Last Updated on May 7, 2022 by FAB Jim The Cyclist
Check out my beautiful Surly Cross Check:
I decided I wanted to try and combine what I like about vintage and modern road bikes. Vintage bikes have a really nice smooth ride, but I really like the shifting and drivetrain of a modern bike. There is also much I like about the look of a vintage bike.
First thing I needed was a steel frame. I thought about updating a vintage frame but decided to go with something newer. After searching around, I decided on the Cross Check. The frame is 4130 chromoly steel and has straight, round tubes with a curved fork, so I think it has a good old-school look to it. I picked it up used and it came with the Tektro brakes, seatpost, headset, and barrel adjusters. Sadly, it came with a lot of scratches and chips which I spent a good deal of time cleaning up. I also replaced many of the decals since those were also damaged. Never buy an Ebay frame without real good pictures, even if they claim it’s lightly used.
So now I started planning the rest of the build. I didn’t want it to just look like a modern road bike with a Surly frame, so I decided to try to give it a vintage-look. I found a nice silver, 10-speed groupset from Microshift to use and added lots of other silver. Here are some of the components:
Microshift 10-speed Centos shifters/brakes
Microshift Centos 10-speed front derailleur
Microshift R10 10-speed rear derailleur
Microshift CS-G100 Lightweight Cassette
Stonglight Impact Double Crankset 48/34
KMC X10 Chain silver/black
Whisky No 7 F12 Silver drop bars
Wellgo W-01 Pedals
Jagwire Silver Braided cable housing and cables
Origin8 Uno Road Bike Saddle
Bontrager R3 tires 32mm
Here are some more images:
Weight is about 24lbs
I’m pretty happy with the weight given I have been a bit restricted by the vintage-look. I can’t go adding a bunch of carbon parts after all. It’s in pretty good company from a vintage road bike perspective. In 1974 the Schwinn Professional Road Racing Paramount was listed as 23-25lbs. Now that I know I really like this bike I do wish I had gone with a more lightweight bottom bracket, but I think I can shed quite a bit of weight still.
So far, the fit seems really good. The Whisky bars seem to be perfect; I went less wide than I usually use at 38cm. They also have 12 degrees of flare which helps the drops feel more comfortable. The hoods are also angled inward a little which also feels great. I need some longer rides outside to know for sure, but this bike was even comfortable on the trainer.
Really comfortable ride. With the steel frame/fork and the 32mm tires, the bumps of the road are absorbed nicely. Microshift drivetrain is working well with really good shifting, and I really like the shift levers.
I’m really happy with my attempt at a vintage-look. All the silver parts look great, and I think really go well with the frame. The Stronglight crankset looks like it could be out of the 70s, so it’s perfect. My original plan was a silver stem, but I kinda like how the black stem looks with the silver bars. What do you think?
Really enjoying this bike. Because of this I already have some upgrade plans. Some to lighten it a bit, and others to work more on the look. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say this is the best-looking vintage-look Surly Cross Check built in Wisconsin by an amateur mechanic with a Microshift drivetrain. Stay tuned for updates.