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  1. #1
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    Broken Cross Check... Any advice???

    Here's the deal. Over the summer I rode the great divide mountain bike route on my few month old cross check. The bike was great for about 2000 miles. Then while riding in NM in the mud the driveside dropout bent until the derailleur wouldn't work and the wheel wouldn't stay in the dropout. To fix this I took off the derailleur and ran single speed for the last 600 miles of the trip and used a headset topcap to help keep the wheel in the dropout which would slip out even still and rub against the chainstay every so often. It was exceedingly annoying but I figured based on Surly's great reputation it must have been a bum frame and I would definitely be able to warranty it... right?

    Wrong! I emailed them when I got home about the dropout and was told to just "bend it back and keep rolling" because when I'm out on another bikepacking trip and 200 miles from the nearest bike shop I really would love to have my dropout bend again. So recently I decided to make the bike into a commuter but when i brought it into my shop they pointed out something that I hadn't noticed, there is a small crease or bend in the downtube. While I crashed twice on the trip they were both just tipping over on looser sections and never endos or being hit by a car or anything. When I emailed them again about this new issue I was told that it was my fault for not knowing how to put a wheel on properly and crashing. I'd really like to have a fun adventure bike again but as a poor college student I don't have money for a new frame. I thought these bikes were built to be incredibly durable and last forever. Am I being unreasonable with my expectation of Surly's frame or their warranty? Do any of you have any suggestions of how I can get my bike replaced? Sorry for the long message, I'm pretty upset about this.

    Here's a link to some pics of my bike and the conversation.
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?...Xc&usp=sharing

  2. #2
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    Stinks...
    I guess, based on the info, I can see both sides.
    2009 Salsa Fargo
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    2012 Cannondale SL4 29

  3. #3
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    Smile It's Steel

    Its Steel so just rebend your drop out and have the derailleur mount realined.
    After all its steel and all will be OK.


    Pete

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZPeterG View Post
    Its Steel so just rebend your drop out and have the derailleur mount realined.
    After all its steel and all will be OK.


    Pete
    I dunno about that..... The way that top tube is bent, there is something not good going on here. I agree with the shop's assessment and would not ride it. Aside from the potential for failure, it looks tweaked enough to me that the handling would be affected...... If I were the OP, I would take Surly's replacement offer and decide to be a happy camper.

  5. #5
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    Frames break, crashes suck, things happen. Any crash has the potential to render any frame unsafe, and the manufacturer doesn't really have to do anything in that instance- do car manufacturers offer crash replacements when you back into a pole? Take the crash replacement deal and ride on- don't let a little bad luck sour your outlook. Anyone who can ride the great divide can 'Surly' handle a little adversity

  6. #6
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    Here's my issue with buying a new frame (which I don't have the money for right now anyway) or just bending it back: I feel that my riding was easily within the realm of what a cross-check should be able to handle. Wouldn't a new or bent back frame be just as likely to be damaged in the same way in a similar situation?

  7. #7
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    Hard to imagine a tougher frame than a CC....... Except maybe a Long Haul Trucker or a KM. Nothing is fully bullitproof though. Just curious, how much do you weigh, how much gear weight did you have and how was it being carried?

  8. #8
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    I don't expect bulletproof, but being able to handle tipping over or riding through muddy conditions is a must. I weight 145. Never weighed my bike fully loaded but I had front and rear panniers, I'd guess they weighed round-a-bout 40 lbs max fully loaded on water and food.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by superua View Post
    I don't expect bulletproof, but being able to handle tipping over or riding through muddy conditions is a must. I weight 145. Never weighed my bike fully loaded but I had front and rear panniers, I'd guess they weighed round-a-bout 40 lbs max fully loaded on water and food.
    Weight seems reasonable..... It's not like you weigh 325 or something. I am baffled as to how that dropout would have been bent though by just riding through mud. Did your derailleur survive or was it bent too? As to the front, any chance you slammed hard into a deep rain rut or something that maybe you did not crash on, but was a very hard hit? Pannier weight is "dead weight" unlike a rider's weight which you can cushion with good technique..... How big of a tire were you running and how did your wheels hold up? I am envious of your adventure BTW!

  10. #10
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    The only thing I can figure is that as we were riding the amount of mud between the frame and the tire must have pushed in an odd direction on the horizontal dropouts causing them to bend. We were riding/pushing through the thick mud and all of the sudden pedaling wasn't working... The derailleur was fine but because the hanger is integrated and bent with the dropout, any force on the derailleur was out of chainline and so I had to take it off and run SS. It's definitely possible, we went over some rough terrain and rode for a lot of miles but I figured that any thing short of hitting a tree shouldn't have bent a frame like this. I was running 40c Schwalbe Marathon Mondials on Mavic Aksiums and both held up really well. It was a great trip. I'd highly recommend it!

  11. #11
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    For the dropout, it doesn't take much force to rip an aluminum derailer hanger off a typical mountain bike. A similar force could tweak your steel dropout. I agree with Surly, just bend it back and continue.

    For the downtube, I can't see any details in your pictures. But typically downtube bends are caused by hitting something, either a curb or a garage door or a deep hole, etc. I think most manufacturers would look at a crease in this area and instantly assume "crash damage." It's the most reasonable explanation.

  12. #12
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    When a wheel stops moving abruptly, with energy still going through the wheel, really nasty things can happen. Something similar happened to a carbon road bike at the shop I'm at. The rider was powering up a hill, up shifted, the chain over shifted getting stuck in the dropout and cassette abruptly stopping the wheel. The result was a fragmented seat stay directly above the dropout. Energy had to be dispersed and the seat stay drew the short straw. The manufacture rep is going to try and help out with that mishap, but it won't be a warranty replacement. It sucks that your newer frame took the grunt force of the mud and whatever else happened. I'd get the crash replacement discount if you can swing it due to the down tube kink (that looks like just the right/wrong frontal impact, even if it didn't stop you in your tracks). Makes me rethink the possibility of a CC for a mixed terrain tour bike. Good luck with whichever path you choose for resolution, I know I'd be very upset in your shoes as well.

    Edit: Almost forgot... In my above story, the bikes derailleur hanger didn't even sheer or bend. The rotational inertia was transmitted directly into the seat stay-dropout junction.

  13. #13
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    The CC is a burly frame...for a cross bike. But it doesn't have the thick tubes and gusseting of even a 'normal' touring or mountain bike, let alone the sort of ultra-reinforcement that purpose-built offroad tourers like the Tout Terrain Silkroad or Co-Motion Divide have. Just looking at CC next to a Troll or an Ogre and its pretty spindly. So, I don't know - I'm not an expert at these sorts of thing - but it kinda sounds like you pushed your Check way beyond its design parameters. But, hey, congrats on making the ride and showing some impressive ingenuity! Tha'ts pretty awesome. Best of luck getting the frame sorted out.
    2004 Surly Cross Check
    2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker
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  14. #14
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    You took the cross check for a loaded off road tour? Wrong choice. Trucker, great for road touring. Try the Karate Monkey, Ogre or troll, much better suited for off road loaded touring. You could get a new frame for $ 450 maybe, used much cheaper. I have the 1x1, the Cross Check and the Karate Monkey. All work great for their intended purpose. My cross check works great for an all around commuter with a rear rack and one small bag. The 1x1 has been set up as a commuter, 1x1 , dingle speed, 1x9, rim brakes, disc brakes, and a transport/ mountain bike/ dual utility every thing bike. Also has seen rigid front front fork as well as a sus fork. Right now it has 35 mm rims and 3" downhill tires for a 1/2 fat bike. The divide tour eats bikes, maybe you should have asked someone who rode it what they recommended?

  15. #15
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    You will have better luck going through a shop--anyone who deals with QBP will be able to warranty Surly products, but you'll have the best luck at wherever you bought it from--if you can convince the shop to go to bat for you, you'll likely wind up with a better outcome...the problem is that a shop, to a distributor/manufacturer, is the first line of defeating frivolous warranty claims, and that anything that passes their scrutiny will be on the next level of the warranty process, so to speak. You would need a pretty bulletproof claim for the company to work directly with you, which you no longer have, being that you told them you tipped/crashed.

    As far as the bent dropout, the frame is steel--it can easily be bent back (most larger shops have the frame tools to do this without messing up the alignment) and if used within the proper limits, will not bend again for no reason. The ripple in the downtube, as others have said, is almost always caused by a crash (hence Surly's reluctance to warranty the frame).

  16. #16
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    I agree with the other members who have mentioned that a loaded, off-road tour is way beyond what the CC was meant for. The tubing on the CC is only slightly thicker than a steel road bike's tubes. It's meant to be a tough, do-it-all road-ish bike. Not a MTB expedition frame.

    The CC isn't even really meant for fully loaded road touring, much less off-road.

    People snap frames and worse on the Great Divide trail all the time. It's by no means a simple trail, and I think the damage can rarely be blamed on the manufacturer.

    I agree that the bent dropout could be realigned safely - it's pretty thick steel. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say a stick or root momentarily snagged in the derailleur and bent the dropout back like that.

    The bent tubes can really only be caused by a front-on impact. With a fully loaded touring setup, you could easily do that to a bike like the CC just by running in to a big curb.

    I say take the crash replacement (maybe see if they will switch you to a LHT or Ogre), and be happy.

  17. #17
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    This will be pretty much more of the same. Myself and my wife both have cross checks, if you do not have skewers with steel internal cams your rear wheel WILL slip, especially if you are running a 130mm rear hub, seems somewhat less frequent with a 135. complete cross checks come with internal cam skewers for this reason. This is what they mean when they are telling you the wheel was not secure, because it just isn't possible to get a more common external cam skewer tight enough to not slip under torque in a semi horizontal dropout. And I will agree with others that though the dropout can be bent back and would be fine, the down/top tube bends are exactly the type of damage that occurs from a front end impact and i have never seen anything else result in the same type damage. I will echo the suggestion to take the frame replacement discount offer, or if short on funds start searching ebay and forum classifieds, and possibly for something more suited to loaded off road touring. The cross check can handle a lot, but it is still a cyclocross bike. It sounds like at the very least a proper heavy tubed touring frame would better suit your needs if not a more mountain-ish oriented bike with rack provisions.

  18. #18
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    Maybe Surly would give you a replacement deal on a LHT......

  19. #19
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    So many misguided notions on the Surly Cross Check here. Before the LHT it was the go to touring bike, it's burlier than some "touring" bikes out there (hell until the Trek 520 redesign it was much better). I had a maxamilist bike tour last year on a X-Check and it did fine. I stuck to roads mostly, but curbs did not kill my bike AT ALL. The worst part was that it was a little tough to keep straight, but I'm glad I have it now, because I'm focusing on minimalist touring.

    Off-road touring, yeah, bad call. I just tried this in Tahoe and it cost me my toe clips, my one pannier, a spoke, a piece of my thumb, and a huge chunk of my dignity. But touring on fire roads/gravel roads the X-Check is BOMB, also I have anti-theft skewers that hold real great on the X-Check. Do any of you haters even ride a Cross-Check?

    My biggest guffah I've had with the X-Check was when I shipped it last winter and didn't put the things between the dropouts and it bent my rear deraulleur hanger, but as steel goes, I cold bent it back into place. Since then the indexing has been a little wonky (mostly because I think it's not perfect, the community shop near me has one of those dropout alignment tools I may use at some point), but I just switched to friction shifting and it rides like heaven again.

    Yeah, I want an off-road tourer now and am looking at the 1x1, Troll, and Ogre, but the X-Check is a perfectly viable touring bike, especially if you don't want to ride a boat on your tour (if the LHT wheelbase were any longer it would be a Big Dummy!). X-Checks for life, sorry about that, but hell even a bust X-Check is better than most bikes, it's just now a cool single speed commuter when you bend it back. Hell you can single speed Monster Cross it even!

  20. #20
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    Just get your hanger fixed...honestly it doesn't look that bad. Your frame didn't crack or buckle. You rode it like it's a mountain touring bike, which is on the outside of it's realm...I've owned two CrossChecks over the years, a blood red one from a long time ago and a more recent black one. I think Surly was reasonable with you. Good job with your trail side fix and finishing the divide.

    $400 for a new frame...that isn't a hard pill to swallow. If your worried about the frame to the extent you don't want to ride it then fix the hanger and explain what damage it has and sell it. I'm sure you could get 175-225 for your frame or frameset. I'd personally make it a SS and just commute to class on it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatCloud View Post
    Do any of you haters even ride a Cross-Check?
    Chillax, man. There's no Cross Check haters here. I love my Cross Check. It's my favorite bike in my little stable. But there's nothing wrong with acknowledging its limitations. Yes, some people tour just fine on CCs. I bet the OP would have had zero problems if he was on road most of the time. I think the lighter the rider/load, the better it is. But for a big clyde like me with a big touring load - no way. Its not going to carry a heavy load quite as well as a purpose-built touring bike, and its not going to handle extended offroad trips as well as a purpose-built mountain bike. Big fat tires help. I don't know, the OP never did say what tires he was running, did he?
    2004 Surly Cross Check
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    2011 On One Inbred

  22. #22
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    Just soft bumping this to see what the outcome for the OP was. Too bad about the frame. Despite the others in here cringing at the thought of taking the CC off-road, I'd advise them to take a look at Surly's CC page and read the description. Who wouldn't want to take this off-road and loaded after reading that? I see no fault of the OP in taking this off-road. The only issue may be not having the QR tight enough for it to slip. My wheelset has 15mm bolts, so I should be ok since I've never had one of those slip on me yet.

    Anyway, I hope Surly took care of you. Some of their blog posts have rubbed me the wrong way, but they make nice bikes.

  23. #23
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    They offered me 20% off as a crash replacement which was nice but as a student I didn't have the money to spend on another frame even at a discount, especially if there was a chance that in a similar situation it would have a similar problem. Next time I definitely would use a QR that I could crank down more and that might solve most of my problems.

    Some day I may bend it back and use it to commute but I wouldn't trust it on a long trip again. Time to start saving my pennies for a Fargo!

  24. #24
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    That's pretty weak. Some shops offer 25% off frames. I thought crash replacements would be wholesale prices. Disappointed at Surly's offer.

    Salsa is a cool company as well. Good luck with the Fargo. They're pretty nice bikes.

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