Is Surly Lowside A Good Choice? – [Surly Lowside Review]

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Surly Lowside Review

  • Price: $1499
  • Frame: Steel
  • Tires: Maxxis Rekon+ 27.5×2.8
  • Gear: Single-speed

What we like about it: It boasts excellent modern trail standards, adjustable seatpost compatibility, a 44mm headtube, Gnot-Boost rear spacing, and a thru-axle.

What we don’t like about it: External cable routing, not as streamlined, not easy to maintain and clean.

Rating: (4.7/5)

Surly Lowside
Surly Lowside

The Surly Lowside is an outstanding single-speed mountain bike. This bike is quite rare, and you’ll want to give it a try. It’s like the bike everyone rode as a kid, so you’ll carry hopes, dreams, and childhood ambitions with you on every trail.

In the following sections, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, and specifications of the Surly Lowside. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, be sure to follow us.

Riding Experience

Surly Lowside

Trail Riding

I bought a plane ticket, booked a hotel on IHG, and arrived at Killington Bike Park. Here, I chose the Stinky Black trail, which is 1040 feet long, all downhill, with a 130-foot elevation drop. It’s a challenging route that would put my biking skills to the test.

The morning sun filtered through the leaves and fell on my Surly Lowside as I prepared for an exhilarating trail ride. The sturdy Surly Lowside frame filled me with confidence.

I navigated through dense woods, and the wide tires and excellent traction of the Surly Lowside kept me stable on the bumpy trail. Every tree branch and uneven surface was easily handled by the Surly Lowside, providing a comfortable and agile ride.

The efficient SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain helped me maintain a steady pace on the trail. I pedaled continuously, weaving through narrow paths and climbing steep hills. However, the robust frame and excellent handling of the Surly Lowside allowed me to navigate the trail with ease, conquering each challenging section.

Moving On

Surly Lowside

In the woods, I felt a connection with nature. The serene atmosphere of the forest, accompanied by the morning bird songs, made me feel as if I were one with the woods. I didn’t hesitate to ford the occasional river or stream. The Surly Lowside’s waterproof performance made me unafraid of mud and puddles. My clothes were soaked, but I was filled with joy and satisfaction.

Trail riding is a dual challenge of physicality and skill, but each breakthrough made me feel my growth. Using the Surly Lowside, I surpassed myself, scaled every peak, and enjoyed the thrill of victory and a sense of accomplishment.

Sweat dripped from my forehead, but my heart was full of contentment and joy. The Surly Lowside offered me the opportunity to explore nature and challenge myself, allowing me to experience the infinite charm of biking.

Finally, I reached the finish line. Thanks to the outstanding performance and stability of the Surly Lowside, I completed this trail riding adventure. I’m grateful for this companion that allowed me to experience the joy and freedom of biking.


The Surly Lowside is an exceptional rigid trail bike. It comes equipped with the Surly Lowside Frame, offering excellent rigidity and shock absorption. Additionally, its Surly Lowside Fork performs well in providing decent cushioning. The bike features Maxxis Rekon+ 27.5×2.8 tires, which are lightweight off-road tires designed for fast riding on technical terrain. They offer a 60TPI casing option for excellent braking and grip.

Furthermore, its Surly Sunrise handlebar is easy to control, made from post-weld heat-treated chromoly steel for sturdiness and effortless handling. The Selle Italia Black saddle is constructed with a very soft material, reducing pressure on the rider’s seat and promoting blood flow.


What do we like about it?

  • It adheres to modern trail standards and offers dropper post compatibility, a 44mm headtube, Gnot-Boost rear spacing, and a thru-axle.
  • Single-speed bikes are relatively rare and make riders more eager to try this bike.
  • The single-speed design offers maximum efficiency.
  • It delivers outstanding performance and speed on flat terrain.

What don’t we like about it?

  • External cable routing is not as neat and can be challenging to maintain and clean.


  • Is this bike suitable for beginners?

This bike is suitable for both beginners and experienced riders.

  • Where can I find the recommended retailers for this bike?

It is available for purchase at two locations: 1270 Lincoln Ave #1500, 9.9 miles from Pasadena, CA, and 1670 E Walnut St, 10.5 miles from Pasadena, CA. (Show Details)

  • What is the chainring clearance for this bike?

In a non-boost setup (135mm or 142mm), it can accommodate up to 33T. If you use boost (148mm), it can handle up to 36T.

  • How do I choose the right size?

The size chart is below:

These sizes are general guidelines, and the best way to find your ideal size is to go for a test ride.

Rider heightSIZE
5’0″ – 5’5″XS
5’4″ – 5’8″SM
5’7″ – 6’0″MD
5’11” – 6’3″LG
6’2″ – 6’6″XL
6’5″ – 6’8″XXL



FrameSurly Lowside Frame, 4130 Chromoly, Natch tubing, double-butted main triangle, TIG welded, E.D. coated
Color: Dream Tangerine
ForkSurly Lowside Fork, 4130 Chromoly, natch tubing, double-butted tapered fork blades, TIG welded, E.D. coated
Bottom BracketSRAM PS
HeadsetCane Creek
StemSunday Freeze top load 22.2mm clamp
HandlebarSurly Sunrise
SaddleSelle Italia Black
Seatpost2 Bolt, 30.9mm


Rear DerailleurN/A
Front DerailleurN/A
CrankSRAM NX 32t
CassetteSurly 17t w/ spacer kit
ChainKMC X10
BrakesTektro Hydro M275/276
Brake LeversTektro


RimsWTB ST i35 TCS
Front HubNovatec 15×110
Rear HubNovatec 12×148
TiresMaxxis Rekon+ 27.5×2.8 60tpi
Disk RotorsTektro 160/160mm

Comparison Table

BikesClick viewTiresDrivetrainFrame MaterialGroupset
Canyon Stoic 3Click ViewSchwalbe Hans Dampf 2.35″1 x 12AluminumSRAM SX Eagle, NX Eagle
Kona Big Honzo DLClick ViewSchwalbe Nobby Nic TLE 27.5×2.8″1 x 12AluminumShimano Deore
Cannondale Habit HT 2Click View(F) WTB Vigilante, 29×2.5″ (R) WTB Vigilante, 29×2.4″1 x 10AluminummicroSHIFT Advent X
Vitus Sentier 27 VRW WomensClick ViewSchwalbe Magic Mary, 27.5″, 2.6″1 x 11AluminumShimano Deore

Surly Lowside vs. Canyon Stoic 3

Canyon Stoic 3
Canyon Stoic 3

The Canyon Stoic 3 is available in two wheel sizes, 27.5″ and 29″, offering riders more choices. It’s worth mentioning that the Surly Lowside is equipped with a single-speed drivetrain. On the other hand, the Canyon Stoic 3 uses a 1×12 drivetrain, which offers a wider gear range and smoother shifting, but makes uphill climbs more challenging compared to a single-speed setup.

Furthermore, the Canyon Stoic 3 features a Hardtail suspension with 140mm front travel, providing excellent shock absorption. In contrast, the Surly Lowside has a rigid suspension. The Canyon Stoic 3 includes a dropper seatpost, allowing riders to adjust seat height. This feature comes in handy for standing uphill rides, preventing the rider’s legs from hitting the seat. Additionally, the Canyon Stoic 3 has an aluminum frame that is cost-effective and lightweight. However, it’s worth noting that the welding points on this frame are quite fragile and prone to breakage.

Learn More: Is Canyon Stoic 2 Worth Buying? [Canyon Stoic 2 Review]

Surly Lowside vs. Kona Big Honzo DL

Kona Big Honzo DL
Kona Big Honzo DL

The Kona Big Honzo DL comes equipped with the RockShox 35 Silver, which not only boasts a fantastic appearance but also offers greater stiffness. It can also be fitted with a short fender bracket or full fender bracket, and it provides optional spring choices. However, the Surly Lowside has a steel frame and fork, delivering decent shock absorption, albeit at a slightly heavier weight. Additionally, the Kona Big Honzo DL features an impressive 1×12 drivetrain, delivering excellent shifting performance and adaptability to various riding conditions.

The Kona Big Honzo DL sports a hardtail suspension with 130mm of front travel. This results in exceptional shock absorption, providing riders with the most comfortable riding experience. Furthermore, it includes a dropper seatpost, which offers a powerful advantage in adjusting seat height.

Learn More: Is Kona Libre CR/DL Worth Buying? – [Kona Libre CR/DL Review]

Surly Lowside vs. Cannondale Habit HT 2

Cannondale Habit HT 2
Cannondale Habit HT 2

The Cannondale Habit HT 2 features an aluminum frame and a RockShox Judy fork. Aluminum frames have vulnerable weld points that are prone to breakage and exhibit relatively poor metal fatigue properties. However, they are cost-effective, lightweight, flexible, easy to maintain, and resistant to rust. In contrast, the Surly Lowside has a steel frame and fork with strong shock-absorbing capabilities and rigidity but comes with added weight and susceptibility to rust.

Furthermore, the Cannondale Habit HT 2 is a hardtail bike with 130mm of front travel, providing excellent shock absorption. Its 1×10 drivetrain offers impressive performance with a variety of gear choices, giving riders more freedom to ride. Additionally, it features 29″ wheels, offering strong terrain adaptability. On the other hand, the Surly Lowside comes equipped with 27.5″ wheels, which are highly agile.

Learn More: Is Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 Worth Buying? [Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 Review]

Surly Lowside vs. Vitus Sentier 27 VRW Womens

Vitus Sentier 27 VRW Womens
Vitus Sentier 27 VRW Womens

The Vitus Sentier 27 VRW Women’s features a Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork. Its robust 34mm stanchions provide precise steering and traction. Additionally, its low-maintenance damper offers intuitive compression adjustment and straightforward rebound adjustment, making it suitable for riders who prefer simplicity. In contrast, the Surly Lowside has a steel frame and steel fork, offering strong shock absorption but susceptible to rust.

It’s worth noting that the Vitus Sentier 27 VRW Women’s is equipped with hardtail suspension and 140mm of front travel, delivering exceptional shock absorption. Its 1×11 drivetrain also offers impressive performance, with a powerful transmission system. Furthermore, it can achieve speeds of up to 24mph, while the Surly Lowside has a top speed of only 15mph. Therefore, the Vitus Sentier 27 VRW Women’s holds a significant advantage.

Learn More: Is vitus Sentier 29 VRX Splendid? – [ Vitus Sentier 29 VRX Review ]


This is our review of the Surly Lowside. It is an outstanding rigid trail bike that offers an excellent riding experience on the trails. Considering all factors, we’ve awarded it a high rating of 4.7. If you’d like to access more information about bicycles, please feel free to explore our other reviews.

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