Hey, Justin here. Check out my new commuter, a custom built 2014 Surly Disc Trucker. I built this bike to replace my beloved Puch which is also pictured. I'll start with a little bit about the Puch... A few years back I found the Puch frame and fork on Craigslist and bought it and an old Sugino crank for $20. The frame had a stuck rusted bottom bracket and headset which took a lot of work to remove but the work was worth it because I ended up with what would prove to be a magic commuter that set the bar high for all my bikes. It had a rough life by the looks of it, but I like to think the many different builds I put it through made up for it. Unfortunately, after putting over 3,000 miles on the weathered Puch, the derailleur hanger became fatigued- ready to snap, so it was time to upgrade.
Enter the Surly Disc Trucker. Originally, I planned to swap most of the Puch's components onto the Surly, but that eventually went out the window because blood red frames need all black. I strived to use all gloss black components with little or no branding and as you can see, I was successful. The end result was what intended it to be, a modernized version of my all-time favorite commuter.
The Surly was also a serious upgrade. Aside from the obvious higher quality frame, I upgraded from an Acera mix-match 7 speed drivetrain to Shimano 10 speed drivetrain with Dura Ace bar ends converted to thumb shifters with Paul Comp Thumbies. One of the biggest upgrades was the jump from V-brakes with Kool Stops and Tektro levers to hydraulic XTR disc brake calipers with XT levers. The only things I kept from the Puch were the Lumotec dynamo light, Shimano Alfine dynamo hub, fenders, Civia Pizza Rack, and the inner chainring. Now that it's done, I have to say I wouldn't change a thing. The Surly looks great, rides beautifully, and it's good to go for thousands of miles.
Sam was riding a Crack'n Fail and finally decided that steel was....hmmm....real. The other mechanic mentioned a small company he had heard of called Traitor and threw their name out there. For Sam, it was love at first sight.
We set up a dealer account and off we were. So why this frame? Because of the dropouts. Sam's first intention was to build a single speed bike as a commuter and potentially, down the road, upgrade to a geared bike if he wanted. The dropout pivots and can allow for a single speed setup without sacrificing the benefits of the vertical dropouts, namely the wheel can't slip under the MASSIVE wattage Sam puts out.
Well, things changed when a full SRAM Rival groupset came available for a real attractive price. Sam built his wheels up with a Hope Pro 2 Evo rear hub and basically had to do nothing additional to make a SRAM Rival build happen.
So highlights of this bike? Hope Pro Evo 2 hubs built to American Classic 101 tubeless rims. TRP Parabox hydraulic brakes stop this rig. Obviously a lightly used SRAM Rival group powers this machine. Whisky full carbon fork keeps the weight down. 3T, Thomson, and FSA, and Selle Italia can be found around this bike as well.
Super nice build ready to train on the road this year and race hard next year.
This is the reincarnation of another Surly, a Long Haul Trucker to be exact. The original bike is unfortunately not up here, but this one is so we're batting .500.
This bike was basically a frame swap from the LHT, except for the tires. That was actually the main motivation for the change of frame was the desire for massive tire, for which a massive Maxxis Hookworm 26x2.5" tire was chosen. This customer finds himself on fire roads more often than not and prefers a more stable platform.
This bike exceeded our expectations in terms of comfort and actually ease of build. We kept thinking there should be some incompatibilities, but nothing. Surly does a great job of keeping the critical measurements and diameters the same between model that frame swaps like this are cake walk.
This should be a great bike for years to come, or at least until the customer decides on a new Surly model!
This bike. This bike is the first of what I believe to be many Stragglers that will leave the shop. This bike lived up to it's namesake too. Surly took their SWEET time getting these things shipped out. Either that, or Surly overstated how quickly they would be ready for consumers. Either way, this customer was super patient and waited for this bike. And it was worth the wait.
This is the 'Her' bike in what I can only call a 'His & Her' set of Surly's. This customers' husband finished his Surly Pacer (see it here) in June, shortly before she fell in love with the 'Glitter Dreams' Straggler. Plans were made at end of September and finalized just before Thanksgiving to bring this bike into reality.
There is a lot going on with this bike, so I will try and keep it simple. SRAM Force 22, Chris King, Thomson, Stans NoTubes, Paul, and Hope. The most unique feature of this bike is the Hope V-Twin hydraulic converter. It is a super nice piece of equipment that converts the cable pull to hydraulic force, giving all the power and convenience of hydraulic brakes.
This build is simply amazing and here's to hoping the customer will get many great years of use from it.
"oh my god it's like riding on a cloud it's absolutely awesome thank you"
I was looking for a new commuter and knew of 2 things: disc brakes and fat tires. There were a very few bikes on the table, including the Surly Straggler, Traitor Ruben, and the Jamis Aurora Elite.
Surly just introduced the Straggler which would have been awesome because I was already riding a Cross Check for commuting. But I already had a Cross Check...why have 2 of the same or very similar bikes. Then the Traitor came to my attention, but I am widely unfamiliar with the company. Finally the Jamis Aurora Elite was the winner. Why?
Reynolds 631 steel. Disc brakes. Geometry. Matching fenders and rack. It came equipped to ride. I was sold. But I can't ever just ride things stock so I upgraded.
I took the 4 year old Brooks off my Cross Check, swapped the Deore cranks off my Surly for lower city gearing, upgraded the shifters to 105 STI units, and then slapped a TRP Parabox hydraulic converter on the head tube.
My experience with this bike is that it is one of the best commuters and light touring bikes I have ever owned. It is a stable ride with a longer wheelbase than the Surly Cross Check. Handling is very predictable. The bike can handle weight without any rattles in the front end. And the hydraulic brakes are just an added bonus.
If you are in the market for a touring bike and have been looking at Surly's and Salsa's, I would put the Jamis Aurora at the top of the list. It comes better spec'ed at a lower price point than other similar bikes. With 3 models including the similar Bossanova, this should be your next commuter bike.
This bike was brought in by a new customer of ours for a little more than a tune up. After a short discussion of hippies, we hammered out a few build options and arrived at an awesome new build.
The first thing to fix was the decade-old Manitou SX Ti fork. This generation of Manitou forks was great for being light, but terrible for retaining oil and general functionality. We went for a new RockShox Gold 30 Air.
Then there was the disc upgrade. New wheels and brakes were needed. Durability and low maintenance trumped weight weenie specs. A new set of Sun RynoLite's paired to a set of Deore hubs rounded out the wheels. For the brakes, you can't go wrong with the set-it-and-forget-it functionality of Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes.
To round of the package, the customer wanted to eliminate the low-normal rear derailleur (it shifts backwards, it is so bad) and replace it with a new XT derailleur. New shifters and new frame bearings make this perform as good as a new machine (or at least better than any hippie bike in Richmond.)
Special order for one of our very first customers. This is a new-old stock super bike.
Ross' new build...A 1993 Diamonback Apex outfitted with a Shimano Deore/XT mix. Sunrims Rhynolite 26 inch rims laced to Shimano Deore hubs. A Manitou Minute pro suspension fork. Thomson stem/seatpost. Fizik Arione saddle. Shimano Deore front hydraulic caliper, Paul Motolite rear. WTB weirwolf tire on the rear and a WTB broson on the front. Origin 8 headset
This one is up here because we have never done this before. The customer's old frame crapped out, so he was looking for a similar steel frame fixie, but also wanted upgrades. More specifically, disc brake on the front. And here is the result. A State Bicycle Co. frameset and Shimano Deore hubs and hydraulic discs. Sweet.
This story begins all the way back in December 2012. We were in the process of moving into our new shop and clearing out some older stock from the old shop, so we listed this 2012 Pacer frame on eBay. There was lots of interest from around the country, but one person called and said they NEEDED this frame for her husband for Christmas and they lived in Richmond!
When I found out who the husband was, it turned out he was a customer already who already owned a Surly Steamroller. Awesome! We discussed the build very topically in January, then finalized the build plans by the end of May.
What we have is a stunning example of starting with quality and ending with quality. This bike is dripping with "MADE IN USA." Chris King handles all the bearings, Thomson provides the cockpit and seatpost bits, SRAM Force handles the drivetrain, and Paul stops the bike. Any question? Please refer to the photos!
**There is quite a bit of Europe in this bike as well. Mavic OpenPro's and Time Atac's from France, DT Swiss spokes from Switzerland, Fizik Arione saddle and bar tape from Italy, and Continental Gatorskin's from Germany. The majority of this project is not "MADE IN CHINA!"