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

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Surly Straggler Review

  • Price: $1699
  • Frame: Steel
  • Tires: Surly Knard 700cx41
  • Gear: 1×11

What we like about it: It provides riders with excellent comfort and adaptability.

What we don’t like about it: External cable routing is not very clean and makes maintenance and cleaning less straightforward.

Rating: (4.7/5)

Surly Straggler
Surly Straggler

The Surly Straggler is designed for exploration and adventure across various terrains. It excels in many aspects, displaying strong characteristics in terms of durability, control, and adaptability. With its robust structure and high adaptability, it promises to offer you the best riding experience.

In the following sections, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, and specifications of the Surly Straggler. In the latter part of this article, we’ve also selected a few other bicycles for comparison. If you wish to learn more about bike reviews, please stay tuned.

Riding Experience

Surly Straggler

Gravel Riding

I booked my tickets and made a reservation at an IHG hotel to reach Kjerringåsen Alpinsenter. Here, I chose the Omveien trail, which spans 2343 feet in length, with a downhill tendency and an elevation drop of 232 feet. The journey posed a considerable challenge to my ride.

I hopped onto my Surly Straggler bicycle, and its wheels rolled over the pebbly path. The grip provided by the Surly Knard 700cx41 tires helped me maintain stability on the bumpy terrain. Every rotation of the pedals represented an adaptation to the road and trust in the bike.

I navigated through rural lanes, and the roughness and unevenness of the gravel path put my skills to the test. However, the durability of the Surly Straggler and the efficient SRAM Apex drivetrain ensured I maintained a steady speed through these changing road conditions.

I cycled through forest trails, surrounded by fresh air and bird songs. The comfortable WTB Volt Sport saddle allowed me to maintain a comfortable seating position even during long rides, without experiencing fatigue or discomfort. Occasional uphill climbs and steep descents filled me with a sense of challenge.

Moving On

Surly Straggler

On the gravel path, I experienced tranquility and freedom. The Surly Straggler’s quiet performance allowed me to cycle in nature without disturbing the wildlife. I immersed myself in the serenity and purity of the surroundings.

Sweat trickled down my forehead, but my heart was filled with joy and satisfaction. The Surly Straggler provided me with the opportunity to explore nature and challenge myself, allowing me to experience the infinite charm of cycling.

Finally, I reached the finish line. The excellent performance and stability of the Surly Straggler allowed me to complete the gravel path ride smoothly. I am grateful for this companion that accompanied me, enabling me to experience the joy and freedom of cycling. Each ride reminds me of the beauty of life and the allure of nature.


The Surly Straggler is an outstanding steel-framed gravel bike. It features the Surly Straggler frame, known for its exceptional performance. This bike comes in two color options, Chlorine Dream and Gloss Black, both of which are quite appealing. It boasts an SRAM Apex rear derailleur with a wide gear range, ensuring excellent shifting performance. Additionally, its WTB Volt Sport saddle incorporates the new Fusion Form base technology, providing reliable comfort and modern aesthetics.

Furthermore, its Surly Knard tires offer outstanding traction, making it suitable for both dirt and asphalt, providing easy handling and a smooth ride. Its Hayes CX Comp Mechanical Disc brakes perform quite well, ensuring rider safety.


Other Versions

After undergoing numerous tests, we have gained a deeper understanding of this bike. It’s an exceptional steel-framed gravel bike.

However, many riders have their own performance or component requirements, so we have researched bikes of a similar type.

Surly Preamble Flat Bar

Surly Preamble Flat Bar

The Surly Preamble Flat Bar features only 700c wheels, while the Surly Straggler offers two wheel sizes, providing more size options for riders. The Surly Preamble Flat Bar has a 1×8 drivetrain, while the Surly Straggler is equipped with a 1×11 drivetrain. The 1×11 drivetrain offers a wider gear range and smoother shifting. Additionally, the Surly Straggler has a speed of 33mph, while the Surly Preamble Flat Bar has a speed of 29mph. Therefore, the Surly Straggler holds a speed advantage.

Moreover, the stack/reach ratio for the Surly Preamble Flat Bar is 1.45, while the Surly Straggler has a more aggressive geometry with a 1.39 stack/reach ratio. It sacrifices some comfort for more efficiency, allowing for more powerful pedaling. A larger stack/reach ratio can make riders more comfortable and offer better stretchability.

What do we like about it?

  • It provides riders with excellent comfort and adaptability.
  • It can be equipped with fenders and racks for carrying various items.
  • The front horizontal dropouts enable single-speed compatibility and adjustable axle spacing.
  • It exhibits rock-solid characteristics in terms of control and durability.

What don’t we like about it?

  • External cable routing is not very clean and makes maintenance and cleaning less straightforward.


  • Is this bike suitable for beginners?

It is suitable for both beginners and experienced riders.

  • What is the weight of this bike?

Its weight is 11.9 kg (26.5 lbs).

  • Can this bike handle off-road riding?

It can handle off-road tasks and is adaptable to various terrain conditions.

  • How do I choose the right size?

The size chart is below:

These sizes are general guidelines, and the best way to find your size is to test ride the bike.

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 Straggler, 100% Surly proprietary 4130 CroMoly tubing. Surly Straggler, 100% Surly proprietary 4130 CroMoly tubing. ED Coated. TIG-welded. Double-butted main triangle
Colors: Chlorine Dream; Gloss Black
ForkSurly Straggler, 4130 CroMoly, disc only, lugged and brazed. Sloping crown with threaded eylets, tapered and butted curved blades with mid-blade rack eyelets, dual dropout eyelets. Sloping crown with threaded eyelets, tapered and butted curved blades with mid-blade rack eyelets, dual dropout eyelets
Bottom BracketSRAM GXP
HeadsetCane Creek 40, 1-1/8″
StemProMax 31.8, 4 bolt
HandlebarSalsa Cowbell
SaddleWTB Volt Sport
SeatpostProMax SP-2019 non-offset (38-50cm); ProMax SP2016 offset (52-58cm), 27.2 x 300mm, black


Rear DerailleurSRAM Apex
Front DerailleurN/A
CrankSRAM Apex 42T
ShiftersSRAM Apex 1×11
CassetteSRAM 11-42t 11spd
ChainSRAM PC1110
BrakesHayes CX Comp, 160 rotors
Brake LeversSRAM Apex


RimsAlex Adventurer 2, tubeless ready
Front HubNovatec, 6 bolt Disc, 32H, QR
Rear HubNovatec, 6 bolt Disc, 32H, QR
TiresSurly Knard 700cx41, 33TPI

Comparison Table

BikesClick viewTiresDrivetrainFrame MaterialGroupset
Kona RoveClick ViewMaxxis Rambler EXO 650x47c2 x 9SteelShimano Sora
Trek 520Click ViewBontrager H1 Hard-case Ultimate, 700x38c3×9SteelShimano Aivio, Sora
Masi Giramondo 700cClick ViewKenda Quick Drumlin | 700x45c3 x 10SteelmicroSHIFT
All-City Gorilla Monsoon ApexClick ViewWTB Riddler, 27.5 x 2.4″1 x 11SteelShimano Apex, FSA

Surly Straggler vs. Kona Rove

Kona Rove
Kona Rove

The Surly Straggler comes with two wheel sizes, 650b and 700c. The 650b wheels are highly maneuverable, while the 700c wheels offer better traction. The Surly Straggler provides riders with a wider range of size options for the wheel. Furthermore, it features a 1×11 drivetrain. Compared to the Kona Rove’s 2×9 drivetrain, the 1×11 drivetrain has a broader gear range and smoother shifting. Additionally, the single front chainring design effectively prevents chain drops.

In addition, the Kona Rove has a faster speed of 37mph, while the Surly Straggler has a slightly slower speed of 33mph. The Kona Rove holds an advantage in terms of speed. However, the Kona Rove offers Kona Cork Tape grips, making it convenient for riders to purchase and saving them time. The Kona Rove has wider 47c tires, while the Surly Straggler’s tire width is 41c. Wider tires can handle softer road surfaces.

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

Surly Straggler vs. Trek 520

Trek 520
Trek 520

The Surly Straggler features a steel fork that provides strong shock absorption but comes with a heavier weight. In contrast, the Trek 520 has an aluminum fork, which is more flexible, lighter in weight, and comes at a more affordable price. Furthermore, compared to the Trek 520’s 3×9 drivetrain, the Surly Straggler’s 1×11 drivetrain offers a broader gear range and smoother shifting. The single front chainring design helps prevent unexpected issues during gear changes.

Additionally, the Trek 520 is faster, reaching speeds of up to 38mph, giving it a speed advantage. The Trek 520 has a stack/reach ratio of 1.49, while the Surly Straggler’s stack/reach ratio is smaller, at 1.39, making it more aggressive. In other words, it sacrifices some comfort for efficiency. However, the larger stack/reach ratio provides better comfort and allows riders to have better stretchability.

Learn More: What Makes The Trek 520 Such A Powerful Gravel Road Bike

Surly Straggler vs. Masi Giramondo 700c

Masi Giramondo 700c
Masi Giramondo 700c

The Masi Giramondo 700c has a speed of 35mph, offering a certain speed advantage. Additionally, it has a stack/reach ratio of 1.55, which is slightly larger than the Surly Straggler’s 1.39. A larger stack/reach ratio provides a more comfortable riding experience. However, the Surly Straggler has a BB drop of 72mm, which is slightly larger than the Masi Giramondo 700c (70mm). A larger BB drop lowers the bike’s center of gravity, making the ride very stable, but it may pose some issues when steering and navigating obstacles.

Furthermore, the Surly Straggler is equipped with a 1×11 drivetrain, offering more powerful shifting performance and avoiding issues related to chain drops. It also provides a variety of wheel sizes for riders to choose from. Additionally, its price is only around $150 more than the Masi Giramondo 700c, so I would recommend riders consider purchasing the Surly Straggler.

Learn More: Is Masi Giramondo 700c a Good Choice? -[Masi Giramondo 700c Review]

Surly Straggler vs. All-City Gorilla Monsoon Apex

All-City Gorilla Monsoon Apex
All-City Gorilla Monsoon Apex

The All-City Gorilla Monsoon Apex has a tire width of 2.4″. However, it has a 42c tire clearance, allowing for wider tire modifications. It’s wider than the Surly Straggler’s 41c tires, providing better support and the ability to ride on softer terrain. But the All-City Gorilla Monsoon Apex only offers one wheel size option, with the Surly Straggler having an advantage in this regard.

Furthermore, the Surly Straggler has a certain speed advantage, being slightly faster at 28mph compared to the All-City Gorilla Monsoon Apex. However, the All-City Gorilla Monsoon Apex offers a very comfortable ride with a 1.55 stack/reach ratio, providing riders with better stretch. Additionally, the 62.5mm BB drop lowers the bike’s center of gravity, making the ride smoother. However, the All-City Gorilla Monsoon Apex is priced nearly $500 higher than the Surly Straggler, so you should consider the value for money when making a purchase.

Learn More: Is All-City Gorilla Monsoon GRX A Perfect Selection? – [All-City Gorilla Monsoon GRX Review]


This is our review of the Surly Straggler. It’s an excellent steel-framed gravel bike that provides an outstanding riding experience on gravel roads. Considering all factors, we’ve given it a high rating of 4.7. If you’re looking for more bike-related information, feel free to explore our other reviews.

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