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Help Me Build My Surly Cross Check for Commuting

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Help Me Build My Surly Cross Check for Commuting

Old 10-31-14, 01:48 PM
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olsen_brett
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Help Me Build My Surly Cross Check for Commuting

Hello everyone,

This is my first post. I have been browsing around quite a bit reading about what bike I should look into. I have decided to build up a Surly Cross Check. The bike will be used for commuting around town. And just taking some nice rides around the city. This will be my first time ever building a bike and will definitely be a learning experience. I going to purchase a basic tool kit like this: Amazon.com : BIKEHAND Bike Bicycle Repair Tool Kit : Sports & Outdoors Do you think that will suffice for what I need?

I also need some suggestions with my build. I have already ordered my wheelset "Mavic CXP33 Rims, Ultra Hubs, and Kenda Happy Medium 40c Tires".

I am wanting to build a 1x9 eventually but it seems pricey at the moment. Will quality components make that much different in my ride? If so I am pretty sure I would be able to purchase a rear cog and spacers and just run single speed for about a month and get comments that are good quality. Any recommendations?

I hope to post on here throughout the build for help advice and just showing off
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Old 10-31-14, 02:00 PM
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I think you should get a single speed chainring, and go 1x8 instead. You can get an 8-speed cassette, bar-end shifter, and chain on eBay for a lot cheaper than a 9. That's what I did once the drivetrain on my stock cross check wore out. You could even get a used shifter and save more money. You'll love it-- just don't cut the steerer tube too low!
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Old 10-31-14, 02:07 PM
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I like building up bikes from carefully-chosen parts, but if you're on a budget, buying the complete bike is often a lot cheaper.
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Old 10-31-14, 02:42 PM
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I like building up bikes from carefully-chosen parts, but if you're on a budget, buying the complete bike is often a lot cheaper.
This: the components are cheapest in the Lot Sizes of the Thousands that the bike assembly companies buy from the other companies in TW.

QBP/Surly sells complete bikes thru Dealers ... they will be ready to Ride..

want it set up as a 1X haggle with your LBS. they may buyback some Parts that are part of the factory build you dont want to use.
and sell you alternates that you prefer.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-31-14 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 10-31-14, 03:39 PM
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Here are an 8-speed chain and 8-speed cassette for a total of $34 on eBay.

SRAM PC 830 Bicycle Bike 1 2x3 32 Chain 7 8 Speed New | eBay

Shimano HG41 8 Speed 11 34T Cassette | eBay
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Old 10-31-14, 03:58 PM
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Thanks guys. I will do the 1x8 instead. The money is not that tight. I want quality components. I have already paid and ordered the frame and wheels so can't go back now.

I will purchase those two components on eBay.

Have any recommendations for a crankset? I have been reading that a 42T would be best. I ordered a 62cm frame and am 6'5" so probably want a 175 crank.

Thanks for the help so far everyone.
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Old 10-31-14, 04:02 PM
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but if you're on a budget, buying the complete bike is often a lot cheaper.
He didn't say he was on a budget - he said he wanted the experience.

"Mavic CXP33 Rims, Ultra Hubs, and Kenda Happy Medium 40c Tires

Mavic recommends maximum 28mm tires for these rims... if you really want 40's you better get some different rims.
And are those Surly Ultra hubs? The single speed ones? Make sure you get the one with the OLD that matches your frame - they come in a lot of widths, for disk and non-disk brakes. Do you really know what you're doing?
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Old 10-31-14, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by olsen_brett View Post
Thanks guys. I will do the 1x8 instead. The money is not that tight. I want quality components. I have already paid and ordered the frame and wheels so can't go back now.

I will purchase those two components on eBay.

Have any recommendations for a crankset? I have been reading that a 42T would be best. I ordered a 62cm frame and am 6'5" so probably want a 175 crank.

Thanks for the help so far everyone.
42 and 44 are both pretty common for SS... you haven't mentioned FG but if it's a possibility, you probably won't want cranks that long.
And since you already ordered the wheels, you'll need some different tires.

And if those ARE Surly Ultra hubs, I don't think you can use the cassette mentioned earlier - they only come in SS, or FW threads.
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Old 10-31-14, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
He didn't say he was on a budget - he said he wanted the experience.




Mavic recommends maximum 28mm tires for these rims... if you really want 40's you better get some different rims.
And are those Surly Ultra hubs? The single speed ones? Make sure you get the one with the OLD that matches your frame - they come in a lot of widths, for disk and non-disk brakes. Do you really know what you're doing?
The guy at the bike shop is the person who recommended those tires with the rims. The hubs are shimano ultegra hubs. sorry for the typo.
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Old 10-31-14, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by olsen_brett View Post
The guy at the bike shop is the person who recommended those tires with the rims.
I recommend against them... and so does Mavic, and so does Sheldon Brown. Seriously, you're asking for trouble. You'll probably be fine (and happy) with the Kenda 32s though.

CXP 33 | Mavic - United States
Tire Sizing Systems

DIMENSIONS

ETRTO compatible size: 622 x 15
Recommended tyre widths: 19 to 28 mm
Valve hole diameter: 6.5 mm
Recommended nipple length: 14 mm
Recommended rim tape: 622 x 18 x 0.6
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Old 10-31-14, 04:22 PM
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Wow. Okay, I should have done better research on that instead of just trusting him I guess. I'll be sure to get something else instead.
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Old 10-31-14, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by olsen_brett View Post
Thanks guys. I will do the 1x8 instead. The money is not that tight. I want quality components. I have already paid and ordered the frame and wheels so can't go back now.

I will purchase those two components on eBay.
If you want quality components, skip the PC-830 chain -- an 850 will last twice as long and is only a couple bucks extra.

Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
He didn't say he was on a budget - he said he wanted the experience.
I was keying off the "pricey" comment but upon reviewing the thread, experience is the bigger driver. And I'm fully supportive -- the OP will learn a lot and there's a pride in riding a bike that you built up from parts.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 11-01-14, 09:36 AM
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Okay. I'll order the 850 and a cassette today. Any recommendations for a rear derailleur and crankset?
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Old 11-01-14, 09:42 AM
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What Tooth Count you want ? cassette & chainring..
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Old 11-01-14, 09:50 AM
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From what I have been reading it seems like a 42T crank it good for a 1x 8. The chain is the 850 listed above 1/2 x 3/32. The cassette I havenet purchased yet but was looking at a 11-34
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Old 11-01-14, 03:55 PM
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I've always been happy with Alivio derailleurs. They work well and tolerate abuse. Here's one under $30 shipped:
Shimano Alivio RD MC20 SGS 8 Speed Rear Derailleur Silver | eBay
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Old 11-01-14, 05:35 PM
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I bought a cross check frame this year and love it. I went with mavic a719 wheels and deore hubs. Went alivio 3x8 speed drive train that has worked just fine. Alivio drive train didn't cost much a eBay. Just picked up knard 41 tires for commuting this winter. Enjoy the cross check.
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Old 11-01-14, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PennyTheDog View Post
I've always been happy with Alivio derailleurs. They work well and tolerate abuse. Here's one under $30 shipped:
Shimano Alivio RD MC20 SGS 8 Speed Rear Derailleur Silver | eBay
That seems pretty good then for the price! My questions is that in the listing it mentions using it on a triple crankset will it work with a single?

Also any inputs on a crankset?
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Old 11-02-14, 06:01 AM
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Yes, that derailleur will work fine with a single chainring.

As far as cranksets, the couple that I've bought have been used on eBay, for square taper bottom brackets. If you get one with 110 BCD you'll probably have the most options for chainrings. Surly makes a stainless steel single speed chainring in that size. You'll also need a set of single speed chainring bolts (those are cheap).

Originally Posted by olsen_brett View Post
That seems pretty good then for the price! My questions is that in the listing it mentions using it on a triple crankset will it work with a single?

Also any inputs on a crankset?
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Old 11-02-14, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by PennyTheDog View Post
Yes, that derailleur will work fine with a single chainring.

As far as cranksets, the couple that I've bought have been used on eBay, for square taper bottom brackets. If you get one with 110 BCD you'll probably have the most options for chainrings. Surly makes a stainless steel single speed chainring in that size. You'll also need a set of single speed chainring bolts (those are cheap).
so should I just buy a used square crankset with the size arms I want and purchase the chainring also and swap out? Or should I get a bottom bracket arm and chainring separate?
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Old 11-02-14, 08:24 AM
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It's easiest to find used cranksets with chainrings on. Then you can just replace with a new chainring. By the way, here's a really helpful article about matching the bottom bracket with the crankset:
Square Taper Bottom Bracket Interchangeability

Originally Posted by olsen_brett View Post
so should I just buy a used square crankset with the size arms I want and purchase the chainring also and swap out? Or should I get a bottom bracket arm and chainring separate?
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Old 11-02-14, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by PennyTheDog View Post
It's easiest to find used cranksets with chainrings on. Then you can just replace with a new chainring. By the way, here's a really helpful article about matching the bottom bracket with the crankset:
Square Taper Bottom Bracket Interchangeability
This seems to be exactly what I am looking for. It will work for me right?

Shimano CX70 Road Crankset | eBay
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Old 11-02-14, 06:49 PM
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I haven't had a bike with anything besides a square taper bottom bracket for quite a while, so someone else could probably tell you a lot more than me about this one. This only works with a hollowtech bottom bracket. My thinking is if you're getting a steel frame, there probably isn't much point to paying that much for extra stiffness and lightness in the crankset. Also, since you're using an 8-speed chain there's no reason to pay extra for 10-speed chainrings.

Originally Posted by olsen_brett View Post
This seems to be exactly what I am looking for. It will work for me right?

Shimano CX70 Road Crankset | eBay
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Old 11-02-14, 06:53 PM
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Sugino makes a nice singe chainring crankset.

Consider a chainguard from velo orange.

When I built up my Cross-check commuter 4 or 5 years ago, some of my choices were:
-- Nexus 8 redband IGH. That was pre-Alfine. I like it and would do again, maybe just a different model.
-- Rear rim brakes, but I bought a different fork with the same axle-to-crown height and mounted a front disc using Avid BB7s. I like the predictability of a disc in the rain, after several close calls without on rim brakes. I think the cross-check or another version of it now has disc tabs and I would do it if they did, but might not get a new fork again and would make do with good rim brakes and salmon kool stop pads.
-- I built my own wheels. Primarily for the experience. Would do again, and even encourage you to return yours and buy hub, spokes, rims, nipples, tape and have fun.

Best of luck, enjoy your build.

Re your crank -- there's more to it than square/etc. compatibility. Once you figure out what drivetrain you're getting, you'll need to get the right length BB to get a good chainline. Info on Sheldon's site, etc.
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Old 11-02-14, 07:16 PM
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The last 1x8 I built was a 48 x 11-32. 48-32 was enough for most commuting climbs and it made my tourer feel so nice. I dislike 44 as it really doesn't give me the top end that I like. If you climb a lot on your commute 32-44 would probably be better though. I just like to suffer a bit. as for bbs, hollowtech 2 is far superior to square taper in that its as simple as one tool to remove the whole assembly. You can do it on the road if need be. Not too many people carry crank pullers in their tool kit.
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