Review: Surly Disc Trucker - Very well thought out tourer with bags of character

I've long been an admirer of Surly's Long Haul Trucker, so I was well pleased to have a chance to play with the disc equipped version. The downside is that I've got to give it back.
The Trucker is one of those understated 'do-anything' bikes. It's happy hauling rider and luggage on anything from a commute to a round the world tour. The version we tested was the slightly more unusual 26" wheel version, which does make the frame look a little gappy, even in a medium 54cm size. I'll come to that later.
Surly's marketing and branding may be a little too cutesy and hip for some, but the bikes have a good rep for being practical and unfussy. The Trucker amply demonstrates this, with a non-nonsense steel frame in humble 4130.
It's tough, rides well and of course can be repaired by pretty much anyone with a welder. Build quality is excellent with nice tidy welds and the paint job is also very good, with little or no flaking. The graphics are less tough, being decals that have been applied on top of the paint, and the head badge is just glued on. It's not the end of the world but a half scraped off decal does look a bit scruffy...