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Wield the Steel

There’s a lot of reasons to use steel for a frame.

And you might know them. You might know them all, but there's only one you really need to know:

Because steel is fucking cool.


Harvey Mushman knew it

King Kenny knew it

The Springer knew it

Mert knew it

And before you say steel is a throwback to a bygone era,

Kawasaki still knows it

Husky still knows it

Ducati and all their custom builders still know it

KTM still knows it

And believe me, Surly has always known it.

No frame material will handle as well, look as good, and last as long as steel for the money.  Steel is what that bike, that bridge, that knife, that axe, that framing hammer, that bird gun, those deck screws, and that K5 Blazer is made of. Steel will let you and your neighbor weld up that sweet custom action you've got drawn up in your backyard without a heat-treatment factory or haz-mat suits.  Steel will get the job done without a lot of flash and let you ride in jeans and a t-shirt while doing it.  

There are pleny of materials that are lighter, stiffer, and all sorts of other stuff compared to steel and those things are important.

But those things aren't everything.

It’s my belief that most people need a little extra free time and a little change in their pocket more than they need the newest, lightest, stiffest, glow in the dark life-changer.

Don’t get me wrong – there are many, many full-sus, full-carbon bikes that put my steel hardtail to shame.  They launch into the stratosphere from the tiniest kicker with minimal effort, instill lust from every angle, and generally make me feel like a god while riding them.  A god on cocaine.  I have been ready to throw my life away for these bikes after a few runs!

But before I put my student loans into deferment one more time,

I have a beer,

I think about the life changes I would need to make to pay for the thing,

I pull it together.

I break out the tri-flow and wipe down my trusty Instigator, order some new grips and pedal pins, and think about rebuilding my fork.

I do this because I decide that I can live with what I’ve got for another year because at a certain point, round tubes, chunky tires, a short stem, and a 160mm Pike is just enough to do what I need to do out there.

I mean, there have been a lot of really amazing albums put out, but does anyone need more than Volume 4?

Surly makes steel frames.  We build ‘em up with meaty tires and good parts that’ll work hard for you.  When we can’t find the parts we want we make those too.  We hope you ride your Surly within an inch of its life and we hope you fall in love with it.  If something goes wrong with it we will bust our ass to make it right.  Your Surly probably won’t be most anything out there except the most badass, but we can live with that.

Wield the steel!

A3's avatar

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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