Posted by Cass Gilbert
There’s change in the air at Surly. First it was the Troll, then the Ogre, and now the ECR. Each of these three bikes has recently been rejigged with a non-suspension corrected geometry, to help differentiate the lineup from the company’s more trail-orientated offerings. An advantage of going rigid specific is that frames inherit more framebag real estate, which will be particularly welcomed by those running smaller sizes.
Which is not to say the likes of the Krampus and the Karate Monkey aren’t suited to bikepacking and light touring duties, thanks to Surly’s usual generosity with riddling its frames with eyelets for racks and various water bottles. But if more dedicated, long distance traveling appeal, then you’ll likely want to be check out the company’s Touring category first, into which category the ECR falls. All three bikes now also feature Surly’s rejigged, beefed up, Rohloff-friendly dropout, first seen on the Troll, as well as the company’s own Gnot Boost rear end spacing. This accepts both traditional 135mm quick release hubs and 12×142/148 rear thru axles for wheel replacement, for wherever you find yourself in the world.
The ECR, however, has taken its update one step further, with the introduction of two wheel sizes. Extra small and small frames will now come specced with 27.5+ wheels, while large and extra large frames are shod with 29+, as before. Riders who fit medium frames are spoilt for choice as they can pick between the two.
So why the change? One advantage of the 27+ platform – given that its outside diameter is similar to a 29in wheelset – is that smaller frame sizes will run into less issues with seat bag and front roll clearance. Additionally, wheel sizes should feel more in proportion to their riders. Broadly speaking, 27+ wheels tend to steer more nimbly and are a touch lighter, at the cost of some rollover prowess. Also worth noting, in terms of frane sizing, is that the XXL size option has been dropped, with a more reachy XL taking its place.
Ride quality is said to remain much the same as the last generation of ECRs, in terms of trail figures and BB height, relative to wheel size.
Forks are specific to each wheel size; as a result, the new 27.5+ sees the plethora of water bottle and Anything Cage mounts first seen on the Troll – namely, two sets of triple bosses on each blade – while its 29+ brethren still retains the single set for now. Another noticeable change is a move to Surly Moloko bars in lieu of the Jones Loop H-Bar. Aside from this, parts remain much the same, including tried and tested, like Avid BB7s, Surly OD cranks, and thumbie-style Microshift shifters. However, we also spotted 11-40T 10 speed cassettes in the spec list, giving an especially low gear range for cranking up those Andean passes. And Rabbit Holes rims have been replaced by tubeless-ready, Alex MD40s. We’ll be sharing our first impressions of the bike soon, after taking it for a tour around Lake Tahoe.
And the color? Beige Pantsuit, of course.
RRP for the new ECR is $1899. For more spec details, see the Surly site.
New Pea Lime Pie Soup Troll
In true Surly style, the Troll sees only a colour change; Pea Lime Pie Soup, or lime green in common parlance. RRP for the Troll is $1699.
Moloko Adjunct Personal Effects Receptacle
And if you’re looking for a bag to fill that cubby space in the Moloko, Surly now have you covered. Much like similar versions designed to fit a Jones handlebar, it has a lightly padded interior, features elasticated webbing for stashing extra goods up top, and a daisy chain mounting system for versatility and durability. And the name? The Moloko Adjunct Personal Effects Receptacle…
RRP for the Respecticle is $60. The Moloko bar will set you back $95.