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Surly Ogre for touring?

Old 07-27-23, 02:10 PM
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Surly Ogre for touring?

One just popped up for an amazing price and I've always kept this one as a possibility. What are some things I should keep in mind for taking a look at it and if I get it, what would I want to do to make it tour worthy?

My touring hopes are initially lots of rail trails (long ones) and then other tours - avoiding big roads as much as possible.





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Old 07-27-23, 02:17 PM
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If it’s an amazing price, buy the bike and think about this later. You can always sell the bike if it doesn’t work out.
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Old 07-27-23, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
If itís an amazing price, buy the bike and think about this later. You can always sell the bike if it doesnít work out.
Well, I agree with that - but it's convincing my partner of that! LOL She is selling it fo $600 - with 2 Ortlieb bags and all the racks. Size small Ogre.
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Old 07-27-23, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mams99
what would I want to do to make it tour worthy? My touring hopes are initially lots of rail trails (long ones).
Any concerns about touring specifically? I think you could pretty much get on this machine today and go for a three-month tour, hitting all the big rail trails in the country. The bike is certainly not going to be the limiting factor.
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Old 07-27-23, 04:08 PM
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That is one small bike. Reminds me of my exís 44cm LHT.
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Old 07-27-23, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
That is one small bike. Reminds me of my ex’s 44cm LHT.
a small Surly Ogre is 52cm. It fits an average size woman or shorter man. And I am an averaged size woman. The woman selling it is a couple inches shorter than me. The medium Surly ogre is too big for me.
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Old 07-27-23, 10:52 PM
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Purely a matter of purpose but I would tone down those tires by quite a bit unless you see a lot of dirt and gravel in your future.
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Old 07-28-23, 02:01 AM
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What would be the advantages/disadvantages of Ogre vs Troll for touring?
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Old 07-28-23, 05:57 AM
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seems like a good deal. those bags and racks alone are pricey.
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Old 07-28-23, 06:20 AM
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One rule of thumb on buying used bikes, "If you find what you know is a really great deal..buy it and worry about details later. If you find a deal and then initiate a few days of research to figure things out..the bike will be long gone by the time you get back to it." Why is this true? It's true as there's always someone that has already done the research and knows that one has to pull the trigger ASAP. A quick check indicates this bike runs $1500+ new(with accessories). If you can get it for $600..buy it. If it doesn't work out, after trying it in actual use, the worst that can happen is you'll make some money.

In general, the bike looks very nice, but a fair bit of overkill for rail trail touring. Though at that price, and given the inclusions, give it a trial and see how it goes. You'll definitely need some good, easy rolling, 40mm+ road/touring/urban commuter tires to make it more fun to ride.
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Old 07-28-23, 06:55 AM
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per other's suggestions, you may want narrower, faster rolling tires. I would try those first. On cinder rail trails they might be ideal. I recently switched bikes on a dirt/cinder rail trail tour with my bud and rode his Trek 1120 with 2.1 tires. I was shocked at how well it rolled along. My tour bike has 38s, and I did not notice a difference in effort.
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Old 07-28-23, 07:15 AM
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Narrow doesn't matter as much as low rolling resistance. (though narrow can shave off some weight if that matters)

I'd suggest Schwalbe Big Bens(Raceguard option). Very cushy, easy rolling tire. I run 26x2.1 Big Bens on my tour bike..love them on roads or light trails.

https://www.schwalbetires.com/Big-Ben-11100952
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Old 07-28-23, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
One rule of thumb on buying used bikes, "If you find what you know is a really great deal..buy it and worry about details later.
...
But, spend a few minutes making sure the fit is right first.

I found a great deal on a bike on-line, but spent between 5 and 10 minutes checking frame measurements carefully to make sure that the fit was right.

Then bought it immediately after I was certain that it would only need a new stem.

Am very happy with that bike. But if it did not fit well, would not have been very happy.
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Old 07-28-23, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
But, spend a few minutes making sure the fit is right first.

I found a great deal on a bike on-line, but spent between 5 and 10 minutes checking frame measurements carefully to make sure that the fit was right.

Then bought it immediately after I was certain that it would only need a new stem.

Am very happy with that bike. But if it did not fit well, would not have been very happy.
..well..I'm assuming a person has some idea of what bike size fits them. Perhaps that was too much of a stretch.

If it looks like it'll fit, or come close, then it comes down to taking a chance by buying it, possibly have a winner, or sell if for +$300 if it doesn't. While I (personally) don't offer much love to flippers, a calculated risk on a personal rider is worth the effort. Can't win if you don't play and you can't gain first hand experience theoretically. If a bike looks like it might fit, the only way to know is to get on it and ride it..preferably more than 5 minutes and two blocks.

The key point, which is fairly obvious, is don't find a great deal and then post a thread for a couple days asking whether it's a good bike. By the time the dust settles here, the "great deal" is a rather academic exercise. If it's a private sale..then there's all kinds of time to research things.
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Old 07-28-23, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by flocsy
What would be the advantages/disadvantages of Ogre vs Troll for touring?
If it fits, and the person riding it likes it, I don't really see any downsides. The bags alone are a $200 value.
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Old 07-29-23, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mams99
a small Surly Ogre is 52cm. It fits an average size woman or shorter man. And I am an averaged size woman. The woman selling it is a couple inches shorter than me. The medium Surly ogre is too big for me.
did you buy it? The Ogre and Troll are great bikes, very versatile and my wife loves her xs troll for touring. Ive toured on mine a lot.
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Old 07-29-23, 10:45 AM
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I hope you got it. Tour worthy? Do the tires hold air, do the gears and brakes work, are all the components atached with adequate torque? Seriously thatís a steal.

Misc thoughts. Unless you need all that mondo weight carrying capacity and plan on touring w the kitchen sink Iíd replace the front rack with a Tubus Tara, use small front panniers and only load the top of the rear rack w small/med drybag. Those big Ortliebs can carry a lot. Iíd be tempted to take the racks off, enjoy it unloaded then add minimal gear after that to se what feels best.

Last edited by LeeG; 07-29-23 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 07-29-23, 11:05 AM
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run don't walk

For those thinking it looks tiny, it's a normal MTB small and this model has a seat tube mast that puts the junction lower than you might expect to see

For @flocsy, the Troll vs Ogre is merely a wheel size difference, 26er vs 29er. People could and did also put 27.5 in Trolls. The Troll had an extra-small option, which is hard to do with a 29er.

The Bridge Club is the same frame geometry but slightly simpler (no trailer hitch, vertical not sliding dropouts, probably some other things) for 27.5 MTB or 700c touring wheels, and it also has an XS
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Old 07-30-23, 07:06 PM
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I got it!!!

It took me forever to find time to get it with needing to help watch my MIL with dementia, so I was lucky it was still available, but it was!!!! It was 100 miles each way to get it, but worth the long drive. The seller was knowledgeable and friendly. He just rides his road bike more now that he's moved. It's been sitting in storage.

It fits like a glove. It feels JUST RIGHT. I am so stoked! It's in my car still because I just got home an hour ago, but the search is over. I "think" it is a 2015 Surly Ogre. I'm thrilled with the micro shifting. I wish it had a thru axel, but, for $600 to get this bike, with the front and racks Surly racks, fenders, and 2 ortlieb bags in near perfect shape (a few smudge marks, no damage) I'm soooo happy.

Note to sellers though - more information helps you sell. This was simply listed as "bike for sale" in the listing - nothing else in the title. I found it because I did a search specifically for a small Surly Ogre which was listed elsewhere in the listing.

So, to try it out more thoroughly tomorrow. .
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Old 07-30-23, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mams99
Note to sellers though - more information helps you sell. This was simply listed as "bike for sale" in the listing - nothing else in the title..
Let's hope it's not a stolen bike... Listing without specifics, and almost half price of market...
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Old 07-30-23, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by flocsy
Let's hope it's not a stolen bike... Listing without specifics, and almost half price of market...
That came to mind for me too, but he knew a lot of details about the bike and he talked about the history of it. And while I know that you can't judge someone by their behavior, he was very kind and helpful and informative. He knew he was selling it for less than it was worth.
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Old 07-31-23, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mams99
That came to mind for me too, but he knew a lot of details about the bike and he talked about the history of it. And while I know that you can't judge someone by their behavior, he was very kind and helpful and informative. He knew he was selling it for less than it was worth.
I would "buy" such story if proved by pictures of tours, but of course requesting such thing during a sale doesn't always work out (and still can be legit) For sure in ads like this my 1st question is always whether the seller has proof of purchase. Often they do, often they don't but are happy to send a picture of the frame serial number - which depending on where you are might increase the confidence a bit, but doesn't in other countries -
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Old 07-31-23, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by flocsy
Let's hope it's not a stolen bike... Listing without specifics, and almost half price of market...
Had those thoughts when buying my first Surly . A Steamroller for $300 dollars. But when I called him he said he had the receipt. He wanted another bike and his wife insisted he sell one first. As to the original post I have 3 Surly's and love them all
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Old 07-31-23, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mams99
That came to mind for me too, but he knew a lot of details about the bike and he talked about the history of it. And while I know that you can't judge someone by their behavior, he was very kind and helpful and informative. He knew he was selling it for less than it was worth.
I think you should pretty good about this purchase and not worry that you've contributed to theft. Where I live we have a pretty robust market in stolen bicycles and it is a crime of opportunity. Bike thieves don't usually put effort into fabricating a back story for so little profit and they are never kind, helpful, or informative. It's much easier to just cut off discussion and disappear when a buyer asks too many questions. OTOH kind, helpful, and informative people are often very bad at listing their bikes effectively.
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Old 07-31-23, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mams99
I got it!!!
Congrats..that's one heck of a bike. Particularly if it fits really well. The bike found a good home..yours. You're fortunate the guy's ad was so poor. If he had "Ogre" in the title, at that price & package, it wouldn't have lasted a day in my region. I would have been tempted to buy it and then find a friend that "needed" it.

If you're somewhat new to this, don't underestimate the value of really good, easy rolling tires. They are worth the investment. They can completely change the feel of a bike and make it a heck of a lot more fun to ride..and much easier too. I tried a number of tires on my touring bike and stopped looking after I ran the Schwalbe Big Bens. They roll easy and feel even better when you ride with a touring load. Run 45-60 psi in the tires..probably 50-55psi would be plenty.

Are there other good tires..sure...but a bird in the hand and all that.

There are many different versions of the tires and confusing standards in tire size. Do not get "greenguard" or the "plus" versions as they are much heavier, don't roll as well, and are overkill in terms of flat protection in your intended use. Your current size tires are 29x2.1". Unfortunately EU-based tire manufactures will also call this same size as 28x2.1". It's best to refer to the "ETRTO" size to be sure what you're buying. The ETRTO size of your current tires is 54-622. (54mm wide, 622mm inner diameter). The Big Ben size you're looking for is 28x2.0 (50-622). This is the tire spec:




The 28x1.5" (40x622) will also fit and are a fair bit lighter (in weight) tire. They won't be as cushy in ride, but will work well. The 2 inch version above would look better..personal preference.




Your local bike shop probably won't carry these tires. Don't let them talk you into "another tire that's basically the same" as, odds are, they won't be and you'll be wasting your money. The bike shop will sell you what they carry...
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