WIth a great deal of help from this forum, I have decided to have a Surly Cross-Check built as my "get back to biking bike." I'm a Clydesdale (6' and 290) ... so the steel frame and durability pretty much sealed the deal.
I realize it isn't a top-of-the-line performance cyclocross, but I do want to maximize its capabilities right out of the gate. That doesn't mean I want to waste money just to waste it ... it does mean that I'd like to maximize performance where it makes sense to do so --- and end up with a bike that'll last me until lose weight and go totally nuts for an IF bike.
I'll be using it 70% on pavement, 30% on towpaths (clay and crushed stone). Long rides are definitely in the cards. I get competitive with most things I do, and like to go fast. I am pretty busy in "real life" ... so (as much as is possible) I want to get the right components the first time around, instead of dealing with downtime and upgrades later.
I'm going to visit my LBS to talk over the build I want, so my question for the board is:
Given my needs, what should my "dream" surly build be?
I'm looking for specific component suggestions. I'm just returning to the biking world, and am an "ignorant consumer" when it comes to what to look for (though I'm reading everything I can find).
Here is the list I have been making as I read through the forum --- anything on here can be changed if you have a better suggestion.
* I know I'll need a heavy-duty wheel set, have read a lot about the deep-v.
* At a minimum, I think I want Shimano 105 (in black).
* Brooks saddle. At 290, a Thomson seat post?
* At 290, I'd like to be able to stop ... help w/brakes?
* Midge seems loved.
* Aesthetically, I love simplicity and the color black. That, combined with this thread --> A Child of the Forums (**Photos**) has me set on a black frame and as many black components as I can get.
Thank you in advance for the help.
I'll post progress and results.