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  1. #1
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    Surly Cross Check Build (and questions!)

    So I figured it would be a good idea to post up a build thread for my soon-to-be-built 2013 Cross Check. I've been drooling over the "Cross Check Pics" thread for long enough, and asking enough OT questions. So I'll just be dumping my build plan, parts list, random musings, and stupid questions in here. Your input about the build is welcome, so feel free to comment and suggest. Cheers!


    Firstly, I decided to go with a Cross Check as my commuter/century/gravel road/singletrack do-it-all bike. I currently have a Windsor Knight road bike and a Santa Cruz Blur LT. The Blur more than satisfies all of my off-road riding except for long distance and mixed road/gravel. As for the road bike, it's been a great solid bike for training and riding centuries, but lacks the ability for full fenders or tires wider than 25c. So while it's great on the road, it's so-so for commuting in the wet months and a no-go for riding on the gravel.

    So enter the Cross Check, which can be configured any number of ways depending on what it's being used for. I plan on swapping many of my parts over from the Knight, and purchasing a few new bits where necessary. The Ultegra shifters/derailleurs will be moving over, as will most of the cockpit parts. In the future I plan to build my own wheelset using some XT hubs and some stout 32H wheels. The current wheelset is fairly strong though, so I'll first see how much abuse they can take on the gravel roads and trails. If they stand up, I may opt to pick up a lighter road wheelset for the Century season and occasional road race.

    Here's where most of the parts are coming from, and the parts list for the build:

    2009 Windsor Knight 54cm (donor bike):


    Build Parts List:
    Frame: 52cm in Dirty Blue
    Wheelset: Vuelta XRP Pro (have)
    Tires: Continental Cyclocross Speed 700x35c
    Crankset: Truvativ GXP Elita triple (have)
    Chain: KMC X10 SL
    Cassette: Ultegra
    Front Der: Ultegra 6703 (have)
    Rear Der: Ultegra 6700 (have)
    Shifters: Ultegra 6703 STI (have)
    Bars: Ritchey BioMax drops (have)
    Seatpost: Thomson Elite 27.2
    Brakes: Avid Shorty 6 Cantis
    Headset: Ritchey WCS Cross (w/ brake cable hanger)
    Downtube stops: Shimano STI barrel adjusters
    Pedals: Gusset Slim Jim (Deore SPD for road rides)
    Fenders: (future)
    "Got everything you need?"

  2. #2
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    Unanswered Question Area

    Q: The Cross Check has downtube bosses, but I want to fit barrel adjusters not shifters. Which ones do I get?
    A: I haven't found an answer to this yet, feel free to chime in! Shimano makes them in various sizes as does Campy, but what size? Concave or flat? Help!


    Answered Question Area

    Q: What size tires can the Cross Check fit?
    A: Officially, they can fit 45c without fenders or 40c with. Actual widths vary by tire manufacturer however, and some people have fit 29x1.9" knobbies on there.

    Q: Frame sizing?
    A: Check the Surly website, but in general the Cross Check top tube is a bit longer (10-15mm) than similar bikes of the same size. My old bike is a 54cm, but it's very close to 52cm Cross Check.

    Q: Which brake cable guides to get?
    A1: For running v-brakes, you don't need guides.
    A2: For running cantilevers the rear brake cable guide is included with the seat post collar. For the front, you can either go with an integrated headset hanger(my choice), or you can get a hanger that fits between your headset spacers, like the Tektro cable hanger.

    Q: Bar end, downtube, or STI shifters?
    A: Ultimately it's personal preference and you can run any of these on the Cross Check. Bar ends and downtube shifters are a bit more protected as they are not on the front of the bike. However, I already had Ultegra shifters so I'm going to give those a try for now.
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  3. #3
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    Get the concave style, that will fit your downtube better. Looking here, for instance, you can get the Shimano barrel style for $16, or pay twice as much for the slightly easier to use lever style (I'd get the barrel style).
    WTB: Specialized AWOL frameset, XL

  4. #4
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    Got the frame in yesterday and started the build last night. Finished it up today!









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  5. #5
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    Finished product:

    Roadie setup:


    Trail mode:


    Commute/Utility/Bike Path Mode:
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  6. #6
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    Some more pics, just for the hell of it. This is from the first shakedown ride. The rack needs to be silenced with some electrical tape on the horizontal supports, but other than that it performed quite well on a mix of street, gravel road, and singletrack. I'm thinking I need to pick up a set of beefy wheels and slap some 45-50c meaty tires on there for the longer trail rides. But for a mix of surfaces, the Conti 35c's work great.







    I think the dirty dark blue color looks even better with a nice coating of trail dust!
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  7. #7
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    Nice. I have a cross check and do everything on that bike too. Awesome fun! I also like the same tires for it that you're using with those cyclocross speeds. Great tire for this bike.

  8. #8
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    Thanks! I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the capability over all types of terrain. Even on some really rough sections of trail, the CC performed really well. Next ride will have to involve some longer distance on dirt roads.
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  9. #9
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    Nice! There is something about those bikes that I love. I just can't place it.

  10. #10
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    Nice build. How much does it weigh including rack and pedals.

    I agree the cross check is difficult to beat in the do it all category.

  11. #11
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    man that blue is awesome. is that a 52 then? how tall are you? thanks

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Train View Post
    man that blue is awesome. is that a 52 then? how tall are you? thanks
    Thanks, I'm diggin the color too!

    It is a 52cm, and I'm 5'8" with a 30.5" inseam. The bike fits me perfect, and is closer to a "normal" 54cm from brands like Trek and Specialized.
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  13. #13
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    Headed out for my first backpacking trip with my son this past weekend. Fun trip, and the Surly rode great on a mix of trails, gravel road, and pavement. 10 miles on trails the first day, and 30 miles on a mix of gravel and pavement the second day. Can't wait for the next trip!





    Boat-in campground all to ourselves:




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  14. #14
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    That looks like a blast! Makes me miss my check a bit.

  15. #15
    TXTony
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    Great build...my cc frame came in yesterday...I hope to have it built up by the weekend.

  16. #16
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    Thanks! It's been a fun bike, and am really pleased with the ride.
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  17. #17
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    Had to bump this up. That Dirty Blue is good looking. I ordered Hospital Foam, but kind of regretting it now. Bikepacking pics are awesome. I hope to do that with my kid in a few years.

  18. #18
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    Nice build! I ordered a dirty blue frame after looking at these pics.

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