Building an old school shreder for less watts and more funs - alternatives to Surly's Cross-check?

Hi there :slight_smile:

I am considering building a bike with parts I have around in my shed. Use would be mostly riding with the kid so road, pathes, very easy XC (like wood pathes, that kind of stuff). My soma does the trick but 35 mm slicks and mudguards turn muddy conditions into a challenge / nightmare :wink:

Parts I already have:

  • Crankset
  • 2*10 Sram Red levers
  • Rear derailleur
  • Non-disc wheels
    • saddle, bars, stem, seatpost, etc.

→ so I mostly need a frameset, for rim brakes, with as much clearance as possible.

Of the options I had in mind, only the Cross-check is still available. Could anyone think of an alternative ?

Many thanks :slight_smile:

Paul Milnes’s ebay store is a good place to look, for example there’s a Ridley CX frame there available for £299.99. There’s other options available for canti brakes:

http://www.ebaystores.co.uk/Paul-Milnes-Cycles

Paul has his own brand X Wing frame which is a canti CX frame you see a lot in CX racing round here but there doesn’t seem to be any available in his store right now. Could be a good one to look out for second hand.

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Thank you will check :slight_smile: I forgot to mention that I am in France. The UK is still close, even if less integrated ^^

Surly is the clear winner from a value perspective if you want a new frameset.

A few of the Crust Bikes models would be appropriate. Or perhaps a Rivendell?

You might start checking the ibob forum. There are sometimes very interesting used frames up for sale there.

https://groups.google.com/g/internet-bob

Thank you for your answer. Can’t access the ibob Google group unfortunately.

But I don’t thank you for the Riv’ suggestion. I had finally managed to forget I want a Sam Hillborne, and now I want one again :roll_eyes: :grimacing: :rofl:

When I went down the same track I settled on a secondhand canti CX frame and scoured ebay etc until one showed up. I ended up with a Trek Crockett. I wasn’t really interested in the cross-check because I think the geometry is pretty wonky (it’s longer and lower than my race-focused road bike, which is why every one you see has a mile of headset spacers).

The main trade off is canti CX frames don’t typically have that much tyre clearance. I’m running not very aggressive 38s and that’s about all I can fit.

For new options, there are still canti Swiss-Crosses floating around but for mine they where a bit expensive for the spare-parts build I was planning.

I haven’t even checked the Surly’s geometry :flushed:

Used canti CX frames are getting hard to find at a decent price, and indeed the Swiss Cross is a bit expensive, and lacks any kind of mount (which are always good to have, even if I wouldn’t add any rack or mudguard to such a bike). Clearance OTOH is good on the Swiss Cross (43 for the frame, more than 50 for the fork).

Surlys seem to be sold out in Europe :frowning:

Few alternatives I found:

I also checked Thorn but they don’t offer this kind of CX / allroad frameset. SpaCycles OTOH does, but doesn’t ship to EU anymore :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

What bike are you referring to ?

I did exactly this over the summer after realizing I didn’t really have a versatile and cheap bike for adventures (with kids, camping, etc.). Had a bunch of parts and bought a cross check.

In short, it’s great enough for the job. Do it.

To get a bit into it, the geo is not great. It’s too low. There’s too much wheel flop. There’s a bit of toe overlap. The 54 has more reach than the 56…And it doesn’t ride like a nice steel bike can/should. But it is indestructible, fun, and fatties fit fine (I have 43 gravelking SKs and could fit fenders still). I choose not to overthink it and like the bike.

Thank you for the feedback. Again, issue is to find one in mainland Europe …

Yeah… Here I am in Italy, and this summer I waited 40 days that my headset bearing for my canyon came from Britain. The shop did great, they sent me the next day… But they were stuck in the customs for 40 days…

If you can find it, Ritchey XC is a great solution.

You mean the Swiss Cross ?

Yes, CX and not XC. My mistake.

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