Surly Bikes is a bike brand based in Minnesota that is widely known for two great features of a bike – fat tires and steel frames. The company’s popularity increased rapidly after they released the Pugsley, which is now considered their legendary fat bike on the market. This style of mountain biking has brought to be the leading in the MTB industry and attracts lots of cyclist’s attention.
After that, Surly Bikes expanded their bike categories by designing and producing different types of mountain bike styles and models, such as cargo bikes. Nowadays, Surly even provides the market with electric bikes that are geared for long-distance riding and passenger transport.
Table of Contents
- Overview Of Surly Bike Company
- Surly Bike Categories
- Most Popular Surly Bikes
- Surly Bike Price Range
- Are Surly Bikes Any Good?
- Surly Vs. Salsa
- Surly Trail Bikes
- Surly Pavement Bikes
- Surly Touring Bikes
- Surly Hauling Bikes
Overview Of Surly Bike Company
History Of Surly Bike Company
Surly Bikes was established in 1998, Blooming, Minnesota, United States. The company is very famous for its steel frames, which are manufactured from Chromoly steel tubes in Taiwan. After that, the manufacturer thoroughly welds the frames to make sure the output frames and bikes are the most durable ones all over the world.
Not a technical mountain bike or a light race bicycle, Surly Bikes manufactures sturdy all-steel framed adventure bikes. These bicycles are typically designed for touring, long-distance riding, fat cycling, and backpacking.
The engineering team at Surly is very cautious when producing bike frames to make sure that they are not only made of the most durable, well-built materials but also provide riders with ultimate comfort and an effective riding experience. What’s more, each Surly bike is manufactured to last, flexible, and more importantly, affordable so that anyone can approach a well-built quality bike that is made of Chromoly steel.
In addition, every bike model comes in a specific size and style that is produced for individuals. Hence, every part of the bike, including angles, lengths, and stiffness, is perfectly fit for the bicycle’s planned use.
Surly is so popular that there are a lot of dealers all over the world located in different countries. You can easily find Surly dealers in almost all main cities in all 50 states of the United States and every main city in Canada.
They are also available in different continents, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Greece, Estonia, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, and various cities in Japan, such as Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Miyagi.
Where Are Surly Bikes Made?
Even though the Surly’s Bikes headquarters is located in Minnesota, the United States, their frames are produced in Taiwan.
The Technologies Of Surly Trail Bikes
Trail bikes are considered Surly’s DNA from the beginning days when the company launched their first 1×1 Rat Ride model. The Lowside is just like an adult version of the bicycle that you rode as you were a child. It is really fun and comfortable to ride on the singletrack.
It also brings various great riding experiences and excellent performance because of the following features:
Surly trail bikes meet the modern trail standards. For example, the bike is designed to be compatible with dropper posts. What’s more, it is corresponding to almost all-mountain bike models’ standards. This makes Surly trail bikes a perfect option for various riders of all tastes.
Performance Of Surly Trail Bikes
Surly is relatively famous for its trail bikes. Among different models, the Ice Cream Truck is considered one of the best ones and gets lots of popularity. At its core, the Ice Cream Truck is a modern trail bicycle. And of course, it is specially designed for modern terrains. No matter the trail you are riding this bike on, from jumps, rocks, berms, roots, and other technical trails, it gets you covered.
The Surly Ice Cream Truck is manufactured to offer the best fit and handling. Hence, it allows you to ride comfortably on off-road trails, easily get over obstacles and even get a higher speed.
With Surly trail bikes, you will be able to perform well on different terrains, including homemade jumps, single track, pub cruising, and alley expedition.
Surly Bike Categories
Surly actually increased a lot to get higher success in their bikes from their very first Pugsley bike. And today, the company provides a wide range of bike types for all kinds of riders. The truth is that most Surly bike models are designed for recreational, travel, or fun riding rather than speed. Their bike ranges are split into four major categories as follows:
Most Popular Surly Bikes
As many of you might know that Surly is very famous for its excellent fat-tire bikes. However, the company also offers other types of bikes, and each bike category has its own most popular model. Let’s check it out:
- Trail Bikes: Surly Ice Cream Truck
- Touring Bikes: Surly Pugsley
- Hauling Bikes: Surly Big Dummy
- Pavement Bikes: Surly Straggler
Surly Bike Price Range
In general, Surly bikes are not really expensive, but not cheap when compared with some counterparts. Each bike range has various models and styles at different price tags. Let’s have a look at the price range of four major Surly bike categories.
- Trail Bikes: $1,260.00 – $2,299.00
- Touring Bikes: $1,155.00 – $1,999.00
- Hauling Bikes: $2,249.00 – $5,249.00
- Pavement Bikes: $899.00 – $2,099.00
Are Surly Bikes Any Good?
The short answer will be yes. Surly bikes are made of good-quality materials while slightly inexpensive, making them great for all riders’ tastes and budgets. Today, Surly offers a wide variety in their bike categories, from traditional fat bikes to gravel, long-distance hauling, and pavement. However, the main purpose of their bicycle models is for fun or recreational riding.
However, you can still choose a Surly model that is suitable for your needs. For example, if you are a commuter and love to enjoy some leisure ridings on your bicycle on the weekends, then Surly pavement bikes will be a perfect option for you. In addition, Surly trademark fat tire models are great for riders who want to glide on sand, gravel, or snow during winter days. But, if your need is speed, then Surly bikes might not be a good option to go.
Surly Vs. Salsa
In this part, I will give you the advantages of Surly and Salsa bikes over other older mountain bike models, as well as their own pros and cons. I think this will be better for you to get an overview of both popular bike brands. As a result, you can easily decide which brand and model to choose from.
Strong points of Surly and Salsa bikes over traditional MTB bikes:
- Excellent off-road geometry
- Good fork mounts
- Powerful disc brakes
- Wide range of racks for bags, fenders, and optional gearshifts.
- Offer smoother riding experience with 29-inch wheels
- The top tubes slope for easier on and off
- Raised handlebar height for more comfortable all-day riding
However, when comparing these two bike brands, there will be more things to discuss. Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages. I will pick the two most outstanding models from the two brands for a more detailed comparison. Now, let’s delve into the Surly Ogre bike’s strong and weak points:
- A lower gear for easy climbing off-road mountain trails
- Come in a slightly large tire
- The front rotor is larger (180mm compared to 160mm of Salsa Fargo)
- Great Jones H loop handlebar
- A little bit more heavyweight
Salsa Fargo also comes with advantages and disadvantages when compared to Surly Ogre. Let’s see what strong and weak points are:
- Comfortable suspension seatposts
- Great woodchipper drop bar design with a lot of hand positions
- Equipped with wider and higher-quality Schwalbe tires
- Not great for those who don’t like drop bar
The final decision really depends on how you like to ride your bike or your riding taste. If you like drop bar design, the Salsa Fargo model will be perfect because of the well-known Woodchipper handlebar. The surly Ogre, on the other hand, is more suitable for those who love flat handlebars. But both bring a comfortable riding position with ergonomic geometry.
Surly Trail Bikes
It could be said that Surly bikes truly shine when it comes to off-road and trail bike models. The bike brand currently provides trail cyclists with 5 options, from traditional fat-tire bikes, such as Surly Krampus to the new style Ice Cream Truck model with large 5-inch wheels. The fat bikes from Surly are particularly manufactured, to handle muddy, snowy, and any other rough trail you might surprisingly find on your road.
Surly trail bikes are really popular because they are easy to access for beginners. Therefore, you can easily pick a model that is suitable for your trail, riding style, and budget. Even when you are not really sure what you may come across on the trail, Surly trail bikes can truly deal with that. Typically, if you live in an extremely cold area where there is more snow than normal, the fat tires of Surly bikes will help you overcome it all.
Surly Pavement Bikes
For tarmac paths, Surly Bikes provides the riders with four major models of different styles. Since Surly road bikes are typically designed for tough terrains, they are really durable. What’s more, they are versatile enough for you to ride on gravel or bumpy roads, especially the Straggler model.
Surly pavement bikes are geared for racing, commuting, or just leisure and recreational ridings around town. Having said that, you can still choose a model to ride on more off-road trails with Surly pavement bikes that are equipped with more heavy-duty and wider tires.
Surly Touring Bikes
When it comes to touring bikes, Surly also offers a quite large number of models ranging from pavement bikes suitable for commuters bikes to mountain bike selections with fat tires, such as the Pugsley line. What’s more, you can find other models for cycling long-distance trips.
One of the greatest features of the Surly Pack Rat model is the unique front-loading design. Therefore, you can keep your stuff within your arm’s reach. Specifically, it is designed to transport a load at the front of the bike without sacrificing balance, one of the most necessary features for commuters.
The Surly Troll model, on the other hand, is geared for more off-road expeditions. The bike is typically engineered to be flexible enough for different riding styles, including long-distance touring.
Surly Hauling Bikes
Longtails are one of the most outstanding properties of Surly hauling bikes. They offer 3 different bikes equipped with this feature, keeping it more balanced and stable while providing you with more space for cargo. In addition, if you want to mount an extra trailer or transport passengers, you can easily do it thanks to the Surly hauling bikes’ stability and rigidity.
If your purpose is to find a hauling bike to ride on regular roads, the Surly Big Dummy will be the best option. However, you will need a model with wider tires, such as the Surly Big Fat Dummy, if you need to carry more cargo on roads.
Currently, Surly even provides the market with a new electric bike, the Big Easy model. This e-bike is also equipped with the brand’s trademark off-road tires and long-tail design.
It is relatively obvious that Surly offers a large array of mountain bikes and signature fat-tire bikes. However, you can find more types of bikes at Surly because the company offers other options that are flexible for pavements and city roads, daily commuting, and off-road touring.