Cross-Check; one bike to rule them all?
I'm giving away my much beloved (though slightly small) '86 Bianchi, and need to replace it with a new bike for the road. I need one bike that will do it all: commuting, cruises, the occasional century, all while being fun and moderately fast to ride. My only stipulations are the ability to run fenders, and the bike doesn't ride like a boat when unburdened. Due to budget concerns I'd like to buy complete.
From what I see, the Cross-Check fits the bill as one bike that can do basically anything. Keep in mind, this is strictly for the road, if I'm going in the dirt I'm on the MTB.
Thoughts? Originally I was just going to get a vintage steel frame, but I think I'd actually like a bike with all new parts. I'm shooting for $1,100ish price wise to keep it reasonable.
Well, unless you buy a frame and keep all your old parts for a swap, it will be difficult to find what you are looking for; the SS Crosscheck goes for a hair over $900 at retail, and the geared version $1200ish.
I do like my Cross Check quite a bit, and while it is not as fast as some bikes, it is very stable.
Yeah, it's not a hard and unbendable price. The ones I find are priced 1150 new. The question is basically, if there's a better bike around that price will do what I need a road bike to do.
If you don't mind a triple crank the Redline Metro Sport or Metro Classic would be worth a look. They are re-brandings of the Conquest Sport and Conquest Classic with disk brakes and the Sport is only $850, the Classic is around $1150 but gets you a steel frame and Shimano Tiagra.
2009 Redline Conquest Pro, 2008 Trek Fuel Ex8
2007 Kona Cinder Cone utility bike
Yes I spent too much on bikes.
If I had to live with just one of my bikes It would be my Cross-Check. It's strong enough to ride on the trails and fast enough to ride on the roads and has all the bosses you need for fenders, bottles & racks. It's been in a cyclocross race and a century. I'm sure there are plenty of other equivalent choices but my experience is with this one.
I love my CC, but you should also look at Kona and Jamis.
Thanks guys. I notice most of the bikes you mentioned use avid mechanical discs, how do those compare to the cantis on the CC or a good quality v-brake?
V-brakes are better than canti's, and under the best conditions (dry, clean, warm day) can do just as good as mech discs. Discs have two main advantages over V's and canti's and centerpulls, and that is 1) They still work effectively in wet/mud/sand/slime, without gunking up. 2) Discs don't degrade the structural integrity of the rim. That's not a big deal if you don't race and such, but any kind of rim brake will eventually force you to buy new rims as the braking surface degrades (the more you ride the faster it'll happen). On the other hand, right now V's, mini V's, and canti's are all lighter than discs. Cost wise they are about on equal terms since BB-7's are @ $60 a set, and good mini-v's are at least that much.
FWIW, I buy brakes and such by the performance in the worst conditions my bike will ever encounter, instead of the conditions I'll normally ride in. Yes it costs me more money, but it also allows me to know with the same faith I have in the Almighty that when the unexpected happens my bike can handle it, the only question remaining will be, can I?
The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.
I went for discs on my latest bike for a different reason: they don't wobble under braking when the wheel is slightly out of true, like rim brakes do.
I've had my Cross-Check built up many different ways over the years I've owned the frame. It has been:
- standard geared cyclocross bike
- road bike
- single speed commuter
- fixed gear mtb (29x1.8" Bontrager Jones XR knobbies fit fine)
- polo bike
- touring/offroad-touring bike
- gravel grinder
Currently it's locked up downstairs in the parking garage at work after being ridden to work today. It's got flat bars, v-brakes, single speed drivetrain, and 700x32c tires and I've been using it for faster commutes and city riding.
If I could only own ONE bike for the rest of my life, the CC would be near the top of my list, along with my Vaya.
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