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Summer is Ready When You Are

Winter was winding down a few months ago here in MN and I was reflecting on my Wednesday and what a peach it had been.  I rode it everywhere from beautful Richfield:

to Spirit Mountain:

(photo: Thor)

to the pipe at Buck Hill:

(Photo: Marty Wood)

to the overnights on the River Bottoms:

(Photo: Cass Gilbert)

But when Summer comes, so do dreams of riding fast, riding down hills, and jumping bikes straight through tire swings into coolers full of High Lifes.  It was time to ditch the fat tires and get on something lighter, but I had this thing set up just the way I liked it and had a strong suspicion it would be a great summer whip. I decided to pop for a second wheelset for it.

Our Wednesday frame works with a lot of different wheel sizes, from 26” fat, up to 29+, and most everything in between.  I chose 27+ because I like smaller wheels and I really like the new 27.5x3.0 Dirt Wizard tire.  It’s an aggressive tire that is kinda heavy and rolls kinda slow compared to an XC tire, but will hold a line when you need it to, and that’s my kinda people:

(Photo: Marty Wood)

How’s it work?  Awesome!  It’s lighter and faster than my winter setup, and it looks way cooler too.  Handling is somewhere between an Instigator and a Krampus.  Four bolts and a few junk straps is all it takes to convert from trail mode to haul mode thanks to my trusty Surly rack.  I’ve used it for long and dirty group rides, hobo campouts, berm blasting sessions, I can fit all my fishing stuff on it, and it still knows its own way home from the bar.  When people see it they want to ride it and when they do they come back happy.

My favorite part about this bike is that it works so well for almost everything, despite being far from ideal for anything.  A lot of that means it’s just built for me, but that’s just fine.  Give me the fringe, the strings that hold the fabric together, the bongos on Planet Caravan over the riff on Paranoid, nomesayin?

(Photo: Marty Wood)

There are plenty of experts out there that will tell you that using this thing for that thing isn’t ideal and there are all kinds of numbers that prove that it’s true, but screw them.  Real experts know enough to leave a happy person alone.

Always remember that the ideal is a construct; a fantasy that many have gotten lost in search of.  And even if it weren’t, there would still be an awful lot of space between ideal and pretty sweet, and it’s a killer place to be.  See you out there.

(Photo: Thor)

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About A3

Previously a millionaire cowboy astronaut fighter pilot, A3 now makes his living designing bike parts as one of Surly’s many enginerds. He is a relatively new addition to Surly, lively and chipper but not annoying, optimistic without foolishness, and he loves to play. He brings the number of Surly employees named Andy to three, which represents a whopping 18% of our staff.

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