A Surly Road Warrior

Bikes are like cameras. Once you start with them you realize you need a different one for every occasion. BMX, Tarck, Track, 700cmx, road, beach cruiser and dutch city; they all have their time, place and function, none of which overlap very much. I wanted to build something with slightly multiple personalities: the soul of an indestructible sporty commuter, with the simplicity (read: concealed complexity) of an internally geared hub for the heart. Something that could handle the apocalyptic potholes of Atlanta in style, and possibly double up with some light touring. I decided on the Surly Crosscheck built up around an Alfine 8 speed.

surly/alfine build latest

As heavy as this thing is (26.5lbs), it has surprising dexterity. Don’t expect to win any races, just man up and get your workout on! It’s my go everywhere and haul everything plus-a-12-pack-of-fat-tire-bottles bike. The frame: build it up as a mountain bike, build it up as a road warrior, fat or skinny tires, risers or drops. The Surly is comfy and effective in any config. This is the beauty of the Crosscheck, the perfect frame for multiple personalities and also one of the few options for the Alfine with 132.5mm rear spacing. The Alfine has lived up to its rep so far. Shifts pretty smooth with correct cable length and aligned properly. Low maint and straight chainline, baby!

(PS: that’s Boris in the background, inspecting the final build.)