Before I begin this whole review, let me just say that this bike has been an absolute blast. If you have no interest in riding a fatbike, you should really try one out, they’re a lot of fun. In fact, it’s hard to convince me to ride my other bikes. No lie…
Ever since riding the Krampus back in Minneapolis, I wanted to get my hands on a full fat. Then, when Surly announced that sick limited edition Pugsley, I pulled a few fingers (backwards), sold my soul and got on the list for one.
So how’s it ride? Is it heavy? What are my thoughts? Surely, I have some critiques. Check out more below!
So, are those tires heavy? Yes, they are actually. But this isn’t a fast bike, it’s a fatbike.
And they aren’t slow. Especially with low pressure. I’m riding around 10psi in them. The Surly Nate is available in gumwall now too, BTW.
The silver Rolling Darryl rims are something else! I’ve never owned a rim this wide, so everything from my local trails to a grocery run is a new experience. Hopping over everything, bulldozing onto berms. Every line is fun and new.
The drivetrain is solid. 2×10 Shimano, LX rear derailleur with SLX hydraulic brakes and Surly’s OD cranks. Which brings me to my next point and it’s a small qualm, at this point, I’m not feeling those ss track ends!
Like I said, it’s a small qualm. I understand how it makes the bike early to convert to SS. I get it. But to a total n00b like me, who doesn’t know that you have to have the wheel all the way forward to ride the bike, it took some getting used to. What happens is the rear derailleur will actually slap the chainstay if the wheel is in any location but all the way forward. Once we figured that out, the bike was good to go.
Another beef I have with the track ends is getting the wheel on and off. It’s a pain. Again, small qualm.
On to other notes: I love the warty looking bosses!
… and the fender, rack mounts. This bike is ready for any kind of accessory. That’s what I’m most stoked on: fitting it with bike packing bags and just disappearing.
Obviously, this isn’t the stock build. I swapped out the saddle, which is a must for anyone who rides a lot and the stem, to give me an ideal position. Other than that, this bike is good to go!
Next up: converting the wheels to tubeless and swapping for a 1×10 up front with a Wolf Tooth ring. From there, maybe some silver cranks.
Walking away from this review, I have a recommendation: if you want an entry-level MTB, buy one of these. Just go for it. There’s enough squish to absorb any trail nasties, you’ll learn to corner easier and with the weight of the bike, you’ll get fit faster. Seriously, if I could only have one MTB for Austin, it’d be a fatbike.
Also, Surly’s products are very available. Super available in fact. Your shop has a QBP account, holler at them!
I really want to thank Surly for kicking ass and pushing fatbikes. I think I’m sold… But I’ll never wear fucking clam diggers when riding one.