While I was in Korea, I saved up a bit of money for a new bike.  I haven’t had a new new bike since 5th grade, so the whole thing has been pretty exciting.  I bought it in October from the Outpost of Manistee.  Kyle is a good friend and working with him is always a pleasure.

I looked at a number of options before going with a Surly Cross-Check.  I added lighting, a rack, and a good lock.  After a few months of riding, tweaking the fit, and swapping out a few parts, I’ve got a bike that I really enjoy.  Here are some pictures from our ride today:

The stock cyclocross tires have been swapped with a cheap pair of 28c tires from my LBS.  I replaced the saddle with a Brooks B17 Narrow, and stitched on some elk-hide bar covers from Velo Orange.  The brake levers have been swapped out with Cane Creek SCR-5s.  These are actually almost identical to the Tektro levers that came with the bike, but I wanted something brown to (sort of) match the bars.  They’re slightly narrower than the Tektro levers and much more comfortable for my hands.

Finally, I’ve added a computer and a bell.  I’ve never been a fan of bells, but it’s handy on sidewalks and bike trails.  Yelling “on the left” as I zip past always seems sort of rude.

For me, this is the perfect commuter.  It’s fast enough, handles well, and the steel frame is a blast to ride.  It’s nice, but not obscenely expensive.  And I love the way it looks.