Surly Pacer Frameset '11 Road Bike


The Pacer may not be the lightest frame out there, nor is it made from fancy material. Instead, Surly built the pacer out of durable, comfortable cro-moly steel and designed the geometry to make it fast and efficient. The Pacer is meant ...


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[Feb 02, 2013]
Ti Yam
Road Racer


Cheap, no nonsense do it all old school road bike. Best for randonneur and sportive bike.


Fenders rub on 700c x 28 tires.

There's a saying, after the first Surly you will fall in love with this brand and purchase another. I don't deny as this is my second Surly, the first being the famous Long Haul Trucker (LHT).

Building up this bike doesn't cost much as I reuse my old Shimano 5600 groupset, cheap silver color Ritchey classic stem and handlebar, PRO headset (silver too) and brand new set 2009 silver spokes Mavic Aksium which the shop has difficulty selling it as everyone else goes black with carbon bikes. So I strike a good deal with the shop owner. As for saddle and seatpost I just unplug from LHT.

Performance wise it's a terrible bike. It throw me out of line on high speed corner. It flex when I stand up riding. It wobbles at high speed. I suffer while climbing as it weights 11kg. It's nothing compare to my $8000 top of the line carbon fiber roadbike. But hey, I love it. Because from the start I plan to build it as a randonneur/sportive bike. As the name suggest, it should be riden with "slow" pace. Now when I go on trip, it weights more than 11kg after I add Carradice Bagman rack and their lovely cotton duck saddle bag. With a compact two piece crankset and a wide ratio 12-27 cassette, I can conquer any mountain with ease, just need more time.

The frame is made in Taiwan with good workmanship. No clearcoat. Minimal decals and Surly sold them separately, in case any damage one can repair it easily.

Overall it's a comfortable bike, esp with Brooks B17 saddle. Saddle is a personal thing, so don't take my words seriously. It's a nice randoneur, sportive, commuting bike.

The only complain I have is that it can't fit fenders with 700c x 28 tires, not as claimed on Surly website. The tires will constantly rub the fenders. Anyhow as time goes by, I find that it looks nicer without fenders. As many people did, they convert it to 650B with long reach brakes to fit fenders. I insist on 700c.

You may argue Surly Cross Check will be a better randonneur. I don't deny. With braze on to fit front and rear racks, cantilever brakes, fenders, they make a perfect randonneur and even light tourer. The reason I purchase Pacer instead of Cross Check has to do with the old Shimano 105 cantilever brakes. I don't wanna waste them. Besides I already have a touring bike, LHT. And yes the British racing green 2011 Pacer wins my heart over the white Cross Check.

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