Is there something like a crosscheck but cheaper?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is there something like a crosscheck but cheaper?

    Hi guys, I'm looking to build up a commuter bike. I'd like a steel frame that I could run SS w/out a chain tensioner but still have the ability to switch to geared later on if I decide to go on longer journeys.

    Basically I'd like a Surly Crosscheck but the asking price is a bit much for a commuter I think. The used market hasn't turned up anything yet.

    Is there anything out there that's similar at a slightly lower price?

  2. #2
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    Craigslist and bikesdirect.com

    Enjoy.

  3. #3
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    Been going through multiple craigslists for about a month now and so far no luck. What on BD has horizontal dropouts and a derailleur hanger?

  4. #4
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    Perhaps hit up your dealer for a custom crosscheck with what you need for now. While you can get the bike for $1050, you can also use QBP's Dreamcycle program to custom choose the parts and have it built up as a single speed. That said, it is unlikely that you can set a system up for less than $900. What kind of price are you looking for?

  5. #5
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    Ah, you don't want to use a tensioner. I figured you could go after a cross bike and use a tensioner or magic gear. Another option would be to pick up one of their 29ers SS that have a gear option.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombinate
    Perhaps hit up your dealer for a custom crosscheck with what you need for now. While you can get the bike for $1050, you can also use QBP's Dreamcycle program to custom choose the parts and have it built up as a single speed. That said, it is unlikely that you can set a system up for less than $900. What kind of price are you looking for?
    Anything over $6-$700 and i would be a bit uncomfortable leaving it outside during class. Plus, I just don't see spending much more than that on a "commuter bike".

    I've been scouring the used market as much as possible through classifieds, CL, and ebay but it seems like there aren't too many of these types of bikes out there and the ones I do find are ridiculously over-priced.

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about

    The bike is used, 4 years old and completely stock and the guy starts the bidding at $600 plus a $65 "packing fee" and $50-$100 shipping. This seems like a pretty common thing too with steel SS bikes. There is no way that bike is worth that much!

    BTW: what is this "dreamcycle program" I tried searching for it but I can't find anything.
    Last edited by rusty904; 04-12-2010 at 11:47 AM.

  7. #7
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    it's called a touring bike, they made them in the 80's
    i'm not kidding, the crosscheck is a basic mid-80's touring bike.
    I find tons of them, look for miyatas, those would sometimes come with slick double or triple butted tubing and they're REALLY undervalued.
    lots of them had the semi-horiz's that surly's using now.

    the wife's trek pilot (picked up used for about 600) fits 35's and keeps the racy short wheelbase if that'll do ya, it came with carbon post and fork so is fairly chatter-proof. and the big 35's kill a LOT of road noise, but it's a vert d-out bike.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  8. #8
    M_S
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    Bianchi Volpes have short horizontal dropouts. I bought a frame that I'm running fixed. Not as much tire clearance as a crosscheck but a lighter frame, I think.

  9. #9
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    Used one of these? Love mine. Something to add to the search list.
    http://vassagocycles.com/fisty.html
    The Internet: All the piracy, none of the scurvy.

  10. #10
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    Sweet bike, doubt I can find one in my price range though

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts
    it's called a touring bike, they made them in the 80's
    i'm not kidding, the crosscheck is a basic mid-80's touring bike.
    I find tons of them, look for miyatas, those would sometimes come with slick double or triple butted tubing and they're REALLY undervalued.
    lots of them had the semi-horiz's that surly's using now.

    the wife's trek pilot (picked up used for about 600) fits 35's and keeps the racy short wheelbase if that'll do ya, it came with carbon post and fork so is fairly chatter-proof. and the big 35's kill a LOT of road noise, but it's a vert d-out bike.
    There we go. And you don't need canti studs to shove in a fairly large tire. I have a crap Peugeot that I my delicate use of hammer cleared the chainstays out another 5mm on each side.

  12. #12
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    http://www.pakebikes.com/pakemute.html

    https://www.bti-usa.com/public/quicksearch/description/Pake+C'Mute+Frame%09+

    About $300.00 for frame and Fork

    Pake's got to be a spin off of Soma. Geometry's are similar and both using Tange Tubing

  13. #13
    jrm
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    Have you checked out

    the nashbar CX frame threads? theres also the performance house brand frames too. either of theses frames a major bargain and the nashbar s upgradable to disc if you choose.

  14. #14
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    Here are two I've been looking at, but neither is available yet. The Origin 8 is supposed to be shipping in early May, the VooDoo in June. Both have vertical dropouts and derailleur hangers, and both fit big tires like the crosscheck. Origin 8 has MSRP of $300 and the VooDoo is $400, both with the fork. I've seen the VooDoo priced at $350 online, but I'm going to buy through my LBS, which can get either frame through distributors.

    http://www.origin-8.com/product_deta...set&cl1=FRAMES

    http://www.voodoocycles.net/nakisi.htm

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    Yeah, you cant have that voodoo though, cause I am buying it when it finally ships. ;-)

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    That's the one I'm leaning toward, although I'm not sure yet. The bike is made to have a tall riser stem, and I'm not sure I love the look. Check out the gallery on VooDoo's webpage and look at the Agwe monstercross. The geometry is the same. I can't decide if I like that look. On the otherhand, it appears that it will provide plenty of standover room.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, but the Agwe doesn't have disc mounts. Otherwise that is nearly what I am looking to put together, a cross bike that I can run Nokian extreme's on in the winter!

  18. #18
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    You could try the Van Dessel Country Road Bob. It retails for about $1000 but it might give you something else to look for on ebay. It's an aluminum frame as opposed to the Sury's steel frame.

  19. #19
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    That Van Dessel looks really nice. I've sent them an email asking about availability as a frameset only and max tire clearance. Very cool looking bike.

  20. #20
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    OP, you're going to have a hard time finding a good price on a steel frame with horizontal or track dropouts right now. They're very chic at the moment and hipsters are driving up the asking price.

    byknuts is right about touring bikes. And if you're open to aluminum, you can get some good deals too. The tire selection makes more of a difference in ride, IMHO. And as someone else pointed out - Performance house brand bikes are a lot cheaper than comparable big name bikes.

    I got my commuter for $95. It's a mid-80s aluminum 12-speed - a little dowdy, but it has horizontal dropouts with set screws, so if I wanted to do a conversion, I could, and I bought it fully built up. So if I wanted to do a conversion, I'd only need to strip some parts off. There are probably some steel 10- and 12-speeds out there that a lot of people will overlook because they're already built and a lot of hipsters don't really know their dropout types or only buy chic brand names.

    Do you want to do fixed, or just singlespeed? I ask because you should really get a purpose-built track hub to do fixed, but if you're doing singlespeed, a BMX drive screws right onto a standard road-threaded hub. I did a conversion like that a couple years ago and it worked out really well.

    Basically, if you're trying to stay cheap and buy used, you're likely to save money on a complete bike, even if you throw out or sell most of the parts that came on it.

    Do you care about brake type and amount of tire clearance? (Older frames are usually pretty roomy anyway, especially if you convert a 27" to 700C.)
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    OP, you're going to have a hard time finding a good price on a steel frame with horizontal or track dropouts right now. They're very chic at the moment and hipsters are driving up the asking price.

    byknuts is right about touring bikes. And if you're open to aluminum, you can get some good deals too. The tire selection makes more of a difference in ride, IMHO. And as someone else pointed out - Performance house brand bikes are a lot cheaper than comparable big name bikes.

    I got my commuter for $95. It's a mid-80s aluminum 12-speed - a little dowdy, but it has horizontal dropouts with set screws, so if I wanted to do a conversion, I could, and I bought it fully built up. So if I wanted to do a conversion, I'd only need to strip some parts off. There are probably some steel 10- and 12-speeds out there that a lot of people will overlook because they're already built and a lot of hipsters don't really know their dropout types or only buy chic brand names.

    Do you want to do fixed, or just singlespeed? I ask because you should really get a purpose-built track hub to do fixed, but if you're doing singlespeed, a BMX drive screws right onto a standard road-threaded hub. I did a conversion like that a couple years ago and it worked out really well.

    Basically, if you're trying to stay cheap and buy used, you're likely to save money on a complete bike, even if you throw out or sell most of the parts that came on it.

    Do you care about brake type and amount of tire clearance? (Older frames are usually pretty roomy anyway, especially if you convert a 27" to 700C.)
    Great info, thanks for the help! At this point I'm looking on CS for ANY road bike in my size geared, SS, steel, AL, whatever. I'm willing to go with an older bike as long as it's not so archaic that the parts can't be replaced with modern stuff. I'm particularly partial to older Cannondales but they seem to be in high demand these days.

    I'd like to try fixed, just to see what it's like but I doubt I would use it that often. My main reason for wanting SS is just for reduced maintenance/simplicity. Like most of us I do care to some extent what it looks like but it takes a back seat to function.

    Pretty much if the color is not ridiculous, it's fine with me.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904
    I'm willing to go with an older bike as long as it's not so archaic that the parts can't be replaced with modern stuff. I'm particularly partial to older Cannondales but they seem to be in high demand these days.

    I'd like to try fixed, just to see what it's like but I doubt I would use it that often. My main reason for wanting SS is just for reduced maintenance/simplicity. Like most of us I do care to some extent what it looks like but it takes a back seat to function.
    There are a couple of places where standards have drifted enough in the last thirty years to matter. (I wouldn't go older than 1980, and those bikes aren't very common now anyway.)

    A bunch of sizes of things changed in the 80s - hubs, rims, and number of sprockets. The '90s are all about mountain bikes, and road bike standards stayed more-or-less stable. When I bought my road bike in 2000, 1" threaded headsets were still common on good quality road bikes. Now, they're a bit of a joke and you only see them on cheap ones, if at all. The clamp diameter on handlebars has changed on some road models lately too, but the older sizes are still relatively common on new parts as well.

    So if you need your bike to accept entirely contemporary parts, it can't be much more than 5 years old. If you're willing to live with a 1" steer tube and a threaded headset, at least to begin with, your options open up a ton - anything back to about 1990. And you can still get a few good forks and a fair number of cheap forks with 1" steer tubes, and 1" headsets in either threaded or threadless models.

    While everything from the '80s can still be maintained or replaced, the level of nerdiness required begins to increase a lot. But for $600-$700, you should be able to afford a pretty nice bike from the '90s or newer.

    EDIT: singlespeed conversion is actually easier on a bike from the '80s, with a threaded road hub. A fixie conversion is easiest on a '70s road bike, with 120mm dropouts, but there are hubs available for 126mm and 130mm dropouts too, and a steel frame can be bent to a different spacing. There are conversion kits for bikes with freehub rear wheels, so that's not too hard either, or you can buy a new rear wheel designed to accept a singlespeed freewheel and compatible with a new bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904
    Hi guys, I'm looking to build up a commuter bike. I'd like a steel frame that I could run SS w/out a chain tensioner but still have the ability to switch to geared later on if I decide to go on longer journeys.

    Basically I'd like a Surly Crosscheck but the asking price is a bit much for a commuter I think. The used market hasn't turned up anything yet.

    Is there anything out there that's similar at a slightly lower price?
    How tall are you? I'll give you my 54cm univega if you fit it lol

    There's a bunch of bikes out there that can do what the crosscheck does, im amazed that some people buy into the marketing the crosscheck can do "anything" when it does only a few things different than any other bike. a cyclocross frame with eyelets for racks in the same thing - and a cyclocross frame is just a glorified hybrid/early mtb.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombinate
    Yeah, but the Agwe doesn't have disc mounts. Otherwise that is nearly what I am looking to put together, a cross bike that I can run Nokian extreme's on in the winter!
    The Nakisi and Agwe are not going to be very good cyclocross bikes. The geometry is not set up as well as the crosscheck. But if you're looking for a more 'cruiser/commuter' style ride, they will definitely fit the bill.

    Here's my Agwe fixed gear townie/cruiser/commuter. I just added a basket, I need to take a pic of the new look ...



    Here's a link to the Nakisi set up as a cyclocross machine--not my style.
    https://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/voodoo-nakisi-go-production-looks-like-484797.html
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  26. #26
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    raleigh one way! mines a 2008 and i absolutly love it. i cyclocross on it, commute on it rain or shine. so many options, skinny tires, fat tires, fenders or not, racks or not, track dropouts so you can run internal geared hubs.
    here are a few stages mines been through.




    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.
    :D

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloreality
    This one looks super fun!

    Excellent build(s)!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by FKMTB07
    This one looks super fun!

    Excellent build(s)!
    indeed it is.
    this is the current set up and ive been riding it more then my mtb's lately
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.
    :D

  29. #29
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    I went with the Pompino Frame in "Sterling Moss" green (guess they misspelled is on purpose) Searched for a month and a half on craig's list and ebay and came up empty so I finally gave up.

    It's cheaper and more unique than a Surly (at least over here), better color too I think.

  30. #30
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    Who needs the Nakisi, check out the '09 Voodoo Wazoo. Best value on a cross frameset out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TunicaTrails
    Who needs the Nakisi, check out the '09 Voodoo Wazoo. Best value on a cross frameset out there.
    I race on a Wazoo and it's a great frame! Haven't tried any fatter tires than 35c, but it looks like the rear would clear a 40 and the front probably a 42. Great bike.

  32. #32
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    Has anyone checked out the Salsa Casserole. You can pick up a SS built up for $595...

    http://www.webcyclery.com/customer/p...roductid=18230

  33. #33
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    I love my Kilo WT from Bikesdirect. Under $500 shipped, complete. The rear end is 120mm spaced, so unless you wanted to go with an IGH you'd be stuck single speed. Might be a dealbreaker for you. This is mine with a couple parts swapped out and some two inch Big Apples:
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4592857045/" title="Big Apples on the Kilo WT by twentyniner&amp;single, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4592857045_ccda63ccac.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Big Apples on the Kilo WT" /></a>

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