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Why NOT a Surly Cross Check?

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Why NOT a Surly Cross Check?

Old 09-05-11, 09:29 PM
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ande7977
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Why NOT a Surly Cross Check?

I currently live in St. Paul, MN and have ridden my built up fixie 1980's Bridgestone through the summer, but want the following in an a geared bike:

- Ability to fit bigger tires
- Ability to have rear rack
- Comfortable steel frame
- Cyclocross frame/bars just in case I do cyclocross next fall...
- Low key paint job to avoid attracting too much attention
- Ability to go SS/fixie
- Geometry that will fit a 6'5" dude.

From what I've seen, the Surly Cross Check is what I'm looking for. I'm not too keen on the bar-end shifters, but can see the benefit of having them as shifters. In looking at the geometry of my road bike (2006 Specialized Tarmac) v. my commuter, the frame of the Cross 62cm is right in the middle of the both of them as far as the frame is concerned, and the components don't change this all that much. Plus, it's a local company, and I LOVE Surley brewing (though there is no affiliation.

So, are there other options I should check out, or just do the Cross Check as it has everything I need? Sure, some upgrades on the tires, and possibly go to 1x9 to decrease the moving parts, but does any other bike frame/company even contend with Surly?
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Old 09-05-11, 09:35 PM
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Maybe Salsa, with the Casserole but that's very similar... in terms of a complete bike, they're the most readily available, and come highly praised. If I need a new commuting bike, I'd probably get this.
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Old 09-05-11, 09:39 PM
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I absolutely love Surly and their products. The Pacer is fabulous! The Cross-Check is the coolest!

And The Long Haul Trucker is King of all Tourers!

Just Do It!

PS.

The Pugsley is just A Beast!
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Old 09-05-11, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ande7977 View Post
I currently live in St. Paul, MN and have ridden my built up fixie 1980's Bridgestone through the summer, but want the following in an a geared bike:

- Ability to fit bigger tires
- Ability to have rear rack
- Comfortable steel frame
- Cyclocross frame/bars just in case I do cyclocross next fall...
- Low key paint job to avoid attracting too much attention
- Ability to go SS/fixie
- Geometry that will fit a 6'5" dude.

From what I've seen, the Surly Cross Check is what I'm looking for. I'm not too keen on the bar-end shifters, but can see the benefit of having them as shifters. In looking at the geometry of my road bike (2006 Specialized Tarmac) v. my commuter, the frame of the Cross 62cm is right in the middle of the both of them as far as the frame is concerned, and the components don't change this all that much. Plus, it's a local company, and I LOVE Surley brewing (though there is no affiliation.

So, are there other options I should check out, or just do the Cross Check as it has everything I need? Sure, some upgrades on the tires, and possibly go to 1x9 to decrease the moving parts, but does any other bike frame/company even contend with Surly?
It's hard to beat Surly for the money, especially if you want a steel frame. I have the LHT, and I love it, but when it comes time to get a new bike, I'm going to get the CC, because it's lighter. That is, if I'm able to wear the LHT out, which is an open question; after 3.5 years of 100 mile weeks in all weather, the thing is still in excellent shape.

The bar-end shifters are actually kind of nice, once you get used to them. The friction shifting option is really nice; you don't have to adjust the derailleur all the time, and it's especially nice if you have a triple chain ring up front.
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Old 09-05-11, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
And The Long Haul Trucker is King of all Tourers!



Originally Posted by bragi View Post
I have the LHT, and I love it, but when it comes time to get a new bike, I'm going to get the CC, because it's lighter. That is, if I'm able to wear the LHT out, which is an open question; after 3.5 years of 100 mile weeks in all weather, the thing is still in excellent shape.
I have over 100,000 miles on my LHT. I enjoyed the 100,000th mile even more than the 1st, probably because she's finally starting to break in
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Old 09-05-11, 10:15 PM
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Surly's new Ogre (see the blog post here) Might be another option - it is not as cyclocross specific - it is based on their Karate Monkey 29er mountain bike frame - but it could easily be built with a drop bar, and would be able to accommodate much bigger tires. Plus, you have options for cantilever OR disc brakes. IMO it is a do-all bike, and will very likely become another staple in the commuting community.

I've seen a number of Karate Monkey builds with drop bars, everything from "monstercross" to fairly svelte touring setups with 32c tires, racks, the whole bit. The Ogre looks like it will be even more versatile.

Otherwise, you really can't go wrong with the CC.
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Old 09-05-11, 10:49 PM
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who cares about the bar end shifters... configure it any way you like.
I like mine in SS and love that I can build it any way I like after this.
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Old 09-05-11, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
Surly's new Ogre (see the blog post here) Might be another option - it is not as cyclocross specific - it is based on their Karate Monkey 29er mountain bike frame - but it could easily be built with a drop bar, and would be able to accommodate much bigger tires. Plus, you have options for cantilever OR disc brakes. IMO it is a do-all bike, and will very likely become another staple in the commuting community.

I've seen a number of Karate Monkey builds with drop bars, everything from "monstercross" to fairly svelte touring setups with 32c tires, racks, the whole bit. The Ogre looks like it will be even more versatile.

Otherwise, you really can't go wrong with the CC.
The Ogre appears to have the best of every world... I wonder how well the geo would react to drop bars...
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Old 09-05-11, 11:51 PM
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Why not a Cross Check for a commuter?

1- It's a little more challenging to mount a front rack. If you want to carry front panniers, you'll have to deal with the fact there are no fork eyelets on the Cross Check fork. I mounted a Jandd extreme front rack with the Jandd mounting hardware. It was such a pain, that I won't be removing the rack. If I had eyelets, I could easily remove it/put it back on. A work around for this is to buy a LHT fork and put it on your Cross Check. I just checked Surly's site and it looks like the new Cross Check complete comes with a fork that has rack eyelets.

2- I prefer the Cross Check's bar end shifters, so I don't see that as a negative. They have taught me to appreciate and efficiently use non-indexed shifting (I took mine out of indexed mode so I didn't have to fiddle with derailleur adjustments).

3- The LHT has built in extra-spoke carriers. As a big dude, you'll probably want to carry extra spokes.

4- My stock Cross Check wheels were pretty much worn out at 5500 miles.

5- I converted my front brake to an Avid V-brake using a travel agent. The front cantilever brake didn't have the stopping power I needed for a heavy commuting bike, particularly in inclement weather.

6- The Cross Check's wheel base is a tad short. The full coverage rear fender (Planet Bike Freddy Fenders) rubs on the front derailleur. It hasn't caused any shifting problems, so it's only a very minor annoyance. Perhaps a larger frame (mine is 55 cm) wouldn't have that issue.

7- It needs a Brooks saddle, Schwalbe Marathon tires, etc.

Overall, my Cross Check is a great year around commuter. I ride it, as well as a couple other bikes, and commute all year half-time. I have almost 8000 miles on my Cross Check.

Others that would probably fit the bill just fine would be the Salsa Casseroll, Thorn Raven, Bianchi Volpe, etc.

Last edited by hopperja; 09-05-11 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 09-06-11, 03:37 AM
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A crosscheck is a great balance of features - put lots of commuting and utility riding km on mine set up as a 1x9. Now my college son has it with a 44 t chain ring and 12-36 cassette. Factory build is nice, an ala carte build of slightly higher level components - makes the bike really shine.
However - consider a Soma Smoothie ES or Double cross - the IRD steel forks are nicer than surly forks. A Smootie ES replaced the cross check - fit was more to my needs.
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Old 09-06-11, 06:42 AM
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I was actually looking at the CC last month when I was searching for new commuter/kid hauler. It was between the Cross Check and the Salsa Vaya. Both owned by QBP also. I like the Vaya cause it offered a 26" wheel in my size frame and a sloping top tube. Mind you I like a level top tube but for what this bike was going to be doing it would just fit a lot better. Their was a $400 difference between the two but felt like you got more with that also...full Sram Apex group, disc brakes, DT Swiss wheelset, nice Conti tires, and every braze on mount imaginable. I'm a Campy guy so the Sram stuff I'm not sure I'm liking. But overall since I was able to try out both at the same dealership instead of just reading about them or having to travel around to different stores to see and try them out. I was checking out the Salsa Fargo but it's basically like a rigid touring 29'er with drops. I wanted to like but the geometry in my size wasn't use able.
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Old 09-06-11, 07:04 AM
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The only thing with a CC is that it does nothing GREAT.
It does everything well to ok.
It's heavy, at your size the bike without a rack will flex a lot.
put a rack on it and it works ok.
If you use panniers at your size, heel strike maybe a problem.


I have a CC, and it does most all things you could want a bike to do.
It just doesn't do anything really great. It's a trade off for doing so many things ok.

Also, the stock parts that come on the CC STINK, but there again they work, just not well.
replace the brakes, seat, and crank as soon as you can. Better yet build it out the way you want it.

Soma, Kona, Salsa, Van Diesel all make bikes like the CC, with disc brakes. If you want to ride this winter.
The Oger may also be worth a look.
I only have 40,000 miles on mine, and I'm 6'4 so I guess we are close to the same size.
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Old 09-06-11, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Oil_LOL View Post
The Ogre appears to have the best of every world... I wonder how well the geo would react to drop bars...
If its geometry is anything like the Karate Monkey, a short stem with some rise (or longer steerer with spacers) should do the trick.

The Karate Monkey was on my shortlist, but I ended up putting a deposit on the new Singular Gryphon (new model with full braze-on mounts for stuff arrives on US shores in 6 weeks or so). Had I known about the Ogre, my decision may not have been as easy. =)
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Old 09-06-11, 09:11 AM
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I guess that was one thing that let me away from the Cross Check. Yeah you can always replace stuff along the way or just buy a frame and built it that way. It was just a better package overall. Salsa and Surley are both owned by QBP and have comparable models in their lineup I think. I just think the Cross Check offered very basic and minimal parts. I'm not saying that's bad as simplicity can be a great thing for a touring or commuting bike if something brakes or out of adjustment. It's easier to replace or repair on the fly for less time or money. I just always hear people going gaa gaa over them and I don't see the fireworks going off after riding it and comparing it to other models that are similar. I think of it as a very versatile frame but more of a jack of trades but master of none. I kind of see them as a 90's hybrid as most ran 700c wheels with meater tires, cantis, mounts for a rear rack, fenders, most of the time steel. That's just me though and what works for you might not for me so if you love your CC then that's all that matters.

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Old 09-06-11, 10:28 AM
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Yeah, those bar end shifters would drive me crazy. I always end up needing the brakes at the same time I'm shifting around...like when you're coming up to a red light, you want to downshift and take almost at the same time.

The only other thing is that in the twin cities (I live in Minneapolis) I feel like while the Surly frame isn't as "flashy" as some other frames, it's not incognito by any means either. A lot of people here have heard of Surly...I think it's still pretty brand name to bike thieves.
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Old 09-06-11, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bragi View Post
It's hard to beat Surly for the money, especially if you want a steel frame. I have the LHT, and I love it, but when it comes time to get a new bike, I'm going to get the CC, because it's lighter. That is, if I'm able to wear the LHT out, which is an open question; after 3.5 years of 100 mile weeks in all weather, the thing is still in excellent shape.
you are gonna have to do WAY worse than that to break the LHT. for the past 4 years i've done double your mileage weekly on a 90s aluminum crit frame through the worst roads in toronto. bike is fine.
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Old 09-06-11, 11:15 AM
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semi horizontal dropouts slipping
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Old 09-06-11, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hopperja View Post
Why not a Cross Check for a commuter?

1- It's a little more challenging to mount a front rack. If you want to carry front panniers, you'll have to deal with the fact there are no fork eyelets on the Cross Check fork.
They have added fork eyelets for a front rack on the newer models.
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Old 09-06-11, 12:18 PM
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If you want disc brakes you're out of luck on the Cross Check. I saw a blog post from Surly about why they don't put disc tabs on the CC and it mostly came down to fork design. Discs require a tougher fork and they thought that would have a negative impact on the ride quality.

Other options could be the Salsa Vaya or even Fargo.
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Old 09-06-11, 12:23 PM
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Why not? if you don't work for QBP, and so don't get them at wholesale cheap.
Salsa is another brand of theirs, Civia too..
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Old 09-06-11, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ande7977 View Post
- Cyclocross frame/bars just in case I do cyclocross next fall...
It's not quite a CX bike since its geometry falls between road bike/touring bike. CX bikes are pretty aggressive and twitchy. It's good for tall riders though. I too am 6'5'' and the Cross Check is one of the stock bikes out there that I can see myself riding without some 140mm stem
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Old 09-06-11, 12:47 PM
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Disc option coming for the long haul trucker. I just built up a cross check in robins egg blue, nice ride all around. Surly also has some 64 cm options too.
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Old 09-06-11, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ande7977 View Post
So, are there other options I should check out, or just do the Cross Check as it has everything I need? Sure, some upgrades on the tires, and possibly go to 1x9 to decrease the moving parts, but does any other bike frame/company even contend with Surly?
that's what i did initially, 38t chainring and 11-34 cassette but eventually got around to putting on a triple using the outer ring for a Salsa chainguard with 44/30 rings and 12-28 cassette. Good range of gears for commuting on the "big" ring. It's really not that great for heavy rear loads but it'll do. Have it presently set up with no rear rack and only this front rack:

http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...ront-rack.html
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Old 09-06-11, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ande7977 View Post
- Cyclocross frame/bars just in case I do cyclocross next fall...
The main flaw I see in your plan is that you put "just in case" here and said "next" fall. You should get a cyclocross bike and do cyclocross now.

The Cross Check isn't a great bike for CX, but it isn't awful. Among bikes that aren't awful for CX, the Cross Check very well may be the best for the multitude of other uses you describe.

But...

Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
The only thing with a CC is that it does nothing GREAT.
It does everything well to ok.
..this. I started a Cross Check Lovefest thread recently, and the first three pages or so were filled with people saying that they like their Cross Check but don't love it. Personally, I waver on this point too. There are times when I love it. There are times when I don't. I took it on a 75 mile ride that was about 50% chip seal this summer. It was an outstanding bike for that. It's also very good for commuting. Since the topography of my current commute makes a singlespeed impractical and I have another CX bike set up better for foul weather commuting, I'm thinking about selling the Cross Check and getting an actual road bike.

If you are able to keep your mind set on the Cross Check as strictly a utility bike, you may be able to avoid this problem. Get an ugly color -- it helps with that. Look for a used Beef Gravy Brown. I made the mistake of having mine powder-coated a beautiful translucent blue. Now it wants to be a race bike, but it can't do it.
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Old 09-06-11, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by trafficcasauras View Post
semi horizontal dropouts slipping
Bingo.
That is why I bought the Soma DoubleCross with modern vertical dropouts, instead of those antiquated semi horizontal dropouts.
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