• I picked up a Surly Cross-Check frameset in black on here a few months back and recently sent it to get powder-coated in a very on-trend-functional bright orange.

    It's to be built up into a tourer for a trip in North America this summer: Calgary - Vancouver - San Diego, over the course of around 8 weeks or so.

    Build list so far:
    Wheels:
    Mavic A319/deore rear
    Mavic A319/dynamo front
    Group:
    Shimano 105 chainset (46/36)
    Wide-range mtb cassette
    V-brakes
    Bar-end shifters
    Bars:
    Salsa Cowbell
    Tyres:
    Something big, comfortable and tan-walled (likely paselas) that will also accommodate for 'guards
    Luggage:
    Not a clue!
    Thinking of a pretty conventional two pannier rear/barbag front setup but am a complete novice at this touring lark so any advice would be massively appreciated.

    If anyone has any tips on my build list they're more than welcome, especially on the stuff that I haven't specified exact models.
    I'll add some pics when there's more than just a frameset and components to take pictures of!

  • Calgary to Vancouver to San Diego! Mad respect.

  • If you haven't got the bar end shifters yet, I have so nearly news for sale.
    Brakes, Xt vs and tektro levers seem to work very well, just put em on my eldests' cross check.
    Great choice of bars, love mine.

  • Cheers! I'm probably a little foolish for going for it with so little experience, but I only have 2 summers this long left, so I'm making the most while I can!
    @jontea thanks a lot, pm incoming

  • You only get the experience by doing, so go for it. I'm building the kids up this year, with longer rides, then look out France in 2016, my little devils are comin over.

  • You only get the experience by doing, so go for it. I'm building the kids up this year, with longer rides, then look out France in 2016, my little devils are comin over.

  • 36T lower for loaded touring? You sure?

  • With an 11-36 mtb cassette I'll have a 27.5GI lowest gear (assuming 38mm tyres), but tbh that configuration is simply what the chainset came with. I realised this morning looking at my compact roadie chainset that the 36 is bigger than the small ring on a compact (obvious I know, I just hadn't thought of it), so I could definitely be persuaded to swap it out.

  • In your case I would sell the original chainset and go for a Compact Plus solution, like a Sugino, with 46/30 or 44/28 chainrings.

  • Don't worry about lack of experience. I did this route, but starting in Vancouver with no touring experience and I had zero problems. Just learn as you go.

    Your gearing will also be more than good enough. I did it with a 36 inner ring and a 28t as my biggest sprocket at the back and didn't have to walk up any hills.

  • The outlay for those cranks seems pretty high, out of my price range almost definitely! I think swapping down to a 34 small ring if possible should do the job (if it needs doing at all).

    @plexarice thanks, that's really encouraging! In any case I'm hoping to do a couple weekend mini-tours into the Chilterns and possibly a trip up to Manchester by way of preparation. My concerns with gearing are more with tackling some of the climbs the Rockies in Canada have to offer, but I reckon it should be fine...
    Famous last words.

  • Wow, some trip! I'm planning Vancouver to San Fran next year (hopefully) with similar current lack-of-bike predicament, so will follow build and journey with interest.

  • Awesome! I'm thinking of maybe starting a thread in the Touring section just to chronicle the tour, or maybe a wordpress blog or something, so hopefully there should be plenty to read!

    In other news, I found this while reading around dynamo hubs:
    http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/atb-w­heel-set-28700-c-mavic-a-719shimano-dh-3­n80-deore-xt-780/aid:484616

    Seems like really good value considering use of the more expensive a719 rims. Any reason not to go for it?

  • Spokes aren't butted. Otherwise it looks decent.

  • I left the coast quite a lot a did several peaks over 5000ft - still no problems with that gearing, so I wouldn't worry to much. The only issue I found was if you're planning to go off road which in that part of the world you can (and should!) alot when it's nicer to spin a gear. But with a 32t at the back you'll be fine.

  • Update on this:

    Dynamo wheelset should be arriving soon. Frameset is booked in at LBS to get BB and headset installed after chasing/facing the BB shell. Buying a tent this morning(!).
    Also have sourced a decal set in London but it's gonna be as expensive to go pick it up as it is to buy the set. Still trying to figure out how to solve this.

    Thinking about mudguards now. I love the PDW Full Metal City, but I don't think it's gonna be big enough for the tyres I'd like to fit (looking at 45mm-ish). Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • I fitted the PDW guards over 41mm Surly Knards so a 45mm slick might fit under them, the guards won't cover much of the sidewalk though.

  • To be honest that sounds like they're gonna be more than enough. I could probably compromise down to 41mm slicks and get good coverage.

  • If you ever feel like sharing some of your inland expeditions I'd absolutely love to hear them

  • What a great trip you have planned, you must post an account.
    I use a 34 inner and a 34 mtb cassette on my touring cross check. No problems getting over hills in N.Wales or Northern Spain and I'm a fat lad! Travel light is the answer - a couple of small panniers or a saddlebag, depending on the terrain you should manage 100ks per day.

  • Check out the Soma C Line before you buy Paselas; they're the same tire, but in a TRUE 38mm width (Paselas always measure a bit smaller than labeled in my experience) and they have the better tread pattern of <35c Paselas.

    Alternatively, 120tpi Surly Knard 41 is a super comfy tire on and off the road.


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  • Super excited for your build. My own Tangerine Party-Tourer is the most fun bike I've ever owned.

  • Lastly a word of wisdom (sorry for triple post) If you're thinking V-Brakes go V-Brakes NOT Mini-Vs, otherwise you're going to have a super fun time getting fenders to clear the cable.

  • @ianjchip I'm planning on travelling relatively light, but it being such a long trip there are some home comforts I'm probably not gonna want to go without! Thanks for the advice on the gearing; I kinda figures a 1:1 ratio would be enough.

  • @Serling I think I have a picture of your cross-check saved on my harddrive somewhere as inspiration! It's such a great build. I still need to post pics, but despite finding out the RAL code for the 2015 model I got mine powder coated in a slightly more garish, cartoony orange. Hopefully it looks good built up!
    I'll bear that in mind about the tyres and brakes though, thanks!

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Surly cross check - tourer-> winter road -> commuter ->sscx -> ???

Posted by Avatar for alialias @alialias

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