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Surly Preamble as commuter & future touring bike?

Old 11-21-23, 12:58 PM
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Surly Preamble as commuter & future touring bike?

Hello,

I am looking for a new bike. Right now I am not really into touring but I want a bike that I can equip with a front and back rack in the future. I don't really like design of the mainstream brand bikes that are available in the Netherlands. Have been looking at the Cube Kathmandu maybe, but I'm not really really loving it. Also most bikes I see available here have suspension forks that I do not need, and don't like the look of.

I really like the look of steel frames, and I found the Kona Sutra SE 2022, really like that bike, but it was not available in size 54 (I'm 178cm), only in 56 but according to the size chart I need a 54. Newer models are available, but also more expensive.

So I continued looking for a bike, and now I found this Surly Preamble:

Would this be a good bike to start with, and maybe tour with in the future / adding front and back racks etc? I plan to install fenders and a brooks B17 immediatly. Really need fenders to keep clothes clean in wet weather.

Is the Surly size chart accurate? I would need size M (being 178cm / 5.84 feet?) I have to order it online from Bikeinn; they ship from Spain, and I want to avoid the hassle of returning it. Other suggestions for a good (new) bike are welcome too!

Pic Assist - https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/31774961

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Old 11-21-23, 01:29 PM
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The bottom line is that you can tour in just about any bike, and you can affix front and rear racks on just about any bike (some requiring more effort than others).

Focus on defining what sort of touring you want to do, and what tire sizes you want to sport on the bike. Sports touring (light loads) doesn't demand much. Fully loaded touring (carrying a ton of weight and bulk) requires a lot more consideration in order for it to be safe and enjoyable. The frame will put a hard limit on how big a tire with fenders will fit in there so make sure it accommodates what you want.

I'm a fan of the Surly Crosscheck, it is a very capable sports tourer. You can put a flat bar on it.
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Old 11-21-23, 02:57 PM
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- Gearing is not what I would want for loaded touring. It is too limited in range.
- Components are...very entry level. That can sometimes be fine and it can sometimes lead to frustration due to poorly build wheels, hubs that arent sealed well and take in water, parts that rust quickly, bottom bracket that is not sealed well, etc etc.
- The brakes specifically were not good 10 years ago and it is unfortunate that Surly chose to spec them here.

I cant tell if all Preamble bikes have rear rack mounts, or only some have mounts. All seem to have mounting points at the dropout, but a ton of pictures show no mounts on the seatstays. That is really absurd. Its easy to work around- just use some p-clamps, but its really absurd.
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Old 11-21-23, 08:05 PM
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You could use it, but as others have said, the gearing isn't great for touring. The first thing I would do if I were to use it for touring, would be to replace the front chainwheel with a 34 tooth. That's as small as you can go with that crank, unless you find the elusive 33T 110 BCD chainwheel. That still doesn't give you as low as I would like for touring. I have around 16 or 17 gear inches on the low end on my touring bike, and I like it. You would be around 22 gear inches with a 34T on the front.

Nice bike though, especially for the price.
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Old 11-21-23, 11:15 PM
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The Cube Travel does not have front suspension and vsf fahrradmanufaktur produces a number of touring models.
Decathlon has the Riverside Touring 520 and 920, both are valid bikes.
I Bought a Surly LHT frame 5 years ago because a fully built bike was not available in Europe. I mounted it myself and am quite happy with the job.
Many options to consider
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Old 11-22-23, 12:25 AM
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The Preamble seems to be Surly's answer to the bottom end stuff from major manufacturers but with a steel frame and fork. Not a great showing from them but a bicycle. I would look at Tout Terrain personally if I was in Europe. They are good bikes and have a good reputation.
If I wanted a not super high cost flat bar bike this would probably be the one:
https://tout-terrain.de/en/the-produ...ad-select-22.2

Though they make a ton of great models and you can custom configure them to your needs. Get a dynamo, don't wait they are so handy and I wish I had done it when I got my touring bike years ago and I have kicked myself for not doing it sooner. I was spec'ing out a Tanami or Silk Road Xplore II myself as I am curious about a Pinion drive but I know the belt is already fantastic and a lighter wheel will help you go faster with less rotational weight.

You can also get some of them with Rohloff which is a great option as well. However the XT trekking group is great and if you were on a long term budget then the Deore trekking group is also fine but if I can swing XT I would rather do that but between XT and dynamo, dynamo for sure.
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Old 11-22-23, 02:37 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. The Tout Terrains look nice, but above budget. I have been loloking at the cube travel aswell, but it was not available in my size in a few webshops. (Maybe they dont get new ones becouse the 2024 models are coming soon?).

Anyway, I also found the Trek FX 2 Disc Equipped. This is the version with fenders and a back rack. I might go with that one, I can get it delivered to a store nearby, where I can try it before I purchase. I also like the design of this bike. It also has mounting points on the front fork so I can put a front rack on it if needed. I plan to do some two day trips in the near future, but want to make a trip to Paris with it within a few years propably. The price is really nice I think at 850 euro's, and ready to use with the fenders and back rack already installed.
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Old 11-22-23, 02:48 AM
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the folks at VSF fahrradmanufaktur have what you need for Fahr(rad)vergnügen.


https://www.fahrradmanufaktur.de/en/
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Old 11-22-23, 08:55 AM
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You don't need a front rack to ride from Holland to Paris. Look at the photo below and see the three Ortlieb bags he has on his rear rack: two on the sides, one on top. That's more than enough for your tour. You'd only need a front rack if you were doing a very long or expedition tour.



I'd never spend 800 Euro on this Surly. The gearing is not suitable for touring. For a bike like this I would buy a 9-speed 1990s mountain bike for 50 Euro. Then I'd spend 182 Euro to buy an 11 speed Shimano M5100 groupset for it. Total cost less than 250 Euro.

https://www.bike24.com/p2379930.html

In my opinion there is no point in buying a bike in the 1000 Euro range. You should either go cheap used, or jump directly to the 2000 Euro range. The 1000 Euro range is too little to give you good quality. You might as well go with a cheap used bike.

If you want something newer than a 90s mountain bike, you could try to get a late 2000s era rim brake touring bike from eBay. These will also be affordable.
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Old 11-22-23, 02:17 PM
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I've built a few Preambles, aside from the gearing being a bit inadequate for touring, they seem like a pretty solid choice. If you don't mind swapping out part of or all of the drivetrain once you are getting ready to tour, it could make sense to grab one. Old Avid BB5s really suck, but modern ones actually work quite well, so I wouldn't be worried about the brakes.

The FX2 would be a better choice for a bike ready to tour right away, especially if you can get rack and fenders included.
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Old 11-22-23, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fruitappel
Thanks for the suggestions. The Tout Terrains look nice, but above budget. I have been loloking at the cube travel aswell, but it was not available in my size in a few webshops. (Maybe they dont get new ones becouse the 2024 models are coming soon?).

Anyway, I also found the Trek FX 2 Disc Equipped. This is the version with fenders and a back rack. I might go with that one, I can get it delivered to a store nearby, where I can try it before I purchase. I also like the design of this bike. It also has mounting points on the front fork so I can put a front rack on it if needed. I plan to do some two day trips in the near future, but want to make a trip to Paris with it within a few years propably. The price is really nice I think at 850 euro's, and ready to use with the fenders and back rack already installed.
Think about the bike from a long term perspective. That bike will last a long time and be a good investment. It has good quality components and an excellent long life frame. If you can save up it will be worth it. In some cases your local dealer might work with financing and might be able to help you pay it off long term, rather than all at once.

The Trek is a bike if you want something purely based on low initial cost that Trek would fit that bill but the proprietary thru skew stuff is a huge turn off especially for touring but also just in general in case something happens out there. They had to be different and you pay extra for that and not in a good way. However there are certainly a lot worse bikes to be had and equipped with rack and fenders that are known to fit is not a bad idea.
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Old 11-22-23, 05:40 PM
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You may want to find an inexpensive used bike to tie you over while looking for your forever bike (forever could be a few years). The perfect bike usually pops up when you are not looking for one :-/
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Old 11-25-23, 03:59 PM
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https://tomsbiketrip.com/you-dont-ne...ask-rob-maria/

a while ago Tom Allen used a free bike to ride the length of England.
Maybe you can find some useful and entertaining touring advice there.

I tour on old 26in mountain bikes. Entry price is cheap, but upgrades can get expensive if you’re not patient.
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Old 11-25-23, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
You don't need a front rack to ride from Holland to Paris. Look at the photo below and see the three Ortlieb bags he has on his rear rack: two on the sides, one on top. That's more than enough for your tour. You'd only need a front rack if you were doing a very long or expedition tour.


In my experience a low rider front rack and load (light or not so light) sweetens up the ride. The bicycle will be more balanced. Put the contents of the rear rack bag up front and you have less strain on the rear wheel. It is also handy to have a couple of small panniers (for your expensive stuff) to take with you on a little day trip in the middle of your tour. Plus it looks a little cooler that way. That's just how I roll.
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Old 12-12-23, 02:21 AM
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Just wanted to reply to my topic to tell what I went with. I bought a Triban gravel bike from Decathlon. It has a 2x11 Shimano 105 drivetrain and all the mounting points I need for racks and fenders. Initially, I'm going to install a rear rack to strap a bag onto it, and I ordered a top tube frame bag to carry some tools, a power bank, and a spare tube. I really enjoy having drop bars.

I think I shouldn't have asked my question in the touring forums; I'm not really planning to go on big tours, but I like to ride long distances. I am also an ultrarunner, but now I kinda want to get into cycling as well. A trip to Paris is a goal of mine; it's 700 km from my home. I also found out about randonneuring events; I might get into that as well.

Thanks for your advice; I am glad I did not go with the Surly that I thought of at first. I think I made a good choice for a bike that can do the things I want to do
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Old 12-12-23, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by fruitappel
Just wanted to reply to my topic to tell what I went with. I bought a Triban gravel bike from Decathlon. It has a 2x11 Shimano 105 drivetrain and all the mounting points I need for racks and fenders. Initially, I'm going to install a rear rack to strap a bag onto it, and I ordered a top tube frame bag to carry some tools, a power bank, and a spare tube. I really enjoy having drop bars.

I think I shouldn't have asked my question in the touring forums; I'm not really planning to go on big tours, but I like to ride long distances. I am also an ultrarunner, but now I kinda want to get into cycling as well. A trip to Paris is a goal of mine; it's 700 km from my home. I also found out about randonneuring events; I might get into that as well.

Thanks for your advice; I am glad I did not go with the Surly that I thought of at first. I think I made a good choice for a bike that can do the things I want to do
like my friend George says when people ask him what bike to buy:"Buy the one you'll ride."
enjoy!
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Old 12-12-23, 11:29 AM
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The Surly looks like a new 1x Crosscheck> Fail.
The Triban looks like all the others now. It has 36 mm tires like what I have had my whole life. Not very gravel ready.
Add $600 for a dyno hub wheel. Not so cost effective then. I hope you got the medium or large. There's ZERO chance a 54 cm is a fit.
My Rohloff14 has 20,500 miles, it's just getting warmed up. LOL
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Old 12-12-23, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
The Surly looks like a new 1x Crosscheck> Fail.
The Triban looks like all the others now. It has 36 mm tires like what I have had my whole life. Not very gravel ready.
Add $600 for a dyno hub wheel. Not so cost effective then. I hope you got the medium or large. There's ZERO chance a 54 cm is a fit.
My Rohloff14 has 20,500 miles, it's just getting warmed up. LOL
You should post pics of your bike to show the OP what works best for you. Maybe the OP will want to mirror your setup.
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Old 12-14-23, 06:41 AM
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Post pictures or it never happened.
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Old 12-18-23, 11:18 AM
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This is the bike I bought, really enjoying it
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