Surly Cross Check 56cm Frameset Dark Dirty Blue Reappraisal

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    Should I Buy A Road Or Cyclocross Bike? I’m not competitive, I bike mostly for fun and commuting. Calgary streets can be rough, both in condition and weather. I also worry if a road bike can handle curbs and occasional pot holes. If not I’ll go for the cross.

    Also, how would a cross compare to a road if the treads were switched out for slicks?

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      The only difference between the wheels on cyclocross bikes and regular road bikes is the tires. Cyclocross bikes have more frame clearance and so have space for wider tires. Curb hopping is not recommended for either type of bike, and good cyclists avoid potholes when they can which is 99% of the time if they look where they are going. Cyclocroos bikes are slower overall on the road because they have lower overall gearing, the big ring is smaller on a ‘cross bike even if a road bike uses a compact crank. There are road bikes that have a bit more tire clearance and so they can handle wider tires and even have space for mudguards. It isn’t as if there are set limits for wheels and tires on any type of bike. There is a class of bike known as an audax bike that sort of falls between road race bikes and touring bikes. These bikes have room for wide tires, mounting points for racks and fenders and more relaxed frame geometry. These bikes are used for long distance endurance events like Paris-Brest-Paris and Montreal-Boston- Montreal where riders do rides of up to 1200 km in as little as 2 1/2 days

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    Cyclocross Bike Build Advice? I bought this bicyle’s bike frame & fork.

    I’m scouting out what wheels/rims to buy for my build but I’m not familiar with brands and value. Just looking for some input. I plan to buy the major components then work with my local bike shop to put it all together. Would like to find something on ebay or CL for no more than 400$.

    I live and almost exclusively ride in NYC, I got the Cyclocross frame for weekend/vacation trail runs.

    Also, was thinking about bullhorn handlebars, any thoughts/concerns? Suggestions?

    I’m pretty new to this and trying to learn as I go. if you have any advice about this endeavour would love to hear it.

    O and should the cups for a headset be locked securely into the frame or is alright if they are loose and become tightened when the fork is attached.

    Thanks in advance.
    the budget for my WHEELS is 400$…

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      I’ll answer your last question first. That bike uses an “integrated” headset. There are no cups in an integrated headset. What you are describing as cups are actually the cartridge bearings. The headtube in your frame is milled to allow these cartridge bearings to precisely fit, though the movement your describe is normal. Your headset is fine.

      You can get a good wheelset built for $400. There’s no reason to take a chance on feebay or c-list for wheels. If you don’t believe your LBS can build up a good set of wheels for you (many can’t, actually), you have numerous online options with great reputations.

      One example that I think would be terrific for your described use would be:

      Fr hub: Ultegra 6700 32h
      Rr hub: Ultegra 6700 36h
      Fr rim: Velocity Dyad 32h
      Rr rim: Velocity Dyad 36h
      Spokes: Either DT Swiss Competition 2.0-1.8 or Wheelsmith DB14 2.0-1.7
      Brass nipples
      Pattern: 3x

      The above handbuilt set is $380 from Universal Cycles. The slightly wider (24mm outer) width is a great platform for mounting 28-35mm tires. I frequently run 30 & 32mm tires on Dyads and really like the benefits of the wider rim. This would be a pretty tough wheelset without weighing a ton. Velocity also makes the very similar A23 rim that would be another option (add $10/set), but I’d opt for the tougher Dyad for your purposes.

      Other online sources would include Colorado Cyclist, Speedgoat, Longleaf Bicycles, and Peter White Cycles. Why don’t you call Peter White on Monday and ask him what he thinks; I bet he’ll recommend something similar.

      Bars are a personal choice. I’d be fine with bullhorns on a city bike, especially a fixed/ss or commuter. But I’d much prefer drops for anything I’d take on trails. Like I said…personal choice.

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  3. Reply

    Carrera Roll Cyclocross Bike? I am looking at buying a used one of these bikes. Not sure of the year, but it is yellow and black with a Campy Centaur groupset and Mavic open pros. I cant find much on the web about this bike so I am asking for opinions. thanks!

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      Did a search and came up with halfords. havent heard much good about halfords. the components however are decent . the campy cenetaur set is roughly the equivelent of a 105 set and i run mavik open pros on my bike and havent had any probs. again i dont know much about the frame but you have piqued my interest as this seems to be decent equip for a bike from halfords. was it stock or did the prev owner build?

      edit- carrera is used by 2 companies. 1 $#!t and the other brilliant. halfords caries the $#!t. look for a made in stamp or take it to a bike shop for a look over, if te seller is legit he shouldnt mind given the credibility issues with the name. if the frame is made in italy you are straight. if its made in roc, tiawan or vietnam, its quality is questionable. there are alot of great products made out east but in a vacum of info such as this its hard to really tell.
      good luck

      on an aside, i just purchased a cross bike my self and did a bit of research prior to purchase. im unsure of your pricepoint but i fell in love with the lemond proprad, and the scott cross. i ended up buying a 2006 cannondale optimo disc. i liked the component set and got a great deal. if you are actually going to compete in cross events be warned that the uci does not allow disc brakes in their events so choose accordingly. if however you are not competeing and just need a bike to beat the hell out of. disc brakes are nifty and novel and great for rainy day rides and muddy trail runs. i havent gotten any crap from any but the most snobish of roadies and that was as i passed them (quickly) so im ok with it.
      let me know what you end up getting.

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    What Is The Best Cyclocross Bike For Around $1500? I was looking at Trek and Lemond are these good cyclocross bikes for this price range, what others are good?
    What do you think of the lemond poprad with disc brakes for $1499?

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      Thankfully due to the growth of ‘cross over the last 10 years, you can find a # of great cyclocross bikes around that price range. What type of riding do you expect to do? Lots of racing? Grassy courses? A do-it-all bike?

      Look at the poprad $1650 if you like steel and a versatile racer, or the redline conquest pro $1600 or the jamis nova pro at $1100 if you like aggressive, race-oriented bikes with nice ‘cross features. The Kona Jake the Snake is another popular bike, at $1299.

      Most bike manufacturers nowadays have the kinks worked out, but manufacturers like redline, trek, and kona have had models for a while.

      Fit and intended purpose should be a big deciding factor in your choice. Lemonds tend to be long. The trek has big mud clearance. The Jamis is very nimble, quick steering. The Kona is more laid back. The redline is pretty “standard” in geometry. There are many other models -Scott, Surly, Bianchi, just to name a few.

      I would find a local shop that has a few models, knows a lot about ‘cross (if you intend to race) and try out the models. You can always upgrade parts, but the frame is what needs to fit and ride the way you like. Maybe go cheaper and then save some bones for a racewheel set?

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    What For $1500 Is Best Cyclocross Avail To Canada? Are “NORCO” cyclocross bikes good choice? Need help to make a choice. For fitness & fun & 10k commute to work. Kind to injured knees but shifts nicely when you need to. I’d like to support Canadian but the right bike comes first. I like performance but I don’t race. I like curled bars to cut the wind with ability to steer above them too.
    Less weight the better. Help appreciated from everyone. Thanks!


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      I just got a Norco CCX One cyclocross bicycle for my birthday. After a lot of research I came to the conclusion that the CCX One is the best cyclocross value on the market today. The CCX One is light and I love the comfortable ride of the larger tires and relaxed geometry.

      The CCX One lists for $1500 CDN, but my Norco dealer sold me it for $1200 CDN. What other bicycle offers 105 10-speed shifters, 105 front derailleur, Ultegra rear derailleur, and a Mavic wheel set at this price point?

      The only part I didn’t like about the CCX One was the stock aluminum fork. My dealer found me the last Ritchey cyclocross carbon fiber fork in Canada, and added it to my bicycle for $300 CDN. For you use you might want to change the knobby tires for a nice set of 25c or 35c touring tires. Keep the knobby tires for fire road and single track rides.

      Take a look at the CCX Two if you want to save some money ($1070 CDN). You get the same frame with disc brakes, but the rest of the components are a couple of levels below the components on the CCX One.


      Michael G

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    Building A Cyclocross Rig: Any Suggestions? This will be my first cyclocross bike, and as I live in an area without any ‘cross community to speak of, I’m scrounging for info. So, imagine, if you will: Just got a great deal on a used Gunnar Crosshairs frame in fine condition. What wheelset, forks, deraileurs, and handset would you put on there for $1500 or less? I’m hoping to keep things simple as possible, while getting a bit more performance than just ‘entry level’, as I’ve been road biking, commuting, and mtb-ing for six or seven years now… I’m really after the cyclocross feel, with eyes on actual training somewhere down the line.
    So please, for anyone with similar experience building, or riding a patchwork ‘cross rig, I sure would appreciate the insight that only wisdom can offer!

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      Hey there. Hopefully I can help…I’m one of the folk behind Cyclocross Magazine (

      If you’re counting $1500 not including the frame, you’ve really got a lot to play with. Here are a few tips, hopefully of some help:

      Spend the money on two wheelsets – a basic clincher set ($150?) and see if you can find a nice used set of hand-made tubular wheels ($150?). It doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest by Mavic, and in fact, something built up from a pair of hubs/rims/spokes by a good builder will do great, and often be LIGHTER than the fancy $800 wheels with deep dish rims, etc. Tubular tires will cost you another $200 (vittoria’s are around $70 each which are fine), clinchers probably $80, so we’re up to $600 with glue and tubes…

      The rest – choose your favorite drivetrain stuff. Doesn’t have to be the highest level stuff, esp. in cross as the elements and crashes can really take their toll and cause you to need to replace parts more frequently than road. 105/Ultegra/Rival/Veloce stuff is great. We love campy ergo 10 shifters mated to Shimano drivetrain and a 9-speed cassette (you read that right) with a slight change in the cable clamp at the rear derailleur. The campy stuff just holds up well. (our issue 1 happened to have an artilce on just this setup). You can easily get the whole drivetrain for $300 or less, and might even have some parts lying around you can re-use, like a shimano rear derailleur.

      Then, I’d go with strong, light aluminum cockpit stuff, like ritchey, bbb, or even kalloy guizzo stuff. You don’t need carbon here! We’ve seen to many broken carbon posts and bars. $150?

      For forks – a nice light steel fork could match the gunnar well, or a carbon one. By my math you should have $3-400 left for that and a headset and brakes. I think you could do everything with some creative searching and a little ebay for under $1k though.

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    • Chris
    • February 20, 2014

    Can I Turn My Hybrid Bicycle Into A More Cyclocross Like Bicycle? Basically I am curious to know if I can turn my swobo fillmore (60cm frame size if I remember right) into a cyclocross type bicycle. My main question is regarding the geometry of hybrids versus cyclocross. For mine the top tube only has a slight slope to it but finding comparisons of hybrid vs cyclocross geometry hasn’t been very easy.

    So is this possible at all or not even worth while due to frame geometry differences (if there are major ones)? Outside of drop bars, different brakes, and possibly a set of tires anything else that I would need? Thanks.

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      No, you can’t do that- not successfully anyway.

      The geometry of the hybrid frame is waaaaay too slack to conform to cyclocross needs and the bottom bracket, which is made low for stability on hybrids will cause some serious ground contact in cyclocross.

      Every component on the bike would have to be swapped as well- nothing on a hybrid will handle cyclocross punishment. It would cost you 2 to 3 times more to get the thing to a not-a-cyclocross cyclocross bike than to just buy one from your local dealer.

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