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donkpow

New bike, Part Deaux

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A 2015 Surly Disc Trucker in Maroon #79. It had been in the shops for several years without anyone taking the bait so the owner dropped the price to around $950 USD for the annual sale. I've shifted the focus of the bike by adding a few parts.

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When I took delivery I asked the shop guy to make sure the rotors were centered so I could bed in the brakes on the way home. He did that but said it wasn't perfect. After I got home, I tuned up the brakes. The back brakes were good but the front brake rotor would not hold itself very well. I've since swapped out the BB7 Mtn calipers with the set of BB7S Road calipers off of the wrecked 2017 Cannondale. Here I am using the organic pads and rotors off the Surly with the new calipers. The front brake still gives me fits and just this week I deglazed the pads and rotor. We'll see.

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I put on what I think is an excellent rack for the price, an Axiom Journey. I modified it a bit by flattening the tail of the bed. There was a lip on the original to prevent a trunk bag from slipping off the back. The trouble for me is that my metal basket gets jammed into the back of the saddle. I just bent the solid aluminum rails until the bed was flat. Brooks B17N. A whatever saddle bag for the spare tube and levers. Zefal frame pump. I reused the cork tape that came with the bike. When I am sure I am dialed in, I'll put some good new tape on. The tires are Continental Contact 622-37. Fenders are SKS Chromoplastic Longboard. Plastic coating on an aluminum fender, I believe. People complain about the difficulty of installation. I still need to get a short spacer on the chainstay mount. My MKS Sylvan pedals with clips and straps along with my custom toe covers.

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The drivetrain was a 9 speed touring setup using Shimano Deore XT RD and a Sora triple FD. Microshift bar end shifters and Tektro brake levers. 11-32T cassette and 48-36-26T crankset. I've swapped in a 10 speed chain and cassette, keeping the RD, FD, and crankset. Shimano Tiagra 4600/4603 integrated levers for the gears and road brakes. Jagwire Pro Road brake cables.

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The cockpit includes an inexpensive accessory bar, Sigma computer mount, and a traditional 1" diameter bar.

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That is a beautiful bike. I love the color. How is it possible that a 2015 is still sitting in the shop? $950 is a steal. I have some bike envy going on.

My questions. What are you doing with the bar end shifters? Did you flip the stem? Why did it come with mtn BB7s instead of road BB7s? Will mtn BB7s work with road levers? I thought they did not work together. I have some mtn BB7s looking for an application. Is the front hub XT as well? 

My only advice. Instead of replacing the bar tape, double wrap it. 

fff, what is the max tire width on this frame?

Well done. 

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7 hours ago, dennis said:

That is a beautiful bike. I love the color. How is it possible that a 2015 is still sitting in the shop? $950 is a steal. I have some bike envy going on.

My questions. What are you doing with the bar end shifters? Did you flip the stem? Why did it come with mtn BB7s instead of road BB7s? Will mtn BB7s work with road levers? I thought they did not work together. I have some mtn BB7s looking for an application. Is the front hub XT as well? 

My only advice. Instead of replacing the bar tape, double wrap it. 

fff, what is the max tire width on this frame?

Well done. 

So many questions. :o

The bike actually sat in at least two different shops over the years at full retail. I looked at it myself several times. I don't know why it didn't sell. I imagine the local market doesn't support the sale of a lot of touring bikes. The Cannondale I got earlier this year was a 2017 model. I spoke with another fellow who admired the bike but didn't get it.

I don't know what I'm going to do with the bar end shifters. I've got a box and bucket with spare parts from these two new bikes. I plan to convert my road bike to a 10 speed since I have Tiagra 4700 parts off the Cannondale. It currently has 7 speed stuff on it. I've got quite a few 4600 bits and pieces as well as an older 9 spd triple crank. 

I did flip the stem. 17° is a pretty big angle.

Mtn BB7's require long throw levers. Road BB7's are better suited for road levers. I rode the bike for a few days with the supplied Tektro levers and the road BB7's. They worked fine but you had to put a bit more into the levers to make them work. I guess you probably get better modulation with the long stroke mtn BB7's especially when you are loaded for touring. I'm not going to say mtn BB7's won't work with road levers. It looks to me like if you have enough stroke on the levers, the brakes will work. If you run out of lever, the brakes won't work. You could probably cheat and shorten the cable, even though you are not supposed to. I read a comment on the web about a guy who rebuilt mtn BB7's to convert to road. Just replace internals. Or so he said.

Both hubs and the RD are XT.

With 700c tires, max clearance is 42 with fenders and 45 without. The smaller frames use 26" tires and max clearance is for 2.1" with or without fenders.

I usually double wrap a portion of the handlebars but not the whole thing. 

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5 hours ago, donkpow said:

So many questions. :o

The bike actually sat in at least two different shops over the years at full retail. I looked at it myself several times. I don't know why it didn't sell. I imagine the local market doesn't support the sale of a lot of touring bikes. The Cannondale I got earlier this year was a 2017 model. I spoke with another fellow who admired the bike but didn't get it.

I don't know what I'm going to do with the bar end shifters. I've got a box and bucket with spare parts from these two new bikes. I plan to convert my road bike to a 10 speed since I have Tiagra 4700 parts off the Cannondale. It currently has 7 speed stuff on it. I've got quite a few 4600 bits and pieces as well as an older 9 spd triple crank. 

I did flip the stem. 17° is a pretty big angle.

Mtn BB7's require long throw levers. Road BB7's are better suited for road levers. I rode the bike for a few days with the supplied Tektro levers and the road BB7's. They worked fine but you had to put a bit more into the levers to make them work. I guess you probably get better modulation with the long stroke mtn BB7's especially when you are loaded for touring. I'm not going to say mtn BB7's won't work with road levers. It looks to me like if you have enough stroke on the levers, the brakes will work. If you run out of lever, the brakes won't work. You could probably cheat and shorten the cable, even though you are not supposed to. I read a comment on the web about a guy who rebuilt mtn BB7's to convert to road. Just replace internals. Or so he said.

Both hubs and the RD are XT.

With 700c tires, max clearance is 42 with fenders and 45 without. The smaller frames use 26" tires and max clearance is for 2.1" with or without fenders.

I usually double wrap a portion of the handlebars but not the whole thing. 

Thanks for all of the answers. I suppose model year doesn't mean as much with Surly as it does with other brands since their bikes don't change as much year to year.  I really like that bike and what you've done with it.  You'll ride for years and years. 

That is good to know about the brakes. I have a set sitting in a box for years now.  Maybe I'll find a purpose for them at some point. I'm missing owning a single speed. I've been kicking around the idea of getting one again.

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2 hours ago, dennis said:

Thanks for all of the answers. I suppose model year doesn't mean as much with Surly as it does with other brands since their bikes don't change as much year to year. 

You are welcome. I doubt Surly has changed the design on the bike for over a decade. They seem to lean to more traditional thinking. They do give thought to details, though.

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8 minutes ago, donkpow said:

You are welcome. I doubt Surly has changed the design on the bike for over a decade. They seem to lean to more traditional thinking. They do give thought to details, though.

I really like how they spec their bikes mixing durability and price. They tend to focus on value instead of bling. 

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1 minute ago, dennis said:

I really like how they spec their bikes mixing durability and price. They tend to focus on value instead of bling. 

There is no doubt what this bike is all about. When you sit on it, you know it is for loaded touring. It is steel and it is well tuned. I would rather have had a light touring or randonneur type of bike. One, there wasn't one in the store and two, there wasn't one on sale. :D I must say the Cannondale touring bike handled my trailer very well and this bike does almost as well. The single wheeled trailer needs the bike to have a stiff rear triangle or equivalent. However, I'll never load this bike for touring and explore the sweet spot in the frame. I imagine heavier riders might enjoy a ride on this frame.

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I LOVE THIS THREAD!!!!  Great work @donkpow on this review and your decision making.  VERY good job.

I think that bike looks good, too!  And your changes seem pretty rational and thought out.  It is the sort of stuff someone who rides a lot knows about themselves and the riding they do.

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