Surly Cross-Check Review

Written by:

Liam E.

Last updated:

May 28, 2020

Surly Cross-Check

The Surly Cross-Check is an excellent bike for city riding, but it also performs well should you decide to hit the bike trails on the weekends.

The bike has a steel frame that doesn't damage easily and is more durable than an aluminum frame. A steel frame is also much easier to repair than an aluminum or carbon bike frame.

The Surly Cross-Check has mounts you can use to add front and rear racks and fenders.

Customizable. You can easily customize this bike to fit your riding needs for a variety of terrains.

The bike's steel frame makes it a bit heavy, something that can slow it down. However, if you're not looking to be Lance Armstrong, the Surly Cross-Check should get you around fast enough.

You have to buy the bike's pedals separately.


Surly is a US bike company that started bicycle manufacturing in 1998. It is widely known for its durable steel touring bikes that are designed to take you around town or across the country comfortably.

Surly manufactures several bike models, the Cross Check is one of them. Other models include the Karate Monkey, a 29er mountain bike, ECR an off-road touring bike with 29er 3" tires, and Bridge Club, which is a pavement/ dirt touring bike.

On their website, Surly advertises the Cross-Check as "A Steel Commuter Bike That Can Do it All." The Surly Cross-Check can indeed handle itself well on different surfaces, but to expect it to perform better than a road bike or mountain bike on and off-road, respectively, would be asking for too much.

Some of the Surly Cross-Check specs include Alex Adventurer 2, tubeless-ready rims, Surly Knard, 700c x 41mm tires, Tektro M730 V-brakes, Shimano Tiagra 4600 front derailleur and Shimano Deore T610-SGS rear derailleur.

The Surly Cross-check is available with a drop or flat handlebar.

Who is this bike perfect for?

  • The Surly Cross-Check is perfect if you're looking for a smooth-riding commuter bike. The bike's steel frame absorbs shock well and dampens vibration creating a very comfortable riding experience. The fact that the bike also rides well on other different terrains also makes it a good bike if you want a multi-purpose bicycle.
  • This bike is also ideal if you're a rider who loves customizing their bike to fit their needs. You can easily try out various bike components on the Cross-Check. One Surly Cross-Check owner said, "This bike has to be the most versatile bike you can own. I have had at least 5 different style handlebars, various shifters, and brakes. I have been able to change the characteristics whenever my mood changes."
Surly Cross-Check


If you often drop your bike, you'll love the Surly Cross-Check stainless steel frame that doesn't easily dent. Despite numerous falls, the frame can remain as good as new. The steel frame also makes riding the Cross-Check comfortable because it absorbs a lot of the shock.

The WTB Volt Sport saddle also makes riding comfortable for you. With this seat, you can expect not to get saddle sore after a long ride.

The Tektro M730 brakes offer flawless stopping, so you can be assured that if you need to come to a halt immediately, these brakes will get this done. 

The 700 x 41 mm Knard tires offer better traction, mainly off-road, but on the pavement, you can feel like together with the bike's weight, they are slowing you down.


The Surly Cross-Check ticks all the right boxes you should consider when buying a bicycle. It is durable, comes with fantastic features, can be customized, used on multiple-terrain, and built by a known bicycle brand.

We have no doubt it will serve you well whether you use it for your daily commute to work or weekend off-road adventures.



Surly Cross-Check, Surly 4130 CroMoly steel.



Surly Cross-Check, 4130 CroMoly, lugged & brazed.

Rear Shock:

Front Travel:

Formula RB51, 32H

Rear Travel:

Formula RB51, 32H


Shimano CX50, 36/46t

Bottom Bracket:

Shimano 4600


Microshift BS-M10, bar-end shifter

Rear Derailleur:

Shimano Deore T610-SGS

Number of Gears:

Shimano CS-HG50-10, 11-32, 10-speed


Tektro M730 V-Brake with Tektro RL520 Levers

Wheel Size:

Alex Adventurer 2, tubeless ready


Surly Knard, 700c x 41mm, 33 tpi


Salsa Cowbell 3


HL 31.8

Seat Post:

Kalloy 368 non-offset (42–50cm), Kalloy 342 offset (52–64cm) 27.2 x 300mm


WTB Volt Sport


Cane Creek Custom 5



Surly Cross-Check

The Surly Cross-Check is an excellent bike for city riding, but it also performs well should you decide to hit the bike trails on the weekends.