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

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Surly Pugsley Review

  • Price: $1900
  • Frame: Steel
  • Tires: Surly Edna, 26×4.3
  • Gear: 1×11

What We Like About It: The Surly Edna 26×4.3 tires provide excellent support and can handle a variety of terrains.

What We Don’t Like About It: Riding in sandy conditions can cause the external cables to get dirty, affecting performance.

Rating: (4.7/5)

Surly Pugsley
Surly Pugsley

Extreme terrain riding has become an integral part of off-road cycling. To experience authentic and thrilling off-road adventures, more people are getting into this type of cycling. To better cater to this group, I’ve come across the Surly Pugsley. It boasts exceptional off-road capabilities, and I’m eager to take on more challenges with it.

Below, we’ll analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Surly Pugsley. In the latter part of this article, we’ll also compare it to several other top bike models. If you’re interested in more bike reviews, feel free to follow us.

Riding Experience

Surly Pugsley

To thoroughly test this fat tire bike, I booked a flight on IHG and reserved a hotel to head to The Great Basin.

Desert Riding

Surly Pugsley

The Great Basin is a vast desert, and for safety reasons, I decided to ride along the desert’s edge. I started by tackling an uphill stretch. However, the Surly Pugsley’s Surly Edna tires offered robust traction and stability, giving me the confidence to face desert ascents. I adjusted the Shimano SLX RD-7000 GS 11 Speed to suitable gear ratios, maintaining a comfortable cadence and rhythm across different inclines. I must say, I maintained excellent control and balance. Every pedal stroke efficiently translated into power. Conquering the desert felt amazing.

On downhill sections, I could unleash my speed freely. The 100% Surly NATCH 4130 Chromoly steel frame ensured stability during descents. I also experienced the impressive performance of the Avid BB7 Mountain Mechanical Disc brakes. Even in challenging downhill desert conditions where stopping was tough, I could bring the Surly Pugsley to a halt. This is the confidence the Surly Pugsley instills in me.

When I tested the bike’s maneuverability in the desert, I was once again amazed. The Surly Moloko Bar provided exceptional handling, and the Surly Pugsley exhibited good responsiveness. Whether making sharp turns or standard adjustments, I felt in control of the entire bike. In any situation, the Surly Pugsley maintained its stability.

Is That All?

Surly Pugsley

The Surly Pugsley is equipped with a WTB Volt Sport saddle. Its slight whale tail and gentle drop offer good propulsion, providing effective cushioning and relieving pressure on my hips and spine during long rides. Thanks to it, I can focus on riding without distractions.

Moreover, the Surly Moloko Bar is highly versatile, allowing me to attach various accessories. For example, I could mount a light for illumination during nighttime rides. However, I don’t recommend desert riding at night, as it’s easy to get lost.

Additionally, this bike features numerous mounting holes, enabling me to carry ample water supplies. In other words, I could stay hydrated in the desert, safeguarding against dehydration risks.


The Surly Pugsley is an exceptional fat tire bike. It features a 100% Surly NATCH 4130 Chromoly steel frame and a Tapered straight blade NATCH 4130 Chromoly steel fork.

Additionally, it comes with a Shimano SLX RD-7000 GS 11 Speed, delivering outstanding shifting performance. Moreover, the Avid BB7 Mountain Mechanical Disc brakes offer convenient maintenance and upkeep but lack exceptional braking power.

This bike is equipped with Surly Edna tires, suitable for loose dirt or snowy terrain. Its tightly packed center tread provides ample traction and braking power, enhancing rider comfort. The Surly Pugsley also boasts a WTB Volt Sport saddle with a soft fabric for a very comfortable ride.

Furthermore, its 142 x 12mm spaced rear dropout features a dedicated Rohloff torque arm slot, and the 135mm spaced offset front fork allows for convenient wheel replacement in case of issues. Worth mentioning, it includes the Surly Moloko Bar, which provides excellent handling capabilities. With plenty of room for accessories and various hand positions, it greatly facilitates rider comfort.

What do we like about it?

  • The Surly Edna, 26×4.3 tires, offer excellent support and adaptability to various terrains.
  • 7 mounting holes allow for attaching a multitude of items, such as water bottles, for timely hydration.
  • The Surly Moloko Bar offers multiple grip positions, effectively helping reduce rider fatigue.
  • Impressive uphill capabilities.

What don’t we like about it?

  • Riding in sandy conditions can cause the external cable routing design to get dirty, affecting performance.


  • Is this bike suitable for beginners?

Both beginners and experienced riders can ride this bike.

  • Can this bike be equipped with a rack?

It can accommodate a rack, although its positioning might be slightly higher than usual.

  • How many mounting holes does this bike have?

It has 7 mounting holes.

  • 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 on.

Rider heightSIZE
5’1″ – 5’6″XS
5’4″ – 5’9″SM
5’7″ – 6’0″MD
5’10” – 6’3″LG
6’0″ – 6’5″XL



FrameSurly Pugsley, 100% Surly NATCH 4130 Chromoly steel. double-butted main triangle. tig-welded. offset laced wheels. 142mm, 135mm with 10/12 adaptors.Tire Clearance: 4.8″
ForkSurly Pugsley, Tapered straight blade NATCH 4130 Chromoly. offset laced wheels. 135mm spacing.
Bottom BracketRace Face
HeadsetCane Creek
StemProMax 31.8
HandlebarSurly Moloko Bar
SaddleWTB Volt Sport
Seatpost2 Bolt 27.2


Rear DerailleurShimano SLX RD-7000 GS 11 Speed
Front DerailleurNone
CrankRace Face AEffect, 30T
ShiftersShimano SLX-11
CassetteSunrace 11 speed, 11-46
ChainKMC X11-1 EPT Anti-Rust
BrakesAvid BB7 Mountain
Brake LeversSRAM FR-5


RimsSurly My Other Brother Darryl (80mm), black, dual hole pattern, Tubeless Ready
Front HubSurly Ultra New, Freewheel, Bolt-on
Rear HubShimano FH-M525, 32h QR
TiresSurly Edna, 26×4.3, 60 TPI, Tubeless Ready
Disk RotorsSRAM Centerline 160/160mm

Comparison Table

BicyclesClick viewTiresDrivetrainFrame MaterialGroupset
Trek Farley 5Click ViewBontrager Gnarwhal Team Issue1 x 10AluminummicroSHIFT Advent X, FSA
Salsa Mukluk Deore 11Click View45NRTH Dillinger 5, 26 x 4.6″1 x 11AluminumShimano Deore
Rocky Mountain Blizzard Alloy 20Click ViewTerrene Cake Eater Fast Rolling Tubeless Studdable 27.5 x 4.51 x 12AluminumShimano Deore, Race Face
Giant Yukon 2Click ViewMaxxis Colossus 27.5×4.51 x 12AluminumShimano Deore

Surly Pugsley vs Trek Farley 5

Trek Farley 5
Trek Farley 5

The Trek Farley 5 features an Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame and a Farley carbon fork. On the other hand, the Surly Pugsley is equipped with a 100% Surly NATCH 4130 Chromoly steel frame and a Tapered straight blade NATCH 4130 Chromoly fork. Carbon forks are prone to breaking when subjected to side impacts. In contrast, steel frames and forks exhibit better fatigue resistance, making them well-suited for demanding riding conditions.

Furthermore, the Surly Pugsley comes with a 1×11 drivetrain, which offers smoother operation and a broader gear range compared to the Trek Farley 5’s 1×10 drivetrain. However, the Trek Farley 5 features Hydraulic Disc brakes that provide superior braking performance, even though they may not be as easily maintainable as the Mechanical Disc brakes equipped on the Surly Pugsley.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a superior shifting system, I would recommend the Surly Pugsley. If you prioritize stronger braking capabilities, the Trek Farley 5 would be your best choice.

Learn More: Is Trek Farley 5 Worth Buying? [2022 Trek Farley 5 Review]

Surly Pugsley vs Salsa Mukluk Deore 11

Salsa Mukluk Deore 11
Salsa Mukluk Deore 11

The Salsa Mukluk Deore 11 features Hydraulic Disc brakes that offer superior braking performance, but they are less repairable. On the other hand, the Surly Pugsley’s Mechanical Disc brakes, although not as impressive in terms of braking performance and more susceptible to getting dirty, have the advantage of being easier to maintain.

Furthermore, the Surly Pugsley has a larger Stack/Reach Ratio (1.48), while the Salsa Mukluk Deore 11 has a slightly smaller Stack/Reach Ratio (1.43). A larger Stack/Reach Ratio provides better reach and stretch, contributing to a more comfortable riding experience.

Therefore, if you prioritize a more comfortable ride, the Surly Pugsley would be a great fit for you. If you’re looking for enhanced braking performance, the Salsa Mukluk Deore 11 is well-suited to your needs.

Learn More: Is Salsa Mukluk Deore 11 A Good Bike? [Salsa Mukluk Deore 11 Review]

Surly Pugsley VS Rocky Mountain Blizzard Alloy 20

Rocky Mountain Blizzard Alloy 20
Rocky Mountain Blizzard Alloy 20

The Rocky Mountain Blizzard Alloy 20 features larger 27.5″ aluminum wheels, providing strong off-road capability. In contrast, the Surly Pugsley’s 26″ aluminum wheels are known for their agility. Additionally, the Rocky Mountain Blizzard Alloy 20 is equipped with a 1×12 drivetrain, offering a wider gear range and smoother operation compared to the Surly Pugsley’s 1×11 drivetrain.

Moreover, the Rocky Mountain Blizzard Alloy 20 can reach speeds of up to 22mph, slightly faster than the Surly Pugsley’s 21mph. The tire width of the Rocky Mountain Blizzard Alloy 20 is 4.5 inches, whereas the Surly Pugsley has a tire width of 4.3 inches. Wider tires are better suited for loose terrains.

In conclusion, if you’re seeking wider tires, the Rocky Mountain Blizzard Alloy 20 would be a great choice. If you prioritize more agile wheels, the Surly Pugsley can fulfill your requirements.

Learn More: Is Rocky Mountain Slayer Alloy 30 a Good Choice? -[Rocky Mountain Slayer Alloy 30 Review]

Surly Pugsley vs Giant Yukon 2

Giant Yukon 2
Giant Yukon 2

The Giant Yukon 2 boasts a stack/reach ratio of 1.55, slightly larger than the Surly Pugsley’s stack/reach ratio of 1.48, providing a more comfortable riding experience for cyclists. Additionally, it features a head tube angle of 68.5°, compared to the Surly Pugsley’s head tube angle of 69.5°. A smaller head tube angle contributes to a more stable ride.

Moreover, the Giant Yukon 2 offers faster and more stable riding with its larger 27.5″ wheels. It’s equipped with an excellent Hydraulic Disc braking system, ensuring responsive and timely braking. The drivetrain is also outstanding, as its 1×12 drivetrain operates smoothly and offers a wide gear range.

Most importantly, both bikes are priced the same. Therefore, I recommend you choose the Giant Yukon 2.

Learn More: Is Giant Yukon 2 Worth Buying? [2022 Giant Yukon 2 Review]


The above is our comprehensive evaluation of Surly Pugsley. This exceptional fat tire bike performs exceptionally well off-road. Considering all factors, we rate it at 4.7. For more bicycle-related information, feel free to explore our other reviews.

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