Surly Bikes 2019 Midnight Special

I built this specially to enter the 2019 Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. Here in New Zealand this is the major annual cycling sport participation event.  I have a few mountain bikes but nothing very suitable for a long road race. So this build was based on a Surly 4130 CroMoly, double-butted main triangle, ED coated, TIG-welded frame and Shimano GRX group set.

Surly Midnight Special
Midnight Special Gear Ratios

I have to admit I’m struggling with the drop bars on this.  It’s light, very agile, quiet, and a joy to change gears.  But the riding position is uncomfortable on long rides and the directional control is very uncertain almost twitchy.  The bars just seem to narrow even though the width is, as  recommended, the same as my shoulders.

The gear ratios are on the left, on the road I’ve never use the smaller ring on the crank.




The complete build details are (Shimano unless otherwise noted):

Year 2019
Name Surly Midnight Special
Frame Size 50cm
Colour Hot Mayonnaise
Weight 10 kg or 22 lbs approx
Rims WH-RX570 set 700c
Tubes Michelin tube 700c AirStop
Tyres Continental Contact Plus Urban 42mm
Disc Brake Rotors RT54 Deore
Flat Mount Calipers BR-RS505
Brake Tubes SM-HB90
Pads L02A
Seat Zero Gamma-S
Seat Post Zero Pro Seat Post 27.2mm 330mm
Crank FC-RX810-2 2×11 48-31T
Bottom Bracket BB-RS500
Front Derailleur FD-RX810 11
Braze on Mount AD91
Rear Derailleur Ultegra RX RD-RX800 11x
Chain CN-HG701
Front Shifters RX400-L
Rear Shifters RX600-R
Cassette 11 speed HG700-11 11-34T 11 speed – HG-EV
Handlebars Pro PLT Anatomic 44cm
Stem Zero Pro Strike 80mm +7 deg
Headset Cane Creek 40, 1-1/8″

I have since ditched the drop PLT bars and changed to a Giant Contact SL Trail Riser.  To go to straight bars meant changing the brifters over to SL-RS700 flat bar road shifters to be compatible with the GRX derailleurs which have road shift pull ratios. The brake levers are now SLX BL-M7100 2-finger.