This week’s Reader’s Rig is Alex Buck’s vintage mountain bike of unknown origin, which was listed as a Surly when he found it on his local classified ads in Denmark. Learn more about the build and its backstory here, or even better, help him identify it…

Words and photos by Alex Buck (@a.l.e.x.b.u.c.k)

Hey, I’m Alex. I picked this bike up a few months ago through the Danish equivalent of Craigslist. The ad had it listed as a “Surly,” but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t find any models that matched the frame. After a two-hour train ride, I met up with the seller who told me that he had bought the frame used and that it had Surly decals on it. So, when he had it repainted, he slapped on some new decals, but he didn’t know anything about the frame other than that. The bike was so well put together that I had to get it. I took it home with me and the rest is history, as they say.

Vintage mountain bike, Alex Buck, Reader's Rig

The frame is probably a late 90s or early 2000s mountain bike, at least according to what the geometry tells me. It has a 60cm top tube and 50cm seat tube, canti brakes, frame pump studs, and just barely enough room for 27.5” wheels. But it rides like a dream and I couldn’t be happier about it!

  • Vintage mountain bike, Alex Buck, Reader's Rig
  • Vintage mountain bike, Alex Buck, Reader's Rig

The bags are made from old military surplus shoulder bags that have been modded by my girlfriend to work as bike bags, but they can still be detached and used as shoulder bags once at camp.

“Slow Riding Beats No Riding” is my motto, and I feel like this bike embodies that spirit. It takes me everywhere, every time. It doesn’t have any modern features or any marginal gains, but it’s solid, fun, and damn pretty too!

  • Vintage mountain bike, Alex Buck, Reader's Rig
  • Vintage mountain bike, Alex Buck, Reader's Rig
  • Vintage mountain bike, Alex Buck, Reader's Rig
Vintage mountain bike, Alex Buck, Reader's Rig
  • Frame/Fork Unknown
  • Rims 27.5″ Velo Orange Voyager
  • Hubs Shimano Deore
  • Tires Panaracer Gravelking SK 47mm
  • Handlebars Pro Big Flare 44cm
  • Crankset Shimano MTB, 36T chainring
  • Cassette 11-36
  • Derailleur Shimano Deore
  • Brakes Tektro cantilevers
  • Shifter(s) Shimano 105
  • Saddle Brooks B17 Carved
  • Seatpost Unknown, sanded to make it silver
  • Stem Unknown
  • Front bags Repurposed vintage military bag
  • Rear bags Repurposed vintage military bag
  • Accessory bags PodSacs bags on bars, old Canon flash bag on downtube
  • Other accessories Spectra frame pump, Blackburn Outpost cage, SP Connect phone mount

You can find Alex on Instagram @a.l.e.x.b.u.c.k.

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