Monday, August 4, 2008

Shiny New Things

The Cross-Check project finally made some progress when my frame and wheel-set arrived last week from Christchurch after an agonizing two month wait. Life moves at a different pace in the South Island and I tried to be patient, but being from Auckland I wanted it Now, Now Now! 
In the south they call Aucklanders JAFAs (Just-Another-Fucking-Aucklander) and although it's a bit harsh, it's fairly accurate. You tend to get a lot of wankers in big cities.

I have been buying parts over the last year or so for what was going to be a Surly Big Dummy build but making sure I could use them on other bikes if that plan didn't eventuate. It didn't eventuate! I would still love a Dummy but I need a more versatile bike that can do long road rides, around town stuff and the obligatory commuting duties. 

In a couple of years when Carla can ride on the back I may still get a longtail of some sort. Maybe even an Xtracycle for the Nasty Evil Bike. The deciding factor was a Big Dummy would not be practical for riding to work as when I got there I would have to lug it up stairs, ride it through a busy factory, negotiate fire-doors, offices and desks that I have enough trouble with on my MTB, and then it would take up an awful lot of space in the studio. For one of the worlds most practical bikes that would just not be practical. A folding bike would be more appropriate for my commute.

Back to the Cross-Check. It's black, shiny and sexy but it will be some time before it hits the road as I have many more components to purchase and I have Champagne tastes on a beer budget. I want to do it properly so I'll buy stuff as I can afford it.

In the photo above I'm rust-proofing the frame with a locally made aerosol lanolin product. I used it when I put the Pugsley together and have no rust in that frame after two years of beach riding, so I think it will do the trick. Much cheaper than importing Frame-Saver from the States. How Kiwi is that - sheep oil in my bike!

Racer X rear - I ordered an MI5 and got sent this. Looks the same, but I think it's an older model

For the hubs I went with White Industries. I wanted a classic look with MTB strength and the polished finish will match the SON generator hub I plan to get further down the line. They are just plain beautiful and I think I will have to drink heavily before I can bring myself to cover them in mud. Maybe a few road miles first to wear them in first. They are certainly the nicest bike part I have ever owned and I probably went overboard, but I look after my stuff and will be using them for years to come. You only regret buying quality when you are paying off your credit card.

MI5 front

Salsa Delgado Cross 700c rims

I wanted really strong rims for riding off-road and future touring but there is not much available in silver with a braking surface. These Salsa's looked suitably old-fashioned and have been used on 29er mountain bikes for years. They should be tough enough built up with 36 double-butted DT Swiss spokes.

I need to get a headset, stem and skewers next so I can piece these bits together and have something resembling a bike to hang in the garage. I already have a saddle, seat post, rear derailleur, bar-end shifters and some drop handlebars ready to go on.


Marla...O.A.F. with altitude said...

Yay, another Surly build to watch!

David Benson said...

I see no problem with those shiny hubs. You can stop at Hallertau before you head into Riverhead

Doug said...

Excellent!!! I may be a bit biased, but I'm liking the looks of that black Cross Check!! Love the White hubs also.

Antoine said...

Doug, what can I say? We have exquisite taste in bikes and their paint applications.

Watch out, before you know it I'll be spraying my mountainbike blue and bolting an Xtracycle on the back! (although I think I bought my Pug before you)

Doug said...

Excuse me? That's powder coated, not sprayed! ;)

And yes, you did have your Pugs long before I did.

Michael Meiser said...

I have a black surly cross-check myself... latest pic:

and I use these exact same delgado rims... not on the cross check, but on my Fuji ss/fixie.

I think you were right to use the white industry hubs... I've still got some questions about the surly hubs. I just rebuilt my rear for the fuji. The bearings in the hub went after only 9 months... I think it might have been because the hub was a 120mm and my frame more like a 135mm. It's an old steel frame so it tightened down on the 120 hub fine, but perhaps not evenly... anyway, it's now a 135 surly hub. We shall see how it holds up. It may not have been a surly defect at all.

As for the rim... bomb proof... I never had to do so much as true it, and yesterday while tooling around I road over some sort of automotive hose with metal and rubber... which jumped into my spokes wrapped around my cogs and bent my fender stays so much that the fender locked down on the tire before I came to a stop.

I could not believe that it didn't break spokes or even knock the wheel out of true. I was furious because as mentioned i JUST rebuilt the thing... but am counting my blessings.

One final note... have you seen the new Salsa Fargo?

I'll probably get flagged by the blogger spam filter for posting three links.

I think it's going to be my next bike since I was already planning on getting a Karate Monkey... but I'm sort of freaking out because it doesn't look like I'll be able to get one before February. :( I may have to proceed with the Karate Monkey for now. :(

Antoine said...


The Fargo would be just my kind of mountainbike if I didn't ride on the beach. I'm sold on 29ers for tall people and a 29er with drops, disc brakes and racks would be just perfect. I have seen people set up Karate-Monkeys that way (and you can use a hub gear) but the racks are a bit fiddly to fit with less braze-ons.