Q? for SS CROSS-CHECK owners- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Q? for SS CROSS-CHECK owners

    I keep going back and forth on the next SS bike purchase, vacillating between 26" vs. 29", fixed vs. free, custom vs. production. Then I saw a sweet Surly Cross-Check in town, and it looked pretty versatile, and so I started thinking ... "cross bike ... hmmm." So my question to the owners of these bikes is, how do you use it? Commuter? CX racing? Off-roading? All of the above? None of the above? What do you think its ideal purpose is? Any thoughts, rants, raves, set-up suggestions, advice or pictures would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    SS Clyde 29er
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    takes in a deep breath...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixintogo
    I keep going back and forth on the next SS bike purchase, vacillating between 26" vs. 29", fixed vs. free, custom vs. production. Then I saw a sweet Surly Cross-Check in town, and it looked pretty versatile, and so I started thinking ... "cross bike ... hmmm." So my question to the owners of these bikes is, how do you use it? Commuter? CX racing? Off-roading? All of the above? None of the above? What do you think its ideal purpose is? Any thoughts, rants, raves, set-up suggestions, advice or pictures would be appreciated.
    Okay...are u a tall guy like above 5'9"? Well if u are then a 29er is especially for you.

    fixed or free - get a flip/flop (fixed/free) rear hub and decide how u wanna flow based on ur mood, trail, terrain, skill level, or curiocity

    custom frames are great...until they break!

    use: however u damn well feel that day with one of these. i use mine as a commuter, cross racer, touring bike, or MTB (put 44mm tires on it and take it on SOME trails, lack of suspension=whiplash and higher center of gravity means a bit squirly on the trail

    its ideal use hmmm...going from point A to B...on what ever road ud like!
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  3. #3
    Cracker-magnon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixintogo
    So my question to the owners of these bikes is, how do you use it?
    How ever I [email protected] well feel like using it. Sometimes she's a good girl and I take her on a nice country road, and some times I ride her like I just paid $50 for a good time

    seriously though, you can do a lot with this bike. It will definitely handle different on single track, but different is not bad. Not a bike to ride off road if you just want to ride and not think though. Try it fixed for a great physical AND mental exercise.
    "Life is a [email protected]#^ing story problem, get used to it - my son.

  4. #4
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    Everywhere!

    I bought a Cross-Check and it's become my main bike. I've done everything from group road rides, to fireroads, cross races (go figure...), touring, trailer pulling, commuting, trail riding, and even a couple of MTB races. The configuration has run the gamut as well: 18-speed, 1x9, 1x3, SS, and now fixed. Check over the on the "Post your Surly" thread and you can see my rig in it's old 1x9 set-up.
    I've had so much fun trail riding that I rode the XC exclusively this past summer; ended up selling off the FS bike and building a set of nice fix/free Phil Wood & Salsa wheels. If you're getting bored with your local trails get an XC and all that's old is new again.
    If you decide to get one and you don't like it, which is probably not the case, you can always sell here at MTBR on the classifieds no problem. I'll post a few ride / race photos on the XC for you a bit later.

  5. #5
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    The beauty of the Cross Check

    The good guys over at The Path set mine up as a SS road bike with 42X17 gearing. If some day I decide I want to dabble in cyclo-cross I can just slap on some knobbys and maybe a smaller chain ring up front. If the knees every blow up, I can put some gears on it. The steel offers a comfortable ride for long distance so it makes a great touring bike. Last month I did a two day 170 mile ride in Big Sur and never felt beat up. That's the beauty of this bike. One of the things I also love about it is the looks (and comments) I get from the raodies I pull up next to on PCH. During the Big Sur ride, on a long, long climb two guys were slowly passing me. One gave me compliment on the CC while the other one mumbled "That's f****** stupid" under his breath. I assume he was refering to the gearless nature of the bike. I love it!
    Once again, a big thanks to Tani and the guys at The Path who set this baby up for me. I knew nothing about road bikes and the way they configured, I can't think of any changes I would want to make.

  6. #6
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    utlitarian bike

    You can not go wrong with the crosscheck. Mine switches from road to 'cross to almost a fat tire mountain bike, all fixed. If your trails aren't rocky, super techy with drop offs and such, go for it. You will not be disappointed. After riding mine on the trails for a year or so, I did get a custom 29" mountain frame and fork, but the crosscheck still sees more miles.
    -d

  7. #7
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    I love my cross check, but I am glad I have a real mountain bike as well. It is great fun putting on knobbly tyres and hitting the trails fixed, but the Cross Check is a bit of a handful.

    I cannot go as fast or as far off-road on it as I can a mountain bike. I can sometimes keep up with my friends on a mountain bike and that just would not be possible on the Cross-check for me.

    I dont have any other road bike, so mine gets used for centuries, hell rides and commuting.

  8. #8
    "Mr. Britannica"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixintogo
    I keep going back and forth on the next SS bike purchase, vacillating between 26" vs. 29", fixed vs. free, custom vs. production. Then I saw a sweet Surly Cross-Check in town, and it looked pretty versatile, and so I started thinking ... "cross bike ... hmmm." So my question to the owners of these bikes is, how do you use it? Commuter? CX racing? Off-roading? All of the above? None of the above? What do you think its ideal purpose is? Any thoughts, rants, raves, set-up suggestions, advice or pictures would be appreciated.

    can be all of the above, even fixed gear... mine is set up as a crosser, but could duty as a commuter or light off-roader
    <img src="https://img465.imageshack.us/img465/9064/orangecc1ds.jpg">
    Last edited by roadiegonebad; 10-20-2005 at 08:57 AM.

  9. #9
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    swiss army bike

    I have run it for a 250 mile tour in one day with gears, did a 100 mile tour ss with 80 lbs on gravel roads, I have raced it ss, I have commuted, and I have ridden it as a mountain bike. I have a gucci custom Italian steel bike, among a few other nice bikes, but if I had to pick only one bike for the rest of my life, this would be it hands down. I would recomend to anyone buying one and never looking back.

  10. #10
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    Smile Thank you!

    Thank you everyone, for your thoughtful responses and pictures -- keep 'em coming, I'm getting enthused! Sounds like a great bike, by all accounts.

  11. #11
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    i don't think you will find a negative thread about the cross-check. if you don't like it, so what, its only $400. you can re-sell it for $300 easily. as if anybody resells them. its all i ride. 40 X 20 on trail, 40 X 18 on roads, in winter. always fixed. i think the pipes are made of lead. the only downside. i may get a custom titanium bike in the spring for racing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixintogo
    I keep going back and forth on the next SS bike purchase, vacillating between 26" vs. 29", fixed vs. free, custom vs. production. Then I saw a sweet Surly Cross-Check in town, and it looked pretty versatile, and so I started thinking ... "cross bike ... hmmm." So my question to the owners of these bikes is, how do you use it? Commuter? CX racing? Off-roading? All of the above? None of the above? What do you think its ideal purpose is? Any thoughts, rants, raves, set-up suggestions, advice or pictures would be appreciated.
    Race it, I do, I have raced it for 3 or 4 years, as a single speed and started racing it fixed this year, my 3rd race should be this weekend. FUNN, it's always been single, and always had salsa bell laps. I've also done road rides, cummuting, and single track, with cross tires or bigger 42c tires.

  13. #13
    Not because I'm fast.....
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    All of the above (except racing)

    Great bike, go for it!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2farfwd
    Great bike, go for it!

    Awesome bike -- thanks for the pic -- that's exactly how I envision setting it up!

  15. #15
    ride on(e)
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    what about toe overlap????

    do any of you have this problem on your crosscheck?

  16. #16
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    I have a 52cm Cross-Check (Way to small for me) I am 5' 10.5'' and have size 45 sidis. With big tyres I have a little bit of toe overlap. With road tyres it is fine. The only time I notice the toe overlap is when track-standing.

  17. #17
    "Mr. Britannica"
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS'r in Kansas
    do any of you have this problem on your crosscheck?
    smaller frame + bigger tires = yes.... but when does it really matter??? almost never.

  18. #18
    pepito
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    i have a 56, am 5'10", wear size 44.5 shoes, and i have toe overlap with both slicks and fatties. obviously more noticeable with fatties. however, it hasn't ever affected the way i ride. i think people tend to adapt their riding styles to the particular bike they ride. my main mtb has a very low BB by today's standards. loads of pedals strikes on the rock-strewn trails i ride. i learned to time my pedal strokes very early on (like a fixie rider). anyway, to get back on topic, toe overlap is going to exist on every cyclocross and road bike in your given size. it isn't really a big deal, though.

    the_dude
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling" ~James E. Starrs

  19. #19
    Not because I'm fast.....
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    Thanks..here's a few more pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixintogo
    Awesome bike -- thanks for the pic -- that's exactly how I envision setting it up!
    I have it set-up with a 36/16 gearing with a Phil flip flop free/fixed hub in the back. 36/16 isn't fast on the road, but it feels like a great all round gear. I highly recommend the cross check.
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  20. #20
    True American Cyclist
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    get it...

    Ditto. I'd definitely recommend getting a cyclocross bike (cross check or other). The only caution is that although CX bikes are "jacks of all trades", they aren't the master of anything. In other words, I wouldn't want to rely on my Cross Check as my only mountain bike. Although it can manage on any fire road, and some gentle single track, it just doesn't cut the mustard for serious mountain biking. The same is true if you're a serious roadie; the CC is about 5 lbs heavier than it needs to be, and a diferent geometry than a standard road racer.

    My Cross Check is truly the most versatile and most useful bike I've ever owned, and the best bike purchase I've ever made. Mine is currently set up and geared as a road bike, but I've used it for literally all aspects cycling: Mtn Bike races, road bike races, touring, commuting, club road rides, fire roads, single track, ect. I have two sets of wheels. Right now I have road racing tires on one wheel set, and some 35x700 touring tires on the second set, for commuting.

    If I had to choose just one bike to own (god forbid), it would be a Cross Check, or maybe another cyclocross bike. Keep in mind that all cyclocross bikes aren't the same. If I'm not mistaken, the Cross Check uses measurements that are closer to traditional road bike geometry than other cyclocross bikes. For me, this works great.
    "Cars - R - Coffins"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
    I wouldn't want to rely on my Cross Check as my only mountain bike. The same is true if you're a serious roadie; .

    Thanks for your input, Mike (and everyone else). I ride a track bike for commuting and a cruiser for pretty much everything else. I guess I have to decide whether I want to compromise the bike's off-road abilities or its on-road abilities.

    What I'm looking for is something that I can ride fixed or free, both on the road or the crushed-granite trails in town, for wet weather commuting, and the occasional foray down the "real" trails when I'm coerced into it. Our trails are exceedingly rocky/ledgy though, and I doubt the XCheck would be the best tool for that job. But from all indications, it seems that a XCheck would serve my commuting/street/light trail needs better than a 29er dedicated mountain bike. Unfortunately, my budget won't allow both.

    You fans of the Cross Check are very persuasive. Love those Midge bars!

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