Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 23rd, 2010 at 10:25 pm
Surly Bikes has made a solid name for themselves over the years by offering well-built, versatile, and affordable steel bikes. You can hardly ride for five minutes in Portland without seeing one. I took a tour around their booth today with employee Emily Richard to find out what's new.
The big news from Surly is their new Trailer (capitalized because that's actually the model name). The Trailer is a bare-bones, heavy duty chunk of steel that's rated to carry 300 pounds. Check it out...
The Trailer is available in short and long bed versions that retail for $750 and $775 respectively. The 16-inch wheels keep your cargo's center of gravity low and a steel roll bar over them keeps them out of harm's way. The hitch system (see below) uses a proprietary axle skewer or thread-on axle nuts and it fits a wide variety of bikes. You can adjust the trailer hitch to the level of the bed, so your load always stays level.
In other news, Surly has added S&S Couplers to their popular Long Haul Trucker model (frameset retails for $999), so you can now break it down and travel with it if that's your cup of tea. Surly also unveiled their new Troll frameset. Emily said it's got the same geometry as their 1X1 model (a 26-inch mountain bike frame) but it's got a different rear end that's full of possibilities. "It's the Swiss Army Knife bike" is how Emily put it. The Troll looks to be extremely versatile. It can be built up as a capable mountain bike or an urban singlespeeder.
Surly's Big Dummy longtail gets a bit of a makeover for 2011. It's got a new, plastic snap-deck and it no longer has a sloping top tube. Emily said they've given the Big Dummy a straight top tube and a seat-tube gusset to improve stiffness. They've also downgraded the components and now only offer it in black in order to reach a lower price point. A Big Dummy frameset now runs $950 and a complete bike can be had for $1,850.
One of the most popular bikes in Portland, the Cross Check, remains the same for 2011. The only changes are a new color option (robin's egg blue) and a mid-fork braze-on. The Cross Check retails for $1,099.