Not just for cyclocross, the Surly CrossCheck is the ultimate commuter bike.

This post is the second in a series about our staff and the bikes they ride and love. Stop by the shop so we can share the joy with you!

When I wandered into the shop about a year ago, looking to buy a bike, I didn’t yet work here or have a clue about which bike would suit my needs. In the past, I had clung onto my child-size Trek MountainTrack for an inordinately long time, then picked up an old Schwinn cruiser at a yard sale for getting around my suburban neighborhood… eight years ago. I’d never had a bike in the city and I didn’t really know what I wanted it for, besides basic commuting. What a puzzle for the awesome shop staff to solve.

Based on my vague indications (“Ummm… something that could maybe do some light touring? Not hugely expensive? In a pretty color?”), Parker recommended the Surly CrossCheck, a bike I’d come across in my internet prowling as well. With its ability to mount paniers in the front and back if I were to want to take it on a (completely hypothetical) bike tour, plus its lovely robin’s egg blue color, I was pretty much sold. The only challenge we faced was that the shop didn’t have my size in stock, and we weren’t 100% sure what my size would be. With careful measurements and comparisons, we ordered a 50cm frame and I’m pleased to say it fits perfectly. We stripped the components from another bike that had suffered a cracked frame, slapped ’em on in one marathon session, and the bike was ready to go. It was love at first pedal.

A year later, Parker helped me update the components and added sweet fenders. He probably doesn’t want me to say this, but he even borrowed it for awhile, and his love of my steel frame helped him choose his Soma Smoothie. My bike still rides every bit as well as the day I got it, and I can’t imagine a better one for my current needs: riding around the city and occasionally taking longer rides through the suburbs. Plus, now Parker can keep trying to get me to race CycloCross, since I’ve got the bike for it. We’d just need to take those fenders off for a minute.

-Hannah, June 2012

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