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Why the Straggler is the Way it Is

Why is the Straggler the way it is?  Because we made it that way!

The Straggler is kinda like a Cross-Check with disc brakes.  Because, why not?  Everybody loves the Cross-Check and what’s not to love about a good bike made better with disc brakes?  It sounds so simple, but those disc brakes get in the way of some of the Cross-Check’s functionality. So…could we have kept all the functionality and simplicity of the Cross-Check AND added disc brakes?

I’ll stop short of going completely down the rabbit hole here, but it’s pretty difficult to make a horizontal dropout (for the single speeders out there) with a chainstay-mounted disc caliper (best location for easy rack mounting) that’s forward exiting (for easy wheel removal with fenders) that doesn’t put you in the poorhouse. Not that there are poorhouses anymore, but, you know, if there were, they'd probably be ripe with people who tried to make bikes with chainstay-mounted disc brake calipers and forward loading, horizontal, rack-friendly dropouts.

So instead of trying to make the Straggler do all these things kinda well, we decided to let it do two of them really well while keeping the third very doable. Before you burn us at the stake for this, consider that that we DO make other bikes and that the Straggler fits in with the rest of our lineup pretty well. In fact, we now make three 700c-wheeled disc brake bikes that cover these needs, each with a different emphasis - so pick your poison:

 ·        Fenders and Single Speed

The Straggler was designed with a forward-exiting horizontal dropout so you could run it geared or single speed and still remove your rear wheel easily, even with fenders.  It’s got ‘cross geometry and is the lightest and quickest of the bunch.  Racks are still easily mounted, but because of the seat stay mounted caliper, you might have to double up on an eyelet or shorten a strut or two.  You’ll survive.  We promise.*  If that’s too much, think about the next option:

 ·        Racks and Fenders

If you know you are going to put a rack and fenders on your bike and have a ton of stuff strapped to it all the time, you should think about a Disc Trucker.  It’s got vertical dropouts and a chainstay mounted rear caliper.  It’s been designed to ride better than the others with a big load.  You’re gonna love it.  If you decide to run it as a single speed some day, you’ll have to run a chain tensioner.  You’ll survive.  We promise.*  But if that idea sickens you, you should think about the next option:

 ·        Racks and Single Speed

The Ogre, with its rear-exiting horizontal dropouts and chainstay mounted brake caliper makes mounting racks a breeze and single speeding is a no-brainer.  As a dusty-trail touring mountain bike it has gobs of tire clearance and lots of versatility built in.  You might have to put out a little extra effort when removing your rear wheel with fenders mounted, but it’s all gonna be worth it!  We promise!*

It might seem like we’re splitting hairs here, but these preferences say a lot about your expectations and how you are going to use your bike.  These seemingly small things are big clues into how the bike was designed and how it will perform under certain conditions.  We make our bike as versatile as possible, but the fact is different bikes do different things differently, so choose wisely and be happy!

 

*We don't actually promise anything.

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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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