It’s now been a year-and-a-half with my Cross-Check. It has seen every season in Chicago (though our last winter was mild) and thus, I wanted to post an update on how it’s holding up. It’s a sturdy, strong bike and the pothole-laden streets we endure here in Chicago do not cause me any concern. The frame can really take a beating. I’ve gotten stuck in heavy rain and ridden in light snow (without knobby tires), and whether I am accelerating from a stoplight or weaving around some ridiculous construction site, which are a constant in our city no matter the season, the bike is never worse for the wear. I’m still on the first chain and freewheel, while the handgrips and brake pads are ready to be replaced soon. The Cross-Check frame, however, looks as good as new. I’m not the worst with caring for my bikes, but I’m certainly far from the best. Nevertheless, this bike has been almost completely maintenance-free and I still love how it rolls.
The one bad experience I’ve had with the bike was earlier this spring. I had the bike locked up outside my office building and the Velocity Deep V wheels were stolen off the bike. A small u-lock secured the frame to the bike rack, but no lock around the front or rear wheels. They were secured with simple hex nut skewers and so I came outside to find my bike resting on its pedals and lacking its wheels and tires. That pissed me off but bummed me out as well, since I custom-ordered the wheels to my specs. As replacement wheels, I opted to go the less expensive route and Brandon over at Iron Cycles again helped me out. We went with a set of wheels and tires that came off a Felt Brougham single speed bike, so they cost significantly less. I’ve not had any issue with these and since that incident, now use one larger u-lock to secure the frame and front wheel to the bike rack, as well as the smaller u-lock to secure the rear wheel to the frame as well. Lesson learned. Bike thieves suck but I’m grateful that the entire bike wasn’t stolen.
So back to today — I took the Surly along on a trip to Hawaii. It’s still set up as a single speed, so it was used for zipping around town and cheering on friends racing in the Ironman World Championship. The picture above is me and my trusty Cross-Check in one of the most beautiful places on earth. As I said before, I’d highly recommend a Surly Cross-Check to anyone considering one! I would most definitely consider another Surly if the opportunity arose. If you’re so inclined, the gents at Iron Cycles have been wrenching on quite a few Surly’s lately and are a great place to get started!