Bike Building

Surly Cross Check with Fat 700x47c tires

2 Comments 17 May 2012

As my Surly was built originally to be the Ultimate Commuter, moving to the city has created new needs. It’s not about having the best overall performance, but some comfort is appreciated as well. Helsinki is full of very irritating cobble stones and tram tracks and they are hell to ride on, no matter the bike.

The best and quite a cheap option is to go with bigger tires. I had already gone from 27mm tires to 32mm Schwalbe Marathon Plusses, but I wanted to go bigger. The Cross Check can take pretty much any tire in existence, so I started my hunt. I really wanted to find Schwalbe‘s Big Apples or Fat Franks, but they were nowhere to be found in 28″ or 700c size. So, I ended up with a very low cost Michelin City 700x47c (28×1.85″) tire set, which was big enough for now.

When you have just the tires in your hand, they don’t seem that big, same goes if you just look closely. Put them on your bike and take a few steps back and you see the difference. They’re big. I just put them on today and went for a quick spin round the town. Our house is pretty much surrounded by cobble stones, so I had plenty of opportunity to see how the tires handle them.

So far the ride is very smooth, not as smooth as I expected, but it did take out the worst shake from the cobble stones and other bumps. What was a pleasure to notice was the very good rolling and smooth performance on the flats, whether going up or down a hill.

I am a bit worried about the Michelins though, I had a pair earlier and that was the time I had constant flats (other post about that gripe here), here’s hoping that won’t happen again.

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- who has written 201 posts on Coming thru!.

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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  • Velocodger

    I put a 29er tire on my Soma DoubleCross, on the front…I had about 2MM clearance, but it looked really cool!

  • Martin

    I would like to know what is the weight whith those tires? in a post made prior to the assemblage of the surly you ‘ve said : ”The weight should be around 9 kilo” was it really that low whith this iron frame? i’m about to build one aroud it with deore … thanks.


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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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