7 seconds


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, trying to read this blog with your eyes closed or you have the long term memory of a particularly stupid goldfish (or if this is your first visit here), you’ll know I am the proud owner of a Surly Troll.

Now, I happen to love my Troll (I also hate it in equal proportions but that’s a story for another day) – it’s so… so orange, so heavy, so weird and so, so very Surly. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about it from other cyclists and even random people walking down the street. They ask me such things as:

  • Do you use that for touring?
    I always want to answer this with: “Oh no, I just like the way the pannier racks look on it…” but generally respond with something like: “Yeah; on road, off road & everywhere between” which is normally followed by a look of pure wonderment and “Off… road… touring…?”
  • Aren’t those tyres too big for riding on the road?
    This is normally answered with a wry smile and “Nah, they’re great. Plus, I do a fair bit of off roading with it too.” which is normally followed by a look of pure wonderment and, you know the rest.
  • Seriously? You’re going to ride that on the mountain bike trails? With racks? And luggage? (and then a little later) And you’re faster and more capable than me on my proper MTB?
    This I answered with: “Sure, the trails looked fairly tame on the pictures… besides, I’ve ridden on far worse.” (and then a little later) “Wow, those trails were nothing like as tame as I thought they’d be and the luggage sure made it interesting!” which was followed by a look of pure wonderment yadda yadda yadda.
  • What is that thing?
    Normally answered with: “Well, it’s not really a road bike, it’s not really a mountain bike, it’s not really a touring bike…” which is normally followed by… yep, that stuff.

You see, it’s a bit of a weird thing, the Surly Troll. It’s very, very good at a lot of things (hence my love for it) but it’s also not very, very good at some other things (hence my hate for it)… Fond as I am of the large tyres and heavy, rugged frame, it’s a bit of a event every time I wheel it out of the garage. And, quite simply, it just doesn’t work as a jump-on-me-and-ride-all-weekender.

So, for a while I’ve been coveting a nice, lightweight road(ish) bike. Potential candidates have been the Surly Pacer, Surly Crosscheck, Soma Smoothie, Soma Stanyan & Soma Double Cross to name but a few.

Kinesis Crosslight 4t NCN route 55In the end, common sense (and Karen tugging relentlessly on the purse strings) prevailed and I had to settle for a second hand Kinesis Crosslight 4t frame I found on eBay and the selection of spare parts I had lying around the garage.

And so, here it is; complete with white handlebar tape which stayed white for… a good 7 seconds. A full report on the build and an inital ride report will follow soon.