Until recently I was using my Cross Check to commute to work, and I had it set up with flat bars in order to better navigate through all the idiots on the MUT (I just switched the Surly to drop bars, but more on that later). For shifters I was using the levers that came with some Shimano 8-speed barcons, combined with Pauls awesome Thumbies. These things totally rock. I like Rapidfire, can tolerate Grip Shift, but I think thumb shifters are still my favorite. Paul’s solution isn’t cheap, but it sure is cool. More pics after the jump.
Used for: 5 years
Price paid: don’t remember
Purchased at: Bikeman via eBay
Rating: 5 stars!
My only complaint about my Surly Cross Check is the rear brake cable routing. The slotted cable stops run down the right hand side, which makes no sense unless you want to run your rear brake to the left brake lever motorcycle style, or enjoy having the brake housing rub the paint off your head tube. My Cross Check is about five years old, though, and since then Surly has moved the top tube cable stops to the to the 12 o’clock position, which is an improvement, but I still think they should just move it over to the 10 o’clock position like just about everyone else.
Surly also decided against brazing on a rear housing stop (perhaps thinking that lots of folks would use V-brakes?) and instead went with a cable hanger. My Cross Check came with a generic one that is kind of short, and I know a lot of people had trouble getting the housing cut to just the right length (I found it worked best to cut the housing on the short side, and run it under the seat post clamp). Surly has tried to rectify the cable hanger issue with their new cable hanger. These come with the new Cross Check frames, but if you have an old one like me, it’s gonna cost you $11 at the LBS. Worth it? Well, I just installed mine, and it looks kind of cool, but I didn’t notice much improvement in brake feel (then again, mine wasn’t that bad to start with). But if you’ve been struggling with the old hanger, or would like a barrel adjuster, it might be worth it. More photos after the jump!
Used for: 1 week
Price paid: $11
Purchased at: Free Range Cycles
Rating: 4 stars!