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First CX Bike: Narrowed it down to True North and Gunnar(12 posts)

First CX Bike: Narrowed it down to True North and GunnarSJT
Jan 31, 2003 1:33 PM
In the next couple of days I will be deciding between two frames, one made by True North and the other by Gunnar (Crosshairs). Both are stock sized frames with 1" head tubes and both come with their respective maker's forks. The price between the two is so small that it's not important. Both will fit my measurements well and are both made of 853 for the main triangle (725 for seat/chain stays on True North, and True Temper Platinum for seat/chain stays on the Crosshairs).

Other than paint scheme (True North is already painted, I can choose the color of the Gunnar), the two bikes really only differ on small details such as cable routing (under the BB for the Gunnar and top mount for the True North) and rack mounts (Gunnar has tabs on the seat stay, True North does not). The Gunnar is all Tig welded except for the drop outs, the True North is all Tig welded except for the drop outs and seat tube junction.

I'm calling out for both True North/Gunnar cyclocross owners as well as others who have any experience with these frames to offer some advice. I'm really not sure which frame to go with. My ideal bike will be able to handle some light singletrack, but will live most of it's life on the road commuting and around town. It needs to be well behaved both on the road and off-road. Weigh is not an big issue, what is more important is the quality of the ride. Either frame will be built with medium quality components that should hold up well to my intended use. At this point I've stopped looking at other frames, so limit your advice to these two please. I did want to go custom, but with my measurements it is unnecessary and these two frames fit my budget much better. Thanks in advance.
re: First CX Bike: Narrowed it down to True North and Gunnarmsmootsiemartin
Jan 31, 2003 6:23 PM
I know that you have it narrowed down to Gunnar and True North. But, just curious, other than not having a stock frame, is there a reason why you decided against Curtlo? I am considering having him build a bike for me, haven't made a final decision, and unfortunately most stock frames don't fit me. Thanks and BTW, enjoy your new frame!
re: First CX Bike: Narrowed it down to True North and GunnarSJT
Feb 1, 2003 5:55 AM
Well Doug from Curtlo and I are still communicating through email. I like the idea of the curved seat stay option he has, but in the end his frame would be more expensive than the two frames I narrowed it down to and for that price he only includes a Ritchey fork, not custom. So because I don't need a custom frame (I'm an average build) I'd rather not wait 8 weeks or so to get a frame if I do not need to. I'm sure I would be extremely pleased with a Curtlo and would recommend anyone interested in a custom frame to email him immediately before he starts getting real busy. I think the Gunnar and True North options are the best for me. I'm sure I'll enjoy either one just the same, thanks.
Really confused...*ANY* advice is well appreciated...SJT
Feb 1, 2003 8:02 AM
I remembered one more difference between the two bikes. The True North frame is 1cm shorter on the top tube compared to the Gunnar frame. So this means I would need to run a 13-14cm long stem with the True North frame and about a 12cm with the Gunnar frame. I'm not sure if I should be worried about that difference or not? The Gunnar might have a slightly lower BB compared to the True North frame. Also, both frames are brand new, never been built-up with full warranty. Any informatio that could help me make my decision would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone. Looking forward to my first CX bike and my first bike build from the ground up.
Really confused...*ANY* advice is well appreciated...Dan Cas
Feb 1, 2003 3:08 PM
What size Gunnar are you looking at?I've had 3 and if you are considering a 58 or larger may have some useful info for you.

Really confused...*ANY* advice is well appreciated...SJT
Feb 1, 2003 3:17 PM
I'm looking at a 56cm frame. How come you've had 3 frames?
Really confused...*ANY* advice is well appreciated...Dan Cas
Feb 1, 2003 6:09 PM
The first was a 58.I followed the common advice to go down 1 size and it was wrong for me in the terrain I ride in.This frame had a major fork chatter problem under heavy braking.Waterford sent me a heavier fork ( the legs were increased from 1.0mm to 1.2mm).The problem was no better,only different.To Waterfords credit,they redesigned the frame by increasing the top tube from from 1 1/8 to 1 1/4.With the thinner 1.0mm fork the chatter was much better. This second frame,which they gave me free of charge, was a 60cm.Unfortunately,I bent the fork on a ditch crossing (My fault entirely).

While trying to decide what to do,a Litespeed Appalachian fell into my lap cheap so I sold the 60cm Gunnar frame.In the fall of 01,Waterford reredesigned the frame to have a 1 1/8 headtube and shortened the fork to a axle-crown height of 383(from 398).This further stiffened the front end and reduced the leveredge the fork had on the front end.I didn't like the Litespeed so I sold it and bought another Gunnar 60.
So,I don;t know if they had chatter problems at 56 and below,but I would recommend you get the current spec 1 1/8 headtube.My newest project will be a disc brake cross frame.

To Waterfords credit I must say they took care of me in a first class way and I can recommend them highly.
Keep us informed on your disc cross project...peter in NVA
Feb 2, 2003 4:23 PM
I for one am very interested. I was getting to a get a custom cx but am stalled.
1. Called Seven, but they thought Woundup would not come out with a disc fork because of stiffness issues.
2. Most steel cx disc forks out there look pretty heavy - close to 2 lbs.
3. Vanilla cycles has posted what would be my dream cross - discs with of all things, stainless steel chainstays (heavy?).
4. I was interested in the Litespeed Applacian the one year they had discs. I assume yours had canti's-... but what didn't you like about it?

I spent an hour getting the mud off my bike today and I'm sure it weighed 35 lbs, I could barely lift it. It looked like it had little trees growing out of the brakes.
Keep us informed on your disc cross project...Dan Cas
Feb 2, 2003 7:46 PM
I had an 01 Ap.It had the dropout from the disc adaptable mtb's and I thought it would take discs.However,it did not have the chainstay clearance for the rotor.What I didn't like was it was fairly soft in the BB yet somewhat harsh thru the saddle.I found the Gunnars to be stiffer under load yet more comfy over harsh terrain.The wheels and components were changed from one to the other so no differences there.For the record,the Ap had occasional fork chatter with its steel unicrown fork.

I had hoped to get a Calfee cross bike that is about to go into production but we bought 2 cars in January so I have scaled back this project to a used Mongoose Ti cross frame.These were made by Ti Sports (the old Sandvic people).I have one of their mtb frames and it is superb.I believe they are some of the best values out there.Anyway,those frames had disc tabs on them.

I've called Reynolds,True Temper, and Wound Up and a carbon disc fork is a long way off,if ever.Reynolds says they will have a canti fork by fall.So,it looks like a steel fork is the only choice for now.I'm an old geezer and racing is a very small concern to me,but great brakes are.I use a cross bike as an adventure bike in bad weather and for light mtb'ing and I think they will be worth the weight.

Thanks for the info...peter in NVA
Feb 3, 2003 12:44 PM
I use my bike in exactly the same way. Virginia mud just grinds down my rims. For me, the key to getting away with using a cx as a mtbike is to have superb brake control. When its dry, the cantis are fine...but when wet, I'm struggling.
there are some more economical custom optionsAsh
Feb 2, 2003 6:19 PM
I got an Alan Wanta FULL custom CX frame recently. his prices are around $495 for Zona Frame and a Fork, and $595 for Foco frame and a Fork. most other's prices do not include the fork.

Also there is out of canada. Exchange rate makes for a $500 frame I think. Also Teesdale will do a custom around $600 I think.

I speced everything from top tube length to getting a surly track end with a rear der hanger.

Also there is Steve Stickel who posts at a lot Not sure, but I figure he might start with a base price of around 5 orf 6 bills.

So if you feel that you can fit a stock frame and are happy with all it's options go for it, but don't think that you can't find a custom option for the same price range.

there are some more economical custom optionsSJT
Feb 3, 2003 5:32 AM
Thanks for the help, but I've narrowed it down to Gunnar and True North. There are a lot of good companies out there, some may be cheaper, but for a variety of reasons I'm only interested in Gunnar and True North right now. I appreciate your help and the email you sent me, you have one sharp looking bike. Thanks.