It is no secret that Surly builds versatile, durable bikes that are adaptable to a wide range of uses and conditions. They also deliver bang for the buck that is pretty darn hard to beat. When Micah started thinking about a new city bike, there were tons of options on the table. After much deliberation, the Straggler rose to the top of the pile.
It is sometimes difficult to swallow the expense of a frame-up build, especially when talking about a city bike that is going to see tough conditions; this bike is going to be ridden hard, locked up, knocked around and put away wet. The Straggler comes out of the box with a solid build that leaves plenty of room for add-ons but little need for upgrades.
Like most quality completes, Surly bikes don’t come with pedals. Chromag’s Contact platforms provide all-condition traction, customizable grip, rock-solid durability and foot-cradling comfort. Platforms are especially sensible for a city bike, allowing the rider to choose footwear based weather, comfort and style rather than being stuck in cycling shoes.
Proper, full-coverage fenders were a must. However, the stock 700×41 Knards were just a little too wide to fit cleanly with the SKS Longboards. Micah also wanted something a little faster rolling, with excellent tubeless performance. Schwalbe G-Ones in 700×38 snapped onto the Alex rims securely and really make this bike fly on dirt or pavement.
Front and rear dynamo lighting were also a priority. We’ve been really impressed with the Kasai dynamos and expect to build many more wheels around them. There are less expensive headlight options out there (the B+M Eyc is a favorite for city bikes) but the bright beam and good looks of the B+M Lumotec IQ-X won out, despite the higher price. The B+M Secula taillight is no more expensive than a battery taillight and the full-length brake housing along the top tube provided a clean path to route the wire.
Of course, what good is a dedicated city bike if you’re stuck carrying your cargo on your back? Surly’s 8-Pack Rack mounts up cleanly to nearly any Surly fork and provides a solid platform for a wide variety of bags. Micah’s Lone Peak Rack Pack Deluxe fits like a glove. While we’ve sometimes been frustrated by the lack of light mounting options on the Surly racks, the crown mount included with the IQ-X bolted straight into one of the M5 barrels and provides a solid perch. We prefer to mount headlights underneath or on the side of a front rack for better protection but the 8-Pack doesn’t make that easy. Micah likes his headlight to stand up “loud and proud” anyway, so who are we to argue?
Scroll through the gallery and check out the build! The “Blueberry Muffin Top” powdercoat really sparkles in the sun! How would you build your Straggler? Post your photos or ideas in the comments!