Bikes: Big Decision

After a lot of back and forth on which bike, I went with the Surly ECR. Its a newly released 29er bike fully capable of swllowing 3 inches tires. Now few people have tried using it for long-term bike touring. I got my inspiration from this and this. The frame is made of chromoly that comes with enough braze-ons to satisfy any tourer’s insatiable appetite for attaching bottles cages, racks, mudguards and more bottles cages.

I put a Surly OD double crank with 20-34 chainring and a Shimano 12-36 cassette that I hope will be light enough to crank those pedals even on insanely steep inclines. It’s actually faster to walk the bike than using the 20-34 combo. But I prefer to spin my way out of those climbs than dismounting and pushing the bike. The rest of the group set are cannibalized from my old bike. They are a mix of Shimano XT and Sram 7.0. Using my old triple gear front shifter necessitates to “kill” the lowest gear though.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mat says:

    Hey Dean! Really nice rig! May I know what was the reason behind using both rear racks and seatpost bags? You guys do not carry that much on your rear racks, isn’t that a bit heavy? Are you planning to use panniers as well later?


    1. Mat,

      Both of us started with rear panniers, Viscacha seatbags, handlebar Harness and framebags. We only switched to real bikepacking set-up in Guanajuato, Mexico and then never really manage to send the Rear racks back to Toronto. For now, I use it to hold the tent and serve as an anchor to lash the seatbags to prevent “tail wag”. I may send it back but then the tent will end up in the front. That part I’m a bit iffy because I prefer a rear-heavy set-up. With my thin flimsy arms, I feel like I’m wrestling with the handlebar when the front load is a bit heavy.


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