Surly Troll build: something old, something new

The Surly Troll is my second bike build project and, in common with my Thorn Club Tour, I planned to use some spares out of the parts bin. The price of a shiny new frame always seems more palatable when you can save money on components… well, that’s the theory anyway (!)

Surly Troll with Thorn Handlebars and Shimano Deore Rapid Fire shifters

Having already succumbed to a new chain set despite a perfectly serviceable and appropriate set of cranks sitting on my workbench (ahem), I have decided to save some money on the rear mech and shifters.

The rear derailleur is an easy one to resolve. It’s highly likely that I would have bought a Deore anyway so I have made use of the one from my Thorn Audax – this machine now sporting a Shimano road mech as befits the now tighter range of gears.

Half an hour or so stripping the unit down, checking and lubricating springs, pivots and jockey wheels and this should be good for another few thousand miles.

The choice to recycle some old Shimano shifters from my old commuter bike has been prompted by indecision: I really don’t know what to do for the best here.

I had envisaged adapting some Dura Ace bar-end shifters with brackets and creating some ultra –reliable and serviceable thumb shifters. SJS Cycles supply the units ‘ready made’, in fact.

However, the ‘rapid fire’ index shifters, which I’ve overhauled and now fitted to the Troll, still operate very sweetly indeed. They will be more than adequate, for now.

Surly Troll with rear Shimano Deore MechThe sharp eyed among you will note that the Troll now has a stem and bars. It also has a nice shiny black seat post, too. The stem has been salvaged off the Audax, which now sports a longer Cinelli clamp, while the bars and post are Thorn own brand.

The bars, like the shifters, might be a temporary measure. I am not a big fan of wide bars, although I can appreciate their advantages over technical ground. The flat bars I’ve fitted are 580mm, with an option to cut them down if required. Given that they were so cheap, I won’t mind using and abusing these as I try to find the best set up.

Next on the shopping list are mechanical disc brakes, front mech, cassette, grips and cable packs. That lot could well arrive next week.


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