My Ride - Surly ECR 29+



  • 2018 Surly ECR 29+ Medium Blacktacular



  • WTB KOM Tough i45 TCS 29” 45mm

  • Sapim Strong single butted spokes - left/right 293/292mm - 2.3mm neck, 2.0mm body

  • Sapim 12mm brass spoke nipples

  • Schmidt SON28 Disc ISO black anodized 100mm 32 hole

  • SRAM Centerline disc rotor 200mm

  • Phil Wood pink anodized 100 mm quick release

  • WTB TCS rim tape 50mm

  • Maxxis innertube with removable valve core 29x2.5-3.0”

  • Mr. Tuffy tiretLiner 29 x 2.35-3.0

  • Surly Knard tire 27 TPI 29 x 3.0

  • Stan’s NoTubes sealant - 100 ml


  • WTB KOM Tough i40 TCS 29” 40mm

  • Sapim Strong single butted spokes - left/right 293/292mm - 2.3mm neck, 2.0mm body

  • Sapim 12mm brass spoke nipples

  • Chris King Disc ISO 148mm Rear Boost hub matte punch 32 Hole

  • SRAM Centerline disc rotor 160mm

  • Surly Snuggnut x 1

  • Surly Gnot Boost thru-axle

  • WTB TCS rim tape 45mm

  • Maxxis innertube with removable valve core 29x2.5-3.0”

  • Mr. Tuffy tire liner 29 x 2.35-3.0

  • Surly Knard tire 27 TPI 29 x 3.0 

  • Stan’s NoTubes sealant - 100 ml



  • White Industries M30 crankset 170mm

  • White Industries VBC chainrings 40t and 26t

  • Flybikes Ruben flat pedals 

  • Chris King ThreadFit 30 bottom bracket matte punch

  • Chris King conversion kit #21- bottom bracket adapters

  • Drive side bottom bracket spacers 2.5mm and 1.5mm


  • Shimano XT M786 Direct Mount Shadow Plus SGS long-cage rear derailleur

  • Shimano XT M786D Direct Mount Double front derailleur

  • Shimano 11-42 cassette HG500-10

  • Wipperman SS 10 speed chain 

  • Wolf Tooth Components Rear Derailleur Goat Link

  • Wolf Tooth Components 25mm b-screw

  • Problem Solvers Direct Mount front derailleur adapter

  • Jagwire - stainless cables

  • Jagwire LEX-SL housing


  • Avid BB7 MTB S calipers

  • Avid bracket 40 IS - front caliper

  • Surly bracket 51 IS - rear caliper

  • Jagwire Universal Sport - stainless cables

  • Jagwire CGX-SL housing


  • Avid Speed Dial 7 brake levers

  • Microshift 10-Speed Mountain Shifters

  • Thomson Elite X4 Mountain Stem 70mm 100/31.8

  • Chris King NoThreadSet 1-1/8” matte punch

  • Chris King crown race - stainless

  • Chris King headset spacers - 3,6,12,&25mm (46mm total)

  • Jones Loop H-Bar 710mm 0.5” rise

  • Ergon GS1 grips - large 

  • Jones H-Grips (small portion cut to fill grip area where Ergon grips could not reach)

Saddle and Post

  • Brooks B17 black

  • Thomson Elite Mountain seatpost 27.2mm

  • Phil Wood seatpost collar - Pink


  • Crane Ritten Bell Neo Black

  • Salsa Anything Cage HD x2

  • Lizard Skins Chainstay Protector


  • Bottom bracket threads chased

  • Bottom bracket shell faced

  • Headtube reamed

  • Headtube faced

  • Fork crown faced

  • Brake caliper brackets faced 

  • Boeshield T-9 applied to frame interior

Build Notes

  • The front to back chainline variance is approximately 5.5mm. While this variance is too big for a higher-performance road bike, it is an excellent tolerance for this type of build. Generally speaking, it is not unusual to encounter a plus/fat bike front to back chainline variance that exceeds 10mm. The smaller the variance, the slower the componentry wear and tear.

  • Front and back wheels utilize 292mm and 293mm length spokes. The small difference and two sizes allows the rider to carry emergency replacement spokes in one length while touring. 

  • To accommodate the White Industries double chainring and cranks and to simultaneously provide adequate chain-to-tire clearance, approximately 3mm bottom bracket shell material was milled from the non-drive side of the frame.

  • Approximately 146mm of steer tube remaining on fork.

additional notes

I built this from the ground up as an around-the-world travel bike during October 2018, but it was stolen from me in early November of that year, two weeks prior to the initial departure date for my long-term tour. Despite the setback, I proceeded to build its identical twin. Just as I was finishing the second build, the stolen bike was unexpectedly recovered, and I then had two amazing bikes on my hands. When the first build was recovered, it was in the same immaculate condition as when it was stolen, and it has only been ridden estimated fifty miles.

I am keeping the second build and currently using it for my attempt to ride to the very bottom of South America. I have put about a thousand miles on it via a combination of gravel, double-track, single-track, open-riding, and some pavement. It is a pretty special bikepacking setup that is most at home during a long tour in remote places. It is reliable, has endless loading capabilities, and is basically non-maintenance. My experience thus far with riding the second build has taught me that it is a very comfortable and confident ride. Although the build is on the heavier side, it is still handles rather playfully whenever more technical terrain is involved.

deviations from the original

  • Surly Knards, tubes, liners, and sealant have been replaced with tubeless tires, beginning in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While I am confident that the initial setup would have performed well, it was exceedingly heavy. In addition, I later realized that tubeless allows for a significantly lower tire pressure that could not be achieved via the innertubed setup, a quality that provides much more comfort when encountering rocky and variable terrain. The decision was originally motivated by weight savings, but the lower tire pressure was the icing on the cake. As a Midwesterner, it comes as no surprise that I totally missed the importance of low tire pressure until I finally needed to ride that way. The tubeless replacement tires are Maxxis Chronicles.

  • A properly aligned rear wheel is important on this build. As such, a second Surly Snuggnut was added to the rear wheel because of the extremely tight chain to tire clearance when riding in granny. This should also help to mitigate component wear. Why not make things as easy as possible?