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Maybe I’m Old Fashioned

So this year, it would seem, is the year of Fatbikes. We’ve got a new one out (Ice Cream Truck) and so does just about everybody else in the world. Everyone wants to know what we think of all these new bikes and all the hoopla as it were.

I can’t really speak for everyone in the group, but I can tell you what I think.

Fatbikes kick ass. I think they're here to stay, but really I've been saying that for a while now. Everyone at Surly has. Just when we think we've found everything they’re good for, we find something else. Haters can and will still hate (I give you my permission) but we don't think they're going anywhere. I hate to put it like this, but when the behemoths in the industry are making and selling them, that's kind of a sign, that this category, and the bikes in it are changing the way people think about bikes.

But which one to ride? If I had a stable full of them, which one would I grab time and time again.  It’s a question that can only really be answered if you are lucky enough to spend a lot of time on multiple bikes. I have, a perk we have here at Surly. We’ve got all kinds of them floating around here (Not just at Surly, but mom and dad (QBP) have a bunch around for us to play on too), so I kind of have my pick.

Now it goes without saying and without much surprise that I wouldn’t be the marketing buffoon here at Surly, if I didn’t ride their bikes. They’re the bikes I have  chosen to ride since I found the brand (long before I worked here), and I hope they will continue to speak to me after I have gone. I've said it time and time again that I don't ride a Surly because I work for Surly. I work for Surly because I ride one.

So we know I'll pick a Surly, but after that...well, this is the part that surprises me. I don’t always grab the new bike. I actually always grab the oldest one.

The Pugsley.

I rode the crap out of my Ice Cream Truck, and I know there's lots of folks around here who like how rad they can get on that bike. But my radness is pretty much tapped out on 3spd townie.

I don't get rad, I get home...and for that the Pugsley is the "just right" amount of bike for me. There are folks around here who push that bike to it's limits and it's cool to see for sure. It can do way more than I can do. Which means it can do everything I can

I love that bike, and whenever I can’t decide what bike to ride (whether for commuting, road, or dirt) I always grab my Pug. It's the go to. For everything.

I love the elegance of the offset rear and fork (which I have never once felt pull me in any direction) as an answer to the question: How can we make this bike with common parts that are readily available? I don't need new proprietary doo-dads (I know there are folks out there who do need those things, and that's okay too) I just need a bikes that rides well.

I love that I have three wheels and can swap them around (at the moment I have been rocking it SS all winter, last year it was geared and the year before fixed). Three bikes in three years and all of that with whatever my second choice for drivetrain in front of me on the fork.

Most of all though, I love the way that bike rides. Anywhere and everywhere.  It has that versatility that I love. It’s a bike in the middle. It’s about ride quality and feel. Which to me are all that a bike should ever be about. No matter what fatbike (or trail bike really) I ride, the Pugsley is the one that I just can’t let go of.

I know there's lots of folks out there who say, "if you're going to go fat, you might as well go as fat as you can." I'm not saying their wrong; I'm just saying it's not for me. 4” tires are plenty. Maybe I'm fat enough to make up the difference, who knows.

I guess what I'm saying is that there are lots of folks out there who seem to have written this bike off.

The bike that started it all.

They’re calling it the "Model T" of bikes, calling it a dinosaur. I believe a more apt description would be a "Swiss Army Knife". Function that doesn't go away. That's how I see my Pugsley.

You call it a dinosaur, I call it a T-Rex with axes for arms!

Gern Blanston's avatar

About Gern Blanston

A rider-slash-Surly fan who somehow bounced like a quarter at a drunken college mixer into what he thinks is pretty much the swellest job a fella could have, it is Tyler’s job to determine how Surly should seek attention to its products and itself generally. He has an extensive background in children’s theater, which is, perhaps not surprisingly, a good fit for the marketing manager of this company.

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