Tweaking the Troll

Surly Troll 22 inch with panniersAhead of my fortnight to Iceland, I’ve been readying the Surly Troll for more regular touring.

This has, largely, involved swapping my basic suspension fork for the steel version that shipped with the frame.

Onto this fork has gone a Tubus Duo rack, which will be easier to transport when the bike is part-dismantled for flying.

Fitting the Duo was fairly straightforward save for ensuring there was enough clearance around the disc brake calliper. The provided spacer and two additional washers achieved this quite nicely, providing enough room to make adjustments to the Avid BB7 calliper if needed.

A fair amount has been written on the Troll’s ability to carry load. Given its do-it-all credentials and MTB-like geometry, much of the weight sits on the back of the bike compared to, say, my Thorn Club.

That said, 25 miles over the hills this morning have erased doubts over the Troll’s load carrying abilities. The frame feels stiff and keeps everything under control.

You’ll note from the pic that the rear panniers are a bit far back but this didn’t cause any of those horrible tail-wagging-dog descents.

With normal touring kit in the panniers, I think it’s going to perform just fine.


10 thoughts on “Tweaking the Troll

  1. I’m interested about what you said about part dismantling your bike for flying. I’m thinking of going abroad by plane in the next couple of years with my bike – is dismantling required or just something you prefer to do? Jo

    1. Hi Jo, I am using an Evoc Bike bag to transport the Troll… I chose this design for manoeuvrability and as it takes a large framed bike (the Troll is 22 inch). Dismantling requires removal of the bars, wheels and the racks… All pretty minor stuff. In addition, I will remove the rear mech and tape it to a chain stay as this can be quite vulnerable. I hope this will see my bike arrive safe and sound.

      1. No probs… it’s a bit of a fiddle when you’ve got two racks on a bike. As you say, worth it though.

  2. Hi there,
    We’re planning a similar 3 wk trip in August into the SE and NW Fjord area and are keen to hear your stories of planning and the trip – more so buying provisions en route and such !
    We too live in the East Peak area.
    What’s the best email to reach you?

  3. I’m thinking about a Troll and wondering between a 20″ and a 22″. Can you tell me your saddle height (bottom bracket to saddle top, measured along the seat tube)? At 6’3″, I’m trying to understand how the XL would look for me.


    1. Hi, the Troll is in bits at the moment having its post tour shakedown. However, once it’s back together I’ll drop the dimensions on here. You might want to check out Cass Gilbert’s blog if you haven’t done so already. I think he’s your height and went for the 20″ He explains his reasoning…

    1. It’s a bog standard rock shox xc28. I hardly use it to be honest… Much prefer to get beaten up by the steel rigid fork 🙂

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