Gallery: Joe’s Surly Cross Check

Here is mine in its “finally I’m happy with” setup:

  • 56cm Surly Cross Check
  • Cannondale slice carbon fork (mine went out for warranty, brake boss snapped, will be reinstalled when it gets back, the carbon fork sucks)
  • 700c Araya rims, laced to 600 hubs
  • Shimano 600 6spd freewheel
  • 600 FD, 105 RD
  • Suntour Cyclone cranks, 50/44
  • Whites Industries BB
  • Modded and laced Cardif Cornwall saddle (about 2k miles)
  • DA barcon rear shifter
  • DA DT front shifter
  • Michelin Dynamo 28c tires
  • Soma rear rack, wood deck made by me
  • Sunline front rack
  • CC canties
  • Suntour XC pedals

See’s the brunt of my semi car free lifestyle, as well as all in town errands.

Thanks. Love the site, keep it up. —Joe

14 Responses to “Gallery: Joe’s Surly Cross Check”

  • John says:

    Love the Surly. Nice rear rack modification. Thanks for sharing, Joe.

  • Beth says:

    I second the rear rack mod!!! Nice!

  • J. Tyler says:

    Third in line in saying the rear rack mod is really beautiful! Also curious what are the brake lever covers?

  • Joe says:

    Thanks for the comments on the deck.

    @ J. The “covers” on the levers are a few wraps of hockey stick grip tape. Helps grip in wet weather and adds a little cushion. I also used this on the shift levers.

    I have since installed a LHT fork, after a warranty snafu ended up in the wrong fork being sent back (see my site for details, is kinda a neat story.) I like the LHT fork though, as it has the extra eyelets and mid blade eyelets. The color just doesn’t match. Thinking of having it chromed, or if I can get the color code for Surly Gravy, having it powder coated to match.

  • MohjhoRyder says:

    Hey Joe, I looked all over internetville for a picture of the Soma Deco rack mounted on a bike. How happy are you with it?

  • Joe says:


    The Deco rack has been a little so so IMO. Okay for small top loads, and I liked the fact it had an “open” top. Even though I made a deck myself, its nice to have an open top at times for odd shaped cargo. It comes in at so so when you try to run some panniers. My Axiom dutch shopper panniers did fine with moderate loads, but the lack of struts towards the rear of the bike makes larger loads sway towards the wheel. I have a had a few contact issues when using smaller Axiom Seymore panniers about half filled. Also, this may be more to the short wheelbase then the rack, but to alleviate heel strike on the bags, I have to move them far back on the rack. ITs a little short and very forward sitting. The problem with them that far back is the lack of a place for the bungees, or clips to attach to the rack. As a matter a fact, I cannot use a clip system pannier at all unless moved very far forward on the rack, then causing heel strike. And it takes a little creativity to find a place to attach the bungee S hook.

    So, in turn I only use this rack for around town errands and shopping with the Dutch Shopper bags. For longer rides and tours when I want to use a true pannier and ride a slower pace, I use a Surly rack.

    I do like the finish, the brushed alum look. So all in all, I’d say its a nice looking rack, but has its limitations. A topeak or delta rack would work better, and be a little cheaper too.

  • Joe says:

    Now I will say the sunline front mini rack is the best $15 dollars I have spent on a bicycle accessory. Just large enough to be useful, while staying gout of the way when not needed. Easy to install, and has a nice payload capacity. Not sure on the quoted weight limit, but have everything from 20lbs kitty litter, case of adult beverage, and even a 30lb bucket of pea gravel attached and the rack didn’t flex, grown, or budge. Not that riding with a front load that high is advisable, but the rack didn’t mind. It even long enough for most panniers to hang nicely, it not a little high.

  • David says:

    Where’d you buy the Sunline? I’ve had trouble finding a source.

  • Joe says:


    I had it ordered from J&B. I get items at cost at my lbs, and was around 15 bucks. And J&B dealer should be able to get them. When i ordered it about a month ago, J&B had tons

  • David says:

    Great, thanks!

  • DerrickP says:

    As a Cross Check owner, I must say that you’ve beat my set-up! I’ve gone more “utility” than beauty, but you’ve done both. Beautiful bike!

  • Joe says:

    @ Derrick

    Thanks. The pics of the LHT fork on the CxC are now up on my site if you’d like to see…

  • Trevor Wilkes says:

    About how much money did you invest in this bike? I’m recommending a bike for a friend, and I want to give her an estimate on how much a project like yours would take?

  • Joe says:


    Well, this has been a process of trial and error, swapping parts, and trying things to get it to this point, and I still consider it a work in process. But, to purchase comparable parts (most of mine are vintage) it would come in at the 1200-1500 dollar mark. The stock CxC build of the complete bike is a nice, and comes in around that mark. Now, if you would add up all the parts I have for different “versions” of my builds, the three I keep ready if I feel the urge to change from townie, cross, SS monstercross/trail bike, it would probably be closer to a number I’d rather not know… lol.

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