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...