Commuting upgrade - Canyon Inflite > Surly Straggler

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  • I bought an Inflite AL SLX in 2017, this one:

    It's a lovely bike and has served me well. But when I bought it, it was a toss up between that and something a bit more solid with guard/rack mounts and the like. In the end I opted for the Canyon after it was reduced in a sale. But I've recently moved further out from central and my commute's gone from 10km > 25km each way. As a result, I'm hankering for a bit more comfort, full guards for when it imminently starts pissing it down regularly plus some way of carting in clothes/shoes/lunch/laptop for work without using a rucksack. At the same time, I want this bike to be just about 'roadie' enough to do some winter training rides, longer rides, a bit of light touring/bikepacking.

    So I've just ordered a Straggler in black, 58cm. It was a tough call between plain black and the 'Salmon Candy Red' but after seeing the latter in the flesh the other day on a ride into work I've gone for black (it was a bit cheaper than red which sealed it).

    Plan is to transplant the groupset and wheels onto the Straggler then sell the Inflite frame. Things I need to work out:

    • Seatpost and stem/bars - do I swap the VCLS from the Inflite onto the straggler? Same for the bars. I'm leaning towards no, being that I can probably get a better deal on selling the Inflite if I include post, bars and stem to match. The VCLS is a really nice post but if I swap it out I'll likely go for Thomson on the Straggler, with Thomson stem and then a slightly flared handlebar like a Salsa cowchipper/cowbell - mostly because when I've bikepacked on the Canyon, I can't get on the drops when using my handlebar bag.

    • Tyres - currently riding 28mm GP Four Seasons on the Canyon and really rate them. They are a great tyre and have had very few punctures on them. So I'll probably ride these until they die and then switch to something bigger, probably a 38mm slick gravel king unless anyone has a better suggestion. Probably tanwall.

    • Guards: Probably the SKS Edge AL 46 in all black, or Bluemels longboard. The DT Swiss wheels coming over from the Canyon have silver hubs, so not sure how much silver to introduce into the rest of the build (if any).

    • Luggage: Pretty torn on this one. Initially was going to go with a small front rack with a rando bag, but after thinking about it i'm not sure I'm going to get everything for the daily commute in it. I need clothes, lunch and occasionally shoes and laptop. The other option is a Carradice Nelson, or a rear rack with a pannier. Not sure which option is best.

    Eventually when budget allows I want to replace the wheels with a dynamo set, so charging lights is a thing of the past. Also if I'm a good boy I might get a Brooks saddle from Father Christmas, who knows.

    I should collect the frame next week some time, then I'll begin switching everything over. I'll post some photos of progress as it happens. Any input on this welcomed!

  • are you sure it has mudguard mounts?

  • On a similar commute, I've done luggage on the front but now use a rear rack with Ortlieb gravel bags as they are small, easy and less bother in the wind.

  • I've had both. It's certainly going to be quite the change.

    Good shout on the Carradice, get some proper mudguards though.

  • @amey the Straggler seems to have mounts for racks/guards and whatnot.

    Has anyone any experience with 'Ibera', this pannier looks good value -­a-bike-pannier-backpack-684224

    I'm trying to find something that I can carry/wear easily off the bike that isn't super ugly as sometimes I ride into work but am out and about in the evening without the bike.

    I think Condor stock Carradice and they're near my office, so I might try and bring what i'd usually take to work into the shop and see if it fits.

    Any suggestions for 'Proper' guards? Velo Orange look quite nice...

  • Gilles Berthoud, great value at £45 IME. Not the quickest to install, but they're light, very durable and don't rattle.

  • I've the same distance commute and use a Carridce SQR. It's a little heavy but solid as a rock. Love it.

  • My Straggler has 37mm Marathon Supremes and PDW City metal fenders. The combo works very well and was an easy setup on the bike. I could get bigger tires in still, tempted by some 700x40s to keep the guards. Your build sounds good. I've not tried one but the VCLS posts do review well. The frame is not overly lively for steel so I'd be tempted to fit it if I were you. Looking forward to seeing this built.

  • I have the SKS edge AL 46 on my Cross Check and quite like them, easy to install too. They are perhaps a bit shorter than some other mudguards at the rear (fine for commuting, though I have installed RAW mud flaps for extra coverage). I think 40mm tyres are probably the largest you can mount with these mudguards (I’m using 40 G-One)

  • These are good guards, v easy to fit and look smart too. Agree on sizing - I run 40mm MSOs with a v slight knobble and couldn't fit anything wider in. One slight point: the rear bridge clip snapped on mine after not much use - these are plastic rather than the usual metal clips - but I managed to source a metal replacement from SJS, so job jobbed.

    P.s. I believe SKS have released a 56mm version since I bought mine, but not sure if they're available over here yet

  • ah! sorry I thought you bought the canyon

  • Nah man shifting it on. Although slightly related, before I bought the Inflite I spent a fair bit of time on chat to Canyon checking/double-checking that the frame had mounts for guards as it wasn't clear on the photos. When I received the bike, it was only drilled for a guard on the fork. They clarified that the SLX version of the frame (that I've got) doesn't have bosses. Which was great... the faff of sending it back after having ridden it home was too much so that's one of the reasons I'm swapping it for something a bit more solid.

    They're good bikes though - going to be selling frame/VCLS post/stem and bars once done, any idea what a good price would be?

  • Finally picked the frame up yesterday. Ordered new BB and got Thomson post with Thomson stem coming next week.

    Hoping to start dismantling the Canyon at the weekend..

  • Interested to see this build!

  • So this is slowly coming together, brakes are fitted but the back wheel doesn't sit in the dropout due to the disc hitting the back of the caliper - obviously needs some different kind of adapter.

    Can't work out how to run gear cables through the frame as doesn't seem as if we were provided with any cable guides with the frame.

    Chainset is in, put new tyres on the wheels from the Canyon. The wheels are 622x18 and state a max size of 35 tyre. I've put 38mm GK slick on and they look alright, will I die? Took a lot of cursing and sore thumbs to get them on.

  • I put 2.4 hans dampfs on 19mm wide track wheels then caned it down a mountain, wheels didn't fold in half, tyres stayed on the rim, i did have to run 30-35 psi to stop tyre roll.

    +3 mm think you will survive :)

  • Needs build pics...!

  • will I die?

    It's safe to assume so at some point, but your tyre & rim combination probably wont be the cause.

  • Haha I think you might be right on the first point. As to the second, fingers crossed.

    Will add some pics later!

    Also, just ordered some Pelago black fenders to fit once complete.

    Final piece of the puzzle is bag/rack combo. Still not sure on front rack with rando bag (and which one), or a Carradice or similar with a bagman support. Or something different. Tricky

  • FINALLY managed the first ride/commute on this. Very nice, its a proper tank - with the 40mm tyres it kind of floats along. Even the slightest uphill is noticeably hard work compared to previous bikes, but once you are up to speed on the flat it feels really solid.

    Will try and get some photos up once I've fitted the front guard, annoyingly the Pelago set I went for didn't come with a fork crown bolt so need to find one.

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Commuting upgrade - Canyon Inflite > Surly Straggler

Posted by Avatar for KarlMarx @KarlMarx