Introducing: Frankenbike. My (not so) new Surly Cross Check build

For those of you who have been playing along (which I’m thinking is less than 1), you may remember that I was working on building up a Surly Cross Check frame during the late Summer. I thought that I had posted some completed bike photos, however, as I looked through my articles today, I now see I somehow neglected to do so. So what’s a guy to do? I’ll tell you. No, really.

Today I pulled the bike outside during a dry spell and snapped some photos (see below). First thing you’ll notice is the bar tape. It’s orange (copper, actually) and shiny. If you’re like me, shiny things distract you easily. This makes riding the bike a challenge. Next thing you might notice, if you know anything about bikes, is that this bike is running a mishmash of used components. To recap, someone made me a really good deal on the setup from a bike he was selling. We basically stripped the bike down of his mishmash of used parts and I put the mishmash of parts on my frame. It made things much more affordable than buying new and also got me a working bike much faster. I like that—instant gratification and all.

The parts are nothing to sneeze at for a hobbyist type like me who wanted a general, all-purpose bike. It’s running Campy Veloce shifters/brake levers, Campy Veloce rear derailleur, Shimano 105 front derailleur, Shimano Ultegra cranks, beaten up Selle Italia leather saddle, wheels with Alex rims and Campy hubs, some old-ass Onza Canti brakes and then a few things I supplied (namely the Shimano clipless SPD pedals, Cross-top brake levers, fenders, bike computer, headset, YAWYD top cap and aforementioned F.U.B.A.R. copper bar tape). And that, my dear reader, is why I call this bike Frankenbike.

The most surprising thing? It all works.

I built up just about all of the bike myself, with the exception of the wheels (already built when I got them) and the cable routing. For the cable routing, I had Camas Bikes bail me out. I just wasn’t equipped with the proper tools and experience to do that one well. I must confess, that after riding it for a little while, I also had Camas Bikes do a brake adjustment for me, which made a world of difference. Great service there, I tell you.

So, yeah. Here it is. I love this bike because it’s not pink and orange and teal with dayglo yellow accents like so many modern road bikes. I like it because it’s kinda punk rock. I like it because I can ride off-road without as much fear of flatting out or losing my traction. I like it because I was able to build it up in such a way that it fits me really well and is always a joy to ride. I hope you enjoy it too.

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