Out on the Surly

I finally finished building the Surly Long Haul Trucker. It’s a pretty simple build with a pair of 26 inch wheels that Spa Cycles built for me last year using Rigida Snyper rims on Deore hubs, which already had an 11 to 28 cassette fitted. Brakes are XT v-brakes and front and rear mechs are Tiagra. The chainset is a Stronglight triple with 46, 34, 24 chainrings and I’ve fitted bar end shifters as the downtube seems a long way from the bars and the STi shifters don’t pull enough cable for v-brakes. Really it’s a bitsa – the seat is ex-Orange Evo2 as Sue complained that it was too hard and narrow(!)in it’s original application and the bars and stem were picked up from ebay. Thanks to Spa for helping with all the little things like cutting off the mudguard stays and finding bits of brackets to fit them closely to the tyres.

The first ride was just back from the garage after taking Sue’s car back again to attempt to have a battery drain issue fixed again. It’s only a coup[le of miles, but the girls wanted a drinks stop on the way:)


Tonight I got out for a longer shakedown ride and did just over 20 miles around the lanes. Everything seems good with the bike. It’s comfortable and the set up feels pretty good from the off. The Schwalbe Marathon Racer tyres in 26 by 1.5 inches (40 by 559 for the metrically minded) roll much better than I expected and once the bike is on the move it just drifts along nice and easily, allowing you to enjoy the sunset as you go.

The tyres also absorb a lot more than skinny, high pressure road bike tyres, making progress feel very different. On the way I rode through Copgrove, where some friends got married what must be more than 20 years ago. We’re visiting them for the first time in years shortly, so I called in to the church as I passed.

The light was fading fast and I was starting to rely on my bike light to see as I rode through the trees, but I love being out on a summer evening as the light fades, the sky takes on its deep inky blue and peace settles after the busyness of the day. It says that God came to spend time with Adam in the cool of the day.

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