It’s 12F outside right now. Leaving the garage this morning to come to work, I looked over at the bikes and realized that I’m getting pretty antzy about riding this coming year. I’ve got some new lighting equipment on order and have also been dreaming about new adventures.
There are also thoughts of a rough trail/mountain bike; but with knowing that there is no way I can swing a third bike that probably would not see that much mileage. So a thread on the RBW Google group brought me around to the premise: “If I Could Only Have One Bike…”
Right now it would be the LHT. It’s the perfect road touring bike, and with some compromises, it can do a fair job with a lot of other types of riding. But for rough trails, it has it’s limitations with tire clearance, top tube height, riding position, etc… The LHT wouldn’t do too well for bikepacking.
So after a lot of thought, and reading various blogs, if there is a next bike, it will be a Surly Ogre. Yup, a 29er touring bike…but with some changes.
First and foremost, there needs to be two wheelsets – one set of fatties for trail, and a second set for street. For street, I’d still go with something large, like some Schwalbe Big Apples. Did I mention that I’m not a weight weenie when it comes to bikes?
And, these big tires would need to fit under a pair of fenders. Most likely some Planet Bike 29r specific that would allow sufficient clearance. Fenders on an Ogre are probably rare, but they are a deal breaker for just about any bike I’d want.
The other thing about these wheels is that both fronts would need to have a dynohub, fed into a Luxos and Topline for lights and USB power. I think some mid-level Shimanos would be perfectly acceptable. Oh, this bike will have disc brakes as well, not that I feel strongly about them.
For something a little different, a Jones Loop bar would sit up front. I toyed with the idea of some Soma short drop bars, but I think I’ll stay with the upright position with some added hand positions.
And since we’re upright, I’d probably stick with the Brooks B-67; although the Champion Flyer might be worth a shot as well.
For gearing, I’d like a 3 X 8 speed setup. A Rohloff would be nice, but then I’d need two, and that would be out of hand. So let’s go with 44-32-22 up front, and 12-34 or 36 in the back. I know that’s low, but this is a heavy touring bike that needs to grind up hills and mountains. Standard pod shifters will do, only because I find indexing makes a little more sense with the hand positions on Jones bars.
I think a standard rear rack like I have on the LHT now will be fine, even if it does ruin the bikepacking vibe. I’m not sure of the front, though. Probably switch between low-riders and those Salsa Anything clamps on the forks. If I would get serious about bike packing, then a frame bag might be in order.
In my mind, this could be a do everything touring bike, although it would leave a lot to be desired for anything fast. But since I’m not fast, no worries.