I’ve had Surly Troll for nine months and still didn’t have time to write its review 😀 At first, I didn’t want to buy another steel bike, but when I look Ki Oni’s Troll in Pura, and watched his Troll being abused in macadam road, I felt curious to
try buy it :p
So this is it, Surly Troll black 2013 with Shimano XT 2013 group set with Hayes hydro disc brakes, and DT Swiss wheelset with Kenda Navegal 2.1 for front wheel, and Maxiss Larsen TT 2.0 for rear wheel. I set this bike for mountain biking, although I still use its original chromo fork and try to keep it as light as I can. However, the weight is almost 13 kg. Great, it’s still heavy! 🙂
I only use this bike for four times since Februari 2013. First, I rode it to Sukabumi, then in UI mini track, uphill to Kampung Awan, and the last was Romod track. In daily use to commute, I always use my UCC Rolling Steel because its more stiff and has less value. Hey, its my rat bike 😀 *sorry UCC*
For on road uphill, Surly Troll is quiet heavy, due to its steel frame (of course). However, this bike can conquer all of the uphill sections in Romod soil track and gravel in Kampung Awan. All you need to do is to practice uphill technique, sit in front of your saddle and keep pedaling.
For descending in Romod which mostly soil single track, Surly Troll is reliable. It can be ridden in technical descent track without any problem. Even I can follow my friends who use full suspension bike. On the other hand, you must have good upper body strength to use Troll in gravel or macadam downhill track. I can still manage for the rear bumpy wheel, but I need to hold my handlebar very tight to control the front wheel. Overall, I enjoy to use this chromoly bike in offroad because its tail is not vibrate too much like alloy frame.
Cornering section in UI and Romod track can be easily to pass. I like to lean my body for cornering (not too much, though) and Surly Troll can be controlled comfortably. Yet, to ride it in Taman Kota 2, JPG, or any other tracks that use for XC race, Surly Troll is to heavy to be ridden in XC competition, especially if other racers use carbon or titanium bikes 😀
Overall, Surly Troll can be tortured in gravel offroad and still comfortable to use in XC single tracks. My friend, Imam @Outstandjing, said Troll is like Land Rover in bicycles. It is not only use for touring bike due to its spec (it has three cable lines, five bottle cages and trailer mounts!), but also can be use in offroad. You only need this one bicycle to ride in any trails. Enjoy!