Surly Big Dummy Review
- Price: $2449
- Frame: Steel
- Tire: Surly ExtraTerrestrial Tire – 26 x 2.5″
- Gear: 1 x 9
What we like about it: It can carry up to 400 lbs, making it very convenient for riders, and it helps reduce carbon emissions compared to small trucks.
What we didn’t like about it: It becomes quite long due to the need to carry more cargo, making it less maneuverable.
To minimize carbon emissions, many people have given up using cars or small trucks for transportation. Whether for personal or business use, the Surly Big Dummy can serve as an alternative.
So, as soon as I got my hands on the Surly Big Dummy, I immediately put it to the test. I was very excited to see how it would perform.
In the following, we will analyze the riding experience, main features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Surly Big Dummy. In the latter part of this article, we will also compare it to several other top bike models. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, you can follow us.
I’ve often had to transport a lot of cargo on narrow roads using a bicycle in the past. So, when I started using the Surly Big Dummy, I noticed something different from other bikes. It surprised and excited me.
I loaded a lot of items from the supermarket onto the Surly Big Dummy’s rear rack, carrying multiple items on both ends. I could securely fasten packages, luggage, shopping bags, or other items onto the bike, ensuring they wouldn’t slide or fall off. Its dedicated integrated frame adds rigidity, so even with a heavy load on the back of the bike, it doesn’t cause the bike to break.
Once I got on the bike, I found that although it was heavy, the rolling resistance wasn’t too high, and I didn’t feel overly strained. The microSHIFT Advent 1×9 Speed drivetrain allowed me to tackle challenges such as uphill and downhill sections and different terrains.
I must admit that the heavier weight does result in longer braking distances. However, the Avid BB7 S MTN Mechanical Disc brake system ensured that I could stop promptly, whether carrying cargo on flat ground or downhill.
The Surly Terminal Bar with a 34° backward tilt is designed for riding on rough roads and challenging singletracks. Gripping it felt flexible and comfortable, allowing me to maintain a good posture. I could easily control the bike’s direction without the risk of tipping over.
Is that all?
The Surly Big Dummy is capable of carrying a significant amount of cargo. Whether it’s passengers or cargo, as long as the total weight is within 400 lbs, the Surly Big Dummy can handle it effortlessly. Most importantly, I felt like I was contributing to the great cause of protecting the environment, and that made me proud.
During the ride, a comfortable saddle is crucial. The Surly Big Dummy is equipped with the Selle Italia X-Base saddle. It has a soft fabric that provides good support and cushioning for my hips. This is particularly important during long rides or when carrying heavy loads, as it reduces pressure and fatigue.
Moreover, the Surly Big Dummy’s Surly ExtraTerrestrial tires have excellent adaptability, allowing me to ride without limitations. They are heavy-duty touring tires that can handle rough, bumpy, or uneven road conditions. They also feature a nylon casing for cut protection.
In the unfortunate event of a puncture, the Surly Big Dummy’s tread pattern effectively prevents the puncture from expanding. The directional tread pattern reduces rolling resistance while providing strong traction.
Additionally, the Surly Big Dummy can accommodate fenders. With the assistance of excellent tires, I can ride normally even in rainy weather.
The Surly Big Dummy is an outstanding steel-framed longtail cargo bike, equipped with a 100% Surly Chromoly steel frame and a 100% Surly Chromoly steel fork. It also features a Surly Terminal Bar handlebar with a swept-back design, offering 40mm of rise or drop for comfortable long-distance riding on various terrains.
Furthermore, it is equipped with a microSHIFT Advent 1×9 Speed rear derailleur. The 1×9 drivetrain provides smooth shifting performance. The bike is also equipped with Avid BB7 S MTN Mechanical Disc brakes. Since it carries heavier loads during cargo transportation, the brakes are susceptible to damage. However, the Avid BB7 S MTN Mechanical Disc brakes are durable and offer excellent maintainability and repairability, providing convenience for riders.
Moreover, the Surly Big Dummy features Surly ExtraTerrestrial Tires. These are highly durable touring tires that offer low rolling resistance and durability on various road surfaces. The molded tread pattern and nylon breaker on the sidewalls effectively resist punctures. The Kevlar cap prevents air leakage, ensuring excellent performance in various riding conditions.
Additionally, the Surly Big Dummy has clearance for 26″ x 2.5″ tires with fenders, allowing for the installation of excellent fenders. Even in rainy weather, this bike can be ridden without any issues.
What do we like about it?
- It can carry up to 400 lbs, making it very convenient for riders, and it helps reduce carbon emissions compared to small trucks.
- The dedicated integrated frame adds rigidity, providing better support when carrying heavy loads.
- Equipped with fenders, allowing for riding in rainy weather.
- Excellent uphill capabilities.
What don’t we like about it?
- It becomes quite long due to the need to carry more cargo, making it less maneuverable.
- Is this bike suitable for beginners?
This bike is suitable for both beginners and experienced riders.
- What is the maximum weight it can carry?
It can carry a maximum weight of up to 400 lbs.
- Can this bike be equipped with Cantilever brakes?
It can be equipped with Cantilever brakes, but it may pose some challenges, particularly with long cable routing for the rear installation.
- How do I choose the right size?
The size chart is below:
These sizes are only general guidelines and the true fit may vary from person to person. The easiest way to find your size the best way is to try it out.
|5’2″ – 5’7″
|5’6″ – 5’11”
|5’9″ – 6’2″
|100% Surly Chromoly steel, Natch tubing, double-butted main triangle, TIG welded
BB Standard: BSA, Threaded
Color: Bruised Ego Purple
|100% Surly Chromoly steel, natch tubing, double-butted tapered fork blades, TIG welded, E.D. coated
|Race Face BSA 24
|Cane Creek 40 Series
|Surly Terminal Bar
|Selle Italia X-Base
|microSHIFT Advent 1×9 Speed, RD-M6195M
|Race Face, 32t
|microSHIFT Advent Trail 1×9 shifter, SL-M9195-R
|microSHIFT Advent 11-46t, 9-speed
|KMC X10 10-Speed
|Avid BB7 S MTN
|OE, 38mm, 36h
|DT Swiss 2.0 Stainless
|Novatec QR x 100, 36h
|Novatec QR x 135, 36h
|Surly ExtraTerrestrial Tire – 26 x 2.5″, Tubeless, Folding, Black/Slate, 60tpi
|SRAM CenterLine 200/180mm
|Yuba Mundo Lux
|Schwalbe Big Ben RaceGuard 26 x 2.15
|Shimano Altus, Acera
|Salsa Blackborow GX Eagle
|45NRTH Dillinger 4
|1 x 12
|SRAM GX Eagle, Truvativ Stylo
Surly Big Dummy vs Yuba Mundo Lux
The Surly Big Dummy features a 1×9 drivetrain, while the Yuba Mundo Lux is equipped with a 3×9 drivetrain. However, the single chainring design of the 1×9 drivetrain effectively prevents chain drops and reduces the risk of unexpected incidents during rides. Additionally, the Yuba Mundo Lux can reach speeds of up to 30mph, which is faster than the Surly Big Dummy’s 23mph.
Furthermore, the Yuba Mundo Lux is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, providing better braking performance compared to the Surly Big Dummy’s mechanical disc brakes. However, mechanical disc brakes offer stronger maintainability and repairability.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a faster bike, I would recommend the Yuba Mundo Lux. If you prefer the single chainring design, the Surly Big Dummy would be a better choice for you.
Surly Big Dummy vs Salsa Blackborow GX Eagle
Salsa Blackborow GX Eagle features an aluminum frame, while the Surly Big Dummy has a steel frame. Additionally, the Salsa Blackborow GX Eagle is equipped with a 1×12 drivetrain, which offers smoother shifting and a wider gear range compared to the Surly Big Dummy’s 1×9 drivetrain.
The Salsa Blackborow GX Eagle can reach speeds of up to 25mph, slightly faster than the Surly Big Dummy’s 23mph. Furthermore, the Salsa Blackborow GX Eagle has a stack/reach ratio of 1.43, which is higher than the Surly Big Dummy’s stack/reach ratio of 1.39. It’s worth noting that a higher stack/reach ratio provides better reach and a more comfortable riding position.
In summary, the Salsa Blackborow GX Eagle is $850 more expensive than the Surly Big Dummy. If you prioritize a more comfortable ride, the Salsa Blackborow GX Eagle is highly recommended. However, if you have budget constraints, the Surly Big Dummy can still meet your needs.
Above is our review of the Surly Big Dummy. It is an exceptional steel-framed longtail cargo bike that can carry a significant amount of goods. Based on our assessment, we give it a high rating of 4.7. If you’re looking for more bicycle information, feel free to check out our other reviews.
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