Bike Review


I love my Surly Traveler’s Check!
It is the same as their Crosscheck but it comes with couplers so you can pack it small and don’t have to pay the extra fee at the airport. I bought the Crosscheck fork because I don’t think the Traveler’s Check fork came with mounts for a front pannier.

I had Phil Wood 36-hole hubs laced to DT Swiss TK 7.1 rims. They were really strong and the only time I was nervous about carrying so much weight on them was when I was biking along the Canal du Midi, which has a lot of rocks and tree roots along the path. I used Continental Contact tires, size 700-28 and only had one flat the whole time. I was glad I went with the 28’s and not a wider tire because I think anything bigger would have just slowed me down.

My cranks were Shimano 105, and I had a 30-39-50 triple chainring with a 10 speed 12-27 cassette. I was definitely grateful for the triple chainring, there were a lot of tough climbs! I do wish I had bought some sort of chainguard to protect my leg, but didn’t think of that before I left.

I went with bar end shifters so that they would be easier and less expensive to replace if I got in a crash.  Their positioning also makes it so that they’re less likely to be damaged in a crash.

I bought the Nitto Noodle handlebars from Rivendell Bicycle Works and they were really comfortable.  I added cross lever brakes to my handlebars, because I’m used to riding riser bars on my main bike and don’t like to reach for the brakes.  They were great, except for one day when the handlebar mount pressed on the cables and caused my brakes to seize and me to tip over.  I moved the cross levers over and it didn’t cause any more problems, but I was still a little nervous about them and usually used the main brakes when I was descending. My brakes were Deore XT.

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