We built this bike for a customer who travels internationally. He wanted the versatility provided by the Cross Check frame. This bike will ride and handle just like a standard Cross Check. It has the same tire clearances, and will fit similar racks if needed. The general set up is in between his road type position and the more upright position of his Fargo. He can easily pack a set of larger 44-50 mm tires with him on his travels for more mtb or rough trail sections. Wherever he will be traveling to, this bike should be versatile enough to make riding enjoyable.
This bike is built around two main components. The coupled Cross Check frame makes it versatile, while the 14 speed Rohloff hub keeps it visually and set up simple while being mechanically bullet proof. The hub is really the mechanical focal point of the build. Classic Sugino square taper cranks make for a clean look while keeping the classic appearance of the bike. Viva square taper bottom brackets!
Looking toward the future and a possible disc brake alteration, our customer opted for disc brake compatible hubs front and rear. The front hub is a black White Industries M16. Spokes are Sapim butted spokes with brass nipples. While reasonably light, these are plenty tough for touring or mtb use. Completing the wheels are rims from DT Swiss. These are their wider TK 540 touring rims. TK's have an excellent reputation for durablility and quality.
The tires we chose are Continental Speed CX tires. These are really cool tires. They are fairly large volume and are very quick rolling. These retain the aggressive side knobs from some of their tires, keeping cornering decent on gravel or offroad. For unknown types of riding, these seem to be a reasonable compromise of rolling resistance and capability.
Fitting the disc Rohloff to this frame required a little bit of doing. Everything eventually fit just perfectly. Wheel removal is simple, and cable routing allows for smooth, easy shifting. Not much room for error here though. DT Swiss RWS skewers keep the hubs firmly in place front and rear.
The Rohloff shifter is mounted in the traditional bar end location via an adapter called a Hubub. Shifting is easy from this position, and feels much like a standard Shimano bar end type movement. Cable routing is smooth and even around the head tube, well away from the front cable or hanger.
The Rohloff cables are help in place with converted Problem Solvers clamp on cable guides. This allows the cables to be detached from the frame for packing with just three bolts. A third small bolt holds a padded c clamp to hole the cables to the seat stay. The rake cable rides just above the clamp on guides and still moves freely and smoothly.
The seat post, stem, and handlebars are from Salsa and Ritchey. Classic performers at reasonable prices. The brakes are Paul Components Cantilevers. These are reliable, great looking brakes. They add another touch of elegance to a really handsome build.
This is a fabulous bike. The whole impression of it is purposely understated. This is not a big that immediately jumps out and grabs you. It is not supposed to. It is a utterly bombproof, very comfortable, quite versatile bike capable of riding just about any where. I am throughly pleased with how this bike came out. There were a lot of small challenges involved with putting this bike together. In the end it was worth all of that. It's a beautiful thing.