Brixton Cycles are the best
22.07.06 by Buffalo Bill
I got a Surly Long Haul Trucker. I only really decided that I was going a couple of weeks before I did, and I wasn’t confident that my battered Colnago frame would stay the pace. It had a seat post burned out at some point, and that burned tube is mashed now. I did at least 20 000k, racing, training, Audax, messengering and touring on it last year. I didn’t want to find myself in the middle of France with a broken frame. I would have preferred to get a nice Mercian or a Thorn or something like that, but I didn’t have the time to wait. I got a Long Haul instead of some thing with tighter clearances cos maybe one day I will want to do a proper expedition, in which I will be able to fit those big knobbly things, and I hoped that a longer wheel-base would help to damp down the ‘tail wagging the dog’ effect that attaching a trailer has on the handling.
Brixton Cycles built it up in record time. I know that I had no right to expect them to produce a complete bike within 10 days of ordering it, but they did.
105 triple 9 speed, MTB 11 – 34 sprockets, XT rear hub, Shimano dyno front, 36 hole Mavic A179 hoops. Dia-compe Mini-V brakes, Cane Creek head-set, Bonty Race Light 32c tyres and Seculite stand lights.
I got it the day before I left, and in 1400k, all I had to do was turn the barrel adjuster on the rear mech a quarter turn. Oh, and I had 1 puncture.
The only quibble that I have is that for touring it’s hard to find a decent spread of ratios. I really didn’t need the 11 (I used it once, maybe) and I would have preferred to have 2 tooth jumps all the way up. Erik Zo will probably tell you about 1/2 steps and TA and whatever, but I just wanted to hand over my credit card and throw my leg over something.
This is only the 2nd complete shop-assembled bike I have ever ridden (almost everything else Andy Capp or I built), and it was absolutely perfect. It weighs a lot, but it was comfortable and I was confident enough to counter-steer (on entering a corner you push the bars in the opposite direction to the corner) at 50km/h. I didn’t ride any hills over 250m, so I didn’t get a chance to really to test it out on long descents. Shame.
Thanks very much to Brixton for fitting me in, in the busiest time of the year for the shop, and especially to Simon B. I love you all.