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Old 04-15-08, 12:48 PM   #1
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cross-check double, triple, toe overlap?

Well, i'm building a cross-check everything bike. wondering how difficult or commen people use or have used only double crank as opposed to a triple while touring. i have toured before, but now i want the performance of a cross bike that can also be a touring king. Should I buy a double or triple crankset?

I've been size for a 54cm cross-check. wondering if anyone has issues with toe overlap. cranklength is going to be 175mm and the bike will have full wrap fenders. I have big feet too, seze 12. anybody have problem with this.
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Old 04-15-08, 01:11 PM   #2
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Toe overlap is a dealbreaker for me on a touring bike. One of my bikes had it. I thought I would get used to it -- and I have read accounts on this forum of people who quickly acclimatize to toe overlap. It did not happen to me. I like to tour in hilly areas, and getting started on an uphill climb with my toes knocking against the fender felt a little dicey. I never fell as a result of toe overlap, but I did not feel secure either.

My vote would be for the triple, and give yourself a luxury of at least one super-low bail out gear. I have never heard anybody complain that their gearing was too low.
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Old 04-15-08, 03:06 PM   #3
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Maybe I'm dense or out of touch but I was not aware of Cross Check being a generic term for a type of bike, but rather one of Surley's frames. If you are asking about a bike to be used for touring and cycle-cross and you want to pick one crankset to stay with here's my take:

You can choose a triple with the two outer rings set up for racing and an inner bailout ring for touring. You can then probably adjust out the small ring when racing. The only absolute disadvantage I can see is that the chainline for the two outer chainrings will not be as ideal as if you use a double setup. It's possible the triple derailleurs will not shift as crisply as would comparable doubles, but I can't say for sure.

If you choose a double you will give up quite a bit in low gear range. I'm not a cycle cross expert but some quick research indicates you probably would not have lower than a 36 tooth chainwheel. Pairing that with a 32 tooth or 34 tooth largest rear cog would yield a 28 to 30 inch gear. It depends on your fitness, terrain and load whether that is low enough. I know lots of people think you have to have in the low 20's but that's not necessarily so. There were some times when I wished for one lower gear on my 5000 mile tour, but for the most part a 38/28 low gear served me fine with 32lbs of gear total. I was in good shape to start and the first several days across Michigan and Ontario allowed me to get in even better shape. I also used the same setup and a spare corncob freewheel to do some criteriums during another tour.
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Old 04-15-08, 03:47 PM   #4
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I have a size 54 Cross check with fenders and 175 crank and toe overlap is bad (foot size 10.5). I forget how much overlap there was without fenders.
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Old 04-15-08, 04:13 PM   #5
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I'm using a 52 Cross Check, with mostly stock components.

I dislike triples but I think it's the way to go with a touring bike; the lower the better, unless you plan to tour Belgium and Holland exclusively. The "complete" Cross Check has a crank that can be set up as a standard double, compact double or a triple; to go triple you need a different BB and FD.

I have normal feet (9.5) and only get a bit of toe overlap when using fenders.

In case you aren't working with your LBS on this, just keep in mind that you will need a smaller frame with a Cross Check than with a standard road bike, due to the higher BB.
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Old 04-15-08, 08:45 PM   #6
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I'm on a 56 cm Xcheck, with size 9 feet, but size 10.5 shoes (warmth of extra socks!). With fenders toe overlap is terrible. I put my PB fender through the fork twice this winter. As soon as spring made an appearance I took them off. No fenders, no toe overlap.

I don't get used to toe overlap, but I do deal with it because I love the geometry so much otherwise.
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Old 04-16-08, 01:15 AM   #7
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They came out with a solution for the toe overlap on smaller size Cross Checks a few years ago.

It's called a Long Haul Trucker - i read about it here in touring forum once or twice.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:29 AM   #8
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Have a 58 cm CrossCheck set up as a 1x9, also have size 50 bike shoes- have plenty of toe overlap
but have gotten use to it.
Just recently took delivery of a Trek 520, didn't need the high gears so I asked the bike shop to remove
the outer 50 t chain ring, replace the inner with a 28 and swap the cassette for an 11-34. So I have 28 and 39 t chain rings. This 2x9 set up gives me a range of 22-97. So far only a couple of hundred km on it, the 2x9 set up has worked well- however no loaded tours yet. No toe over lap with the 520.
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Old 10-01-08, 12:33 PM   #9
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I have a 54cm Cross Check, wear size 10 shoes, and do have toe overlap with fenders on. I got used to it though; it only happens during extreme turns at low speed, so I've learned how to avoid it and it just never happens anymore. I haven't done any loaded touring, but I put a 12-34 cassette on with the stock 36/48 chainrings. It gives me a lot of range without a triple. I just did Cycle Oregon on it and loved it.
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