Surly vs KHS - Steel vs Aluminum


New Member
Feb 28, 2011
Good morning all!

Recently I've been thinking of buying a bicycle for exercise, leisure trail riding, and some commuting. I'm extremely interested in a cyclocross bike as places where i'll be exercising with the bike will be gravel. So with that in mind and some research that I've done I believe I've narrowed it down to 2 bikes but I'm also up for suggestions.

As I am 300 lbs i'm looking for a strong frame and something durable so I believe steel will be the best option. Would aluminum be a viable option as well? As aluminum opens up a few more bike options to me and some cheaper ones at that.

Since this is my first bike I don't want to break the bank getting all I want but at the same time I want performance and reliability.


$1,100 - Surly Cross Check ... This option is above my price range but with a little bit more saving I could easily get this. One issue I have with the price is even though its a high price there are still some modifications i'd have to do to it. New Rims / Handle Bars etc..

$550 - KHS Flite 220 ... This is the cheapest option i've found for a hybrid bike in steel. Some customizing neds to be done but with it being half the price as surly I can spend the money and get the items I need

... another option a bike dealer mentioned was:

$700 - Specialized cirrus .. This is an aluminum frame but comes with the disc brakes and better gears than the KHS Flite.

Some other opinions i'm looking for are

A. Should I buy used?
B. Should I buy a frame and then buy the better rims etc.. would that save me money in the end?

Thanks for the help
Check out Torker too. I just picked up their InterUrban - a steel road bike. rides nice. comes with 28s but looks to be able to take 32s meaning you could put a cx tire on it. Would need cross-levers for the brakes and might consider a stronger rear wheel based on your weight.