Building the Best Surly Bridgeclub: Shimano Cues 2x Drivetrain Upgrade
Jan 05, 2024
We recently embarked on a project for YouTube called “Building The Best Surly Bridge Club”. The purpose of this project is to make upgrades to a stock Surly Bridge Club to improve its performance and utility. It was also a great way for us to experiment with different parts and learn about the limits and potential improvement opportunities for the Bridge Club. We also wanted to show of the versatility of this reasonably priced all-terrain touring beast.
To make sure the project didn’t turn into a display of expensive parts we needed to set some boundaries to guide our efforts.
We came up with the following:
- Build the best possible Surly Bridge Club that we can
- Using reasonably priced parts
- Using readily available parts
- Make it look cool
Obviously “reasonably priced” is a relative term. We decided that we should consider every dollar spent against the benefits gained. In the end, we hope that anyone will be able to make these same upgrades to their own Surly Bridge Club or Similar bike. It’s also not expected that anyone would make all of the same changes, but rather be able to determine the cost vs. benefit analysis based on their own needs or opinions.
Our first major project involved upgrading the stock 1x drivetrain to a 2x drivetrain. The Bridge Club was designed for loaded touring and therefore has plenty of low-end gearing. However, the problem we are trying to address with this upgrade is the lack of high-end gearing on the stock bike. Unfortunately, this is difficult to do with the limitations inherent in the 1x drivetrain. We ran into several challenges along the way but you’ll have to watch the video to learn more.
Our upgrade was based on Shimano Cues. This is Shimano’s new drivetrain that was designed to replace all of their existing 9, 10, and 11-speed drivetrains. We chose this approach because it is reasonably priced and meets all of the other criteria for the project. We also thought it would be a good opportunity for us to test out and become familiar with the drivetrain.
We are including the complete parts list and pricing here to act as a reference: