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Surly CrossCheck a good everything bike?(14 posts)

Surly CrossCheck a good everything bike?me man
Apr 5, 2003 10:30 PM
See I wanna get a road bike that I can put down a-lot of miles on, and maybe do some races, tour, commute,fixed gear and singlespeed. The Cross check would be a perfect bike for all this right? I mean, it looks all perfect, but will it really preform like a dedicated road bike? Is cyclocross geometry different or anything? Someone convince me to buy one through the Scheels sports store I work at.

Never ridden a Cross-Check, but must have one for sureJan Gerrit Klok
Apr 6, 2003 12:04 AM
The 60cm Cross-Check is almost identical to my custom Duratec CX racer, at least, the dimensions that are relevant to performance. On my Duratec, I felt more confident than on my Giant TCR. The TCR had a longer stem/shorter toptube. I refuse to ride the Giant again, something was wrong with it, making me super-slow and making it hard to even finish in the pack of an entry-level crit.
My 60cm Surly Pacer (just built up) has 32mm tire clearance, even with short-reach road calipers. I ride it singlespeed with an old derailer (soon a Singleator). With some luck and gear adjustment you may get it to work with fixed gear, but not the way you meant of course.

I think the Cross-Check will probably be one of the best bikes overall, for the intended versatile use. It is my experience that the typically longer chainstays on a CX bike don't hamper road performance, and sometimes even improve handling. Once in a crit I ended up right behind a bike pile-up in the pack, and diving into the grass by the road the bike felt really stable. On my TCR I would have taken a dive, the Duratec kept me going straight and I could go back to the road easily.
Cool thing on the Cross-Check, IMO, is that it accepts such big tires. I have a Cross-Check fork in a suspension corrected 26" wheeled mountain, and put a cross wheel with 29" WTB Motoraptor in it. It fits. Great versatility therefor, you can arm yourself to whatever may come across your path on an epic ride, and deal with it. I believe the rear accepts like 45mm as well, enough for an almost mt. bike like ride.

Next winter I'll have to have a Cross-Check as well, would be my 3rd Sruly (got a SS Karate Monkey as well, my fav mt bike). The geometry being so close to my racer, it will be a great spare bike, probably better than the flexy alloy Sunn I have now, though it's okay. This Surly will also be run SS, for the super-sloppy courses. I believe there are some places and conditions where a simple drivetrain offers a laptime advantage.

BTW, the Pacer is also scheduled to get some dirt time. I now do crits with it on Tufo 28mm Diamnand Pro tubular clinchers which turn out to be fine for that (!!!). In dry smalltime crosses, I plan to put a 39t up front with a 16 ot 17t freewheel, and christen it offroad as well.

Good luck, keep us posted on your choice.

re: Surly CrossCheck a good everything bike?roadboy
Apr 6, 2003 6:58 AM
I just got done using my crosscheck for 3 weeks worth of spring road riding in Michigan, so as not to get my nice road bike all dirty. The bike works very nice as a road bike, with 23c tires it is quite fast and handles nicely, plus it rides like a caddilac so very smooth. i also use it for cycloross racing and trail riding in general since I dont have a mountain bike anymore. i think it's the perfect all around bike, capable of doing just about everything well. It's to heavy for a stand alone road racer or cyclocross racer, but it's a nice road and cyclocross bike to train on and have fun on. I just love mine and it would take alot for me to get rid of it. You can go wrong with the crosscheck, plus the price is wonderfull.
re: Surly CrossCheck a good everything bike?pdg60
Apr 6, 2003 7:25 PM
Any 'cross bike would make a great "everything" bike IMO.
Commute, off-road, on, touring, road (to an extent)...
Surly has a good rep. and builds great durable bikes, albeit slightly hefty.
Hell, I just bought one (Karate Monkey) and I think this particular Surly model may suit your needs. Plus, you can throw on disc brakes if you want and I believe the stays are going to be shorter (you could check Surly's website) than the Cross Check (i.e. shorter wheelbase). Can be built as SS, fixie, 8/9 spd (135mm), canti's, disc's, drop bars, moustache bars. Sorry, got carried away but I think this bike is shiznit.

Either would suit your needs unless you see yourself getting much more serious about road racing. Nuff said.

Here's my Karate Monkey, sans pedals. Sorry for pic quality or lack thereof.
what the hell?buffalosorrow
Apr 7, 2003 1:56 PM
Does the karate monkey have a bent seat tube? Or are my eyes crooked from the six pack I have consumed?

Otherwise sweet, discs are heavy, but smoothe....
Everyone says the surly has good your best to swap the fork for any road riding, add $150 to the price, the fork is even heavy for cross...

pdg60--are those mtb tires?keeshadog
Apr 8, 2003 11:58 PM
nice bike. but...are those 26" alex rims? i know you can run 700c wheels on the karate monkey, but i've wondered how 26 inch wheels would work with the bike.
pdg60--are those mtb tires?pdg60
Apr 9, 2003 6:33 AM
The rims are 29" Alex TD17's.
Tires are IRC Mythos Slick 700x40.

Thanks for asking.
pdg60--are those mtb tires?keeshadog
Apr 9, 2003 8:01 AM
thanks for the info. i've been thinking of purchasing one of the karate monkey frames. i also have a set of the 26" alex td17 rims that have been sitting around. i have a set of 700c rims i could use if i did buy the km frame but wondered how the 26" rims would function on the km frame.
good question...pdg60
Apr 9, 2003 10:54 AM
that I cannot answer.

However, I see no reason, if you use disc brakes, why you couldn't use 26" wheelset on the KM.
I'm not sure but I think it would certainly change the ride quality to some extent. I would just use the 700c rims. Good excuse to buy nice new hubset, if you need one.

Have not had a chance to ride mine yet but just sitting on the thing gives me the impression this might turn out to be my favorite ride. Fits really nice!! Plus it is just so versatile. I will use mine as a spare pit bike for cross, my main commuter, and all 'round grab it and go bike. I would recommend one, especially at $425 retail for frame/fork.

On the weigth issue, it wasn't an issue with me. I knew I was going singlespeed and figured it would be light enough. Even w/Avid mechanical discs, this bike feels like it may be in the low 20 lb range. Good enough for me. Especially for 4130!! Good luck.

Oh yeah, you gotta love the campstove green too.

Hey 'dog...Nater
Apr 9, 2003 11:54 AM
there was a thread on this very topic recently on the singlespeed board over at The consensus was...

A) Yes, you could run 26" rims on the KM if you use disc brakes. (No brake compatibility problems)

B) Why would you want to? The KM is designed around 29" (700c) rims and has the appropriate geometry and bottom bracket height. Changing to 26" wheels will throw this out of whack and lower your BB to pedal-scraping heights.

C) If you're concerned about gaining tire clearance, like other Surlys, Fatties Fit Fine and I bet the largest 29" mountain bike tire on the market will fit.

That said, if I had a KM (it would have to replace my Cross-Check), I'd set it up with 29" wheels, 700x44mm MutanoRaptors, drop bars, a 2x8 drivetrain, and Avid mechanicals. It would be the ultimate commuter, gravel road and trail bike. I think you'll be disappointed with the KM with 26" wheels.

Just my 2 cents...
Hey 'dog...keeshadog
Apr 9, 2003 7:02 PM

thanks for the info.
i have a set of 26 inch wheels that i havent done anything with and thought i might put them to use. i've actually been playing around building a set of 700c wheels (deore xt discs with mavic t221 rims and alpine III spokes) and need to get a dishing guage so that i can finish them up. had planned on using them on the km frame - when and if i ever buy it - but thought i could make do with the mtb rims for a couple of weeks while i tinkered with the handbuilt rims to get them just right.
i'd always been concerned about geometry issues...
but i should just go ahead, buy the km frame and then get off my a___ and finish the 700c wheels. i've been searching for a do it all bike that i could put a disc up front on. i'd put an internally geared sram spectro s7 with a drum brake in back so i wouldnt have to worry about derailleurs and a rear disc brake. i understand that if you use a rear disc with the km frame, you cant mount a rack on back. a rear rack with panniers is a necessity for me, cause i need it for my commute. my back is killing me lugging 15 pounds of books around in my messenger bag.
Apr 7, 2003 3:07 AM
I rode it with a seatpost rack for the first time this morning. (Aside: Bor Yueh large seatpost rack s*cks - there's no way to tighten the clamp down enough so the rack doesn't swing to the side.) I've also ridden it off-road on some pretty harsh trails, in an uphill TT and in two group training rides (season's only just beginning for me). It's not as stable a commuter as my hybrid, not as nimble or light on the road as my old road bike and it didn't bomb down the trail over exposed roots as well as a mountain bike I rented once but it did all these things well enough not to miss the other bikes. IMO, if you want top performance get something else (but you'd have to get at least three different bikes for commuting/touring, racing and off-road), but for a bike that can do everything I love the Surly.
What the hell?buffalosorrow
Apr 7, 2003 2:01 PM
Just kidding...

Very well said.
A good, all around bike, but has no exceptional qualities and no flaws.
re: Surly CrossCheck a good everything bike?flyweight
Apr 8, 2003 8:38 AM
They're good bikes but not well suited for touring due to the lack of rack mounts. You can use a seatpost mounted rack but these are only good for very light loads. If you plan to do any touring I'd get a Soma Double Cross. Lighter than the Surly, has rack mounts (front and rear), and not much more money.