Surly Troll

9 Aug

I got the Surly Troll in 2011 and 2 years on I thought it was a good time to post an update.  I bought the 16″ frame and fitted it with an Alfine 11 speed hub.  I had the wheels built up with tough Rigida Sputnik rims.  The Troll has 26″ wheels and I’ve done quite a bit of off road touring with panniers and they are in great condition; the wheels are super tough but very heavy.  I recently changed the rack to a Tubus Cargo and when removing the old rack I realised the bolts were bent. I assume this is from the off road riding with panniers; I was surprised the bolts bent and the wheels have stayed absolutely true.   But the bike weighs a ton, its very slow (with me pedalling), covering 50 miles on this bike is really hard work and since getting a Surly Disc Trucker I have stopped using the Troll for touring; it now gets used for trips around town, hauling stuff and days when I’m not in a hurry.

Surly Troll

The Surly Troll

The Build details:

  • Alfine 11 Speed Hub
  • Rigida Sputnik Rims
  • Shimano Deore M545 Chainset and Bashguard
  • Shimano M324 Clipless SPD-Flat MTB Pedals
  • Tortec Rear Rack
  • Tubus Duo Front Rack
  • Continental Trave Contact Tyres
  • Brooks B17 Honey saddle
  • Avid BB7 Disc Brakes
  • Shimano Deore Brake Levers
  • SKS Chromoplastic Mudguards
  • FSA Stem
Surly Troll Shimano Alfine 11 speed hub Avid BB7

The Troll has a Shimano Alfine 11 speed hub with Avid BB7 brakes

Surly Troll Shimano Deore Chainset Shimano M324 Clipless SPD-Flat MTB Pedals

Shimano Deore Chainset with the Shimano M324 pedals

Surly Troll Rigida Sputnik Tubus Duo SKS Chromoplastic SLX Front Hub

Rigida Sputnik rims with Continental Travel Contact tyres and the Tubus Duo rack.  The Rims weigh a heavy 630 grams each!

Alfine Shifter

Surly Bicycle

Surly Troll Rear Rack mudguard

Surly Troll Front rack mudguard

Surly Troll brooks saddle

Surly Troll Conwy

With hindsight I should have probably gone straight for a Surly Long Haul Trucker but it took me a few years of touring to actually get a dedicated touring bike.  I base that on my background in mountain biking; the first bike I used for touring was an On-One Inbred and one of the main reasons I replaced the Inbred with the Troll was due to the lack of rack fixtures, bottle cages and mudguard mounts.  I love the idea that the Troll is a go anywhere bike and I think it really is apart from carrying loads of stuff stops any bike from being a go anywhere bike; I can see me taking up bike packing at this rate!

Orange Surly Troll

The Troll in Cornwall

Surly Troll

The Surly Troll on the Balmoral during a trip across the Bristol Channel to Ilfracombe

Surly Troll 14" frame organe

Surly Troll in Rhyl on Route 5

Surly Troll riding in the snow

Surly Troll with 2.5″ tyres

Surly Troll

Surly Troll

Not long after I got the Surly Disc Trucker I contemplated selling the Surly Troll but I just couldn’t do it.  I’ve ridden it on some great trips and I still love riding the thing.  But when it comes to touring trips the Surly Disc Trucker is going to win every time; even if the route is unpaved I’m confident the Trucker is going to be fine.  The Troll is a great go anywhere bike and I’ve ridden it fully loaded over some crazy terrain but riding the bike all day is hard work; I think the wheels have a lot to do with this; the rear wheel with the heavy Alfine Hub and Sputnik Rim; rotating those things takes a lot of effort.

So whats next for the Troll; maybe a rebuild or just some tweaks.  I have a Shimano Deore group set off my old Scott MTB and I might transfer the bits to the troll to see how it rides with a normal drive train rather than an internal hub gear.  Last winter the mudguards came off and 2.5″ tyres went in during the snow; that was a lot of fun.  The bike is certainly versatile and I’m unlikely to ever grow tired of it.


One Response to “Surly Troll”

  1. musekidd August 9, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Great post… now I wanna see photos of the Troll compared to the Disc Trucker… just to get a visual comparison on the geometries. THEN… (smirk) put together a spreadsheet/table of the each bikes components with their respective weights. I’d be very interested to see the weights of wheels and tires… frames, etc. How much does the Alfine hub weigh compared to a standard hub + rear derailleur?

    I’m guessing you scheduled this post since you are still away on your epic trip from North Wales… when are you due back? And when do we get a report on that adventure?!?!

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