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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southeastern MA
    Posts
    215

    Question Seatpost/Surly Cross-Check Question...

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    A Surly Cross-Check has been on my bucket list since I test-rode one a few years ago. Ultimately, I bought a Jamis Aurora-and have been very happy with it.

    It's rare to have a Cross-Check show up locally on CL-never mind one that is my size (I'm 5'6'' and believe I rode a 50 cm). Well, an ad has been taunting me all summer. The price is gradually dropping-to the point where I am tempted to inquire about the bike. (I should preface this by saying I don't need another bike. That's probably the only thing that has kept me from buying new. I would have to sell my Coda Sport to make room/justify the purchase. But that's another issue...)

    The seller is my height and says the bike is too big for them. I realize that one's height can be distributed differently, and my legs are proportionately short. There is allegedly no more adjustment anywhere on this bike, but I can see from the photos that the seat is a few inches above the frame. My question: Isn't it possible to cut the existing seatpost-or find one that is a little shorter so that the seat can be lowered?

    1990 Univega Alpina/(stock) gel saddle
    2009 Specialized Dolce Elite/BG Lithia saddle
    2009 Jamis Coda Sport/Selle Royale Respiro saddle
    2010 Jamis Aurora/Jamis Touring Sport saddle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    It would be exremely unusual for a seatpost to be so long in proportion to a 50 cm frame that it couldn't be lowered WAY past where anyone might want to ride it. With a steel frame, I'm guessing it's stuck. The difference is easy to tell - can it be raised or turned?

    Stuck seatposts can usually be freed with a LOT of effort and chemicals (Sheldon Brown's page has good suggestions) but I would want a MAJOR price break before taking a risk on a bike with a stuck seatpost.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southeastern MA
    Posts
    215
    Oakleaf, I haven't contacted the person at all. For one thing, it strikes me as odd that this bike is still available. It seems to be configured decently (different enough from my other bikes to consider it), but the person had it powder coated last year, which is bothering me. I believe it's a 2010. Why go to the expense and then sell it the next year-especially if it's too big to begin with? Good point about the seatpost being stuck...I didn't think of that possibility.

    1990 Univega Alpina/(stock) gel saddle
    2009 Specialized Dolce Elite/BG Lithia saddle
    2009 Jamis Coda Sport/Selle Royale Respiro saddle
    2010 Jamis Aurora/Jamis Touring Sport saddle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southeastern MA
    Posts
    215
    Ooohhhh boy...purple! Metallic purple at that. (Be still,my foolish heart.) The only reason I passed on the CC a few years ago was that I just couldn't get excited about either the beef gravy brown or black options that year.

    Unfortunately, it looks like this might be their new cross bike, the Straggler-which will probably be too much for my modest purposes. That said, it might be best to sit tight, save my pennies and buy a new CC (or a leftover). At least I'll know what I'm getting. Thanks for this information-it gives me hope that patience will bring me the right bike.

    1990 Univega Alpina/(stock) gel saddle
    2009 Specialized Dolce Elite/BG Lithia saddle
    2009 Jamis Coda Sport/Selle Royale Respiro saddle
    2010 Jamis Aurora/Jamis Touring Sport saddle

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,176
    What's up with "no adjustments?"
    Can this mean something other than a) they don't know how to make adjustments or b) the bike has been modified to make adjustment impossible?
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    perpetual traveler
    Posts
    1,267
    Quote Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
    A Surly Cross-Check has been on my bucket list since I test-rode one a few years ago. Ultimately, I bought a Jamis Aurora-and have been very happy with it.

    It's rare to have a Cross-Check show up locally on CL-never mind one that is my size (I'm 5'6'' and believe I rode a 50 cm). Well, an ad has been taunting me all summer. The price is gradually dropping-to the point where I am tempted to inquire about the bike. (I should preface this by saying I don't need another bike. That's probably the only thing that has kept me from buying new. I would have to sell my Coda Sport to make room/justify the purchase. But that's another issue...)

    The seller is my height and says the bike is too big for them. I realize that one's height can be distributed differently, and my legs are proportionately short. There is allegedly no more adjustment anywhere on this bike, but I can see from the photos that the seat is a few inches above the frame. My question: Isn't it possible to cut the existing seatpost-or find one that is a little shorter so that the seat can be lowered?
    First, as Oak says, make sure it isn't stuck.

    I bought a new seatpost for my Terry. It has a long seat tube. The seatpost would not go down far enough. It turned out that the water bottle bosses were in the way. I cut a half inch off the post with a hacksaw. Now it is just fine.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    As Muirenn says, don't underestimate reach. The cross check has a classic geometry, so reach is most likely the problem: the seat might not be able to move further forward, the stem might be as short as possible, etc. A very short stem translates into "squirrely" handling. I did that to a bike that was too big for me. The height was just fine, the reach was too long.

    Why would powder coating a bike be suspicious? I am sure Kubla might be able to tell from the ad whether it is a hack paint job to cover up a possibly stolen bike or a good paint job for someone who enjoys bikes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southeastern MA
    Posts
    215
    Quote Originally Posted by malkin View Post
    What's up with "no adjustments?"
    Can this mean something other than a) they don't know how to make adjustments or b) the bike has been modified to make adjustment impossible?
    Malkin, I'm more concerned that it is "b". The ad is a bit lengthy and the person hints that they have several bikes...but want to get rid of the CC to get something else. it's been for sale at least a couple months now.

    pll, My first concern: How would one even be able to tell if it is really a Cross-Check, now that it's been repainted? The other thought is that it may be stolen. The frame is said to be a 2010. I cannot rationalize having a 2 year old bike (that's allegedly too big) painted, customize it, and then sell it. I don't think I'll be pursuing this one, but was curious if others felt the same red flags, considering the circumstances.
    Last edited by Kubla; 08-04-2013 at 04:28 PM.

    1990 Univega Alpina/(stock) gel saddle
    2009 Specialized Dolce Elite/BG Lithia saddle
    2009 Jamis Coda Sport/Selle Royale Respiro saddle
    2010 Jamis Aurora/Jamis Touring Sport saddle

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Quote Originally Posted by pll View Post
    As Muirenn says, don't underestimate reach. The cross check has a classic geometry, so reach is most likely the problem: the seat might not be able to move further forward, the stem might be as short as possible, etc. A very short stem translates into "squirrely" handling. I did that to a bike that was too big for me. The height was just fine, the reach was too long.

    Why would powder coating a bike be suspicious? I am sure Kubla might be able to tell from the ad whether it is a hack paint job to cover up a possibly stolen bike or a good paint job for someone who enjoys bikes.
    OP says she's ridden a CC in the same size and it seemed to fit.

    I agree though, if I buy a bike and then decide it's too big for me I'm not going to have it powder coated before selling it three years later ...
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    We do not know if the seller bought the bike new or maybe it was old stock, on sale, and he/she did not like the color. At any rate, I think the OP, having the ad at hand, can judge this better than we can. I bought a bike that was too big for me and rode it for more than 7 years (just sold it today).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    Quote Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
    A Surly Cross-Check has been on my bucket list since I test-rode one a few years ago. Ultimately, I bought a Jamis Aurora-and have been very happy with it.

    It's rare to have a Cross-Check show up locally on CL-never mind one that is my size (I'm 5'6'' and believe I rode a 50 cm). Well, an ad has been taunting me all summer. The price is gradually dropping-to the point where I am tempted to inquire about the bike. (I should preface this by saying I don't need another bike. That's probably the only thing that has kept me from buying new. I would have to sell my Coda Sport to make room/justify the purchase. But that's another issue...)

    The seller is my height and says the bike is too big for them. I realize that one's height can be distributed differently, and my legs are proportionately short. There is allegedly no more adjustment anywhere on this bike, but I can see from the photos that the seat is a few inches above the frame. My question: Isn't it possible to cut the existing seatpost-or find one that is a little shorter so that the seat can be lowered?

    Sounds like you have decided no on this bike. But as a Surly Dealer, I just have to chime in and say that we would be extremely hesitant to sell you a 50cm cross check as we both feel it would be to small. How do you intend to use this bike. Is there a knowledgeable Surly dealer in your area,(not a race bike shop that can order in Surly's) I would rather have you on a 52 and then fine tune the fit with stems, handlebars and saddle position. If you came in our door we would have you ride the 52 and the 54 and super discourage the idea of a 50.
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southeastern MA
    Posts
    215
    Quote Originally Posted by Sky King View Post
    Sounds like you have decided no on this bike. But as a Surly Dealer, I just have to chime in and say that we would be extremely hesitant to sell you a 50cm cross check as we both feel it would be to small. How do you intend to use this bike. Is there a knowledgeable Surly dealer in your area,(not a race bike shop that can order in Surly's) I would rather have you on a 52 and then fine tune the fit with stems, handlebars and saddle position. If you came in our door we would have you ride the 52 and the 54 and super discourage the idea of a 50.
    Sky King, I don't plan to use the CC for anything remotely aggressive. I just want it for recreational riding and light off-road trails. I can't imagine that a 54 would fit, though. Has the sizing changed since I rode the 2010? (My Dolce is a 54, but I know women's bikes are sized differently.)

    1990 Univega Alpina/(stock) gel saddle
    2009 Specialized Dolce Elite/BG Lithia saddle
    2009 Jamis Coda Sport/Selle Royale Respiro saddle
    2010 Jamis Aurora/Jamis Touring Sport saddle

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    Kubla, Again hard to say without measuring and riding. We would start with your PBH (pubic bone height) and go from there. We find that riders coming from aggressive race position and some MTB positions feel "stretched out" at first as the position on the bike is a different. We are huge fans of the Surly CC for the type of riding you are wanting it for. Here is a nice place to start regarding bike fit, this article is geared to touring bike fit but discusses bike types too. http://biketouringnews.com/what-size...-touring-bike/
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southeastern MA
    Posts
    215
    Thank you for the additional fit information, Sky King. I'll have to look into getting my pubic bone measurement. For that matter, I'm not even sure of my inseam, but I'm pretty certain it's less than 30". My torso is proportionately longer-without a doubt. For years, I road men's bikes without any fit problems. It wasn't until I became a more serious rider that I found out why they fit so well.

    I really did like the CC when I rode it, and I am a big fan of steel frames. The Aurora is a fantastic ride; I have no regrets about buying it. If I were to buy a CC, I'd try to configure it a bit differently so they would be more distinct rides.

    1990 Univega Alpina/(stock) gel saddle
    2009 Specialized Dolce Elite/BG Lithia saddle
    2009 Jamis Coda Sport/Selle Royale Respiro saddle
    2010 Jamis Aurora/Jamis Touring Sport saddle

 

 

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