The growing popularity of bikepacking is helping shape a new breed of bikes. When it comes to picking the right bike for adventures off the beaten path, there’s often a level of compromise required between choosing a mountain bike or a gravel bike. Which is probably why we’re seeing more bikes like the new Surly Ghost Grappler—a dedicated drop bar bike, but with geometry and tire size ideally suited for use on rugged trails.
What kind of bike is the Surly Ghost Grappler?
Simply put, the Surly Ghost Grappler is a trail mountain bike with geometry meant for running drop bars. Running drop bars on mountain bikes is nothing new—but we’re starting to see more bikes with geometry specifically meant for the curly bars. That provides another option for those looking for the comfort and multiple hand positions of dropbars without simply slapping them on a mountain bike frame without the proper geometry.
Made from Surly’s proprietary ‘Natch chromoly tubeset, the frame includes a 1 1/8″ head tube for a non-suspension corrected chromoly fork. Because of that, you probably aren’t going to want to put a suspension fork on this bike, but clearance for up to 27.5 x 2.8″ or 29 x 2.1″ tires should provide adequate cushion over rough terrain.
Thru axles are found front and rear, with the rear getting Surly’s Gnot-Boost spacing. That means you can run either 12 x 142 or 12 x 148mm rear hubs in the same dropout. Those custom dropouts also allow for single-speed or geared use. The fork runs a 15 x 110mm Boost spacing.
True to Surly’s design ethos, the frame uses a standard threaded bottom bracket, external cable routing (except for the internal dropper option), and tons of mounts for everything from racks, to fenders, to bags, bottles, and more.
There’s even bottle bosses on the seat stays for additional hydration needs.
Offered in five sizes, Surly states that the Ghost Grappler features a higher stack and longer reach than similar sized bikes in their lineup, which should work well with wide bars and short stems.
Spec & pricing
Available as a complete bike or frameset, the completes will sell for $1,899 with a Microshift AdventX 1x drivetrain, 27.5 x 2.5″ tires, and Tektro Mira disc brakes. The framesets are priced at $799, which includes the frame, fork, axles, and seat post collar.