Saturday, 16 May 2015

Surly ECR build Pt 1; 29+ Drop bar big wheel beastie...

Having ridden a `KramPug`. a Surly  Pugsley with offset 29+ Krampus wheels for 3 years now i am sold on the 29+ concept,  fast enough on tight trails despite the huge circumference they roll like hell over roots and rough tracks, and you get loads of grip and a smoother ride than a regular 29 x 2.35 MTB tyre, but without the drag of a full 4" Fatbike tyre.

Drop bar 29er off road...
So with the Krampug 29+ my regular 29ers have taken a bit of a back seat. I have been trying out different set ups of drop bar bikes over the last couple of years, with 29er, and 700c wheel sizes,

This started with a Salsa Fargo i built...

These bikes get great reviews, i did not get on with it at all, i like a flexi whippy frame and the Fargo was rock solid and riding it unladen around here rattled me to bits.

So i sold the frame set and got another Surly Karate Monkey, an ex demo black frameset from Pat at ISON Distribution
I still have this bike with the build from the Fargo and have only changed the Salsa Bell Lap bars and Brooks leather  saddle to Salsa Woodchipper bars and waterproof Brooks Cambium saddle.
It is near perfect for its intended purpose around here on trails and gravel maintenance tracks in the Lammermuir hills alongside the endurance horses...


In between this bikes life has been a couple of 700c Cyclocross style bikes, firstly a Genesis CDF...

I liked this bike for the road and easy tracks but the fork felt a bit harsh on rough stuff and the plan to then use it as a commuter was brought to a halt when i realised there was not enough fork clearance for a full lenght mudguard...

So i sold this to friend Neil, then a week later bought his old Pugsley off him!, The CDF is an ideal bike as Neil has found for road and railway walk cycle routes.

Fixie come cross bike;
Meanwhile i was a given a small framed `Pearson` fixie bike by my big bro. I replaced the small frame with an as new 56cm Surly-Cross Check frame set on eBay and this has become my commuter, though it does the odd trail too!, now with Alfine hub it is a nice daily ride,
You can read about these bikes and the Cross-Check build Here



What about drop bars on a 29+?
I bought a used pair of Surly Krampus Rabbit Hole wheels and the 50mm wide rims really opened up the regular 2.35 MTB tyre on the Karate Monkey, lower psi and a bit more comfort, this is a great improvement for comfort on a ridged 29er...


Had some great harvest rides on this bike...



I next tried the Woodchipper drop bars on the Surly KramPug a year ago and it added another concept to the versatile Surly Pugsley frame set...


This was real close to perfect. Only the high bottom bracket of the Pugsley when fitted with the 29+ wheels made the bike feel like i was riding on top of the bike rather than in it...
 Here is a film i made early one morning during harvest time last year...

Surly KramPug 29+ trying out some Salsa Woodchipper bars from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

Also those bar end shifters are awful offroad, you hit them with your knees and when you lay the bike down and are slow to shift while riding fast through tight trails. Best keep them for a tourer...



I know the answer!
And the idea hit me while riding the drop bar Karate Monkey in the Lammermuir Hills a few weeks ago along side Francis on her Endurance horse, riding down a real rough track i shouted `I hope i don't have to ride back up this`,  as i knew i would just spin out on the tennis ball sized hardcore.
Francis shouted back;

`Why you not got your big wheeled bike your always raving about?`,

`Cause i wan`t drop bars for the climbs here`, i replied,

Then i grinned like a daftie!,  and shouted `hey i know what is needed, a drop bar 29+ frame set`,

The answer was staring me right in the face and so obvious now that i already have the Krampus wheels,
I need a Surly ECR!

ECR
And a frame set arrived last weekend for Forth Fat, but no time do anything with it until this week...


The Surly ECR is a 29+ bike packing/off road touring bike. It has a BB height which equates to the same as a regular 29 MTB and so should ride real nice.
In classic Surly style it is steel. takes a a regular 1" 1/8th headset, 73mm Bottom Bracket, and regular 90mm front, 135mm rear hub, so you can swap around with regular bike parts to build what you want.
There is a good review of the ECR here on the ace site; gypsy by trade

Here is a film on the ECR, once again with Eric :)


I actually have a 3rd set of Rabbit hole rims and Knards i was given by good friend Gary Buckham- kindest guy in the world :)  so there is also a Krampus frame set arriving sometime this summer which will prob have a suss fork too,
Be great to compare all three  29+ concepts.
Any hows i am waiting on double offset Surly cranks to arrive then my ECR will be built up and rolling,
Intended purpose will be gravel roads (smooth and rough) shooting tracks and wind turbine maintenance roads in my local Lammermuir Hills here in SE Scotland, and the odd wee adventure too!,

Let the build commence...
Here is the first pics of the build, a swap over from a Woodchipper Karate Monkey frame set. I first had to reline the Krampus wheel set refitting the 90mm front hub, and gone the Ghetto tubeless (split tube) set up,


Breaking the bead on the tyre and the spilt tube has a real tight grip on the tyre...


No avoiding another mess lol, hosed off and left to dry...




Next to strip down the Karate Monkey, don`t need the wheels or cranks, but everything else...


Handlebars and stem with all gear cables/brakes attached...


Later i stripped the front wheel to lace the original 90mm  Surly hub...


Then relined the rear wheel as it had been laced offset for a Pugsley...


Next evening was sunny but cold with passing showers in the strong wind, with the bike stand in the lean-too i tensioned the wheels using the Karate Monkey frame and fork as a jig and good old clothes pegs!...





Includes zombies...













Since doing them i thought `why not just use zip ties!`, i know for next time,
One layer of cheap duct tape to keep the rim tape central...


 Then back in the Man-Cave i fitted  24" tubes and cut and folded them..


The Surly Knard 3" tyres were a slack fit so i removed the duct tape and packed the rim with a layer of under lay foam....




With a nice tight fit on the tyre these will now air up easy...


Added some juice, this time some Squirt Seal...


And they aired up easy with the track pump...


Some thorn holes in the tyres soon sealed and after a good shake to get the inside of the tyre coated and everything sealed i cut the excess split tube...


And that`s the wheels ready with cassette and discs fitted...


Frame build;
The Surly ECR frame set is ED coated, whatever that is, but means no goofing around with frame prep,
Looks nice unpacked out the box...




I decided to cut the steerer to the same lenght as the Karate Monkey +  1 inch...
Oh that is dirt on the fork and not rust!...


`Mushroom Componants` steerer cutter...


Cut and a quick rub with wet n dry, then fit the Star  nut, i use this top and bolt to seat them...



A tap in and  it`s done...



Seat the collar on the fork, another `Mushroom Componants` tool, a local lathe man made these...



Then press in the headset, top first, then the lower...


Stem on and  try the wheels...




Waiting on some Surly OD cranks as i want to run 2 chain rings up front. i want low gears and high speed gears for gravel roads in the local Lammermuirs...
The build of this bike is being kept cheap using all other stuff i have already, so it will be 9 speed, Avid BB7 cable brakes,
Will do Pt 2 of the build when i get the cranks,


In the meantime i have this left by friend Mike for a couple of weeks to play on- a Surly Krampus 29+ with Fox fork!  :)



More soon...

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