Thursday, November 29, 2012

Surly Cross Check Monster Cross Build - Part 2

Alright time to get to work, as I piece it together I'll do my best to explain my choice in parts. First thing I installed is the headset, which is unfortunately the archaic press-in style rather than integrated, but beggars can't be choosers on budget frames. If you are an uncompromising individual you will undoubtedly go for a Chris King and head to your LBS for them to press it in. I have no problem with compromise though, so I grabbed a Cane Creek 40 Series headset (it's every bit as good as a CK, just not as much street cred), and rather than a finely made Park Tools headset press I just used a 1/2" bolt and some washers, which do the exact same thing. On a steel frame you can even use a block of wood and a hammer, but that's at your own risk.


Next up is the crankset, a Truvativ Rolleur (identical to SRAM Rival) with a GXP bottom bracket, which I scavenged from my last build. A 50t ring is probably too much for this build but who knows, maybe I'll be spinning it out down Repack as some did several generations ago. I may switch to a single front ring at some point, but for the time being this is the setup. The cranks have been good to me and since I have Rival cranks  on my tri bike I can use this new crank based power meter and swap it easily between bikes. I ran into my first problem here, the screw that holds the plastic guide for the derailleur cables protruded into the BB shell and interfered with the grease catching tube of the GXP. You'll have to put a washer or two on the screw if you want to use a GXP on the Cross Check, which I did.


After that I cut down the excess steerer and seatpost, which constituted about 80% of the seatpost and half of the fork. Remember to measure 5 times and cut once, pretty easy to make it shorter but pretty hard to make it longer.



The seatpost is a forged Avenir 27.2mm, which was more of a placeholder than an alternative to a Thompson as I didn't know whether I wanted a layback or 0 degree, but it seems to be of good quality so it will stay if the riding position ends up panning out. The seat is from Charge and it looks awesome, nice mix of vintage leather appearance with modern design.  

Last part of the main assembly is the bar and stem, both also scavenged from my last build. The stem is a Salsa 17 degree 100mm, which I got because it was 17 degrees, 100mms, and cheap. I paired it up with some 46cm wide Salsa bars, not only because they were cheap, they are shallow drop and quite wide, which is what I like for road, but is even better for the trail. The wide bar gives you some added leverage for technical stuff and momentary tall gear smashing, and the shallow drops allow me to keep a low position both on the hoods and drops without being too low on either. 


Another holdover from my last build is the Neuvation M28x wheelset, which will likely be temporary, even though it's a stout wheelset I have little faith in 20 spokes holding up to what I plan to do on this bike. I'm keeping them on for a while though so we'll see how strong they really are, I'll report back on that one. The tires I went with are Panaracer FireCross 700x45c, I chose them since they are knobby and the largest that will clear the frame. the clearance is ample everywhere but the chainstays, it's very hard to get the wheel in to begin with and you have to run the dropout very long, which is a bummer as I wanted to run it as short as possible. I may shave down the knobs or just go with a smaller tire in the rear so I can shorten up the chainstay and be able to get the wheel out in a hurry. 

That's it for the preliminary assembly, tomorrow I'll throw on the small bits and pieces and take what will be the last clean and unscratched pictures of the bike. 

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