Author Topic: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?  (Read 16546 times)

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Offline lucky1076

Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« on: November 05, 2010, 09:25:08 am »
I have been looking for my first touring bike.  My goal is a cross Canadian tour a few years down the road.  I first looked into Surly LHT but wasnt interested in 26" wheel as I ride a 54cm bike and came across the Cross Check.

Other then lower bottom bracket and longer chainstays is there anything else which differ on the 2 bikes?

Would you recommend the Surly Cross Check for extented touring?

Thanks for your opinions.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 10:42:40 am »
Two strikes against the Cross Check in my book.  It has horizontal dropouts, and the complete bike comes with a double.

Horizontal dropouts make changing a tire a big deal if you're using big tires and fenders (do Canadians call them fenders or mudguards?).  In my experience, I want both while touring.  Big tires carry a big load with more comfort (lower pressure), and handle better on squirrely roads (lousy pavement or gravel roads).  Fenders keep you drier during a short shower, and keep the drivetrain cleaner.  And unless you ride across a desert, you're going to get rained on.

Do you have a fleet of bikes and don't want to buy more/different spare tires?  I'd think that might only be valid for the tubes.  If you go for larger tires (which you can do with either CC or LHT), you'll likely have to buy 32s or larger by mail, since so few LBSs carry them.  So why not go with 26" tires?

The double really only applies if you're going to buy the whole bike (which is going to be cheaper than building yourself).  If you do go for the frame build route, you can put any crank you want on the bike.  I've heard there are mountains riding across Canada; you're going to want a triple.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2010, 10:54:59 am »
If you are talking about the complete bike as sold by Surly, the two have different numbers of spokes and different gearing.  The stock gearing on the Cross Check wouldn't work for me.  Maybe someone with technical expertise can tell you whether the rear deraileur could handle something like a 32t cog.  The LHT has 3 bottle bosses.  The Cross Check has only 2.  Although in this day and age of Camelbacks that can hold the volume of small lakes, that might not make a difference to you.  Then again, some people like to put their fuel bottles in the cage underneath the downtube.

Offline lucky1076

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 01:37:19 pm »
I am looking for a frame and slowly built up a touring bike.  26" wheels just sound "slower" to me, this might not be true. I am not looking to "race" or be "super fast" but want the wheel version that would help cutting time and work down as much as possible  I will be doing all my riding in North America so access to 700c tires and tubes shouldnt be a issue.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 02:44:45 pm »
26" tires are not slower.  26" tires are available in every width from 1" to 2+".  26" tires in  many widths are stocked by every bike shop so you can always find them while touring.  Mail order of course has every width available.

http://www.conti-online.com/generator/www/de/en/continental/bicycle/themes/race/recetyres/ultra_gatorskin/ultragatorskin_en.html
Continental Ultra Gatorskin available in 559mmx28mm.  26" is 559mm.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 02:45:35 pm »
26" wheels just sound "slower" to me, this might not be true. I am not looking to "race" or be "super fast" but want the wheel version that would help cutting time and work down as much as possible.

(Biting tongue...  biting tongue...  Oops, here it comes!)

If you want a tire that sounds faster, take an mp3 player with fast sounds!

Somewhat more seriously, and here I'm guessing you're going to be carrying a load which includes camping gear, you'll probably average 10-12 mph.  

Even more seriously, you should definitely get 700C wheels.  That way you won't blame me when you look down at your speedometer and decide the 26" wheels are slowing you down, and decide it's my fault.

Offline JayH

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2010, 06:08:30 pm »
Doesn't Surly offer 26" wheels on the LHT on all sizes, I thought that was one of the changes they did when they released the 2010 LHT...

Jay

Offline DaveB

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2010, 11:05:50 pm »
I have a Cross Check and, even with coarse treaded 700x32 tires and fenders, removing the rear wheel is no problem despite the horizontal dropouts.  Maybe 700x45 knobbies might make it too tight but anything more conservative works fine. 

If you are going to bulid one up from a frame/fork (which is what I did) than you can have any crank type and gearing you want.  I have a Shimano 8-speed era 105 triple crank and square taper Shimano UN54 bottom bracket on mine with a 26T granny substituted for the stock 30T combined with  a 13x26 casette so I have a 27" low gear.  You could use a MTB crank and cassette and have as low a gear as you could want.   

The Cross Check's one limitation for heavy touring is that the stock fork has no eyelets for mounting low rider front racks but there are ways around that too.

Also, it is not set up with disc brake mounts but the Shimano BR-R550 cantis on mine were easy to install and work exceeding well.

Offline dcclark61

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2010, 10:40:49 am »
About eyelets on the fork--Surly now sells the Cross Check Complete *with* mid-blade eyelets. 
http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check_complete/

Offline indyfabz

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2010, 11:23:33 am »
Doesn't Surly offer 26" wheels on the LHT on all sizes, I thought that was one of the changes they did when they released the 2010 LHT...

Jay

They do offer 26" on all sizes, but they don't offer 700c on all sizes.  What the OP is saying is that if he went with an LHT he would be forced to use 26" wheels because his size is not available with 700c.

Offline DaveB

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2010, 08:40:26 pm »
About eyelets on the fork--Surly now sells the Cross Check Complete *with* mid-blade eyelets. 
http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check_complete/
Interesting.  I got my Cross Check frame and fork this past April and it doesn't have the mid-blade eyelets.  It must have been  a very recent change.  Also, the blue color option Surly now shows wasn't available when I bought mine. 

Offline Moondoggy

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2010, 01:51:17 pm »
Yes the fork eyelets on the CC are new this Fall. I do believe 700cc  wheels are faster both in Mt and road riding once up to speed. I'm sure this will stir up debate. I think a Cross Check works just fine fully loaded. Although my experinece is limited

Offline Eaton

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2010, 04:57:26 pm »
I have a CC with SKS and don't have trouble changing tires.  I use 32mm Panaracer Pasela TGs.

Before purchasing, I test rode both the CC and the LHT.  The CC fitted my needs better as a commuter, backup road bike, light tourer and randoneurring. The CC seemed livelier on the test rides.  If I was going to go with fully loaded front and rear panniers, I would have went with the LHT.  The LHT has a longer head tube and seats you a little more upright. 

I found this forum while I was researching triple cranks.  I'm thinking of changing the stock crank for a 105 triple.

Offline njkayaker

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2010, 07:26:31 pm »
There are other touring bikes. (The Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30 is one example. It's a bit more expensive than the LHT and the triple might not be as low as people might like.)

Offline ducnut

Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2010, 06:41:48 pm »
I wouldn't be afraid to tour on a Cross Check. If you were going to go with panniers, I'd be more apt to choose the LHT, as the longer wheelbase will add stability and heel clearance. However, the Cross Check will be a better all-around, lighter handling, sporty bike, when you're not travelling. With the Cross Check, I'd look into a B.O.B. trailer for travelling.

Building up one with SRAM Apex compact crank, Apex mid-cage derailluer, and 12-36 cassette will get you a 25.8" low gear, running a 700X38 tire (common touring size).

XLAB and Profile Design offer a variety of alternative bottle mounts. So, I wouldn't let one less bottle mount sway me from the Cross Check.

700c wheels are definitely going to roll over rough surfaces faster. I've recently bought a 29er MTB and it's a considerably faster and smoother ride than my previous 26" MTB, even on pavement. If dirt or rock roads are going to be a regular part of your riding, as they are with me and my Specialized Tricross, then a 700c wheel makes sense. Since you're looking at building this bike, I'd consider a Peter White wheelset, as well.