Surly was responsible for introducing many cyclists to 29ers as well as to fat bikes. For 2014, the company is adding a third model to its fat bike line and is updating its 29er, the venerable Karate Monkey, with some modern touches.
Click through the gallery at right for more detailed images of Surly’s new and updated models.
In the beginning, there was the Pugsley, Surly's first foray into fat bikes. When that was no longer fat enough for some riders, Surly introduced the Moonlander, which is able to swallow massive 5in-wide tyres.
Now there's a third option: the Ice Cream Truck.
So what make’s the Ice Cream Truck different from the company’s other fat offerings?
The Ice Cream Truck is Surly’s first fat bike built with a symmetrical, 190/197mm-spaced rear end. (An offset rear end, designed for 135mm and 170mm rear axle spacings, is one approach to minimizing chainline issues that can accompany massive tyres.) Modular dropouts allow the frame to accommodate a 197mm 12mm thru-axle or 190mm quick-release axles.
The frame uses 100mm-wide press-fit bottom bracket shell. The use of a press-fit system allowed Surly to space the chainstays further apart for maximum tyre clearance.
Like the Moonlander, the Ice Cream Truck can fit the largest fat bike tyres on the market. Unlike the Moonlander, the Ice Cream Truck incorporates a 44mm head tube, a slacker, 69-degree head tube angle, and a fork with slightly more offset, at 47mm. These are all forward-looking features that hint at suspension fork compatibility.
The Ice Cream Truck will be offered as a frameset and as a complete bike. Frame with fork will retail for US$850. The complete build will set buyers back US$2,700. Surly expects to begin shipping Ice Cream Trucks in July.
A more modern Monkey
The Karate Monkey gets a number of significant of updates for 2014 to make it compatible with modern components. The updates include a 44mm headtube to accommodate forks with tapered steerers and a modular dropout system.
While the Karate Monkey gets a number of refinements for 2014, the well-regarded geometry remains the same
Gone are the simple track-ends with a derailleur mount in favor of an interchangeable dropout system that allows the Karate Monkey to be set with 10mm track-ends for singlespeed use, vertical dropouts for use with a 10mm quick-release axle and a 12x142 thru-axle version with a Shimano Direct-Mount hanger.
This modular dropout system, introduced on the redesigned Instigator last fall, and also employed on the Ice Cream Truck is also incorporated into the 2014 Krampus. The updated Karate Monkey and Krampus are expected to be available by April.
Last but not least, the Karate Monkey gets a new bronze/clearcoat paint option, dubbed “spray tan”