So now that I have finally secured the funds to start my new bike build, I am unfortunately at another crossroads. This time, I am still leaning towards the Troll, but also leaning towards a full fledged fat bike. I seem to go back and forth with this, over and over, and waiting is not helping me one bit. So, for this installment, here is the next round of my bike comparisons.
As for why I am leaning towards a fat bike, it all started with this:
Gary Fisher Rig SS
This was my first taste of the big wheels. Only ridden around 100 miles, in a haste I dismantled it and sold it off, only to buy another single speed to then sell off, etc. I regretted it after the fact, but hind sight is 20/20 right? Anyway, after riding this bike, I really wanted to try out a full on fat bike. So recently, in my planning stages for the new bike, I found a used Surly Puglsey on the local Craigslist that got my mind rolling on the big wheels again. Unfortunately I was not as quick as I should have been with it, and it sold. So that leads up to the comparison.
We will start with this:
This is the current model that I am leaning towards. I will not go into details, since I have talked about this frame numerous times, like here and here. The frame is very versatile, and I feel like it would be a great fit for my riding style, and also the type of riding that I have been doing. Also, it would give me a bike that is ready for the woods, which is what the Xtracycle was lacking, thus it’s departure. Two things make me not want to go this route though:
First, there is newer model coming out later this year. From what I have read on a cycling forum, it will be in the fall. The newer model adds bottle/cage mounts on the fork, and another bottle mount on the underside of the downtube. I would like those options, but I am not sure that I can wait until then. Patience is a virtue that I do not possess. This is not a deal breaker for me though.
Second, the Troll fits big tires. I plan on using the 26×2.6 Maxxis Ardents on the frame, should I get it. But this could be the opening of Pandora’s Box for tires. It could only lead to wanting a little more rubber (enter “That’s what she said” joke here) and the Troll would be maxed out. Not a true fat bike. The Troll would always be lacking in the tire department.
For the fat bike route, I will not go into too much detail again, since I will only be repeating myself. Click here to see my comparison of the Pugsley and the Mukluk, which would probably be the route that I would take. In a perfect world, I would buy both. Hmmm, if only…
The next few days will be tough on the cycling decisions, thankfully that is the worst thing in my life that I have to worry about. For that, I am thankful.
Just keep spinning…
Surly Troll picture from their site, click the link to the right to have your mind blown on their products.
So in my search for the end all be all bicycle, here are a couple more that I have found, which seem to be pretty versatile. First up:
Vassago Fisticuff: Self described as “A love child between a 29er and a cross bike.” I couldn’t agree more. Clearance for wider 700c ‘cross tires, or up to 2.0″ 650b, with rack and fender mounts. Seems to be pretty versatile. The only downfall for this is it is a frame set only, which unfortunately I do not have a sufficient parts bin to build on up. Nice bike though.
Second on this short list:
Surly Ogre: This bike has it all. Rack mounts, front and back? Check. Fender mounts? Check. Fatties fit fine? Check. Single speed ready? Check. Mounts for a trailer? Check. Looks like the Surly Troll? Check. This bike is like the Troll’s big brother. Basically it is just the 29er version. Amazing. I really think there is not a bike that Surly has done that I have not liked. I am a Surly whore without a Surly, something about that is very wrong.
Two more very nice rides to add to my list. I think at this moment, the two bikes in the contention for my next bike are the Salsa Fargo 2 or the Surly Ogre. Thanks for playing!
Photos from Vassago and Surly respectively.
So I have finally narrowed down my plan for my new bike between the new Surly Troll frame, and an Xtracycle conversion kit. I have wanted to do an Xtracycle kit for quite some time now, and the Surly Troll is just an awesome frameset, so here is my pros and cons list:
Surly Troll Pros:
-Racks and fender mounts
-Large tire clearance
-Building this frame would give me a geared MTB to go along with my singlespeed.
-Only way to have my daughter on the bike would be a seat mounted over the rear wheel, or pulling a trailer. Both of which I am not fond of.
-Not a true cargo bike
Xtracycle conversion Pros:
-Uses an existing bike
-Large hauling capacity
-Lots of options for hauling my daughter, if I use a seat in the back, she has a better view than a traditional over the rear wheel seat.
-Would be a good start to swap parts over to an eventual Big Dummy frameset.
-No geared bike for MTB riding, this conversion would eliminate my geared MTB.
-Costs a little more than the Troll frame
So as of right now, I am leaning towards the conversion kit. I am really, really intrigued by the Troll frame, but the Xtracycle seems to be a better fit for me. Most of my riding is with my daughter anymore, so this only makes sense. As she gets bigger, the Xtracycle would continue to fit her. Plus, riding a heavy bike around would make me stronger for Singlespeed riding, so maybe the heavy thing is not a con. Now I just need to pull the trigger on this, so I will stop changing my mind!