My CrossRip

CrossRip_04I love my Domane! It’s a very comfortable bike. Still, I longed for the ability to fit fenders AND large tires, as well as having mounting points for baggage racks, all without necessarily committing to a dedicated touring bike. I’m a Trek man as a result of the fantastic relationship I have with my local dealer, Bike Beat in Yorktown, VA. Therefore, I bought a 2014 CrossRip LTD, an urban/utility bike which is equipped with 10-speed Shimano 105 and TRP cable-actuated hydraulic disc brakes. The LTD has a ball-burnished aluminum finish. It wasn’t even the model year yet and the newly-released LTD models were already backordered. Trek employees allegedly snatched up the first batch for themselves. I got a bike from the second batch. I’m told my bike commanded a small audience as it was assembled and continued to get visitors as it sat in the shop.  00-smilie

Brakes_RearIt’s almost too beautiful to adorn with racks and fenders, and to use as a rain bike… ALMOST. I’m the type to use my equipment to its fullest. I expect it to get wet and dirty, including rides on forestry roads. I’ll be thrilled if the bike remains shiny and attractive as well. My bike gave the shop its first look at TRP’s new HY/RD (pronounced “hi-road”) cable-actuated hydraulic disc brakes (pictured). The CrossRip has a 160-mm rotor in front and a 140-mm rotor in back. I like the idea of having disc brakes to control my 260-lb combined weight in the mountains. Disc brakes are becoming popular on road bikes, anyway.

GearsOf course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone for long. I replaced the stem with a 40°x90-mm high-rise stem to mimic the upright riding position afforded by my Domane. I also mounted a Brooks B17 leather saddle and a pair of Shimano Deore XT SPD pedals. I have all of the “touch points” within 1/2-cm of the Domane. I replaced the cyclocross tires with 700×32 Continental Gatorskins and inflated them to 65/90 psi (F/R). I also have a set of Bontrager NCS fenders. Later, I added a Topeak Super Tourist rear rack (not pictured) and an AC LowRider by Arkel so I could carry a full set of Arkel Orca waterproof panniers. The Shimano 105 long-cage rear derailleur easily clears the factory 11-32T cassette. I am not a strong climber. Riding a 34x32T gear ratio in the mountains last year was helpful compared to the 12-28T cassette I normally ride. But I wanted even lower gears! I replaced the R600 crank with a Truvativ X0 2×10 42/26T mountain crank. This allows me to avoid a finicky triple crank, gives me lower gearing (two steps), and maintains closer gear spacing, all while sacrificing just one top gear when compared to the 50×12 on my Domane. The setup worked fine with the Shimano 105 front derailleur, but I still opted to replace the 105 unit with a Shimano XT FD-M785 front derailleur (not pictured). It works great and is less prone to rubbing.

Arkel_Orca-01Most fans of steel bikes do not consider aluminum to be great for randonneuring or touring. However, I tend to believe I have a good compromise between weight, performance and comfort. The 32-mm tires seem to take up most of the “harshness” inherent in an aluminum frame while the longer wheelbase provides a nice, stable ride. Would a steel bike be better? I don’t know. At 25 lbs unloaded (28-lbs w/racks and fenders), the bike is a tad slower and a bit more work on climbs than my 19-lb Domane. But I tend to believe it’s more responsive than the steel bikes I had considered. I may never really know. Regardless, I’m happy with the bike and I like the fact that I’m able to quickly swap components/accessories (seats and lights) between each of my bikes without having to realign anything (allowed by identical frame angles). For now, my plan is to ride the CrossRip as my “training” bike with the hopes of the Domane feeling extra speedy on the days when I want to instantly drop seven pounds.  00-winky

Click here to see a spec sheet. Click here to see more photos. Video review coming soon.

Look! Something Shiny!

Scott

25 Responses to My CrossRip

  1. joe barber says:

    Could you please tell me what modifications you made to get so close to the Domane geometry? You mention high rise stem but you don’t provide length or angle of stem. I was torn between the Domane and the crossrip but chose crossrips diversity and would love to gain Domane geometry. Thanks.

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    • Scott says:

      Joe – Sorry to take so long to reply. You asked this when I was hosted on a problematic server that wasn’t informing me of comments. I’m lucky to have tripped over this comment today. Anyway, the stem I was using at the time was a 90mm stem with a 40-degree rise. I learned on a very painful 300k that I wasn’t quite close enough to the Domane geometry. The CR’s reach was still 1-cm farther. Unfortunately, the CrossRip’s top tube is so long that it’s very difficult to mimic the Domane’s dimensions without some witchcraft. Since the Domane is a 58cm frame and the CR is a 56, the only way for me to get the CR’s reach short enough AND the handlebars high enough was for me to purchase an uncut fork. The uncut fork, likely intended for a 62-cm frame, brought the handlebars up another inch. That was higher than necessary. However, the shorter, 75mm stem compensated while bringing the bars closer to me. The end result is the reach is nearly identical to the Domane (2mm closer) and the height is about 5mm taller than the Domane. I hope to see how well this serves me on a long ride soon. BTW, the only place I have the taller fork shown is in this photo: http://www.stealthtdi.com/Albums/BicycleStuff/tallerfork.jpg

      Thanks for writing! -Scott

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  2. joe barber says:

    BTW great article.

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  3. MrRibbits says:

    Nice review, I pre-ordered the LTD last fall as well and love it. Put some Clement 40mm tires on it for the trails and 25mm Gatorskins for the road, Shimano A530 pedals, tubus fly classic rack, thudbuster post with a brooks cambium. It’s pretty much the perfect do everything bike for me. My pics here: https://imgur.com/a/kZyh3

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    • Scott says:

      Mr. Ribbits – Sorry to have missed this. Your CrossRip sounds like a great ride. I had to do some adjustments to mine. But I expect to spend more time on it over the winter. Take Care! -Scott

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  8. Juan Rodriguez says:

    Excellent write-up Sir, I enjoyed reading it as much as I hope to enjoy my soon to be daily rider CR LTD, I was thorn between a Raleigh Tamland 1 or this one, really like steel bikes, though having already 2 steels, this will replace my Trek FX as the utility/daily rider bike

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    • Scott says:

      Juan – Thanks for the comments. Although I like my CrossRip, I find myself considering a Specialized AWOL. It would be my first steel road bike in about 25 years. Odds are fair that I would buy just a frame ($700) and then swap the parts from my CrossRip. I guess that would make my poor bike a “Cross R.I.P.” 😉 I think I’d do it this way to get the AWOL rolling faster. Then I’d slowly rebuild the CrossRip as I upgraded parts on whichever frame I like better. 🙂

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  9. Chuck says:

    Hello Scott,

    I have the Cross RIP and I wanted to change out my crankset to make a little more hill friendly. You mentioned that you change your R600 cranks with Truvativ X0. Did you have to change the bottom bracket as well add spacers or anything special.

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    • Scott says:

      Chuck – You absolutely need to replace your bottom bracket to run this crank. A SRAM GXP Team Bottom Bracket (English thread, 68/73mm shell width) fits the bill nicely. It’s about $28 shipped from Amazon. When I first installed mine, there was way too much slop. So I did what men do, consult the directions last, and saw that the included spacers were required if the bottom bracket is narrower than a certain width (it’s in the directions). It fits great. -Scott

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great review Scott. I love my Crossrip Ltd too. I think Trek has seriously under-marketed this bike. It has however become the gateway drug to my Salsa Fargo. I love the 42×28 crankset on the Fargo and am planning on putting one on my Crossrip. I’m so glad to see that you’ve already done it and found it works well. The Crossrip will be my everyday and brevet bike, while the Fargo will be my everyday, go absolutely anywhere bike. The lower gears will serve me well on the hilly brevets here in the Northeast.

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    • Scott says:

      Kevin – Thanks for writing! I haven’t ridden very much over the past year due to injury or illness. When I do get out, the compact-compact crank is really nice for my weak legs. Every now and then I find myself considering a Specialized AWOL. If I go that route, I’d probably buy only the frame and then move the components from the CR to the AWOL. I’m a long way from buying another bike. But it’s a consideration. For now, I’m riding the CR full time so that the extra weight allows me to get the most of out what little riding I’m currently doing. Perhaps I’ll bounce back this summer. 🙂 Take Care! -Scott

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  11. Sorry to hear of your health problems…good luck on your recovery. I looked at the AWOL too before buying the CR, but the AWOL has too long a top tube for my short body.

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    • Scott says:

      Agreed regarding the long top tube. The CR is a bit long, too. I’d probably get the AWOL in a size smaller than usual for a 6-ft tall rider. The length would be okay, but I don’t know if I could get the bar height I’d want. We’ll see.

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  12. I forgot to ask if you had any troubles with the 42×26 combination. I’ve read a bit on the web that this can be problematic, shifting, wear, etc. Those were some older comments though. The stock configuration for that crank is 42×28. Thanks.

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    • Scott says:

      The combo works fine, even with the Shimano 105 front derailleur. In fact, the 105 is specified to work with up to 16T of difference. So the 42-26 spread is theoretically the max. I’m tempted to try a 24T. But I don’t even have my 11-32T cassette mounted (currently have 11-28T). So there’s no need to try a 24T chainring until I feel that my 11-32T cassette is insufficient. With a 26x32T combo, I’d probably ride too slowly to stay upright. HAHA!

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    • Scott says:

      Kevin – I wanted to update you to let you know that I decided to try another front derailleur. The Shimano 105 derailleur worked fine, but I felt that a mountain bike derailleur would be less prone to rubbing. I’ve mounted a Shimano XT FD-M785 front derailleur and have adjusted it for no rubbing. Note: I had to replace my cable since the M785 has a top-pull motion. I needed the additional length to use the pulley feature that’s included in the derailleur design. I’ll update this page to reflect the new gear today.

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      • Kevin Klasman says:

        Thanks for the update Scott. I have made the switch to the 42×28 crank and am loving it. Would have had a much harder time making it through the 200k very hilly (7300′ gain) brevet yesterday without it. Am thinking about dropping to the 26 though…I can never have too low a gear I guess. I’m currently using Dura-Ace bar ends so chain rub isn’t really an issue, but am considering going back to the stock brifters so I’ll keep in mind the M785 front mech.

        Kevin

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  13. Michael says:

    You kept the factory forks (Bontrager Satellite Plus, carbon disc w/lowrider mounts) on? This was the one thing I was told might be a problem for touring and carrying weight on the front of this bike. I have a 2015 but same forks and was thinking that I might have to switch them out of I was to carry weight up front. I was told these forks are not good for carrying touring weight. This is my first road bike and unfamiliar with this.

    What kind of weight are you loading the bike down with? 40/60 split? How much have you carried up front?

    Also, I am not a technical gear guy at all. I live in Colorado and do long rides. I too also would like the ability to get lower (is that correct word) gear(s) for climbing. My bike http://archive.trekbikes.com/us/en/2015/Trek/crossrip_elite#/us/en/2015/Trek/crossrip_elite/details FSA Vero 50/34 (compact) SRAM PG-950 11-32, 9 speed

    Will your solution accommodate my needs as well on the XO Crankset? You said you were sacrificing one “top gear.” Does that mean your trading off a lower gear for a higher gear if I am even using the language correctly? So in other words, when you are at high speeds, you lose a gear up there? Can you explain that a little to someone knew on the jargon. I have been on a bike my entire life but clueless how to communicate technically…sorry.

    Awesome write up…thank you! I love my Crossrip and want to turn it into a touring bike without going to the 540.

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    • Scott says:

      Michael,

      Yes, I still have the carbon fork. To be honest, I may have stripped one of the rack eyelets. I’m not sure yet. I think I may just need a replacement bolt. I’ll find out soon. I may replace the fork with a steel fork like this one: http://www.treefortbikes.com/product/333222397482/1372/Salsa-Vaya-700c-Fork,-50mm.html.

      I have two entries that show how I loaded the bike for camping at https://captainoverpacker.com/category/camping/. One entry discusses a shimmy I had with loaded rear racks. I’m not sure if that’s due to the bike’s geometry or if the aluminum frame simply transmits more vibration to the handlebar. But the front-only set up was far more stable. It was fun to blast past fellow campers on short hills by climbing out of the saddle. That’s a lot harder with a rear load.

      As for gearing, the 42T chainring will naturally limit my top end when compared to the 50T. If you’re a novice with gear ratios, a larger front chainring will yield higher/taller gearing; a smaller rear cog will also yield a higher/taller gear. My top gear with my current 42x11T gearing is ~103 inches (distance traveled per crank revolution). The formula is (42/11)*27. The 27 represents wheel diameter (a700x32C wheel is close). When I had a 50T chainring, I used a 12-28T cassette, meaning that my top gear was 112.5 inches (50/12*27). In fact, that’s what I still ride on my Domane. Since a 50×13 is 103.8 inches and a 42×11 is 103 inches, then (mathematically) I’m only giving up one gear (the 50×12) by riding on my 42×11 since it’s the same as riding a 50×13.

      On the low end, I’m GAINING two gears since a 34×28 is good for only 32.8 inches while the 26×28 goes down to 25 inches, the same as riding a 34×36 on a compact crank (which most road bikes cannot fit). If i was still riding a compact crank (50/34T), that would be like having a 13-14-15-17-19-21-24-28-32-36T cassette in the rear, but my 11-28T cassette has tighter spacing between the gears (11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-28). Oh, and I can still put an 11×32 back there for real mountain goat climbing if I know I’m going to need it. I don’t even know if I can keep the bike upright while climbing with a gear that low. HAHA! I can ride hills well enough on my Domane, but the CrossRip’s new gearing makes it so much easier, especially for this Clydesdale rider!

      I hope that explains everything well enough. Let me know if you need more info. I’m sure YouTube has videos that show how the math works.

      Thanks for writing,

      Scott

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  14. I don’t really understand. I’m kind of new to cycling – 10months old, so all this maths is going right up my head as of now. I am looking to buy a Trek CrossRip 1 since I am looking to replace my 19kg something MTB with a road cum hybrid bike. I did my 300K on my MTB, and it was fun. I don’t like trails, and racing — I am strongly considering CrossRip for it’s price, brevets, long distance road touring with occasional cobble or gravel roads in between. Can you help with the bike selection? BTW, I am from India and have a fairly strong lower body with 5’6″ height and 30 inseem length.

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    • Scott says:

      Hello – If I were to make the purchase again, I’d choose a Specialized AWOL. It is a utility bike that is already equipped the way I have transformed my CrossRip. In fact, I may buy an AWOL frame and move the CrossRip parts to it. Thanks for visiting. -Scott

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