Mara the Ogre

After touring a Surly Pugsley named Nikita for the last two years and just recently to all her capacities, I finally sold her to – now happy to have her – Mike. He continues to ride her from Peru to Colombia, so she is in good hands and will continue to see some amazing terrain.
I mainly sold her for the reason that, outside of once-a-year adventures like Bolivia, she is just too much of a bike and for the casual touring I do during the rest of the year, a lighter and less hardcore terrain oriented bike would do me better.

So I seized the chance and bought Mike’s Surly Ogre in return, or at least most of it. Having had a little more budget build in mind and Mike wanting to keep them, I passed on the wheels with the Rohloff. My actual plans were to build some wheels sporting some 40 mm wide rims but after checking around, I unfortunately couldn’t find any rim matching my requirements. Either too expensive or just not as nicely build for hassle-free tubeless setup. The best I found – and most likely affordable – have been the Alexrims MD50 but they aren’t available before January and 50 mm could be a little wide for standard 2.3″/2.4″ tires. Normally I wouldn’t mind paying a little more for good parts but I share a similar opinions on existing rims as Nick does in his ingenious article and having that budget build in mind, I just can’t put on € 150+ rims. Why is nobody building (really) tubeless ready standard aluminum 35/40 mm 29er rims (for less than € 100)? In my opinion, that’s a real market gap as it is the perfect size for 29er rims, nobody offers it yet and I’m pretty sure there would be plenty of people who would buy them …

So, for now I’m going to run 30 mm Spank Subrosa. Not the cheapest, I know, but I really like Spank rims for their good tubeless design and their rigidity while still beeing quite light. And it’s hard to not pick parts you know beeing awesome though a little more expensive. Actually, the wheels in total didn’t turn out to be as budget as I originally intended .. Alongside those rims, I picked DT 350 hubs. I was about to buy Sram X.7 hubs but then had some longer thoughts. I have no experience with the DT 350 but the facts could make them worth their additional money. First, I found a good deal. Second, their inner structures are exactly the same as the way more expensive 240s. And third, they can be converted to almost any existing axle standard (for the rear hub that is, the front 15 mm version allows to use an insert to convert them to standard QR) which makes them future proof – either sell to the wheels or to put on another bike.

I’m going to try a new luggage setup as well. The Revelate Viscacha served me well and is perfect for fast, light bikepacking. My problem is that I always dig for things that are at the bottom of it and after a while it gets annoying. Also, the fabric isn’t the most sturdy and I have worn some holes in it over the time – which is totally fine, I had it for quite a while and it’s build to be light, not super durable. So, after seeing those Carradice bags in live for several times, they seem to be a good thing. Of course, they weight in more than double and are a lot more bulky but if you don’t try, you don’t know, right?

So, here’s the complete specs:

* from Mike’s original build
** had that laying around, put to good use now

Frame/Fork: 18″ Surly Ogre*
Seatpost: Thomson Elite*
Saddle: Brooks Team Professional** (actually not my favorite, but there has to be a saddle and it would have collected dust otherwise …)
Stem: 90 mm Ritchey WCS**
Handlebars: 680 mm, 12° Syntace Vector Carbon**
Grips: Ergon GP1
Brakes/Levers: Avid BB7*, Avid SD 7*
Disc Rotors: Sram Centerline (really curious how they perform, that’s why I bought them)
Cables: Jagwire Mountain Pro (good stuff!)
Headset: Hope*
Wheels: Spank Subrosa 30AL Evo, DT Swiss 350, Sapim Race, Maxxis Ardent 2.4
Derailleur: Shimano Zee SSW (that’s the freeride version wich can take a 11-36 cassette)
Shifter: Shimano Zee
Cassette: Shimano XT
Chain: Wippermann 10s8
Cranks/BB: Middleburn RS8*
Chainring: 32t e*thirteen guidering
Pedals: some laying around** (unsure if I should get myself another pair of those Hope F20 .. they are my alltime favorite pedals – ask me if you want to know why – though fucking expensive)
Additional: Surly Monkey Nuts

Luggage as pictured: Revelate Pocket, Sea to Summit Event dry bag (S), Revelate Gas Tank & Mountain Feedbag, Porcelain Rocket framebag (Mike had that one made but then bought my Pugsley, so brand spanking new!), Carradice Camper Longflap + Bagman Expedition Rack, Profile Design Kage bottle cages, Tune bottles, Trangia 1l fuel bottle (that valve is perfect for filling alcohol stoves!)
If I need more space, I could always add a Revelate Sweetroll and various dry bags.

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6 thoughts on “Mara the Ogre

    1. So far not. But I haven’t encountered any steep climbing yet (my smallest gear now is about the same as the 4th gear on a Rohloff with 34/16). ^^
      So for just getting around here, it’s fine. And If I can foresee a tour that would need low gears, I could always add a front derailleur and a second chainring.

    1. Yeah, in hindsight the golden ones would have matched nicely, wouldn’t they … ^^
      That golden chainring wasn’t intentional, there was simply no other color available.

      Flow EX have been on the list. They even have an extra milimeter inner width. But I somehow prefer the taller profile and extra beefiness of the Spank. And they’re a little cheaper as well.

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