Easter, Spring or Vernal Equinox… call it what you like, but this time of year is about rebirth and some much-anticipated sunshine!




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It therefore seemed fitting to have taken my somewhat neglected and abused Surly Troll out of hibernation, following last year cycle tour of NZ, Australia and Thailand, whipped off all the touring paraphernalia and stripped it down to its core. A 26″ steel mountain bike!

As it stands nothing else has been changed, updated or replaced (yet) since being in Thailand and before making any changes I wanted to see where it was at “as is”.

As it turns out after 60km of very mix terrain it’s not in bad shape, but diffidently needs a few changes.

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The 1.75 tyres did admirably considering we started off with some beach riding and in sections the sand was super deep, very wet and sticky like new cement. Realising this to late I dabbed a foot and promptly lost it to the bog. Despite this, for 90% of the time it did ok, but was clearly out its depth.

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This set the tone for the rest of the ride as I tried exploring as many different surfaces as I could. The previous nights rain helps make this more interesting.

The current setup is not surprisingly best on farm tracks and hard packed paths and lost out in the mud, sand and looser surfaces.

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Im definitely going to get some much fatter rubber asap and I am considering a new wheelset based around Surly’s new 26+ 2.5″ ExtraTerrestrial tyre. Its billed as an off-road touring tyre and has a similar tread to my current Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour’s which will suit what I have planned for the bike well, while opening up more trail possibilities.

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Riding off-road in NZ was incredible and reignited my love for mountain biking, but the UK winter didn’t exactly encourage me to get out and explore off road, it was bad enough on them! So now the weather is changing im planning a lot more adventurous rides and trips in the months ahead.

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Click here for ride data