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Thread: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

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    Default Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    As some of you may have read, desperate times call for desperate measures with regards to getting some winter commuting in.

    Looked at a Surly Ogre yesterday...kinda fun seeming bike. Utilitarian. No nonsense, etc. I might snag a prior year model on sale but the dropouts give me pause. How bad are they when running gears, and how doubly bad if using fenders? Trying to decide if this is a deal breaker or not, so some first hand opinions would be great.


    In researching I came across the Surly Straggler which is a disc version of the Cross Check. Might also be a solution, but again, funky dropouts. Apparently when you run it geared, you need to run the set screws all the way forward like below, essentially creating an equivalent to a vertical drop. Wouldn't this cause a localized pressure point in the axle (the end of the set screw) and how much of a faff is this?


    Sorry if this is only somewhat mtb related. More commuting content than anything but I'd probably take the bike to Palos occasionally, and to Allaire in NJ when I go home.
    my name is Matt

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    I don't have any firsthand experience with the Ogre dropouts, but those frames have been ridden in insanely tough conditions with big loads. It may be a pain to loosen and adjust everything frequently but given that a lot of Ogres and Trolls are run with Internal Geared hubs (like the one pictured), they are probably set and left for a long time.

    The second one I don't think it would be all that much different than running a track end with an adjuster bolt. In both cases it all comes down to the skewer type or the bolts used to tighten the thing down. With bolts you could run it without the adjuster. With a relatively weak 5mm QR skewer that adjuster bolt wouldn't be long for this world in a high-torque offroad environment anyway. In both cases, it would probably put a dent in the side of the 9mm axle. Just back it out a tiny bit after making sure the skewer is good and tight.

    I'm having a bike built by a Chicago area builder using a set of forward facing dropouts with adjusters (no disc brakes though) not that different than the Surly dropouts. It will be used offroad some too. I don't anticipate it being a problem.

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin3mj View Post
    Looked at a Surly Ogre yesterday...kinda fun seeming bike. Utilitarian. No nonsense, etc. I might snag a prior year model on sale but the dropouts give me pause. How bad are they when running gears, and how doubly bad if using fenders? Trying to decide if this is a deal breaker or not, so some first hand opinions would be great.
    Yes they're ridiculously ugly and heavy even by Surly's standards, but they're not nearly as bad in practice as what they were using before

    If you use a SRAM Type 2 derailleur, getting the wheel out becomes a lot easier since you can lock the pulley cage in a fully slack position


    Quote Originally Posted by robin3mj View Post
    In researching I came across the Surly Straggler which is a disc version of the Cross Check. Might also be a solution, but again, funky dropouts. Apparently when you run it geared, you need to run the set screws all the way forward like below, essentially creating an equivalent to a vertical drop. Wouldn't this cause a localized pressure point in the axle (the end of the set screw) and how much of a faff is this?
    They sure do look stupid as hell

    But they're actually solving a real problem that's plagued their bikes since the 1x1: a caliper placed at 12-o'clock wants to force the axle rearwards, and there's no chaintug in the world that will hold your NDS axle *forward* in a horizontal dropout. If you're a fatass you can break a Shimano QR trying to get it to stop slipping, the only surefire fix is track nuts with a 10" wrench

    The setscrews on the Straggler keep that from happening, and provide a vertical dropout for the 99% that will ride the fucking thing with gears (99.9% if you cut out the qbp employees)

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    I use one of these on my Troll...wheel seats back to correct position every time...I use a Rohloff, fenders and racks with no problems...

    Riding has to be fun, and part of the fun has to be that you’re not worried about having too much technology on your bike. - Tom Ritchey

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    I have an old Karate Monkey with the thinner, track end-styled dropouts. to remove the rear wheel I have to loosen or remove the disc brake. It's a huge pain in the tuchus.
    N i c k
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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    Quote Originally Posted by nmhaigarack View Post
    I have an old Karate Monkey with the thinner, track end-styled dropouts. to remove the rear wheel I have to loosen or remove the disc brake. It's a huge pain in the tuchus.
    I have a friend who sold his KM for this very reason.

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    At least from a shop perspective - which is saying something, as I'm usually dry and warm, with a solid stand and proper tools to work with - I hate almost all styles of Surly dropouts in their application. They may be great in theory. (The only exceptions I can think of are rim brake bikes, LHTs, and Steamrollers.)

    Their profound shittiness becomes even more apparent when I compare them to, say, the perfectly functional, very low-quality sliders on a bike like the Kona Unit.

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    For SS or hub geared use the Surly drops are OK. What's it to loosen a 5mm disc bolt once you've already taken care of a bolt on rear hub. But for QR/geared use their combo SS with a derail hanger dropouts are not the best way to go. It's a good thing those steel hangers are willing to be bent back, because that will likely be required from day zero.

    I loooooved my Pugsley, but that hanger sitting out on the end of a horizontal drop tab (on a drivetrain offset to the drive side) had a bullseye on it. Too much leverage on too weak a frame component. It could be tweaked easily with a ham-fisted shift. Though to it's credit, many times tweaked back into line.

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    Thread revival! Surly is still at it making the most infuriating dropouts! They now make three bikes specified with thru axle hubs wherein the frames are not threaded for thru axles - the Karate Monkey, the Disc Trucker, and the Midnight Special. Surly’s need for backward compatibility and single-speed capability will not be denied! Surly posted a BS explanation of the benefits of their particular thru axle design on their website, but none of them address what’s lacking - a true, accurate registration of the wheel in the frame and fork! With a real, threaded frame/fork thru axle system, part of the benefit is that the wheel can’t be misaligned. I worked as a mechanic in a shop, and if I had a dollar for every misaligned, incorrectly positioned quick release skewer that came in, I could almost retire. Surly claim that their steel frames are thinner than aluminum frames and aren’t suitable for threaded thru axles. Kona to Surly: hold my beer.

    My first experience with the dreaded Surly dropouts began when I bought a 2012 Karate Monkey. “I can do everything with this bike” I thought. I put a derailleur and fenders on the bike for my commute. I quickly came to realize that with the rearward facing single speed "dropouts," if I got a puncture, I’d be at least an hour late for work - potentially sitting in a rain storm taking the rear fender off and then fighting the derailleur to get the wheel off and on. The bike lived the rest of its life in my care as a single speed MTB. That’s really what it wants to be.

    I’d love an Ogre with a true THREADED thru axle spec - a simpler, lighter frame, with perhaps several fewer warts on the fork. I’m not going to hold my breath.

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    As with many things, Surly bikes often lead to buyers remorse.
    If you desire versatile dropouts, the PMW sliders are the best in my opinion.
    You can choose inserts for quick release, thru axle, Rohloff, multiple disc mount options, with or without derailleur hanger, black or silver - probably other choices I’ve missed. And they look nice! And they’re made in USA
    They’re so good that Kona among others use an obvious Chinese knockoff.

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    The ones on my Ice Cream Truck are a pain in the ass, but they basically work ok. I can see how adding fenders would make it all much worse.

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    I own the current Karate Monkey with a 12mm thru axle. absolutely no complaints after over a year of use with many singlespeed gear changes. works perfectly from start to finish. I use a Snugnut to help tension the chain and line everything up, but I don't think it's needed to hold the axle in place. that thru axle is beefy and holds tight. any problems others are experiencing with this kind of dropout must be user error.

    same thing for my old KM that had a 10mm axle. never has a single problem with it and hearing others having problems with something so elegantly simple was always a head-scratcher for me. it's like people complaining that shoelaces are too difficult to tie.
    Jonathan - Austin, TX

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    I have no doubt the current Karate Monkey is better in this regard than my 2012 (if not better than the 2015 Ops with MDS chips). But as others have pointed out, the same versatility could be achieved in a less awkward way with sliding or swinging dropout plates. If Kona can offer the Unit frame/fork with sliders and true threaded thru axles for $600, surely Surly could also, given that their frame/fork costs $100 more.

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    I prefer the track end design. everyone else can keep their sliders and stuff. nothing to move, nothing to strip out, very little that can slip. after riding BMX for half my life and doing icepick grinds on ledges and that sort of thing, I learned how to center my wheel and keep my axle in place without any additional moving parts. maybe that's the appeal.
    Jonathan - Austin, TX

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    IMG_6114.JPG

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I prefer the track end design. everyone else can keep their sliders and stuff. nothing to move, nothing to strip out, very little that can slip. after riding BMX for half my life and doing icepick grinds on ledges and that sort of thing, I learned how to center my wheel and keep my axle in place without any additional moving parts. maybe that's the appeal.
    Yep.

    I dunno why anyone would design that green thing in the OP

    Here you have a hanger and a rack mount and a disc and they all work just fine, sent out a few hundred pairs and no issues, 3/16th and 1/4" 4130.

    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    STEEEEVe

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    Quote Originally Posted by zambenini View Post
    STEEEEVe
    My thoughts exactly!!!!

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    Default Re: Surly drop outs. Worth the hassle?

    Quote Originally Posted by zambenini View Post
    STEEEEVe
    Yes?

    Quote Originally Posted by rec head View Post
    My thoughts exactly!!!!
    I'll be back for a limited engagement this summer, guys.

    I may have a few years left once this big crack in my chest heals up.

    Did I mention 220g lighter then PMW sliders?

    Make single speeds 23 lbs again !!

    IMG_6399.JPG

    ;)

    - Garro.
    Last edited by steve garro; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:18 PM.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
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