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cross bike as tourer??(6 posts)

cross bike as tourer??Frith
Jun 18, 2003 10:41 AM
I'm considering buying a cyclocross bike for the versatility it offers. For a number of reasons, I'm interested the surly cross-check, not the least of which is price.
My question is how can I expect it to perform specifically as a touring bike. I won't be loaded to the gills but I would like to carry 30 or maybe even 40lbs if need be. Anybody have experience using their cross bike for touring?
Me too!pitt83
Jun 18, 2003 11:19 AM
Does it come with rack eyelets front and rear? Not clear from www.surlybikes.com pictures. I'm considering the Soma now and may go to the cross-check if it does.
this years model has rear brazeons for a rack...Frith
Jun 18, 2003 12:24 PM
not sure about up front...I don't even know how front racks work let alone attach :) A great deal on this bike with ultegra bits if you go to excelsports.com
Me too!flyweight
Jun 20, 2003 6:44 AM
I'd go for the Soma. It's made from a lighter, nicer tubeset than the Surly. Soma was started specifically because Surly's didn't come with rack mounts and also because they went to a cheaper/heavier tubeset instead of sticking with 631. Also the Soma has front and rear rack mounts and fender mounts. The Surly lacks front rack mounts.

I've used my Gunnar to do some light touring and you definitely don't want to pack too much weight onto the rear rack. Front low rider racks are a MUCH better way to go. The problem with any cross bike is that it has a much higher bottom bracket and lighter tubing than a dedicated touring bike. Putting some or all of the weight down low on a front rack can greatly improve the handling.
Me too!Poptart
Jun 23, 2003 3:41 PM
the faq section of the gunnar site says that the bottom bracket height of the crosshairs is LOWER than what is normal for a road bike to improve the bike's stability. if i was a racer, i'm not sure i'd agree with their thinking, but since i'm a commuter, i'm loving it. btw, kudos to gunnar for offering clearcoat and powder coat options this year.

flyweight: do you guys work on commission there at american cyclery? if so, send me an email as i'd like to buy from you for all the good advice you've dispensed here at rbr. i also need some advice on a few components i haven't selected yet.
Yes, but...The Walrus
Jun 18, 2003 12:48 PM
I've done light touring on 'cross bikes--the key word is "light". I did a 170-miler about a month ago, a mix of pavement and fire roads, carrying 30-35 lbs, and it was fine. I wouldn't go any heavier than that, as a rule, because most 'cross bikes will lack the burly top tube that a true touring rig will have, and this can lead to some hair-raising shimmy, especially on downhills. It's kind of a tail-wagging-the-dog sensation, and it's pretty scary. If you must carry more weight than 35 lbs, I'd suggest splitting it between front and rear panniers; even if your fork lacks the fittings for a front rack, Blackburn makes supplemental hardware that will allow you to mount one.

Of course, you could buy/rent/borrow a trailer like a B.O.B. Yak, and carry more stuff than you could ever use on a trip...