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  1. #1
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    Clyde on a Cyclocross for Commuting and Fun - recommendations and thoughts?

    Cross-posting this in the Cyclocross, Commuting and Clydesdales forums...

    I'm in the market for a cyclocross type bike to double as a commuter bike for me as well as a paved/dirt/gravel road fun bike. With the occasional ride on smooth single track mountain bike trails. And maybe actually give a cyclocross race a try at some point. I have 2 road bikes, plus 1 squishy 29r and a singlespeed rigid 29r and I don't want to alter one of them to be my long term commuter.

    So, for those who are around 6'7" or so and with 34" or so inseams, and ride a cyclocross (or all road commuter) type bike, what do you ride?

    And [all] what do you think about these when weighed against each other:

    Surly Disc Truck in 63cm or 64cm
    Surly Cross-Check in 62cm
    Trek Crossrip Elite in 61cm
    Kona Jake in 63cm
    Kona Rove in 61cm
    Kona Jake the Snake in 61cm
    Civilian Vive Le Roi in 61cm

    I think that is about it in my general frame size for around, or under, $1500. My next step is to try them (if I can find them in this size) and then do research on which can accept fenders and a rear rack.

    Thanks!
    Ben - Clydesdale - Type II Diabetic - 6'7", ~278lbs in 09/2011 - A1C 9.4%, ~228lbs in 07/2012 - A1C 5.6%, ~240lbs in 05/2013

  2. #2
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    Though I can't really say anything on those models, I can actually state on the longevety of Surlys frames.
    I'm using a Surly 1x1 as commuter since about 10 years, and before it was used as a singlespeed mtb (since '99). This thing is still going strong, and has been hammered. I'm now at 240lbs and have been above 260 for quite some time.

    Cheers
    Dan

    Edit: Will you use the bike with panniers?
    Last edited by huhue; 03-11-2013 at 03:38 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by huhue View Post
    Will you use the bike with panniers?
    I'm not planning on panniers, but I might consider a rear rack to strap a lunch box to, as I ride with a Velo Transit Edge 40 backpack that carries my work stuff (2 laptops, cables, documents, etc), so no room for lunch.
    Ben - Clydesdale - Type II Diabetic - 6'7", ~278lbs in 09/2011 - A1C 9.4%, ~228lbs in 07/2012 - A1C 5.6%, ~240lbs in 05/2013

  4. #4
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    Ooooo... some of those CX guys in that forum can get pretty snobby about what they consider "proper" CX bikes. I hope you get a positive response over there. But back to the question at hand. Boy, you just can't go wrong with a good steel CXer. Best bikes on the planet! I love my Cross Check and don't think I'll ever sell it. Bought it used (and likely abused) and it's solid as the day it was welded. Now, as much of a Surly fan-boy as I am, if I had your budget, I'd look hard at the Made-in-the-USA Gunnar Crosshairs. Also check out Black Mountain Cycles. His Monstercross frame is straight awesome - supposedly like a CC, but better. Taiwanese made for around $600. He's got a MUSA one coming soon at the top end of your budget.
    Surly Cross Check: fat tire roadie
    Surly LHT: Kid hauler
    On One Inbred: SS 26er

  5. #5
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    Whatever brand/model you take, I'd check the everyday value of the frame.

    If you want to use fenders/mudguards and a rack, dump all frames that do not have the appropriate eyelets/space.
    Consider that for commuting, a forgiving frame (i.e. steel) is a plus, even if you pay a small weight penalty.
    This shouldn't be a racer, wider tires are a plus, so the frame should cope with those (fff).
    Make it a little more comfy than your average sporty rig. You should feel fine even when you're tired and have to ride your bike. (sitting a little more upright helps with your traffic awareness).

    Did I say go for steel? Go For Steel!!!

    Put in a dyno hub!!! You can't be bothered to care about charging batteries on a commuter. They will fail in the worst moments amidst heavy traffic.
    Modern Generators like the Shimano sport series (Alfine, LX, XT and so on) are absolutely no problem considering drag. If you have the cash, go for the Son (I didn't so I opted for LX and Alfine units).
    Combine that with a good lamp and rear light (Busch & Müller). I was a long time battery lamp hauler(BLT/Lupine), and can't believe how stupid I was, not using a modern dyno hub!!!

    If you have to go through a lot of shards (glass) or thorns, consider flat proof Tires. Actually I'm split on those, because Schwalbe Marathon Plus feel very energy consuming. This may be personal, but I'll go for thinner puncture protection on the next swap.

    If you go the "Monstercross" route, consider the Surly Ogre! Here's what you'd get (IBC Forum Link)
    A truckload full of versatility.

    Cheers
    Dan

  6. #6
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    Clyde on a Cyclocross for Commuting and Fun - recommendations and thoughts?

    So....I opted to convert my 2006 Trek 2100 ZR road bike to my commuter. It has Kysuriun SL wheels already on it and I put on Bontrager RL All Weather 700x25 Plus tires on them, added SKS Raceblade XL fenders, and will find a rack that I like. I still have another road bike for pure road rides.

    Since it looks like I'm not going to get a cyclocross bike, I've now got my sights set on a fatbike! As my true love is mountain biking, and I love my rigid SS on Ardent 2.4s, and I want to ride in the snow and on the sand.

    Thanks for everyone's help!
    Ben - Clydesdale - Type II Diabetic - 6'7", ~278lbs in 09/2011 - A1C 9.4%, ~228lbs in 07/2012 - A1C 5.6%, ~240lbs in 05/2013

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