Do you remember that feeling you used to get as a child when you’d wake up early, scamper down the stairs and ever-so-tentatively open the living room door to see if Santa Claus had been and left you some presents?

Every day this week I’ve had that exact same feeling; arriving home from work, opening the front door and seeing…

…absolutely nothing. Postie has brought me nothing but bills and junk mail this week. Until today, that is.

Easily 4′ tall, about 2′ wide and probably 1′ deep, this has to be the biggest box I’ve had delivered that didn’t contain a complete bike.

Naturally, I barely managed to get my post-ride stretches done and my helmet off before I was reaching for a knife and attacking the sellotape. Inside, there were 2 more boxes and, inside each of those, more boxes. Inside the increasingly little boxes, little plastic bags. And, inside those little plastic bags, 17 hundred million little bolts, washers and other assorted bits of hardware. The exciting things, however, the things I’ve been waiting for all bloody week were the reason for the comedy oversize box.

Yes, dear readers, it’s time for my faithful old Merida to hang up its commuting hat and retire. Or, more likely, get listed for sale on eBay so someone else can put a few more thousand miles on the clock with her.

The long awaited Surly Troll Monster Cross Commutourer is finally ready for daily Manchester based commuting abuse. The last few bits I was waiting for (bottle cages and pannier racks) have finally arrived.

As with all things, I agonised over which racks would be right for me; even going so far as to order a Lezyne Power Rack Elite only to have a regular Lezyne Power Rack arrive so, despite it being a very nice thing, it had to go back to the shop for a refund. Sigh.

In the end, I decided that scrimping and saving really wasn’t the answer, threw caution completely to the wind and asked myself:

“What kind of pannier racks should I fit to a Surly?”
“Err… Surly racks.”
“But. But. But… They’re £100. Each!”
“Yeah. And?”
“And… She’ll kill me. Kill me dead.”
“Nah. It’s only 4 months’ bus fare.”
“Ah, well, when you put it like that…”

And so, the decision was made. Surly racks it would have to be. Front and rear. All 4 months’ bus fare worth. But, wait. What’s this? ‘Ragley’ you say?

It turns out there’s a dude called Brant Richards [Brant, really? Who calls their kid Brant???] who markets front and rear racks bearing a striking resemblance to those made by the good people over at Surly. Sold to me by the evil Chain Reaction Cycles with a considerable discount and an extra £15 off voucher, I bagged front and rear racks for a ‘mere’ £105.

Primarily, I built the Troll for commuting duties so, for now, I’ve only fitted the rear rack and I reckon it looks pretty good. A full review of both racks will follow once I’ve given them a few months’ testing.

7 thoughts on “patience

    • Err… I think this one is definitely a ‘he’, especially considering the way we were scalping roadies at the weekend and rolling over… well, everything that got in our way!

      I haven’t keep too close an eye on the costs so far and some of the parts came from other projects and my parts bin but I reckon we’re still on the right side of £900.

      I’m currently agonising over Ortlieb Back Roller City and Carradice Kendal rear panniers… The Ortliebs will work without a doubt but the Carradice are just *so* much cooler; plus, they’ll match my little tool roll handlebar bag!

      Either way, the whole build should come in under a grand which I’m pretty happy with.

      • I’ve got the Ortlieb Plus bar bag and large office pannier bag, had them for two or more years of commuting every day in all weathers, they are fantastic with lots of life remaining.
        You’ve spent less than I was expecting, that’s good for a bike you chose every aspect of.
        Here’s to the many miles of smiles you will have

      • Thanks for the advice – Ortliebs it is!

        I’m thinking about taking the Troll out to get muddy tomorrow – will take some long overdue glory shots of the whole bike.

      • Looking good! I’ve had one of my trademark changes of heart and ordered a full set of Lezyne Rack Caddy bags! Hopefully they’ll work out OK!

  1. Pingback: good enough | life in the cycle lane

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s