In case you didn’t know, we are now an official Surly dealer. Surly has a long history of pushing the envelope and creating frames that are multipurpose and fun. They can be credited with the mass development of the fat bike and 29+ markets and have never shied away from being a little out there. Out there is good.
Many folks are familiar with the Cross Check, Long Haul Trucker and Karate Monkey. Each of these models have solidified Surly’s place as a best in class model in their respective categories. The Cross Check is the jack of all trades, likely the most popular model Surly has created. The LHT has all but cornered the market on production touring bikes and is now available as a disc-equipped model. The Karate Monkey has long been considered a front runner for a solid all around 29er that is equally satisfied ss or geared, rigid or with a front suspension.
While the Cross Check certainly is no race cx bike it can be a great bike for off road endeavors. Still, those of us who spend a lot of time riding gravel, dirt roads or mixing it up by riding single track on non mountain bikes can find a few aspects of the Cross Check that leave it with room for improvement.
Enter the Straggler. The Straggler is similar to the Cross Check in too many ways to make it worth delving into. The most noticeable differences are the disc brake tabs over v-brake studs, the dedicated 135mm rear spacing (making it easy to swap your mtb or disc cx wheels in should that be a selling point), and a tweaked geometry. The Straggler drops the bottom bracket an additional 6mm to 72mm. Add to this variable chain stay lengths for different frame sizes and the Straggler achieves a much more stable ride quality more akin to a road bike but with the ability to handle a wider tire like the Cross Check. Surly opted to keep with a semi-horizontal drop out so geared or ss use is easily accommodated. Lastly, the Straggler is available in both 700c and 650b platform frames. This not only allows smaller riders an equally smaller wheel size and thus allows their smallest frame/complete bike (a 38cm!) a more friendly stand over clearance, but also allows each of us to indulge in our inner retro grouch.
The gallery below is an example of the 700c offering in their ‘glitter dreams’ color way. In typical Surly fashion the bike is also available in black.