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Suggestions for stock build like Surly Straggler, only lighter?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Suggestions for stock build like Surly Straggler, only lighter?

Old 12-30-14, 05:08 AM
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Suggestions for stock build like Surly Straggler, only lighter?

I own a Crosscheck built as a single speed that I use for my daily/lock up bike.

It's time to get a geared bike I can use on longer rides. My first instinct is to get a Straggler, but on second thought I'd like something with slightly less overlap with my Crosscheck. My budget is up to $3k, so I can afford a bit more than the Straggler. Niceties would be a lighter frame. I want to stick with steel. Rides are daily commutes and weekend 50-75mi choppy pavement and dirt roads.

Any suggestions?
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Old 12-30-14, 09:13 AM
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These look pretty nice:
Mr Pink | All-City Cycles

I think the complete bike is ~$1900. You could always buy the frameset and build it up youself with nicer wheels.

Or one of these:
Gunnar Cycles USA, CrossHairs for Gravel or ?Cross Riding
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Old 12-30-14, 09:18 AM
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I'd be sorely tempted to get the gunnar cross given that the OP wants a versatile steel bike and the $3k budget. You can build a sweet bike on that platform.
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Old 12-30-14, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner
These look pretty nice:
Mr Pink | All-City Cycles

I think the complete bike is ~$1900. You could always buy the frameset and build it up youself with nicer wheels.

Or one of these:
Gunnar Cycles USA, CrossHairs for Gravel or ?Cross Riding
The All City looks nice. Somehow I'd forgotten about that. Do you think there are any issues with the PF30 bottom bracket? Does it require more maintenance?
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Old 12-30-14, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MoonJW
The All City looks nice. Somehow I'd forgotten about that. Do you think there are any issues with the PF30 bottom bracket? Does it require more maintenance?
I have a BB30 setup on my roadbike, and IMO it does not seal as well as an English BB. I've replaced the bearings twice in 5 years. They start spinning rough, likely due to contamination. I would imagine the PF30 to be similar.

But, the PF30/BB30 platform is stiffer and lighter. I prefer an English bottom bracket due to the better seals, however if I needed a new road bike tomorrow, I'd get the Mr. Pink. It has a pretty nice build kit for the price, and would be much more versatile/comfortable than a similarly priced allow or carbon road bike. Replacing the bearings every now and then really isn't a big deal.

Last edited by DirtRoadRunner; 12-30-14 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 12-30-14, 02:47 PM
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Don't worry much about a lighter frame. Get one that fits you well and has the brazeons for what you need. Then spend the rest of the cash on a nice set of wheels, where you will see the most difference.

Given your terrain, I would not get a cross bike, personally. Any CX/gravel bike will have a lot of overlap with your CC anyway. Something like an "Endurance" road bike seems like it would be a better fit. Like a Black Mountain Cycles road bike or Gunnar Sport, which both can fit 32+ tires. No need for any fatter tires on choppy pavement and dirt roads.

EDIT: Also, this seems like a great deal, if you fit on either of the sizes:

https://www.rawlandcycles.com/store/...intItemID=3960
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Old 12-30-14, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 2:01
Given your terrain, I would not get a cross bike, personally. Any CX/gravel bike will have a lot of overlap with your CC anyway. Something like an "Endurance" road bike seems like it would be a better
Many thanks for the suggestions. You're right — I should lean toward a road bike rather than a classic CX bike. Compared to a CX race bike I definitely want a slightly more slack and higher head tube, brifters, lower BB drop, the ability to fit 700x32c tires, and, likely, disc brakes. And in this process, if I can chop off a little weight off the frame in addition to the wheels and components, all the better.

I just want something noticeably faster overall than the Crosscheck so that I feel that the limitation of keeping up with a fast-ish group ride has more to do with my own engine rather than the limitations of the bike. If such a plateau exists, I want to make sure the plateau from the new bike (only my 3rd bike purchase in 25 years!) is well above me to allow lots of room for improvement.
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Old 12-30-14, 05:00 PM
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Since you are leaning toward an endurance road bike, might I suggest the Jamis Quest? When I bought mine in 2011, they had one model, now they have expanded to three.

QUEST
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Old 12-30-14, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MoonJW
Many thanks for the suggestions. You're right — I should lean toward a road bike rather than a classic CX bike. Compared to a CX race bike I definitely want a slightly more slack and higher head tube, brifters, lower BB drop, the ability to fit 700x32c tires, and, likely, disc brakes. And in this process, if I can chop off a little weight off the frame in addition to the wheels and components, all the better.

I just want something noticeably faster overall than the Crosscheck so that I feel that the limitation of keeping up with a fast-ish group ride has more to do with my own engine rather than the limitations of the bike. If such a plateau exists, I want to make sure the plateau from the new bike (only my 3rd bike purchase in 25 years!) is well above me to allow lots of room for improvement.
Discs definitely add weight - both in the frame and in the wheels. IMO, I wouldn't get a disc bike unless you plan frequent rides in the rain or the mud.

I also second getting more of an endurance road bike, based on your responses. Or, even just a normal sport-type road bike and riding 25 mm tires instead. You can probably get a steel endurance road bike down into the ~19 lb range at your budget, or you could also get a carbon road bike at the same price point and be in the ~16-17 lb range (something like this: Synapse Carbon Ultegra - SYNAPSE CARBON - ENDURANCE ROAD - ROAD - BIKES - 2015). It just depends on the type of riding you are doing most - if you pavement isn't THAT bad, a real road bike on 25's is the way to go for speeds and social/group rides. If you plan to actually ride a fair amount of gravel, definitely get something heavier that can fit fatter tires.
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Old 12-30-14, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner
Discs definitely add weight - both in the frame and in the wheels. IMO, I wouldn't get a disc bike unless you plan frequent rides in the rain or the mud.
I commute by bike frequently. Getting caught in downpours and navigating city traffic in New York with panniers is treacherous, even without steep hills. I want all the stopping power I can get. Some people snub disc brakes but to me it's a safety advancement. Anything that will potentially prolong my life and make my cycling experience more enjoyable is worth the cost. Count me in.

As for 25mm tires, I agree for group rides they are great. But in dirt, I wouldn't do it unless to prove a point--and, yeah, that gets old real fast. I don't live in a world that has a perfect landscape and I want to get out there and get messy and not feel that I have to pushyfoot because of my tires.
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Old 12-31-14, 01:43 PM
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OP in NYC has Bike Shops ..


high end super light steel? .. how about a custom Frame .

put all the $ into it and fit adequate stuff and Upgrade as the Bonuses roll in.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-31-14 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 12-31-14, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MoonJW
I Rides are daily commutes and weekend 50-75mi choppy pavement and dirt roads.

Any suggestions?
Pretty much exactly what I use this for.

Save Up to 60% Off Titanium Cyclocross Bicycles | Road Bikes - Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Titanium | Cross Bikes

Last years model though.
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Old 12-31-14, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MoonJW
Many thanks for the suggestions. You're right — I should lean toward a road bike rather than a classic CX bike. Compared to a CX race bike I definitely want a slightly more slack and higher head tube, brifters, lower BB drop, the ability to fit 700x32c tires, and, likely, disc brakes. And in this process, if I can chop off a little weight off the frame in addition to the wheels and components, all the better.

I just want something noticeably faster overall than the Crosscheck so that I feel that the limitation of keeping up with a fast-ish group ride has more to do with my own engine rather than the limitations of the bike. If such a plateau exists, I want to make sure the plateau from the new bike (only my 3rd bike purchase in 25 years!) is well above me to allow lots of room for improvement.
If you want discs, that narrows down the choices a bit. Sounds like a racier bike would suit you better and differentiate it enough from the CC to keep things interesting.

Perhaps something like a Trek Domane, Giant Defy, Felt Z75 etc. may be the ticket for you. Or more on the light-touring/steel side, a Raleigh Clubman Disc, or perhaps Salsa Vaya.

But I think you're on the right track going with a road bike (with bigger tire clearance).

Last edited by 2:01; 12-31-14 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 12-31-14, 03:39 PM
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Soma Double Cross, All City Macho King Disc, and Jamis Quest Elite (more of a road bike than the others) all come to mind.
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Old 01-01-15, 06:34 PM
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Your Shopping Cart | Wraith Fabrication

With a 3k budget..I'd get the above + h+son (tb14)/105 wheel set. Whatever groupo you like. Should be under 3k.

Also..I'd consider Soma Double Cross with a nice carbon/cyclocross fork. Should be under $800 for frame + fork..same wheelset as above and whatever groupo you like.

In case the link doesnt work its a Wraith Fabrication 'Paycheck'

Last edited by edsall78; 01-01-15 at 06:39 PM.
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