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

Surly Ogre, Surly 4130 CroMoly steel. Main triangle double-butted. TIG-welded
Surly Ogre, TIG-welded 4130 CroMoly, 80mm suspension corrected, tapered and butted straight blade. Low- and mid-blade fully threaded through-blade rack eyelets; fender mount eyelets at dropout; 1-1/8˝ x 260mm threadless steer tube, 51mm disc mount (203mm max. rotor diameter), removable cantilever pivots, line/housing guides; two sets of bottle cage mounts, each height adjustable (note: cages cannot be used on fork with some racks, and vice versa)
Shimano SLX M670 10 Speed Triple Chainset, 42.32.24t
Bottom bracket
Shimano XT-SLX BB70 Hollowtech II Bottom Bracket
Front Derailleur
Shimano SLX M671 Direct Mount 3×10 Front Mech
Rear Derailleur
Shimano SLX M675 Shadow+ 10 Speed Rear Mech
Shimano SLX M670 10 Speed Trigger Shifter Set
Cog or Cassette
Shimano SLX HG81 10 Speed MTB Cassette, 11–36t
Shimano XT HG95 SIL-TEC 10 Speed Chain
Cane Creek 40, 1-1/8˝ threadless. Black
Shimano SLX M675 Disc Brake + Rotor Bundle
Brake Levers
Shimano SLX M675
Thomson 100mm 25.4mm
Soma Clarence Bar –  660mm Wide x 1.5″ Rise x 25.4″ Bar Clamp (Black)
Ergon GC1 Sweptbar Grips – Black/Gray
Brooks C15 Cambium Carved Saddle – Slate (Steel Rails)
Thomson Elite Seatpost – Black 27.2mm x 330mm
Shimano PD-T780 XT Pedals  – Pair
Front Hub – DT Swiss 350s 6-bolt, black, 32 hole, 15mm w QR adapotor
Rear Hub – DT Swiss 350s 6-bolt, black, 32 hole, 135 x QR Shimano MTB
Rim, Stans Grail, Black, 32 hole
Spoke, DT Swiss Aerolite, Black, Spoke nipple, Wheelsmith, alloy, black
Maxis ikon 2.20/3C/EXO/eXCeption/Folding + sealant
Racks and bags
Rear – Surly nice rear rack
Front – 8 pack front rack

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