As a designated Surly Destination Shop we have lot of experience with Surly products. We particularly love the Surly Cross-Check. It has been around since Surly's early beginnings and if you're looking for an all-around-do-everything bike this is it.
To start, the Cross-Check frame is manufactured out of 4130 CroMoly steel. To ensure rigidity, the main triangle is double-butted which means the tubing has a thicker wall at the ends and is thinner in the middle to reduce weight. The advantages of steel are its superior ride quality so the rider will experience less fatigue after a long ride.
The Cross-Check is cyclocross bike by design but people have much different purposes for this bike. Because the bike has a comfortable geometry and is nimble on its feet, people find it to be an excellent commuter bike around town. Navigating through the streets of any urban city such as Los Angeles on a bike can be quite daunting. Cross-Check's grippy tires and steel CroMoly frame help to soak up road bumps and vibrations with ease. Surly also introduced the flat bar version of the Cross-Check for just $875. The best has gotten better!
The Cross-Check also makes an excellent light touring bike. There are bosses and eyelets throughout the bike for racks and other attachments. While it's not designed to take over the Long Haul Trucker, but for a short weekend trip the Cross-Check's rugged design is perfect for an adventure.
While the standard rim-brake Cross-Check does a good job when it comes to stopping, the Surly Straggler has a very similar geometry to the Cross-Check and offers additional braking power when needed especially in wet and muddy conditions. People have always asked for a disc version of the Cross-Check and this is Surly's answer to that. Straggler also shares all of the Cross-Check's braze-ons for fenders, racks and bottle cages so it remains just as versatile.