UPDATE: The finished Ultimate Commuter is here.
Finding the right bicycle for you can be really, really difficult. That’s if you’re looking for complete bikes, that is. I spent weeks searching and researching, and the last two days were even worse, spending more time on the computer than on the road while texting with my writer colleague Maarten about information and advice.
Hours spent in forums, sites, sales and what-nots – and I still couldn’t find the bike I was looking for. The Surly Cross Check had been recommended to me from many directions, from trustworthy people who know what they’re saying. So that was the starting point, finding the frame. I knew I wanted better transmission in it and after I found a 700 euro Shimano 105 groupset for 300 euros, the road ahead me was clear as day.
Now, a few days later and plenty on consulting and iteration I have ordered every single piece that will appear on my bike. The Beef Gravy Brown (sexy!) Surly Cross Check steel frame and fork, the Shimano 105 complete groupset, Easton EA70 series parts (stem, seat post, drop bar), a Selle Italia saddle and a bitchin’ custom wheelset. I won’t go too deep in to the parts yet, as I’ll write about them when they arrive. The weight should be around 9 kilos, which is probably less than half of my current budget hybrid.
The best thing about this whole process is that I will give birth to my own bike, for the first time, and naturally we’ll document the journey there. Other benefits include a lower price compared to the complete Cross Check, even though the complete has lower quality parts in it.
You won’t believe how excited I am now. Seriously.