Surly Troll - a tribute to Iohan Gueorguiev

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  • Great project.

    If it’s a tribute, paint it to look like his bike, and not a stock Surly. And if you plan to really tour on this, keep the 2x.

    Just my initial thoughts.

  • I definitely see the point re: painting it the same purple, but this isn’t intended to be a facsimile of Iohan’s bike, you know? There will be a nod to that in the finished build, but I really don’t want to make a replica

    The 2x thing is a good point, but 1x is a sort of adaptive compromise for me. I lost the use of my left index finger some years ago when the end was ripped off in a fixed chain (!), so the dexterity loss on my left hand makes using another shifter less easy than I’d like. Not as practical as 2x, but much easier on my hands.

  • I lost the use of my left index finger some years ago when the end was ripped off in a fixed chain (!)

    With double downtube gear levers all the shifting can be done with one hand. My dominant right hand usually leans across and trims/shifts the front derailleur after making a change to the rear derailleur. Though I guess it would be less than ideal with this style of handlebar.

  • Sram shifters shift both up and down with the thumb and I've not tried a front Shimano shifter but at least on the rear Shimano trigger shifter I've used, the paddle to shift up a gear can be pulled with the finger or pushed with the thumb for the same result.

  • Instead of painting it in a certain colour you could put a quote on the bike. Not like live laugh love style, but sort of like the surly's already have something on the inside of the stays or something. Was thinking a quote/saying from one of his video's would be cool!

  • Good to know re: SRAM - I’ll investigate. Shimano is a no-go based on trying out my partner’s bike with a front mech… adding work beyond just braking triggers all sorts of interesting aches (lacking a usable index finger means the others have to work harder than they seem to want to in general).

  • ^^That's a good idea

  • One that made me laugh was when he said something like "it was a walk in the park. Not that it was easy, just that I had to walk a lot"

  • This is a great idea.
    I remember watching some of his youtube videos a while back and really enjoying them in a half cycling / half Herzog way. Sad to hear of his passing, didn't realise he was so popular.

  • First small part arrived today - I may be sticking to the original colour and not going full purple, but I reckon this is a nice little nod that way.


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  • tasty combo, that.

  • Nothing to report on the bike this weekend, but prior to dropping the frame off for paint on Monday I popped over to the very lovely Jon (aka Mack Workshop) in Weston to get measured up for a full frame bag. I didn’t get any photos of his sketches/plans (some super cool stuff happening there), so here’s a very grey and rainy Sand Bay instead.


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  • Hi passhunting,
    how is the assembling and building process so far ?

  • Very good question! Frame is still in for paint and will be for another week or two, but I've taken the time to gather everything I need for the build. It's pretty much all here now so I'll do a big grid of it all while I'm waiting, probably later this week. It's all very much affordable-durable-heavy, but hopefully reliable.

    I've been very grateful of the time the paint has given me tbh - multiple late nights poring over geometry charts made me realise my choice of bars was dumb, so I've sorted out something much more fun that originally planned. I've managed to dodge most of the parts shortages too, which is nice!

  • As promised, here’s a grid of most of the parts. Highlights include:

    • Velo Orange Klunker bars
    • Matching VO tall stack stem (plus shim)
    • 34 tooth Hope chainring
    • B17S saddle (the gendering of these is silly but does make for an eBay bargain)
    • 11-46 10 speed cassette
    • Broken and repaired 9 speed bar end shifter (this’ll be set to friction, fitting it for sentimental reasons)
    • Cheap steel canti rack (more on the luggage to follow)

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  • Sorry to hear about Ionhan passing,
    I only knew of is earlier videos.
    Watched the last one,
    enjoyed it,
    thanks.
    It ll be a beautiful bike.

  • Nice sentiment, going to be a nice bike.
    That shifter is a top repair, I ran a bolt JB welded to a broken QR for years on one of my bikes, it now lives in the memories box in the loft.

  • Iohan site is now expired as well,
    just tried the link at the top.

  • Ah thanks! Let me tell the story of the bar end shifter...

    I was less than 1000 miles into my TransAm ride, so that's well under a quarter of the way to the Pacific, and I ended my day in Marion, Kentucky. I'd quickly become a loyal follower of the gas station soda fountains, the kind that give you a bucket of syrup for barely a dollar, and was attempting to manoeuvre my very heavy touring bike with one hand while drinking with the other. The predictable occurred and I dropped my bike hard, and definitely swore very loudly.

    The damage was twofold: firstly, the hooks on one of my Carradice panniers had snapped clean off, and I had no spares. This was fixed with zip ties, which lasted right through to Colorado where a new set had eventually been mailed to me. The more pressing issue was that the right hand bar end shifter had snapped off in the fall, meaning I was unable to shift the rear mech. Given the state of the hills around those parts, this was a Big Problem.

    I spoke to the (slightly scary) pastor of the church I was sleeping in that night, and he made clear that there wasn't a bike shop anywhere nearby, let alone one that would stock bar ends. Instead, he suggested I head to Riley's metal shop of the other side of town to see what they could do...

    I showed the burly man in the very serious workshop the problem, and he gestured that he could work something out. He took a huge drill and made a hole in the stump of the shifter, then tapped a thread and stuck this big old bolt in the end. $20 and ten minutes was all it took and I was back on the road. I wrapped the bolt in some Gorilla tape to make it a bit comfier, but other than that it needed no attention for the rest of the summer and worked without a flaw.

    Two years on, I want to repurpose this shifter for this build, as it's a nice reminder of the challenges of that trip and Iohan's videos were one of the main things that pushed me to take the leap to do the TransAm in the first place.

    It's a 9 speed shifter so it'll have to be in friction mode, which will take some learning with the 10 speed setup, and I might add a bit of clear tubing over the bolt, but otherwise it's good to go.


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  • omg I love that bodge. My kinda vibe.

  • That's a real shame! It was a good place to see where he was while waiting for the next video and also as a textual expansion on the video content. Hopefully someone close to him can save it...

  • Just caught this thread and, like several others, it's the first time I'm hearing about Iohan's death. Horrible news.

    I think the spirit of your build is great and wish you all the best with it.

    Have a Troll myself and I love it.

  • Great bodge, cool story

    Have a Troll myself and I love it

    +1. Mine is currently languishing as a dadbiek and in much need of some tlc, but I still love it. Almost sold it middle of last year, really glad I didn’t.

  • I'm getting itchy waiting for the frame to come back from powder coating, so I'm concocting small tasks to keep me busy. Today's lunchtime faff was making the Oury grips work with the bar end shifter. It worked out pretty nicely if you ask me.

    I'm planning to run the gear cable under the grip in line with one of the grooves. The rubber is thinner there, naturally, so hopefully the lump created won't be too bad.

    Side note - isn't it cool that Velo Orange made the Klunker bars to work with bar ends? They don't even seem to mention it in the listing anymore, but still... very thoughtful.


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Surly Troll - a tribute to Iohan Gueorguiev

Posted by Avatar for passhunting @passhunting

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