I built up a Straggler recently to replace my LHT as a commuter bike on my 50km round trip between Victoria BC and Sidney.
The goal was to build a bike that was more fun to ride than my LHT unloaded and faster…in that order of priority. My secondary goals were to reuse as many parts as I could from my spares bin and maximize compatibility across my fleet. I’m really tired of building up expensive wheels that only work on one bike for example.
My build is pretty basic:
- 58cm Straggler 700c version
- Velocity Blunt SL rims + Hope Evo Pro 2 hubs
- Compass Bicycle 32mm tires setup tubeless
- Race Face Turbine cranks + Time ATAC pedals
- SS 40T x 16T drievtrain
- Brooks B17
- Velo Orange hammered 45mm fenders
- Avid BB7 brakes with 160mm rotors
- Salsa Short ’n Shallow bars with Tektro brake levers
- Salsa 70mm Moto Ace stem
I’ve got a torn muscle in my arm so I have been keeping my rides short. So far the bike is meeting my expectations for enjoyment and speed. The SS gear ratio seems to work for the speed range and terrain I am riding.
The fit is good [I ride a 58cm LHT]. I may swap in a slightly longer stem, but I’ll wait and see if that’s needed once my arm is better and I can commute on it a few times.
Unlike my LHT I have kept this bike clean and simple. No racks, no gears, no dynohub and no tubes! I did install full fenders and mud flaps because I live in the PNW and I hate getting road grim on me….especially since a good chunk of my commute is dirt.
Although the Straggler is setup SS at the moment the rear Hope hub is a geared version so I can quickly swap to a 1x derailleur setup using a down tube shifter. Given my move towards light weight touring and the fact I don’t need super low gears a single-ring drivetrain will more than meet my needs for the odd road tour I take this bike on. Heck I may give SS touring a shot and not bother with gears, but it’s nice to have the option.
In terms of negatives for this bike my main concern is whether I’ll find the frame too stiff for my needs. I enjoy a lively flexible steel frame and the performance that comes with it. However, when considering my options the cost of the Straggler frame was such a good deal through my LBS I figured it was worth a shot. Worst case I sell it next spring and move the parts to something else.
My 58cm black 26” wheeled LHT will be posted for sale shortly. I’m going to clean it up and take some photos today for the ad.
Sadly this will be the end of my membership in the Surly LHT club, but at least I’ve still got a Surly under me! 😉