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  1. #1
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Surly Troll vs ?

    I've already gone in every direction trying to ask myself whether I wanted a touring bike with 700c wheels or 26 inch, suspension forks or no suspension forks. Anyway, I've been told by a doctor that I have a light "pinch" between the L4 and L5 verterbrae in my back. So, I guess I'll be going with 26 inch wheels and suspension forks. I'd prefer an upright riding position. I'm 5'8" with an 83.5 cm inseam. Would the 16 inch frame work? I'm thinking maybe a 17 inch frame. Anyway, does anyone know if the Salsa Vaya takes a suspension fork and if the fork included is a suspension-corrected fork?

    Are there any comparable frames to the Surly Troll?
    Feeling Good by David Burns

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Tout Terrain Silk Road..? I'd say superior..

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    The Vaya is not suspension corrected, and isn't designed for a sus fork. If you want 700C + suspension + drop bar, then get a Fargo. But at your height, the Troll might be a better choice. Sus fork, upright bar, fat, soft tires, and a suspension seatpost would give a pretty smooth ride.

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    Just out of curiosity, why an upright position if you have vertebra issues? I would've thought you'd want a more arched spine, to favor cushioning of impacts, as opposed to risking to have the vertebrae smash against each other.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    NB:cane creek Thudbuster seatposts are rider weight adjustable..
    by elastomer selection and preload via bolt thru the elastomers.

    more under your butt, rather than just the front wheel..

  6. #6
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wirespot View Post
    Just out of curiosity, why an upright position if you have vertebra issues? I would've thought you'd want a more arched spine, to favor cushioning of impacts, as opposed to risking to have the vertebrae smash against each other.
    All I know is that the doctor said a road bike with a leaning position and thin tires is not ideal.

    As a passing comment, I know it sounds like I'm fussy, but I just remembered how much of a challenge it is to find a frame with normal rear dropouts, that take a regular headset, that have bosses for V-brakes, that have a geometry for suspension forks and holes for a backrack... I suppose I could end up with a Nashbar mountain bike frame. In that case, I read the 18 inch might be like a 17 inch and it may be better with an 80mm travel fork.
    Feeling Good by David Burns

  7. #7
    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
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    I have been looking for an 18" Surly Troll frame for a couple weeks now. All the local shops said they couldn't get one until March. Thought I found it online but the retailer told me the same thing...

    Looks like we both may be waiting a few months.

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    The Thorn Ripio is pretty much superior to the Troll in every way, if you don't mind the price tag.

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    The Troll still has horizontal dropouts in case something goes wrong with the transmission

    And the Toll's rigid fork has a lot more mounting options (and a lot prettier) in case you ever go that way

  10. #10
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
    The Troll still has horizontal dropouts in case something goes wrong with the transmission

    And the Toll's rigid fork has a lot more mounting options (and a lot prettier) in case you ever go that way
    What do you mean if something wrong goes with the transmission? Doesn't the dropouts make it harder to adjust the rear wheel?

    I wish I knew what kind of posture you have on a Sette Reken but I don't know if that's the one. I've looked at I don't know how many frames from the U.S. to France, U.K. to Germany.
    Feeling Good by David Burns

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    How is it superior? The Troll is both cheaper and more versatile.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Armand View Post
    The Thorn Ripio is pretty much superior to the Troll in every way, if you don't mind the price tag.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Armand View Post
    The Thorn Ripio is pretty much superior to the Troll in every way, if you don't mind the price tag.
    Hi Armand, what an interesting statement. Would you care to quantify it?
    I see the Ripio looks a little lighter but it also looks a lot lighter duty.
    "Every way" is a pretty bold declaration and I'd love to hear your view.
    I dont own a Surly product by the way but have looked at both the Troll/Ogre with interest.
    I dont want to butt heads or argue or even denounce your opinion or yell mine from the rooftop.
    I'm just interested in hearing why someone would come from your point of view and how the view
    was created.
    I wont offer anything more than a thank you if you do indeed expand on your post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
    What do you mean if something wrong goes with the transmission? Doesn't the dropouts make it harder to adjust the rear wheel?
    With horizontal dropouts if you have any serious problem with the transmission (busted derailleur, shifter, etc) you can convert to singlespeed and keep going. And the difference in difficulty to remove/install the wheel is nearlly null.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
    All I know is that the doctor said a road bike with a leaning position and thin tires is not ideal.
    Doctors are experts in specific areas of medicine, not bicycles.

    A conventional touring bike with drop bars can be a more upright riding position than a flat-bar mtb. There is a great range of reach and bar height you can work with to achieve whatever posture desired.

    I have lived with a ruptured disc at L4-L5 for many years, and chronic back problems are simply part of my life. I stick to paved surfaces mostly to prevent painful and potentially debilitating impact to my back which may be imparted by rocks/drops/etc typical of mtb trails.

    I ride mtbs (rigid fork) and road bikes, and lately prefer a more upright drop bar touring bike. I started out with a mtb with sus fork, and discovered the sus fork does not provide much benefit to my back on the gentle dirt paths I rode, and no purpose whatsoever on pavement.

    One thing I recently discovered is that I have been riding a frame one or two sizes too small for many years, and a taller frame gives me the option of raising the bar higher without a ridiculous length of steerer tube exposed, so I am in the process of enlarging my current daily rider.

    Since we both have back issues and the exact same PBH, I can easily recommend a 56cm Surly LHT or Disc Trucker. Put a short stem on it and you'll find the bars at a comfortable reach and height, with at least two good hand positions, plus the drops for aero advantage when riding into wind or for the occasional burst of enthusiastic pedaling. Even the drops position is comfortable once the bar is high enough. In my case the bar is ~3cm above the saddle.

    Tire-wise, I can fit tires up to 700x45 with fenders on my 56cm SDT. These are pretty big tires (45mm=1.77"), in fact larger than the 26x1.5" tires I've used for many years. I'll probably end up using 700x32-35.

    Your doctor has most likely never seen (much less ridden) a properly set-up touring bike - if he had, this would be his recommendation for a bicyclist with a bad back.

    PS

    I considered an Ogre and Vaya too, glad I didn't get them now. The Vaya has basically a road bike fork for disc brakes. Even the shortest suspension fork would require a greater axle-to-crown distance, the result being the installation of sus fork on a Vaya would cause the HTA and STA to slacken by at least 2-3 degrees. It would definitely change the ride and handling from original.

    https://www.rivbike.com/kb_results.asp?ID=41

  15. #15
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Well, we can discuss all we want about how much my doctor knows or doesn't know. I was driving around one day when I hit a pothole while taking a corner. It shook me enough to convince me to get suspension forks. And some bumps seem to come out of no where. Fact is, I've ridden various styles of bikes and when I considered a bike with 26 inch wheels and suspension forks, I had this feeling of wanting to have a grin on my face knowing I'd be more liberated and free to go where I want.

    So, the project I currently have in boxes (700c) may eventually be built-up then sold.
    Feeling Good by David Burns

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Get one of the Tout Terrain Double suspension Pan America touring bikes..
    costs like a 5 year old car
    but made to go anywhere..

    There is the Moulton All Purpose Bike, built around 406, 20" wheels, and also Double suspension..

    you can also just get a dual suspension MTB, and a BoB trailer to haul your gear..

    And There is the HP Velotechnic Dual suspension Short wheel base Recumbent too.
    their 'grasshopper' is 2 by 20" wheel and folds up some to help make travel to the tour start simpler..

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    Troll rider and Troll lover here. It's a great bike, very versatile, and very reasonably priced, but it may or may not be what you want. Are you looking for on-road, heavily-loaded touring capability? The Troll can certainly do it, but there are probably better bikes for the job. On the other hand, if you're looking for a do-everything bike, where "everything" includes both on and off-road touring, as well as singletrack, then I'd say it's one of the strongest contenders. Mine goes from a mountain bike to a commuter with just a switch of tires, and from commuter to all-terrain touring rig with the addition of bikepacking bags and possibly a rear rack.

    If you're doing the four-pannier thing, there are bikes that are meant to ride their best with that kind of weight, and the Troll isn't exactly that - it'll do it, but it's not customized for the purpose. As with everything, it's a tradeoff between specialization and versatility.

    If you're not dead set on 26 inch wheels (I was, which ruled out some other potential close competitors for me while bike shopping) then you have a lot more options to look at. With 26 you're limited, AFAIK, to Long Haul/Disc Truckers, the Troll, and then a bunch of much more expensive specialty bikes which have already been mentioned here. In both cases you're looking at something more specialized and less versatile, which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your wishes and needs. However, if you do decide a Troll fits the general criteria you're looking to meet, I give it a sound endorsement, as do many others.
    www.julianbender.net - Travels and Photos

  18. #18
    Senior Member Aushiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    And There is the HP Velotechnic Dual suspension Short wheel base Recumbent too.
    their 'grasshopper' is 2 by 20" wheel and folds up some to help make travel to the tour start simpler..
    The idea of a recumbent did come to my mind as well. I would suggest but that something like the Azub Max might be suitable ... designed for single track and roads.



    Andrew

  19. #19
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
    All I know is that the doctor said a road bike with a leaning position and thin tires is not ideal.

    As a passing comment, I know it sounds like I'm fussy, but I just remembered how much of a challenge it is to find a frame with normal rear dropouts, that take a regular headset, that have bosses for V-brakes, that have a geometry for suspension forks and holes for a backrack... I suppose I could end up with a Nashbar mountain bike frame. In that case, I read the 18 inch might be like a 17 inch and it may be better with an 80mm travel fork.
    If you like drop bars, go back to your doctor for some clarification. My eye doctor told me no drop bars either- turns out, he equated all bikes with drop bars as having aggressive/race posturing.

    I'm not about to advocate one bar set up over another. It's just I don't like when options are removed due to misconceptions by a third party.

  20. #20
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    If you like drop bars, go back to your doctor for some clarification. My eye doctor told me no drop bars either- turns out, he equated all bikes with drop bars as having aggressive/race posturing.

    I'm not about to advocate one bar set up over another. It's just I don't like when options are removed due to misconceptions by a third party.
    I think I understand what you're trying to say. But if you read my last comment, you'll see I thought going 26 inch wheel was an interesting idea anyway...
    Feeling Good by David Burns

  21. #21
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
    I think I understand what you're trying to say. But if you read my last comment, you'll see I thought going 26 inch wheel was an interesting idea anyway...
    That's cool. Just wanted to make sure that you didn't feel like your physician was forcing you into a configuration that you weren't totally okay with.

    Here's an off the wall suggestion- see if you can get your hands on a Trek Sawyer frame set and build it up how you want it. The complete build is a 29er (though there is plenty of standover given your inseam), but it should take 26" wheels readily enough*.

    *My inexperience may be showing here, but since the brakes are discs, then the overall height of the wheel isn't as crucial in converting as moving brake studs for caliper/centerpulls... correct?

  22. #22
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    *My inexperience may be showing here, but since the brakes are discs, then the overall height of the wheel isn't as crucial in converting as moving brake studs for caliper/centerpulls... correct?
    The brakes are OK, but the frame geometry is designed to locate the BB at a fairly specific height. In this case, removing wheels with a diameter of ~730mm and substituting 26ers with a diameter of ~665mm (with 26x2.0" tires) means you'd be lowering the BB ~32mm. This will certainly result in frequent pedal strike on irregular off-road routes, and when pedaling as you lean in curves on pavement. Pedal strike can be more than an inconvenience that damages components - it can also cause a tire blowout and crash.

    So, it's not a great idea.

  23. #23
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
    With horizontal dropouts if you have any serious problem with the transmission (busted derailleur, shifter, etc) you can convert to singlespeed and keep going. And the difference in difficulty to remove/install the wheel is nearlly null.
    It's not impossible to convert a vertical dropout to a single speed for emergency use. And while you may fine the difference in removal and installation of the rear wheel on a bike with rear facing horizontal dropouts to be nearly null, that feeling isn't shared by everyone. I find them to be a massive pain in the derriere. They certainly aren't worth the very, very, very rare occasions that you might need that feature. I've been mountain biking for 30+ years and never had to convert a bike to a single speed.

    As for bikes that are comparable to the Troll, pick just about any mountain bike. Maybe not the highest end mountain bikes but something along the lines of a Trek 4700, a Jamis Trail X3, Jamis Durango Comp, or, if you got the pockets for it, a Moots YBB.

    seeker333 is correct in that mountain bikes tend to have longer front ends than touring bikes. The top tube length on my mountain bikes is longer than even my road bike. They are made that way to balance the weight of the rider over the center of the bike for traction rather than over the front wheel...like road bikes...for handling.
    Stuart Black
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  24. #24
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    The brakes are OK, but the frame geometry is designed to locate the BB at a fairly specific height. In this case, removing wheels with a diameter of ~730mm and substituting 26ers with a diameter of ~665mm (with 26x2.0" tires) means you'd be lowering the BB ~32mm. This will certainly result in frequent pedal strike on irregular off-road routes, and when pedaling as you lean in curves on pavement. Pedal strike can be more than an inconvenience that damages components - it can also cause a tire blowout and crash.

    So, it's not a great idea.
    Pedal strike, yes. Crash, possibly. Tire blowout, huh? I don't see the connection.
    Stuart Black
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  25. #25
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
    Well, we can discuss all we want about how much my doctor knows or doesn't know. I was driving around one day when I hit a pothole while taking a corner. It shook me enough to convince me to get suspension forks. And some bumps seem to come out of no where. Fact is, I've ridden various styles of bikes and when I considered a bike with 26 inch wheels and suspension forks, I had this feeling of wanting to have a grin on my face knowing I'd be more liberated and free to go where I want.

    So, the project I currently have in boxes (700c) may eventually be built-up then sold.
    Then I'd certainly suggest one of the bikes I listed above. Get the one with the best fork on it you can find too. Most forks with a lockout will still provide some movement...and some bump relief...even when locked out. My personal favorite are Fox forks. Very plush, very positive lockout, very expensive.

    If you aren't averse to building up a bike, you might want to look at Habanero as well. It titanium but not as expensive as the Moots. It doesn't have the soft tail feature of the Moots YBB, however. The YBB doesn't have a lot of rear suspension but it enough to take the edge off hits. You can some times find a used one on Fleabay for somewhat less then the $3000 price of a new one.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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