Surly Disc Trucker


Mar 25, 2011
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Last week, I bought a disc brake version of the Surly Long Haul Trucker, the Disc Trucker. Apparently, it was a new model for 2012. I bought for commuting primarily, as my commute is a round trip close to 50 miles. That's almost touring, even though I'm not going anywhere new.









I've had it now for about 5 days, I have just over 50 miles on it as of this morning. I mounted on a set of Bontrager fenders, a Topeak rear rack that I pirated from my mountain bike (it doesn't need it anymore), a Brooks B-17, plus the usual lights & odometer. The bike is a size 46, fitted with a 100mm stem. Apparently, I'm not easy to fit. The 26x1.5 tires look small to me, since in practice they're barely 25" in diameter, but it rolls OK, rides nice.

Here's one of my father taking it for a test ride, just as he realized that he really didn't know about using brake levers on drop bars...

 
Mar 25, 2011
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Thanks. I bought the disc brake version not as much for carrying heavy loads while touring, but more to have better all-weather braking. I've seen sketchy situations resulting from rim brakes in the rain (and snow), especially older chrome plated ones. However, I can see someday actually going on a long-distance tour on it and actually put the bike the use it's designed for...
 
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I think your commute is basically 99.9% of what that bike is set up for, cuz that's a manly commute. Like you said, it's almost like touring. Heck, I'm only 13 miles from work, and I don't cycle commute. I'm not a morning person.

I haven't multi-day toured in years, I can only find time to do a couple overnighters per year now, and use it for groceries, but when it is loaded up, I have to plan ahead for braking. The Oryx cantis barely do the job.
 
Mar 25, 2011
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Captain Awesome said:
Those are excellent bikes. Should make for a nice long haul unit
Agreed. 4130 isn't too exotic, but makes for a strong, relatively light structure. The frame construction and welding is excellent. These bikes are manufactured in Taiwan rather than China, which I suppose is an improvement. Taiwan has, if nothing else, developed an excellent bicycle manufacturing industry. Still, I peeled the "made in Taiwan" sticker off immediately. The frameset is powdercoated, so the finish out to be durable. Combine that with the fact that the Long Haul Trucker has almost a cult following these days, and it all speaks to an excellent product. I'm already thinking of buying a Surly Pacer frameset and building it up over the winter to use for club rides and such.
 
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Here's my old touring bike. I bought the aluminum frame (steel fork) from Nashbar on closeout for $99 and built it on the cheap with parts I had or closeout specials. I sort of regret selling it. It was light fast and sturdy.



I was smitten with this Windsor. It's a nice bike, 4130 steel frame, unique dual diameter seat tube and spoke holders on the chain stay. I put 35c Paselas on it, along with a mountain bike rack and Planet Bike fenders. But it's a slug. The heavier frame and big tires make it slow going. I may put a narrower tire on and see if that makes it more lively.

 
Dec 22, 2011
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I just say this thread, sorry for being late to the party!

How do you like the disc brakes? When I built my last touring bike, disc brakes were a “must have”. I went with the Salsa Vaya. Being honest, it is the best and most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. I am thinking about upgrading to the titanium frame. After three years and a few multi-day tours, I am not unhappy with the discs, but they certainly wouldn’t be a must have anymore. They are nice, they do a good job, but they aren’t that big of a deal in retrospect.

The Trucker will run some fat tires right? I think it is about the same as my Vaya. I’ve had 700X42 on mine, but I usually run a 32/37 range tire.
 
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Terry66 said:
I just say this thread, sorry for being late to the party!

How do you like the disc brakes? When I built my last touring bike, disc brakes were a “must have”. I went with the Salsa Vaya. Being honest, it is the best and most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. I am thinking about upgrading to the titanium frame. After three years and a few multi-day tours, I am not unhappy with the discs, but they certainly wouldn’t be a must have anymore. They are nice, they do a good job, but they aren’t that big of a deal in retrospect.

The Trucker will run some fat tires right? I think it is about the same as my Vaya. I’ve had 700X42 on mine, but I usually run a 32/37 range tire.
The discs are pretty effective, after some initial readjustment by the bike shop that I bought it from. The main reason I got them was for all-weather stopping ability, as rim brakes often become useless in the rain. Well, that and the disc model came in "Super Dark Green" (basically British Racing Green, as seen above) and the standard model in black. One doesn't have to look at too many of the bikes in my fleet to know I'd prefer the green. Both version have the same retail price, so it was sort of a no-brainer on my part.

Mine is a 46 cm frame, as I stated in the first post, which means it has 26" wheels rather than 700c. It came with 1.5" wide tires, but I can fit upwards 2.1" tires with fenders (though not the narrowish fenders I have). So, it might be possible to also squeeze in a set of Franks. That's the advantage of a lot of Surly's models - that's why they say "FFF - Fatties Fit Fine" on the chain stays. So far, I've got maybe 200 miles on it, since the weather has been poor this fall. There have been relatively few days it hasn't rained since I bought it... Next season, though, I plan to commute regularly on it and maybe some short range touring. I expect that the mileage will grow in a hurry.