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Surly Disc Trucker

2019 / size 56 cm / Drivetrain: Shimano Sora 3x9 / Brakes: TRP HY/RD

Why did you choose a Surly Disc Trucker for this built ?

I was looking for a steel touring bike with a rather classic look. At some point I considered using an old "randoneur" frame from the 80's, a classic french Motobecane which I ended up using as a commuter because it didn't offer enough tyre clearance for a tourer in my opinion, 32mm. Then I wanted to build my own frame, I was going to take a one week frame building workshop in France but it was too pricy, naturally. The I saw the Surly frame on-line for a very reasonable price, even though the frame is not a lugged construction, the fork does and it also has curved blades which not easy to find now a days, that plus the almost horizontal top tube gives this bike a pretty classic look. So the reasons are mainly about the style, the fact that the bike has a big reputation as a tourer helped with the decision.

Why did you go with disc brakes and how do you like the TRP HY/RD ?

I know many travelers prefer mechanical rim brakes because their simplicity makes them easy to repair "on the road". The problem is that the options for rim brakes with drop bar brake levers are limited, they are optimized for small race calipers that off course don't have enough tire clearance for a tourer, the alternative is cantilevers but I've only had bad experiences with canties, they are a pain to adjust properly and I've never seen a proper powerful one on drop bar levers. I've tried mini v-brakes, they are powerful but they don't offer enough clearance. TRP HY/RD seemed to me like a good compromise between the simplicity of mechanics and the power of hydraulics. They are cable pulled and the hydraulic caliper is sealed and it should stay like that for a while. The braking is wonderful and the installation is surprisingly straight forward, plug and play.

Your bicycle is nicely equipped !

I equipped it with the Surly front rack, it's a bit heavy but it's made of steel and it has a nice and wide top perfect for the Wald 137. I find the bicycle rides better with load in front, the basket is extremely practical I find, you can just throw anything on the go: a vest, the picnic you just bought at the shop, the trash after the picnic until you find a bin, etc. The fender are the Vélo Orange Zeppelin 52mm, they are sturdy and elegant. The handle bars are the Ritchey Adventure Max, very confortable I have them on all my drop bar bicycles. The saddle is a WTB Volt Comp, it works well with my butt. I chose a Shutter Precision PD-8 as dynahub,  Busch&Muller IQ-XS for the front light and the beautiful extra cute mini rear also Busch&Muller µ. Hand made wheels with blue spoke nipples :) and Panaracer Gravel King 40mm tires.    


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