First is my 50cm Surly Cross Check that I rode for 1.5years of commuting. Debadged and added reflective tape. on frame. Started of as 39/16 single speed, then went to 39 front 11-34 rear 1x9 due to longer commute. Also took off the rack, fenders , changed tires, and swapped to 39/20 gearing to ride singletrack at times. Very versatile bike ,but I decided I wanted a more dedicated touring style bike along with 26". Frameset is For Sale btw
So I changed to this 52cm Soma Saga. Swapped over most of the parts. Built Salsa Gordos on the old hubs. Switched to Salsa Woodchippers 42cm Bars. Swapped out the Durace crankset for a Vintage XT triple (turned outter ring into chainguard and running no front derailleur, can manually shift if I needed the low gear) and added a Jandd Extreme rack.
So far I am liking my new setup. I don't noticed any speed difference between the 700x35 and 26x1.5(they are schwalbe marathon and more like 1.75's). I love the gears over single speed (which I rode almost exclusively for the past year and half). Much less strain on my back when climbing or riding into the wind. I'm happy with the switch and plan to do some touring when I move out to Portland this Fall.