Christmas (T)Roll

So a little less than a year ago, my internet homey Matt emailed me out of the blue to let me know he was liquidating his Surly stock. He had a Troll and a Pugsley up for sale and wanted to know if I wanted any parts or whole.

As a matter of backstory, I bought my Disc Trucker frame and fork from Matt some years ago and after going back and forth with various builds on it then almost selling it back to him or someone else, I finally got it perfectly appointed for me and it’s become a steady favorite in the stable.

Matt knew I was a fan of all things Surly and was excited to maybe have the bikes go to a dedicated Surly fan. As much as I like the Pugsleys, I already have one and since I wasn’t really bike shopping at all, couldn’t really justify adding another to the stable. The Troll was another matter. Being Surly’s 26+ platform touring rig, the way Matt had it set up really appealed to me as – among other things – a ‘shoulder season’ bike for all the nasty that was too nasty for the Disc Trucker, but not nasty enough to merit the Pugsley. Matt was open to a long-term creative financing arrangement and a plan was hatched.

Box of Troll

After many months, a large box was finally deposited on my doorstep last week, just in time for Festivus. I spent a few days building it back up and familiarizing myself with various components and thanks to the Christmas gods and global warming, the weatherman was calling for an unseasonably warm (16ºC!) day today so I made sure to have the Troll ready for it’s maiden voyage. It didn’t disappoint.

Matt’s build spec is spot on and there’s not a thing I ‘d change -I did put my own Selle Anatomica saddle on it – but that’s it. The thing is really fun to ride, fits great and all the components are great at what they do. This is my first bike with an internally-geared hub and the Alfine shifts smooth as butter and rolls smooth too. The Surly Extra Terrestrial tires are great – though I have to remind myself when it comes to wet roots they are traditional slicks – heh, don’t ask me how I know. The whole bike feels stiff and stable like it could carry 200lbs of cargo without flinching.

I’m especially excited about the front Shimano dynamo hub which continuously powers the front Busch and Müller headlight and tail light. I can’t wait to try it out in the dark. I’ve never had a bike with a dynamo hub before – it’s always something I’ve wanted to experiment with. Other notable standouts for me are the SKS Blumen fenders which are super-solid, easy to mount and silent/rattle free and the Harrier pedals with big chonking pegs to grab boots/shoes in nasty conditions. I didn’t think I was going to, but I even really like the weird Ergon cork grips.

I threw my Porcelain Rocket/Anylander panniers on the Surly front rack that Matt had and put my RandiJo Fabrications Jeff n’ Joan’s bag into the Jones loop bars and away we went.

I got the Troll out on my usual loop today and threw a little of everything at it and it didn’t flinch. It’s a keeper. Getting out for a nice long ride today means much less guilt eating all the things this holiday season. Merry Christmas to me.

Hope everyone else out there had as much fun today as I did. Ride bikes in 2021.

Birthday Cake of Another

Co-worker’s birthday means a trip to the office for cake. And a little bit of rain.

It’s an interesting thing when you really have only one or two options for a commute route into town. If you’re at it long enough it means you literally end up riding certain sections of trail THOUSANDS of times. All the bike trips have been invariably far better than the car ones.

Also, if you’re in the market for a handlebar bag these @porcelainrocketNigels are the bomb for reals. And looky – waterproof.

Bikes of the DadBikerDesigner Stable

A Series Until It isn’t: The 2013 @surlybikes Pugsley Neck Romancer – in one version of ‘winter mode’.

Acquired brand spankin new from @radicaledgebikeski – The Rundown: 2013 Pugsley Neck Romancer Frame and Fork in Burned Nougat. @canecreekusa 40 headset. Bontrager parts bin stem clamping @giantbicycles Connect riser bars with @esigrips Chunky grips to block the cold. @rideshimano 9spd LX shifter clicking an SLX rear deraileur around an 11/34 cassette, spinning a @srammtb chain around a set of X5 GXP cranks that were a take-off of another bike and donated to this project by @shawnthamilton. They’re currently wobbly in the frame, I can’t get them to tighten and they’re probably doing bad things to my BB, but I’ll get to it when I can. @blackspire_components Snaggletooth 32T ring because Canada. I stomp the whole business through jerky squares via @45nrth Heiruspecs pedals. Avid FR5 levers pull BB7 brakes on the original rotors. The stock Kalloy seat post clamped by a Surly clamp capped by a @selleanatomica (NSX?) Saddle. Stock Surly Rolling Darryl rims mated to a Shimano Deore Rear Hub and Surly Ultra New front hub. @ridebontrager Gnarwhal studded tires. OG @porcelainrocket ‘2 section’ frame bag from back when Scott would actually take your frame measurements to make ‘em. I even had him add in some mesh pockets on the non-drive side of mine because #deepcustom . An @oldmanmountainracks Fat Sherpa rear rack holds my Anylander Panniers (also made by Porcelain Rocket) and @parts.and.labor . A couple of other choice bits of this current incarnation are some @revelatedesigns Expedition Pogies – something I waited forever to get, but shouldn’t have because they are a game changer in the cold – and a Tarik Saleh Bike Club Bartender Bag by @randijofab for positive mojo and transportage of little things. Bontrager plastic bottle cages on the forks for bottles. Of course now that I finally got around to making this post – just yesterday I swapped out the wheels for the 29+ set because spring is coming. At some point. I guess I’ll do another post – whenever.

Bikes of the DadBikerDesigner Stable

A Series Until It isn’t*: The 2004 @surlybikes Surly Cross Check. Acquired slightly used as frame and fork. Built up countless ways over the years. Stevie Ray Vaughan had ‘Number One’, this is mine. It is now the bike that has been in the Stable the longest. I like the ‘steed/stable’ metaphor better than the ‘arrow/quiver’ one because even when I ride my fastest bike I plod along like a horse. I hath not the vigor of an arrow loosed.

The Rundown: Cross Check frame and fork – probably in hindsight a TAD too small for me, however I have considered and rejected selling this bike several times, but the fact of the matter is, I now can’t because it is singularly tied to my identity on this planet. @chriskingbuzz Headset, natch. Giant parts bin stem clamping @salsacycles Cowbell bars with a @knog Oi bell and @ridebontrager Bar Tape. @rideshimano Sora 9spd brifters clicking an LX rear deraileur, a Sora front and spinning an SRAM chain around a set of LX(?) Cross Cranks sporting @crankbrothers Candy C pedals and pulling cables on Avid Shorty 6 brakes. A no name seat post clamped by a no-name clamp capped by a @selleanatomica (NSX?) Saddle. Custom Built wheels by me – with assistance from @wineintitanium in his living room many years ago – consisting of parts bin LX hubs courtesy of @uhlsbrewingco laced to Alex R390 rims sporting @panaracer_world Gravel King Mud 35mm tires with (though you’d never guess it) tan sidewalls. I’ve over 15,000kms on this wheelset with not much more than an occasional seasonal truing. @porcelainrocket bags. My fave bag makers of all time. I usually have this bike setup with this medium stock frame bag and a black Charlene to match – both of which I got from MEC – but today I threw on the multi-cam BIG bag because: coffee stuff/puffy layers. I forget what it’s called but the big one without the frame that they just firesaled all the back stock on and I got one because it was just too good of a price to pass up and huge. Official Custom-Installed ¡TSBC GO! patch.

*Stole this line from @therichardsachs 

Coffeeneuring 2019 Control #2

Coffeeneuring 2019 Control # 2: Headed out to one of my favorite #coffeeoutside spots and set up a ‘coffee shop without walls’ for Control #2. Fixed myself up a nice coffee black. Gas station cream cheese and chocolate chip muffin was only a 6 out of 10 though. Did manage to drop a bunch of existential angst on this trip thus making it a legit Corrective Action Bicycle Ride as well. Also, learned that the @porcelainrocket Microwave Pannier holsters work great even without the proprietary drybags just for stuffing extra stuff in. Layers, ground scores, what-have-you. I imagine they would also work great with other dry bags in a ‘multiple-smaller-dry-bag’ configuration as well as with various kinds of totes and other bags or whatever. I believe in the marketing industry this is all referred to as ‘added value’. I’mma call it rad.