A Straggler for all occasions

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  • I want to build the most versatile bike I can, which can be adapted to suit rural commuting throughout the whole year, lightweight touring, occasionally more heavily loaded touring, and general fun riding. After looking at all the options, I decided I couldn't beat the versatility of the Surly Straggler. It ticks all my boxes; steel, disc brakes, loads of tyre clearance, sensible geometry, and heaps of options with braze ons.

    Basically the plan is to have just one bike, but a couple of different cockpit and wheel options for depending on what I want to do. For everyday commuting it will be riser bars and 650b 'road plus' wheels/tyres. However, I'll be able to totally transform the bike in a few minutes, by adding or removing racks etc, switching to 700c wheels, and changing the bars.

    I'm a mechanic for one of the downhill world cup teams, so managed to amass some of the components over the summer for not too much money, which is a perk of the job. I'm a mountain biker at heart, and want to have fun on the bike. It's not going to be a particularly conventional build, and a lot of the components are probably pretty out of place on this frame. I'm not too worried about this though, as long as it all works well, and does what I need it to do.

    So far I've got:


    A set of White industries hubs, with an 11 speed Shimano freehub. I've serviced them already, ready to be built up.


    A set of Reynolds 'Bernard Kerr' carbon downhill rims (28mm internal width) and WTB Horizon tyres


    A box of components including XTR disc brakes, XT 1x11 drivetrain, handlebars, grips etc.

    The frame is on back-order, and should be arriving some time in the middle of September. Until then, I'll be accumulating components, and hopefully have everything ready to assemble by the time it gets here...

  • subbed!

  • Likewise, subbed!!

  • This sounds great and components are nice! For someone who's predominantly a roadie my CdF is a lot of fun, and that's with drop bars. I predict you'll love it.

  • Mmm that's gonna be a nice wheelset. Subbed

  • n=1
    +1 subscription

  • Build sounds great; good luck with it!

  • Following, sounds great.

  • Small update: I polished the handlebars (they're very nice bars, but I'm not a fan of the fluoro yellow and blue graphics they had). This took a while, as they were shot peened, so had to cut through the textured finish before polishing. I was slightly concerned about taking too much material off, but the finished clamp diameter is 31.74mm, which the stem seems to fit fine.
    I've also polished-up the hub shells, before starting to lace the wheels.
    Other new parts, which have arrived in the past few days: Flite saddle, Thomson stem, seatpost and seat collar, second hand chris king headset (ebay bargain), and a set of Gilles Berthoud stainless mudguards.

  • Wow, I hope you had power tools to aid the polishing! Looks like it would have taken ages without.
    Components wise it looks like it's going to be a solid build.

  • Components wise it looks like it's going to be a solid build.

    This. Going to be bling and functional if it's possible to have both

  • I'd say so.. A pair of Noir Snakeskin VO fenders would've have given me the fizzies with this build.

    @Sam_Doman - you didn't mention it earlier, did you go for the black or mint coloured frame?

  • Black. Everything will be black and silver or brushed/polished metal finish. Want to keep it all reasonably understated.
    The handlebars were polished by hand with wet+dry, starting with 120 grit, working down to 1200 (alternating direction with each grit: along the length, then around the bars). Finished with Autosol.

    As far as the mudguards are concerned: Everything component has been carefully considered to optimally functional. The aesthetics are important, but definitely secondary. Stainless mudguards seem like a better option than aluminium mudguards, regarding longevity and rigidity, in my opinion. The Gilles Berthoud ones are also available in 60mm width, and I personally prefer the understated look of them. I find the snakeskin fenders a bit 'shouty'.

    Also... I just did a bad thing: I sold my boat, today, so managed to justify buying a set of 7410 cranks (possibly the prettiest cranks shimano have ever made?), and an absolute black chainring. No more spending though!

  • I sold my boat

    I was going to ask what happened to that, I thought you'd be off around the world by now.

  • I sold my boat

    Aarrgh! I hope you got good money for it. Loved following that project. But I've just sold my boat so totally sympathize.

  • Oh no, Not Annelis! Idon't think I could ever sell Annelis! She's my home, and we're still working on her, hoping to be afloat quite soon, and ready to leave on the 'big trip' next summer. Sorry for being so awful at keeping the online stuff updated- I'm making the new masts at the moment, and Josh is doing all the wiring/plumbing.

    The boat I sold was this one

  • That loo looks like it was spare parts from the Nautilus.

  • Also, I just did this:

    Another (relative) bargain from eBay...

  • damnnn....been one of my dream bike parts since reading this review

  • Aah, a Blake's (of Gosport? Can't recall). Many a rollercoaster ride turding on them in rough weather. Sorry for derailing. Get the boat thread updated!

  • Subscribed

  • This looks like a lot of fun. May I ask where you've ordered the frameset from?

  • @Sam_Doman How did I miss this thread! I'll have to swing by and see you again for some more camping! I assume you've gone for the 2017 black frame?

  • Yes, a 'Baby Blakes'! I'll update the thread soon- I'm making spars at the moment, but my digital camera died, so am waiting to get a few rolls of film back, with photos from the summer, including boat progress.

  • Yes, the frame is from Tredz. Best online price, and nobody had one in stock, so would have to wait for the shipment from America, wherever I ordered it from. I got an email on Friday, saying the frame should be here on Tuesday.

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A Straggler for all occasions

Posted by Avatar for Sam_Doman @Sam_Doman

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