Straggler ($1775; currently on end-of-summer markdown to $1575 for all in-stock Stragglers) is now in stock in both “Glitter Dreams” (sparkly purple) and “Closet Black” (gloss black). We usually have sizes from 50 to 64 cm. We customize the Straggler in pretty much every possible way. Most of our Straggler customers use the bike primarily for life in the city. For those who ride a small (52 cm or smaller) frame, we offer our own 650b Straggler that eliminates possible issues with your toes striking the front tire during sharp turns. Surly’s own version of the 650b Straggler will be available in spring 2015.
Left: Straggler be fitted with Alfine dynamo hub, AXA Luxx70+ front light (which also charges your smart device), Axiom Rainrunner fenders, Axiom Streamliner Disc DLX rack, and Busch & Mueller Top Light Line Plus rear light with a brake-light feature. Why is the steerer tube (the tube sticking up behind the bars) so long? We leave the steerer uncut until we fit the customer. When we find the optimal length for that particular rider, we cut the steerer accordingly. That’s why.
Here’s a bit of backstory. About once a week for the past few years we’ve been asking Surly when they’re going to give us a disc-brake version of the Cross Check. We won’t stock the Cross Check until it comes so equipped, because basically we sell only disc brake bikes, for reasons you either already understand or will understand once you ride a bike with disc brakes downhill in the rain.
Anyway, Surly surprised us good, not with a Disc Check but basically instead with a Disc Check that is not a Disc Check that is called a Straggler. The geometry’s subtly different, such as an ever so slightly lower bottom bracket and ever so slightly longer chain stays, bringing the frame a little closer to that of the Disc Trucker while still maintaining a cyclocross-ish geometry. The new rear dropouts are more versatile and allow for a wider range of hubs; there’s more chainring clearance to accommodate your own creative gearing ratios that may or may not have anything to do with cyclocross, and the tires are especially wide (41 mm) Knard tires.And if you guessed Surly would go for the superior Avid BB7 disc brakes, you’d be just plain right. Most Stragglerists have us swap the Knards for street tires, such as Schwalbe Marathon Plus, from the get-go.
Do you see where this is heading? It’s heading out for all-day, overnight, or even longer rides on paved and unpaved roads and trails, that’s where. With some camping gear. To be honest, though, most Straggler owners are going to ride it in the city as an ideal commuting bike. The agility of a cyclocross bike but the stability and comfort, hour upon hour, of a light touring bike. Lighter and more agile than the Disc Trucker, but still a well-grounded, strong and comfortable steel bike.
What is so cool about steel drop-bar bikes, whether cyclocross, touring, or somewhere in between, is that they make superior urban bikes for a lot of people. The same features that enable the Straggler to bomb down gravel hills with confidence are not going to be wasted in city riding. Like just about all of the bikes we carry, Straggler comes with lots of options for fenders, racks, and different kinds of tires, from pure slick street tires to knobbies.
Straggler is more expensive than our similar double-butted chromoly bikes from Norco (the Indie Drop, notably, is very similar in concept, geometry, construction, and specs, but is only $1195), the upcoming Raleigh Tamland, and a couple of Soma framesets. The higher price is justified Surly by some useful characteristics: the paint is electro-deposited (not powdercoated) for extra protection; the new rear dropout design makes it easier and quicker to remount the wheel (e.g., after changing a flat), and there is sparkly purple paint and compressionless cable housing. Plus: it’s a Surly.
See? Surly has designed new rear dropouts for the Straggler that should make remounting the wheel (as in after fixing a flat) easier and quicker.
Sizes: all sizes are in stock now.
Note for people who ride smaller sizes: We now offer our own 650b wheel version of the Straggler that brings out the bike’s full potential. That’s because it eliminates the serious degree of toe overlap when you combine the smaller Straggler frame, full-size (700c) wheels, and chunky Knard tires.
What means toe overlap: Toe overlap is when the molecules of your toes and the molecules of the front tire attempt unsuccesfully to occupy the same physical space during a turn–not a big deal in ordinary riding, but a limiting factor during some slow-speed maneuvering in city traffic as well as during tight turns in cyclocross. On the Straggler sizes 42-50, toe overlap is a our little buddy who’s kind of always around but sometimes gets really annoying just when you need him not to be. Add fenders, and our little buddy can be quite a nuisance. With the smaller 650b wheels and slick (i.e., paved street) tires, this problem disappears. Which makes the Straggler a rock solid choice for all-around city riding. The photos right here show a 650b Straggler in the smallest frame size, 42cm. (The steerer tube is shown uncut here because we cut it to each individual’s optimum length and this bike hasn’t been purchased yet.)
As with many of our bikes, we offer a Portlandistan version of the Straggler and an even swankier Hyperbolistan version (around $2150-2500). These packages, which save you money on both accessories and installation labor while making us more money by letting us deck out your bike, include complete dynamo lighting systems, Portland-made wood or bamboo fenders, a strong+light rear rack, a brass bell, and some extra-nice bar tape.
A Brooks or Selle Anatomica leather saddle can complete the transformation. Get in touch for details.