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.


2 Responses to “Bicycle”

  1. Evan on April 22nd, 2010 8:31 am

    Those bar wraps look great, Mike.

    Does your lock pivot around and get you in the knees? The mount that I have for mine is problematic because the notch on the lock that fits into the mount is part of a sleeve that fits around the lock. That’s confusing in words. But the body of the lock pivots inside of that sleeve. I’m wondering if they’ve fixed that or not.

    I wish I rode more, but the roads around my apartment are in pretty bad shape and the trolly tracks in the middle of the road are terrifyingly dangerous when you’re riding parallel to them — just wide enough for a tire to get down in and too deep to ride back out of without biting it.


    mike.sapak Reply:

    I know exactly what you mean about the pivoting lock mount. Every other U-lock mount I’ve used has that problem. This one hasn’t been a problem at all. It’s got a much better tensioning system, and it doesn’t move at all.

    Trolley tracks do sound pretty terrifying. I’ve definitely changed some of my routes because of the road conditions around here, as well. Most of the spring potholes haven’t been patched, and it’s downright dangerous.


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