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  1. #1
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    surly straggler 650b thoughts?

    Surly is introducing a new bike model for 2014 called the "Straggler". It is mostly a disc-brake version of the Cross Check.

    For some reason I have been thinking about it as a possibility for a 650b build, mounting Hetres, and using it for distance rides and randonneuring.

    As it's a Surly, tire clearances are already more than generous for a 42mm tire. And as it is set up for disc brakes, no rim mismatch issues for braking in a 650b conversion. The rear dropouts are set for a 135mm axle, so wheel options are good from the current and growing "27 1/2" enthusiasm in the mountain biking world. The bottom bracket height of the Straggler would also seem to be favorable.

    The frame and fork are loaded with mounting braze-ons. Setting it up with whatever fenders, racks, and lighting should be a piece of cake.

    It comes in a glittery purple finish. Some folks have said this model should be named "Sparkle Pony". I like that idea, too.

    Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone else has any thoughts about such a project, both pro and con. Is there anything I'm missing?
    Vitaly

  2. #2
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Yes, you're missing an entire groupset.

    EDIT: For those who aren't aware, there's the Velo Orange Polyvalent...
    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...lent-mkii.html

    it's 650b. Although I wonder what distance cyclists think of the 700c Pake C'Mute.
    Last edited by hybridbkrdr; 09-20-13 at 11:11 AM.
    Feeling Good by David Burns

  3. #3
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    Going from memory based on specs I read last night, the straggler has a lower bottom bracket than the CC (72 vs 66). I've read that 70mm BB drop is a danger zone as far as pedal clearance for 650b conversions.
    Currently riding a 1995 Trek 730 Multitrack converted to 26" wheels.

  4. #4
    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    Sounds like it should work well for a 650b conversion as long as the BB isn't too low.

    That said, I used a Cross Check as my brevet bike for a couple of years and eventually got rid of it. I haven't missed it a bit. Cross Checks are good versatile, no-nonsense bikes, but for randonneuring I prefer something lighter and more comfortable riding. Riding a Cross Check for long distance is a bit like doing a cross country road trip in a monster truck. It works, but there are many other rides that will be more comfortable and a lot more efficient.

    If you really have your heart set on a 650b bike with GB Hetres, then I understand the appeal of the Straggler as there aren't many (any?) alternatives at that price point. Still, for not too much more money you can get something that should offer much better performance and comfort. Consider the Boulder All-road, Ocean Air Rambler, Rawland Stag, Soma Grand Randonneur (when it ships). I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting.
    "You can buy status, but sucking is immutable. After a certain point, upgrading only makes you suck more ostentatiously."
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    My Randonneuring Blog

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonesomesteve View Post
    That said, I used a Cross Check as my brevet bike for a couple of years and eventually got rid of it. I haven't missed it a bit. Cross Checks are good versatile, no-nonsense bikes, but for randonneuring I prefer something lighter and more comfortable riding. Riding a Cross Check for long distance is a bit like doing a cross country road trip in a monster truck. It works, but there are many other rides that will be more comfortable and a lot more efficient.onneur (when it ships). I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting.
    Thanks for this feedback, Steve. I guess I figured the Surly frame would be similar in liveliness and road feel to the vintage Treks that you have built up.

    I guess I was wrong!

    The last thing I want is a dull, dead-feeling ride. Guess I will keep looking...
    Vitaly

  6. #6
    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitaly66 View Post
    Thanks for this feedback, Steve. I guess I figured the Surly frame would be similar in liveliness and road feel to the vintage Treks that you have built up.

    I guess I was wrong!

    The last thing I want is a dull, dead-feeling ride. Guess I will keep looking...
    Yeah, you wouldn't think there would be a huge difference. The Trek 614 I ride on brevets now is maybe a pound lighter than my Cross Check was, so not much difference, but the ride quality is night and day.
    "You can buy status, but sucking is immutable. After a certain point, upgrading only makes you suck more ostentatiously."
    -Bike Snob NYC


    My Randonneuring Blog

  7. #7
    Senior Member brockd15's Avatar
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    I've never owned a Surly, but I have a Civia Bryant that I'm setting up with Hetres. I still need to run brake cables and fix a headset issue, but other than that it's ready to go. It's similar to the Straggler in that it's a disc bike and has tons of braze-ons...I'm hoping for good things from it.

  8. #8
    2k miles from the midwest Dylansbob's Avatar
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    While I haven't done it yet with my Double Cross, the Soma has a higher BB than the Surly. Google 650b conversions for it and you'll find several.

  9. #9
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I would also consider the Double Cross. It performs well as a long distance bike.
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
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