Is Surly Ogre A Perfect Selection – [Surly Ogre Review]

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Surly Ogre Review

  • Price: $1,699
  • Frame: Steel
  • Tires: 29″ Aluminum
  • Gear: 1 x 10

What we like about it: A steel gravel bike designed for full loads with exceptional carrying capacity.

What we didn’t like about it: The steel frame is relatively heavy, which may be a challenge for some riders.

Rating: (4.8/5)

Surly Ogre
Surly Ogre

The Surly Ogre is a versatile all-season bike that can handle various riding plans, whether it’s daily, monthly, or yearly, thanks to its impressive carrying capacity.

In the following sections, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Surly Ogre.

Additionally, we will compare it with several other top bike models. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, feel free to follow us.

Riding Experience

Surly Ogre

The Surly Ogre is a gravel bike with a steel frame. Its external cable routing gives it a rugged appearance. Combined with carefully selected components and strong carrying capacity, it is suitable for ultra-long-distance rides.

To experience the Surly Ogre, I packed it up and headed to the Barry-Roubaix gravel bike course. The route consists mostly of unpaved gravel roads with various inclines and descents. I made hotel reservations through IHG and set off immediately.


Despite its steel frame, the Surly Ogre maintains a stable center of gravity due to its excellent geometry. This ensures stability during the ride and allows the front wheel to stay in contact with the ground, maximizing pedaling efficiency.

The SRAM NX 32t crankset paired with an OE 10-speed 11-48t freewheel provides effortless gearing options for steep uphill sections.

By utilizing the largest freewheel gears, my pedaling becomes lighter, reducing energy consumption. The Surly ExtraTerrestrial 29×2.5″ tires provide good traction without slippage during uphill climbs.

In summary, the Surly Ogre’s outstanding geometry and high-quality component combination help reduce energy consumption during uphill climbs, making it an excellent choice for such rides.


The Surly Ogre delivers a comfortable riding experience during downhill descents. I didn’t experience much roughness while riding on the gravel downhill sections. This is thanks to the steel frame and generously wide tires that absorb most of the road vibrations, enhancing ride comfort.

The Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors provide reliable stopping power, ensuring safety during downhill rides. However, switching to hydraulic disc brakes would make it even better, as mechanical disc brakes may experience reduced braking force over time.

Lastly, the Surly ExtraTerrestrial 29×2.5″ wide tires and large wheel diameter provide stability and smoothness during downhill rides, effortlessly rolling over small bumps and uneven terrain.

In conclusion, the Surly Ogre meets my expectations for climbing and descending performance on gravel roads.


The Surly Ogre features a steel frame with some flex, allowing it to absorb a portion of the road vibrations on bumpy sections, providing a more comfortable ride.

Additionally, it is available in four sizes (S-XL), suitable for riders ranging from 5’2″ to 6’7″ in height, offering broad versatility.

The external cable routing design gives the frame a rugged appearance and simplifies maintenance and component replacement.

Finally, the Surly Ogre’s frame is equipped with multiple mounting points, allowing for the installation of water bottles and the carrying of additional gear during long-distance rides, showcasing its exceptional carrying capacity.


What do we like about it?

  • Multiple mounting points for impressive carrying capacity, suitable for ultra-long-distance rides.
  • Tire clearance of 29″ x 2.5″ or 27.5″ x 2.8″ even with fenders, enabling versatility on various terrains.
  • Excellent geometry for an upright riding position, providing enhanced comfort.
  • Reinforced top tube and seat tube for added durability.
  • Gnot-Boost rear spacing with Rohloff torque arm slot and compatibility with Bill/Ted trailers.
  • External cable routing design for a rugged appearance and simplified maintenance.

What don’t we like about it?

  • The steel frame is relatively heavy, which may not be preferred by some riders.


  • What wheelset does the bike use?

The front wheelset is Novatec 9×100 QR, 6-bolt disc, and the rear wheelset is Novatec 12×142 QR, 6-bolt disc.

  • Is this bike suitable for long-distance rides?

With its multiple mounting points and exceptional carrying capacity, the Surly Ogre is designed for long-distance rides.

  • How do I choose the right size?

We provide a size chart for your reference. However, the best way to find the most suitable size is to try it out for yourself.

Rider heightSIZE
5’2″ – 5’8″S
5’6″ – 5’11”M
5’10” – 6’3″L
6’1″ – 6’7″XL

Surly Ogre Specs


Frame100% Surly Chromoly Steel, Natch tubing, double-butted main triangle, TIG welded, E.D. coated
Color: Champagne Supernova
Fork100% Surly Chromoly Steel, Natch tubing, double-butted tapered fork blades, TIG welded, E.D. coated
Bottom BracketSRAM Powerspline
HeadsetCane Creek
StemKalloy 31.8
HandlebarSalsa Bend
SaddleWTB Volt
SeatpostProMax 27.2×300


Rear DerailleurMicroshift RD-M6205 with Clutch
Front DerailleurN/A
CrankSRAM NX 32t
ShiftersMicroshift SL-M9605 Trail Pro
CassetteOE 10-spd 11-48t
ChainKMC X10
BrakesAvid BB5
Brake LeversTektro FR5


RimsWTB i29
Front HubNovatec 9×100 QR, 6-bolt disc
Rear HubNovatec 12×142 QR, 6-bolt disc
TiresSurly ExtraTerrestrial 29×2.5″ 60tpi, Tubeless Ready
Disk Rotors160F/160R

Comparison Table

BikesClick viewWheelsetFrame MaterialBrake TypeDrivetrain
Specialized Diverge Elite E5Click View700c AluminumAluminumShimano GRX RX4002 × 10
Cannondale Topstone 3Click View700c AluminumAluminumShimano Sora2 × 9
Canyon Grizl 6Click View650B/700c AluminumAluminumShimano GRX RX4002 × 10
Kona Rove AL 650Click View650BAluminumAluminumTektro Mira CX Mechanical2 × 8

Surly Ogre vs Specialized Diverge Elite E5

Specialized Diverge Elite E5
Specialized Diverge Elite E5

They are two different-styled gravel bikes, each excelling in its riding characteristics.

The Surly Ogre utilizes a steel frame that absorbs some of the ground vibrations. Its geometry promotes an upright riding position, offering increased comfort for long rides. Most importantly, the frame is equipped with numerous mounting points, providing impressive carrying capacity.

On the other hand, the Specialized Diverge Elite E5 features a more aggressive geometry, and its drop bar design allows for various riding positions, effectively relieving hand pressure.

Therefore, between these two bikes, if you require greater carrying capacity and the ability to tackle more challenging terrains, the Surly Ogre is a better fit. On the other hand, the Specialized Diverge Elite E5 offers a faster riding experience and is more suitable for shorter distances.

Surly Ogre vs Cannondale Topstone 3

Cannondale Topstone 3
Cannondale Topstone 3

These two bikes are gravel bikes designed for different riding purposes and terrains.

The first bike features a 1×10-speed drivetrain, offering simpler gear shifting and allowing riders to focus more on the ride itself. With additional mounting points, it provides ample carrying capacity, making it suitable for long rides and extended trips.

The second bike is designed with a leaning towards road cycling, equipped with a 2×9-speed drivetrain for faster riding speeds. Its carbon fiber fork provides a slight degree of flex, reducing the impact of bumps and enhancing riding comfort.

Ultimately, the choice between these two gravel bikes depends on individual preferences and needs. I lean towards the first bike as it offers greater durability.

Learn More: Is Cannondale Topstone 3 A Good Bike? [2022 Cannondale Topstone 3 Review]

Surly Ogre vs Canyon Grizl 6

Canyon Grizl 6
Canyon Grizl 6

These two gravel bikes are both excellent options, making it difficult to determine which one is better.

The first bike has a geometry resembling that of a mountain bike, with a steel frame that absorbs some of the vibrations from the road, providing a comfortable ride. Its external cable routing gives it a rugged appearance and makes maintenance more convenient. It confirms its status as an adventure bike suitable for long-distance rides on challenging terrain.

The second bike, on the other hand, has a more refined look, with a carbon fiber fork that also absorbs road vibrations. However, its carrying capacity may not match that of the first bike. Its strength lies in its design leaning toward road cycling, offering more diverse riding positions and the ability to ride at faster speeds.

Therefore, both bikes have their advantages and are outstanding options that can be chosen based on individual needs.

Learn More: Is Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 Suspension 1by Worth Buying? [Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 Suspension 1by Review]

Surly Ogre vs Kona Rove AL 650

Kona Rove AL 650
Kona Rove AL 650

These two gravel bikes, I would highly recommend the first bike.

Firstly, the steel frame of the first bike absorbs road vibrations, providing a more comfortable ride. Although the second bike has a full aluminum alloy frame, which makes it lighter, it also results in a stronger sense of vibrations on gravel surfaces.

Secondly, the first bike has more mounting points on the frame, allowing for the attachment of additional riding equipment, making it more suitable for long-distance rides.

Lastly, the larger wheel size of the first bike provides better stability during rides, and it requires less effort once a certain speed is reached. The second bike, equipped with 650B wheels, offers more agile handling.

In conclusion, Surly Ogre, as a gravel bike, outperforms the Kona Rove AL 650 in various aspects, making it my preferred choice.

Learn More: Is Kona Rove Worth Buying? – [Kona Rove Review]


Above is my review of the Surly Ogre. In our opinion, it is a gravel bike with excellent carrying capacity and the ability to handle various challenging terrains. That’s why we gave it a rating of 4.8.

Of course, if you’re interested in other gravel bikes, we also review a wide range of bikes at different price points, and they are equally fascinating. Feel free to check out our other reviews.

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