The Bike Stuff

The Bike itself: Choosing a touring bike indeed isn’t easy. I was considering buying a Surly Long Haul Trucker already before my Mediterranean trip 2014, but since Bikester kindly gave me a discount on any bike in their store I went with a Kona Sutra (Surly wasn’t an option).

The Kona Sutra (see photos above) is a beautiful bike and perfect for asphalt touring and I love riding it. But the small tire clearance and the 28″ inch wheels just wouldn’t do it on this next trip. The Surly Long Haul Trucker is rather expensive however, and I spent months looking at ebay and similar websites for a cheaper price. I realized though, that buying one of those wouldn’t necessarily mean a cheaper deal since the repair and replacement costs would be higher.


In the end, I bought a brand new Surly – a 2014 year model however, and hence for a discount price – shipped from England. The Surly is initially equipped with dropbars and cantilever brakes – I wasn’t quite happy with that and thus began the procedure to rebuild it a little; I replaced the handlebars, levers and shifters, brake cables and brakes, saddle and tires. I added pedals, a rear and a front rack, lights, fenders and bottle holders. Since I didn’t want the presta valve my dad also drilled bigger holes in the rims so that the auto schrader valve would fit instead.

See listed specifications of my Surly below:

What I kept:

  • Frame: Surly Long Haul Trucker, 100% Surly 4130 CroMoly steel. Main triangle double butted. TIG-welded (Size: 54 cm)
  • Fork: Surly Long Haul Trucker, 100% CroMoly, lugged and brazed. 1-1/8″ threadless steer tube uncut
  • Seatpost Clamp: Surly Stainless, Natural Silver
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra, FD-4403 triple
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano LX, T661 SGS long cage
  • Crankset: Andel, Forged arms, Silver. Aluminum rings, 110mm BCD, 48-36-26t
  • Bottom Bracket: Shimano, UN53. 68x110mm
  • Cassette: Shimano Deore, CS-HG53. 9-speed. 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-34t
  • Chain: SRAM, PC971 9-speed
  • Headset: Ritchey Logic Comp, 1-1/8″ threadless, w/ 40mm spacers. Black
  • Stem: Kalloy, 1-1/8″ threadless. Forged. 26.0mm clamp. Silver
  • Seatpost: Kalloy SP-342, 27.2 x 300mm. Silver
  • Hubs: Shimano LX, T660 36h. Silver
  • Spokes: DT Swiss, 14g stainless. Silver
  • Rims: Alex Adventurer, 36h. Black w/ eyelets

What I added/replaced:

  • Levers:Shimano Alivio BLT4010 (Just cuz they were cheap)
  • V-brakes and brake Cables: Shimano Deore XT
  • Shifters (with cables): Shimano Deore SL-M590 Rapidfire – I like them!
  • Butterfly handlebars
  • Some awesome green bar tape
  • Saddle: Brooks B17 Champion Standard
  • Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Evo 50-559
  • AV tubes
  • Surly Rear rack
  • Tubus Lowrider front rack
  • Dartmoor BMX-pedals – really good grip thanks to the little spikes on them, works great with toe sandals I tell ya…


  • Fenders – I do not have them anymore. They ripped of in the muddy road conditions in Eastern Turkey and I will not get myself any new ones…
  • Abus U-lock – wouldn’t feel safe leaving my bike without it, definitely worth the extra weight
  • Cable lock
  • Two bottle holders
  • Rear and front light
  • Bike computer: Ciclosport CM 4.4
  • Klickfix mount and extension
  • Gopro mount and phone mount

Rear panniers: Vaude Aqua back, one of them is the plus version. It’s nice with the outer pocket since you could keep your bike tools easily accessible and separated from the rest of the stuff. I used both panniers on my last trip and have replaced the hangers to new ones, as well as repaired a few holes in the texture with some old bike tube patches…

Front Panniers: Vaude Aqua front: Last time I had back ones on my front rack too but I figured they’d hit the ground way too often since my front rack is the Tubus Lowrider… We don’t want pannier strike!

Handlebar bag: Ortlieb Ultimate Ultimate 6 L Classic: It needs a Klickfix adapter to be mounted and also a Klickfix extension piece if you got a butterfly handlebar like me. Thanks to the klickfix-system it’s easily deattached from the mount and could be brought in when you are for instance, shopping groceries. I keep my camera and other valuables here, as well as my map in the additional map case on top (and maybe some snack).

Dry bags: On top of my rear rack and rear panniers I got a 60 L dry bag (Sea to summit Big River) which is really tear-resistant and in which I keep my tent, sleeping pad and hiking backpack. In one of the rear panniers there’s a smaller 20 L dry bag (same brand) in which I keep my sleeping bag and laptop.

Tools and such: Puncture repair kit, allen keys, wire cutter, chain tool, wire, electric tape, hockey tape, cable ties, grease and dry oil.

Spare parts: A couple of extra chain links, spokes, brake pads, an extra tube, an old tube to repair things with in case I run out of patches, extra batteries to the bike lights.