Surly Cross Check Frameset Drop Bar Bike Build

Last Updated on November 26, 2021 by FAB Jim The Cyclist

I’m in search of the perfect bike and am hoping it will be the Surly Cross Check.  I really like the ride and look of vintage bikes, but I prefer the shifting and drivetrain of newer bikes.  Hopefully I can combine these with this Surly frame.  I’ve heard lots of good things about Surly and well I really like the company name.  This frame has the look of a vintage bike with the straight steel tubes and curved fork.  Also, the cabling is all exposed and easy to work with like a vintage bike.  Here are some pictures:

Surly Cross Check Frameset Black

It’s about the same size as my 74 Schwinn Le Tour so I think it should be a good fit.  Made from 4130 CroMoly steel.  Fork is lugged and brazed 4130.  I think it is just a little lighter than my old Schwinn frames.  I bought this frame used on Ebay and it came with the brakes, housing stops with barrel adjusters, headset, and seatpost.  It only had one not so good picture but was described as lightly used.  Since it was cheaper than any other Surly frame I had seen, I jumped at it.  I probably should have asked for more pictures.  This frame has a highly visible scratch, chip, or damaged decal on every tube.  Who the heck calls that lightly used?  It should look good with some touchup work and a few new decals, but it’s gonna take some time.  Structurally the frame and fork seem fine.

I think I have some good ideas to give it a decent vintage look.  Giving it modern shifting will be easy as it’s a modern frame.  Not sure how the ride feel will turn out.  I’m not sure if a vintage bike feels so good from the steel frame, wider tires, or maybe the curved fork.  I plan to have all those with this build, so hoping it becomes a great ride.  I’ll be posting my progress as I go and reviewing the components as I add them.

I’ll be using this guide to help me with the build:

Published by FAB Jim The Cyclist

Jim has over 40 years of experience with bicycles and loves road and mountain biking and just going for calm cruises. He is a mechanic who has built custom bikes and is also very interested in bike history.

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