The Straggler Named Surly Fuentes
Mint green and nasty; just the way I like it.
Valleybikes got excited to build a Surly once again so when this fell into our lap, we were exhilarated!
The owner wanted a touring gravel bike which can go the distance. He owned a Giant Trance (full suspension MTB) and a Cannondale Hardtail. They were both able and nicely built, but something’s itching inside him that needs to be scratched. He wanted a cyclo cross which he can take on epic adventures comfortably.
Frame and Fork
When we saw a guy selling his Straggler in one of the on-line selling groups, we immediately contacted him and made arrangements for the frame and fork. We got a good deal, despite a small unnoticeable scratch on the top tube. The frame and fork sat it out for a few months in the batcave, waiting for the other parts. We wanted to build it from the ground up, so we patiently waited for the perfect wheelset to come by.
Wheelset and Drivetrain
One day, one of the Mountain Goats posted his latest build with a price tag. I hurriedly called him why was he selling his very nice hybrid creation. He said he needed money to fund his watch addiction. We agreed on a reasonable price and so we got the hybrid Mountain Goat build. We were to use some of the parts of that for the Straggler.
We got the drive train, a SRAM X7 3 x 9 which shifted perfectly. It was exacto. The wheel set was a Giant wheelset that came with the stock bike. It was wrapped in Continental 700c x 35. Cyclocross Race for the front tire and Cyclocross Speed for the rear. Cyclocross Race had small knobbies while Cyclocross Speed had a ribbed middle which was designed to put more speed on the bike itself.
Valleybikes paired the SRAM X7 9 speed with the bar end shifter levers of Diacompe. It worked like a charm, with no mistake when shifting rapidly. It added to the over-all resto-mod look of the steel Surly.
Cockpit and Brakes
In search for the perfect dropbars, we swept the local bike shops and dealers for the wide open drops. Our friend/Fatbike master had a Salsa Woodchipper just hanging around his car trunk. We met for coffee and were chatting about the Surly build and he suddenly whipped out the Woodchipper. Lucky find!
For the brake lever, old school Diacompe levers completed the resto-mod look of the Straggler. It was paired with Shimano brake calipers and SRAM 160mm rotors. Despite the differences, the stopping department manage to work harmoniously.
For a comfortable grip, we doubled the bar tape. Cannondale 80mm stem on negative completed the front end. For the seat post, Italian bike parts maker Deda Elementi (the post had a nice setback which made the Straggler sexier) is paired with the Brooks B17. We applied the Brooks Proofide on the underside of the saddle and a thin layer on top (Brooks recommended). With this cockpit combo, the hands and butt are happy. The pedals are Shimano clips.
Fuentes rides like a charm. It is easy, fast and fun. Racks and beer bottle cages are up next, but this build so far is perfect. No sweat on climbs, the position of the rider is just right, and this bike is all you would ever need for that long journey called life. This bike is a keeper.
Valleybikes Shout out:
Thank you to Jayboi of Fatbike Philippines, Ben of Raven Cycles, Carlo and Chris of Glorious Ride, MG Mike, Erwin from Anonas, Direk Robert Q and all those who supported this Straggler project. PEACE!