A Straggler from Mars

This is the bike I use the most, a Surly Straggler. It’s the first bike I’ve ever bought new. I built it in 2019 and its configurations haven’t stopped evolving since. The frame’s aggressive geometry recalls that of early steel mountain bikes from the ‘90s with its long horizontal top tube. Although the Straggler was designed for 700c 622mm ISO wheels, I chose to lace a pair of 650b 584mm ISO wheels to have room to fit 50mm tires. The wider tires and smaller diameter wheels on a steel frame add to that early MTB aesthetic that inspired this build. In keeping with that theme, I pulled out an old Deore XT triple crank from my parts bin and dressed it with a narrow-wide 32-tooth chainring. I really wanted a small ratio because I like to bike slow. The last piece of the puzzle was finding an XTR RD-M592 rear derailleur because it’s one of my favorite components ever produced. It took a few months of searching on the used market before Zach finally found one for me and I couldn’t have been happier when he did.

For brakes I have Avid BB7 road callipers with discontinued Deore XT levers, also from my parts bin. The adjustable pull on the levers means that they can be used with any kind of brake, making them very versatile.

The Crust rack and Wald 137 basket hold all my daily items eliminating the need for me to carry a backpack.

I like using this bike in all sorts of different contexts be it for trail, touring or to go to work and school.

I love this bike and I hope to keep riding it for a long time to come.


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