Friday, 17 February 2012

3 Bikes, all very similar, all quite different...

I think i now have the perfect off road bikes for here on the Scottish East Coast...
All are similar in many ways , not just being made by Surly Bikes, but geometry, quality and spec, oh and fun factor.

Surly Karate Monkey;
This is my trail bike, its a ridged steel 29er with 2 x 9 gears and has 47mm width rims and 2.55 tyres, not your usual xc choice of bike is it?, but for myself and the usually dry sandy/loam base of the trails above the coast it is perfect. No suspension is needed for trails around here and those wider than normal rims with big tyres running at around 20 psi give all the suspension needed, with no suspension servicing fails or costs to worry about. It is ideal when there is some road work to do between trails and also the Pugsley frame bags fit making it ideal for a bivvy bike with a seat post rack fitted...

Surly Pugsley;
The Pugsley is the in between bike of the three, it can do it all, a bit more work on the road than the 29er and not quite as quick on single track trails but it can ride on the beach below the high tide is a lot of fun as a fat bike is compared to a regular bike in the right conditions and it will see the most use out of these three bikes, with racks and frame bag and ability to tow a Fat Bob trailer it is a very versatile bike and is still my most favourite bike i have ever owned. It has changed my life to an extent, true! i tell you!,
"Beware the power of the fat side"...
I wouldn't be writing this blog today if it was not for discovering the fun of this bike...

Surly Moonlander;
The new kid on the coast, and proving it`s worth in the right conditions.
It is an amazing bike with its extra floatation and grip on soft sand, slimy rocks and loose pebbles and rocks, and wet salt marshes.
But it is not a replacement for the Pugsley, it does not lend to riding on tarmac as well, where its softer tyres are too squidgy and it requires more effort from the larger contact area.
Riding the pugsley you can stand out the saddle to sprint up climbs while the Moonlander prefers you sit and spin, that's the pay off for massive float and grip.
I am still discovering its limits which are way past the pugsley in places, and not so good in other riding,

All my bikes have a similar build - stem lenght, handlebar width, crank lenght, bar height to saddle height, And  specs,
Shimano XT/SLX/Deore gears,
Superstar nano flat pedals,
Shimano XTR chains,
Full lenght control cables,
Tartan seats -:),
Hope components on the 29er and Pugsley, and a lot of Hope stuff will be going on the Moonlander when stuff wears out.
First job is Hope hubs, more about Surly`s choice of hubs soon.
And a wee post on choices of UK available `off the shelf` fat bikes for beach riding here in the UK, based on findings by myself and friends...


  1. Huh, you still need the Surly Big Dummy, The Sandman Fatbike tandem, the Pashley Cuv'ner and a penny-farthing!!! LOL

  2. Lol, Aye it will never stop! -:)

  3. I have 2 Surly's already, one a Puglsey. I'm thinking of building up a Karate Monkey. I've been meaning to ask you what winter pants you use? Thanks.

  4. Nice fleet you have there! Each bike with a real purpose.

    My moon buggy might be getting ordered this weekend (Triton have them in stock), keeping the smaller 907 for trail & bivi like you & nearly finished flat bar LHT build for road & touring. Bike for every job!

  5. DummyDiva;
    I use Keela `Scuffers` multi purpose outdoor trousers, Keela are a Scottish company, there a stretch soft shell showerproof material, i have several pairs now as so comfy -:)

    i still have the Dawes Super Galaxy for commuting but it too may get flat bars -:)

    I like the idea of a Surly Disc trucker.
    Hope mtb hubs & BB7 brakes, XT gear set...
    oh i gotta stop the adiction! -:)