FOREWORD: Back in May and into June, I had the pleasure of helping the crew at Angry Catfish for a couple of weeks as their summer season began to pick up. The following is a series of entries from a journal I kept during my time there. My hope is that through these vignettes you will get a glimpse of what it’s like to not only work at one of the most successful bike shops in the country, but be a bicycle salesperson and mechanic in the city of Minneappolis. Think of this as an extended shop visit, one where I get my hands dirty and experience the area and community the way those at Angry Catfish and other locals do. All photos are film, shot on 35mm and 120mm. Enjoy!
Short sleeves, long sleeves, caps, gaiters, shirts for men and women, Surly’s new wool lineup has something for everyone. Check out the newly-launched lineup at Surly.
This just in from our friends at Surly!
“We’re writing today to let you know that we have recently received reports of a small number of Surly 8-Pack and 24-Pack Racks loosening, contacting the front wheel and causing accidents.
Rider safety is our greatest concern, and we want to make sure that you are fully informed with what is going on, and the steps you should take to ensure safety on your bike equipped with either the Surly 8-Pack or 24-Pack Rack (rack images above).”
Bars. Bars. Bars. I feel like we’ve been inundated with bar designs this year and leave it to Surly to bide their time and develop one of the more subtle replies to the high-demand gravel handlebar market. The Truck Stop Bar is an aluminum bar with a 31.8 clamp, 42-48cm widths, 30mm of rise (!!!), 12º of sweep, resulting in a bar with many hand positions to help alleviate pain on long rides. Check out the Truck Stop Bar at your local Surly dealer or see more information at Surly!
Over the past couple of months, we’ve looked at a few bike shops with very unique business models. From opening their stock up as a rental fleet, to stocking only Rivendell and Bob Dylan, and roadside attractions, looking to recycle as much as possible, we’ve run quite the gammut of business models this summer here on the Radavist. Another shop that I recently documented was Santa Fe’s Broken Spoke and they’re doing something unique in the modern internet sales versus the Local Bike Shop climate…
Happy Father’s Day!
On our road trip up to Bozeman for the Swift Campout, we mosied up through Abiquiu to visit some friends who own a nice little tract of land in the hills. At a favorite lunch stop of ours, we bumped into a father and son bikepacking duo from Arkansas. They are riding the Tour Divide from south to north, beginning in New Mexico. They were 14 days into their trip when we bumped into them. They looked cooked!
Frostbike 2019: Three Shots of Whisky With a Carbon Back
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk
Whisky Components chose Quality Bicycle Products Frostbike to unveil some new products this year, and along with it, they proved that the sum of a well-appointed bicycle is in its parts. With three unique builds designed around a Surly Wednesday, Surly Karate Monkey, and Surly Midnight special, all shod in a certain shade of retina burn that when entering the expo halls was sure to catch your eye.
There’s much more going on than at first glance, but the paint/carbon combo worked out really well, I’ve been told the Wednesday weighed under 27lbs.
e-Bike hate is all the rage these days, yet pry open the myopic, short-sightedness of those scoffing at e-anything and look at Surly’s new Big Easy as a literal definition of what it is. In short, cargo made as easy as possible. Somewhere us Americans got it wrong, the bicycle that is. We look at them as instruments of pain, of punishment, of fitness, of sport. Oftentimes, the clamoring horde fails to look to the rest of the world’s reliance on two-wheel transport, over our enamorment with four-wheel. Our cars are easy. Bikes are meant to be painful and e-assist is cheating. You have to work for whatever it is you’re pedaling for. This is why I believe people hate e-bikes on their city streets.
Our friend Pepper Cook was recently interviewed by Surly!
Favorite bike-related memory.
I don’t have one specific bike memory, but I think my favourite thing on a bike ever is when you ride in Autumn and it’s flannel weather and the sun does that thing where it shines through the tree branches all dappled and you get to ride over a thick carpet of fallen leaves. You can hear the quiet crunching of the different coloured leaves and it’s cool enough outside where you don’t get sweaty. It feels like you’re riding in a time machine that got stuck on pause, or like you’re the last person on earth and you’ll never have to hurry anywhere ever again.
The Karate Monkey has seen many permutations over the years, with various wheelsizes and build kits, but the latest might be my favorite. The most obvious change is on the front. That squishy thing is a RockShox Sektor RL, 27.5+ 140mm travel. This iteration of the KM is also 27.5+, to offer some extra cushion for all the hardtail buckin’ you’ll do. Check out more info at Surly and see one in person at your local dealer.
… a 26+ city shredder. Check out the video above and more information at Surly!
We made the joke that the new bike from Surly, the Bridge Club was an homage to a card game. In fact, Surly’s newest bike is an homage to hanging out under the many bridges in Minneapolis. Those who work and design at Surly seek refuge under bridges, to wait out the elements and seek seclusion, so it’s fitting they’d name their newest tourer after this behavior.
Check out the Bridge Club in video!
No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. Surly’s newest touring bike is named after that card game your grandma plays, but don’t let the name fool ya, this is a touring bike meant to take on just about anything. See more at Surly.
Stephanie’s Surly Wednesday with Studs and Sim Works
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
Stephanie’s Surly Wednesday represents layers of history, each meaningful and useful in their own right. When studying architecture and art history, I learned that such layers of history are referred to as a palimpsest. Rome is the classic example of a palimpsest, a city in which successive generations have built on top of what came before. New additions have been built on top of existing infrastructure, though the original shape and character still shines through.
Stephanie’s Wednesday has been successively repurposed over the past couple of years, moving away from its original life as a fat bike with trail geometry, to where you see it currently as a cold weather commuter with signs of its enjoyment along the way. Used and adapted, used some more, collecting knicks and character throughout. Our bikes are where we layer our history: through experience, they become greater than the sum of their parts.
Surly’s Midnight Special is Truly a Fat Tire Road Bike
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
The Surly Midnight Special is a drop bar bike that fits big tires – real big tires. Beyond fitting huge tires, what makes it unique among the expanding options in this category is that its geometry is derived from a road bike rather than the ‘cross bikes that most “Road Plus” bikes have descended from. Chainstays are short and head tube angles are relatively steep across the board, making for a quick-handling bike that loves to carve corners at any speed – but especially when you’re going fast.
Don’t let the massive tire clearance fool you; despite the wide 650B tires, it handles on the road more like bikes you’d expect to see narrower tires on. Because of this, the Midnight Special is difficult to classify. It fits big tires and it’s got disc brakes and drop bars, but it’s not a ‘cross bike and it’s unlike any bike being marketed as gravel. It fits more tire than a Straggler but its geometry is more like that of the Pacer. So let’s get into that.
Classics never go out of style, they just get a facelift from time to time. As is the case for Surly’s Pugsley, the veritable, do-it-all fatbike. The Pugsley 2.0 is filled with new features to make it an even more bicycle touring-capable bike. Be it sand or snow, or just really slow on roads, the Pugsley is designed to take you where you want to go. Even if it’s just the bar… See actual technical information at Surly’s blog and head to your local dealer to see it in person.
Surly calls the newest edition of the Krampus “Pickled Beet,” yet I find that nomenclature to be, I dunno, too organic for a bike with such evil in its DNA. So, either ride it to the farmer’s market or slay some singletrack with it, hell you can even do both on the same ride. The Krampus is back with a deeper, darker red, I’m dubbing Red Rum. Head to Surly’s Blog to see more.
What is the Surly Pack Rat? Well that’s a question a lot of people have been asking since a photo was leaked courtesy of Mr. Pubes a few weeks ago. Yes, it’s got rim brakes, and according to Surly, the geometry’s been optimized for riding with a front load and to reduce toe overlap.
That means it’ll ship with 650×42 tires on the larger sizes, and 26×1.5″ on the smaller sizes. With a 44mm fork offset it’s not a low trail bike, but it does have a relatively steep head angle compared to other bikes in those sizes – 74º on the 650b bikes and 72.5º on the 26″ bikes.
This whole conversation is a minefield, so… jump on in! Surly’s got a huge blog post up about it, so head on over there and dig in if you’re into it.