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.
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.