The ride – Surly ogre

All in the assembly

It started back in January on the way south to Bluff. I tracked down a black Surly ogre  frame from Darren at Bikeinc in Timaru. From there it was a process of researching options (and there are a lot of options), tracking down parts and the slow step by step assembly. This is my second touring bike build in the last three years.

Tough choices

I went big on the wheels and had a set of 29’ers hand built by the team at Wheelworks. They are light, sturdy and sleek.

I’ve used touring ‘butterfly bars’ before on the last build, but this time I wanted something that provided a little more width and control for use off-road.  I trialled two bars; the Soma Clarence bar and the NC-17 Trekking bar.

In terms of comfort they were both superb, but the Soma profile allowed for a number of hand positions and allows me to stretch out to battle the wind.

I thought hard about the brake specification. I was pretty tempted by a set of front and rear AVID BB7 Mechanical disc brakes. These appear pretty standard on off-road touring bikes, but in the end went with a set of Shimano SLX hydraulic.

I’m a Brooks saddle fan having owned a B17 Imperial in the past. This time I wanted something more waterproof so chose the Cambium C17 Carved. It’s stiff and I’m not yet convinced I will last the distance on a big tour.

Time will tell if these were good choices and the only way to really find out is to get out there and ride.

The full and final specification

Continue reading “The ride – Surly ogre”

What the hell am I doing?

The beginning

I had this idea in January. A personal goal to cycle from Cape Reinga to Bluff alone and unassisted within the year.

I thought from that day to now that if I could get everything assembled and inform enough people, then I wouldn’t have the excuse to get out of it. Basically eliminate the barriers one by one so that in the end the only thing stopping me is me.

So here I am some seven months later with the assembly pretty much completed and although I’ve still got another five months, I need to begin physically preparing myself for this. Getting saddle ready, more physically fit, quitting the cigarettes and planning the route.

So this blog is a first. A way to record the build up to the Cape on the 9th of December and beyond.