Surly Troll - Steel Frame 26 inch Touring Bike Review

A troll is a class of being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. In Old Norse sources, beings described as trolls dwell in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves, live together in small family units, and are rarely helpful to human beings.*

Surly Troll

Tech Spec

Frameset

  • Frame: Horizontal slotted with derailleur hanger; Surly “Gnot Boost” 135, 142, and/or 148mm hub spacing compatibility
  • Fork: 420mm axle-to-crown x 43mm offset, tapered and butted straight blade, , 4130 CroMoly. 51mm I.S. disc mount
  • Seatpost Clamp: Surly stainless, 30mm

Drivetrain

  • Crankset: Shimano LX 26/36/48t
  • Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB-MT800
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore FD-M611-D
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-T610 10 spd
  • Cog or cogset: Shimano HG-50 10spd 11-36t
  • Chain: KMC X10 10spd

Components

  • Headset: Cane Creek 40
  • Brakes: Avid BB7
  • Brake levers: Avid FR-5
  • Shifters: Microshift SL-M10
  • Stem: ProMax DA-296
  • Handlebar: Surly Moloko
  • Saddle: WTB Volt Sport
  • Seatpost: ProMax SP-2007

Wheels

  • Front hub: Shimano Deore M525 36h
  • Rear Hub: Shimano Deore M525 36h
  • Rims: Alex Adventurer 2 36h
  • Tires: Surly ExtraTerrestrial 26 x 2.5"

Read about the company Surly ->

What the company says:

The Troll has evolved into a frame that has been pushed deeper into the category of off-road touring...We’ve also adorned this frame with our Gnot-Boost spacing, allowing you to use any mountain bike hub whether it be 135mm QR, 12 x 142mm thru-axle, or 12 x 148mm Boost hub. The chainstay yoke has been redesigned to be fully compatible with 26+ tires and comes with the always-comfy Surly Moloko Bar. The dropouts still allow you to run disc brakes, fenders, a Rohloff hub, and racks simultaneously. It also comes with more braze-ons than you thought possible – there are four triple bottle mounts on the fork alone (don’t get excited, you can only run one Anything Cage per fork leg), as well as two more triple bottle mounts on the down tube.

Troll is a bike that has one purpose – and that purpose is to carry you as far away from society as possible. Man has known for eons the call of the indifferent forest. The inexorable march of time, and dumb shit like cell phones, have dulled our senses and made us afraid. Reclaim your animalistic tendencies atop Man’s greatest invention.

What WhileOutRiding.com says

I prefer the path less travelled and the Troll fulfills almost everything I seek in a mountain bike tourer... It ticks a lot of boxes: a burly chromo frame, suspension corrected geometry, 26in wheels, a choice of V brakes or discs, front and rear racks eyelets, room for large volume tyres and provision to run derailleurs or a Rohloff Speedhub. All this is great for both practical reasons and peace of mind, particularly if your travels veer you beyond Europe or North America. Blown a tyre sidewall? Even a Colombian hardware store will unearth you a 26in replacement to get you riding again...The Troll has carried my four overstuffed panniers with confidence – a bloated 35kgs worth of gear – be it on or off road...the Troll is basically a mountain bike frame built around 26in wheels, brazed and drilled with all the bits you need to load up and go touring – whether that be a night in the local woods, riding the Great Divide, or an epic journey across a continent...If paved roads and gravel tracks are your staple diet on tour, you’re probably better off with a Trucker... if you hanker after more challenging trails, envisage battling through muck and mud, and ride singletrack on your days off before visiting the local museum, then Troll is where it’s at.

Surly Troll loaded Image Coastinbikes

Feature / Benefits

  • Shimano Deore Drivetrain: Durable, reliable mountain bike Shimano drivetrain.
  • Alex Adventurer 2 36h: 36 spoke, 26 inch wheel strong and easier to find replacements.
  • Avid BB7 disc brakes: Reliable stopping power and serviceable with v-brake bosses for back up.
  • Surly Moloko handlebar: Offers many different contact points for comfort.

My experience

I came across the Troll as one of the closest bikes to a mountain bike tourer - steel frame, 26 inch wheels, mountain bike geometry (based on a Surly 1x1 singlespeed frame). If I was going further afield than Europe I'd be tempted to go with this compared to the Ogre for the 26 inch wheels. However, it is getting a lot easier to source parts now and there are benefits of a 29er such as rolling easier over bumps putting less strain on the frame. Schwalbe now offer their Marathon Mondial in a 29 inch version so getting tyres is less of a problem.

Conclusion

Contender for the top choice for adventure cycle tourer, particularly if you will be venturing off the road at all.

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