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Surlys, disc truckers for gravel

Old 08-06-18, 02:19 PM
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Surlys, disc truckers for gravel

How many out there are using surlys, particularly the disc trucker for a gravel bike? Or they a good consideration at all?
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Old 08-06-18, 02:40 PM
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I am not, but they can take a 70 pound load on top of the cyclist.

I would like to have the cross check myself. Not happening unless I can swap some of my bikes for one though.
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Old 08-06-18, 04:54 PM
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Any bike that takes wide-enough tires can be a "gravel bike". It entirely depends on your wants and needs, and budget.

If you're just off to explore/ride for fun it would probably be a fine ride. If you're wanting a nimble go-quick-fun ride, a Disc Trucker probably isn't for you. If you're wanting to race and post great times--it isn't the tool for the job IMHO.
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Old 08-06-18, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti
Any bike that takes wide-enough tires can be a "gravel bike". It entirely depends on your wants and needs, and budget.

If you're just off to explore/ride for fun it would probably be a fine ride. If you're wanting a nimble go-quick-fun ride, a Disc Trucker probably isn't for you. If you're wanting to race and post great times--it isn't the tool for the job IMHO.

That's a great reply... I was wondering if they were too heavy or such. I'm not gonna race by all means but dont want to feel like I'm riding a bike with the brakes rubbing all the time either.
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Old 08-06-18, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tclong03
That's a great reply... I was wondering if they were too heavy or such. I'm not gonna race by all means but dont want to feel like I'm riding a bike with the brakes rubbing all the time either.
You won't feel like your brakes are rubbing...but the Trucker is made for touring, hauling a bunch of stuff and staying stable doing it. It isn't going to be a crit bike-which for the targeted-application (touring) is a good thing. I was riding this weekend with people that were having a blast on off-route MMR/gravel roads on Salsa Fargos, and Trek 920s, and the like, with 2-3" tires on 29er rims.

It comes down to what "gravel" means in your area and how important nimble handling is. Some people want an offroading bike that will accelerate/handle like a road-racer, some don't.
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Old 08-07-18, 09:05 AM
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I put WTB Riddlers in 45's on my Disc Trucker. They are comfortable and handle really well in loose gravel. Most of my gravel riding is on my commute to work so I'm not racing or going very fast. For gravel roads with more sand I ride my 29+ ECR.
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Old 08-07-18, 03:00 PM
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I ride a Cross Check for gravel (and everywhere else from road to singletrack--my mountain bike is collecting dust lately).
Stock Knard 41's, set up 1x11, Cowbells, Gevenalle CX shifter. Sure, discs would be nice, but I have no problem stopping with the Avid SD-5 V-brakes I have on there. I love this bike--hard pressed to think what I'm really missing out by not having a more "modern" gravel bike.

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Old 08-08-18, 10:05 AM
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I have a straggler. I think it is more of a gravel bike than a trucker. The Trucker is a great bike, but its rather specialized for loaded touring. Its like riding a road bike on a single track or your mountain bike on the road; it'll work, but really isn't the right tool for the job.

The Straggler and Cross Check are not specialized bikes, they can do it all although probably aren't great for anything in particular. Personally, that sounds like what you want for a gravel bike, actually sounds like an ideal N=1 bike in general (which is why I own one).

Anyway, for what it's worth: My Straggler is a heavy bike; the 58cm is about 26 pounds. Despite that, it has a pretty aggressive geometry so it feels pretty nimble and fun, just not terribly fast. It'll take fat tires when I want it to, and feels just as comfortable on a gravel path as it does on broken up pavement. Its very stable, and I never feel insecure on any surface.. I think the heaviness is a virtue there.

Also, life is too short to use bar end shifter. Integrated shifters all the way.

Last edited by Buddha2499; 08-08-18 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 08-08-18, 10:20 AM
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Seen at least 6 of them here , this month, to be shipped home, after finishing their transcontinental tours..
Quality work from Maxway, their frame making company, for QBP...



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Old 08-08-18, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Buddha2499
Also, life is too short to use bar end shifter. Integrated shifters all the way.
That's why I ended up with this for my 1x11 Cross Check. The bike was previously flat-bar, and this worked out well when I switched to drops. Not quite as convenient as a true brifter, but much better than a bar end IMO--I wouldn't want to be reaching down there on rough terrain:
https://www.gevenalle.com/product/gx/
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Old 08-08-18, 02:17 PM
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Plenty of folks use a Cross Check with something like a Carver carbon fork (like this) as a low cost, reasonably lightweight steel gravel rig capable of going SS.

I dig the Gevenalles, too, though I found that for a short while a downtube shifter was pretty good. Again, depends on conditions, but if you're in a place folks are singlespeeding it you can probably live just fine without a shifter mounted on the brake lever.

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Old 08-10-18, 12:14 PM
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Ride what ya got.

I'm using an All City Space Horse for gravel, even though the frame is pretty overbuilt for that purpose. But it's the bike I've got, and it works fine.
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Old 08-11-18, 01:00 PM
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A disc trucker would work fine on gravel. But I think it would make more sense if you were also interested in loaded touring. I rode my touring bike on gravel for a couple of years. Then again, I call that bike my road bike now, so it wasn't exactly what most people think of when they say touring bike. It does have relatively long chain stays, but not as long as the Truckers
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Old 08-11-18, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tclong03
How many out there are using surlys, particularly the disc trucker for a gravel bike? Or they a good consideration at all?
are you just planning to go where the paved roads have ended, and continuing on, ??

I seem to find sales targets are for competitions that use gravel roads, they push expensive and light equipment.

lots who post here seem to go for it.




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Old 08-15-18, 10:58 PM
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My buddy and i rode our first organized gravel ride a couple of months ago. He rode his surly disc trucker, which he uses for commuting around town everyday, and the occasional bike packing trip. he did fine, but he also was not racing or even trying to ride fast, like 98% of the entrants. i think he has 40c tires on it. 26 inch wheels. a bit heavy of a bike, but it goes.

it seems to me organized gravel rides turn into races. the disc trucker is not ideal for that. if you're on your own and going your own pace, i'd venture to say it's a fine sturdy bike.

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Old 08-15-18, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ericzamora
it seems to me organized gravel rides turn into races.
I went to my first one too recently, and yeah, it was indeed very race-oriented, considering it was "not a race". I rode my Cross Check. There were a few other steel, more trad bikes and baggy shorts, but I'd say 95% of it was a carbon and spandex affair and these folks were freakin' flyin'! Some pricey bikes out there too.
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Old 08-16-18, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass
I went to my first one too recently, and yeah, it was indeed very race-oriented, considering it was "not a race". I rode my Cross Check. There were a few other steel, more trad bikes and baggy shorts, but I'd say 95% of it was a carbon and spandex affair and these folks were freakin' flyin'! Some pricey bikes out there too.
ha ha. yeah, i'd say at least 70 percent were carbon mtb, a smattering of modern gravel bikes, plus my buddy's surly, and my aluminum hybrid. i think i was the only one on a hybrid (surly moloko handebars and 37c WTB Riddlers). the ads read it was their inaugural gravel "ride," people i talked to kept calling it the race. even the organizers. i kept reminding them jokingly that it was a RIDE, not race. lol

my buddy and i started last (i was in line to use the restroom for my PRD, then making sure i had all gopros and mounts ready to go when they started setting the groups off), and we came in last, and we rode the shortest of the three routes offered. he took at least 10 smoke breaks, i was simply slow, and shot a lot of photos and video, hilarious. here's my video of our participation in the event, starring the buddy's Surly Disc Trucker and my Gary Fisher Wingra, to the Stones' Loving Cup:


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Old 08-16-18, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ericzamora
ha ha. yeah, i'd say at least 70 percent were carbon mtb, a smattering of modern gravel bikes, plus my buddy's surly, and my aluminum hybrid.......starring the buddy's Surly Disc Trucker and my Gary Fisher Wingra, to the Stones' Loving Cup:
The MTBs were the odd guys out at the one I went to. I only saw a handful. I was surprised how many people were on pretty high-end drop-bar gravel bikes. I guess I thought it was still just a "niche" thing!

Looks like a great ride! (And, best Stone's song ever, with the greatest piano intro in rock, ever...
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Old 08-23-18, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tclong03
How many out there are using surlys, particularly the disc trucker for a gravel bike? Or they a good consideration at all?
For me it was either that or the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5: the Trek won.

The ONLY reason I didn't get the Surly is because aluminum is lighter and that was my focus.

Also the statement from someone that any bike with wide tires can be a gravel bike isn't 100% true. I am no bike expert but before my purchase I researched the hell out of it. The thing about bikes that are categorized/designed to be Gravel bikes have a design frame for longer rides much like a street bike where the Cyclocross bikes are more designed for shorter rides.

As for MTB's and FB's they are not nearly as fast as a Gravel bike.

Last edited by IvyGodivy; 08-23-18 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 08-23-18, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by IvyGodivy
For me it was either that or the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5: the Trek won.

The ONLY reason I didn't get the Surly is because aluminum is lighter and that was my focus.

Also the statement from someone that any bike with wide tires can be a gravel bike isn't 100% true. I am no bike expert but before my purchase I researched the hell out of it. The thing about bikes that are categorized/designed to be Gravel bikes have a design frame for longer rides much like a street bike where the Cyclocross bikes are more designed for shorter rides.

As for MTB's and FB's they are not nearly as fast as a Gravel bike.
And if you go waaaay back in history, like 10-12 years, before companies started marketing so many "gravel bikes," people were riding (and winning) gravel races on 'cross bikes.
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Old 09-18-18, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tclong03
How many out there are using surlys, particularly the disc trucker for a gravel bike? Or they a good consideration at all?
A little late to the party but just started reading through the gravel forum as I'm thinking of getting a bike more targeted for gravel in time for next spring. Having said that, I got into gravel riding last summer and pulled my Surly Disc Trucker into service. I'm not an expert by any means but it does seem to have a lot of the characteristics recommended for a gravel bike ... can take wide tires, has disc brakes, low gearing, stable geometry and a steel frame which provides a sturdy, comfortable ride. I've got mine outfitted with racks, fenders, and handlebar attachment and, with the steel frame, the thing is a tank. I'm short so I got the 46cm frame which comes with 26" wheels and there seems to be fewer choices in gravel tires for 26" wheels vs. the 700s. While I'm not a weight weenie, saving possibly 10 or more pounds is a motivation for me to consider a new gravel bike ... with 700c wheels/greater tire selection and probably more responsive handling. But, if I couldn't afford to get a new bike, I could certainly continue using my Disc Trucker for gravel rides. It's most definitely better than not riding gravel .
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Old 09-21-18, 11:19 PM
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Reason being is I am a big guy 6,1 300 lbs, and I love things that are built tough. Never gonna be a racer, but just want to finish. Really wanting steel over aluminum. I have been looking at fuji jari steel but seems stupid with internal cable routing. So the disc trucker is looking good.
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Old 09-23-18, 08:41 AM
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I owned a trucker and got rid of it. They are specialized for touring and simply felt slow on the road. I ended up hating it. I have ended up with a Soma Double Cross (which is basically a straggler or cross check). I would avoid the trucker and go for a cyclocross bike with what I now know. There are cyclocross bikes made for just about anything (my double cross and the other Surlys included) that can tour just fine and bikepack spectacularly. They will be lighter, snappier and faster. As far as your personal size, Surly is not going to make a fragile bike. They get criticized for overdoing their bike at the expense of weight. Don't think that the trucker is going to be stronger as its selling point. The tubes are thicker and therefore they ARE stronger, but its the angles that make them what they are. ANY Surly (and most other brands) will be strong enough, however.
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