Surly Crosscheck vs. Soma Double Cross
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  1. #1
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    Surly Crosscheck vs. Soma Double Cross

    Hi all,
    I'm looking for a commuter for my 15 mile ride to work. I've narrowed my search to the Crosscheck and Doublecross. What are some of the advantages/disadvantages to each? I can find plenty of local shops to build them, but nobody has one I can test ride. I'm kind of leaning toward the Crosscheck Complete because it means I don't have to build it myself.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    duh...
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    you ever gonna ride fixed or SS?
    do you want the original or a copy?
    they are pretty much the same

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireFred
    you ever gonna ride fixed or SS?
    do you want the original or a copy?
    they are pretty much the same
    except that the Surly is now "custom" 4130 Cromo, while the Soma is 631.

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    I have a Cross-Check and it's really comfortable for me. I ride it fixed and I have no trouble going out on long-ish rides on it as it fits me really well.

    I commuted on it 19 miles through DC on it and it was completely fine for me.

    Both are great bikes; I know nothing about the Soma first hand so I can't comment.
    Just looking for a place to shed our skins- WSP

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireFred
    you ever gonna ride fixed or SS?
    do you want the original or a copy?
    they are pretty much the same
    I'm tempted to ride it SS and it looks like the dropouts on the Soma won't handle that. Makes me lean toward the Surly. How tough is it to convert to a SS once it's set up geared?

    An original or copy? Makes no difference to me. I'd rather judge on something like quality or price; I have no problem with copies.

    They do look the same. I read up on these things and keep coming back to the crosscheck. Honestly, after all my searching I haven't read a bad review of it yet. I guess it's fairly heavy, that seems to be the drawback. From the manufacturers sites they weigh about the same though so...

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    I'd go surly

    Love my surly that i just picked up for commuting... mine is a bit loner, 30 miles, so i went with their pacer... sweet bike and absolutely love the feel of it. Only drawback as you stated is weight, but surly's are meant to be ridden and beat, not like a lighweight frameset... my pacer ran around 6 lbs for frame and full steel fork, but for a commutter, no problem...

    Think I build mine up for about 1000 total with full 105 9 speed, and some other nice parts, so its definately affordable...

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    one other consideration i had is the geometry.. got the pacer with a 56.5 top tube... which is exactly what i like, think the crosscheck was 55.5 and 57... not a huge difference, but i was leaning toward the pacer, and that sealed the deal for me...

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    I've been looking at these two and the Crosshairs...

    I just asked a similar question on the cyclocross board looking for advice between the Doublecross and the Gunnar Crosshairs. The Surly seems designed along the same lines as these two.

    Among the three the Gunnar is the priciest. Am I correct in understanding that it is also the only one made in the USA? Beyond this distinction all seem to be comparable geometry, weight, and build quality. My intent is to build a geared bike, so SS dropout is not an issue.

    Anything else to consider? All other things equal is it as simple as deciding whether a US made frame is worth the additional cost?

  9. #9
    duh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by lousylegs
    except that the Surly is now "custom" 4130 Cromo, while the Soma is 631.

    yeah, ok, but old cross checks- at least the first year models- were 631. btw, soma is supposedly changing over from 631 to tange prestige. would anyone notice any difference between any of the tubesets? doubt it

    two possible advantages in the somas corner are the extended head tube and a brazed on rear brake hanger (not the finicky seatpost clamp thing like on the surly)... very minor and I would pick fit over those things... of course, the geometries are incredibly close (at least in my size)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vick
    I just asked a similar question on the cyclocross board looking for advice between the Doublecross and the Gunnar Crosshairs. The Surly seems designed along the same lines as these two.

    Among the three the Gunnar is the priciest. Am I correct in understanding that it is also the only one made in the USA? Beyond this distinction all seem to be comparable geometry, weight, and build quality. My intent is to build a geared bike, so SS dropout is not an issue.

    Anything else to consider? All other things equal is it as simple as deciding whether a US made frame is worth the additional cost?
    color. you can choose a color on the gunnar, or the color of the month.
    the others come in their respective colors...

    i have a bean green crosscheck. I don;t know about the others, but my frame has TONS of tire clearance.
    i would like a brazed on a brake cable stop in the back, which the Xcheck doesnt have.

    i would go by what's in stock at the shop you like. the surly might need some prepping, like facing and chasing, so make sure the shop will do that included in the price.

    if you like the folks at a shop. go there, and ask them. they might go by what they have in stock or what they have had good experiences with.

  11. #11
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    Can't speak for the Soma, but the cross check is solid. I commuted on it for 2.5 years and it was comfy and fun to ride. Mud, rocks, crappy roads: no problems. The picture shows it with 28 tires but when I commuted it had cross tires.

    Get it, you won't regret it.

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    I went looking at a few of the stores today and ran into a bit of a problem. A place called Northwest Bicycle on 21st in NW Portland had a bunch in stock. They had a 54cm Crosscheck Complete, a 58cm all decked out for ~$1500 and a 60cm still in the box. I'd like the "complete" model as it's ~700 less, but they didn't have a 58cm.

    Not sure if I need a 58cm or 60cm. I'm 6'1, 178lbs and have a 33" inseam. The 54cm was definitely too small, the 58 felt ok. Do I ask them to build up the 60 so I can try it or just order me a 58? Before dropping $1k I'd like to test ride it :/ From what I can tell most folks my size ride a 58.

    Thanks for the help everyone, I appreciate it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superjohnny
    I went looking at a few of the stores today and ran into a bit of a problem. A place called Northwest Bicycle on 21st in NW Portland had a bunch in stock. They had a 54cm Crosscheck Complete, a 58cm all decked out for ~$1500 and a 60cm still in the box. I'd like the "complete" model as it's ~700 less, but they didn't have a 58cm.

    Not sure if I need a 58cm or 60cm. I'm 6'1, 178lbs and have a 33" inseam. The 54cm was definitely too small, the 58 felt ok. Do I ask them to build up the 60 so I can try it or just order me a 58? Before dropping $1k I'd like to test ride it :/ From what I can tell most folks my size ride a 58.

    Thanks for the help everyone, I appreciate it.
    I am a little over 6' and I ride a 56. the 56 has a 57 TT while the 58 has a 58 TT, so pretty similar. I would choose between those 2. the 60 will be big.
    I would ask about the 58, saying that you want a 58, but with a cheaper spec. if it's a good shop, they might be able to swap a few key parts to bring the price down.
    say you want a complete Xcheck for $1k out the door, and they will either swap parts on the instock model to get it down there, or order you a complete Xcheck new. up to them. you can test ride the costlier 58 to get a feel for fit.

    but there might be something easy to swap, like wheels, to bring the price down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    I am a little over 6' and I ride a 56. the 56 has a 57 TT while the 58 has a 58 TT, so pretty similar. I would choose between those 2. the 60 will be big.
    I would ask about the 58, saying that you want a 58, but with a cheaper spec. if it's a good shop, they might be able to swap a few key parts to bring the price down.
    say you want a complete Xcheck for $1k out the door, and they will either swap parts on the instock model to get it down there, or order you a complete Xcheck new. up to them. you can test ride the costlier 58 to get a feel for fit.

    but there might be something easy to swap, like wheels, to bring the price down.
    Ok so I'll shoot for a 58cm. I did test ride it and it felt pretty good. Theirs had all sorts of upgrades: chris king headset, upgraded wheels, brakes, 105 components, STI shifters etc etc. They want $880 for a bone stock Crosscheck Complete and this one was $1500. I'll ask them if they pull some of the goodies off and get me closer to a grand.

    Solid advice jh, thanks for taking the time to post.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by superjohnny
    Ok so I'll shoot for a 58cm. I did test ride it and it felt pretty good. Theirs had all sorts of upgrades: chris king headset, upgraded wheels, brakes, 105 components, STI shifters etc etc. They want $880 for a bone stock Crosscheck Complete and this one was $1500. I'll ask them if they pull some of the goodies off and get me closer to a grand.

    Solid advice jh, thanks for taking the time to post.
    I would also suggest the 58cm, the 60cm would be a little big. I had 58cm that I felt was too big for me (plus a little heavy for racing) and I am 6'2".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vick
    I just asked a similar question on the cyclocross board looking for advice between the Doublecross and the Gunnar Crosshairs. The Surly seems designed along the same lines as these two.

    Among the three the Gunnar is the priciest. Am I correct in understanding that it is also the only one made in the USA? Beyond this distinction all seem to be comparable geometry, weight, and build quality. My intent is to build a geared bike, so SS dropout is not an issue.

    Anything else to consider? All other things equal is it as simple as deciding whether a US made frame is worth the additional cost?
    well that and the fact that the Gunnar is a much higher quality frame than the Soma or Surly (not necessary better depending on what you want it for), but its tubing is lighter, and it is produced by Waterford (as you probably know).

  17. #17
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    Ordered up the 58cm. Should be ready by next Thursday. Now comes that oh so tough wait. Thanks for the help guys, I'll post back with a pic or 2 once I get her runnin'.

  18. #18
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    You made a good choice. I test rode both and went with the Soma, largely due to the fact that it was readily available and Cross Checks were as common as unicorns when I was ready to purchase.

    The difference in geometry did play a bit of a role as well. The semi-sloping Soma top tube allowed me to buy a top tube appropriate for a 60cm frame (59.2cm or something like that) and retain a little more standover clearance.

    Looking forward to the pictures. Don't forget the fenders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by superjohnny
    Ordered up the 58cm. Should be ready by next Thursday. Now comes that oh so tough wait. Thanks for the help guys, I'll post back with a pic or 2 once I get her runnin'.
    nice. yes, get fenders (planet bike freddy) blinkie lights, tubes, etc. when you buy the bike and they might cut you a deal. it doesnt come with pedals. my crosscheck has the clips on one side, platforms on the other. nice for commuting.

    so you got the standard crosscheck spec? the wouldn't dumb down the 58 on the floor for you? my guess is someone at the shop built that up... and will own it at cost come fall! but it worked... you got to use the demo so it's all good.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    nice. yes, get fenders (planet bike freddy) blinkie lights, tubes, etc. when you buy the bike and they might cut you a deal. it doesnt come with pedals. my crosscheck has the clips on one side, platforms on the other. nice for commuting.

    so you got the standard crosscheck spec? the wouldn't dumb down the 58 on the floor for you? my guess is someone at the shop built that up... and will own it at cost come fall! but it worked... you got to use the demo so it's all good.
    I've got lights, but I could use the fenders & tubes. I'll try & haggle with them a bit and I like your idea about clips/platform pedals... good for both. Platforms are easier for my Saturday morning trip to the coffee shop and clips are better for the ride into work.

    They didn't even consider dumbing down the 58. Hue, the guy who I worked with, nice as he is I think you're right... that'll be his bike. He's my size, but stronger and a much better cyclist. I'll just bet he'll own that bike come fall.

    The only upgrade that I'm seriously considering is a Brooks B17 saddle like this: http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/145...ard-Saddle.htm
    A comfy butt is a happy butt.

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    Johnny, let us know how the size works...

    I'm pretty close to your size (~6'1", ~34"inseam) and I am on the fence between a 56 and 58. I ride a 58 road bike, conventional wisdom says to go down one for a cross frame. And of course you have to take into account individual manufacturers variation in geometry and sizing.

    I'm in eastern NC where they don't even know how to spell cyclocross, so I'll most likely not get an opportunity to try all the bikes i'm interested in. I'll most likely end up buying over the phone from a bike shop that knows what they are doing (like American Cyclery or Speedgoat) and ironing out the frame size when I order.

    Right now I am leaning toward a 56" Crosshairs, but please let us know how the 58" works for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superjohnny
    I've got lights, but I could use the fenders & tubes. I'll try & haggle with them a bit and I like your idea about clips/platform pedals... good for both. Platforms are easier for my Saturday morning trip to the coffee shop and clips are better for the ride into work.

    They didn't even consider dumbing down the 58. Hue, the guy who I worked with, nice as he is I think you're right... that'll be his bike. He's my size, but stronger and a much better cyclist. I'll just bet he'll own that bike come fall.

    The only upgrade that I'm seriously considering is a Brooks B17 saddle like this: http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/145...ard-Saddle.htm
    A comfy butt is a happy butt.
    if you get fenders or a rack, have the shop install them. they will do it right, and sometimes you need little hardware bits that the shop has boxes of, but you would have to run to the hardware store.

    i have always been interested in a brooks saddle. i shy away because of the cost, and i have heard that there is a break in period which is uncomfortable, and that you have to be careful about getting them wet. you also have to treat them with proofhide... just too much for me to deal with right now.
    but they sure look cool and tons of people swear by them.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vick
    I'm pretty close to your size (~6'1", ~34"inseam) and I am on the fence between a 56 and 58. I ride a 58 road bike, conventional wisdom says to go down one for a cross frame. And of course you have to take into account individual manufacturers variation in geometry and sizing.

    I'm in eastern NC where they don't even know how to spell cyclocross, so I'll most likely not get an opportunity to try all the bikes i'm interested in. I'll most likely end up buying over the phone from a bike shop that knows what they are doing (like American Cyclery or Speedgoat) and ironing out the frame size when I order.

    Right now I am leaning toward a 56" Crosshairs, but please let us know how the 58" works for you.
    If you're cyclo-crossing I can see how a bit more standover height might save you some pain (and the ability to have offspring). I doubt this bike will see much off-road action because I already have a mountain bike. also, I'm *very* curious about single-speed riding. After you spend a few hours adjusting derailours it looks like a very appealing option.

    BTW... tons of Surly shops in NC. check it out: http://www.surlybikes.com/dealers.html# click the icon with the "12". One of my main considerations was finding a shop where I could start building a relationship. I like supporting small-business and like the idea of getting to try things before I buy. I decided I was willing to spend up to $100 more than the cheapest online price at a LBS and guess what? The LBS is actually cheaper than speedgoat.com.

  24. #24
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    I feel the same way about a Brooks. The Swallow/Swift models are beautiful... and I still like my bars below my saddle so that's the way I'd go... but I live in Seattle and haven't yet justified that kind of expense for a saddle I'll have to cover with a bonnet 5 months of the year.

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    I've looked for dealers nearby but the closest is over 2 hours away. I too try to take my business to the local small guys, but that usually amounts to small purchases and odd maintenance I can't do myself or lack the tools for.

    When it comes to buying a bike, especially one you are going to spec build, I go to the folks who do it most. Speedgoat built my mtn bike for me and the whole process was awesome. All the information I wanted in picking and mixing components followed by a fast build and quick delivery. They did end up being slightly more expensive than other shops I had spoken with, but I felt the service was worth it. FWIW, none of the local shops carried what I wanted (Santa Cruz, and this was five years ago), so the choice was making a 2+ hour drive to find a shop that could do what I wanted or get on the phone. Having ridden a few examples of the bike I wanted helped assure me that the sizing Speedgoat recommended was right for me.

    In shopping for a cyclocross bike I'm in the same situation. Drive 2+ hours or get on the phone. And just like last time I'll base my sizing decision on info I've gathered here, cx bikes I have ridden, and recommendations from whomever ends up building my bike for me. The other option I'm considering is just amassing all the parts I want and building it myself.

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