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  1. #1
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    We the people ... Longevity of Surly Frames???

    Hello everyone, I am considering building a steel road bike, primarily for when the weather is too bad for my nice road bike, and also i would probably use it to get to and from work (2miles round trip) sometimes. (Basically this bike will only see nice asphalt streets, NO dirt/gravel)

    I am leaning towards using a Surly Pacer frame for my project, and equipping it with full Shimano 105 components.

    My question is how well do the surly frames really hold up??? I have heard good things about them, but would love to hear real world stories about Surly Steel Frame Durability/Quality.

    Also i have noticed that with other frame materials the rear derailer hanger is bolted on, and removable/replaceable, but with pretty much all steel frames the Rear Derailer hanger is part of the rear dropout.....Are those prone to breaking??? Are they somthing to worry about in terms of the frames longevity???


    Thank you for any help,
    Jon
    2009 Trek Fuel EX8 Black/White

  2. #2
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    Surly frames are definitely durable! I've got an '06 cross-check that gets ridden hard. I'm 6'5", 270 lbs and it sees mostly dirt road use. It's done some 'cross racing, and some gnarly mountain biking, and it does fine with all of it. This is the start of year 5 with this bike, and it's still going as strong as ever.
    Don't let the lack of non-replaceable derailleur hanger hang you up (pun obviously intended). steel frames (and ti frames) rarely have replaceable hangers. If you bend it, you can bend it back. With aluminum or carbon, if it bends, it's likely to snap when you bend it back. Back in the day I had a steel schwinn that I had to rebend the hanger every year or so. Got pretty weak after a while, but it never snapped off.
    Sounds like a pacer would work well for you. Just make sure you use some sort of "frame saver", or internal rust can be an issue in the long term.

  3. #3
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    I just finished working on my 06 CC down in the basement. For as much use and abuse as it has seen it's holding up quite nicely. I do not baby this bike in the least and yet it looks and rides great.

    For your intended use a Pacer sounds right. You might consider the complete that Surly is offering. It's a nice deal.

  4. #4
    Devo
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    my pugsley is 5 years old now
    the dummy is 3, and in very good condition
    www.AsanaCycles.com
    "Bicycle Lifestyle, realized." D.G.

  5. #5
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    You should expect many many years of service if taken care of properly. Probably the rest of your life. Of course this is true of most quality steel frames.

  6. #6
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    Really no reason to worry, doubt you would ever have a problem with it. Used to work in a bike shop and cannot even count the number of 1970's steel schwinn ten speeds that would come in and the frame would be completely fine. Doubt any of them had any frame saver sprayed in them.

    I have a LHT and for the money it is hard to beat a surly.

  7. #7
    bhc
    bhc is offline
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    Seven years on my CC with around 13,000 miles on it. A mix of dirt and road, still rides as smooth as the day I bought it.

  8. #8
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    I bought a used Karate Monkey a year or two ago, and it was originally from '03. Still rides great, and the original paint job is even in relatively good shape.

    As far as durability goes, you can't go wrong with a Surly.

  9. #9
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    I rolled a boulder over the top tube of my 1x1 on a trailbuilding session. Left a dent the size of half my thumb in it. Made me cry.

    3 years later and that same 1x1 is my the most fun bike I've owned. Ever.

    To answer the OP: Forever. They'll outlast the post-thermonuclear winter cockroaches.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  10. #10
    Just Ride!
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    LHT & Monkey 5 yrs
    Pug 4 years+-
    Dummy 1.5 yrs

    Still have them all and still running. LHT and Pug had minor surface rust but fixed that in a jiffy.

  11. #11
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    My Pugsley is ridden throught salt water weekly out beachriding and done 3 winters of road salt and only has a bit surface rust so i wouldn`t worry
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
    http://coastkid.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
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    I've ridden my full rigid ss KM pretty hard for 3 years now - no issues.
    I am a small guy - 5'6", 155 lbs. But my local trail ride has some nasty, rocky/technical descents & the KM handles well, no problems so far.
    I also ride a CC & BD...but no Pugs...mmm...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastpost
    Doubt any of them had any frame saver sprayed in them.
    I've worked on plenty of old steel bikes that were rusted from the inside out. They look ok on the outside, but I remember there was one with literally a little pile of rust flakes in the BB when I took the cranks off. Also, I had a steel Willits that actually rusted holes through the frame. So, I'm a little paranoid. Besides, can't hurt any can it? No rust issues with my Surly yet!

  14. #14
    ito
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    I bought a Karate Monkey in Winter 2003. I've been riding it since then and have no reason to replace it at any point in the near future.

    I'm going to say that I've got at least 20,000 miles on it and that is a pretty low estimate.

    Raced semi-pro XC for two years on it.
    Raced CX on it for one season
    Commuted (6-20 miles) 5 days a week for 4 years)
    Trail riding everywhere from California to Vermont to Montana to Southern Arizona and everywhere in between.
    Did double (triple?) duty as a mtb/fixed gear road bike/fixed touring bike for 3 years until I broke down and bought a road bike.
    I've even entered a downhill race on it.

    I did have to replace the fork two years ago due to a pretty bad crash in Colorado. Even then it was bent just enough to make me nervous.

    Most durable/abused/fun bike I've ever owned. Trust me, you won't have a problem with any Surly you purchase. And yeah, the paint job has survived.

  15. #15
    Kaishingo
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    I have a Surly Pacer - the cool blue one (forget the model year). It's been my road/commuter for the past 3 years. Slapped some Ritchey Speedmax cross tires on it and turned it into a dirt road machine this past winter.

    I'm been flying through nasty stutters, mud pits, and even turned it into a cyclocross bike for a day. Yesterday, I slammed into a huge hole on a dirt road after coming down a hill at 30. It was enough to knock my brake lever loose, jamming the front brake closed, and did some nasty things to my front wheel.

    Through it all, the frame has held up just fine! I'll have to take some photos next time I go out - I'm quite proud of how dirty my road bike is

  16. #16
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    I've posted this picture before, but my Cross Check is still holding up good. I did manage to bend the front fork when I hit a tree or three (the details are still a little fuzzy), but I straightened the wheel and it has been good for four years since that wreck. I can't tell you how many miles are on it. I think I bought it in 2007, and the battery went dead in the computer showing 8,000 miles in the beginning of the following year. I've lost track of the number of chains and cassettes that have been on it, I wore out the original crankset, a few pairs of eggbeaters, and tires get changed whenever I get bored.
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