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Bikes. Parts. Chaos.

So at Interbike this year we showed an early sample of our Dirt Wizard 29 x 3; which we announced last year (2013) at Interbike.  (Below the tires are mounted on a small Krampus frame.)

Rear, right side view of a green Surly fat bike, on a snow covered field, facing a wood dock on a frozen lake

We hope to have it out this spring, that is 2015.  As you can see by those dates, it’s taken quite a while for us to get this tire to market.  Here (in order of proportional importance) is a list of a few of the reasons that it has taken us so long (and continues to take us so long) to get this tire from page to local bike shop floor.

  1. (Although it’s been said, many times, many ways….) We are not perfect! There I said it (again).  Sometimes we screw up. Sometimes we tell people things that are true when we say them but then LATER (after we’ve worked out a few more things) turn out not to be true.  Why is that, you may ask?  It’s pretty fucking simple if you ask me.  Until the product reaches market, things can and will change. That is the nature of the world. Does it suck? Depends on if you want the tires now, or you want them good. Capiche?
  2. Shit Changes! (I know I just said that, but I’m saying it again) In a nutshell, this has a lot to do with the Dirt Wizard 29+.  When we first talked about the tire, the plan was to use the same idea as we did for the DW 26+. Make it a 2.75” instead of a three and that way it would fit in folk’s sus-forks.  Then the more we talked about this, and looked at 3D models in our computers, and noticed that some other folks are coming out with some pretty wide tires that are only a few millimeters smaller than a 29x2.75” would be, and argued and argued and argued with each other. The decision was made to make it a 3” tire.  Cuz, you know, Fatties Fit Fine and all…  We learned some things from the Instigator and the DW 26+ and wanted to use those things to make better shit. Instead of making shit that we didn’t think was better, all in the name of getting a bunch of sales on a product that we weren’t happy with. So we changed our minds, and I think are going to come out with a better tire. Does this suck? Again, depends on the “now or good?” answer from above
  3. We don’t control the universe, and only have slightly more control than none over our supply chain.  This is how it goes.  We’re going as fast as we can, trying to put out the best products we can. I understand that our “as fast as we can” isn’t nearly fast enough for lots of folks out there. It’s not really as fast as we would like either. But we would rather, take our time and get as close to “right” as we humanly can. Does this suck? It does. I for one spend way too much time bemoaning the paltry amount of control and power I actually exhibit over the world.  Once I’m king, everything will change… I can promise that with 100% certainty. (Today at least, tomorrow I may have changed my tune.)

I am truly sorry that we didn’t get this tire out sooner.  Seriously. We know that the Knard doesn’t function well in the mud. That’s not how it was designed.  When we put out the Pugsley (2005) it took two years to release the Endomorph (2007) and then it took us three more years to bring the next tire to market (2010).  Things here at Surly HQ (in fabulous downtown Q-ubeBPharm) take us a while.  Sometimes so long that by the time we get to announce them, we’re all over it. Seriously you should see some of the shit we’re riding now. But you won’t, not for a while. And then once you do see it, it could take us some time to get it to you. It does suck, but it’s life. If your momma or your daddy never told you, let me. 

That is sometimes how the cookie does crumble.

Front, left side view of a red Surly Pacer bike, leaning along a bike rack on a sidewalk with a street behind

I find myself writing blogs like this, when I get angry because some purpo-turd out there has accused us (and really me, by proxy) of using our “Giant, Evil, Marketing Engine” to create hype and then false scarcity to drive future sales of our products, and increase our “marketing bandwidth” for future endeavors.

I have said before that I wish we were able to successfully plan that far ahead in the future, and then flawlessly execute our plan. I really do wish that.

I also tend to take it personally when people go on and on about our “Giant, Evil, Marketing Engine” because that’s really just me and four other people (three of whom divide their time between us and other brands at QBP). While a couple of us are giant in stature (Wood is tall like tree, and I am morbidly obese) five people does not (in my mind) make a “Giant, Evil, Marketing Engine”

But a man can dream can’t he.

I know that that haters out there are incapable of hearing the truth amidst the clamor of self-obsessed conspiracy theories they have swimming around in their brains so…

Here is my original list of reasons we haven’t yet brought that tire to market.  I put it here, with the vain and pathetic hope that this version ends up on a forum somewhere and lots of people read it, share it, and dance the dance of I told you so.

Surly Bikes: A Bunch of Super Evil Pricks!

Now list:

  1. We are evil.
  2. We know that hyping things is way better than selling things.
  3. We don’t understand why anyone would need more than one pair of tires for their bikes. All of our bikes have been sitting in our garages, gathering dust. Those tires they came with are plenty good for that. (cuz we don’t ride… get it?)
  4. We want to make sure that our name stays in the forums. Cuz , you know, no publicity is bad publicity.
  5. We don’t need to sell bikes or parts to make money, or pay our bills; we do that with hedge funds and insider trading.
  6. We were so high/drunk we forgot we announced the tire in the first place.
  7. The suits who actually run this company have commissioned market research that tells them that it doesn’t matter if we make quality products, it only matters that we post pictures of people drinking beer and riding bikes and claim that those people are us.
  8. We are evil.

Now go ride. Me I'll be going home and putting on my smoking jacket and lighting my cigars with $100 bills.