« on: March 20, 2016, 06:47:32 pm »
You have a 54cm road frame fitted to you. So you know what a properly fitting bike is. Does its saddle height, seatpost extension, stem angle, stem extension, top tube length (most important) look anything like your orange Surly? Assuming your 54cm road bike was correctly fitted to you. Touring bikes, road racing bikes, cyclocross bikes all look a bit different, but they are really all pretty similar. A correctly fitting one will look pretty similar to the other one.
As for wanting the Surly Trucker, why? Most bikes are pretty darn similar. They are somewhat interchangeable. Trek 520, Gunnar Tour, REI Randonne, Surly Trucker, Salsa something, and a few others I cannot recall. They are all TIG welded steel frames and forks. Maybe a little different geometry or such. But you could interchange them and you would never know the difference without a decal telling you which you were riding. Gunnar is the TIG welded frame division of Waterford in Wisconsin. They offer a stock disc touring frame for about $1000 and a fork for about $400. Add about $300 to that for custom. About $1800 give or take for a custom built frame that will function exactly like your Surly Disc Trucker bike. Except fit correctly.
As for describing how a properly fitted bike is different than a non correctly fitted frame. One feels right, the other does not have that "right" feeling. Steering, how it handles going down the road, etc. are all different. Maybe not a lot, but different. One is right. The other is not right. Maybe not horribly wrong, but its not right either. One you just think about turning and the bike turns almost by itself without you doing anything. The other you have to fight it to turn correctly. For me all my road racing type bikes and cyclocross bike and single speed bikes and loaded touring bike all behave similarly. Not much difference at all if I standardized them by putting the same tires on them. The size of the tires is probably the biggest factor in how my bikes ride. They all feel similar.
Does your 54cm fitted road bike feel the same as your orange Surly? I know one is twice the weight of the other. And one has big wide tires. But they both should feel about the same riding down the road on the flat.
I've had a poorly fitted bike. A small Trek 520 frame. Long seatpost, 12cm Nitto Technomic stem raised to the maximum. It rode fine. I toured on it. I made it fit. But it still did not really fit right. I now have many bikes that fit me. Better I think. Much better to have correctly fitting bikes. Instead of trying to make an ill fitting frame fit right.