Readers’ Rides: Tim’s 15-Year Owned Cross Check Basket Bike


Readers’ Rides: Tim’s 15-Year Owned Cross Check Basket Bike

Cross Checks are undoubtedly the most ubiquitous of the Surly models, yet no two are built the same. A case in point is Tim, who submitted one he’s owned for 15 years, and boy does it have some lovely beausage! Let’s check it out below!

I’ve had this Cross Check for about 15 years. I’ve taken it mountain biking at night with my buddies, hit 50 miles per hour on quiet dirt roads, and done some light touring when I’ve had time.

These days it is mostly working as a commuter, with occasional gravel rides around Southern Vermont and nearby New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Pretty much the only rule for this bike is no carbon fiber – though if pressed, I’d take a functioning bike over some silly design rule like that.

I’ve been slowly adding more MUSA or similar parts as years go by, and I tend toward 90s era parts whenever they’ll function and improve the build. What was originally a parts swap from a cheap Raleigh road bike has become a fine-tuned machine with its own unique character.

There are a few little quirks, like the busted dropout screw and the star-fangled nut I drove up from the bottom of the fork as a fender mount like three sets of fenders ago, or the weird mishmash top cap assembly, but every part makes me love it more.

When my kiddo was starting to ride his balance bike, I had a saddle mount fabbed to attach to my top tube so he could ride along, and he would get so excited as we rode. He gets it – bikes are rad, and this is the radavist-est bike I’ve got.

Here are the parts as the bike stands today:

  • Surly Cross Check frame and fork
  • Cane Creek 100 headset with Wolf Tooth spacers
  • Custom-bodged derailleur pulley/1” Campy spacer top cap assembly
  • Salsa Cowchipper Classic bar
  • Race Face Ride XC stem
  • Thomson Elite seatpost
  • WTB SST saddle
  • Newbaum’s Cotton Bar Tape, purple, over Fizik Bar Gel, with amber shellac finish. Matching chainstay wrap and front rack mounting (shellac pending)
  • Gevenalle, née Retroshift, levers with Cane Creek hoods and Shimano 7 speed shifters set up friction (I liked that gray!)
  • Jagwire Elite Link cables
  • Shimano XTR 952 rear derailleur, Campagnolo Veloce front derailleur, Origin-8 chain catcher
  • SRAM Rival OCT crank, 180mm x 110bcd
  • Rocket 46t, Surly 34t chainrings
  • XT 9 speed cassette, 11-32
  • SRAM chain
  • Crank Brothers Stamp 7 pedals
  • Shimano XTR V-Brake with Travel Agent, and Curve CNC canti with Odyssey Straddle Rod, Salsa interrupter levers
  • DT 350 rear hub, Specialized front, 32 hole laced to Sun CR-18 rims, Panaracer Pasela 35 tires
  • Minoura front rack with modified Wald basket
  • Avenir rear rack
  • Velo-Orange fenders
  • Crane E-Ne bell
  • Mojo Jojo rack flair

We’d like to thank all of you who have submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared over here. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!