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  1. #1
    CS2
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    All Purpose Bike

    Back in the good old days if you wanted an All Purpose bike you got a touring or cyclocross bike. Now with the advent of 29ers and even Fat Bikes it's becoming tough to choose. Seeing as Surly makes so many great frames and bikes let's see or hear some recomendations. Personally, I'm leaning to something along the lines of a flat bar CC. Then I'd like to get a dedicated MTB.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  2. #2
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    My choice was the Ogre.

    I don't see a fat bike being truly all purpose, but you could hang some 1.5's on one.

    Looks like you have a bunch of bikes, why are you trying to decide on just one now? I used to collect older stuff like you've got, but they never got ridden. So I sold them and bought a few that I do ride.

  3. #3
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    If I had to go with "just one" bike for all types of riding, I'd go with my Troll and a suspension fork.

    Thankfully, I don't have to make that decision.

    R

  4. #4
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatfendershop View Post
    My choice was the Ogre.

    I don't see a fat bike being truly all purpose, but you could hang some 1.5's on one.

    Looks like you have a bunch of bikes, why are you trying to decide on just one now? I used to collect older stuff like you've got, but they never got ridden. So I sold them and bought a few that I do ride.
    I spend so much time hunting down parts and wrenching I never get to ride much. I really love my old Waterford. I only paid $450 for frame/fork/headset. So it was cheap build. But I'd like to get a dedicated MTB. The Troll and Ogre are tempting. I have enough 26" parts to build the Troll up.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Personally, I'm leaning to something along the lines of a flat bar CC. Then I'd like to get a dedicated MTB.
    So you don't really see an all-purpose option either. I hear you.

  6. #6
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    ogre +1

    crosscheck was the "do it all bike"...until the ogre was born.
    you mention having enough "26in parts"....what is 26in specific besides wheels?....use the old hubs and buy new rims and spokes.
    ogre ftw!

  7. #7
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    we have both the karate monkey (mine) and the ogre (my son's, with surly front&rear racks and pannier bags), set-up as full-rigid bikes, but i'm eagerly awaiting the krampus 29+ for myself

    i would like to simplify my life as i get older by moving away from bikes with front +/- rear suspension (i.e., i would like to do maintenance all by myself)

    among the 3 bikes above, the krampus is my best option due to its fat 3.0 inch 29+ tires which i can set up with low psi to provide some cushion-effect, and i have another wheelset so i can use 2.2 tires for days when i don't really need the fat ones

    Last edited by bb1mina; 10-12-2012 at 05:35 PM.
    biker boy

  8. #8
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    The 1x1 or the Ogre. Those two are my votes.
    QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given Brewtality too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.

  9. #9
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    The Ogre and Troll are the do-it-all bikes. My opinion is the choice of which should be based on your body size.
    Last edited by mattbryant2; 10-13-2012 at 09:48 AM.

  10. #10
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny the boy View Post
    ogre +1

    crosscheck was the "do it all bike"...until the ogre was born.
    you mention having enough "26in parts"....what is 26in specific besides wheels?....use the old hubs and buy new rims and spokes.
    ogre ftw!
    Never thought about that.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  11. #11
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    So you don't really see an all-purpose option either. I hear you.
    The last time I took my current "all purpose" bike on some semi technical trails I soon found out it wasn't that great off road. I'm reconciled to the fact 2 bikes is more realistic.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  12. #12
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    The Ogre is even more versatile than the Troll because of the wheelsize. With the 29er wheels you can put there any conventional road tire and have a reasonably fit roadie. I have 25mm rims on mine, and every now and then I install a pair of Michelin Dynamics 28c and go for a ride.
    And a mtb bike will always perform better on the road than a road bike off road

  13. #13
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    "All purpose"?
    There's no such thing. There might be a bike that covers all the purposes that you want, though.

    ... but let's say you want a folding bike that is good for trekking, road racing, and jumping ...

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  14. #14
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    "All purpose"? There's no such thing.
    That's what I said in the OP. Which is why 2 bikes seem reasonable. One bike to use off road. The other an all purpose, but road oriented bike.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  15. #15
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    i've been doing ~5mi commutes on my 1x1 over the ogre lately.
    i live in the city, and i'ts good to have a "stripped down" bike that's burly and you can toss against a pole to lock up without worrying about bending a derailleur or someone jacking my toolkit that on my rack.
    but anything over 15mi or so, and the ogre is the bike....so versatile.
    if i had to just have 1 bike, it'd be the ogre.

  16. #16
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    I mainly ride road with some gravel/dirt roads thrown in so I prefer drop bars. If I had to have only one it would be an LHT or Disc Trucker. I love my LHT so much. It's just a great bike loaded or unloaded and is quite versatile thanks to excellent clearance for tires and fenders.
    All good expeditions should be simple in concept, difficult in their execution and satisfying to remember--Alastair Humphreys

  17. #17
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    Karate Monkey is the answer for me. I need it for light trail duty with a trail-a-bike for my son. SS mech disc brakes, KM steel fork, and fatty tires. Building a second wheelset for gravel grinding and the closest thing to a road bike.
    -rides bikes for fun.

  18. #18
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by robtre View Post
    Karate Monkey is the answer for me. I need it for light trail duty with a trail-a-bike for my son. SS mech disc brakes, KM steel fork, and fatty tires. Building a second wheelset for gravel grinding and the closest thing to a road bike.
    Is there an advantage to the KM over the Ogre? They have identical geometry. They really seem like the same bike except for braze-ons.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  19. #19
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    My cross check is my do-it-all bike. I would be just as happy with an Ogre, KM, Troll, or 1x1.
    Taken a few minutes ago. As you can see any of the others I mentioned would be at least as good at being a fixed daily rider with trail abilities.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Is there an advantage to the KM over the Ogre? They have identical geometry. They really seem like the same bike except for braze-ons.
    They are exactly the same bike except for the braze-ons. And the fork. The new KMs have a lighter fork that supposedly rides better. But rigid is still rigid.

    The only "advantage" I can think of is if you wanted the pre-built "complete" SS or are never going to use rim brakes or the fun little racks you can mount on canti posts.

  21. #21
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    I'm with OP, I have a very good full sus XC bike and wanted something that is more road than off road, something for my commute and that will take a roadie wheelset and do a few club rides with. Put on a set of 29er wheels use it on simple dirt trails for weekend bike packing / touring / camping with the kids. For me it was a toss up between the CC and LHT - I went for the CC as I don't envisage using the bike for extended tours with very heavy loads.
    An ogre or troll is the opposite, more off road than road; personally I don't think that there is such a thing as do it all bike. If I could only have one bike it would probably be an Ogre - I would compromise the road riding rather than trail riding
    Last edited by SimpleJon; 10-16-2012 at 12:55 AM.

  22. #22
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    the new karate monkey is disc brake only, making for cleaner lines without v-brake tabs, and the fork is more compliant

    the ogre can be set-up with v-brakes or disc brakes, and the newer stocks have all the additional braze-ons for racks, bottle/ salsa anything cages, etc, both on the main triangle and the fork, making it a proper ogre with all those "warts"

    i've got a wheelset with narrow rims, for days when i want to use 35c cyclocross tires on-road, and another wheelset with 35mm wide rims for loaded off-road touring
    biker boy

  23. #23
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    I think the Pugsley is the ultimate One Bike to Rule Them All bike. I've been riding mine exclusively since I got it in May for daily commuting, grocery getting, single-track, and everything else I can get my wheels on.

    Here's the thing with the Pugs: I can run a bit narrower rubber (2.3 to 2.5) - something like big apples or hookworms for commuting. I can swap out to a wider MTB tire like the Continental Trail and Mountain Kings for trail riding, or I can run the Endo/Larry combo for trail riding and when I need floatation. If I really wanted to, I could build up a 9er wheelset for commuting and trail use. I can throw on racks for hauling gear, and I can adjust the cockpit pretty easily to accomodate a more upright position for long days in the saddle. And to top it all off - any fat bike is just fun as h*ll. You can't help but smile when riding the things. Yeah, when I've got the fat rubber on I am a bit slower on pavement, but there's something to be said for riding with a smile on your face.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    I think the Pugsley is the ultimate One Bike to Rule Them All bike.
    The interesting thing is that I'm also after the the most versatile bike and just started building a Pugsley. I think that fatbikes really expand your riding, specially when not build for snow.
    And as I've said, a great offroad bike will perform better on road than a road bike offroad.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_Zaskar View Post
    The interesting thing is that I'm also after the the most versatile bike and just started building a Pugsley. I think that fatbikes really expand your riding, specially when not build for snow.
    And as I've said, a great offroad bike will perform better on road than a road bike offroad.
    Welllll...I suppose a bike designed for rough knarly terrain can roll on a smooth asphalted surface. But you can also pick your way down a rough trail with skinny tires, albeit not fast or effeciently. I would say that long travel, full squish trail or downhill bikes are equally unsuited to effecient riding on the road as 15 lbs full carbon roadbikes are on rough singletrack. But therein lays the beauty of steel Surly frames, none of which go to either extreme and all of which represent sort of a continous band of versatility. One of my favorite postings on the Surly blog was from a couple years back when one of the guys took his Pacer on a bikepacking trip in a Rivendellish sort of way. It highlighted for me that while a Pacer is not the "best" tool for that job, it can certainly do it within certain perimeters. Anyway, all the Surly frames are great, and all could qualify as "all purpose." So then you go to personal preferences for which brakes, which braze-ons, which tires, etc that make a particular model the "best" all purpose bike for you.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    One of my favorite postings on the Surly blog was from a couple years back when one of the guys took his Pacer on a bikepacking trip in a Rivendellish sort of way. It highlighted for me that while a Pacer is not the "best" tool for that job, it can certainly do it within certain perimeters. Anyway, all the Surly frames are great, and all could qualify as "all purpose." So then you go to personal preferences for which brakes, which braze-ons, which tires, etc that make a particular model the "best" all purpose bike for you.
    I've got a Pacer frame at home. I was planning on turning it into a 650B Rivendell type bike. Surly just didn't put enough braze on's on it for that. Still, I agree that it is a nice bike. Especially for the money.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  27. #27
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    I keep waiting to see a 26" Disc Trucker converted to 650b with Hetre tires and fenders. The LHT is a good candidate for a Rivendell inspired rambler.
    All good expeditions should be simple in concept, difficult in their execution and satisfying to remember--Alastair Humphreys

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfltroll View Post
    I keep waiting to see a 26" Disc Trucker converted to 650b with Hetre tires and fenders. The LHT is a good candidate for a Rivendell inspired rambler.
    There are a lot of choices out there for factory 650B wheels. Imagine a tubless 650B disc trucker. That would be like a Jeep. This is why it's hard to decide anything. You guys keep coming up with other choices.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  29. #29
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    I'm thinking the Krampus as my one bike. A spare set of wheels with some Schwalbe Marathons and some rackless bags for bikepacking. *BANG* done.
    plunging like stones from a slingshot on mars.

  30. #30
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    super bummed that surly didn't put any rack mounts/ braze ons on the Krampus.

  31. #31
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    @cs2

    why 650b?

    (btw, you've got a nice steel bike collection)
    biker boy

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    i have been trying to combine bikes or get to one bike and it just never happens.

    the pug had too wide of a BB and hurt my knees for really long rides.

    the cross bike lacked the ability to run big enough tires not to flat on big rocky trails.

    the singlespeed 29er was close but for longer than 5-6 hours on the road or rough trails i was too beat up to ride the next day.

    the krampus has too low of a BB to run street or even regular 29er tires. pedals would be hitting everything.

    can't go back to riding a 26" off road. i am just spoiled now.

    full suspension 29er is close, but lacks the ability to run a full framebag and racks that are sturdy enough for off road camping. although freeloaders are interesting and need more research from me. i am already riding my 40lbs commuter road bike for the club rides. so this bike with road wheels should piss everybody else off i have not yet. lol

    the orge is redundant to my 29er SS just adding gears doesn't make it any better for me. although it's close.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    the krampus has too low of a BB to run street or even regular 29er tires. pedals would be hitting everything.
    Surly says it has a 60mm BB drop. That's 8mm less than the Ogre, and well within what most 29er hardtails have. Seems reasonable to me

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_Zaskar View Post
    Surly says it has a 60mm BB drop. That's 8mm less than the Ogre, and well within what most 29er hardtails have. Seems reasonable to me
    Indeed, even the CC has a BB drop of 66mm. So with cross tyres on a Krampus the BB would be higher than on a CC!

    (tho i think more than a few people question the 60mm number surly quote, needs independent confirmation!)

  35. #35
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bb1mina View Post
    @cs2

    why 650b?

    (btw, you've got a nice steel bike collection)
    650B is something I've never done.

    Thanks on the steel bikes. I've toyed with the idea of an AL bike but can't bring myself to pull the trigger.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  36. #36
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    I finally bit the bullet on 650B, because I wanted a Rawland Sogn. I'm pretty happy I did, it's a nice bike: kind of like my Fargo, but with much lighter tubing so its more spirited to ride. Very all purpose, as well:

    Running errands:


    Camping:


    More camping (sans little boy):


    Monstercrossing:


    Even mountain biking:


    Though with a 73* head angle and 60some mm of fork rake, it's not exactly stable on the singletrack. It will go exactly where you steer it, for better or worse. Very precise.

  37. #37
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    I finally bit the bullet on 650B, because I wanted a Rawland Sogn. I'm pretty happy I did, it's a nice bike: kind of like my Fargo, but with much lighter tubing so its more spirited to ride. Very all purpose, as well:

    Running errands:

    Very nice bike. Way too nice to be pulling the kids around. Especially when the kid is 250 lbs like mine.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_Zaskar View Post
    Surly says it has a 60mm BB drop. That's 8mm less than the Ogre, and well within what most 29er hardtails have. Seems reasonable to me

    good for 30+ tires height. put on regular 29er tires or even road/cx tires and you will be almost dragging on the ground.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    good for 30+ tires height. put on regular 29er tires or even road/cx tires and you will be almost dragging on the ground.
    Errr... What? An Ogre with 68 BB drop does not drags anything. The Krampus 60mm drop is shared popular HT 29ers, like the Niner MCR9 or the Singular Swift


    PS: You realize that the bigger the drop, the lower the BB is, right? Not trying to be harsh, just making sure you do understand the concept of bb drop

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