Diving off the deep end - Cross Check (New SS build questions)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Diving off the deep end - Cross Check (New SS build questions)

    Hello all, I have the itch to build up my new bike from scratch. Considering a Surly Cross Check as a single speed commuter/light trail/hoolaganism bike. Been maintaining my own (and friends) bikes for a while so I want to take the next step. I've been a full squish rider with lots of gears until now, so be gentle on me!

    I'm looking for some feedback on my preliminary build kit (and a general sanity check to make sure I'm not doing anything stupid!). I'm 5'9, 160lbs and will be putting most miles on a pretty flat commute to work and back, maybe some light trails for when I'm feeling adventurous. I've specced some pretty cheap parts where *I* consider cheap to be OK-- though if I'm off base in some areas let me know. I'm frugal by nature but don't mind dropping a bit of coin where it's really truly worth it.

    Frameset Surly Cross Check

    Components
    Headset Cane Creek S3
    Stem Race Face Cadence
    Handlebar Race Face Cadence
    Grips/Wrap TBD
    Brake Levers Cane Creek SCR-5
    Brake Calipers Tektro Mini-V (RX-5)
    Seatpost Ritchey pro
    Saddle TBD

    Drivetrain
    Bottom Bracket Race Face GXP (inc crank)
    Crankset Race Face Cadence
    Chain SRAM PC-1
    Cog Surly 16t
    Chainring Surly 44t (130mm)

    Wheelset
    Rims TBD
    Rear Hub Surly 135mm Fixed/Free
    Front Hub Surly 100mm
    Spokes Wheelsmith Stainless
    Nipples Wheelsmith Brass


    So, I know I'm missing a few bits of hardware (saddle, cables, spacers, etc), but for a general sanity check is anything here out of whack (retardedly crappy stuff connected to good stuff)? Half the stuff will come from online, the Surly stuff will most likely come from my LBS.

    Now on to some specific questions:

    - Is the Surly Mr Whirly worth the premium? I'm a pretty lightweight rider and will most likely only get 170 or 175mm cranks. I'm confident the Race Face Cadence will be "good enough" and I don't know if I'll notice the difference...

    - I've also considered the IRO build kit for the cockpit and drivetrain (http://www.irocycle.com/index.asp?Pa...ROD&ProdID=115) but don't really know much about the brand. Anybody use them?

    - Recommendations for a decent rim that won't break the bank?

    Any thoughts, opinions, and flames will be much appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I think the PC-1 is 1/8". Just make sure your gears are too. Also, no mention of tires. Kenda Small blocks have been good to my CX bike for both road and dirt. If you're gonna do more commuting than anything though, something a bit beefier may suit you.

    Got a freewheel tool/bench vise/spanner for overhauling?

    Happy trails!

  3. #3
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    I have a buddy that's built bikes before who will be over for many a beer and tool borrowing

    I removed the tires from the list to avoid clutter on things I didn't have so many questions on... Interestingly they *are* small blocks!

  4. #4
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    I found mini-Vs to be extremely unforgiving on wheel shape. If you are confident your wheels will not go out of true than go for it, but I prefer real Vs and dropbar V levers. I am using the Tektro dropbar levers that cost less than those Cane Creek ones, but CC has dropbar V levers that shouldn't cost much more than the ones you picked out.

    Looks cool, though, good luck!

  5. #5
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    Something to consider- you will need to mount the chainring on the outside position of those cranks to get a closer chainline with the 135mm rear hub. I have an octalink XTR bottom bracket with my octalink ultegra crank to get the chainline closer to the ~48mm chainline on the Surly hubs with an ENO freewheel. Road cranks are typically ~41mm on the inner ring and ~47mm on the outer position. Also, if you put a fixed cog on there run it flat side out with this setup so the chainline is as close as possible to the freewheel chainline. Confirm it all by measuring and a few mm difference isn't a big deal, but a CM can throw your chain at the worst possible moment (I know from experience) See here for more--- http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chainline.html

    As for rims- Salsa Delgado cross. Cheap, round, relatively strong, look good on a Cross Check.

    Brakes- Call me a traditionalist but I run cantis- Tektro 720's can be set up easily and provide plenty of power. I have run V's with V-drop levers and they are fine but I like the additional clearance of the canti's when it gets sloppy. To be fair, I've never run mini-V's to compare though.

    Everything else looks great- enjoy!
    Last edited by dankilling; 03-10-2010 at 11:12 AM.

  6. #6
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    The drop bar levers I spec'd list as long-er pull, but I'm having a hard time to find an actual specification for short vs long pull to compare. Whether that's enough for standard V's.... I suppose I can try it on my old MTB and see if they work. An alternative for standard V's I considered were the cane creek noodleless DC-3 brakes (and some cantis...).

    Thanks for the heads up on the chainline! I hadn't really put much thought into it. I had however considered the delgado rims, but it seems everywhere is out of stock on the black ones.

    Thanks for the good feedback, keep it comin! Any thoughts on the IRO components instead of the Race Face Cadence? The main thing holding me back on it is the square taper bottom bracket, but maybe that isn't a big deal.

  7. #7
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    44x16 is a pretty tough gear to pedal if you wan't to go offroad. I'm riding 42x18 on a similar setup and definatly would not won't anything harder then that to go offroad (or road for that matter!). When my chainring wears out, I will actually put a 39T on instead.

    Enjoy the build.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by annoying crack
    44x16 is a pretty tough gear to pedal if you wan't to go offroad. I'm riding 42x18 on a similar setup and definatly would not won't anything harder then that to go offroad (or road for that matter!). When my chainring wears out, I will actually put a 39T on instead.
    I've been able to stick to 42/17 but I wonder about 18 and I do have a 22t freewheel (17, and 18 if I go there, are fixed). But he said he's got flat terrain so maybe that's fine.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
    I've been able to stick to 42/17 but I wonder about 18 and I do have a 22t freewheel (17, and 18 if I go there, are fixed). But he said he's got flat terrain so maybe that's fine.
    Yes, he might be just fine with the gears.

    I also used to live where it was totally flat and the only bits of climbing were bridges over the highway but... we had wind! I go for hills over wind any day!! Often my 42x18 was almost impossible to pedal against a strong headwind. Now, I live where it's very hilly and the same gearing seems a better choice. But that's propably just me...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
    I found mini-Vs to be extremely unforgiving on wheel shape. If you are confident your wheels will not go out of true than go for it, but I prefer real Vs and dropbar V levers. I am using the Tektro dropbar levers that cost less than those Cane Creek ones, but CC has dropbar V levers that shouldn't cost much more than the ones you picked out.
    +1

    Had the Mini-Vs on my Cross-check. Hated them. Switched to old school cantis and am much happier. I didn't even donate the Mini-V brakes - straight to the trash.

  11. #11
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    Cane Creek, Tektro, and Dia-compe all make levers that will work with V-brakes. I strongly suggest you use normal V-brakes.

    I would not use the SRAM PC-1 - use all 3/32 cogs,freewheels, and chainrings and use a normal 8-speed SRAM chain. That gives you a lot more options, is lighter, and supposedly is stronger.

  12. #12
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    I didn't do all the math on the drive ratio yet - just pulled some numbers out of my tuckus to make a first pass price list. I intend to do something easy-pedalling on the fixed side of the Surly hub and something fast on the freewheel side. The ride is flat except for a hill up to work and a hill up to my house-- neither are heartbreakers though. We *do* get pretty windy here. The crankset I spec'd has 53 and 39t rings, both appear to be 130mm bolt patterns, so thinking I'll drop the 39 in the outer ring and ride that. I'll be doing plenty of reading on drivetrain ratios while I wait for parts


    Updated chain - SRAM PC830 sound reasonable? I'll need to verify the cog widths but can do that later. Now... V's or Cantis.... I like the Cane Creek SX-5 (I think?) cantis and their fancy noodle-less DC-3 Vs. Any thoughts? Just go with some Avid single digits? I'm not a heavy guy so braking power should be adequate with anything...

  13. #13
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    one thing you didn't mention

  14. #14
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    Figure you will only get a 2-tooth max difference between the sides, and that's if the axle doesn't line up in the middle of the dropouts for one of the setups. Personally I run 42/19 freewheel and 42/18 fixed and the 42/19 lines up pretty close to the front edge and the 18 lines up near center so I figure a 19/17t would be about the max difference I could get without changing the chain. I would do 42/18 for both but I had a 19t freewheel I wasn't using on another bike so on it went

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyule


    one thing you didn't mention
    The surly fix/free hub is bolt-on only afaik

  16. #16
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    Here is one I did....

    Super fun bike.

    https://s255.photobucket.com/albums/...t=DSC01842.jpg

    • Surly Cross Check 56cm (Black). Frame corrosion proofed with FrameSaver.
    • Rims: Mavic A719.
    • Spokes DT Swiss Comp, Stainless, Butted.
    • Hubs: Phil Wood Low Flange, Sealed Bearings, Rear Flip flop hub for fixed cog.
    • Tires: Kenda Kross Supreme 700x35 knobby.
    • Brakes: Avid Single Digit 7 Mountain V-Brakes, Avid Speed Dial SL Levers.
    • Brake Cables: Shimano XTR stainless.
    • Seatpost: Thomson Elite.
    • Seat: WTB Rocket V Team, Titanium rails, Leather saddle.
    • Seatpost clamp: Salsa Liplock.
    • Handlebar: Surly Torsion Bar made by Nitto, Cromoly, 666mm.
    • Stem: Nitto Cromoly. Vintage New Old Stock.
    • Grips: Ritchey True Grips.
    • Headset: Chris King No Thread Set.
    • Crankset: Sugino Double 175mm Crank arms. Made in Japan.
    • Chainrings: Surly Stainless 110mm(40T, 36T).
    • Chain: Sram PC-68.
    • Freewheel: White Industries DOS ENU Double. (16T, 19T).
    • Bottom Bracket: TANGE Sealed, Made in Japan. 110.5mm.
    • Pedals: Shimano PD-M540 Clipless.

  17. #17
    M_S
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    I might go with some shallower and/or wider drops. The cadences look like solid road bars, but deeper than you might want for off road. My two favorite bars for cyclocross bikes are the Ritchey Biomax and Salsa Bell Lap. The ritchey has a shorter reach and really comfy top positions, but less flair. I think I like it a little better on the road, with the salsa getting the nod off road. Other than that the build list looks solid. I really like the Cadence cranks on my geared cross bike.

    EDIT: just noticed the cadence comes in compact. Widest is 42 though, which would be my minimum. I usually like 44 or 46 c-c, especially ona singlespeed, and especially off road. And I'm not a big guy, either.

  18. #18
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    I agree with the Salsa Bell Lap handlebar suggestion. I love those bars.

    For all the hype and discussion on cranks, I never really had any trouble with square taper. You could get Dimension or Sugino cranks without the chainring and put your own single speed chain ring on. Nice and cheap, works well, and you can adjust chainline by changing the bottom bracket.

    I still say go with V-brakes. They are easier to adjust than cantilevers and have better stopping power.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by yurtinus
    Updated chain - SRAM PC830 sound reasonable? I'll need to verify the cog widths but can do that later. Now... V's or Cantis.... I like the Cane Creek SX-5 (I think?) cantis and their fancy noodle-less DC-3 Vs. Any thoughts? Just go with some Avid single digits? I'm not a heavy guy so braking power should be adequate with anything...
    SRAM 8sp chains have worked well for me for MTB and road singlespeed applications.

    I'm not in love with the SX-5 design but the difference among cantis will be small compared to the difference between cantis and Vs. I'm running Tektro CR720 cantis and find them acceptable but they stick out pretty far - you can see them on my Cross check + click to zoom (bike is same today except for brake levers and stem).

    Installing Koolstop salmon pads provides a noticeable improvement for canti brakes BTW.

  20. #20
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    Craigslist? Nothing in your spec line up suggests that the part would be difficult to locate.

    Personally, I'd buy a 135mm disc mountain hub, put a tomicog on one side and a couple cogs on the freewheel. Might as well keep every option open. Depending on use, get two chainrings- you could do a 42x16 for commuting and road rides and 39x19 for a lot of offroad and then co-mingle the two on long hauls. Depends on terrain, of course.

    Koolstop salmons are really awesome. Again,buy the best brake calipers off craigslist and then slap on some solid pads.

    Good luck. The CC is a sweet ride.

  21. #21
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    Craigslist seems a bit weak for parts, especially when a decent set of new calipers isn't too spendy. I do like the shallower Salsa drop bars-- though this will be seeing pretty infrequent offroad use (I have a Blur XC for that). Right now I'm debating aesthetics... do I drop the coin for a full Salsa stem/seatpost/handlebar kit to better mix in with the rough Surly aesthetic... or save some nickles and dimes with the Cadence...

  22. #22
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    I have the cane creeks and the Tektro 720 canti's. I like the Tektro's much better. I'm taking the Cane creek's off my 'check and putting on some old LX canti's. Cane creek levers on Bell Moto's. The tektro levers are nice too.

    I run old school square taper and Dura Ace cranks (1988ish). My BB is about worn, and a local shop has a slightly used ultegra (new style, outboard) for about $100. Probably my cheapest option, although I would like a Phil BB. Currently 42x18, but I think I am going to go Delgado's with Surly Free/Free with a 39x16/18.

  23. #23
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    Many thanks to the help here guys, figure you'd like to see a final picture!

    It's not quite ripe, still waiting on my Surly 44t chainring and my freewheel, but I couldn't resist putting it together and pedalling.

    If there's interest, I took a number of pics of the build process and can make a build thread.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Diving off the deep end - Cross Check (New SS build questions)-25206_116327881715164_100000138575681_289809_1591190_n.jpg  


  24. #24
    conjoinicorned
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    sweet bike man

    just one thing...i really recommend a chain keeper up front (i use an n-gear jumpstop) as the crosscheck likes to drop chains during hard cranking, especially offroad. my experience anyways.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

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