I got a small christmas bonus at the end of last year so I couldn’t resist splashing out to replace the ‘green machine’ even though I’m sure there were a million other better things I should have been spending the money on. I know that some people think that frame is ace but it was also a ‘skip’ find so I’m always worried about the creaks and moans it makes, plus I’m pretty sure the forks are slightly bent.
So my choice to replace it? Well it’s still steel, in fact it has a sticker on it that says “Double Butted 4140 Chromoly Steel Natch!”, it’s also very versatile which is one of the reasons I went for it. Behold my new 60cm Surly Cross x Check! 🙂
As it’s a replacement for the green frame I am going to be running it single speed, but with the option to swap wheelsets about for either city riding (slicks) or offroad (knobblies), the only slight problem I have is that my current flip/flop hub has a 120 OLN* dimension and the frame is 132.5 (this is so you can fit 135 or 130 OLN hubs in there). So a new Surly rear hub has been ordered for a new back wheel which will match my front. Above it’s got my current wheels off the Tricross in there just so I could straddle it and get a feel for how big it’s going to build up. In the long run these are going to be the ‘offroad’ wheels with a single cog and spacers on the free hub body. I’m getting the last of the bits to build it up tomorrow at work so a maiden voyage will hopefully occur on Sunday, assuming I get out of bed early enough.
Other great features of the Cross x Check which I lacked on the green machine are bosses for front and rear racks if I want to do some touring and bosses/bolts for two bottle cages. Plus there are shifter bosses on the downtube and a mech hanger if you want to run it as a geared bike. I wasn’t sure how the ‘Robins Egg’ blue was going to turn out to be honest, but I like it. It’s almost ‘Bianchi Celeste’ in the flesh but slightly less ‘green’ and slighty more blue, the paint job looks pretty thick and hardwearing too although I might try to track down some of that clear plastic stuff you can put on frames to protect them to fit around the seat tube where my u-lock will contact it when I lock the bike up.
Who knows one day now that I own two ‘cross’ bikes I might feel confident enough to actually enter one of those ‘race’ things they have that John at work seems to enjoy so much. Although the story of the guy who managed to totally fubar his entire drive train when setting off on the start line at the recent Todmorden Cross race doesn’t sound like much fun.
*For those who don’t know OLN stands for Over Lock Nut dimension and is the distance internally between the drop outs at the front and rear of the bike, this obviously then corresponds to the width of the ‘cones’ on a hub which fit between these drop outs. All forks and front hubs have a OLN of 100mm, the only exception to this rule are the forks you find on ‘snow’ bikes like the Surly Pugsley or Salsa Mukluk which are spaced 135mm. When it comes to the rear dropouts most track bikes are 120mm spaced and old racing bikes 120 or 126mm. Modern road bikes are generally 130mm, whilst mountain bikes and touring bikes are usually 135mm. Cross bikes can be either 130 or 135mm. The Surly is spaced 132.5mm because as there is a bit of flex in a steel frame you can either clamp the dropouts in 2.5mm to run a 130 hub or flex them out 2.5mm to run a 135 hub.