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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-31-13, 11:36 AM   #1
TwoHeadsBrewing
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Surly Cross Check Build

I've had two bikes that fulfill all of my riding needs for the past couple years: Windsor Knight road bike, and my Santa Cruz Blur LT for the trails. But this past year I've been wanting to do longer training/adventure type rides up into the foothills close to where I live. Almost endless miles of gravel roads, levees, singletrack, and boondock country roads to explore. The road bike can't fit any tires wider than 25c, and the Blur is 150mm of travel and 30#. I needed a bike that could handle commuting duties, light trail, and still do some century rides a couple times a year.

I decided to build up a Surly Cross Check after many months of looking at bikes both new/complete and various frames. Others in the running were the Disc Trucker, Soma DoubleCross, Trek Cross Rip Elite, and the Motobecane Fantom Cross. Of all of these and more transferring over parts from my roadie as a donor bike, and buying a few other pieces was the most economical. In addition, I really like my old steel frame MTBs and the fact that the Surly can take up to 2" wide tire makes it a very versatile bike. So I ordered up the frame and some other parts through my LBS as I get a decent discount there, and built everything up myself.

Here's a link to the spreadsheet I used for parts ordering: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...3c&usp=sharing

Got the frame in on a Friday and put it together that night! It was probably the easiest and quickest build I've ever done.

New frame, fork, and misc. new parts:


Donor bike (great bike, but NOT for trails or gravel roads):


Headset installed (rubber mallet method ):


BB, cranks and pedals installed:


Pretty much done, just need to adjust bars, stem, saddle, etc:




Roadie setup:


Trail mode:


Commute/Utility/Bike Path Mode (default setting!):

Last edited by TwoHeadsBrewing; 05-31-13 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 05-31-13, 11:38 AM   #2
TwoHeadsBrewing
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These are some pics from the first shakedown ride. It performed quite well on a mix of street, gravel road, and singletrack. I'm thinking I need to pick up a set of beefy wheels and slap some 45-50c meaty tires on there for the longer trail rides. But for a mix of surfaces, the Conti 35c's work great.











I think the dirty dark blue color looks even better with a nice coating of trail dust!
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Old 05-31-13, 02:10 PM   #3
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Nice bike! That's also one of the best CC colors I've seen yet!
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Old 05-31-13, 02:44 PM   #4
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I have to ask: how tall are you and how is the fit?
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Old 05-31-13, 03:21 PM   #5
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I'm looking into a similar build for a commuter/light touring bike and am curious to know what tipped the scales to the Surly over the soma double cross?
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Old 05-31-13, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattgmann View Post
I'm looking into a similar build for a commuter/light touring bike and am curious to know what tipped the scales to the Surly over the soma double cross?
You might also consider the Handsome Devil. It's got a bit sportier geometry than a Cross Check but is designed as a commuter/tourer/cyclocross bike. My frameset has a listed weight of 5.06 lbs (3 oz heavier than a Cross Check) but the actual weight on my digital kitchen scale was 4.8 lbs so it's plenty stout. I'm absolutely loving the ride of it, stable and smooth yet still very lively and it's almost the same color as a Cross Check.
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Old 06-03-13, 08:40 AM   #7
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I have to ask: how tall are you and how is the fit?
I'm 5'8" with a 30.5" inseam and the fit is perfect with a 100mm stem. I ride a 54cm for regular road bike frames, but the geometry of the Cross Check runs a little large.
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Old 06-03-13, 08:42 AM   #8
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Nice, they look like they improved the decals a bit. All mine pretty much peeled off after the first year. Great frame though.
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Old 06-03-13, 09:24 AM   #9
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The big one was that the Cross Check can fit slightly wider tires. I bought this bike so I can tinker with it depending on the season and my desires. The Soma is also a tad more expensive when you consider purchasing the fork separately, although it's not much of a difference. And the other thing is that the Cross Check has semi horizontal dropouts so you can run it single speed easily. Overall, just a more versatile frame.

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I'm looking into a similar build for a commuter/light touring bike and am curious to know what tipped the scales to the Surly over the soma double cross?
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Old 06-03-13, 09:24 AM   #10
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From what I can tell, it looks like they clear coated over the decals.

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Nice, they look like they improved the decals a bit. All mine pretty much peeled off after the first year. Great frame though.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:26 PM   #11
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cross check rule!
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Old 06-04-13, 01:40 PM   #12
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Great color. Nice build. Good for you.
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