Surly Big Dummy review

(Bike) stand and deliver with this long rider

BikeRadar score4/5

In cycling terms this is truly a big beast, a two-wheeled behemoth designed to carry you and your payload up to a maximum of 400lb, around 181kg. Or maybe just you, if you’re bigger-boned or slightly large…

    There is a technique to loading the Big Dummy, the main rules being to load the bike stand-side first, and loading left and right evenly. Do those two things and you’ll have no problems. And the same is true of the handling. True, it’s a leisurely bike, and you will need the low gears when climbing, but this genuinely does swallow loads like few other bikes. There are accessories from Surly or Xtracycle to add further load-carrying versatility – even a sidecar with a third wheel.

    You will need to be prepared to chat with interested pedestrians, fellow cyclists and even car drivers when you’re on this. And if you live in a flat or plan to stick it in your car, check out its weight and size first. As for taking it on a train, you’d best forget it – that ain’t gonna happen.

    But if you’re thinking of ditching your car or regularly carry very large loads on your bike, this is a serious proposition, and in spite of its name this Surly is definitely no dummy.

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Simon has been cycling for as long as he can remember, and more seriously since his time at university in the Dark Ages (the 1980s). This has taken in time trialling, duathlon and triathlon and he has toured extensively in Asia and Australasia, including riding solo 2900km from Cairns to Melbourne. He now mainly rides as a long-distance commuter and leisure/fitness rider. He has been testing bikes and working for Cycling Plus in various capacities for nearly 20 years.
    • Age: 53
    • Height: 175cm / 5'9
    • Weight: 75kg /165lb
    • Waist: 33in
    • Discipline: Road, touring, commuting
    • Current Bikes: Rose SL3000, Hewitt steel tourer
    • Beer of Choice: Samuel Adams Boston Lager
    • Location: Bath, UK

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