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  1. #1
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    Ogre or Troll???

    Much to my surprise I've just acquired a Rohloff wheel on eBay and now need to get the rest of the bike to go with it.

    I've been tossing up whether to get a Troll or an Ogre, and can see pros and cons either way, but maybe someone can come up with something I haven't thought of.

    The Rohloff hub isn't disk-compatible (not really an issue for me) so that basically eliminates the Krampus and makes the choice a bit simpler.

    As I see it pros for the Troll are:
    1. Easier to get tyres and wheel parts in out of the way places like India, etc
    2. Wheels should be a bit tougher
    3. Really low gears are easier to come by than with 29"
    4. I have a suitable 100mm fork already
    5. The Rohloff wheel is 26" now (but I haven't seen the rim yet; it may need replacing)
    6. Frame bag for an 18" Troll is ~500 cubic inches, versus ~375 cubes for an 18" Ogre due to the taller fork and smaller triangle on the latter.

    And for the Ogre:
    1. 29" wheels are trendier(!)
    2. Should roll over stuff a bit better(?), perhaps, maybe
    3. May not need a sus fork as much as 26" (but I have a suitable 26" fork already), so ought to be more reliable - assuming it's actually comfy enough with the rigid fork

    Use will be primarily long distance and/or remote area and/or third world touring, on poor roads and/or fire trails, so reliability is crucial, and when I was in India last year it had just about become possible to order basic spares (including 26" wheel bits) locally without major hassles or expense. Anything 29" is probably still several years away over there, or indeed in rural Oz.

    So, I guess it all boils down to whether the Ogre will be significantly better to ride; everything else would be simpler and cheaper for me with a Troll.

    Over to you guys...

  2. #2
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    One thing you forgot to mention is how sweet the Troll's color is for 2013

    If you have a fork, the wheel is already 26" and you're looking for a bike that parts are readily available for in another country I'd go with the Troll.

  3. #3
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    I say the Ogre. Seriously, how long before your ready to hauling ass to India again?
    I bet the time you get around to it there will be loads of 29er spares. With a well built Ogre you wont be needing too many 29er specific spares anyway. Take a few spokes and a couple of folding tyres with you and if you've done your maintenence properly, you'll be set.

    Have to correct you on the gearing too. Rohloff recently revised its gearing guide downwards for riders of below 100kg. You can now ride with 16T sprocket and 34T front ring combo on a 29er wheel which is around 17 gear inches from memory.
    I hardly think a Troll (which are great by the way) are any lower geared unless custom.

    As for cheaper, just how much dearer do you think the Ogre frame is than the Troll.
    I just got my Ogre frame from Jenson and I think there was about $50 in it.
    What parts are 29er specific other than rims, spokes and tyres/tubes?
    Your tubus racks arent (in the stainless anyway). My Velocity rims were like 52 bucks each. 29er spokes arent dearer and you use the same hubs, crankset, brakes etc as a 26".

    I'm sure your hub can be converted to disk brake and if I'm wrong I'll bet a new casing isnt impossible to get. I saw some 40 hole versions for sale somewhere recently online.
    Someone else must have seen them. If you can get 40H versions for sale (probably for H/duty tandams) ask the seller to find you a 32/36H.
    Conversion of a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 to a Disc Brake version: www.rohloff.de

    Just an opinion but I'd forget about a suspension fork for the type of touring you say you want to do for the sake of low maintenance - of course your call entirely.

    Actually I think the best advice would be for you to try riding both of them to see which one personally rocks your boat as thats going to be the best way to decide as I dont believe theres much in it for any other reason. My preference is for comfort so I'm pinning my hopes on my 29er Ogre but for yourself, technical riding suited to a 26 may appeal more. Good luck with the decision making. Hope you share the outcome and your reasoning so I can see if I forgot anything in mine.
    Last edited by rifraf; 04-15-2013 at 08:44 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    One thing you forgot to mention is how sweet the Troll's color is for 2013 .
    Are you referring to the black?!? (That's the only option here in Oz for either.)

    Rifraf: Thanks for your input!

    It's entirely possible I may be going to Nepal in October/November, and if so I'm tempted to try riding around the Annapurna Circuit with bikepacking kit. This is apparently a fairly straightforward ride now, apart from one day, (according to a trusted local source last year), and is now legal.

    When I trekked the AC in 2000, I caught the last of the monsoon, so no views. If I'm going to be in Nepal anyway (likely) then it's tempting to go back and cross it off the list. Realistically, there are zero spares there, so wheel size probably isn't an issue. I do still have things on the to do list in the Indian Himalaya - and Pakistan if things ever settle down there - but agree that a well-maintained bike won't break. One major problem on the subcontinent is the potential for damage during transfers by bus, etc, something where the Rohloff will definitely help, and where 26" may survive a bit better than 29".

    Regarding gearing, yes I saw the recent Rohloff revisions, and it is now easily possible to get a low enough gear with 26", but is still only just there with 29". I've ridden in the Himalayas a few times now and while most of the time 20x24 was enough, I'd use 20x28 virtually every day at some point, and whenever I actually got into 20x32 (sometimes for many km on long climbs at altitude) I was mighty glad it was there. On the other hand, anything over say 70" would only ever be used on fast descents on the road, and over ~90" is total overkill for me.

    IMO, it's doubtful 29" spares will make it to India anytime soon. There was no sign of 29" anything in either India or Nepal last year, and it has taken several years for it to be possible to get even basic 26" alu rims or tyres in India, confirmed by a friend who operates tours from Manali. Last year tubes were still hard to come by with anything except Woods valves. Things have always been somewhat better in Kathmandu, and decent (26") stuff is available there nowadays.

    The bike will be built up from a frameset and there a quite a few bits in the shed that can be put to use. As to being cheaper, you are correct that the frames will likely cost about the same, however, the total price would be less for a Troll as I have a 26" fork (if needed), suitable wheels, tyres, etc. With 29" I'd have to buy more and recycle less. (And dirtworks have stock of both frames in my size ATM, so I could have both the frame and the wheel this week.)

    A disk conversion would probably cost way more than I'd be prepared to pay what with return shipping to Germany, parts, labour, etc. Plus, I've had no problems with either cantis or V brakes offroad or on long tours, so am not really fussed about having disks anyway. It'd probably make as much sense to buy a new disk hub somewhere, but unfortunately with the current Euro/AUD rate it works out to being ~$3-400 more than non-disk when duty, GST and other fees are included.

    Re sus forks, yes definitely more to go wrong there, but IME reliable enough for relatively short trips, i.e., weeks rather than years, if serviced not too long beforehand. Agreed that 29" should, in theory, be more comfy with a rigid fork than 26", but no personal experience with that, so I've no handle on what if any difference it makes.

    Testing would indeed be useful, but I don't know anywhere in Oz this is likely to be possible, hence my questions here...

  5. #5
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    I was referring to the eggplant purple that's offered here in the USA

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    ^ I thought that was probably so. At least black is easy to touch up, if rather less pretty...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by satanas View Post
    ^ I thought that was probably so. At least black is easy to touch up, if rather less pretty...
    Dont let my Ogre hear you say that.
    Dirtworks is dearer than Jenson but if they have stock, the shorter wait time will be worth it. Mine came to WA via USPS and although they were quick to get it to Aussie
    shores, Auspost nearly gave me a heart attack with their protracted delay.
    My Dyad rims, coming from the same Jenson order, arrived approx 2 weeks earlier than the frame. It wasnt a nice experience.

    My build has continued to be a nightmare. My mudguards which arrived yesterday are a different size than I ordered and no good to me. They sent 40mm instead of 60mm wide. My son28 was the wrong disk mount and I'm awaiting on its replacement.
    All the local bike shops are booked solid for the next few weeks due to cycling season starting in WA so I cant yet get my frame prepped and headset installed at the mo.
    I'm almost wishing I'd spent more and just ordered a Comotion Rohloff Divide. The stress of all the flaffling about is doing my head in.

  8. #8
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    Dirtworks is only more expensive than Jenson if you cannot order at trade price.

    Re problems with stuff: I've never had this from any online supplier, individuals on eBay included. My condolences and I hope it gets sorted ASAP. BTW, are you planning on using your son28 to charge batteries, and if so what sort and what with?

    I'm in Sydney and find it hard to believe that nobody wants to do any work in any shops(!); that would never happen here. What you're wanting done shouldn't really take all that long in any case (<1 hour probably), although I guess if you've bought everything online then people might be rather less likely to be helpful. I have access to all the relevant tools, and will do everything myself anyway.

    Just need to toss a coin about which one to get. It will be 18" and black either way. (And either way I could get a fatbike fork and front wheel at some point. I have a spare BB7 in the shed. Hmmmmm.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by satanas View Post
    Dirtworks is only more expensive than Jenson if you cannot order at trade price.

    Re problems with stuff: I've never had this from any online supplier, individuals on eBay included. My condolences and I hope it gets sorted ASAP. BTW, are you planning on using your son28 to charge batteries, and if so what sort and what with?

    I'm in Sydney and find it hard to believe that nobody wants to do any work in any shops(!); that would never happen here. What you're wanting done shouldn't really take all that long in any case (<1 hour probably), although I guess if you've bought everything online then people might be rather less likely to be helpful. I have access to all the relevant tools, and will do everything myself anyway.

    Just need to toss a coin about which one to get. It will be 18" and black either way. (And either way I could get a fatbike fork and front wheel at some point. I have a spare BB7 in the shed. Hmmmmm.)
    Here in Perth, I think, most find the summer just too hot to cycle in (I do) and now autumn is here, the cycling season starts. There is a mad rush on in the shops so they are very busy and booking is necessary. A few phone calls yesterday found there is still 2.5 to three weeks of waitlist.

    I've gone for an Ogre as my current bike (a Moulton APB) cant carry enough water.
    When cycling from Mudgee NSW to Perth I found it necessary to tow a trailer for my luggage as the Moultons racks werent suitable for extended days between settlements/towns etc for water/food replenishment. Also the Moulton whilst fantastic on road, its trailer hauling abilities are crap off road, probably due to its suspension and 20" wheels. As you are probably aware a 10 liter Ortlieb water carrier is often necessary for crossing Aus as a minimum requirement for some stretches.

    With regards to dynohubs and power. I have gotten used to my Moultons sondelux hub and edelux headlight. I added to this combo an E-werk and cache battery once it became obvious that my Edge 800 was useless for touring due to its max 15 hour
    use time per charge. I was so sick of sitting in campground laundries and bathrooms I never batted an eyelid at the E-werks cost. I'm getting a son28 6 bolt disk for the Ogre although like I said the first one that turned up was centerlock. My supplier was great though and after a protracted time period due to communication issues (I dont speak German and my phoneline seems to be crap) I got a very generous discount on both the wrong one and its replacement and I mean very generous. Sending the wrong one back would have cost approx $100au postage (insured) and our agreement turned the situation into a win win. The E-werk will be transplanted with the Edge 800 onto the Ogre. I'm just trying to be patient on my hub/spokes arriving.

  10. #10
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    It's amazing to me that anyone would have to wait for weeks to get anything other than a respray or frame repairs done. Surely if this happens every year people would plan in advance, or shops would put on more staff or do some extra hours?!? The people I've worked for and with wouldn't easily pass up the chance to make some extra dollars.

    BTW, while I've never ridden a Moulton APB, I have a AM out in the shed and yes, it's crap on any soft or loose surface as the small wheels (17") just sink in and the bike basically stops. The suspension works to a degree on firm hardpack, but there's a lot of clatter, also on cobbles. (Must get around to selling the *&%#$ thing one day.)

    I've never carried more than about 7 litres of water (on Cape York), but I seem to consume less water than most, and don't like deserts, much preferring trees and mountains. Desserts are another matter entirely!

    It's good that you can vouch for the E-werk as I was wondering about it, and also the newer USB version; the latter could potentially charge just about everything I'd ever be likely to lug about. Like you, I'm also waiting on a sondelux, spokes and a headlight to come from Germany for another project, so can understand your angst.

    Haven't ordered the frame yet but may well do so tomorrow or Thursday, so I've got another 12 hours or so to decide which to get...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by satanas View Post
    It's amazing to me that anyone would have to wait for weeks to get anything other than a respray or frame repairs done. Surely if this happens every year people would plan in advance, or shops would put on more staff or do some extra hours?!? The people I've worked for and with wouldn't easily pass up the chance to make some extra dollars.

    BTW, while I've never ridden a Moulton APB, I have a AM out in the shed and yes, it's crap on any soft or loose surface as the small wheels (17") just sink in and the bike basically stops. The suspension works to a degree on firm hardpack, but there's a lot of clatter, also on cobbles. (Must get around to selling the *&%#$ thing one day.)

    I've never carried more than about 7 litres of water (on Cape York), but I seem to consume less water than most, and don't like deserts, much preferring trees and mountains. Desserts are another matter entirely!

    It's good that you can vouch for the E-werk as I was wondering about it, and also the newer USB version; the latter could potentially charge just about everything I'd ever be likely to lug about. Like you, I'm also waiting on a sondelux, spokes and a headlight to come from Germany for another project, so can understand your angst.

    Haven't ordered the frame yet but may well do so tomorrow or Thursday, so I've got another 12 hours or so to decide which to get...
    I arrived in Perth, for the first time, in about June I think last year, so am still learning how it works here. Very much different world to NSW.

    Cant see you going wrong with either bike. I hope its safe to assume you've followed
    Cass Gilberts "http://www.whileoutriding.com/" to glean his impressions on both bikes.
    We wont mention his current Krampus phase.
    Another blogg I love reading is GJ Coops travels around/through Australia by 26" mountainbike and bob trailer "http://www.cycletrailsaustralia.com/". I attribute my trek from NSW to Adelaide to Perth to the many late nights reading GJ's rides.

    The USB-werk wasnt out when I made my purchase, but I think if I had to choose now, it would be the one I'd get simply because the USB charging is the only one I'm ever likely to use. All the other wonderful options are going to waste with me.

    The Ogre will be my first 29er and first disk braked bike and I'm looking forward to its completion. I havint had an off road capable bike for years and I'm hoping it will get me out riding once again as I've not rode really since arriving here.

    I've blown my budget way out from my initial reckoning but think the build will be a good one. I've gone the pannier route as opposed to the bikepacking kit way but know that my next trip will be much lighter than the last one.

    The Surly's have a bit of a rep for being heavy so I'm trying to go for lighter wheels by using CX-Ray spokes and Velocity Dyads which have a decent reputation for touring wheels as well as single track 29er use. I'll probably try my first tour on it using 2 inch marathon supremes although my day to day tyres will be initially 2.35 big apples. I've had a good run with the CX-Rays on my Moulton and its Aeroheat rims are the same extrusion as the 700c Dyads except they are in 406 (20').

    I hope you let us know your final choice and lend us your impressions of the bike and gear you end up with both for short trips as well as your international expeditions.
    Do you leave a blog anywhere for us to follow?

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    Okay, now I see why you're stuck - commiserations. (BTW, one guy I know from Perth claims it's full of rednecks and that he'd never go back.)

    I've been following Cass's blog on and off, but have been on 3G until today, so the blog was excruciatingly slow to load and I haven't read all of it. I know he liked the Troll, but didn't see much about the Ogre except that he had one surprisingly (for me) without a Rohloff hub. Before I went to India to ride in "MTB Himachal" (a long story) in 2006 I corresponded a bit via email with Cass who was extremely helpful. I can see the attraction of the Krampus, but am not so keen on the higher BB, lack of braze-ons or the limitations of using narrower tyres if the Rabbit Hole rims are used. (Cass also seems to be happy with rims & wheels that I reckon are heavy enough to just about kill me; I don't think a 700g rim is light at all.)

    I'll probably use panniers too some of the time, but would like to try the bikepacking thing as off-road touring is hard work - especially at altitude and as one gets older. I've also acquired lighter camping gear over the last few years after some backcountry ski touring (including in India, at altitude), so can possibly squeeze just about enough stuff into the bags, plus maybe a smallish daypack.

    Not sure what I'll do about wheels yet as that depends in part on the size! If 26" and the rim on the Rohloff wheel is okay will probably use existing front with old XTR hub and Mavic 231 Ceramic rim, and could perhaps transplant the other 231 onto the rear if necessary. In the longer term I'd be inclined to maybe use XM719 rims and a son28 front hub, probably in 6-bolt for future-proofing. I'm not inclined to use disk-only rims as I think it could be useful to be able to fit rim brakes, even if the bike has disks; things do fail after all. By coincidence, I'm about to build a set of 650B rando wheels with CX-Rays, so will be interested to see how they go; I've heard varying stories about aero spoke reliability, especially for off-road use. (BTW, where did you find CX-Rays short enough for 20" wheels?)

    I'm afraid I don't/won't have a blog since a) I'm not that fond of sitting in front of computers b) overseas trips will be rare, and c) I'm unlikely to have anything interesting enough to say that anyone would read it. Still, I'm considering getting a smartphone so anything could happen. ;-P

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    For what it's worth, i used to have a Troll, i did enjoy owning it but had to let it go for another project. at the time i had to have a "one in one out" policy with my bikes, since then i've got a part time job so it's not the case now.
    the point is i wanted to build another, ground up, and chose the Ogre. Mainly cos i do a lot of road riding and wanted the bigger wheels. I have 40mm Mondials on now but some 2.35" Nobby Nics for when i want to do more off-road. I have a Tubus Vega rack on the back, no fenders on this one though. I dont' want the hassle of having to take them off to switch tyres (i reserve the right to change my mind on them though), i do love fenders on my long haul trucker.

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    I love my Ogre, but I do find myself wistfully browsing 26" wheelsets online at half the price of their 29" equivalents.

    If you're planning on bikepacking in Asia, 26" seems like a no-brainer. Sure, Nepal may not have abundant 26" parts, but if you're stuck somewhere and need a wheel delivered, there'll be much less pain getting a 26 from India than a 29 from Europe or Australia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by satanas View Post
    (BTW, where did you find CX-Rays short enough for 20" wheels?)

    I'm afraid I don't/won't have a blog since a) I'm not that fond of sitting in front of computers b) overseas trips will be rare, and c) I'm unlikely to have anything interesting enough to say that anyone would read it. Still, I'm considering getting a smartphone so anything could happen. ;-P
    Well keep an open mind about the blogg as many people love to read about cycling adventures. Many is the wee hours I've looked up from reading GJ Coops blog to find its
    3 am which isnt good when you've a busy day planned from 7am.

    Ahh the CX-Rays. I got a recommendation about a Californian company from a friend for their wheelbuilding expertise. Wheelbuilder.com custom shortened and rerolled the threaded ends (I think this is how the process is described). Short story is I posted them my sondelux and sram dualdrive hubs and they turned them into my Moultons wheels. I didnt want to leave Mudgee NSW towing a trailer to Perth on my then approx 16 year old original hubs. Wheelbuilder sorted the whole process and shipped them back to me complete and ready to chuck tyres on and go. Highly recommend them.
    If it wasnt for the fact I'm too paranoid to ship my Rohloff hub out of my sight, I send
    it and my yet to arrive son28 to them as well. They did say my 406's were a pain to build. I've been very happy with them.





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    Thanks guys; I think I'm getting closer to deciding on a Troll. BTW, delivery of anything to India (and probably Nepal & Pakistan too) is basically impossible without paying a vast fortune to have it sent by courier, as if mailed it *will* be stolen in transit, or at least that's what friends there have told me, based on sad experiences.

    Rifraf, I'm amazed it was possible to find CX-Rays that had enough straight section that they could be shortened for 406mm rims; maybe that's why the build was a pain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by satanas View Post
    Rifraf, I'm amazed it was possible to find CX-Rays that had enough straight section that they could be shortened for 406mm rims; maybe that's why the build was a pain.
    You could be right.
    I just do the riding and let greater mortals do the worrying.
    Hows that decision making coming along and where are the pics?
    My Son28 and CX-Rays arrived from Germany today so I'm a happier camper than I was yesterday.
    A second package, also from Germany, delivered my Brooks Flyer Special, Sram PC870 chain, 50mm Thomson X4 stem and XT Trail PD-T780 pedals.
    They have clip ins on one side and a flat platform on the other.
    So glad that particular wait is over. Ze German postage is a little slow at times.

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    What's your German supplier? I tend to stick to Cellbikes and Wiggle.

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    I use both starbike.com and bike24.com. The packages are in the same order in that the Son28 and spokes are from starbike.com and the rest from bike24.

    I'm about to hit wiggle for some spacers, cables, 34T chainring and if anyone answers my questions about Porkies QR's in another thread, some skewers.

    Its been a very long time since I bought anything local. I've yet to find a local bike shop I'm happy with and until I do, its no moolah from me.

    I used to use CRC a lot but of late I've found for the things I'm looking for they've not been so competitive.
    I do miss their speedy postage however as Ze German postage is pedestrian.

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    Cheers, but the prices seem ridiculous. I always assume Australians pay through the nose for the usual reasons (low-population island), but looks like Europeans are getting hit pretty hard.

    As for LBSs, yeah. I had a shocking run at first, but I've located a couple of locals that live up to the legend. It's just essential to keep in mind that no matter how down to earth and enthusiastic the staff are about cycling, they're in a low-margin-high-volume industry and need to sell, sell, sell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    Cheers, but the prices seem ridiculous. I always assume Australians pay through the nose for the usual reasons (low-population island), but looks like Europeans are getting hit pretty hard.

    As for LBSs, yeah. I had a shocking run at first, but I've located a couple of locals that live up to the legend. It's just essential to keep in mind that no matter how down to earth and enthusiastic the staff are about cycling, they're in a low-margin-high-volume industry and need to sell, sell, sell.
    Hang about. Those prices at starbike.... you need to get the total, including shipping, and divide by 1.19 because 19% of that price your seeing is VAT (value added tax).
    Dividing by 1.19 eliminates the tax and your left with a total you then need to convert to Aussie dollars. Trust me its way cheaper than "almost" anyone else. CX-Rays in Aussie last I priced them were around 13 dollars each. My bikes wheels take 36 each so forget about buying them in Aus. American pricing can occasionally beat European but "mostly" the shipping kills it. There are exceptions like Surly frames. Your Ogre frame bought here would set you back around $800 and change where for about $680 I got delivered my Ogre frame and two rims courtesy of Jensonusa.

    As for the LBS sell sell sell. Round here they couldnt sell heaters to eskimos.
    They want to sell what they've got (usually rubbish I wouldnt want for free) and arnt interested in touring bikes or accessories. No worries, I'll spend my thousands overseas where its appreciated.

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    Ah right. That's the tax Brits are always complaining about - and not without reason.

    I paid a lot for the Ogre. I wouldn't mind if it came with top-notch after-sale support, but as soon as I closed my wallet the shop didn't give a flying fork how the bike was performing.

    But that's a long whine for another time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    Ah right. That's the tax Brits are always complaining about - and not without reason.

    I paid a lot for the Ogre. I wouldn't mind if it came with top-notch after-sale support, but as soon as I closed my wallet the shop didn't give a flying fork how the bike was performing.

    But that's a long whine for another time.
    Thats why your wiggle prices are so good.
    We dont pay the Pommie VAT as were not part of the European Union.
    Thats why Harvey Norman is up in arms.
    And under $1000Au we pay no import tax, GST nor duty.
    Thats the only reason were getting the decent prices because if the middlemen here had their way they'd be getting a slice of the pie for each of your purchases.
    Make the most of it whilst it lasts is my advice as currently its too good to be true.
    My guess is it wont be true for much longer especially if that budgie smuggling clown abbott gets in to the PMs office. Our not quite free ride will be over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
    Make the most of it whilst it lasts is my advice as currently its too good to be true.

    My guess is it wont be true for much longer especially if that budgie smuggling clown abbott gets in to the PMs office. Our not quite free ride will be over.
    I reckon commerce is the only thing they won't try to turn upside down, but we'll see.

    Probably not the place for a discussion about Oz elections, but if we get the chance to Ogre through Victoria a bit it seems like a safe bet there won't be any disagreements about politics.

  25. #25
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    Well, it's Plan B for me as no Trolls in Oz ATM. <sigh> I should have realized it was too good to be true...

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    Consider Jensonusa.com but dont go down the USPS track as the tracking stops when it hits Aus shores and then Auspost seem to do their best to misplace it. I spent what to me is a lot via phone trying to track down my parcels. Both were sent the same day I believe and yet the Dyad rims arrived a fortnight before the frame. It was really doing my head in.

  27. #27
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    Last place I saw a Troll was Human Powered Cycles in Melbourne. You could call and ask if they've got more on order.

    Rifraf, how much do you reckon you saved by ordering everything yourself instead of through a shop? Percent or dollars.

  28. #28
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    Hard to say exactly.
    Buying an already made up one would have been cheaper but then my level of componentry wouldnt have been what I want.
    No factory Rohloff option in the shop.
    Put it this way, with regards to parts, I've saved on average 50% on buying in Australia.
    Its not just the savings though. Most of the local shops service is so poor I'd rather not ride than spend my money in their store.
    I get the pleasure of controlling who gets my money which is a big thing for me.
    I've spent more than I originally thought but I'm very happy with my selection.
    I've not gone without when it comes to buying my bits and bobs and I've not let finances get in the way of selecting things.
    If there was vastly superior stuff I could have got, its only because I'm not aware of it that I've not bought it.
    Large bucks on my wheels but still less than half of what it would have costed buying locally.
    I'm all for supporting local but they have to deserve it and not offer disinterested service.

  29. #29
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    Re availability: I rang the importer to order, and they said they were expecting *one* frame in my size in July, all being well - I suppose I should have asked about the Troll too; it sounded like they had the Krampus in stock. Jenson have no frames, only forks, but Universal Cycles do have framesets, in purple anyway. Both have forks, but only UC's picture shows them with Anything Cage mounts, so Jenson may have old stock.

    BTW, I doubt it would be possible to ship a frameset via USPS in any case, and UPS or Fedex aren't likely to lose things IME. Agree re Auspost "tracking" as my delivery from Starbike stopped being tracked once it hit Oz, whereas UPS & Fedex tracking works until after delivery.

    In the meantime I've found another potential frame option: Vortrieb Hardtail Rohloff Rahmen Disc/Canti - BIKE-COMPONENTS.DE
    These guys also have more Rohloff spares and small parts than Bike24 or Starbike. If I went that way I'd need a (rigid, Troll) fork, unless I gave up and used my Reba, but it'd be nice to have both options. Getting a Troll via UPS would no doubt be quicker, but more $.

    I'll most likely put the wheel on an old frame with a chain tensioner until I have something else, assuming the cables I have are long enough. ;-P

  30. #30
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    For Rohloff spares without the long wait of pedestrian postage from Ze Germans dont forget to look at prices at http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/rohloff-shoprohloff_pg1/
    They arnt usually the cheapest option for bike stuff but they are great for hard to source things and their postage is dispatched quickly and they are contactable by phone and sprechen ze English very well. Great service overall!

    I dont think Jenson pay much attention to their pics.
    My Ogre was the latest version and untill I questioned them on it, they didn't even know they had black - they did it turned out by not according to their webpage.
    They were however prepared to look at a special order until they found they had one so points to them for customer service. I found them very helpful and woud buy from them again in a heartbeat. Shame shipping from the US seems to take so long via USPS and I'm wary of UPS after hearing tales of add on fees.
    I hear Jenson has now written something on their site with regards that the price you pay is to the door with no add on fees so perhaps thats now been taken care of.

    Check too with bikeman.com and ...... I'll try to look back through my emails to see who else was around with troll/ogre frames when I was looking.

    Ah, here we go Search results - Bikewagon

  31. #31
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    ^ Re Jenson: I got a fixie commuter frame from them last year, sent via UPS, and the price was to the door. I've never had a problem with UPS, Fedex or any post office, but a friend had issues with DHL charging customs clearance fees once.

    We'll see if Bikewagon can actually supply the frame; UC allegedly have stock. Thanks for the tip. :-)

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
    Hard to say exactly.
    Hmm. In retrospect the price I paid for the Ogre was hideous - about US stock-build retail for an under-spec local version, so that the (terrible) shop got its cut.

    The problem is the building. I couldn't install a headset or build a wheel if my life depended on it.

    What's the etiquette on getting a shop to build a bike that came in packages marked "schnell"?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by satanas View Post
    ^ Re Jenson: I got a fixie commuter frame from them last year, sent via UPS, and the price was to the door. I've never had a problem with UPS, Fedex or any post office, but a friend had issues with DHL charging customs clearance fees once.

    We'll see if Bikewagon can actually supply the frame; UC allegedly have stock. Thanks for the tip. :-)
    See too:
    Bikeman Surly Troll Frameset 20" Black
    Bikeman Surly Troll Frameset 18" Dark Egg Plant

    Yeah, DHL will never get another penny from my wallet for trying on the same thing.
    Someone I know on another forum had the same issue with UPS.
    After my USPS/Auspost frame fiasco I'd have gladly paid a possible extra fee for less problematic service. I'm convinced the issue was at the Auspost end but what do you do. I was making myself ill worrying about it.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    Hmm. In retrospect the price I paid for the Ogre was hideous - about US stock-build retail for an under-spec local version, so that the (terrible) shop got its cut.

    The problem is the building. I couldn't install a headset or build a wheel if my life depended on it.

    What's the etiquette on getting a shop to build a bike that came in packages marked "schnell"?
    I'm in exactly the same boat there in that I've now got no real tools having gotten rid of them so I could move back to Aus. I've really just got my Topeak Alien tool and a few allenkeys. I couldnt build a wheel nor have I the tools to install a headset and as this will likely be my last bike, its not worth buying too much.
    Just be handy if my LBS wasnt so busy currently so i could at least get the headset done and wheels built. I think I can fumble the rest.

  35. #35
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    ^^ Yes, I looked at Bikeman, but it's not clear whether they (or Surly) have stock. It's the same with Bikewagon, but they're a bit cheaper on the frameset price and shipping. Also waiting to hear from UC re shipping. It looks like I can get something, in purple anyway, but would prefer black, and <$ in 18"; 20" is too big for me.

    I also have an account with a re-shipper in the US, so that's an option if posting is problematic and they don't want to go with UPS.

    Re installing headsets, etc: It shouldn't be a problem to have a shop fit what you've got, but I'd attempt to be a bit discrete about where it came from, and NOT boast about how much cheaper it was from wherever, or include receipts. In my case, I luckily have the tools to do everything except press in the headset, and I can "borrow" those anyway. Really, shops shouldn't be difficult about working on net-sourced stuff - if they want to stay in business that is.
    Last edited by satanas; 04-28-2013 at 12:28 AM.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    Hmm. In retrospect the price I paid for the Ogre was hideous - about US stock-build retail for an under-spec local version, so that the (terrible) shop got its cut.
    No retrospecting HelmutHerr, that moneys gone and its time to move on.
    Never worry about the money spent as its only the money yet to be spent that has to be found. You begged, borrowed and stole the money for the frame and now its time to do the same for the components one at a time till you've finished.

    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    The problem is the building. I couldn't install a headset or build a wheel if my life depended on it.
    Theres a support group for that and its called "allmost everybody"
    They meet at the pub on a Friday night.
    Your certainly not alone there and it might slow you down but clap yourself on the back as it hasnt stopped you. It wont either unless you lose your focus and let it.

    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    What's the etiquette on getting a shop to build a bike that came in packages marked "schnell"?
    Its the golden rule. He who has the gold makes the rules. He who wants the gold obeys.
    They will build the bike your way if they want the money.
    If things are really busy then they dont need "your" gold so much but if its quiet business wise, then you'll get much better attention. Fact of life. Dont be afraid to pay over the going rate if you want something in a hurry. Remember your using your bike whilst I'm still fussing over parts. Theres a lot to be said for enjoying stuff quick because tomorrow might never come.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by satanas View Post
    Re installing headsets, etc: It shouldn't be a problem to have a shop fit what you've got, but I'd attempt to be a bit discrete about where it came from, and NOT boast about how much cheaper it was from wherever, or include receipts. In my case, I luckily have the tools to do everything except press in the headset, and I can "borrow" those anyway. Really, shops shouldn't be difficult about working on net-sourced stuff - if they want to stay in business that is.
    Sage advice.
    I've never had a problem getting stuff fitted.
    I never mention where its come from and its not come up.
    If asked I say why would you like to know and if pushed, say gift.
    I always make a point of buying a few small items in their shop out of politeness anyway like a couple of tubes or a puncture repair kit or suchlike.
    More flys with honey than vinegar as they say
    Nothing to be gained by making people feel you've taken food off their plate.
    Thats basic manners
    But good that you've put it down for those that have never had them installed.

  38. #38
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    I'm surprised there aren't more businesses exclusively building internet bikes. A bike mechanic with a shed or spare room to work in would make killing.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    I'm surprised there aren't more businesses exclusively building internet bikes. A bike mechanic with a shed or spare room to work in would make killing.
    Plenty of people advertising in gumtree, but being new in town, I'm aiming at bike shops with some reputation for good work and no damage.
    I dont know enough people here to avoid the cowboys or I'd be miles closer to being finished.
    I'm not panicking and know I just need a little more patience and things will start rolling.

  40. #40
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    Ahem! Nobody is going to make a killing working on bikes, and people buying stuff from the net have already proved - to bike shops at least - that they're likely to be cheapskates. Sorry, but it's true. A large proportion of people (approaching 100% in my sample) also think that everything to do with bikes is simple, and it's just that they haven't yet learned how to do it yet which means they have to employ others. This attitude also works against being able to make a living wage if in the bike biz.

    Then there's the problem that even if one does not need a shopfront, one will still need all the same tools, storage space for works in progress, supplier accounts, and to keep a significant inventory of parts on hand. Otherwise even small jobs will very quickly get bogged down while waiting for things to arrive. And then the question of becoming known arises, not a problem if one has a shop with lots of shiny new things in it that people will come in to look at.

    What is likely to happen is that enthusiast bikes will increasingly be built up with bits from the net, while the less keen won't bother, and in any case won't know what they should buy, at least without test riding things - which is extremely useful BTW. Plus, complete bikes are very expensive to ship, so chances are that cheaper/simpler bikes will be sold locally, while other stuff will increasingly tend to be built up to suit. I expect that at the top end of the market there are plenty who have the money to pay, and indeed *want* to be able to brag about how much they've spent on the latest Lance Pharmstrong replica.

    Still, from what I've seen, shops are having to adjust to being more service and accessory based than in the past, and in fact these are the things that make the most profit from the least capital invested. Bikes are expensive things to stock, and margins are lower.

    rifraf, your bike looks a lot more complete than mine - you at least have the frame. I think I've got just about everything else, but I guess the frameset is at least a week or so away, if not further.

  41. #41
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    Lots of expenses in business that would take too long to explain to the average punter but by the same token a basic understanding about what good customer service is, the need for rapport and knowledge about the essential desire for repeat business is required by the staff. Knowledge about the owners expenses including advertising to get people through the door and the direct relationship to that and wages should see a radical change in how some of the front line staff here in WA respond to inquires by potential customers. How the response might not get a sale on the spot but an attempt at rapport will often get a return through the door for another opportunity to sell stock or service.
    It honestly seems lost on some of the stores here.

    Still some of them do and will get it right and I imagine they will be the ones still doing it successfully in the years to come.
    I just need to keep looking till one of the shops gells with me I guess.

    As to the frame pic, I was just playing around wanting to get a feel as to how the bike
    would look so spent a few hours in the shed toying with the bits and then pulling it all down again. My stem and saddle only arrived late last week so I wanted to know I ordered the right size etc
    Last edited by rifraf; 04-28-2013 at 07:44 AM.

  42. #42
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    ^ Exactly! I suspect many people do more homework nowadays before purchasing, and a good attitude goes a long way to deciding who to deal with when the purchase is made, or servicing needs doing. I've had stellar service from one (non-bike) company and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them highly to anyone, while on the other hand I avoided an outdoor shop for years due to a major customer service problem, plus general bad attitude.

    Being nice and/or polite is never a bad thing if one is in business.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by satanas View Post
    ^
    Being nice and/or polite is never a bad thing if one is in business.
    Or a customer

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    Dunno. I think someone who could assemble 2-4 bikes a week without maintaining a shop front would do pretty well. I say that as someone who can't assemble a bike or run a business.

    The difficulty I've found with LBSs is that they're staffed by bike nerds, not customer service specialists. That's just as it should be when you need someone who can build a wheel with their eyes shut, but a struggle when you need a bit of consultation about bike stuff.

    Part of the reason I paid too much for my bike and had a hell of a time with it for months afterward is because LBS guys either want an extremely detailed order from a customer, or they'll try to sell you whatever stock they want to clear off the floor. There's no middle ground where someone new to cycling can actually <I>learn</I> about cycling from the people who sell bikes.

    It seems that LBSs force customers onto the internet to learn about the products the LBS sells, then complain that customers want to buy from the internet and not the LBS!

    I'm sure some people will find that an unfair criticism and have great stories to tell about LBSs, but that's been my experience. And it's usually not because the staff are shysters, but because they're passionate about bikes and happiest when they're out riding or covered in grease in a workshop, not trying to talk about bikes to noobs.

  45. #45
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    ^ Your comments do indeed constitute an unfair criticism!!!

    It's very difficult to figure out what people want when they don't know themselves how or where they might be riding, what their riding style might be (if they have one), etc. The result is that a lot of questions need to be asked to have any hope of getting close to the right thing, or else the other realistic approach is to sell whatever seems about right and is cheap and/or plentiful, the principle being that new cyclists (or guitarists, etc) will have a much better idea of what suits after their first purchase anyway. (And so shouldn't over-capitalize on it.)

    IME there is no way to tell what someone else needs without asking questions, especially if they have no history, preferences, or ideas about usage - unless you are clairvoyant. Bikes are more complicated things than TVs, and need to fit, have gearing and accessories arranged to suit *the rider* etc, etc.

    Ultimately the only way anyone figures out what they like is by experience, and this has to be their own experience. Bike shop staff cannot provide answers based on the *customer's* experience, and people are different...

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    And that's why I was careful to qualify what I said. I'm not the first person to have terrible LBS experiences, or the first to have great ones.

    Maybe I should've simply said that brick-and-mortar bike businesses could often benefit from being more consultative with customers. I'm in no position to know if that's unfeasible from the retailer's perspective.

    Anyway, that's as far as I want to go on the topic. I've read enough archived threads to know these conversations can get heated!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    Maybe I should've simply said that brick-and-mortar bike businesses could often benefit from being more consultative with customers.
    Okay, I'll bite - what does consultative mean to you? If you're saying staff should listen to and consider what customers are saying, then I agree 100%. However, consultation often means resolving uncertainties - which generally means asking questions - something you didn't seem to like the idea of from what you said earlier...

    NB: I'm not trying to be argumentative, just wondering if you think all shop staff should have ESP!
    Last edited by satanas; 05-02-2013 at 06:15 PM.

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    I have looked at both bikes on Surly's site, I am partial to the Ogre myself... so that one gets my vote.
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan (My DD)
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    RIP 2000 Jeep XJ RIP

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    I just drove to New Orleans to purchase my ogre. Could have saved money online but I like local shops, they take everything apart and lub and make sure everything is clean when they receive it. Free tune ups with purchase. Eagerness to help sense you purchased through them. It's worth the extra price.

    However between the troll and ogre, tough choice. I didn't read entire thread so I don't know if you made your mins yet but as you know, both bikes are solid. If I was to be riding in other countries then I'd prob go troll. Like you mentioned. The guy at the shop is building a troll for himself in the awesome orange color. I would have been happy with either, troll or ogre but I wanted to try out those 29ers.

    Mine is mostly a commuter, or will be when I get it, so it just seemed right. You will be happy with whatever you choose or have chosen.

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