Those are plenty big enough tires, IMO... but if all your riding is going to be in the city, you might want the option for a 32 or 35mm tire and still have that fender clearance, just for a more plush ride over our fair city's less-than-stellar streets.
If you're really stuck on Surly as a brand and you want that wider clearance, look at the Cross Check. If you don't think you'll want the wide clearance, then the Pacer is an excellent bike.
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Old 07-10-08, 02:26 PM
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Why Surly? Because they make an excellent frame, extremely durable & tough. I have a Cross-Check & I love it. More than either of the two Litespeed Classics I've had.

As far as which one to get would depend on how much tire clearance you want & whether you want longer chain stays or not. And, of course, if you want basic black!
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Old 07-10-08, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TwoTones View Post
I'm looking to get a new bike. I'll be honest, this bike will be used for in town riding only. I won't be taking it on dirt, I won't be touring, I won't be doing centuries. I'll probably be riding it daily but for less than 1.5hrs each ride. I live in Seattle so this bike will need to be able to tackle hills and rain (fenders are crucial). I can do without racks for bags. Would the Pacer be better for me? Why doesn't anyone ever talk about the Pacer?

What are you riding now? The ability to fit tires wider then 28c's with fenders is nice, but 28's won't beat you up that bad. The Cross Check's versatility is a big selling point, as people can set it up however they want to. But if you're just looking for a nice roadie to get around on, and maybe do some longish rides, a Pacer would be a great choice. If/when I finally succumb to the upgrade bug on my Allez, I plan to get a Pacer frame for the left over 105 parts. A roadie with fenders would be great, especially around the Puget Sound area.


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Old 07-10-08, 03:17 PM
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I ride a pacer. Fender clearance it tight on the rear rim with the 28's on. That is with my planet bike fenders. I plan to upgrade to the SKS 35 fenders which I have heard work.
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Old 07-10-08, 06:56 PM
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The Pacer is a nice bike, but the build will cost more than buying the Prebuilt Cross Check.
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Old 07-10-08, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TwoTones View Post
actually, i do know what you're saying j-roc. i was so gung ho on getting a crosscheck then saw the pacer and am now wondering if i should just get any road bike. got any recommendations?
You might look at Salsa, their road frames are pretty sexy and comparable in price.
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Old 07-11-08, 12:19 PM
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So would people agree that the geometry is a lot better on the Pacer than the Crosscheck for what I'm looking to do?
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Old 07-11-08, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TwoTones View Post
So would people agree that the geometry is a lot better on the Pacer than the Crosscheck for what I'm looking to do?
yes. now go build it.
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Old 07-11-08, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rkpol7 View Post
yes. now go build it.
Heh heh, the ol' "Devil in the ear" I love it!
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Old 07-11-08, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkrobe View Post
I have to ask - why Surly at all? There are a gazillion entry-level road bikes out there. Hell, buy used and save 50% or more... Justsayinknowwhatimsayin?
I got the best of both worlds. I purchased a used Cross-Check for much less than half price. AND it came with planet bike fenders and some bomb proof 38's. A great commuter.

To answer the question "Why Surly?"; well that's how I behave most of the time. Surly is as surly does.
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Old 07-11-08, 02:18 PM
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The Pacer is a good road bike, in a sea of good road bikes. There are scores of comparable models. It might be the best choice for you.

But the Cross Check is far more unique and suitable for many applications, chief among them commuting. There are few bikes that compare.

I own one, and I love it.
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Old 07-11-08, 02:31 PM
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Old 07-11-08, 04:52 PM
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Twotones,

if you can live without a frame mounted rack (while you have your fenders installed), I would go with the Pacer. I have a Trek 520 all steel touring bike (very similar to a Surly LHT) and it's strong and it's very convient (can mount rack and fenders) for touring/commuting, but it's awfully slow and heavy when compared to a road bike. I recently bought a nice road bike that has a compact double crankset and I love riding it. It's quick and efficient, yet very comfortable, even when I ride on the unpaved bumpy roads around NH. It's also good for riding the hills due to its very light weight and compact double crankset.

If I had to buy one bike, I think I'd lean towards a steel-framed road bike like the Pacer or a similar model. I really appreciate the ability to zip around town and around the hills and back roads of where I live on my road bike. I can travel much farther and much faster with the road bike than I can on my 520 touring bike. Also, my road bike has a "sport touring" type of geometry, so it is very comfortable to ride, even though it is a quick and light bike.

A Surly Crosscheck sounds very versatile and durable, but I value the quickness of a road bike, so if I didn't plan to ride off road, I would pick the Pacer (or similar) as my commuter/fun bike. Also, you can always hook up a trailer, or install a seat mounted rack if you need to carry some bags or haul stuff.

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Old 07-11-08, 05:39 PM
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As long as we have wandered into touring bikes, the Surly LHT Complete is a great commuter. It comes with really low gearing (26x34) and it will take a rack. It's very popular here with commuters.
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Old 07-11-08, 06:03 PM
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I live in Portland and love my Surly LHT. The gearing is great for steep hills and the braze-ons make it easy to setup for commuting. The parts are all very beefy which is nice for the grind of daily commuting. It may not have the quickness of a road bike that you are looking for. However, it is worth a test ride if you plan on using it as a commuter.

You may want to consider a front disc brake given the steep Seattle hills and ample rainfall (or very good V brakes).
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Old 07-11-08, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post
You may want to consider a front disc brake given the steep Seattle hills and ample rainfall (or very good V brakes).
Any decent pair of road calipers works fine in the rain up here if you put Kool Stops on them.
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Old 07-11-08, 09:10 PM
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I have Pacer that used to be Cannondale Caad7. I damaged the frame & moved almost new components (Ultegra Grouppo & Campagnolo Proton wheels) onto the new Pacer frame. The reason I did it is that I absolutely love Bianchi Volpe which serves as my weekday fitness bike. Volpe is basically the Crosscheck with Tiagra shifters instead of bar ends. I do about 1.5-2 hours ride every day on it & love the ride of the steel. I absolutely love the Pacer and reached 45 mph on it last weekend. The bike is basically a sport bike withouth all that hardcore stuff that makes your bones shake & wrists hurt. And all for a measly 0.1 mph extra. However, unless you have a STRONG preference for particular grouppo/wheels, get something from the Jamis line of steel bikes. That would be a much less expensive choice but equaly good choice. That what I would do had I not broken my Cannondal frame.
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