|The stock Surly Pacer, minus a handlebar/saddle change|
|Revised Surly Pacer|
The new-to-the-bike parts consist of a SRAM Force compact crankset, SRAM derailleurs and shifters, an older (but lighter) Shimano wheelset, a carbon seatpost, and a Reynolds Ouzo Comp fork (when I took photos, there was an Easton fork on the bike, but the steerer was cut just a bit shorter than I preferred, so it was switched out - though both forks work equally well as far as performance). It's unbelievable to me the difference the changes made to the feel and ride of the Surly. It has more pick up, it's definitely lighter, and it feels as though it was meant to be going faster out on the roads.
As for speed-to-speed comparison, I have had very similar ride times on both the aluminum Trek and the (revised) steel Surly over similar distances. In truth, I think any variance has more to do with my mental or physical state of being on any particular day than the bikes themselves.
There are many differences between the Trek and the newly revised Surly Pacer (even as far as frame geometry is concerned), but I think it's interesting that a bike that felt heavier and perhaps even a bit sluggish in its original form has the ability to be transformed into something that really could hold up on a group ride or fast paced solo ride.
In all of this, I think if someone were looking for a faster road bike, it would make sense to get the frame alone and build it up, rather than taking a stock set up from a shop (unless it was built as desired by the purchaser). As for me, the Surly probably won't be staying as part of the bike fold (the geometry creates some issues for my damaged hands), but it has been an absolute pleasure to see it transformed into a great road bike and I can see how it would be easy to love this bike again.