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got the bikes new in 2004... getting them refitted in probably our best choice. Front is 48-38-28. and we are 11-34 in back.
I find it hard to believe that Surly would sell the CC with a triple crank minus the small ring. What would be the point?The point would be to simplify their inventory. One crank fits all.
But why leave off the other ring? Cost? Insignificant. Weight? Same.
I usually carry a small roll of duct tape. It's versatile, small, and light. Could this be another use? Maybe one could fold it over on itself, sticky sides together, and use that as a boot.
A close friend of mine is an EMT and he stated that they are explicitly trained to check for medical alert items, be they dog tags, wrist straps, ankle straps, or shoe tags.
PowerBar wrappers supposedly work well, too.
From what I can make of the Surly web site, the Cross Check comes with the exact same crank as the LHT but without the third chainring supplied. So, all you have to do is buy a 74 mm BCD chainring in whatever tooth count you want down to 24T, buy the bolts, reset the front derailleur's low limit screw and you have an instant triple. The friction front barend shifters will handle it with no problems.