Monday, February 22, 2010

Beef Gravy Bike Build

My very dear friend (to protect the innocent we'll call him Ryan The Beard), who is Captain and Cruise Director of the USS New England Classic doesn't have a bike. Or didn't... until yesterday. How does a man who coordinates the most epic charity ride in the country and whose bestie is a bike industry veteran NOT own a bicycle? It's a mystery. A mysterious situation that has finally been fixed with none other than a Surly Cross Check.

It's no secret that I like this bike a whole bunch. I think it's just the ticket for someone who doesn't have the space, finances, or desire (gasp) for more than one bike. It's a do-anything rig. With 700c wheels, plenty of clearance for fenders and space for a rack it makes a great commuter, grocery getter or touring bike. The massive amount of tire clearance also has room for knobbies for off road fun. It is a cyclo-cross bike, so a 'cross race would be fun. A little trail riding isn't out of the question, either...especially the fast, swoopy, not-super-technical stuff. It also has semi-horizontal dropouts, which means single speed/fixed is an option, which is what we decided to do with Ryan's The Beard's bike:

It comes as a frame, or as a complete bike, in case you don't want to have to pick out all of the parts. The Cross Check is the tofu of bicycles. It's a versatile and nutritious base that'll take on the flavor of what ever parts you put on it. Maybe that's a bad analogy. If you hate tofu, don't worry, the color this year is 'Beef Gravy Brown'. Black is also always an option, and it seems like either you love or hate Surly's color option. I'm into the brown. I think it's classy.

There's always a downside, right? So what are the 'cons'? Well, the most glaring one is that this bike is no lightweight. It's steel (4130 cromoly, to be exact), so it's a comfy ride, but it's heavy like steel. Another drawback for some folks is that disc brakes are not an option. If you're intrigued, there's a nice write-up (by a real reviewer) of the bike in this month's Bicycle Times.

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