My Pride & Joy

By Nicole Murray
September 2014

The bike I was using prior to visiting Family Bicycles for the first time in 2012 was a hand-me-down that was almost 2 sizes too big for me. Five months later I purchased a road style Fuji Newest 1.0 in a the smallest size available! Once I was measured and purchased the Fuji, my enthusiasm for cycling grew exponentially. After completing a few Sprint distance triathlons with the Fuji, I decided to broaden my cycling scope and venture over to the touring side of the sport. That is when I became entranced by the Surly line and began my research of all gravel/touring/cyclocross bicycles.

Nicole's first new road bike!

Nicole’s first new road bike!

I had talked with the Family Bicycle staff, on and off, for over a year about wanting to venture over to the cyclocross style bicycle. I was particularly drawn to the Surly brand because of their great reputation and the eye-turning appeal of the fat tire line. After months of research and discussion with Theresa and Bruce, I decided I wanted a bicycle that could double as a cyclocross bike or a touring bike. Theresa encouraged me towards the Surly Disc Trucker because it is easier to use a touring bike as a Cyclocross bike than vice-versa (not to mention that it came in my size!).

I was measured at Family Bicycle and it was determined by my standover height that my short stature required a very small frame. I am limited, because of my 5’2 height, on which bicycles I can choose from. The Surly brand (and Fuji) was thankfully one the few that made a 42 cm frame with 26 in wheels. While I gave the staff endless grief that it was a child size bike frame, having a bicycle that fit my body made all the difference in the world.

Nicole's Surly Disc Trucker before the paint job

Nicole’s Surly Disc Trucker before the paint job

A few of my friends questioned why I would want a steel frame bicycle, since it was heavier than my road bike. I have 4 bicycles (2 road, 1 urban cruiser, 1 touring/ gravel). My Surly Disc Trucker is by far my favorite bicycle. It is a very smooth ride and the shifting is effortless. Since the touring bicycles are designed for hauling weight with comfort and ease, I am able to climb hills with less effort than I can on my lighter road bike. The gears allow me to pedal with minimal effort, even on steep inclines. I am on the chubby side so this is especially important to me, as hills are my nemesis. Additionally, because of the disc brakes, I go down hills with no hesitation that my brakes will fail, or will overheat or cause a blowout. I no longer worry about if it will rain, because I am confident in the braking and handling of my Surly Disc Trucker.

I did make a few enhancements once I purchased the bike. I changed out the bar-end shifters for STI shifters because I don’t like change and STI is what I am used to. I also bought Shimano dual platform pedals so I could have the option to clip in on one side of the pedal, or use regular shoes with no clips on the other side of the pedal. This was a big step for me because I had never clipped in before. At Family Bicycles, I was shown how to properly clip in and out. I had a 30-minute session both on a bicycle trainer and on the road where I gained confidence in my new pedals. This personal attention is one of the many reasons I appreciate this small-business shop. Now that I am comfortable, I am amazed I went so long without clipping in.

Another modification was purely visual- I had a paint-job makeover. This is the bike I had been drooling over for more than a year, and she deserved to be extra special and unique. Theresa suggested Groody Bros. Bicycle Restoration Project for the new paint job. This is another wonderful, local, small-business on the Kansas side. I picked a Shimmer Burnt Orange color and had a few personal decals added on as well. I purchased a second Surly decal set from Family Bicycle so that the Surly logo would still be visible after the new paint job.

Close up of new paint job and custom sticker

Close up of new paint job and custom sticker

I am so glad I made the plunge and invested in my dream bicycle. I ride it on trails, roads, gravel, long distances, short distances, leisure rides, cardio/fitness rides, city errands commuting trips… My Surly Disc Trucker I recently purchased from Family Bicycles is not just a bicycle, it is my pride and joy.


Nicole Murray

Surly Big Dummy Torker Tri Star