Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Surly Cross Check Monster Cross Build Part 3

Alright, on to the small stuff. For stoppers I went with TRP Eurox Alloy cantilevers. I went with TRP since I liked my tri bike brakes from them so much, I doubt you can do any better for the price. If you read Velonews you have noticed that it's about half Lance Armstrong articles and half "should cyclocross bikes use disk brakes." Since I'm doing a lot of trail riding on this thing disks may have been nice but I feel like they  are only better than a properly adjusted canti about 5% of the time, and the rest of the time just add weight and complication. My first ride on this bike was essentially in a river and aside from noise the brakes were great.

The brifters and derailleurs are Ultegra 6600 taken from my last build. I love this groupset, really durable and clean looking. The only thing I don't like is the derailleur cable routing isn't under the bartape, but aside from that it's everything I need. I have a new big ring on the way, the gear ratio I'm going to be using is 44/36 front with a 12-27 in the rear. During the summer I may use an 11-25 and maybe a bigger front ring when I'm likely to be going faster, but winter riding is going to be 90% hard trails and singletrack in rough conditions and not too much smooth fireroad flying. For pedals I got some Crank Brothers Egg Beater 1s, first time trying these, I went with them for ease of clipping in and out and they are light/high quality at a low price point. I don't have enough use with them yet to give an opinion but they seem solid, I'll do a review in the future.

I cabled it all up with a Jagwire Racer cable kit, aside from the rear derailleur where I used a bit of Nokon housing for added durability. For bar tape I used Salsa Dark Brown Gel Tape, which looks awesome along with the faux leather Charge seat. It felt a bit smooth to me at first but after riding with it I like it a lot, I never wear gloves and it felt plenty grippy even when wet and caked with mud, and it didn't retain water either which is important. In part 2 I said the wheels were likely to be temporary, and although they survived a few rides 24/20 just isn't enough spoke count to handle what I'm using this bike for. I grabbed a 36h Chris King laced to a Mavic Open Pro for the rear, and a 32h White Industries hub which I will lace up in the next part, along with some other finishing touches and initial impressions. Unfortunately I must force myself to just look at the bike for the next few days as I have a race this weekend, and it's near impossible to ride this thing in a safe manner. After that though I have some death rides planned that will really put the Cross Check through it's paces. 


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