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Surly owners: Any regrets/dislikes?

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Surly owners: Any regrets/dislikes?

Old 01-08-09, 11:57 AM
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CliftonGK1
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Surly owners: Any regrets/dislikes?

Starting this thread based off a suggestion from modernjess, in the "What's so special?" discussion.

Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
How many people here really regret their purchase of a Surly? That would be a better thread and you might get some actual user advice about the con's, and every bike has them.


I'll start.

I have a 2008 Cross Check complete.
Drawbacks are:
- If you're using it as a commuter, the stock gearing doesn't have a low enough low-end for lugging full loaded panniers up long, steep hills.
- The clearance for big tires is nice, but it makes it a PITA to get a good fender line. The fork crown and brake bridge hangers for SKS fenders (maybe it's different with other brands) just aren't long enough to sit a fender close to a 28mm tire or smaller, so you have gaps. Don't even think about trying a pair of Honjos or V-O metal fenders.
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Old 01-08-09, 12:16 PM
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fender stuff

You may be able to make an adapter out of thin sheet metal and add spacers. I've seen wine corks and longer bolts used as spacers behind the bottom bracket. Zip ties and Yankee ingenuity might work too. I just use the bigger tires ( 35mm-41mm) and enjoy the added shock absorption. My speeds aren't affected much if any. As you know the Crosscheck is designed for larger than 28mm tires. A triple crank would be my suggestion to get the low you need for climbing when loaded up. A triple as an option for this bike, in stock form, would make sense.

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Old 01-08-09, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by charles vail View Post
You may be able to make an adapter out of thin sheet metal and add spacers. I've seen wine corks and longer bolts used as spacers behind the bottom bracket. Zip ties and Yankee ingenuity might work too. I just use the bigger tires ( 35mm-41mm) and enjoy the added shock absorption. My speeds aren't affected much if any. As you know the Crosscheck is designed for larger than 28mm tires. A triple crank would be my suggestion to get the low you need for climbing when loaded up. A triple as an option for this bike, in stock form, would make sense.
I switched out the cassette for an 11-32 PG970 which works fine with the stock Tiagra rear der. A 34t inner ring to replace the 36t stock gave me a low-end of 28.4 inches. Mo' betta for hauling stuff (and my fat) up hills.
I've been thinking about cutting some joiner plate to make extenders for the fender brackets, but it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of my to-do list.

Originally Posted by charles vail View Post
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Old 01-08-09, 12:31 PM
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I'm game too:

I ride a Cross Check year round as a SS commuter/town bike. Custom parts spec built from frame up. I love it dearly.

After 3 years of daily commuting, these are my gripes:

- The bottom bracket is not as stiff as I'd like. But that's 4130 steel for you and I do like the smoothness of the ride. So that's a trade-off in my opinion.
- I wish it were lighter. That would make it more expensive and perhaps not as rugged for the daily grind. I'd ride a custom built titanium commuter if could afford one.
- The graphics are ugly - not a problem, scraped them off the first day.
- The front fork could have a rack mount - not so sure I'd utilize it, but I'd like to have the option.

that's what's I got
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Old 01-08-09, 01:29 PM
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I bought the Cross Check complete back in August and commute on it about 20 miles R/T 5 days a week and whatever miles I add on during the weekend.

As already said, my fenders don't sit close enough to my 700x28 tires and there is a large gap. This isn't a huge concern for me because it doesn't rain too often in Vegas but I see why it is a drawback for others.

While this may not be a drawback, I wasn't as excited to ride the cross check in the first few weeks as I am now. During the first few weeks, I had a "meh" feeling while riding it. Then one day I suddenly fell in love with it. Because of this, I can see why some people don't get excited over the cross check when they take it for a test ride. For me at least, it took some time to grow on me and "break in" I guess.
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Old 01-08-09, 01:35 PM
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I'd like a roadish geometry surly with 132.5 spacing and vert/semi horizontal dropouts, versus the purported 'versatility' of the CC's horizontal dropouts with alignment setscrews. Just for ease of use and no worries about axle/wheel alignment.
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Old 01-08-09, 01:42 PM
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Bekologist - the rear spacing's only 130, but the Pacer may work for ya.

I really like the graphics on it, too.
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Old 01-08-09, 02:01 PM
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I wish I could ditch the V/canti brake posts and rear canti bridge off my 1x1. They could also add braze-ons to the fork and move the rear disc mount in between the stays to make mounting fenders/racks easier with discs.
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Old 01-08-09, 02:22 PM
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On my CrossCheck the rear wheel would slip under heavy torquing. It came with an external cam quick-release. I ended up buying a DT Swiss RWS road skewer and everything seems to be okay.
I heard you can get by with a good old enclosed cam steel QR, but I felt like blowing some money on new technology!!
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Old 01-08-09, 02:34 PM
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i roll on a 08' steamroller
i mostly commute on it but it's great for long rides too...no dislikes here
fits like a glove and it's sturdy and nimble
 
Old 01-08-09, 02:43 PM
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I wonder if I should have gotten a 52 rather than 54 LHT. Maybe just a shorter stem to push my butt farther back on the saddle (already pulled saddle as far forward as possible w/ 0 setback seatpost) I hate the color but can live with it. I kinda like the stickers so naturally they're all coming off.

I *really* love the bike. 6k miles, still like it more every day. 6k miles and counting.

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Old 01-08-09, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Elderberry View Post
Bekologist - the rear spacing's only 130, but the Pacer may work for ya.
The Pacer's a nice bike, but compared to the Cross Check you're really cramped for tire clearance. Mattm's got one, and says that 28mm Gran Bois rubbed on his Honjos so he had to go back to a 25mm tire.
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Old 01-08-09, 04:53 PM
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I heart my LHT. Such a smooth, solid bike that can do about anything.

EDIT: Though, my only complaint is the toe-overlap with 700c wheels on my 56cm frame.

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Old 01-08-09, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
I switched out the cassette for an 11-32 PG970 which works fine with the stock Tiagra rear der. A 34t inner ring to replace the 36t stock gave me a low-end of 28.4 inches. Mo' betta for hauling stuff (and my fat) up hills.
I've been thinking about cutting some joiner plate to make extenders for the fender brackets, but it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of my to-do list.
I have a stock 12-26T cassette with a Tiagra derailleur on my non-Surly 'cross bike. Would I be able to put a 11-34T cassette with the stock derailleur? I'm currently running a single 36T chainring, hence 1x9 setup.
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Old 01-08-09, 06:21 PM
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i'm not thrilled about the the brake pads that came on my cc complete. it's almost like they're made of oak or terracotta - no response
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Old 01-08-09, 07:02 PM
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I have a Pacer set up with 9 speed Ultegra triple group. I sometimes regret not getting a CrossCheck and setting it up 1x9 with an XT rear hub and derailer. For the record I have SKS 35 fenders and they work fine with my 28's.
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Old 01-08-09, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
The Pacer's a nice bike, but compared to the Cross Check you're really cramped for tire clearance. Mattm's got one, and says that 28mm Gran Bois rubbed on his Honjos so he had to go back to a 25mm tire.
this is true, and is pretty much the only regret i have about the bike (maybe the GB's were just wider than normal?)

so i don't think the clearance is quite what they say, and the rear brake bridge (?) could be a little higher.. my long-reach brakes don't make a difference, the bike isn't really made for them.

other thing about is that the fork weighs like 900 grams!! i don't mind that the frame is heavy, but damn, that fork weighs a ton! i'll prolly get a new one, to shave a lb or two off the bike.

anyway, i like my surly overall!
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Old 01-08-09, 07:15 PM
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Timing

I bought a 54 LHT right around the end of November beginning of December. Took about a 3 hour ride to Philadelphia because they actually had one in stock. It was an unseasonably warm day about 50 - 55 degrees and got to ride it a couple of times to get a feel for it. Can't say I fell in love with it right away but I'm thinking, "Hey, It's a nice day, it's the color I was hoping for (all day blue, which is what i call it), and it would be shame to get back to binghamton hoping i would have/ should have/ could have bought it," and it was the right size. Well I decided to buy it, and on the way home it was drizzling and raining on the way back and was basically miserable. Since I shelled out about 1K for it I couldn't afford just yet to set it up with everything I wanted (Rack/panniers, Fenders, Brooks saddle maybe (which the shop I bought it from had), new bartape).
Well it sat in my apartment without really riding it for almost a month because it seemed the weather was conspiring against me (blistering cold, snow/ice, the "I could be wrong weatherman," and just plain laziness). Plus it seemed a lot a financial issues came up also (cable bill, grad school bill, car insurance, other miscellanous stuff, and an unexpected possibility of having to move).
It's funny how little things seemed to snowball, but thank goodness I was able to weather the storm. I was able to commute a couple of times the last couple of weeks, and I am slowly building back up my emergency cash supply (i'm glad the holidays are over). I like the bike, but now I am hoping to ride it and love it.
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Old 01-08-09, 08:49 PM
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I think the danger with a thread like this is it might talk people out of buying Surly bicycles. I could list a million great things about my Cross Check and would buy another without hesitation. That said I agree with some of the drawbacks already posted. I'll only comment on the frame since I built mine from a frameset:
  • fender fit with skinny tires
  • lack of rear canti brake bridge/cable stop
  • weight
  • lack of rack mount eyelets on fork

If anyone has pics of this Yankee ingenuity in terms of fenders on 23-25c tires, do share.
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Old 01-08-09, 10:44 PM
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01' Crosscheck

Absolutely love my Crosscheck. Similar thoughts to the others:

1.) Was not immediately as geeked about my bike like I was about my MTB or Road Racer. As I rode more and more over the years I really began to appreciate it. I was always taking this bike out if I could figure a reason. Favorite bike of all of mine. Get one (Surly or Crosscheck...what ever frame meets your needs). This now brings me to my changes/additions.

2.) Fenders....I actually have a different view on them though. I want to run larger tires for winter and with my clip on fenders (SKS or PB Hybrid) it was not large enough to cover the tires so I would get spray up on my front and down the back from that issue. So, to get enough coverage, you need more clearance.

3.) Short chainstays so you have to worry about heel strike if you have larger feet or larger bags on the back. Remember though, this is a CX bike so this is why the stays are shorter.

This is why I am sad to say that I am selling my beloved Crosscheck and getting................ a Fargo? Nope, I am getting the Karate Monkey. It can do just about everything I want it to do. If I had the money and the patience to wait for QBP to get them in stock I would get it for all of the braze on mounts. I do not, so I will do some retrofitting and make it work.

I repeat get either a Surly or Salsa and you will not be disappointed by either choice. Great companies!

Erik
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Old 01-08-09, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mijome07 View Post
I have a stock 12-26T cassette with a Tiagra derailleur on my non-Surly 'cross bike. Would I be able to put a 11-34T cassette with the stock derailleur? I'm currently running a single 36T chainring, hence 1x9 setup.
Not a 34t with the Tiagra. The 32t is as far as the derailleur will handle. As it is, even with the B-screw adjusted so the top pulley doesn't tag the largest cog, if you back pedal in that gear there's a little bit of a "bumpy" feeling where the pulley and the cog are a little too close for comfort.
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Old 01-08-09, 11:13 PM
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My 1x1 is too heavy. All parts are near top or top-of-the-line and it is still a tank.

I still love the bike. I just don't see any frame alternatives w/o spending 3x the money on the frame. Getting a good fender-line is absolutely do-able with a little fiddling.
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Old 01-08-09, 11:21 PM
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I have an '07 LHT and don't have any regrets because I built it up in my garage from parts I specced myself, although I do wince everytime I nick the powdercoat. It's heavy as a boat anchor but I knew it wasn't a Trek Madone when I bought the thing.
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Old 01-09-09, 07:03 AM
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pacer here. love it. i went through a phase when i wanted tighter geo, but that passed. it is a beautiful ride.

i yearn for a cross check but hate the idea of cantis, especially on a bike made for the winter. folks must be able to get them much better dialed than me. fenders are not much of an issue for me since i live in a place with little rain.

i yearn most for a fg karate monkey! that would be the perfect ride.
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Old 01-09-09, 07:18 AM
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My Cross-Check will not buy me dinner or clean my house. Other than that I have no complaints.
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