Today we mourn the loss of one of the greatest bikes ever created by engineers and welders and idea-people and weirdos and not weirdos and others. We are sad to say goodbye to this single track taming, bike-camping crusher, commuting counterpart and 29+ powerhouse. Here's a quick look at our latest and last ECR build; one we're familiar with.
We installed a Microshift Advent X (10 speed) drivetrain because it works well and doesn't cost a ton. If you're the type of rider who enjoys a strong feedback from your shifters, consider an Advent group. It's got a good "click" to it and you feel it changing gears. The gripe against this groupset is that it's proprietary. A lot of cycling components are proprietary and that's a bit of a bummer to the rider who needs a specific part from a specific brand when a component needs to be replaced.
This hub and brake combo is probably my favorite. Loose ball Shimano Deore hubs and Avid BB7 brake calipers. This set-up shares the same idea as the crank: built to last, easy to work on and available parts if needed. The BB7 pad shape is widely shared among multiple brands of brake pad makers.
Shimano hubs are known for high quality without breaking the bank. If you have to replace the ball bearings they cost about .15 each and the overhaul service is pretty simple. These hubs will last a lifetime.
The discontinuation of the ECR is a bit of a bummer. It's a bike that seriously does everything really really well. It's good on single-track, was one of the best bikecamping bikes made, was an awesome commuter bike and could handle all four seasons with ease. Surly has the Ogre too, which shares capabilites but the Ogre doesn't fit a 3" tire - something that will soon be a thing of the past....maybe.
If you ever find a used ECR and are on the fence about it, jump off and grab onto this bike. It's a true legend and springboard into contemporary do-it-all bikes.