Midfat

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.

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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?

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    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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