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  1. #1
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    Complete or Build?

    Hey guys, I've been looking at buying a new commuter, and really like the Cross Check. It would actually be my second Cross Check I've owned. It gets me the base type of bike/frame I'm looking for and doesn't break the bank.

    However, the complete comes with handlebars, tires, saddle and seat post that I really don't need. For the handlebars and saddle, I'd actually be swapping them out to others I already have upon purchase. The tires and seat post I could live with using, but they would eventually become extra parts for me as well.

    My question is, is it more cost effective to simply buy the complete and know I'll have a few extra parts, or could I save some money buying everything I needed separately?

    I'm also open to the idea of initially building/buying as a SS too, if that would be an even more cost effective start. I have a SS Monocog 29er that I adore, so a SS CC would be ok by me.

    Anything else I should be considering?

    If I decide to build, are there any other perks to doing so that wouldn't make things too expensive? Does building allow me to buy any upgrades I should/will want to make to the stock parts down the road?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassavant89 View Post
    Anything else I should be considering?
    Definitely! The 2015 stock build is much different from 2014. V-brakes, bigger tires, 10 speed, wider gearing. It's much more monstercross than cyclocross. That should probably influence your decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by cassavant89 View Post
    If I decide to build, are there any other perks to doing so that wouldn't make things too expensive? Does building allow me to buy any upgrades I should/will want to make to the stock parts down the road?
    It kind of depends. You could probably save money buying the complete and selling off the parts you want to swap out, if you don't mind the hassle. Otherwise, just do a custom build and get what you want the first time. To save money, you could scout out the usual discount websites and collect parts as they come on sale. If you are not averse to "pre-loved" parts, I'd recommend checking out your local co-op or shop that sells used parts for any "diamonds in the rough". Craigslist is good too; I've seen blingy Phil and King parts going for relatively cheap in the used market.
    Surly Cross Check: fat tire roadie
    Surly LHT: Kid hauler
    On One Inbred: SS 26er

  3. #3
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    Thanks bolandjd, I honestly didn't even consider used components, so that really pushes me towards building. As for changes to the 2015 model, any idea when those will be available?

    Thanks again for taking the time - I appreciate it!

  4. #4
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    You're very welcome. No, I have no idea when the new models will be available. Your bike shop should no, or at least have an educated guess. Unfortunately, Surly didn't list the prices either for the new models. Judging by some of the parts upgrades, I'd guess the new CC's will be a bit more expensive than the old ones.
    Surly Cross Check: fat tire roadie
    Surly LHT: Kid hauler
    On One Inbred: SS 26er

  5. #5
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    do both! buy a complete, strip off what you don't like/need and sell it! replace with what you want!

  6. #6
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    Re: Complete or Build?

    If I did everything over again, I'd take my time, and build from the frame up. Selling old stock parts is a big hassle and usually doesn't net much money.

    With that said, if budget is the main concern, the parts spec on Surly completes are good and tough, and can be ridden as-is for a long time.

  7. #7
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    I've never owned a Surly that I didn't build from a frame up.

    Cost effective = no. Satisfying = yes.

    I know myself and getting to tweak things how I like them is more important to me than saving some $$.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  8. #8
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    I have priced out several Surly stock builds (Dummy, Krampus, and Steamroller) and found that the cost of their complete builds is greater than the sum of their parts if you are willing to shop online.

    Im not sure what to make of that. When I look at the cost of a Surly frameset, the complete build seems like a terrible deal. When I look at the cost of a Surly complete, the frameset seems like a great deal.

    Since it sounds like you already have some preferences for bars, saddle, etc, I would highly recommend buying the frameset and doing a custom build.

    I disagree with Johnny the Boy's advice. Even if you are dying to ride a bike with a kalloy cockpit, you can often separately purchase all the parts that go into the Surly stock build for less than the cost of a complete. As ultraspontane said, with a bike like the cross check, you're not going to get much money for a stock kalloy stem or velo staddle. Most peoples' time is worth more than the hassle of an ebay or craiglist transaction for low dollar items like the CC's oem parts.

    As an aside, I have found what seems to be a nice compromise between supporting the LBS and getting the best deal for my budget. I usually buy the frame and headset from my LBS (mine installs the headset for free). Then I build the rest of the bike from a combination parts I already own and Internet deals.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassavant89 View Post
    If I decide to build, are there any other perks to doing so that wouldn't make things too expensive? Does building allow me to buy any upgrades I should/will want to make to the stock parts down the road?
    Yes! Most definitely!!!
    Perks:
    -Building your own bike will develop/enhance a skill set that will last a lifetime
    -For SS, your choice of gearing is important. The SS CC comes with 42/17 gearing. Might be perfect for you. Might not. Doing your own build, you get to start with a chainring and cog that are ideal for your riding
    -Dial in bike fit with your choice stem and bars
    -Run your favorite grips, tires, and saddle from day one
    -The stock SS CC comes with a single speed only rear hub. If you plan take advantage of the CCs versatility you may want to start with a cassette hub that can be run SS or geared

    For example. With my Big Dummy. I was able to do a custom build for about $200 more than the cost of the complete. After a year of riding I haven't changed a thing. It's great to have the bike you want from day one if you can do it for close to the price of Surly's stock build (My build cost about 10% more than the stock Dummy) A few of my favorite upgrades in the build include:

    XT crankset
    XT hubs to Mavic EX729 rims
    Maxxis Holy Roller tires
    Cane Creek 110 Headset
    Brooks saddle
    Jagwire ripcord housing
    X7 drivetrain
    Salsa stem
    FSA metropolis bars

  10. #10
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    Really appreciate the feedback guys. I think I may build from the frame up after all.

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