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  1. #1
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    Saw my first Surly in the wild today.

    I was driving home today when a long cargo style bicycle crossed the intersection I was coming up on. I waited patiently for the light to change so I could catch up and get a look and I reached her just as she was turning into a sub-division and it was a Surly Big Dummy. Put a big ole goofy grin on my face. Not sure why, but it was awesome to one of these in action.

  2. #2
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    It was a miraculous day when we spent half the afternoon talking about bombing down mountain sides on a Moonlander when at the end of trail we saw a Moonlander!

    Surly's are quite ubiquitous around here. X-Checks and Long Hauls aplenty with the younger crowd and the Berkeley parents love their Big Dummy's.
    I've only seen one KM, one 1x1, one Pugs, one Moonlander, and one Troll in the wild (although the Troll was gnarly with Trekker bars and an Alfine IGH).

    I've seen so many ladies on my same color blue X-Check I have; I think that means I have good taste?

  3. #3
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    I live in Philadelphia and I see LHTs and CCs on a weekly basis, plus the occasional Steamroller. I have spotted a Moonlander in for repair at a local bike shop, and I know there are at least two Trolls in town besides mine - one belongs to a guy I've ridden with, and the other, I've passed on a bike path a few times, at high speed, and didn't have a chance to slow down and chat.
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  4. #4
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    Hey that's great! The first Surly I ever saw in the flesh was my own. At the time I lived in Barstow, CA, which is sort of remote. I used to get stopped all the time and asked about my bike. Then I moved to the Washington D.C. area and there's Surly's all over the place out here. Nobody ever stops me anymore, so I guess I'm not quite so special now. But its all good. It seems to me that Surly's are more common in bigger cities where there are more shops of a certain "culture" that stock and promote steel bikes. Also, it used to be that Surly mainly sold frames, so there was a sort of "cognescenti" aspect to Surly ownership since most were built up from the frame. Now that Surly sells mostly complete bikes, their profile is rising amoung the general riding public and there's many more out there than there used to be.
    Surly Cross Check: fat tire roadie
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  5. #5
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    I seem to live in a Surly hotbed now. Seeing BD's, LHTs, CC and Ogres is a pretty common occurrence. I even passed a Krampus on the bikepath this spring.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  6. #6
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    I really want to ride an Ogre or a Troll but the only Surly's I've ever seen in a bike shop were 2 LHT's, in the same shop. On the first visit I rode the 56cm LHT around the parking lot but don't recall anything about it other than the handlebars were NOT in the right place for me. They were set up lower and farther away than is comfortable for me. On the second visit they had another 56cm LHT at the back of the showroom and this one didn't even have the handlebars taped.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    I really want to ride an Ogre or a Troll but the only Surly's I've ever seen in a bike shop were 2 LHT's, in the same shop.
    If they have LHTs they can order you an Ogre or Troll and should be able to determine the size you need.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    If they have LHTs they can order you an Ogre or Troll and should be able to determine the size you need.
    I really want to ride one so I can make an informed decision on whether to buy one. I've got a new Handsome Devil frameset I had built up and it's a very sweet bike but I would like the ability to mount 50+ mm tires and I'm also curious about the "ride" of the Ogre/Troll/Karate Monkey bikes. My Devil is definitely road oriented in it's basic geometry while the Surly's are MTB geometry. I want to find out if I prefer one over the other.

  9. #9
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    The first Surly I ever saw(or remember it enough to research it when I got home) was a Pugsley. It actually ended up being one of the guys at my local shop's personal rig! A white snowblind pug with LM rims and I honestly could not stop laughing at how funny the bike just looked...and then the name just got me! I love Adams Family!

    Anyhow, I got home, read about the bike and brand, and planned and schemed a way to get it by summer's end. 3 months later, I took delivery of my Necro Pugs and now I have 3 Surlys!
    I usually see at least 1-2 Surly bikes out every time I ride, mostly Cross Check or Karate Monkeys, but Salsa is the brand I have that I never see very often. Out of all my miles of riding, I have only seen my buddy Bethany1's Muk and a few Vayas, and a few Fargos(one was Bethany1's as well)
    Tons of Trek and Specialized and Giant though. Good lord, you get whiplash from seeing them all around town!
    2010 Surly Conundrum
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    I really want to ride one so I can make an informed decision on whether to buy one.
    I feel you on that. I've had to buy most of my bikes sight unseen based on geometry charts and reviews others have posted because they were not popular. I've mostly ended up with bikes I loved, but a few times I sold a new bike after a few months.

    Although I would much rather have a test ride than not. I'd rather buy the bike I want and take a chance than buy what a LBS has on their sales floor.

    Depending on where you live you might have better luck tracking down a cyclist that owns a Troll or Ogre in your size who would let you test ride it than finding one in a LBS.

    I live let at least a dozen riders try out my bikes because I knew it was their only chance seeing one in the flesh.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakedbabytoes View Post
    The first Surly I ever saw(or remember it enough to research it when I got home) was a Pugsley. It actually ended up being one of the guys at my local shop's personal rig! A white snowblind pug with LM rims and I honestly could not stop laughing at how funny the bike just looked...and then the name just got me! I love Adams Family!

    Anyhow, I got home, read about the bike and brand, and planned and schemed a way to get it by summer's end. 3 months later, I took delivery of my Necro Pugs and now I have 3 Surlys!
    I usually see at least 1-2 Surly bikes out every time I ride, mostly Cross Check or Karate Monkeys, but Salsa is the brand I have that I never see very often. Out of all my miles of riding, I have only seen my buddy Bethany1's Muk and a few Vayas, and a few Fargos(one was Bethany1's as well)
    Tons of Trek and Specialized and Giant though. Good lord, you get whiplash from seeing them all around town!
    I have never turned my head at a Specialized Trek or Giant (okay not true vintage Treks and Specialized bikes are pretty rad, but the new one, YAWN!). I've seen plenty of Vayas and Fargos. I've even seen a Warbird in the wild! (It's really ****ing cool!) No Mariachis or Mukluks or Beargrease though! Or Colossal (which I'm curious wanting a steel roadie, but I think the Soma Smoothie would by my "new" steel bike if not for the Gunnar).

  12. #12
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    When I took my frameset to the LBS to have it built up I spotted a really slick looking bike sitting back in the service area. What struck me was the gorgeous orange color and a REALLY nice looking crankset (I finally figured out that cranksets are to bikes what wheels & tires are to cars.....they make or break the look of the bike). The bike had no decals so I asked the shop owner and it was a Salsa frameset he'd gotten as a trade-in. He decided to keep it, had it powdercoated orange and built it up with his components. He was just waiting for decals to finish it up. I'm not sure of the model number but it's one that has been discontinued, maybe a La Raza or Las Cruces. I just know it was a beautiful bike!

  13. #13
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    I haven't seen too many Surly bikes in the wild. I've played bike polo with a Steamroller, met a Pugs out in the woods, saw a CC in front of a local store and had a LHT ride to where I work. Unless I'm forgetting one, I believe those are the only ones I've seen besides what I own and what my friend has.

    I did see a Pugs on the back of a van on a road trip last year..
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride have no legs...
    Road riders who don't mountain bike have no soul...

  14. #14
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    Other than seeing a single LHT at my LBS a year ago, I've never seen a Surly in the wild where I live. (I don't consider my own KM and CC as "in the wild" since they live with me.) I've actually seen more Rivendells around here, with a handful of confirmed Atlantis sightings.

    When I visit PDX, I'm always able to spot at least a few... No surprise. (One more reason why I like PDX, which is one of my favorite cities.)

    I visit DC several times a year and enjoy seeing lots of bikes there. The only Surly I've seen there was one CC on the corner of 17th and I streets last winter. Mostly, DC has the big brands on display, Treks, Giants, Specialized, etc.

  15. #15
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    Here in Vancouver LHT's are one of the most popular commuter bikes. I've seen 3 or 4 other Ogres around as well. The rest of the lineup is more rare - and I don't think I've ever seen a Surly in the woods here. Our trails are really technical and challenging and the 6" FS trail bike is the typical rig.

    The new Instigator is a pretty appealing as a winter / playbike though!
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  16. #16
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    I was in Squamish today and saw a nicely built up Krampus all shiny and new in Revolution Cycle shop just sitting there.
    Looked pretty sweet!!
    Like LostBoyScout said in the Lower Mainland I have seen a number of LHT's.

  17. #17
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    Never seen another in the wild yet, but only spotted a few at a SSEC and a SSUK race.....sorry wrong word, group ride while very drunk where someone sort of crosses a line somewhere first

    Surly seem to sell a fair few here in the UK, they just lurk in the shadows like some secret society members, they are out there somewhere.

  18. #18
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    I saw my second Surly yesterday! I was at a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and I saw a guy coming around the corner on a fully-loaded, ready for touring bike with 26" wheels. I didn't get a good look at the bike due to traffic but it appeared to be that coffee-themed color that LHT's came in a year or two ago. He locked it up near the other entrance to the store so when I left I made a point to drive by and get a better look. No decals at all but the Surly headbadge was peaking out from behind the racks and bags.

    Strange that I should see that bike because I've been playing with my set of 26" wheels again and right now they are mounted on a bike designed for 700c wheels but I've seriously considered having the canti-studs moved and getting it powdercoated. I had even e-mailed Groodybrothers about doing the work and of course, when I started playing with that bike the thought of just ordering an LHT frame came to mind. Then, literally 1 hour later, I see this 26" LHT at the grocery store. Hmmmmmmm.

    My old bike would be a bit sportier than an LHT (shorter chainstays and overall wheelbase) and about 1/2 the price of a new LHT frame. But the LHT still appeals to me. I just get giddy when I see a 26" bike that isn't an old MTB or a cruiser. Gotta have one.

    Here's my current experiment:

    Saw my first Surly in the wild today.-img_1770.jpg


    and this is basically how I would set up an LHT:

    Saw my first Surly in the wild today.-000lht.jpg

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    I saw my second Surly yesterday! I was at a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and I saw a guy coming around the corner on a fully-loaded, ready for touring bike with 26" wheels. I didn't get a good look at the bike due to traffic but it appeared to be that coffee-themed color that LHT's came in a year or two ago. He locked it up near the other entrance to the store so when I left I made a point to drive by and get a better look. No decals at all but the Surly headbadge was peaking out from behind the racks and bags.

    Strange that I should see that bike because I've been playing with my set of 26" wheels again and right now they are mounted on a bike designed for 700c wheels but I've seriously considered having the canti-studs moved and getting it powdercoated. I had even e-mailed Groodybrothers about doing the work and of course, when I started playing with that bike the thought of just ordering an LHT frame came to mind. Then, literally 1 hour later, I see this 26" LHT at the grocery store. Hmmmmmmm.

    My old bike would be a bit sportier than an LHT (shorter chainstays and overall wheelbase) and about 1/2 the price of a new LHT frame. But the LHT still appeals to me. I just get giddy when I see a 26" bike that isn't an old MTB or a cruiser. Gotta have one.

    Here's my current experiment:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    and this is basically how I would set up an LHT:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    LHTs are easy to love (assuming you get one properly fitted). I built a beastly LHT a few years back and really loved that bike. Did some crazy overloaded rides on her, and later, almost cracked 50mph coming down from the Sierra Nevadas.

    Here's a shot of my Trucker when it was finished:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/cargon...57617092400912

    Similar to your proposed build, I really dig the butterfly bars vs. traditional drop bars. To each his own, but the butterfly setup was super comfy and provided multiple hand positions. The hardest part? Finding a set of bars in the United States. I didn't. Had to ship 'em from the UK.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangoman View Post
    LHTs are easy to love (assuming you get one properly fitted). I built a beastly LHT a few years back and really loved that bike. Did some crazy overloaded rides on her, and later, almost cracked 50mph coming down from the Sierra Nevadas.

    Here's a shot of my Trucker when it was finished:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/cargon...57617092400912

    Similar to your proposed build, I really dig the butterfly bars vs. traditional drop bars. To each his own, but the butterfly setup was super comfy and provided multiple hand positions. The hardest part? Finding a set of bars in the United States. I didn't. Had to ship 'em from the UK.
    That's a nice Trucker and I especially like the color!

    The two main things stopping me from just ordering an LHT are the extra-long chainstays and so many comments from people about them riding like a "truck".

    I rode a 56cm 700c LHT a couple of years ago at a bike shop. It was about a 2 minute ride and I really didn't form any impression. A few months ago I got to test ride a 54cm 26" LHT but it was set up with drop bars and really skinny tires.....neither of which I care for. My impression was that the skinny tire, 26" version was twitchy but I suspect most of that was the thin tires and the drop bars.

    All of my riding will be unloaded and I've read many times that is not the LHT's forte. However, my old Trek may have the same type of ride, for all I know, because I just haven't ridden that many different bikes.

    The major things going for my conversion project are that I definately know I like the way it rides. Any other bike would be taking a chance. Also, I really like the idea of having a bike that is unique in a significant way rather than being like thousands of others out there.

    It's all a moot issue until I raise some funds but it sure is fun making plans and dreaming!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    All of my riding will be unloaded and I've read many times that is not the LHT's forte.
    If that's the case I'd skip the LHT. I don't find the ride all that great unloaded. If you are not going to carry a lot of gear a lot of the time I wouldn't buy a touring bike.

    If you go with a 26" wheeled bike use wider tires with it. That will have a number of benefits including more steering stability.

    I like my 26" wheeled LHT best with 55mm tires. By comparison 44mm tires seem twitchy.

    With my 700c LHT 35mm tires seemed just right.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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