I took me new Surly ECR for its christening ride yesterday. For anyone one who has read and day dreamed about these – they are more amazing than you could have imagined.
For a quick bit of nerd out, my bike has been built up with a pd8 front hub, alfine 11 rear hub, old man mountain rack and near standard parts everywhere else. At 17.5kg it is by no means light, but you forget that any time you aren’t on flat ground.
My ride yesterday involved groomed single track, bush bashing, rock field adventures, some very quick descents and then riding home on the Todd River. Basically this bike did it all more confidently then I could have imagined!
At one point I found myself cruising up a nasty fire trail comfortably on the saddle on to find a dirt bike washing out up the hill behind me. He kept going so I turned around and bombed down the track like I was on a dualy.
This bike really is fun!
Update: 1st of May 2014.
So I have been riding the ECR for a few months now. I haven’t managed to take it on any large epic rides as much as I would have loved to, however I have ridden it on rocks, roads, beaches and single track. It is amazing.
I have tried to explain the feel of the bike to heaps of people, so many people working in bike shops have asked me what it is like and this is my best description.
It is bike and awesome and like riding a bike with saggy suspension.
That might not sound that exciting or great but you have no idea how awesome this combination is. The bike rolls around a track as though the track was made just for it. The size weight forces you to ride a bit slower and to really enjoy the track for what it is, rather than bombing down hills and racing up. Basically the bike forces you to enjoy your environment.
Riding it on the beach is fun. I spent an afternoon riding along Nobby’s beach in Newcastle where the waves had carved and scalloped out the sand into little ramps and step jumps. The experience of riding, bunny hoping and jumping a bike on sand is like nothing else I’ve experienced since I first rolled over a dirt mound in the local park as a kid. The 3″ tyres are great for sand, even relatively loosely packed. You won’t be able to ride up sand dunes but you can most certainly ride down them!
Around town (although it certainly isn’t the bikes natural environment) the bike is fun. Don’t expect to turn sharp corners if you don’t have much pressure in the tyres, but do expect to have fun!
Anyway for a few photos of the rides I have done so far consider looking at these links.
Finally, for anyone who has a bike like this consider chatting to Bike Bag Dude who has made up the frame bag and bar roll that adorn my ECR. They are awesome and perfect. K-Lite dynamo lights are also proving to be more than just awesome!