Surly Pacer

Where to begin. It started after I finished my Surly Long Haul Trucker and had ridden a few hundred, perhaps a thousand miles. I decided that it was unfair to the other Recyclers for them always having to wait for me to catch up. So I started riding my Klein on Sundays only, continuing to ride my Surly the rest of the week.

I started noticing that my Klein was more uncomfortable to ride, after riding the Long Haul Trucker. I just bought a set of nice used Campy 8 Speed wheels, so a new bike wasn’t really my first thought. So I considered getting a different frame and moving all my components from the Klein to the new frame. My choices were driven by a different set of goals than building past bikes. If the choice was comfort or fast and light, then comfort will win.

I looked at vintage NOS frames but they all emphasized speed over comfort. I was happy with my Long Haul Trucker, so I thought “Why not look to see what Surly has that’s a little more sporty?”. I didn’t want a single speed, but something that would take my existing Campy Groupo. I settled on the Surly Pacer. I’m not a big fan of green, so I looked around and found listings for silver, probably previous years models. So I ordered one, in 56 CM. Shortly I received a message that the silver was unavailable, would I take a green. I acquiesced.

New frame assembly begins

New frame assembly begins

Notice the nice cardboard tubes on the bike. I learned form my last build, wait until necessary to remove them.

After I had ordered the frame, I found a  nice Campy Mirage groupo  on ebay for what I considered a reasonable price. The listing said:

53/42/32 Campagnolo Mirage 170mm Triple Crankset

Campagnolo Mirage 8 Speed Ergo Power Shifters

Campagnolo Mirage 8 Speed rear Derailleur

Campagnolo Veloce Front derailleur

Campagnolo Mirage Brakes

Campagnolo Mirage 8 Speed Hubset (32 Hole)

Rhino Leader 27.2 Seatpost

Campagnolo 8 Speed cassette 13-26T

8 Speed Chain

Selle Italia Turbomatic Saddle (like new)

Vintage EXUS LOOK compatible pedals

If I were choosing the components one at a time, several of those pieces would have been different. But, I thought the overall set was a good value and it would get my bike rideable very quickly. Some of my Campy components on the Klein wouldn’t tranfer over anyway.  One error in the listing, the seat post was actually 26.6 not 27.2 and I needed the 27.2. So I “borrowed” the seatpost and seat from my LHT to make it rideable until I received my nice Masi seatpost.

Masi Seat Post

Masi Seat Post

The rest of the components were very serviceable Campy Mirage. The difference between Mirage and Record is twofold in my opinion. The finish isn’t quite as nice on the Mirage, as on the Record. For instance, the back of the Mirage crankarms is the unfinished casting/forging. On record the back is finished almost as nicely as the front. This effects style more than function, in my opinion. The second way they differ is that some components like the brifters use less quality bushings and bearings, The  difference you can see, is that the Record brifters have aluminum shifting levers under the brake arm, while the Mirage has stamped steel parts.  I’ll see about the durability. But nothing I know about campy parts informs me that they will be any less reliable if not quite so enduring as the Record/Chorus parts on the Klein, have been. I expect I’ll have quit biking because of old age, before these parts need replacing.

Campagnolo Long Cage Derailleur

Campagnolo Long Cage Derailleur

The long cage derailleur and triple crankset give me options I haven’t had on  my “Sunday” bike for a long time. Here’s the gear chart. Nice range from 32.9 to 109.1 inches. Pretty good for a “street” bike.

53 26.2 % 42 31.3 % 32
13 109.1 86.5 65.9
7.7 %
14 101.3 80.3 61.2
7.1 %
15 94.6 74.9 57.1
13.3 %
17 83.4 66.1 50.4
11.8 %
19 74.6 59.2 45.1
10.5 %
21 67.5 53.5 40.8
9.5 %
23 61.7 48.9 37.2
13.0 %
26 54.5 43.2 32.9
53/42/32 Campagnolo Mirage 170mm Triple Crankset

53/42/32 Campagnolo Mirage 170mm Triple Crankset

I think  I’m finally getting the hang of these threadless headsets. It’s a little more of a challenge on the LHT because I have two stems. I benefited from the experience with the Long Haul Trucker and now they’re almost second nature.

Velo Orange Head Set

Velo Orange Head Set

I had trouble finding a silver headset for the LHT, Velo Orange to the rescue. Well built and not to expensive, their Grand Cru 1-1/8″ threadless headset is just the ticket. It looks to be a quality piece for $46.

Velo Orange Handlebar Stem

Velo Orange Handlebar Stem

I would have rather had a stem with a little more angle, but they were out at the time I ordered.

Found some green headset spacers to add to the stack

Found some green headset spacers to add to the stack

This likely will change again. I’ve ordered a bell and mount from Velo Orange that is a 10 MM spacer.

The handlebars  are high, to give me a more upright riding position, which I’m learning to enjoy.

Campy Mirage Brakes

Campy Mirage Brakes

The brakes have a much nicer finish considering that this is only a Mirage groupo. The brakes work very well, in fact I have to make sure not to grab to hard, because they’ll stop the wheels. Skidding is  not  control.

32 MM tires Campy Mirage Brake

32 MM tires Campy Mirage Brake

It’s a bit of a tight fit, but Surly is right, 32MM tires will fit. The other challenge is that I have to have the tires deflated to get them through the calipers.

32 MM is tight on the front too

32 MM is tight on the front too

FFF Fatties Fit Fine

FFF Fatties Fit Fine

I never really appreciated this until I started riding my Long Haul Trucker with 40 MM Schwalbes. I think I found the right combination of a fat tire and light weight. These Pasellas aren’t the answer. I have some Vittoria Rubino Pro III tires on order. They’re 28MM width, so they should fit inside the Honjo Smooth Fenders I have on order.

Panaracer Pasella TourGuard 700c x 32

Panaracer Pasella TourGuard 700c x 32

The other part of a comfortable ride for me is a comfortable saddle. There is nothing more comfortable for me than a Brooks B17. I looked for a green saddle to go with my green Surly. I found this saddle listed on ebay and won the auction. I was very disappointed when I got it out of the box. Someone had ridden with the carradice saddle cover on and the color had changed to an indistinct grey. The camera makes it look green from this angle.

"Green" Brooks B17 with Titanium Frame

"Green" Brooks B17 with Titanium Frame

This picture better reflects the true color of the saddle.

Brooks B17 Champion Special

Brooks B17 Champion Special

I’m debating buying the materials and recoloring the saddle. I’ll let you know how that turns out. I have another B17 I could use while I recolor this one.

3TTT Grand Prix handlebars, Mirage integrated brake shifters

3TTT Grand Prix handlebars, Mirage integrated brake shifters

wrapped bars and brifters

wrapped bars and brifters

Green Handlebar Tape

Green Handlebar Tape for next wrap.

I will probably try the green tape soon. If I like the look, I may try to wrap it with cloth tape and shellac it, for a more permanent “old school” wrap. I have no experience with cloth tape and shellac, but I like trying new things. 🙂

Complete Surly Pacer

Complete Surly Pacer

This is what the complete bike looks like today. If it’s like most of my other bikes it will evolve over time and morph into something somewhat different. Watch here to see it happen. 🙂

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