Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.
I’m not going to get away without laying down some bad puns here. Sorry if that’s not your thing. 27.5+ tires have really blown up this year. Just look at this year’s NAHBS galleries. You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a 27.5+ hardtail out there.
Last year, in my long term review of the Surly Ice Cream Truck, I casually mentioned that I thought this bike was a good candidate for a 27.5+ conversion. John told me he had a pair of WTB Scraper rims that had yet to be built up and, with a promise to keep my mouth shut for a while, Surly sent me a proto pair of their now-available 27.5 x 3” Dirt Wizards.
The 27.5+ Dirt Wizards both weighed in at a hair under 1225 grams. Heavy by mountain bike standards, light by fat bike standards. Nice thick sidewalls and big, gummy tread blocks. Promising. John surprised me by having Mellow Johnny’s lace the rims to a pair of Industry Nine fat bike hubs and the project was underway.
A bicycle can often times be a time capsule for an individual’s journey. Be it a tale told through road grime, dust, dents or a augmented addition like a cargo retrofit.
Nils has had this Surly Long Haul Trucker for over a year and a half. In that time it’s gone through various permutations with the documented version being the most current, obviously. A LHT is already a pretty versatile bicycle, yet Nils wanted the ability to carry more weight, lower and honestly, just wanted to try something new. The retrofit was done by the same talent that makes the Haulin Colin racks. It’s actually a pretty simple process. You supply your axle to crown and head tube angle to Colin and he fabs up a steerer extension, a downtube brace and a rack. A few weeks pass and viola. Cargo bike.
I have to say, this is one of the first bikes I’ve shot in a while that has whole-hearted character, not purchased style. The little brackets he bent by hand to hang his rear light off the Brooks saddle bag hoops and his hand-painted accents on the frame completely tie in with Nils’ character. The dude is tall, with a commanding beard, yet his energy fills the room through his smile and laughter.
During the day, Nils fills his hours as a part time middle school teacher and a part time ceramic artist. On the weekend, he’s out riding in the Angeles National Forest, or just kicking around town on this magnificent bicycle. I’ve met a lot of people through Golden Saddle Cyclery, but for some reason, Nils really resonated with me. Check out more photos in the Gallery and follow along with Nils’ rides at his Instagram.
26″ isn’t dead, it just took a back seat on an interstellar space trip for a bit. The newest tire from Surly, the Extraterrestrial proves that there’s a lot of fun to have on your 26″ bike. These 2.5″, 60TPI tires have been designed for multi-surfaces and will still enjoy a commute that’s mostly pavement.
Speaking of commuting, there are two racks coming in from Surly: the 8 Pack and the 24 Pack Racks. Surely you get the reference… See more at Surly.
Surly makes reliable, solid, affordable components and bicycles. Something we can all appreciate. Their newest dive bar is a spin on one of their first sweep bars. The Cheater Bar is a 11º sweep, 31.8 clamp, 4130 bar that’s 780mm wide, 427g and will cost ya $80 bones at your local bike shop. Not bad! Check out more babel at Surly.
Wednesday is Surly’s new Omniterra fatbike and although it shares a similar stance to its brother, the Pugsley there are a few key differences in both the geometry and technical detailing. For starters, it boasts a centered 177mm vs 135mm offset rear spacing, a 44mm head tube, shorter stays, a longer top tube and various other tidbits of interest.
Head over to Surly to read all about Wednesday – the bike, not the day.
Photo by Kim Heikkinen
I love bikes that are completely bombed by stickers, many of which are catch-phrases. Check out more photos of this street thrashed Surly Steamroller at Kim’s Flickr. Excellent documentation my friend.
I just wrote and re-wrote this copy, trying to come up with something clever to say about Surly in general, only to find the best way to present the brand is to let the products do the talking and leave the rest up to the consumer. The Surly Troll is by far one of the most unique bikes in their catalog. A veritable do-it-all machine if you will. Now, the Troll and the Karate Monkey singlespeed got a bit brighter for 2016 with two new pastel colors… Feast your eyes for yourselves at dealers soon!
Words and photos by Morgan Taylor unless otherwise noted.
Six months ago, I hung up my modern mountain bike and began riding a fat bike with thumb shifters and cable brakes as my only bike. Accustomed to the niceties of lightweight wheels, four piston brakes, and an 11-speed drivetrain, I’ll admit I didn’t have a lot of faith in this experiment. I had a feeling I would be itching to get back on my other bike long before the snow melted.
You see, not especially long ago, I held some fairly strong opinions about fat bikes. I worked in mountain bike media, had access to all the newest technology, and was convinced that fat bikes were so far outside the realm of acceptable mountain bikes that I chose to write them off.
Surly’s getting ready for Frostbike – which is the best, by the way – with a new Special Ops Moonlander, inspired by this video. While the video’s a bit old, the new Moonies will feature a brand new stainless officially licensed X-Sync narrow wide ring.
The rings will be available later this year and 150 Special Ops Moonlanders will be in stock mid-February. See more at Surly.
Yep. No gimmicks, just some good ol’ fashioned customer appreciation. Support your local bike shop, ya fiends. For any questions, head to the Surly blog…