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Cross Check vs PoPrad?

Old 03-13-04, 08:45 PM
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Cross Check vs PoPrad?

Hello,

I'm looking for a cyclocross bike and would like to get your opinions. Two at the top of the list are the Surly Cross Check and the LeMond PoPrad. I'm considering these because they're in my price range, the reviews I've read said they ride nice and they're available at the LBS. I don't know if I'll ever race or not, I'm looking for a versatile bike to use for commuting, light off roading, general road riding and basically put some miles on in relative comfort. I was thinking of having a set of wider tires for off-road and a set of street tires. I'd like to give you my thoughts and get your opinions.

Cross Check

Advantages: I've read a lot of reviews where people rave about how nice the ride is and how versitile the bike is. Triple chain ring available, 700x45c tire clearance, can get it set up how I like.

Disadvantages: It will have to be ordered so I can't try it before I buy it.

PoPrad

Advantages: Reviews say it rides nice but people don't rave as much as with the cross check. It's in stock in my size so I can test ride it. Might be a little lighter?

Disadvantages: No triple chain ring. Not as much tire clearance.

I would also consider other bikes if you have any suggestions.

Thanks.
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Old 03-14-04, 10:21 AM
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My girlfriend is going to get a poprad this week and they are going to put the triple on it for no extra cost. You may want to ask your lbs about that. Our lbs was going to charge 1200 for the bike plus 60 for the triple conversion. My Mom's lbs is charging 900 for the bike and 0 for the conversion so it pays to shop around. he shop owner was raving highly about the Poprad even though she was looking at a 1500 dollar cannondale. In his opinion it is the best and most versatile bike on the market so long as it fits you. Now they come w/ 853 steel and 105 components at a price that is hard to beat...

Edit:
Not to say anything bad about the surly btw. I love surly's, the Cadillac of cross. I've never owned one but have friends that do and love them to death. They will be a bit heavier though. You've got a tough choice there.
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Old 03-14-04, 12:14 PM
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I bought a used '01 Poprad as a backup to my full roadie. I wanted it for all the reasons you stated. commuting, foul weather backup, light offroad, possible tourer etc. I also got it because my #1 bike - (Trek 5500) was already completely dialed in and I wanted a bike I could tinker and experiment with. This was 3 months ago. Since then, I've come to the conclusion that what I really wanted was a second road bike. My "Rad" is now full road with the exception of the XTR brakes. I even bought a second set of wheels and tires purely for the road.

Conclusion - it's a fantastic bike and a terrific alternative to the carbon racer. Of course, it weighs a tad more than the Trek but the riding characteristics are very different, in a good way, thus allowing me a choice depending on my mood. At any time, I can change the wheels and even the gearing if I want and take it hardcore offroad. It's great to have a bike that is so versatile.

Recommendation - if you are looking at a new one, steer away from the '03's with the Sora components. I have no idea why Lemond offerred that up but the '04's are back to full 105. It's a few bucks more but very much worth it. Also, check around the net as the prices vary somewhat - mostly due to the change in components.

As for the Surly - I saw one the other day for the first time and was surprised at how similar it was to the Poprad. Nice looking bike and a good mix of components. I haven't any other experiences with it though. Good luck.

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Old 03-14-04, 08:43 PM
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Does anyone know what the tire clearance is on the Poprad? One thing that attracts me to the Surly is that it can fit 700x45c tires, if the Poprad comes close and I can get it with the triple chainring it might break the tie.

I'm still wondering about ride quality though. Which frame does a better job of smoothing the bumps?

Thanks.
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Old 03-14-04, 08:58 PM
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My 'Rad had 700 x 38's on it when I bought it with plenty of clearance. I switched them to Vredestein Campos (28's) for cyclocross and Bontrager Race Lites (23) for road. I don't really know if 45's will fit but it shouldn't be hard to find out. It also came with a RaceFace triple with 105 ders which I switched out for a full Ultegra double setup. Again, it's great to have the choice should I want to go back.

Both bikes are steel - both frame and fork. The Poprad is 853 Reynolds and the Surly is "Surly 4130 Cro-Moly" - which I guess is a proprietary name for something good. My Poprad is smooth, comfortable and very stable - all that you'd expect from steel. I have entertained the thought of a carbon fork (Reynolds Ouzo) but I'm not sure the benefit would warrant the expense.

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Old 03-15-04, 05:49 AM
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I thought the Poprad has an aluminum fork?
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Old 03-15-04, 08:23 AM
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The 04 is steel I know that. But any other years I am not sure?
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Old 03-15-04, 08:47 AM
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The Poprad has a steel fork. Always has I believe.

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Old 03-15-04, 08:53 AM
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Check out this one for sale - pretty unique for an '04. Scroll down the photos to see a good tire clearance image.

https://www.peleton.web1000.com/picts.html

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Old 03-15-04, 03:56 PM
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yea thats a nice one! looks like it's got lots of tire clearence too.
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Old 03-16-04, 08:05 AM
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I use a Cross-Check for commuting and love it. I can't say anything about the PoPrad. But if you can ride the PoPrad and like it, I'd go that way. Even though I love my Cross-Check, I wouldn't want to plop down $750+ without trying the thing first.

That said, I've driven my Cross-Check with 28 road slicks (I could go down to 23 or 25, but like the stability of thicker tires) to Nokian 35's. It does great with both. I like the solid feel, especially in high winds. An extra pound or two doesn't matter when you have a rack, two panniers, a lighting system, emergency repair equipment, thick clothing, etc., etc., etc.

I commute 5-8 miles each way--sometimes through snow, ice, rain, and drizzle--and it has always done well. The derailleurs require frequent adjustment, but that's the only disadvantage I've seen

Today, I rode in through fresh, falling snow on a wooded bike path along a river. I had the path all to myself, all the road-bike people wimped out. It was heaven.

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Old 03-26-04, 11:33 AM
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I have an '02 Poprad and love it. I recently purchased Empella frogleg brakes with levers and plan to take this one to Europe this summer. I have an '03 Lemond Victoire Ti as my main ride and the Poprad is my tourer/fun ride. I plan to put 38c slicks to make it the ultimate high speed cruiser. The set up is full ultegra with 50/39 and175 cranks. When this frame is in spec. for racing it is an awesome machine. The 2004 model has good components specifications compared to previous years (mine had sora!).
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Old 05-25-04, 08:32 AM
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"steer away from the '03's with the Sora components. "
Hi!! I just bought an '03 with the sora, for $500 w/ 600mi on it. Why are the sora not good? I am new to cycling so I have no IDEA. What would you reccomend as replacements? Thanks for any help you could give me... =)

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Old 05-25-04, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jszymczak
"steer away from the '03's with the Sora components. "
Hi!! I just bought an '03 with the sora, for $500 w/ 600mi on it. Why are the sora not good? I am new to cycling so I have no IDEA. What would you reccomend as replacements? Thanks for any help you could give me... =)
Sora is Shimanos bottom of the line road group. Performance tends not to be as good as the higher groups, it is not as strong and it doesnt last as long. If you are satisfied with the Sora stuff, which it sounds like you are, stick with it until it wears out or breaks. The next good lines up are 105 and then Ultegra. Ultegra usually isn't much more expensive than 105.
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Old 05-25-04, 10:30 AM
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Plus is'nt sora 8 speed vs 105 9 speed? I'm guessing that if so that stuff is just going out and will be harder to get. Personally I don't see the point in going any higher then 105 if your gonna race cx cause you will break parts and they may as not be the most expensive to replace. otoh you don't want the stuff to fail. I think thats why the 04's are such a great choice w/ the 105. Ride the sora till it breaks
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Old 05-25-04, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
Plus is'nt sora 8 speed vs 105 9 speed? I'm guessing that if so that stuff is just going out and will be harder to get. Personally I don't see the point in going any higher then 105 if your gonna race cx cause you will break parts and they may as not be the most expensive to replace. otoh you don't want the stuff to fail. I think thats why the 04's are such a great choice w/ the 105. Ride the sora till it breaks
For general riding, Sora will be fine. I had Sora on my Giant OCR3. However, once you try to push the bike (and components), you'll notice the limits. Sora did not have clean shifts and sometimes the gears would slip whenever I stood on the pedals. This is one of the reasons I went looking for a better bike. The Soras were fine for entry level, but as I became stronger, I wanted better components. My IF Planet X has a mix of 105 and Ultegra, used but seems bulletproof so far.
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Old 05-26-04, 07:45 AM
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Thanks! I have noticed some slippage whilst changing gears. I think I will wait until I get really annoyed then, I'll pony up the cash and go 105 and ultegra... Right now I am ok with it. Thanks to all for comments...

Originally Posted by oldskoolboarder
For general riding, Sora will be fine. I had Sora on my Giant OCR3. However, once you try to push the bike (and components), you'll notice the limits. Sora did not have clean shifts and sometimes the gears would slip whenever I stood on the pedals. This is one of the reasons I went looking for a better bike. The Soras were fine for entry level, but as I became stronger, I wanted better components. My IF Planet X has a mix of 105 and Ultegra, used but seems bulletproof so far.
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Old 05-28-04, 02:41 PM
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Fwiw, I have had my '04 Poprad for a month now and love it.

I wish it had a triple...

The aluminum fork is very . . whippy ? for example, when I am standing next to my bike and hold the front brake, I can rock the bike back and fourth and feel the spring and flex in the fork.. Or when using just front brake to bring me to a stop there is a silght oscillation in the fork because of this flex. The flex is front/back, and Im not sure if this also translates into a bit of road forgiveness compared to how aluminum is always portrayed as stiff and unforgiving..? My tires (bontrager cross, love the traction in the dirt and smooth on the road) at 50lbs keep things smooth anyway. Im a bit worried about aluminums work hardening and crack prone-ness with this fork, but I'll ride it till it dies I guess..

Those are my only gripes though, everything else is dandy. The 105 shofters/derailleurs work great sofar, nice positive shifts even up hills. Its a fast bike and damn smooth, love the steel, and its hand welded in the US of A.

I guess the main advantage of the crosscheck is that it 90% of the time is frameset only and you build it how you like it. As opposed to the lemond which 90% of the time is sold as a complete bike..

I guess if your build is pretty standard then going for a factory built bike will save you some $$, but if you want custom bits then going the frame build up route is your best bet. I am going to be taking off the factory bontrager double crankset, factory cassette, and factory derailleurs to get my drivetrain of choice.. $$ ouch. and when I tour in a month I think Ill switch to some more standard tour worthy 32 or 36 spoke wheels . . more $$, more ouch..

I was going to buy a crosscheck but couldnt find any near me, saw the poprad in my size, rode it and fell in love.. cest la vie, no regrets.

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Old 05-28-04, 04:07 PM
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Steve - when you build it out, will it be more suited for the road or the dirt?

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Old 05-29-04, 07:28 AM
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Still road, because thats where I use it 90% of the time, but it will have new low gears for touring and playing in the woods. And I think the stock Bontrager wheels, while cool looking, light and nice overall, will have to be replaced for a tour because their ultimate long distance load carrying capacity is questionable and because Id like a wheel that can be ridden with a broken spoke for a few miles, rather than instantly being stuck and facing the task of repairing it in the middle of wherever I am.

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Old 05-29-04, 08:35 AM
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Chris, you started this thread in March. What did you end up doing?
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Old 05-29-04, 04:46 PM
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I saw this post from Chris in Road Cycling Forum :

"I got the poprad with the triple chainring installed".
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Old 05-31-04, 11:25 AM
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whats a poprad and where can you get it
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Old 05-31-04, 09:31 PM
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A Poprad is Lemond's Cyclocross bike..
metro cycles, NYC . . Go and get one!!
~Steve
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Old 06-01-04, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MrEWorm
Chris, you started this thread in March. What did you end up doing?
I'm surprised this thread lasted as long as it did.

I got the poprad with the triple added on. Out of maybe 5 shops the best deal I found was $1200 for bike with triple and pedals. I love the bike and am glad I got the triple. I also put road tires on. I've never gone uphill, against the wind with so little effort before. It would make a great commuter but I have an old bike I'm using for that right now. For now the poprad only goes out when the weather is nice.
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