Surly's new Pugsley is, in its way, as revolutionary as the original mountain bikes were in the early 1980s.
The basic concept is "rolligon-like" super-wide, looooow-pressure tires. These tires are intended to conform to the shape of soft surfaces, rather than working by digging in as conventional MTB knobby tires do. This makes the bike more "trail friendly" and permits it to be ridden on soft surfaces (sand, gravel, mud, snow...) that would cause a conventional mountain bike to get bogged down and stuck.
The fat, soft tires also provide excellent "suspension" without introducing the complicated moving/sliding/pivoting parts used on most newer mountain bikes. Although it looks heavy the Pugsley is actually not all that heavy, thanks to the simplicity of the frame design. The big tires make it look as if it must weigh a ton, but they're mostly air, after all! Our display bike, shown above, tips the scales at 37 pounds.
You need to actually ride this bike on a soft surface to appreciate its amazing capabilities. This is the ideal bike for Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket, just to mention some places in our neck of the woods where the sand trails are mostly too soft for conventional mountain bikes.
This bike is suitable for general riding on soft terrain, and also for serious back-country expedition touring. It has braze-ons for front and rear racks, and has a very considerable carrying capacity.
Making a bike to work with tires as wide as these is not a simple matter, and I have to give a lot of credit to Surly and QBP for making the necessary committment to produce the special tires, rims, tubes and bottom bracket needed to make the Surly Pugsley frame into a usable bicycle.
The big problem is that a conventional drivetrain would have had the chain rubbing on the side of the back tire.
Surly solved this by building an asymmetrical frame, where the seatstays are displaced 15 mm to the right. A side benefit of this is that it greatly reduces wheel dish, making for a much stronger than usual derailer-type rear wheells wheel. The "Large Marge" rims are drilled asymmetrically to further reduce dish.
Since this bike is intended to be capable of serious wilderness travel, Surly decided to make the wheels interchangeable! The front fork is designed to accept a 135 mm rear hub. The usual setup is to provide a singlespeed rear hub for the front, with a single sprocket. Thus, if you're off in the wilds of northern Saskatchewan and you prang your rear derailer, you can shorten the chain, swap wheels, and ride home in a single gear.
This also offers the possibility of having two single-speed wheels with different gearing, allowing the functionality of a flip flop singlespeed setup, while retaining the disc brakes.
Yet another possiblity is to have two diffferent multispeed cassettes, with one for on-road use and the other for off-road use. Altogether, this is an extremely versatile bike!
The Surly Pugsley frameset is made from butted 4130 CrMo tubing with Sub 11.0 track-style fork ends. It's a great bike for singlespeed or fixed gear use, on or off road!
Built Up Bike As Shown Above $2200.00Actual bike build prices will vary depending on the equipment you choose.
From the Surly Website:The premise behind Pugsley’s design is based on the allowance of tires with a larger-than-average footprint. It was created to go where other bikes may flounder. Our frame and fork will accept 4" tires on 26" rims. The floatation and traction gained by using large-volume, low-pressure tires (we highly recommend the Surly Endomorph 3.7 tires) can get you over and through otherwise-unrideable terrain: ice, snow, sand, mud, wet rocks and roots. In many conditions, bigger is better.
There are design problems associated with using wide tires, however: the tire can rub on the chain, the chainstays, and the front derailer. Surly has addressed these issues by using a 100mm-wide bottom bracket shell and providing an E-type front derailer mount. The 100mm shell allows them to widen the chainstays for more tire/frame clearance, and it moves the chainrings outward for more chain/tire clearance. An E-type bottom bracket-mounted front derailer positions the derailer cage outboard of the tire. In order to maintain a good chainline with this setup, they offset the rear hub 17.5mm to the right...the same distance that the chainrings moved outward (compared to the chainline of a bike using a 68mm or 73mm bottom bracket shell). The result is a straight chainline and the ability to use a standard drivetrain (compact mountain triple crankset with a full cassette of cogs on a 135mm-spaced hub) without chain/tire/front derailer interference. Pugsley has horizontal rear drops (sometimes, called track ends) with a derailer hanger, so you can set it up as a single-speed or internally-geared rig if you don’t want to use derailers.
Now, think about trying to shove a 4" (102mm) tire through the dropouts of a fork designed to accept a standard 100mm-wide front hub. Add a disc brake caliper to narrow the gap. It all adds up to a big hassle when trying to get a wheel, with an inflated tire, in and out of the fork. Surly solved the problem by designing the fork to use a wider hub. Pugsley uses a 135mm hub on the rear, so it seemed logical to use a 135mm hub on the front, too. They offset the fork the same distance as the rear end, so the wheels will be interchangeable.
Why would you want interchangeable wheels? If you’re using your rig as a single-speed, differently-sized freewheels can be installed on each wheel to give you high and low gear options. You may want a fixed-gear/freewheel option, in case there is a risk of your freewheel seizing up or not engaging when riding in extreme conditions. A fixed cog always moves you forward. And, it can be used to slow you down, if you choose not to use brakes or if your brakes stop working. If you use the same model of hub front and rear, you’ll only use 1 or 2 lengths of spokes versus 3 or 4…less confusion and fewer spare spokes to carry if you’re on a remote tour. If you decide that you don’t want to use the Pugsley fork, our Instigator fork (as well as many 100mm-travel suspension forks) has the same axle-to-crown length.
There are disc brake tabs on the frame and fork. If you’re using discs, you’ll have to use "rear" brakes or rear brake adapters on the frame and the fork. Absorb that for a second: rear hub & rear brake on both ends of the bike. Not everybody needs or wants disc brakes, so we also provide 120mm-spaced cantilever pivots for those of you who want to run traditional cantilevers. Keep in mind you’ll need to use our Large Marge rims to use these types of brakes. The pivots are thread-in type, so they’re removable if you don’t want ‘em on there. Linear-pull brakes will not work with large-volume tires due to crossover wire interference.
Who should ride Pugsley? Hunters of all types (animal, mineral, or vegetable), beach/desert riders, snow/ice riders, wilderness explorers, and anybody else in need of a bike that will provide extra stability, traction, and floatation when the terrain gets loose and unpredictable. If you fall into any one of those categories, you should ride a Pugsley.
Pugsley Frameset Specs
100% Surly cro-moly steel, main triangle double-butted TIG-welded
Surly horizontal dropouts with derailer hanger. 135mm-spaced. Offset 17.5mm
Most rear international standard disc brakes (on the frame and fork) or traditional cantilever-type rim brakes (when using Large Marge rims)
Cantilever bosses with removable pivots, dual water bottle mounts, top tube cable housing guides for use with continuous housing, fender and rack eyelets
Seatpost clamp diameter:
30.0mm. Surly Constrictor™ included
Bottom bracket shell:
100mm wide, 1.37 x 24t
Compact triple: 22-32-44t
Suspension-corrected (100mm travel)…447mm axle to crown, tapered straight blade, 4130 cro-moly. International standard rear disc mount and removable cantilever pivots spaced 120mm apart. 135mm-spaced dropouts, 17.5mm offset
Barney Blue/Purple Pearl Sizzurple
18" = 5.66 lb (2.57 kg)
Fork - uncut = 2.52 lb (1.14 kg) uncut
Seat Tube (Center-to-Top)Inches
Top Tube (Effective)Inches
Head Tube Angledegrees
Seat Tube Angledegrees
Bottom Bracket DropInches
Head Tube LengthInches
*Standover height measured using Surly Endomorph 3.7" tire measuring 740mm in diameter.
Check out the other Surly models:
Surly Cross-Check cyclocross frames and complete bikes
Surly Karate Monkey 29 inch do everything frames
Surly Pacer road frames
Surly Steamroller fixed-gear road frames
Why should you want a one-speed bicycle
that won't let you coast?
Read all about it!
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Tom "DumpBike" Deakins
Jeremy "J.D." Dunn
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Jay "International" Jackson
Elton "BigNegs45" Pope-Lance
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