One of the more exciting bikes that was shown at Interbike 2006 was the Surly Big Dummy. However, a year later, the bike is still not available. Surly has spent the last year riding and tweaking the bike to make it exactly what they want and it will finally be released this December.
This bike was built to be a work horse and works perfectly with all the Xtracycle accessories. Their frame will fix some of the problems people have had with converting their bikes to the Xtracycle and, if they’re anything like the other Surly products, will be as strong as an ox.
My presuppositions on this bike was that it would tend to flop over if you load down one side of the panniers and that it would be hard to maneuver in tight space. I was wrong on both counts.
I took my messenger packed that was full of clothes, shoes, SLR camera, tools, etc and stuffed it in one side of the FreeLoader packs and started pedaling away. At extremely low speeds you can feel the bike pull to one side, however if you maintain any kind of speed you won’t feel a thing.
Once I spent some time riding around on some gravel and paved roads I took it into a parking lot to see how it handles in tight turns. I’ve gotten pretty good at doing really tight circles on my other commuter rigs and wanted to see how this would do. Surprisingly, it felt just as nimble as my other bikes.
Oh yeah, and the bonus feature of this bike… the long wheelbase and lower center of gravity from the extra weight in the packs makes this bike extremely easy to trackstand on. I’ve gotten decent at my trackstands but this bike made me look like a pro!
As I only spent about 45 minutes on this bike I can’t give a full review, but my initial impression is that the Surly Big Dummy will be a great bike to use on a daily basis. Whether it a trip to the grocery store, your ride to work or hauling trash, this bike may just be the perfect rig for a lot of people.