Every two years I like to switch out bikes, at least gravel bikes. The Fred Mobile only lasted a year and the Specialized Tri-Cross lasted two commutes. I replaced the Cannondale SX800 with a Surly Cross Check and I wasn't really happy with the size of the Specialized. Now, two years later I now have a new bike.
I have gone back to a smaller frame. The store called this a large which after you look at the geometry it works out to a 58 cm frame. I feel like riding a 61 cm to be great on a bike commute with some mixed terrain but when in the woods the bike doesn't seem to be nimble enough. My Cross Check was certainly nimble. Of course one another driving factor is the price. Since its discontinued and the last one in the store, it was half the regular retail price. I also had my REI Dividend and a $50 gift card to use.
These cement tires, 700x40c, are awesome. Plenty of knob for dirt and constant pattern down the middle of roads. Additional qualities are light weight and puncture resistant.
I wanted to try a 1x but an 11x34 and triple upfront gives me plenty of range to climb just about anything.
Yep, those are barend shifters and they are really smooth. The bars are seriously flared and the shorter drop makes riding in the drops and switching between braking and shifting all that easier.
Above is a stock picture of the bike because I am still in the process of Fredding up mine. Switching out the saddle, eventually I will get a Brooks C15 for it. A longer stem that is angled down instead of up as seen above. Under top tube gear bag, bottle cages, and a front rack. If and when I go touring, I will be adding a rear rack, too.
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