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Custom Surly build, yay or nay?

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Custom Surly build, yay or nay?

Old 02-22-11, 09:47 PM
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nthach
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Custom Surly build, yay or nay?

So, I've been doing "fun" rides with the local bike parties in SF and Oakland - which are basically a mix of hardcore riders and people who ride for the fun of it and the mix of bikes are from beat up Wal-Mart specials, fixies, all the way up to Madones and Colnagos. I've been noticing a lot of Surly frames built as fixies or urban-bound cross bikes. I rode a Pacer at an LBS in SF and I liked it, sure it may not have the same appeal to many here as say, a Cervelo(BTW I still want to get one but in a few years), but it felt like a bike I can confidently use as a commuter and for long rides and I'll keep Bella - my LeMond Reno as my fast bike.

So I have these ideas and yes I'll be in debt for a year to pay this off. One idea is:
Surly Pacer frame, 52cm
Shimano 105 or SRAM Rival gruppo
Ritchey or 3T handlebars and stem, 42cm
I'll take Bella's current seat and use a carbon seatpost on the new bike
700c wheels on 700x25c tires

Another idea is to upgrade the group on Bella from 105/Tiagra with Rival brakes mix to full 105 and use the old parts on the new frame.

So which idea should I do?
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Old 02-22-11, 09:51 PM
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CNY James
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skip the debt & ride what you already have. save some money up and then upgrade/buy. just my opinion...
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Old 02-22-11, 09:55 PM
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nthach
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Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
skip the debt & ride what you already have. save some money up and then upgrade/buy. just my opinion...
I would stick to it - Bella has gotten her brakes upgraded to SRAM Rival from the junk Lee Chis that Trek/Giant installed as OEM and I'm getting an Ultegra FC-6503 crank to replace the OEM Bontrager crank that feels a little "flexy". I just need something a little more durable for urban riding and to mess around in and something a little more serious.
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Old 02-22-11, 09:58 PM
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I'm about to build a Surly myself. Either a Long Haul Trucker or a Cross Check. Haven't quite decided if I want to go the full touring frame route, or if I want something a bit lighter. Either way, it's gonna be for the local fun rides here, as well as commuting and a bit of light touring & beach trips. But James makes a good point: Debt = Bad. Especially with things that are easily crashed or stolen.
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Old 02-22-11, 10:06 PM
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OK, I'll wait to start this project when I have the money. For now, I'll just be really careful with my current ride when I'm in the city. The LeMond is great but I don't think it's suited for urban duty.
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Old 02-23-11, 10:45 AM
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I built up a Surly Pacer in 54cm a couple of years ago. I had a good Ultegra group sitting around, built up a set of Velocity Fusion wheels and run 25 mm tires on the road or 32 mm tires on dirt with it. It rides great, fits me perfectly, and I rode it more than the carbon bikes I also have in the stable. I say rode, as in past tense, since I have been in Afghanistan for the past year. I expect to be home in early April so I will get the Pacer out right away when I get back.

The Pacer is a great frame. Maybe not as spiffy as a Gunnar or Waterford frame, but I like it. I say go for it! Just have your local bike shop install the headset and chase and face the bottom bracket and build it up yourself. That is a very satisfying project. It is not really light, but neither am I. It may not be as fast as a 16 pound carbon bike, but I dont really care.

Loving my Pacer in Las Vegas....

tim
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Old 02-23-11, 10:54 AM
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I think that's a great idea. Steel frames with modern components are sweet. You might also look into Soma's Smoothie, as it's nearly the exact same thing. Just don't take stuff off your current bike. You'll likely want new parts for the new frame, and having partial bikes is a real drag.
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Old 02-23-11, 10:55 AM
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I rode a Surly Pacer 42cm for my first road bike for a few years. I had it set up as a sport tourer, Ultegra 9sp triple, XT mtn bike gearing in the back. Not light and fast, but very comfortable and stable. Did a few centuries and lots of big climbs and descents here in Colorado. Moved all the parts over to a Gunnar Sport frame that I got. The Sport is a very nice ride too, a bit lighter with higher quality steel.

Keep an eye on ebay, sometimes Surly frames go cheap there.
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Old 02-23-11, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by nthach View Post
The LeMond is great but I don't think it's suited for urban duty.
I see no reason why it wouldn't be.
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Old 02-23-11, 11:27 AM
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I have a Cross Check that I up graded. lol! I'll say I did.

I run a full Campy chours 10 speed with tektro 720 brakes, deep V rims laced with dt spokes, record hubs, and a brooks saddle
And I took all the decals off of it.

I use it as my milk truck. it's my commuter, errand runner, go to the grocery store bike.
It's heavy, and stable, and rides nice.

I have other bikes that I ride fast, or at least fast for me.
Those I don't leave outside the store alone.
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Old 02-24-11, 02:34 PM
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Ok, I'm holding off on this project until I get my debts paid off and I get myself settled down after graduating. But hopefully by the end of the year or this time next year I'll build one up. Besides, who knows what Shimano and SRAM have up their sleeves for gruppos - I know for sure I'll be using 105 or Rival on this project.
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