Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

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Thatsme
Posts: 66
Joined: 1 Sep 2018, 11:14am

Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby Thatsme » 28 Nov 2020, 1:28pm

I know I need to change my rims, my bike does have disc brake mounting/routing points. I am a commuter & cycle tourist, what disc brake set up would suit me?

reohn2
Posts: 40711
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby reohn2 » 28 Nov 2020, 1:43pm

You needn't change rims,but you will need to change hubs unless your present hubs are disc specific,so a wheel rebuild or new wheels will be needed.
You then need calipers,if you go cable calipers (Avid BB7's are top of the bunch IME) and if your brake levers are V brake spec you'll need BB7 MTN calipers to match.
Should you want to go hydraulic discs you buy the complete set,levers,lines and calipers as one unit.I've heard good things about Shimano XT but haven't used them myself as BB7's do everything I've ever asked of them.
160mm rotors are big enough to handle any solo bike even fully loaded,and sintered pads last a LOT longer than Organics.
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grufty
Posts: 77
Joined: 26 Sep 2017, 2:24pm

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby grufty » 28 Nov 2020, 1:52pm

What Reohn2 said +1.
May be worth considering dynamo hub for commuting?

gregoryoftours
Posts: 1428
Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby gregoryoftours » 28 Nov 2020, 4:41pm

Personally I'd avoid avid bb5 and go for bb7 (make sure you get road version if using with drop bar levers). Trp spyres are lower profile for frames where there are clearance issues with pannier racks, but I'd only use them if bb7 wouldn't fit.

Brucey
Posts: 42324
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby Brucey » 28 Nov 2020, 7:44pm

disc brakes might well work for you; one of the advantages is that the bike stays cleaner if it has disc (or hub) brakes. However

a) disc brakes won't stop you from wrecking rims in potholes, or by having the rims crack etc; rims remain 'consumables' but they should be consumed less often.
b) there are other parts which wear out instead of the rims, different maintenance requirements etc and
c) even if the frame has disc caliper mounts you might need to buy quite a lot of parts to make the conversion.

Specifically you will need hubs which accept discs and if you don't currently have them (and your rims are wrecked anyway) it means new wheels.

I was discussing bicycle brakes with a chum recently and the conclusion was that there was no such thing as a perfect bike brake; they all have inherent compromises of one kind or another, plus a few issues which are specific to each model which ought perhaps to be avoidable. It is, I concluded, very much a case of 'choose your poison'.

It is worth stepping back and asking if (apart from the wear) rim brakes worked OK for you or not. And if perhaps the wear life of the rims could have been improved in some way (eg using different rims, softer brake blocks, and/or a different maintenance regime). Anyway new rims can cost £20-25 each and if the wheels are otherwise sound (and you get a rim with the same ERD) the wheels can be rebuilt with new rims, using the same spokes (which stay in the hub through the process), i.e. the wheels are re-rimmed. A wheelset with good hubs and spokes can usually be re-rimmed three or four times.

If you are willing to learn a new skill you can re-rim wheels yourself. It'll take longer the first time you do it, obviously, but once you have had a bit of practice you should be aiming to do the job in about an hour per wheel. BTW having done this sort of thing successfully you are about half way to being able to built your own wheels from scratch.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

scottg
Posts: 875
Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 8:44pm
Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby scottg » 29 Nov 2020, 9:32pm

Had a Troll, converted the front to XT disc, left the rear with V-brakes.
You'd want to remove the powder coat from the dropout where the hub
and q/r contact. Use a Shimano skewer, they have more holding power than
the external cam versions. To keep the front wheel from moving.
No special magic parts, Troll was intended for disc, so it is straightforward,
front fork is hell for stout, so brake/steering at the same time is a good as
rim brakes.

The Troll is now a historical object, QBP/Surly have discontinued them.
The Troll allows you to laugh at miserable English potholes, as they said
in Monty Python. :)

Brucey disproves of any post 1905 technology, so no need to listen to him. :D
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Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG
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RRSODL
Posts: 173
Joined: 17 Apr 2012, 7:22am

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby RRSODL » 29 Nov 2020, 10:00pm

I fitted disc brakes on my Ogre (troll's big brother) and I remember that the frame came with a braket to be used instead of the bracket supplied with the brakes, for the rear brake. I opted for BB7 and I have no regrets so far. I also opted for using an axle to make it easier aligning the rotor between the brake pads after fixing a flat and I'm glad I did that.

I hope that helps.

Brucey
Posts: 42324
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby Brucey » 29 Nov 2020, 10:08pm

scottg wrote:Brucey disproves of any post 1905 technology, so no need to listen to him. :D


you mean disapproves? Well by that standard disc brakes would be OK, Mr Lanchester was fitting them to his cars in 1902.

My view is that if they were such a great thing for bikes we'd have had them before we did. I'm actually a bit 'meh' about all bike brakes, as I mentioned previously it is very much a question of 'choose your poison'....

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Billy007
Posts: 57
Joined: 15 Apr 2020, 8:56am

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby Billy007 » 1 Dec 2020, 8:02pm

Thatsme wrote:I know I need to change my rims, my bike does have disc brake mounting/routing points. I am a commuter & cycle tourist, what disc brake set up would suit me?


It was my impression that Surly supplied the Troll new with disc brakes so quite how you have ended up with rim brakes on yours I don't know. Did you buy a frame and build it up with rim brakes? Time to move with the times. Get yourself some Shimano SLX or XT hydraulic disc brakes, fit and forget. Don't bother with Avid BB7 cable disc brakes as you'll forever be adjusting them and they are not as good as hydraulic disc brakes.

Thatsme
Posts: 66
Joined: 1 Sep 2018, 11:14am

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby Thatsme » 1 Dec 2020, 9:06pm

I bought my troll frame in 2011 and built it up myself, disc brakes were not a priority for me. i have always found the Deore rim brakes to be a bit useless, hence after nearly 10 years of soggy braking, I might now swap to discs. I don't want hydraulic though!

Brucey
Posts: 42324
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby Brucey » 1 Dec 2020, 9:38pm

IME new brakes (of almost any kind) will be better than knackered brakes (of almost any kind).

One of the most common falsehoods encountered when playing parts change bingo is that the type of new part is solely responsible for any change or improvement. The fact that the old parts were knackered and/or badly set up apparently has nothing to do with it, not once the emperor has his new clothes on... :lol:

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Billy007
Posts: 57
Joined: 15 Apr 2020, 8:56am

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby Billy007 » 2 Dec 2020, 7:51pm

Thatsme wrote:I bought my troll frame in 2011 and built it up myself, disc brakes were not a priority for me. i have always found the Deore rim brakes to be a bit useless, hence after nearly 10 years of soggy braking, I might now swap to discs. I don't want hydraulic though!


Oh. Why is this?

Slothman
Posts: 51
Joined: 27 Oct 2020, 4:07pm

Re: Converting a Surly Troll to Disc Brakes

Postby Slothman » 3 Dec 2020, 8:06am

...and I thought a 'surly troll' was someone who works in a LBS?

Every days a school day :D