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Old 10-09-07, 11:19 AM   #1
v1nce
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Surly frames, how Heavy are they in fact?

I think Surly are one of the few frame brands i'd consider buying new. I just really like their company and products (though i know some others do not, but that debate is for another thread).

I hear their products are bomb proof, very versatile and from what i have seen this is all true. But if there is any complaint that i have also heard about their frames is that they are rather heavy.

But what does this mean?

Could anyone make a comparison in terms of actual grams/Kilos difference when compared to:

1. Similar frames by other brands (IRO, On One, Soma etc)

2. Real nice touring frames of the bike boom era (531 reynolds and such, so not apples and oranges, i am talking steel frames).

If you compare how marked is the difference... are we talking a few hundred grams or way more?

Anyone have some actual figures or real life experience or comparisons.

Also what does that extra beef buy you. Does it mean the frame will not fail in conditions where the aforementioned "competitors" just might?
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Old 10-09-07, 01:29 PM   #2
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I can give you a couple of weight comparisons. Keep in mind, Surly's are welded, and are of 4130 chromoly steel, with double butted main tubes I believe:

Claimed weight of 58 cm Surly LHT frame:
5.15 lbs. Let's call that 5 lbs, 2 1/2 ounces.

Actual weight of 58cm 1983 Schwinn le tour luxe frame, lugged construction of plain gauge 4130 chromoly steel:
5 lbs, 8 ounces.

Claimed weight of 56cm Surly Crosscheck frame:
4.73 lbs. Let's call that 4 lbs, 12 ounces.

Actual weight of 56cm 1983 Centurion Pro Tour touring frame, lugged construction of Tange Champion #2 double butted steel(a very nice proprietary Tange chromoly). One of the lightest tubesets from the '80's that was used on true touring bikes. The frame is also fully chromed beneath the paint, which I believe adds a few ounces:
4 lbs., 13 ounces.


These weights make perfect sense if you think about it. The lugs themselves add a few ounces over a welded bike, and again, the chrome on the Centurion Pro Tour may add a little as well, otherwise it would probably be a bit lighter frame than the Crosscheck. But the bottom line is that the Surlys are just what you would expect from frames of rather unspectacular double butted 4130 chromoly, no surprises in the weight department and sturdy as heck for their intended purposes.

Last edited by well biked; 10-09-07 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 10-09-07, 01:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for that very informed post!

Hang on a second..! So you are saying the Surlies are often lighter than the vintage ones..! That is good news for me.

So if we compare the Surly with a competing modern brand they might be a bit heavier but we are still talking 1 to a few ounces, 'ounce' as in less than 30 grams...? If that is so than it is laughable to me. Such a tiny difference on a touring rigg seems not even worth worrying about.

Are you quite sure Surly uses double butted tubes? That too is (very good) news to me.

I am now even more impressed by Surly's and understand even better why fixie riders and tourers swear by them. I am amazed by the weight of the the LHT, people always seem to think it extremely heavy (and that kind off made sense with it's reputation for strength and tons of braze ons) but it seems great me now that i know the actual weight.

Of course the Surly weights are without fork! Did you account for 'minus the fork' in the vintage bikes?!
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Old 10-09-07, 01:58 PM   #4
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Yes, according to the Surly site the frames have double butted main tubes. And the weights I listed were for frames only, not with the forks. The LHT fork weighs a claimed 2.25 lbs. This is all on the Surly site. Keep in mind, the Surly weights are claimed weights by Surly, so they could be a little off (maybe someone who's weighed a Surly frame can chime in). I suspect they're pretty close to accurate, though. Also keep in mind, there are definitely vintage steel frames that are lighter than the frames I mentioned (in fact I own a couple of them), but I was purposefully comparing bikes that have a similar purpose. All in all, for what they're intended for, I think the Surlys are great-
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Old 10-09-07, 02:03 PM   #5
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Cool! Thanks for that valuable info once again.
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Old 10-09-07, 04:43 PM   #6
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I have two Surly frames, and accurate weights for a Pacer frame+fork in size 56 (however, C-T is 58 cm). The frame weighs 2059 g, and the fork (uncut) weighed 1010 g. Cut, it now weighs 72 g less. So, the total for frame+fork in my case, after cutting the steerer tube, is almost exactly 3000 g (3069 uncut). The weights Surly claim for this size are 2075 g for the frame, and 985 g for the fork, for a total of 3060 g. Based on a sample of one, I'd say their weights are about as accurate as you can get in this business.
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Old 10-09-07, 05:13 PM   #7
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For what it's worth, I have a 60cm Long Haul Trucker. I also have a Trek 820 mountain bike, and an old "gaspipe" 10-speed Ross Gran Eurosport. All up weight of the LHT, equipped for the road, with a seat bag and spare tube and patch kit and a frame pump and multi-tool and two bottle cages and bottles- all the stuff everybody carries - is about 25 lbs. This weight was determined by the scientific method of carrying my bathroom scale to the garage, standing on it and noting the weight, then picking up the LHT, and standing on the scale and noting the difference.

By comparison to my other two bikes, the LHT is noticably lighter.

I also, when I was agonizing over the decision to purchase the LHT, looked up the LHT frame/fork weight and compared it to the weight published for another aluminum frame/carbon fiber fork frame fork combo. I think there was less than a pound difference.

I'm 6' - 2-1/2" tall and weigh 260 lbs, with 24" wide shoulders, a 54" chest, 38" waist, a 36" pbh, and size 14 feet. I figure the weight difference was insignificant - probably about what one of my shoes weigh.

BTW, I absolutely LOVE my LHT! I ride in a very hilly area - some grades up to 13%. The mountian bike gearing with the triple chainring makes up for that extra pound or so. If it weren't for the LHT I probably wouldn't be riding.
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Old 10-09-07, 05:26 PM   #8
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I think the Soma and Surly products are comparable. But Soma doesn't make a full-blown touring frame only the double cross which is similar to the cross check.
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Old 10-09-07, 11:58 PM   #9
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not heavy enough to worry about it is my experience.

if you want a slightly lighter steel road frame, get a soma.

its more on what you hang off the frame anyway.
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Old 10-10-07, 06:00 AM   #10
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doesn't answer your questions but....

i was looking at soma frames for a build i want to do. the cx frame has a really weird geometry so i sent an email asking for some clarifications.....that was a couple of weeks ago. no response (and none in my junk mail folder).

went to a local dealer. the kid said after 5 calls a day for a week he finally got hold of soma.

i like the looks of the soma frame but i'm not to optimistic about their customer service. i'm leaning towards a surly lht or cross check or the voodoo wazoo.
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