Well, with the advent of the new furnace that got installed at our house the week after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, my bike plans to adopt a fat bike have changed. I just really couldn’t see dropping the extra hundreds to own the machine. The dollar signs just weren’t there.
So, I had to consider options. What could I do with that nice store credit I had? Use it for parts? Practical, but no romance, none at all. Buy something else? While the store credit is significant, I’d have to do some serious research to see if I could get something in the ballpark of what I want.
Which brought me to the question of – What did I want? I had to think about that one.
I knew what I didn’t want. I didn’t want another roadie. I have my carbon Madone, my funky purple Specialized Allez, the Schwinn Fastback, my rando bike, and my heavy tourer, the Giant OCR Touring. I think I have my on-road options covered.
So what do I want/need? I looked over my off-road options, only to find some gaping holes in that work force. Technically the only “real” offroader I have is the Fargo. I do have my beloved, vintage, late 80’s Bianchi Axis cyclocross bike that I have reconfigured I don’t-know-how-many times and it does do some off-road duty when I need it to – but it isn’t strictly in the off-road category.
Okay – well that narrowed down the search a bit. I definitely want something that is off-road capable. I also like versatility in a bike – like the aforementioned Axis and Fargo. I want something that can be a grocery getter, a campeur, a tourer, and a trail bike as well as being a mountain bike.
Hmmmmm – a bike with all those capabilities. Enter the ….
I looked around for something like that, and lo and behold, I found it. I ended up purchasing a 16″, black, Surly Troll as a frameset. It can do everything I want and then some. Steel frame? Check. Rack and water braze-ons? Check. Extra braze-ons on the fork? Check. Three water bottle braze-ons? Check. Suspension corrected, just in case? Disk Brakes? Canti bosses? Fenders? Big, wide rubber – both mountain and road? And a slew of ways to configure the rear wheel and use Rohloff hubs? Reconfigure from mountain bike to tourer – yup, in spades!!!
I’m now assembling parts to put with the frame – more on the build when I get it together. It will be a budget build, for certain. I am trying to stay on my budget and the specter of the furnace looms large over the financial things right now. I can’t afford to get truly insane with new parts – I have a feeling that most of the parts will be good used ones from friends and C-list. No shame in that – as time passes, I can always upgrade if I want.
Here are some reviews that helped me to make up my mind about this – check out the links. These people mostly had pretty good things to say about the frame – some were seriously impressed, others were more objective, but all were favorable. The 2013 Troll made some improvements over the initial frame, by offering more braze-ons in more/better places. They also offered it in new colors – purple and black. Last year’s frame was produced in orange.
If you’re considering an all-arounder type build, the Troll may be your friend. Have a look at the reviews and then decide.