Surly Bike Owners

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  • dont buy one

  • Seeing as you seem so keen on persuading me not to get one, what would you suggest for a steel alternative to a Straggler / Midnight Special then?

  • a genesis? CdF or something ..


    all surlys are overpriced, heavy and have shit geometry

  • Thanks, I've come across most of those before but will take another look. What's your reasoning for avoiding Surly?

    Edit: I replied before you updated with reasoning.

  • You can get shorter stays for those Metro racks which will allow you to mount it to the mid-blade eyelets and in turn, make the rack stiffer.

  • Thats interesting, thanks for the tip. This is actually a rack from a bike that was being sold at the shop I occasionally help out at. The bikes (by a brand called Apollo - but not the shitty British brand of the same name) all came with front and rear racks but most people that bought them didn't want the fronts. Who makes the metro rack? If the stays are interchangable then I'll keep my eyes peeled for them and give it a try.

  • I think I saw them on Velo vitality before, but i can't see them now. Here is their rack:­ns/pannier-racks/products/metro-porteur-­steel-front-rack-black

    as you can see its pretty similar. If the stays are steel, it should be pretty easy to shorten them yourself. Cut to length, flatten the end and drill.

  • Stragglers are great & Amey's never happy.

    Buy one, but avoid paying retail price if possible.

  • avoid paying retail price if possible.

    this is key

  • Perfect - just arranged to buy a second hand one.

  • Mine is an alloy one so shortening these stays is a no-go. It might be worth me checking to see if I can get some of the shorter stays from something like this. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Fellow Surly people. I have a crosscheck with a fused thompson seatpost. How do I fix this. I was thinking of contacting some framebuilders in london to just take care of it. but could there be another way? Does anyone have any experiance of this?

  • Agreed, I refer to mine as Jack of all trades, master of none.

  • Theseatpostman

  • Stragglers are great

    What did I miss when I had one? It didn't live up to the hype...

  • My crosscheck has a stuck Thomson seat post too, I was going to get it removed, but it’s the right hight so why bother, I’ve done over 20k miles on it since then.

    There’s a stuck seat post thread on here with lots of good advice.

  • I'm currently in the same boat - had mine about a year and thinking the same thing...

  • What doesn't it do that you thought it would/should?

  • I haven't really ridden it as much as I'd have liked in the last year, so I have to caveat my views with that in mind. I came from riding a Canyon Inflite as a 'second'/winter bike, which was a really great bike. Almost as 'fast' as my proper road bike but with clearances for bigger rubber and much more secure on anything not paved (makes sense, its a CX bike). I used it for bikepacking trips but had always lusted after a Surly, for similar reasons to people in this thread.

    I wanted something that could offer more versatility for luggage, rack mounts for panniers or front rack, as the 'second' bike was also used for a commute. My commute went from 10km each way to 25km each way and a lack of proper mudguards was getting annoying (if the Inflite had guard mounts it would be close to perfect). So I thought I'd switch to the Straggler with the intention of commuting on it, plus doing the occasional winter ride on it with guards so myself and everyone else I'm riding with doesn't get caked in UK road muck.

    I set it up with the SRAM Rival hydro set from the Inflite, which is probably my first issue and not related to the Surly. The brakes on this groupset are so bad. I've tried a few things and can't get around a really spongy, poor braking setup, especially on the front. It's a 1x group and the shifting is OK, but stopping is poor. Plus, they honk so loudly in the slightest bit of rain - which is great for commuting through the city in the wet.

    Secondly, obviously to be expected but it is heavy and it is sluggish. Not really surprised by this but I don't think my tyre choice has helped. Gravel King slicks in 38mm (think they're closer to a 40) - really nice supple tyre but probably too wide for what I'm using it for. Also, really nice looking/rolling tyre but I've had so many punctures on them already. Probably will change these out to something more 'road' oriented in a narrower profile, maybe that will help with the feel of the bike.

    The other thing is any off-road riding is conflicted with the crazy dropouts of the frame which I still can't get my head around, it just doesn't make sense to me. I am using the skewers that came with the DT Swiss wheels from the Canyon, but on rough stretches of track, the QR will eventually work its way loose and this means I lack any confidence riding off-road and it kind of takes the fun out of it. Maybe getting a more grippy QR skewer would help here, I've read on this thread suggestions that it can help.

    I'm tempted at some point to rework it into less of a 'do it all' second bike and turn it into more of a commuter/town bike, as this is what it is probably better at. Swap the drop bar for a flat bar of some kind and switch to a slightly narrower but more robust tyre. Do something about the brakes. Then maybe it will be different. I recently bought a Supersix Evo as the 'proper' road bike, and have two sets of wheels for this - one sunday best and one for shittier days with a chunkier tyre, so the need for riding the Surly as a 'winter' bike is perhaps negated.

    I'm not giving up on it, but definitely hasn't clicked for me yet. Long rant over!

  • I agree with what you've said, it's a little sluggish in comparison to more spritely bikes, but I really think it's an incredible frameset for 3 main types of riding I used it for:

    1) Touring, gravel or road
    2) Off-roading, slower than cross but more technical (Shimano skewers will sort your issue, they're fit and forget in my experience)
    3) Commuting

    The one place it really felt shit was on a road ride, with people riding 'normal' bikes.

  • Hopefully you find a spot for it. I don't really have any experience of anything to compare it to. The bike I had before this was a Fairdale Weekender but I didn't really have it long enough to make a fair comparison. I understand that a Straggler will feel sluggish after something like an Inflite though.

  • What skewer are you using?

  • Shimano xt skewers are what you need, or if 130mm 105/ultegra. Never had a wheel move using Shimano skewers.

  • Nice one, will try.

  • You experience is quite similar to mine, I too had issues with brakes and the dumb dropouts. Even with that fixed that did not solve the fact it's heavy and even with lightweight 650b XC wheels it still felt sluggish (and I was pretty fit at the time). I could still keep up with friends on carbon road bikes, but it was just joyless. I guess I should have done some touring with it, but then it's not even that comfortable, and the forks really aren't good. On the plus side the geo actually worked really well for me...

    tl:dr It's OK not to like it, you're not "wrong". Move on, buy an Arkose or something.

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Surly Bike Owners

Posted by Avatar for Serling @Serling