Sunday, September 16, 2012

OGREat! Another Bike

Winter will be here soon enough, so it's time to get ready. I had a set of studded tires sitting in the garage and nothing to put them on. After several months of obsessing  searching for a bike with an internal gear hub and disc brakes (and at a good price), I decided on this:Transit Cameron
It is (or was) a Transit Cameron from Performance Bike. I say was because at 20 inches and with a short top tube it was a bit too small for me. I had to put the seat post up past the maximum mark, plus it felt as if knees would almost hit hit the handlebars on every pedal stroke.

Out of the Box
My problems were easily solved though, when I took delivery of this Surly Ogre 22 inch frameset. I wanted to get a 24 inch, but while I was trying to find a good deal, they sold out. I didn't want to wait until the December restock date, and I didn't want the new black color, so this is what I got. Other than showing a bit too much seat post for my liking, it fits me really well.

I-Motion 9
Although I said my problems were easily solved, nothing is ever that easy. I had to overcome a small, yet major obstacle before I could ride my new bike. The Transit had vertical dropouts, while the Ogre has horizontal, so the washers that came with the rear hub wouldn't work. The I-Motion 9 has apparently been discontinued and Sram has stopped carrying parts, so I had to come up with a workaround. I thought I was home free when I got a hold of a set of Shimano washers, but their hubs use a smaller axle. Fortunately, I keep my Dremel handy for just such situations. Twenty minutes later I was ready to roll.

Vintage Color
After adding SKS Longboard fenders to keep me dry, and Surly Open Bars to keep me comfy and in control, I'm now ready to mount my studs. I think I'll wait a couple months though. I wouldn't want to jinx winters arrival.

More pictures and a few details on the fender install here.


  1. Wow. That thing is outstanding. It is like something I would build myself if I had the cash, which right now I don't! SWEET BIKE! I love SKS fenders, by the way.

  2. Dremel to the rescue! That Surly is a good looking bike -Congrats!

  3. Looks great!! I think the IGH is the way to go.

    Thanks for posting!

  4. Great looking bike...was considering an ogre for my 3rd bike...just need to convince the wife.

  5. We seem to be on the same wavelength!

    Just got a cheap old 90's mountain bike for winter hacking-round, but I definitely would love something like an Ogre if I could afford it. I was on a camping trip with someone who had a Salsa Fargo, and it made me a bit envious. And someone is selling a complete Fargo on Portland CL. Tempting, but it may be too big for me and I don't have $1000.

    That Transit Cameron is on special at Performance for only $500 which might be a good deal, but they only have it in small. It would be tempting to use the parts off the Cameron and build it into a Ogre/Troll. What were the quality of the components on the Camaron?

  6. All - Thanks for the compliments. I'm starting to get a big(ger) head.

    Shawn - I'd put the quality on par with what you would find on a Novara from REI. The only issue I had was that that the chainring guard rubbed on the chain. I think the Cameron is worth the price just for the wheel set and tires (Marathon XR). That's the reason I used that bike for parts instead of buying things separately. Speaking of REI, I see that the Novara Fusion is on sale at $699.

    1. I saw that Fusion the last time I went to an REI. I think it's a decent bike especially at that price, but it's not really what I'm looking for at this time.

      -It uses 700C wheels. I'd be looking for 26" wheels. This wouldn't be much of an issue if I could throw some really fat tires on the Fusion, but looking at the bike, that isn't possible. The one pictured on their website uses 700x37 tires, and it looks like the clearance is maxxed out. May be able to get a little wider with removal of the fenders, but not much.

      Since the bike does use disc brakes, theoretically I could install 26" wheels, but would I really want to go through that trouble? Or should I rebuild the current stock wheels to a 26" rim, since the stock wheels have a dynohub and an IGH? Seems like a lot.

      -A lack of braze-ons. Just one pair for a water bottle. If I had a frame like this, I'd want a lot, just like a Troll/Ogre.

      -This is more a nitpick, but if the Fusion frame was built for an IGH, why vertical dropouts? Seems silly to need to use a chain tensioner for a purpose-designed IGH bike.

      If I was looking at more of a good commuter, the Fusion would be a no-brainer. But I'm not looking for that. (And yes, I think about these things too much. ;-) )