Straggler is designed for cross-over exploration across a wide range of terrain. It’s both a day trip and a weekend getaway. It’s a ‘rough road’ bike, a no-nonsense cyclocross bike, a utilitarian townie, a light-duty touring bike, and an all-season commuter. It’s a steel gravel bike that performs admirably on the road. Consider it a “road bike for mountain bikers.” Straggler can (and should) be your only bike if you only have a place for one in your life.
The powers of Straggler stretch far beyond the asphalt. It’s also suitable for light touring setups. Rather than full-fledged touring, we’re talking frame bags, seat bags, and “credit card touring.” Straggler can also take our 8- and 24-Pack Racks, giving you more options for heavier-duty loading. Here is our Surly Straggler 650b Review.
Surly’s Straggler is a well-built, very adjustable steel all-arounder. It has a few unique design elements, a surprising tire space, plenty of baggage rack attachments, and a very comfortable ride. It favors rough roads and trail use, but weight-conscious people should turn away now.
It clarifies a lot about their design and construction philosophy. It’s a fascinating read that goes far beyond the typical marketing verbiage seen on a bike manufacturer’s website.
The Straggler is essentially a new take on the Cross-Check, one of Surly’s most popular all-arounder bikes. The Straggler has disc brakes rather than the Cross-cantilevers, Check’s which adds to its attractiveness for serious off-roading, fully loaded touring, or, in an ideal world, a combination of the two. Both are constructed around Surly’s signature practical, versatile, and durable framesets, which are influenced by cyclocross and touring uses in this case. Still, the Straggler’s discs contribute to its appeal as a genuine all-rounder.
The frame design also has other immediate attraction factors. The rear dropouts have to include screw adjustments, allowing you to utilize a single-speed or hub geared wheel or push the wheel back for extra room around large tires. There’s already more area for tires than on most cyclocross or touring bikes.
Threaded bosses for full mudguards and every common form of front and rear pannier rack, as well as two sets of bottle cage bosses, are doubled up on the fork dropouts.
As is customary with Surly, there are many sizes to pick from, ten to be exact, ranging from 42cm to 64cm. Seat angles range from 75 degrees on the 42 to 72 degrees on the 64, with a 72-degree head angle on all. Our test bike is a 56cm (22in) bike with a 58cm horizontal top tube.
The form of the frame is distinctive. The top tube slopes slightly down to the head tube, about 2cm higher than the top tube. You may have a very high or extremely low handlebar position while still having excellent standover clearance.
- Wheel diameters of 650b and 700c are available.
- Racks and fenders have a place to stay.
- Horizontal dropouts that exit forward for Singlespeed capability and wheelbase adjustment
- Fender clearance for 650b x 41mm or 700c x 41mm tires!
Road and trail notes On Surly Straggler 650b
In their description of the Straggler, the Surly lads are refreshingly candid.
“It’s a day tripper and a weekender,” they remark. It’s a road bike for ‘difficult roads.’ It’s a cyclocross bike that doesn’t pretend to be competitive. It’s a practical townie. It’s a touring bike with a light load. It’s a commuter that can handle any weather. And if you become bored with one setup, you can change parts and make it into something else.”
Its all-purpose versatility is what makes it so appealing. And because of its versatility, it can take a hammering on any terrain, whether it’s loaded with gear or stripped down to metal and rubber.
I tested the standard build from Ison Distribution, Surly’s UK distributor. Without pedals, it weighed 11.9kg/26.5lb. That’s comparable to the weight of a rigid fork mountain bike at this price point, but it’s not as capable on difficult terrain as a mountain bike.
Straggler’s clear preference for rough roads and trails necessitates the comparison. It combines the benefits and drawbacks of mountain biking, cyclocross biking, and touring biking.
Most of its beneficial features revolve around the fact that it’s built to last, so you won’t be interested if you’re trying to lose weight.
The cleanly TIG-welded 4130 Chromoly steel tubes are double-butted.
You can start with a frame and fork for £449.99 if you have ideas about how you want to outfit the Straggler. Still, the complete bike package looks like a good starting place for a bike that could theoretically tackle pretty much any terrain you choose to ride it over.
Surly’s Knard 41mm knobbly tires are a good sign of the intended terrain, but nothing stops you from adding thinner treads if your preference is for road use.
With the 41mm tires attached, it’s not going to be a particularly fast bike on the road. Still, it is wonderfully comfortable, and the Kinard’s tread pattern offers a circular close-knobbed shape that goes surprisingly quickly on the tarmac.
Climbing on the road is slower than on a skinny tired aluminum or carbon framed cyclocross cycle due to the weight, but it is comparable to other steel-framed touring bikes. On descents, the Straggler’s high-speed handling gives you a lot of confidence in locations where you don’t know what the surface will throw at you.
When the going gets too rocky or rooty, the tires are fat enough to allow you to run them pretty soft off-road for improved control and comfort, but you’ll quickly become aware of the boundaries. However, except for severe mountain biking conditions, its trail handling is excellent.
The combined wheel and tire diameter are 28.5in, which is an inch larger than on a conventional cyclocross bike and helps with rolling over bumps, but there’s still room for mudguards.
The finishing touches of full bike kits have been meticulously considered. Surly’s hubs, Allen bolted at the front, quick release at the back, are used on wheels with strong Alex DX-Lite eyeleted rims, 32 black steel spokes, and Surly’s hubs.
Shimano’s powertrain combines a 46/34 cyclocross crankset with Tiagra shifters and rear mech, a CX70 front mech, and an 11-32 ten-speed cassette, making it an excellent choice for off-road riding or heavy touring.
The brakes are Avid BB7 cable pull discs with full outside cables, well-known and easy to tune. Kalloy made the seat post and stem, Velo made the saddle, and Salsa Cowbell made the compact drop and slightly flared handlebar.
If you dislike the glistening ‘Glitter Dreams’ finish on our test bike, the far more conservative ‘Closet Black’ is an option.
The Straggler is a rock-solid character in handling and go-anywhere durability. Sure, there are occasions when it feels a little clunky, like when you’re attempting to keep up with a group of friends on skinny-rib road cycles. However, there are occasions when its bulldozer personality is welcome.
It’ll give you the courage to go further afield on trails because it’s less jittery than a lightweight race-bred cyclocross bike. Thanks to its quick-rolling pair of touring tires, it’ll be fighting for desirability with a lot of traditional touring bikes.
The braking is better than on many other disc-equipped cross-bred bikes since it doesn’t flutter or judder: this is down to the fork’s substantial design and the bracing tube between the stays outback; adding weight has advantages and disadvantages.
The Straggler is a bike for folks who want a relaxed, non-competitive ride with a lot of versatility in one bike. It’s not for those obsessed with their weight or who are usually in a hurry.
If you’re an all-around rider with a half-dozen bikes and are attempting to pare down your fleet to a manageable quantity, it could even be the only bike you need.
However, you could still require that speedy road bike. Oh, and the mountain bike, and the mountain bike, and the mountain bike, and the mountain bike, and the mountain bike, and the mountain bike, and
Verdict On Surly Straggler 650b Review
It is the only bike you need because it’s an incredibly flexible all-rounder that can hit the trails, the streets, or the long-haul open road.
About the Surly Straggler 650b
Give the material and manufacturing process for the frame and fork. Make a list of the parts that went into making the bike.
Frame and fork are made of 4130 Chromoly Steel. Surly Knard 41mm tires on Alex DX-Kite rims with Surly hubs. Salsa Cowbell handlebar, Kalloy seat post & stem, Velo saddle.
Tell us about the bike and who it’s intended for. What do the producers have to say about it? What are your thoughts on the bike in comparison to that?
According to Surly, “So, who exactly is this Straggler? The simple explanation is that we fitted disc brakes to a Cross-Check, close to correct. People have asked us to produce a disc version of our incredibly adaptable Cross-Check for a long time, and practically everything about the two is very comparable. Straggler, on the other hand, is a little different.
The Straggler uses disc caliper mounts instead of rim brake studs, which is the most noticeable difference. It can take rotors up to 160mm in diameter. The rear dropouts are also one-of-a-kind. They’re a horizontally partially closed construction that can support singlespeed or geared drivetrains. They have rear-mounted stop screws to secure the wheel and position the rear wheel for best shifting, as well as a forward-mounted stop screw on the drive side to keep the wheel from slipping forward under the force of your massive legs. Straggler shares all of the Cross-braze-one Check for fenders, racks, and bottle cages. The rear dropouts are spaced 135mm instead of 132.5mm like the Cross-Check since there are significantly more alternatives for disc hubs in this spacing. The Straggler’s geometry differs significantly from the Cross- Check’s, with angles and tube lengths that are similar but not identical, but it’s ready to transport you almost anyplace. It’s a weekender and a day-tripper. It’s a road bike for ‘difficult roads.’ It’s a cyclocross bike that doesn’t pretend to be competitive. It’s a practical townie. It’s a touring bike with a light load. It’s a commuter that can handle any weather. When you’ve had your fill of one set up, you may switch things up by swapping pieces. That’s great, in our opinion.”
That, we believe, is a very accurate evaluation.
Frame and fork Of Surly Straggler 650b
What can you tell us about the frame and fork’s construction and finish?
It has more features than any other bike of a similar sort, and the build quality appears to be very good.
What materials were utilized in the frame and fork?
Surly’s frame and fork tubes are 4130 Chromoly, which emphasizes robustness over lightness.
Tell us about the frame and fork geometry.
All sizes have a 72-degree head angle. Seat angles vary to accommodate various stretch requirements for people of various sizes.
What were the bike’s height and reach like? How did it stack up against other bikes of the same size?
Perfect for people who want a calm riding posture with a comfortable and effective stretch.
Riding the Surly Straggler 650b
Was it easy to ride the bike? Let us know how you felt about the ride.
It’s very relaxing. The frameset structure and ride posture contribute to the comfort of most bikes with 41mm tires.
Did the bike have the proper amount of stiffness in the right places? Was there any bike component that you felt was excessively stiff or too flexible?
What mechanism did the bike use to transfer power? Did it appear to be effective?
Very economical. However, the large tyres add a bit of squish to the road.
Was there any toe-clip overlap between the front wheel and the toe-clip? Was it a problem, if so?
No. There’s a lot of space.
What would you say about the steering? Was it active, indifferent, or unresponsive? Relaxed and unobtrusive.
Tell us more about how you handled the situation. What was your overall impression of the bike? What did it accomplish well, and what did it do badly?
It has very easy-going handling feel to it. Certainly not race-bred, but ideal for carrying bags or not.
Which components have the largest impact on the bike’s comfort (for better or worse)? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
Tyres are nice and huge (yet surprisingly fast rolling). The slightly flared Salsa Cowbell handlebar hit everyone, and the lengthy wheelbase ensured stability.
Which components have the largest impact on the bike’s rigidity (for better or worse)? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
There have been no modifications.
Which components have the most impact on the bike’s efficiency (for better or worse)? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
Commuters and tarmac enthusiasts primarily desire faster tyres. Off-road riders will adore it just the way it is.
How heavy is the surly straggler?
Without pedals, it weighed 11.9kg/26.5lb. That’s comparable to the weight of a rigid fork mountain bike at this price point, but it’s not as capable on difficult terrain as a mountain bike. The Straggler’s clear preference for rough roads and trails necessitates the comparison.
Why are surly bikes so good?
DURABILITY. Surly produces functional bicycles that do exactly what they’re supposed to do. We don’t create one-trick ponies; instead, we assist Surly riders in exploring their alternatives. Our bicycles have been designed to last a long time.
Are Surly bikes durable?
Surly bikes are known for having strong steel frames that will endure a long time. They provide bikes in various sizes for trail riding, commuting, and lugging stuff. If you find a Surly bike that fits you properly, the relaxed shape will provide a comfortable ride.
What is the difference between 650B and 700c?
The conventional choice for most gravel riding and racing is 700c wheels, which have a bigger diameter rim. For enhanced compliance and traction, 650B wheels have smaller diameter rims that are commonly combined with larger volume tires.
Is a surly bike worth it?
Surly does not produce bikes for the masses in the same way that Trek, Giant, or Specialized do. Yes, Surly bikes are worth the money for a certain type of biker who values old-school craftsmanship.
Who manufactures surly?
Surly Bikes, or Surly, is a bicycle manufacturer created in 1998 in Bloomington, Minnesota, United States. It is a branch of Quality Bicycle Products, a bicycle and bicycle part manufacturer and distributor.
Where is surly made?
Where do you have your frames and components made? The majority of our products are made in Taiwan, including all frames and forks.