Best Bike of 2013: The Surly Pugsley

If I learned anything over the course of 2013, it’s that I can survive on a steady diet of eating crow. Like a great many stubborn cyclists, I held the belief that the fat bike was nothing more than a passing fad, a cheeky novelty, a diversion from real riding. I even held a certain amount of derision for these silly looking bikes with their bloated hoops and grinning owners always quick to say, “dude, you have to try this.” I certainly didn’t think the fat bike had any relevance in the world of adventure cycling. After committing to my own fat bike and reading endless accounts of them doing amazing things around the globe, I came to realize––I was so very wrong about the fat bike. After mulling over dozens of candidates for our Bike of the Year award, I kept coming back to bike that started the whole fat bike craze, the Surly Pugsley.
For those who have never ridden a fat bike, and I mean really ridden one, it’s all too easy to just assume they’re slow and only appropriate for sand and snow. This is wholly untrue. While they do eat up those conditions, they’re curiously swift in all other riding scenarios. I’ve even knocked down huge tracks on pavement and gravel, the buzz of the tires an audible confirmation that if I keep churning the cranks, it’ll trundle onward undaunted.


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