Surly Flat Bar Cross-Check

Breezy, beautiful, bicycle. A gift that embodies everything wonderful about bicycles. The Surly Flat Bar Cross-Check is the best commuter your can snag for under $1000. ‘Nuff said.


December 1, 2017

the story

Since 1998, Surly’s been whipping up some of the gnarliest chromoly steel bike frames in the game. It’s okay if you haven’t heard of them, but ask any bike lover you know and they’ll agree — Surly is sick.

The Surly Flat Bar Cross-Check is a refresh of the Surly Cross-Check, a stalwart of cyclocross racing (AKA bikes in mud). The Flat Bar is designed to tear up any street, bike path, or commute you throw at it — all for an extremely reasonable price.

why we like it

The Surly Flat Bar Cross-Check is built using the same frame as the original Cross-Check, or better known as two triangles of chromoly steel perfection.

The wheel size is the same size as what you’d find in other road bikes, but it’s wider so you won’t have to worry about falling into those street cracks.

Also the bike features a nine speed shifter in the rear, which, trust us, is really all you need. Because there’s only nine speeds, maintenance is far easier and the learning curve is shorter. Any body can hop on and take this bike for a ride without having to worry about things like “cross-chaining” or “gear redundancies.”

And even though it’s a steel-framed bike, the weight is actually decent. Plus, because it’s steel framed, the ride is exceptionally comfortable. Oh, and it comes with a rack, FREE.

the competition

There’s a ton of other commuter bikes you could consider. Notably, any commuter-style bike from Trek or Specialized (the two largest bike brands in the US) would be comparable.

But Surly is in a league outside of those bigger brands. Call it boutique.

So compare this bike to a Kona Big Dew at $799. With the Kona you’ll get more gears (21), disc brakes, and an aluminum frame for $100 less. If you’re after more features and on a budget, the Kona is an excellent choice.

That said, the Surly is quality construction and oozes coolness. We can’t resist.

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