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  1. #1
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    Worth setting up a Crosscheck as a road bike?

    I sold my uncomfortable hand me down road bike and am looking to replace it with something decent but not overly expensive. The last bike was too big, had an Al frame, and beat me up on rough roads. I've been exploring the world of steel and carbon frames and monitoring the used market. I want something more comfortable than Al but just plan on riding for fun & exercise, no racing. Flash forward to this past weekend our town had a bike swap and I couldn't pass up a deal on a never built up Crosscheck frame and fork but now I'm wondering if it's the direction I want to go. I have a Fargo for my do it all bike so I would be setting up the Surly strictly as a road bike. Do you think I would be better off getting something else for a dedicated road bike application or do many folks use their Crosschecks for road riding?

  2. #2
    @adelorenzo
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    Suggest you check out some other threads, there are at least five on the first page with good information.

  3. #3
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    I'd be willing to bet that a good majority of crosschecks see more road time than dirt. They ride well, with slightly more relaxed angles than a dedicated road racer. They are heavy, durable, versatile, no-frills. If you want fancy, move on, but if you want a bike that will go where ever you point it with relative ease, the Xcheck is a good choice.

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I did see a bunch of threads about Xchecks on the front page but just about every pic involves fenders, racks, and fatter tires. I have a Fargo for that business so the Surly would get 25c tires and whatever components I would feel good about moving to another frame down the road (SRAM Rival or 105 stuff probably). I had an idea about building up the Xcheck and riding it until a used Casseroll or La Raza frame popped up in my size then moving the components over. If I end up liking the Xcheck then I don't even need to swap.

  5. #5
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    Current incarnation. Wicked narrow 30mm tires, and clean, simple drivetrain. Ready for anything I want to ride.


  6. #6
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    I built a cross check last fall into a road bike. My other bike is a carbon road bike. After using both for road riding I decided the carbon bike worked much better. If I were to do it over I'd have purchased a Pacer frame. A Pacer would be a little more fun to ride.

    I've since put 32 tires and fenders on the Cross Check and decided to use it as a city bike.

    Things I didn't like about the Cross Check for road riding were:

    Wheel base is too long at 425 mm,

    Cantilever brakes don't work as well with my Shimano Tiagra shifters compared to caliper brakes,

    The horizontal dropout is not a convenient as vertical.


    Cross Check advantages are;

    If you running tires larger than 25, then cantilever brakes work better for wheel removal,

    The horizontal dropout might be nice if you ever want to build a single speed,

    The frame is rugged if you do rough trails, but that tends to imply larger than 25 tires as well.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Ride MTB
    I built a cross check last fall into a road bike. My other bike is a carbon road bike. After using both for road riding I decided the carbon bike worked much better. If I were to do it over I'd have purchased a Pacer frame. A Pacer would be a little more fun to ride.

    I've since put 32 tires and fenders on the Cross Check and decided to use it as a city bike.

    Things I didn't like about the Cross Check for road riding were:

    Wheel base is too long at 425 mm,

    Cantilever brakes don't work as well with my Shimano Tiagra shifters compared to caliper brakes,

    The horizontal dropout is not a convenient as vertical.


    Cross Check advantages are;

    If you running tires larger than 25, then cantilever brakes work better for wheel removal,

    The horizontal dropout might be nice if you ever want to build a single speed,

    The frame is rugged if you do rough trails, but that tends to imply larger than 25 tires as well.
    Good info, thanks for the side by side. I have ridden some C framed road bikes and they were more comfortable than my old Al bike for sure. there is something about the steel bikes though. I am definitely leaning more towards steel or carbon although obviously one is more affordable than the other.

    Vaultbrad your Xcheck looks great but it still has larger tires than I would plan on using. Since I have another bike for commuting/dirt roads I'm thinking I should lean more towards a road-specific platform. Thanks for the replies, it helps to hear other expereinces than my own

  8. #8
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    My CC is set up for quicker road rides. Sram Force/ Rival mix with DT Swiss rims/ Ultegra, Pauls, Challenge Roubaix slicks, all in all about 22 - 23 pounds with cages, pedals, water. It is plenty quick and allows me to still look at a rough dirt road and think, "I wonder where that road comes out?" I have been toying with the idea of setting another CC up for more trail ventures.

  9. #9
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    My 'cross check sees probably 40% road, 50% dirt road, 10% offroad. It does great on the first two, bit rougher for offroad, but she'll do. Biggest handicap offroad is the brakes...
    Mine is set up basically as a true 'cross bike with a bigger gear spread (34/50 up front, 11-32 in the back).
    Here she is:

  10. #10
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    Willapajames, whats that rear derailer? Is is a road derailer you have shifting all the way up to that 32t cog?

  11. #11
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    Looks like LX

    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames
    My 'cross check sees probably 40% road, 50% dirt road, 10% offroad. It does great on the first two, bit rougher for offroad, but she'll do. Biggest handicap offroad is the brakes...
    Mine is set up basically as a true 'cross bike with a bigger gear spread (34/50 up front, 11-32 in the back).
    Here she is:
    http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot..._2964482_n.jpg
    Your rims look like disc specific rims with non-machined sidewall... did you choose those on purpose?
    Last edited by asphaltdude; 04-20-2011 at 04:04 PM.
    Ride more!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphaltdude
    Looks like LX



    Your rims look like disc specific rims with non-machined sidewall... did you choose those on purpose?
    It's a long-cage LX derailleur. Used to have an 11-25 cassette that worked fine with my road derailleur and 9spd dura-ace STI shifter, but more of the local hills are doable with this setup.

    Yep, the rims/wheels are disc-specific. I cracked my 29er frame last fall and can't afford a new one (riding my old Ala Carte for now), AND I pulled some spokes out of the rear wheel on this bike. So... I put the 29er wheels on this bike. Obviously not very good braking at first, but once the road grit ground the paint off, it got better. These rims have high enough sidewalls that the pads line up fine. This isn't a long term solution (I'm worn through rims with rim brakes before, I know the consequences!), but for now it keeps me rolling. I don't use the brakes much on this bike anyway...

  13. #13
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    Here's my road crosscheck



    completed a 190 mile (300 km) race on it last summer and doing the same thing again this year. I'd like to get a "real" road bike at some point but crosscheck has been great.

  14. #14
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    Smile love my new pacer

    I bought a pacer complete about a month ago and absolutely love it! one hundred bucks more than the cc, and it rides like a dream. I went back and forth between pacer and cc and there is lots of love for both bikes on the forums. bottom line for me is that I ride my KM in the woods and the pacer on the road. Pacer isn't superlight; cc will be slightly heavier. Pacer has a very nice ride and is as fast as I want (or can be).

  15. #15
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    I have a feeling that the pacer is the most underrated of the Surly offerings. I've never ridden one, and never heard a bad thing about them. I think the folks that get them are usually too busy riding them to post much. I'd like to have a 60 or 62cm pacer if anybody wants to give me one. Then I'll have a great road etc. bike and a great everything else bike(CC).

  16. #16
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    Got my CC setup as a road bike with 32's and fenders, really comfortable on the "paved" roads i tend to ride in SE New England. I do the occasional dirt road and trails on it, just to mix up the rides and it handles great. My cousin has his setup as more of a dirt road/trail bike and loves to roam the backwoods and state forests near his house.

    Far more fun, versatile and comfortable than my old 98' Cannondale road frame, the cross check already has just under 1400 miles in 9 months of ownership. Compared that to less than a 1000 for the Cannondale in 12 years it was built up and functional.
    Alea Jacta Est

  17. #17
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    I ride my cross bike on the road

    I have a Redline conquest and it's my only roadish bike at this point. I love the versatility of the cross bike and it has realtively light wheels (ritcheys) and 25 c tires so its pretty quick on the road. Was gonna get a cross check but didn't like gravy brown. Love the robin's egg blue though!
    my 5 year old son took my photo, not a bad shot!

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