Having the right tool for the right job is important. With Surly on our side, we have an array of tools for your cycling needs.
Surly Big Dummy – Cargo Bike
Cargo bikes aren’t just a novelty anymore. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports that, in the same way the SUV market expanded from off-roaders to every day drivers, more people are seeing the benefit of being able to use their bicycles to haul heavy loads.
Cargo bikes are a routine presence in cycling havens like Copenhagen. They are also gaining popularity in the U.S., especially in cycling-friendly, flatter cities, like Chicago.
Surly’s Big Dummy is designed for carrying cargo. Figure on being able to carry about 200 pounds of cargo.
One of the funny things about the Big Dummy is that it doesn’t ride quite like you might think. Sure, it’s a little longer, but mainly it rides like a bike. It’s smooth, maneuverable, even nimble.
Are you riding light and want to hit some singletrack on the way home? Do it. And if you get a call from your better half asking you to pick up some groceries, or you see a nice lamp at a garage sale, you’re all ready. Lots of people bought one to use once in a while and began using it as their everyday ride.
The frame can be built up lots of different ways to suit your needs and budget. The complete bike option has reliable but understated components to help keep the price down while still retaining durability and quality components Surly is known for.
The load weight, and how it’s loaded, will affect the handling somewhat. Plan on using your gears, especially as cargo weight increases. This may seem obvious, but as you get comfy with it you’ll use your full range of gears as never before.
The Big Dummy’s steel frame is built around the Xtracycle design platform, making it compatible with Xtracycle and Surly accessories. Being a dedicated single-piece frame, instead of an add-on to an existing bike, it’s more stout and resistant to torsional flex, and this makes it resistant to fatigue and failure.
Surley Long Haul Trucker – Touring Bike
Bicycle touring has been growing in popularity quite a bit in the last decade, and Surly’s Long Haul Trucker has been around for most of that time. Over the years it’s developed a devoted following. People understand and appreciate the LHT’s dependability and everyday riding comfort, whether they’re cruising to the store or lost in the middle of nowhere.
Why the Trucker? Simple. A touring bike’s job is to go the distance and then some while carrying you and your gear, all in relative comfort. The Long Haul Trucker was designed in all aspects to do exactly that. Its low bottom bracket and long chainstays provide comfort and stability.
Surly gave it ample tire clearance for larger tires (larger tires soak up a lot of road static) with room for fenders too. The frame’s tubing is thicker-walled and larger-diameter than standard road and sport-touring frames, and this pre-tunes it for the weight of cargo. And it’s got all the braze-ons, from rack mounts to water bottle cage bosses to spare spoke holders.
Like all Surly frames, it’s made of CroMoly steel. A well-designed steel frame delivers a ride quality like no other. It doesn’t hurt that steel is relatively inexpensive, or that it is more easily repaired than aluminum, carbon fiber or titanium. You’ll probably never need to have the frame repaired, but if you do you’re more likely to find someone who can weld steel than someone who can weld ti or aluminum or repair carbon fiber.
The component group was chosen for its technical ability, durability, and value. This is stuff that works well on a fully loaded tourer, will last you a while, and won’t shoot holes in your wallet. You’ll add whatever you need to go where you want, like racks and fenders. Once you have that sorted, get out there and ride. And then when you get there, keep going.
For further reading:
- See the Wall Street Journal online‘s recent article on cargo bikes.
- Check out the Bike Snob‘s witty review of the Surly Big Dummy.
- Considering touring by bicycle? Read about customer Dr. Tony’s adventures by bike.
Considering a cargo or a touring bike? Come in to Higher Gear where we can help answer your questions about what bike will work for you.