NATE'S RIVAL STRAGGLER
Here's what Nate had to say about his Surly Straggler after riding it from Denver to Pueblo over the course of two very warm days.
"I took her about 65 miles Thursday and another 95 on Friday. I was pretty well self supported and it worked out great. It was heavy and slow up the climbs, but I felt like this is about as much crap as I'd want to put on the back and it worked pretty well! I spent about 60 miles on dirt the second day and was wishing I had the knobbies. I got to Pueblo at around 2 on Friday and it was 95 degrees, I drank some beer and set up camp, when my friends showed up they couldn't believe I'd schlepped all that stuff (tent, pad, bag, beer, food, water, etc) all the way there on the bike. The bike is so awesome! The pictures are just north of Fountain on the Santa Fe trail, which it turns out is not paved. I didn't get any pictures of the creek crossings I had to do!"
"I feel like I've been riding a lot, the bike has almost 800 miles on it already and it's all been great. It's just the perfect bike for a majority of the riding that I do, so I'm pretty thrilled to have it. I'm not sure how much touring I'll do, but if I were planning a much longer trip, I'd probably add a front rack to balance out the weight, it got a little shaky at times."
Originally, Nate's bike was built up with a 1x9 drivetrain, but after he decided he might want to haul a lot of gear, he opted for the full Rival group. Here are a couple of pictures of the original build, plus Nate in a mallard hat that is in the running for one of the best hats ever.