Saturday, July 6, 2013

Rainy Cross Check Ride

It's been a very wet spring in Central Ohio, making it tough to find trail time or dry playgrounds. We had a baby sitter for Saturday morning, so I figured I might as well use that time for a longish road ride. I had planned to take my Rawland Nordavinden, but it didn't have fenders--not a good thing with wet streets and drizzle still coming down. So the Cross Check it would be.

The CC is in kind of a weird state right now. I started setting it up to be my child puller, but only got about half way done before this ride. So it has the (heavy) Burley rack and the (heavy) dyno hub, but it's still set up as a fixed gear. Good enough.

My basic route was north to Bellepont, the west along Mills road to Ostrander road. Mill creek was running pretty high:

I was looking forward to a junk food snack at the store in Ostrander, but I got there 45 minutes before they opened. Disappointed, I turned south for home. Into a headwind. And road construction:

At least the drizzle kept me cool. But it was a long grind home.

I wasn't really feeling the love for my CC on this ride. The slight vibration from the dyno hub bothered me after a while. On my bars, there was a big step between the end of my grip and the bar end, which I didn't like either. And I swear I could feel the weight of the rack dragging me down every time I stood to climb a hill. I'd really like to find a magical bike that combines the best attributes of the CC and the Rawland:

- fat tire clearance, V brakes, and single speed-ability from the CC

- low trail, light tubing, and a low bottom bracket from the Rawland.

But I can't think of anything that fits this, short of a custom. Any ideas?


  1. Tall order. Low trail seems to be the long pole in the tent. If you could compromise on that, the All City Spacehorse or Black Mountain Monstercross are close to what you are looking for. The Velo Orange Polyvalent might fit the bill too, but in a 650b package.


  2. I've had my eye on the BMC Monstercross for quite a while. Soma is reportedly coming out with a low trail conversion fork (the Chemps Eleyses if you'll forgive my spelling) which might match up well with a typical cross bike.

    I'm trying to avoid (another) 650B experiment... for now.

  3. Oh yeah? What didn't you like about 650b?

    Good to hear on the Soma. I've heard it's fairly easy to get a framebuilder to "rerake" an existing fork, but never tried that myself.


    1. I tried 650B on my Sogn. I didn't like the tires (Panaracer Col de Vies)--they felt pretty sluggish. But more significant were the rims. The Velocity Synergies have a poorly designed tire well, making it nearly impossible to set a tire smoothly. It was thump-thump-thump down the road. Finally, I didn't see 650B offering me anything that either 700c or 26" already had, and those options are much cheaper.


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