Friday, August 15, 2008

The Friday Fix: Monster Cross

I found this thread on MTBR the other day called "Monster cross bikes" creeping toward worlds domination in the Single Speed forum because I am looking for frame ideas to build up my own Monster Cross rig for winter commuting. The majority of these bikes are fixed gear and I thought they would be excellent candidates for the Friday Fix.

Ironically, they also have a constant theme or part if you will, Moustache Bars. There are other bikes in the thread with other kids of bars, as well, but I find it interesting that most people building these types of bikes would go with the Moustache Bar. There is another type of bar that is similar called the flared drop bar but it looks just like Moustache Bar - maybe someone's attempt to get into the Moustache game without using the name.

My requirements are as follows:
  1. Price: I don't want to pay more than $200 for the frame - if that is possible, otherwise I don't want to go more than $500. Of course, this is probably achievable if I go with a used frame
  2. Sliding drops, paragon style would be the best, with a derailler hanger
  3. I am inclined to go with Aluminum to keep the weight down
  4. Brake posts on the rear seat stays and disc brake mounts
  5. Hard points for gear cables and fenders
  6. Threadless 1 1/8" headset
I think my build will probably start out geared unless I can find a decent frame with sliding or paragon drops, in which case I might try it fixed/single speed first. I know this is going off topic from the Friday Fix but if you are reading this and have any ideas that might help me decide on the right frame, leave me a suggestion. My choices right now are the Fetish Position, the Surly Cross Check, and the NYC Bikes CrossSpeed II.

The three choices I am considering right now have good and bad points. I like the Fetish Position because it has all the hard points needed for a good commuter set up, it's a lighter frame being aluminum, does both disc and canti brakes, and takes a 1 1/8 threadless headset. The only drawback are the drops: vertical. Oh, and I don't know as of yet what is the widest tire the rear triangle can accept. I want to use 29x2.1 WTB Nanoraptors and Velociraptors.

The Cross Check is perfect, and I am really a steel frame kind of guy anyway, but doesn't do disc brakes. The CrossSpeed II frame from NYCBikes looks perfect, but I don't know what headset it takes (sent them a note to find out). If it's 1 1/8" then all I would have to decide on is what color I would want in the CrossSpeed II frame!

Here is a picture of the Cross Check with 2.1s and clearly you can do disc brake upfront but the lack of a disc brake mount in the rear kills that notion.

Here is a 29er frame with 2.1s, not sure what it is, maybe a Soma with the way that top tube is sloped but that is a common feature in many 29ers. Can't tell if it has a disc brake in the rear, either but otherwise it looks perfect.

Here are some good examples. I think most of them are fixed gear.


29ner said...

The Cross Check comes with Disc Tabs as far as my research suggests. Perhaps nopt all years or maybe it was an option. Here is a 58cm ebay banged up deal you may be able to get a good deal on.

Mark said...

I just looked at Surlyville and I don't see disc tabs on the back of that frame. Those eyelets look like mounts for racks and fenders.

Other bikes I am now considering is the Karate Monkey and Misphit diSSent (which has paragon type drops).

-p said...

I love the idea of fat tires and drop bars. Rivendell makes such a setup. Nashbar always has cheap frames that would be in your price range. Including a Redline monocog frame that meets all your requirements.

Mark said...

The Rivendell frames are pretty bling bling. I think I might sell my current fixed gear rig and get the Misphit diSSent, although the KM is pretty good, too. I have time to think about it some more, though.