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Cycle Monkey

Internal Gearing Specialists, Bicycle Distribution & Service Center

Surly Troll with S&S Couplings, Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, and Gates Carbon Drive Belt

This customized Surly Troll was built for a customer in Easton,Maryland who wanted a bike for travel touring and general utility use. He came to us looking to get Surly's newly released World Troller frame built up with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive. However, at the time, the World Troller frames had not started shipping, so we took a standard Surly Troll frame and modified it by adding S&S couplings, a belt drive splitter, and a new coat of white powder coat to get very nearly the same result with the additional feature of being belt compatible.

Surly is known for making affordable steel frames and bikes in a wide variety of models including road, cargo, mountain, plus-tire, fat, and touring bikes. The World Troller is the latest addition to their touring lineup and is identical to the standard Troll model save for the addition of the S&S couplers. This upgrade makes it more expensive than their other frames but still offers a good value relative to other travel specific frames.

The Surly Troll & World Troller are reliable touring frames intended for crossing borders. These frames are designed with 26" wheels for ease of finding replacements parts when traveling around the world. The 26" wheels are also smaller for packing, which is especially important when you're when short on space and working to get your bike packed into an airline-legal case. It has cross country mountain bike geometry for predictable handling with generous standover height.

Ultimate versatility is a mainstay for most Surly frames and particularly on their touring frames. The Troll has both cantilever and disc brake mounts, horizontal rear-loading dropouts that can accommodate single speed, internal, or external gearing setup, a variety of cable guides to facilitate clean cable routing with any drivetrain setup, and lots of mounting points for attaching racks, H2O or cargo cages, and fenders. The belt drive modification gives this frame an additional setup up option.

The dropouts on the Troll have a dedicated slot for anchoring a Rohloff OEM2 axle plate and threaded holes for installing one of Surly's cargo trailers. Tire clearance is rated at 2.7", so it can be setup with anything from a smoother, road-touring tire to a large volume plus tire. The included fork comes standard with low- and mid-blade rack and fender bosses plus 3-hole Anything Cage mounts for even more carrying options.

In order to use a belt with most frames, the frame needs to be designed so that the rear triangle can open to allow the belt to fit into the rear triangle. If the frame wasn't designed for it, there are frame modifications that can be done to take a frame made to put a chain through it and turn it into a frame that can open to be belted. In this case, we added a simple tube splitter from Paragon Machine Works in the seat stay. The splitter replaces a section of the stay and is held together by two bolts. When the bolts are taken out, the stay can be flexed open to pass a belt through.

In addition to the tube-splitter, the main frame was cut in half and S&S couplers were installed to make checking the bike with airlines more affordable. The threaded couplings allow the main triangle of the bike to be disassembled at the top tube and downtube, allowing the two pieces to fit into an airline-legal case.

While the frame was getting modified, we had our Wheel House get to work on a custom wheelset. Sturdy Velocity Cliffhanger rims were build onto a Shutter Precision 
to power the head and tail lights and a USB charging device and a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub in the back. Both wheels were finished off with the Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Tires.

The Rohloff SPEEDHUB is a great fit for a touring bike. Rohloff's hubs are widely recognized as the most reliable drivetrain choice for long distance touring - a critical requirement for this customer's build. On an unsupported tour that can lead into remote and unknown areas, he didn't want to risk being stranded far from a bike shop with drivetrain problems. With the addition of the Gates Carbon Drive belt, which has a usable lifespan at least twice as long as a conventional chain (and typically much longer) and does not require lubrication, this drivetrain is hassle-free and provides security and piece of mind for heading out on tour.

This customer wanted his bike to allow him to explore the world without needing to rely on outside sources for power or mechanical aid. The dynamo hub allows him to power the front and rear light or charge his phone, GPS, or cache battery through the SineWave Cycles Reactor USB charging device. Dynamo hubs with a USB charger are great tools to take with you touring to stay plugged-in when you are off the grid.

The rest of this build was put together with comfort and durability in mind. Ergon GP-4 grips provide hand comfort for long days on the bike, and the Crane Creek Thudbuster suspension seatpost with a Brooks saddle smooths out the bumps in the road.  

This customer came to us wanting the perfect expedition bike: something dependable, comfortable, independently powered, and able to break down and fit in an airline-legal sized bike case. He got it all with this customized Surly Troll.  

If you're looking to build a bike for your next two-wheeled adventure and want it to meet all your needs, our team can walk you through the build process so you get everything you're looking for. Give us a call to find out more about your options and get a dedicated build to ride.

Build Details: 

• Frame: Surly Troll
• Fork: Surly Troll
• Headset: Hope Threadless
• Stem: Thomson X4
• Handlebar: Salsa Salt flatbar
• Shifter: Rohloff twist
• Grips: Ergon GP-4
• Seatpost: Cane Creek Thudbuster
• Saddle: Brooks
• Front Hub: Shutter Precision PD-8
• Rear Hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Velocity Cliffhanger 26"
• Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial
• Cranks: Shimano Deore XT
• Pedals: Shimano XT Touring
• Bottom Bracket: Hope, mountain
• Chain ring: Race Face
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Belt: Gates Carbon Drive Belt
• Brakes & Levers: Avid BB7
• Rotors: Magura
• Front Light: Schmidt Edelux U-Model
• Rear Light: Busch and Mueller Toplight Line Plus
• Fenders: Planet Bike Cascadia
• Rear Rack: Tubus Logo Evo