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Old 02-07-11, 10:20 AM   #1
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Troll

Mountain Touring Bike

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Old 02-07-11, 10:27 AM   #2
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That's a sweet looking bike!
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Old 02-07-11, 11:21 AM   #3
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Looks nice - but the chainstays are only 419mm:

http://surlybikes.com/frames/troll_frame/

The Long Haul Trucker, by contrast, has 460mm chainstays. This is always the first thing I look at when I see a touring bike, because short chainstays increases the chances of heel strike on the panniers. And if you have to move the panniers back past the rear hub, then the more you do that, the more "tail wagging the dog" effect you're likely to see.

Neil

Last edited by NeilGunton; 02-07-11 at 07:27 PM. Reason: 416 -> 419, sorry
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Old 02-07-11, 11:31 AM   #4
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That is interesting. My wife has an old REI Novara Randonee that's exactly like this thing. Works fine, especially for short legs. Very versatile. MTB tires for off road, HP road tires for pavement. The heel strike issue is solved by going light, using either small panniers or none. Chainrings on the Surly look under geared to me. Rings on my wife's bike are larger, though smaller than standard road rings. Probably fine for touring singletrack, though.
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Old 02-07-11, 11:57 AM   #5
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There was a build done up by a BF member, and a couple friends of mine have them (one's built, the other is in process). Surly seems to have a hit on its hands.

Also, I dare say that rack mounting will do a lot to prevent heel strike on panniers.
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Old 02-07-11, 12:41 PM   #6
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Looks nice - but the chainstays are only 416mm:

http://surlybikes.com/frames/troll_frame/

The Long Haul Trucker, by contrast, has 460mm chainstays. This is always the first thing I look at when I see a touring bike, because short chainstays increases the chances of heel strike on the panniers. And if you have to move the panniers back past the rear hub, then the more you do that, the more "tail wagging the dog" effect you're likely to see.

Neil
Yes, I was a little disappointed too by the length of the chainstays and the wheelbase. Among other things Surly touts this as a touring frame. When I emailed them about the chainstays length before the specs become public they never responded. But then, Surly never responded to any emails I've sent them. Still a sweet frame and I love to build one up.
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Old 02-07-11, 12:51 PM   #7
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Surly has responded to my emails. Maybe it's going into your junk mail.

Anyway, I don't think this bike is intended as a standard touring bike, more like a highly versatile offroad bike. E.g. use the existing for or suspension; throw on some rack mounts; horizontal dropout for derailleurs or SS or Rohloffs; disc or rim brakes; trailer mount etc. I don't see why you would expect it to be a duplicate of the LHT frame because of a line or two in the marketing description.
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Old 02-07-11, 03:03 PM   #8
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Hi, that is a very nice bike. I am deciding if I want to buy a new frame or tinker a bit with my old one, and if I tinker with my old one I definitely need a new fork. I was looking at Surly website and it says "unlike other forks it's designed to accept a rack while using a disc brake, via through-blade threaded mounts on 2 places on each fork blade." I will be using discs with a rack so I really liked this bit. It looks like in your picture though it only has 1 rack mounting point in about the middle of the fork for the upper rack mount. On the Surly site it shows a picture with another one just above the dropout. It also looks like you are using the dropout with an adapter to mount the bottom of the rack. Can you confirm or deny if the production fork has 2 mounting points per blade? Thanks
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Old 02-07-11, 04:41 PM   #9
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I rode my Troll 20 miles this weekend with Ortlieb panniers- no heel strike issue at all with the rack I have- about the same as my Long Haul Trucker. The wheelbase it actually about 1/2" LONGER than the LHT, and since the wheels are 26" not 700, I have no issues with my toe hitting the front fender like I do on the LHT.

I've built it up with an Alfine 11 hub- it's geared a little high right now. The hills i rode yesterday were about at the limit, but sometimes I ride stepper hills with more gear. I'll probably swap the chainring down a few teeth. The top end was fun though- I was riding pretty conservatively since it's a new setup, but I still hit over 35mph zipping downhill!

It's a great bike so far!
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Old 02-07-11, 05:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
Looks nice - but the chainstays are only 416mm...
I noticed the 419mm chainstay spec too right away, and wondered why Surly didn't make them longer.

It's 419 with derailleur drivetrain only. With an IGH you could extend it to a maximum of perhaps 450mm by locating the axle at rear of dropout. The Troll probably makes sense as a tourer if you're building around a Rohloff hub with disc brake. Perhaps this was an intentional design decision by Surly to avoid eroding sales of the popular LHT.

The less costly LHT frameset is the better choice for a derailleur drivetrain, although I wouldn't mind a LHT with troll-like (actually, waterford or comotion would be better) chainstay disc brake mount and disc only fork.
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Old 02-07-11, 06:37 PM   #11
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Nice looking bike! Looks like an offroadie to me. Starboard73, if I may ask, what are those handlebars?
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Old 02-07-11, 08:32 PM   #12
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The handlebars are Soma Sparrow 520mm- just enough room for the grips and the shifter. I had straight mountain bars on for a little bit, but I wanted to try something more swept back. They're comfortable so far, but I need to try them on a 70-80 mile ride and see how they fare. I might go for drop bars at some point, though I'd have to come up with a solution for the Alfine 11 shifter. As of right now there's no bar end option for the 11 speed.

It's 'mild' offroad- the tires are Conti Travel Contact 26x1.75- mostly smooth for the 90% road I'll use it for. They're plenty fast and efficient. But they're a little wider than my LHT tires and have knobs on the edges. I did a little fire road yesterday and they grip just fine. This will be my travel & adventure bike, so roads, trails, anything-you-can-throw-a-stick-at is on the horizon. I may take it to Hawaii next month, whether I chop it in half and install S and S couplers or not. I have a bike builder who can do it locally. It's a pretty expensive procedure, I've been comparing the airline bicycle check fees vs. the S and S install. Kinda hard to justify at this point.
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Old 02-07-11, 08:51 PM   #13
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The "short" chainstays probably aren't a problem. The frame has 7cm less BB drop than the LHT, which effectively lengthens the distance from the BB and the dropouts. The rack mounts are also really high on the seat stays, adding more clearance for your big feet.
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Old 02-07-11, 09:19 PM   #14
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actually, raising the bb reduces the space for your big feet, for the std shape of a pannier (they tend to be wider at the top)

the typical heel strike point is about halfway up in the seatstay region, between 8:00 and 10:00.

raising bb (at constant CS length, nm shorter cs length) just makes it worse

btw its 7mm less BB drop, not 7cm, between troll@40 and lht26@47

When it comes to carrying luggage, short chainstays are frequently more problematic than long cs. There's hardly any downside to longer cs on an urban style bike such as the troll.
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Old 02-07-11, 10:28 PM   #15
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It looks fine as a hardtail mountain bike, but I don't understand advertising it as a tourer. It appears the racks must be mounted with long stays offering little lateral stability. Light loads would probably be fine, but it looks like heavier loads would induce sway in the racks perched high over the wheels like that.

Obviously, racks can be attached to nearly any bike and the result can be used to tour. I wonder if the compromises required to tour with a Troll are justifiable. The LHT can mount some pretty wide tires, certainly wide enough for all but the most remote offroad adventures. Is there much of a market for touring in places the LHT isn't suitable?
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Old 02-08-11, 08:41 AM   #16
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You're right. I meant to type 7mm instead of 7cm. Still, the difference in effective chainstay lengths is just 4cm or about 1.5 inches. For the big-footed this may pose a problem, but there's plenty of people who could use this frame no problem.
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Old 02-08-11, 08:45 AM   #17
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... Is there much of a market for touring in places the LHT isn't suitable?
I can't speak for the market in the main, but singletrack and rough doubletrack is definitely my preferred touring style, same for many of my friends.
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Old 02-08-11, 10:55 AM   #18
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Here's a pic of the Troll's heel clearance on my bike- men's size 10 shoes leaves plenty of room.
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Old 02-08-11, 04:25 PM   #19
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That is interesting. My wife has an old REI Novara Randonee that's exactly like this thing. Works fine, especially for short legs. Very versatile. MTB tires for off road, HP road tires for pavement. The heel strike issue is solved by going light, using either small panniers or none. Chainrings on the Surly look under geared to me. Rings on my wife's bike are larger, though smaller than standard road rings. Probably fine for touring singletrack, though.
Do you have a picture of your wife's Randonee? I have an older Randonee also. It's steel, very small (13.5in), and takes 26" wheels. It looks like a mountain touring bike as I have it set up with flat bars, semi-knobby tires, fenders and front/rear racks for my commute. It's a great bike! I call mine "Morgan", like the Morgan Horse, very versatile.
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Old 02-08-11, 05:27 PM   #20
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Mountain Touring Bike

nice ride
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Old 02-08-11, 06:58 PM   #21
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Here's a pic
Thanks for the picture.

Are those back rollers (or front)? Just FYI, ortliebs are some of the narrower/easier-to-fit-in-small-space panniers (they're deep, not wide). Many others are wider and would not necessarily fit this space, which is why the LHT has longer chainstays - to accommodate a wide range of luggage.

It seems like a mistake for Surly to include special dropouts to handle every conceivable drivetrain (except belt), their special $1000 trailer that hardly no one will buy, but leave out five bucks worth of tubing to appeal to a wider range of customers, on a bike billed as a "touring rig".
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Old 02-13-11, 05:09 PM   #22
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Mountain Touring Bike
These are not the bags that I will end up using but they are virtually the exact same size, plenty of clearance for my size 43's.



Squishy fork now installed.



From the Surly website. My emphasis on Mountain.

The Troll’s geometry is that of a 26" wheeled mountain bike, but it’s unlike most mountain bikes. It’s got ample clearance for 24/36/48t mountain triple chainrings and room for big tires, up to 26 x 2.7". The gusseted front triangle, with its sloping toptube, provides ample standover clearance even when running high-volume rubber. Run a 100mm travel suspension fork if you like, or you might choose to leave the Troll’s fork in place. Like the frame, it’s made of 4130 CroMoly steel, providing a stout yet resilient, point-and-shoot ride.

There are a lot of notable features, like full line guides for derailleur and brake housing, fender eyelets, and disc and rim brake mounts. Both the frame and fork are equipped with mounts for front and rear racks, and the design allows the use of racks, fenders and disc brakes all at the same time.

It’s worth taking a look at the rear dropout area. Similar to our Pugsley and Karate Monkey dropouts, the Troll has horizontal, rear-load dropouts with a derailleur hanger. Additionally, however, there’s a dedicated area for anchoring a Rohloff hub OEM2 axle plate, and we’ve included threaded holes in the thick plate material for installing Surly trailer-mounting nuts.

Use it as a mountain bike, as a cruiser, commuter or touring rig. Use it as your go-to utility tractor. Try out different tires or handlebars. Add some racks and gears or strip it down to a singlespeed drivetrain. Take it camping, ride it to the grocery store or session on your favorite single-track. Build it up, ride it for a while, then reinvent it.

Surly already makes the LHT, no use in them making another bike the same. This bike is going to take me from Banff Canada to the U.S./Mexiaco border along the Continental Divide.
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Old 02-13-11, 07:18 PM   #23
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I'd be inclined to turn that rear rack around, do without panniers, then pile gear up to the seat then utilize front panniers that attach to the frame and not the lower part of the suspension. Tubus Swing.

Last edited by LeeG; 02-16-11 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 02-13-11, 07:28 PM   #24
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These are not the bags that I will end up using but they are virtually the exact same size, plenty of clearance for my size 43's.
That's what matters - that your feet/bags have clearance - not what the spec is vs. another surly frame...

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Surly already makes the LHT, no use in them making another bike the same. This bike is going to take me from Banff Canada to the U.S./Mexiaco border along the Continental Divide.
I've ridden the CDN part of the GDR on a Surly Pugsley...another non-touring bike that has all sorts of usual features and makes a great touring rig if you can think outside the box. Have an awesome time!...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vikappr...7620470407905/
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Old 02-14-11, 04:34 PM   #25
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Where did you get those brackets for mounting your racks to the frame?
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