I posted this on the road riding page and thought I might get more response here:
I am seriously considering placing my old Bianchi in semi-retirement and replacing it with a new machine. Most of my riding is on the road but I like the sturdiness and general utility of cyclocross bikes. I have been looking mostly at three different bikes: the Surly Cross-Check, the Kona Jake the Snake and the Trek XO as possible candidates.
I would be interested in the views of any one who owns any one of these bikes. Opinions about similar machines is welcome as well. Right now, I am leaning heavily toward the Cross Check as I am a big fan of steel frames and bar con shifters.