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New Cross Check or Older Trek 620 daily riding with rear kid seat.

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New Cross Check or Older Trek 620 daily riding with rear kid seat.

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Old 09-27-16, 09:22 AM
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roaring_blood
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New Cross Check or Older Trek 620 daily riding with rear kid seat.

Hi,
Not sure if this is the right forum, but i'm a little stuck. Three days a week I need to ride with my 3 year old over Portola Hill and through Golden Gate park in San Francisco its really only about 12 miles in total. The other days I ride my Soma Rush track bike.

I had tried out one of these Yuba boda boda bikes based off of reviews and seeing other parents ride them in the park. https://yubabikes.com/cargobikestore/boda-boda-v2 and I hated it, I hated every single pedal stroke and every single second. I didn't expect anything great from a 9 speed budget cargo bike but I was unprepared for just how slow this bike is even unloaded its not just a little slower getting up the hill its significant it takes me 5-10 minutes longer than my track bike on a 3.5 mile bike ride!

I want to buy something lighter and zippier than the Yuba beast. There is a used 1984 Trek 620 for a fair price near me or I could get a clearance Surly Cross Check. The 620 is in good shape, but I am a little worried about 30 year old components, the cross check is all brand new and comes to me tuned up and I really don't have a lot of free time right now to be fixing up a project bike.

Any recommendations? Thoughts? The only thing I liked about the Yuba was having a double kick stand when I loaded the kid on the back and I would want one on what ever bike I get.

Thank you,
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Old 09-27-16, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by roaring_blood View Post
Hi,
Not sure if this is the right forum, but i'm a little stuck. Three days a week I need to ride with my 3 year old over Portola Hill and through Golden Gate park in San Francisco its really only about 12 miles in total. The other days I ride my Soma Rush track bike.

I had tried out one of these Yuba boda boda bikes based off of reviews and seeing other parents ride them in the park. https://yubabikes.com/cargobikestore/boda-boda-v2 and I hated it, I hated every single pedal stroke and every single second. I didn't expect anything great from a 9 speed budget cargo bike but I was unprepared for just how slow this bike is even unloaded its not just a little slower getting up the hill its significant it takes me 5-10 minutes longer than my track bike on a 3.5 mile bike ride!

I want to buy something lighter and zippier than the Yuba beast. There is a used 1984 Trek 620 for a fair price near me or I could get a clearance Surly Cross Check. The 620 is in good shape, but I am a little worried about 30 year old components, the cross check is all brand new and comes to me tuned up and I really don't have a lot of free time right now to be fixing up a project bike.

Any recommendations? Thoughts? The only thing I liked about the Yuba was having a double kick stand when I loaded the kid on the back and I would want one on what ever bike I get.

Thank you,
The Cross Check is a really versatile bike. Go for it. My wife hauls our 2-year old on hers with either a Bellelli child seat or Chariot Trailer. I have a similar bike for the same purpose. Hauling a kid is definitely slower than riding free, but at least we get to ride. I expect average road speeds around 20, 18, and 15mph respectively for riding unloaded, with rear seat, and with the trailer.

Cross Checks are nothing special, but their adaptability makes them special. With decent wheels and tires, they won't hold you back like the Yuba. When it's done with toddler-hauling duty, the Cross Check can be used for touring or fixed gear or whatevering.
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Old 09-27-16, 09:48 AM
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The 620 has changed over the years. At one time it had a massively long set of chainstays, no problems with heel strike if the one you are looking at is one of those.

Mid 80s might be a 6 speed in the back, some might see that as a problem. Would you?

Might teh 620 be friction shifting or indexed? I would want good shifting if I had a child on back.

You were silent on potential for steep hills. Which bike will handle the hills better?

Is the 620 a 27 inch wheel bike or 700c? If 27 inch, I would not get it, as tire selection is not very good.
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Old 09-27-16, 10:10 AM
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The 1984 Trek 620 is indeed a 27 inch wheel bike. It is a six speed. Here are the pages from the 1984 catalogue:





You can put 700c wheels on a 27 inch wheel bike. The difference in radius is only 4mm. There is a good chance the brakes will accommodate that. Alternatively, just get 27 inch tires. They are harder to find but in this day and age, anything can be bought online conveniently. It's not a big deal.

The Trek is a beautiful bike and is in a class higher than the Cross Check. I'd get that unless you really have no time for a project bike. You will want to replace the brake levers with much more comfortable modern ones. The drop out spacing on this bike is 126mm, and will accept modern 130mm road drive trains without modification.
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Old 09-27-16, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The 620 has changed over the years. At one time it had a massively long set of chainstays, no problems with heel strike if the one you are looking at is one of those.

Mid 80s might be a 6 speed in the back, some might see that as a problem. Would you?

Might teh 620 be friction shifting or indexed? I would want good shifting if I had a child on back.

You were silent on potential for steep hills. Which bike will handle the hills better?

Is the 620 a 27 inch wheel bike or 700c? If 27 inch, I would not get it, as tire selection is not very good.


This is friction shifted.
The mail hill I ride on this is Portola in San Francisco my ride is a 7%-12% grade according to hill mapper.
These are 27" tires.
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Old 09-27-16, 10:47 AM
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Thanks to everyone for such fast replies!
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Old 09-27-16, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by roaring_blood View Post
Any recommendations? Thoughts?
I think you should head a short way up the coast to see Mike Varley at Black Mountain Cycles in Point Reyes. Once there, you should buy a monstercross frame or have him build one up how you like.

You could spec it with wheels you want based on the weight you are carrying. You could get the components you want. You would have an incredibly versatile bike that will most likely be more comfortable than the Surly CC.
Its a very fun frame to ride and Mike is a fantastic resource who is local to you.


...this is assuming the $ works out. I suggest it only because him building the bike youbwant would be about what a stock new CC costs. Not sure how much your option is less than typical retail.
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Old 09-27-16, 03:39 PM
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$.02 you aren't riding fast with a 3yr old on the back and if you are the handling will be real dicey on a bike not designed for heavy rear loads. I wouldn't think the CrossCheck would ideal as a CycloCross style bike really wasn't designed to carry a heavy weight high on the rear wheel.

It's been 25 yrs since I had kids on a bike and it was a 21" Schwinn Varsity with upright bars. I'm sure you're young and flexible but it's nice having a low top tube for that application. You might check out a Felt Cafe 24. It's an insanely long bike with lax angles but the frame is stiff and with 19.5" chainstays very tolerant of real axle loads. It's almost a utility bike but handling is good. Move the saddle as far forward as it can go with bar and stem where needed. I could fit 700x42 tires under the fenders.
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Old 09-27-16, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by roaring_blood View Post
This is friction shifted.
The mail hill I ride on this is Portola in San Francisco my ride is a 7%-12% grade according to hill mapper.
These are 27" tires.
I made my previous comments before Yan posted more detail on the bike.

If you can put 700c wheels on the bike, that would make my 27 inch wheel issues go away.

I am not sure which would have lower gearing, the Trek or the Cross Check. But if you put a 130mm 8 speed wheel on it, you could put a cassette on it with lower gearing than offered by that 6 speed cluster. You might need a longer cage derailleur for that, but if you are using friction you don't really need a high end derailleur.

I personally would not feel comfortable shifting down tube friction shifters with a kid on back. But if you feel that is safe, then go for it.

I am assuming the Cross Check is a compact double, but if it has a triple, then that likely wins when figuring out which bike has the lower gears.

I do not know much about the older helicomatic hubs, but I think that was a weak point. Thus, if the rear wheel is still stock on the Trek, you might be looking for a new wheel soon. But I am sure others know more about this hub and cluster than I do.
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Old 09-27-16, 06:15 PM
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Parrot says; Surly's a boat anchor, Surly's a boat anchor, Surly's a boat anchor. If you thought the cargo bike was sluggish wait until you try a Surly.
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Old 09-27-16, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
Parrot says; Surly's a boat anchor, Surly's a boat anchor, Surly's a boat anchor. If you thought the cargo bike was sluggish wait until you try a Surly.
The issue is carrying a child on a bike safely. The Surly CrossCheck could work but if I wanted a dedicated kid carrying bike a high bottom bracket high top tube bike would not be an ideal choice. The CrossCheck is anything but an anchor but the idea of making a cross/road bike to ride your child fast on hilly streets is nutz.
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Old 09-28-16, 08:13 PM
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Again thanks for the replies.
I talked to Mike at Black Mountain and he certainly has a bike I am kind of drooling over, but its way more than a stock cross check or Soma Double Cross disc.

I should also clarify that I am not looking to go balls out blazing speed but a nice moderate pace up the hill faster than granny pedal ing slower than I walk.

I thought it over and the cool guy in me wants the trek but I have to be honest that I don't have the time for a project. My wife even told me to spend more money if thats what it takes just to make sure I don't end up with another project!

To add to the conversation I just tried out 2 additional bikes a Soma Double Cross disc on sale which is just ever so slightly in my price range. And a fairdale weekender I have never heard of fairdale but I was really digging the ride and the gearing felt far more familiar to what I normally ride to any other bike I have tried so far.
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Old 09-29-16, 05:06 AM
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I have 2 vintage Treks and I had a Cross Check. I barely rode the Cross Check because it was a smidge too small and I eventually sold it.
You can't, in my opinion, go wrong with the 620 (assuming it's in decent shape). My 1979 Trek 910 is a bike I'll likely never part with.
You may be able to haggle that price a tad.
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Old 09-29-16, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by roaring_blood View Post
I talked to Mike at Black Mountain and he certainly has a bike I am kind of drooling over, but its way more than a stock cross check or Soma Double Cross disc.
Well hell. Sorry for that! I built mine up for about $1100 and really thought he had a build or two that was a couple hundred more than that, which is then $200-300 more than a new crosscheck.
I just checked his site and was WAY off!



Between the 2, I would go Surly. I have a love for 80s bikes and refurbish them thru the year, but even I accept there would be a good number of limitations with the Trek.
If you wanted to spend time(and money), the Trek could be updated and made to work very well, but you mention you arent looking to do a lot of work after the purchase which is understandable.
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Old 09-29-16, 08:30 AM
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OP, at three years old the kid will be outgrowing that seat soon. Thought about a trailer? And adding 30 pounds + gear will slow you down. Thought about safety?
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Old 09-29-16, 12:27 PM
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True comment on outgrowing the seat soon.

We have a Weehoo and its love by us and our youngest more than the old burley trailer.
Gets the kid out from inside the bubble, is incredibly safe, and there are small panniers for packing.
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