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Surly Cross Check or Salsa Journeyman??!!?!

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Surly Cross Check or Salsa Journeyman??!!?!

Old 09-30-19, 03:02 PM
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Liquidspacehead
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Surly Cross Check or Salsa Journeyman??!!?!

So i am soon to invest in a new bike. I want a good commuter, gravel and touring bike. Touring is the least of the three things I am looking for but I currently ride a salsa casseroll and love the comfort and freedom. I just want something a little more tough that I can take bike packing but also wont slow me down a lot on my daily ride. So all the research and time I've invested I think I have it down to two bikes. The surly cross check or the salsa journeyman 650b. I must also say I would be purchasing the journeyman in claris and flatbar. I will be upgrading to drop bars with integrated shifters eventually but to save money I will be settling for flatbar. So out of anyones expertise, which would be the best for the sub 1k buck?!

5'11" male 197lbs and my daily commute is 6 miles total with 600ft total incline
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Old 10-02-19, 02:04 PM
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Crosscheck versus Journeyman

Originally Posted by Liquidspacehead View Post
So i am soon to invest in a new bike. I want a good commuter, gravel and touring bike. Touring is the least of the three things I am looking for but I currently ride a salsa casseroll and love the comfort and freedom. I just want something a little more tough that I can take bike packing but also wont slow me down a lot on my daily ride. So all the research and time I've invested I think I have it down to two bikes. The surly cross check or the salsa journeyman 650b. I must also say I would be purchasing the journeyman in claris and flatbar. I will be upgrading to drop bars with integrated shifters eventually but to save money I will be settling for flatbar. So out of anyones expertise, which would be the best for the sub 1k buck?!


5'11" male 197lbs and my daily commute is 6 miles total with 600ft total incline

To me, the Crosscheck would just be a newer version of what you already own, albeit with a tad bit more cross-race inspired geometry, and more braze ons. As a card carrying member of N+1 club where N=many....I totally subscribe to buying another bike "just because."


We have a dropbar crosscheck in the stable that started off as my spouse's general road bike, but has morphed over to primarily tours (we only do very lightly packed touring, though the bike is certainly capable of more). Nice bike, like it a lot, just not sure that it is substantially different that what you've already got. When I look at the flatbar version (i'm making that assumption because you say sub $1,000, and their drop bar is above that), I like sram's flatbar shifting, but see that as equipped, you'd be swapping out most of the drive train to make it work as a drop bar, unless you go with bar end shifters as they use in their drop bar build. If you're leaning that direction, I'd either buy a frame to build up to have traditional brifters, or save up to the drop bar version off the bat if you don't think you'd mind bar-end shipfting.


Haven't ridden the Journeyman, though a member of our standing group ride does. He primarily commutes on it, likes it a ton. That said, the claris drop bar shifter, drop bar, and tape is likely going to be as much as the price difference, which is already under $1,000 for the drop bar version as is. You get a ton more braze ons though than you do with the crosscheck, which is both very cool, and useful if you entertain the idea of touring/backpacking.


While I own perhaps the stiffest aluminum frame ever designed (80's vintage C'dale ST series), converting it from 27" to 700c let it get a little more rubber under it, and with the cromo fork, it is a very tolerable long distance tour bike. It is not however, as comfortable as my "modern" AC Spacehorse that takes much larger tires, with a very compliant frame. In between those two extremes I have an aluminum frame Diverge....as it was originally equipped, it would meet your sub $1,000 price point, it was Sora equipped, and quite functional just as it sat. It is certainly between the two stated extremes in comfort, even now. I love it to pieces, even though its carbon sister (Roubaix) is more comfortable. There's a place for the aluminum frame to me, and the huge amount of tire cush on the Journeyman should accomplish what I can't quite pull off on my Diverge, at least not without going to a Redshift shockstop stem.
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Old 10-02-19, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Craptacular8 View Post
To me, the Crosscheck would just be a newer version of what you already own, albeit with a tad bit more cross-race inspired geometry, and more braze ons. As a card carrying member of N+1 club where N=many....I totally subscribe to buying another bike "just because."


We have a dropbar crosscheck in the stable that started off as my spouse's general road bike, but has morphed over to primarily tours (we only do very lightly packed touring, though the bike is certainly capable of more). Nice bike, like it a lot, just not sure that it is substantially different that what you've already got. When I look at the flatbar version (i'm making that assumption because you say sub $1,000, and their drop bar is above that), I like sram's flatbar shifting, but see that as equipped, you'd be swapping out most of the drive train to make it work as a drop bar, unless you go with bar end shifters as they use in their drop bar build. If you're leaning that direction, I'd either buy a frame to build up to have traditional brifters, or save up to the drop bar version off the bat if you don't think you'd mind bar-end shipfting.


Haven't ridden the Journeyman, though a member of our standing group ride does. He primarily commutes on it, likes it a ton. That said, the claris drop bar shifter, drop bar, and tape is likely going to be as much as the price difference, which is already under $1,000 for the drop bar version as is. You get a ton more braze ons though than you do with the crosscheck, which is both very cool, and useful if you entertain the idea of touring/backpacking.


While I own perhaps the stiffest aluminum frame ever designed (80's vintage C'dale ST series), converting it from 27" to 700c let it get a little more rubber under it, and with the cromo fork, it is a very tolerable long distance tour bike. It is not however, as comfortable as my "modern" AC Spacehorse that takes much larger tires, with a very compliant frame. In between those two extremes I have an aluminum frame Diverge....as it was originally equipped, it would meet your sub $1,000 price point, it was Sora equipped, and quite functional just as it sat. It is certainly between the two stated extremes in comfort, even now. I love it to pieces, even though its carbon sister (Roubaix) is more comfortable. There's a place for the aluminum frame to me, and the huge amount of tire cush on the Journeyman should accomplish what I can't quite pull off on my Diverge, at least not without going to a Redshift shockstop stem.
Thank you so much! So what your saying is, if I do get the cross check in flat bars, the only reasonable way to convert to drop bars is bar end shifters? I'm good with that if rhay is the case but I just love something about surly. I'm going to deff ride both of them asap
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Old 10-02-19, 03:36 PM
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I am also very okay with getting a newer version of what I have. I mostly just want the new. I want things I can how old and worn they are and what I did wrong etc. My wife to be also loves my casseroll and it is a smaller frame for me (its 53cm and I'm 5'11") so I want to upgrade asap for both of us!
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Old 10-02-19, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Liquidspacehead View Post
I am also very okay with getting a newer version of what I have. I mostly just want the new. I want things I can how old and worn they are and what I did wrong etc. My wife to be also loves my casseroll and it is a smaller frame for me (its 53cm and I'm 5'11") so I want to upgrade asap for both of us!
Whilst you want to get the ride characteristics that you value, do any of these choices also come in a colour that you much prefer?
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Old 10-02-19, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Whilst you want to get the ride characteristics that you value, do any of these choices also come in a colour that you much prefer?
Color is secondary. Although surly(who I'm leaning toward currently) does offer. Much better variety. I guess my final conclude us if I CAN put drop bars on a surly flat bar later, ag the expense of bar end shifters. I'm sold
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Old 10-02-19, 11:20 PM
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I have a friend who has a Journeyman 650b dropbar. He likes the bike but will swapping in 700c wheels. He feels it will roll better for him. Nice bike.
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Old 10-03-19, 08:27 AM
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Flatbar conversion

Originally Posted by Liquidspacehead View Post
Thank you so much! So what your saying is, if I do get the cross check in flat bars, the only reasonable way to convert to drop bars is bar end shifters? I'm good with that if rhay is the case but I just love something about surly. I'm going to deff ride both of them asap
Going with bar end isn't the only option, though it might be the easiest. You'd only need to purchase the bar end (only one, as it is a 1x10 setup), and the drop bar brake levers that will work with v-brakes. I see Surly went with Tecktro RL520's. It has to be a brake lever that will pull all the cable that V-brakes require, which is more than caliper or cantilever brakes would use.

The rear derailleur on the flat bar is a Sram x5, which uses Sram's exact actauation cable pull, making it compatible with any of their road sti's that also are exact actuation, so that part is good. The downside with the STI's is you would have to do a brake swap, probably to cantilever's, as that would still allow you to keep a big tire on there. Even good caliper brakes aren't expensive, though they can be fiddly to get set up initially.
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Old 10-03-19, 04:44 PM
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I think you should buy the one that is easier to buy
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Old 10-03-19, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I think you should buy the one that is easier to buy
Honestly some of the best advice I've gotten! I want what is toughest and best for smooth long rides and decent short commutes. I dont mind .aking after market upgrades to meet the higher standards haha. Idk why I want a surly but the salsa seems to be best for the buck. Although it's the same company!
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Old 10-04-19, 11:34 AM
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my take is journeyman!

i have a drop bar 650b journeyman I bought it last august. I swapped the tires to Byways. I run fenders and a rack.. It has been a great bike.


Journeyman when I brought it home!
Originally Posted by Liquidspacehead View Post
So i am soon to invest in a new bike. I want a good commuter, gravel and touring bike. Touring is the least of the three things I am looking for but I currently ride a salsa casseroll and love the comfort and freedom. I just want something a little more tough that I can take bike packing but also wont slow me down a lot on my daily ride. So all the research and time I've invested I think I have it down to two bikes. The surly cross check or the salsa journeyman 650b. I must also say I would be purchasing the journeyman in claris and flatbar. I will be upgrading to drop bars with integrated shifters eventually but to save money I will be settling for flatbar. So out of anyones expertise, which would be the best for the sub 1k buck?!

5'11" male 197lbs and my daily commute is 6 miles total with 600ft total incline
i have a drop bar 650b journeyman I bought it last august. I swapped the tires to Byways. I run fenders and a rack.. It has been a great bike.
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Old 10-04-19, 12:47 PM
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FWIW, @Liquidspacehead, think twice about the flat-bar Salsa Journeyman if you plan to convert it to drops later. I believe the reach on the flat-bar frames is (properly) adjusted to suit flat bars: e.g. for rider height 173-183cms Salsa suggests drop bar 54: 373 reach; flat bar Medium: 431 reach.

I'm pretty sure Surly doesn't do this with the Cross Check; one set of frame sizes.
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Old 10-05-19, 08:11 AM
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Well everyone, my next question is should I continue down this path to find the one bike to rule them all? Or should I build my own bike from a long haul trucker frame (the TRUE bike I wanted)? I saw online the framing difference for the LHT and cross check were $15... I am starting to warm up to the build idea bc itll give me time to do it right and do it myself
Thoughts?
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Old 10-15-19, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I think you should buy the one that is easier to buy
Honestly after hours and days of thinking I was going to build this amazing bike... I think this advice is best. A complete journeyman is most likely my best choice although, having done some research to save the 150 on the journeyman to get flat bar would not be worth it because for the better I should not change that set up with the frames geometry. The crosscheck however uses the same frame and would be much easier to convert so I can have it all with salsa for the same price as the flatbar cross check but I am leaning the way of the journeyman!
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Old 10-16-19, 04:30 AM
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You are buying both the Journeyman and the LHT? Help me officially build my Surly Long Haul Trucker!!
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Old 10-17-19, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
You are buying both the Journeyman and the LHT? Help me officially build my Surly Long Haul Trucker!!
Na just a lot of back and forth thinking and debating over it
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