Cat Six custom blend Straggler
Every now and again a bike comes along that's built so damned right you just can't help but futz over it. That's how my Surly Cross Check was. I built it up as a singlespeed, a monstercross offroady kind of thing, an internally geared commuter, and finally as a touring bike that made it all the way across the US. When I moved to Oregon from Colorado, I realized how crucial disc brakes were for commuting miles and miles in the rain. Alas, this is before Surly was making the Straggler here, basically a disc-ready Cross Check. I ended up with a (competing brand's) bike.
The Straggler came out maybe a year later, and I've wanted one since. Kirk scored one of the pink ones just to make me jealous. He's been raving about it so much since then, we figured it was time to get in the game. The problem, though, is we don't like the parts that come on the current complete bike. There's that saying about if you don't like how something's being done to do it different. We wanted to remake that classic Shimano Tiagra spec with a few upgrades to reflect what really makes a difference in your ride: wheels, tires, and contact points.
The bike as it sits is $1650, a paltry $100 over the stock Straggler Surly offers. We've taken the extra $$ and put most of it into upgrading the rolly-spinny parts and making the contact points feel nicer on your hands and buttocks. No more big knobbies to throw away, no need to upgrade the wheels or chuck the saddle right out of the gate. Of course, if you're buying one made-to-order you can always ask us to change something. As with the Cross Check, the Straggler can be built dozens of different ways. And isn't that part of the fun?
Interested in a generator hub and lighting? Different drivetrain? Tell us your wildest ideas and desires and we'll provide a quote for making them happen.
These are the kind of supple floaty tires that smooth out all the little bumps and rough spots that slow you down. They're mounted to a set of sturdy hoops by DT Swiss, and artisanally tensioned by Mr. Kirk Bernhardt here at the Cat Six Factory. Plenty of clearance in there, even with substantially larger tires (Kirk is running 44's - with fenders!).
That's genuine Brooks tape wrapped around those FSA bars. Maybe you're wondering why we've got the older Tiagra 4600 stuff on there with external shift cable routing? Thenew 4700 stuff looks cleaner, sure, but requires the use of only 4700 parts to make everything work together. And we like to keep things simple for you if you crash your bike and break a derailleur on your way down the coast. Plus the external cables just shift better, and that's that.
All that goodness is whirring around robust Shimano hubs, full of extra grease for long-lasting, serviceable smoothness. Slowing it all down is a user-friendly Avid BB7 disc brake. Like all of our brakes, the housing has been lubricated to allow the cable to travel freely through without inhibition.
Smart gearing. 11-32 in the back, and a humane 34/46 up front. Shifts clean, low enough to get you up Larch Mountain with a few bags without spinning out on the way back down. Standard, easily replaceable chainrings.
Complete parts list (subject to change based on availability):
Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra 4600 10-Speed Double STI Levers; Tiagra 4601-GS 10-Speed Medium Cage Rear Derailleur; Tiagra 4600 10-Speed Double Front Derailleur; RS500 11-Speed 36/46 Crankset; SRAM PC-1051 10 speed Chain; HG500 10-Speed 11-32t Cassette; BB-RS500 Bottom Bracket
Cockpit: FSA Omega Compact 44cm Drop Bar; Brooks Microfiber Padded Tape; FSA Orbit DL Headset (no, that gold headset isn't stock, it's a special reward for whomever buys the first one); Dimension 90mm 107d Stem; WTB Speed Comp Saddle; Uno 602 Seatpost; Odyssey Twisted Pedals
Wheels: DT Swiss 466d 29er Rims; Deore M610 Hubs; 700x33 Challenge Strada Bianca FoldingTire 120tpi; Whatever Tubes We Have Around