My Next Bike

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.


photo courtesy of Hiawatha Cyclery

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.6269799879_e04526b7d8_z

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.


9 responses to “My Next Bike

  1. I think you just posted the dream bike of any mature cyclists out there shopping for a second bike 🙂

  2. Nice bike to daydream over! I have had visions of the troll and ogre in the past. I don’t think I could own both an ogre and lht unless the trucker was turned into as fast a machine as is possible (so much overlap in their line). Surly just did a post on their blog a few weeks ago about fender clearance issues and proper setup on the ogre. Not too hard to deal with. I put the ergon grips with the enders on my pug and standard swept back bars are perfect with them.

    • I agree. The Ogre can be sufficiently “street-a-fied” with the second wheelset that it would overlap the LHT significantly. If I were to keep both, I think the LHT would morph into a porteur/recreational/local errand bike; while the Ogre would assume the role of heavy tourer.

      • Didn’t really mention it in my first comment, but I’m not sure I would want a second wheelset unless I was running really thin tires for some reason. Sure, you’d find yourself switching out tires when you go on a trip, but compared to swapping cassettes on your rear wheel, making sure your drivetrain is in spec, (adjusting shifters if the cassette offset is slightly different), and building 2 dyno wheels….

  3. I’ve wrestled with the aspect of the second wheelset v. just changing the tires for those trips where you’re planning to go off road. Changing the Paselas on the Alex rims currently on the LHT is a snap; but it’s a different story with the Schwalbes that I had for a while. I think it would come down to how often those off road excursions would happen.

    • Swapping out my continentals for the nokian studded tires on my beater a few times has got me much better acquainted with my tire irons and working 1 bead at a time. I don’t think tire changes are as much a pain for me as they used to be.

  4. Bikepacking vibe be damned. There’s no way I’m carrying something on my back when I have perfectly good racks and panniers.

    • That’s kind of where I’m at. I can always use my old REI panniers if we’re really going off the grid, otherwise, I can’t see investing in bikepacking gear just yet.

  5. Pingback: I Wanna… | Pedalling Along

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