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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

So I think I want a Surly 29er with gears (2x10 or 3x9), front suspension and have been considering all the options and read pretty much every thread but going around and around in circles. I can't do a full self-build so I am looking at complete bikes, with option to swap front forks.

Looking for a versatile bike for mostly leisure purposes on singletracks including rooty forest trails, gravel terrain with small rocks, and very potholed roads. No long commutes, no bikepacking, no racing, no very technical terrain, no snow. But I like the idea of versatility and being compliant with standards in case I want to modify or use it later for different purposes.

- Ogre with suspension fork:

Buy Ogre 2014 complete bike, ditch the forks and add suspension fork.
Pros: Versatile frame, comes with 3x9 gears and everything, Jones bars look good. Rigid fork if I want that option later. Versatile rear dropouts but after reading a lot I'm still can't work out how nice/easy/reliable the horizontal dropout is for geared setups.
Cons: Searching for suspension forks I'm realising 1-1/8" limits your choice a lot, industry sems to be going towards tapered. QR15 seems a better system than 9mm, but not sure. 2.1" tires OK but might be nice to have a bit wider.

- Karate Monkey Ops:

Pros: Comes with pretty much everything I want. Larger headtube and QR15 hubs seem the way forward. MDS dropout system seems much neater for geared setup, while keeping options open for other setups later. Comes with 2.4" tires. 2x10 seems simpler in operation and probably covers what I need.
Cons: Price is high especially in the UK where it seems to have an even higher USD:GBP premium that other Surly bikes. Fox Fork seems to be a high-spec one but probably more than I need. No rigid option later if I wanted.

- Non-Surly option: Just go for a more "standard" 29er like an On-One Inbred or suchlike.
 

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Hi,

So I think I want a Surly 29er with gears (2x10 or 3x9), front suspension and have been considering all the options and read pretty much every thread but going around and around in circles. I can't do a full self-build so I am looking at complete bikes, with option to swap front forks.

Looking for a versatile bike for mostly leisure purposes on singletracks including rooty forest trails, gravel terrain with small rocks, and very potholed roads. No long commutes, no bikepacking, no racing, no very technical terrain, no snow. But I like the idea of versatility and being compliant with standards in case I want to modify or use it later for different purposes.

- Ogre with suspension fork:

Buy Ogre 2014 complete bike, ditch the forks and add suspension fork.
Pros: Versatile frame, comes with 3x9 gears and everything, Jones bars look good. Rigid fork if I want that option later. Versatile rear dropouts but after reading a lot I'm still can't work out how nice/easy/reliable the horizontal dropout is for geared setups.
Cons: Searching for suspension forks I'm realising 1-1/8" limits your choice a lot, industry sems to be going towards tapered. QR15 seems a better system than 9mm, but not sure. 2.1" tires OK but might be nice to have a bit wider.

- Karate Monkey Ops:

Pros: Comes with pretty much everything I want. Larger headtube and QR15 hubs seem the way forward. MDS dropout system seems much neater for geared setup, while keeping options open for other setups later. Comes with 2.4" tires. 2x10 seems simpler in operation and probably covers what I need.
Cons: Price is high especially in the UK where it seems to have an even higher USD:GBP premium that other Surly bikes. Fox Fork seems to be a high-spec one but probably more than I need. No rigid option later if I wanted.

- Non-Surly option: Just go for a more "standard" 29er like an On-One Inbred or suchlike.
'
Seems like you already have this figured out. In the US, On-One is very uncommon, and surlys are everywhere. Not much bump in value in a complete Ogre over an X5 Inbred. Consider that the Ogre is 100s of dollars more and then you will still need to spend 300-400 for your suspension fork...vs the Inbred which is set up how you want right out of the box...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Seems like you already have this figured out. In the US, On-One is very uncommon, and surlys are everywhere. Not much bump in value in a complete Ogre over an X5 Inbred. Consider that the Ogre is 100s of dollars more and then you will still need to spend 300-400 for your suspension fork...vs the Inbred which is set up how you want right out of the box...
Thanks. Yes, I really like the Surlys but the pricing in the UK is a bit mad e.g. for KM Ops it's 2000 GBP ($3300) vs $2000 in the US i.e. 65% higher. I would be happy to import from the US, but then you run up against their US "no shipping" policy which appears to apply even to buyers in countries that have no Surly dealers, which I find a bit silly.
Anyway... for the sake of argument, between the 1st two options... any thoughts?
 

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I was going to say it's a no-brainer KM option, but $3,300???!! for a KM? No, thanks. As much as I like the KM, I would go for your On One. Unless you can find a KM Ops on ebay.

Just to be clear, there are many options for a rigid fork on the KM Ops. Any 1.125" fork can work with the correct headset, and forks like Niner and Carver come tapered.
 

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you would only consider an Ogre if you have the intention to do touring or would like to use IGH like the Rohloff.
If mostly as what you have stated above, the KM is most likely the best option for you considering that the KM Ops has an MDS dropout.
Goodluck!
 

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T'inbred doesn't have a tapered head tube (or a 44mm one) which might make future fork purchases interesting.

OTOH £2k for a bike with Deore is a bit much; IIRC Ison aren't bringing in this year's complete El Mar as they feel LBSs should be able to build an equivalent spec for similar/less money (I have this in an email from them). Is that an option you've looked at?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OTOH £2k for a bike with Deore is a bit much; IIRC Ison aren't bringing in this year's complete El Mar as they feel LBSs should be able to build an equivalent spec for similar/less money (I have this in an email from them). Is that an option you've looked at?
Interesting re: Ison. I really don't understand the manufacturers. I don't mind paying good money for a good bike, but I do dislike the feeling you're being ripped off and can't see any way to justify a 65% markup, even accounting for duty, VAT, transport, etc.

Having an LBS build for me would probably be the best option but I live in Africa. Shipping a bike is a big hassle, so that's why I'm looking at complete bikes. I think it would be hard to arrange a new build, e.g. by a UK-based LBS, all remotely without seeing it and not sure many LBS would want to. Maybe I'm wrong... Do you think a similar spec can be done for less?

T'inbred doesn't have a tapered head tube (or a 44mm one) which might make future fork purchases interesting.
Good point. The Ogre is the same. That's something I've been wondering. How big a disadvantage is having a bike with 1-1/8" headtube these days? At least the Inbred is a lot cheaper though. Any other makes/models to recommend? There's some better spec models around this price range, I just hate all the flashy graphics and logos they insist on putting on the bike....
 

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Thanks. Yes, I really like the Surlys but the pricing in the UK is a bit mad e.g. for KM Ops it's 2000 GBP ($3300) vs $2000 in the US i.e. 65% higher. I would be happy to import from the US, but then you run up against their US "no shipping" policy which appears to apply even to buyers in countries that have no Surly dealers, which I find a bit silly.
Anyway... for the sake of argument, between the 1st two options... any thoughts?
$3300 for a surly with deore? You can get an American made custom for that kind of money. lulz that sucks keep shopping around. I wouldn't be worried about headtubes you'll still get forks with 1 1/8 steerers for a while.
 

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Well Mr. Occam's Razor, the simplest solution is clearly to get the Inbred and be done with it. :p Pains me to say that on a Surly forum, but the fact is that On One's value is just about untouchable for a steel bike. Even in the US. But anyway, Surly's are great bikes. I can't imagine, though, why they are so expensive across the pond, especially since they are competing with some really cool British bikes from On One, Singular, Cotic, etc.

On fork choice: Personally, I don't think the tapered steerer thing is that big of a deal. But that's just me; I'm kind of a retrogrouch and I don't need the toppest of the top of the line stuff have fun riding singletrack. I think the kinds of forks that I buy and use (RS Recon on my Inbred) will be available in 1 1/8 for a long time. But if you must have top drawer forkery, than you probably want a 44mm headtube. On One's Evo2 and 45650b have it; I wouldn't be surprised if Inbred gets one in a year or two.
 

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Those prices seem excessively high,especially when an Inbred is such a sweet riding bike (LOVE mine-I love my Surly too,but if there was that huge a pricing difference,I'd go On One every time)....:)
 

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Personally, I don't think the tapered steerer thing is that big of a deal. But that's just me; I'm kind of a retrogrouch and I don't need the toppest of the top of the line stuff have fun riding singletrack. I think the kinds of forks that I buy and use (RS Recon on my Inbred) will be available in 1 1/8 for a long time.
I'd disagree. DT for one are stopping producing non-tapered forks. They won't be last.
 

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I'd disagree. DT for one are stopping producing non-tapered forks. They won't be last.
But DT has a very small share of the market. I'll worry when Rock Shox stops making non-tapered forks. Oh, don't mind me. Like I said, I'm a retrogrouch. I have square taper cranks and V-brakes on my bike. I just think in general there's an awful lot of fretting about "future proofing", at least on mtbr and the magazines, which I realize tend to obsess about the latest gear and "new standards" and that sort of thing. The thing is that "standards" change so much, who can keep up? You "future proof" by getting a bike with a 44mm headtube, but by the time you get around to replacing the fork, there's a new "new" standard - I don't know, maybe the industry goes to 1 5/8" instead of 1 1/2" for tapered steerers because it's "stiffer" and "lighter". So now you're back to square one. Bah, who need's it? I say get the best bike that meets your needs right now today and take good care of it. By the time you can't find a suitable replacement part for lack of "future proofing", you'll probably be ready for a new frame anyway.
 
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Well said. I haven't seen a better bottom bracket since the square taper, and I wish I could find more rim brake frames these days. Not the latest and greatest, but that technology works well for me with no fuss.

But DT has a very small share of the market. I'll worry when Rock Shox stops making non-tapered forks. Oh, don't mind me. Like I said, I'm a retrogrouch. I have square taper cranks and V-brakes on my bike. I just think in general there's an awful lot of fretting about "future proofing", at least on mtbr and the magazines, which I realize tend to obsess about the latest gear and "new standards" and that sort of thing. The thing is that "standards" change so much, who can keep up? You "future proof" by getting a bike with a 44mm headtube, but by the time you get around to replacing the fork, there's a new "new" standard - I don't know, maybe the industry goes to 1 5/8" instead of 1 1/2" for tapered steerers because it's "stiffer" and "lighter". So now you're back to square one. Bah, who need's it? I say get the best bike that meets your needs right now today and take good care of it. By the time you can't find a suitable replacement part for lack of "future proofing", you'll probably be ready for a new frame anyway.
 
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