Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Burly Surly Cross Check...

What my idea of a Surly Cross Check should be. If FFF (Fatties Fit Fine), why not specify the fatter tires instead of the skinny-ish Ritcheys? Add a granny ring to get up some steeper hills (or use as a bailout when all day in the saddle results in fried legs). Some folks just want a bike like this to ride the dirt and not race. With the bigger tires, this Cross Check just looks tough.

The result is a Surly Cross Check, Black Mountain Cycles style. Standard price is $1050 for a complete, unmodified Cross Check. With the changes I made to this one, it can be yours for $1095. This one's a 54cm, but bigger or smaller sizes ain't a problem.

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And the Tiagra "double" front derailleur works just fine with three rings and a bar-end shifter.
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(What's playing: Neko Case Whip the Blankets)


MechanicMatt said...

Funny this is what early mountain bikes basically looked like, minus the 700c wheels. What goes around, comes around.

Curious of what you think of SRAM's XX and how 20 years ago we had 21 spd mountain bikes that worked alright.

frankenbiker said...

Nice Monster cross!My old bean green model works fine with bontrager 29X1.8", but that tire wont fit in the frame of newer models;or so I am told by a friend in the know with a (YUCK!)Beef gravy brown one.

blackmountaincycles said...

I've not checked the fit of that 29x1.8 tire. Interesting it's not fitting in newer frames. This one is a new black one which should be the same as the brown frames.

@Matt - SRAM XX - I've been meaning to write something about that group. Stay tuned.

Ben said...

FB- Bonty 1.8's fit easily. I have them mounted on a bike in my shop.

Mike, good call on the granny. don't know why I've never thought about that! I'll be calling you later today. Cheers.


Chris said...

Been wrestling between building up a Fargo or a Cross Check (pretty much like this) Any reccos, Mike?

Antoine said...

That's my kind of bike but the clearances are very tight in my fork with the Salsa rims I'm using. It won't be very mud-friendly come winter.

I'm finding the Panaracers very slow-rolling on tarmac too, but they are confidence-inspiring in the dirt!

frankenbiker said...

Yep! he's an idiot.Mounted a 1.8 in the front and a 2.1 in the rear.DUH!1.8 does fit,less beer while bicycle building leads to bicycles that actually work.

blackmountaincycles said...

@Antoine: Try a skinnier rim. It will pull the sidewalls in just a hair. I've tried to see if Kenda would make a 700x45 Small Block 8. That tire would be just about perfect for a do-it-all bike. Or the WTB Nano in a 45c/1.8 size...

blackmountaincycles said...

@Chris: The way I would look at comparing those two would be to ask myself a few questions.

Do I want a traditional looking bike or one that stands out? If traditional looking, go Surly.

Do I want a bike that can fit an honest 29" tire? If yes go Fargo.

Do I want a bike I have to explain to other riders when I hit the trail? If yes, Fargo.

Do I want a bike to tackle the Great Divide race? If yes, Fargo.

Do I want a bike I can lighten up and tackle a century or two? If yes, go Surly.

It's early still, but I think you get the idea. The biggest question is do you want a bike that is more mountain bike or more cross?

Chris said...

Mike, I ask myself most of those questions (other than those re: the GDR or centurys!) Your final point is the question I've been wrestling with most. God knows I own and have owned more than my share of mountain bikes so the Cross Check holds the appeal of something different. Ultimately, the Fargo probably makes more sense for me due to it's versatility. As always, thanks for your input.

Fernando said...

I just got a complete Cross Check and want to install a granny ring. Everyone has different opinions on what needs modifying, this is the first picture I've found.

The double front derailleur worked for you, how about the bottom bracket? Did you use the 113mm stock or did you need to swap a 118mm? Can you tell us exactly which chainring you used?

I hope we clueless surly newbies can finally get an authoritative answer to this longs standing question.

Thank you.

blackmountaincycles said...

Fernando, that bike is gone, but I think there were a couple of issues that came about as a result of the 45c tires.

The 45's are so fat, that the tail of the derailleur hit the knobs when in the granny. I installed a wider bb (maybe it was even a 122.5???) so the derailleur cleared the tire. Then with the wider spaced crank, the double derailleur wouldn't cover the ground so a triple compatible derailleur was installed.

Even with the wider bb, the chainline was still proper in the 48mm range.

So, if you're using the stock 32 or 35 tire, I think all you might need is a wider bb. It helps having access to all the potential parts like I have in the shop when experimenting, though.

Good luck!

Fernando said...

Thanks a lot for the reply.

I will go play with the cruddy old parts in the bins at the bike coop, if I find a setup that works then I can buy decent parts.