Ogre or suspension for corrugations?


New Member
Mar 7, 2021
Inland Australia
Hi everyone, after many years of knocking around on an old hardtail hybrid I'm planning to get myself a decent 29er to get out and start seriously touring trails and sealed roads, let's say 50/50. Some rides will start from home and others will start with a drive. Speed will be cruising, often with the girlfriend alongside. I need to carry plenty of water and want the option of bikepacking, in which case I'll be carrying the gear for both of us.

I'm a big bloke (6'1", 265lb/120kg) with a dicky back and my preference is an upright ride. I'm close to dropping the cash on a 2020 Surly Ogre, with Moloko bars (maybe aeros and a Redshift Switch seatpost as I really like the idea of being able to change up positions throughout the ride).

Before I do though I want to canvas opinions from experienced riders. A lot of the roads around here are hard clay with plenty of ruts and corrugations, and often a bit of loose sand or gravel on top. I don't need to be super fast but I don't want to be walking either. Should I be looking at something with suspension instead?

Unfortunately I can't try before I buy, other than a quick road jaunt, as being in a remote area the nearest bike shop is several hours away and carries limited stock anyway. I need to order a bike and know that it will either be great as it is, or that it can be dialled in with a few upgrades.

What say you?
The shock fork you mentioned is not a very good fork, it's the lowest end of their line of shocks and the reliability will be poor, over the long haul it won't last long and you'll be ******.

Even a new bike has bad shock forks if the bike is costing less than $800!

The problem with hybrid bikes is the number of available aftermarket forks is very narrow.

So that leaves you with a dilemma, do you spend money on a new bike or get a decent shock fork instead? hmmm, decisions decisions!

A decent fork will run you around $250 for a RockShox Paragon Gold RL, but it has no way to mount water bottles or whatever.

But you mentioned bikepacking and probably at some point, you will tour on the bike you'll get. The Surly Ogre is a very nice bike, with no shock fork to fail later down the road, but at that price had it had one it would have been a decent one. So I would say if you can afford a new bike then that is a good route to go especially if you plan on bikepacking and staying on paved, or gravel roads, even some dirt roads would be good. The only issue I have with a lot of disk brake bikes for bikepacking is hydraulic systems, when I'm out in the middle of nowhere the last thing I want to **** around with is fluid, or special tools needed to install new pads, so the bike I bought last year came with mechanical disk brakes. Sure, mechanical disk brakes levers don't have that fluid smooth action, big deal, I came off a touring bike that had cantilever rim brakes and the difference between those two is startling! After test riding a bike with hydraulics, I didn't see the point.

Now I can hear all the doubters screaming at me already about going with mechanical disk brakes, so read this instead of listening to me or others about this subject then make up your own mind: https://www.cyclingabout.com/mechanical-or-hydraulic-disc-brakes-on-touring-bikepacking-bikes/ I think the 2020 Surly came with mechanical disks, but check that to make sure because it may have been 2019, I can't remember.

So the bike I ended up getting after looking a over a dozen different touring bikes in the price range I was willing to spend, which was the same price range as yours, was the Masi Giramondo 700c, you can read about the details and specs here: https://harobikes.com/products/giramondo-700c-2021 Like all bike companies due to C19 they're sold out, you would have to send them an e-mail to see when they might come in. Also, as bike manufacturers will do from one model year to the next, Masi made a slight change on the bike, they reduced the front disk brake rotor from 180mm that I got to 160mm, not sure why they did that, but I prefer the larger rotor on the front for more surface cooling. They also changed the fork, not sure which fork is better or are they the same. They clear coated the naked steel instead of painting it which has sort of a cool effect, I like it, not sure if everyone will, mine was painted a brass color with black decals. They also are now using the Shimano GRX front derailleur instead of the Deore that I got, now sure which is better, but what bugs me is why didn't they just go GRX front and rear? Other than those things no other changes that I noticed. The Masi has the best climbing gears of any bike I looked at, which is one of the reasons I selected it. The three things I corrected on my bike so far or will be correcting, was stock seat does not hold up well, I had to replace it 6 months after I got it. Also, the Kenda Drumlins are a very heavy tire, stupidly heavy! they weigh 1,600 grams EACH! Plus they have a lot of sidewall flex which produced a shimmy when loaded until I cranked up the PSI from 45 to 75. So I will be replacing those with Schwalbe Marathon Supremes that weigh around 500 grams each, and they also have the lowest rolling resistance of any tire in that category. The last thing I did was replaced the front rack since I don't use front panniers with a Blackburn Bootlegger cargo rack so I just strap my sleeping bag on top of it, and it frees up the bosses on the fork so I can put two water bottle cages on the fork.

If your mind is set on the Surly then get that bike if it's in stock, you won't go wrong with it, it's a nice bike if the Masi interest you a little then do a comparison of the two and see which one you think you could live the longest with. Another good option is the Kona Sutra, about $100 more than the Surly, but is a well-built bike like the Surly and the Masi, again a comparison of the models will tell you what you need to know.

Sorry for the information overload, good luck in your decision.