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.

Surly Ghost Grappler complete dropbar mountain bike

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.

Surly Ghost Grappler frameset

 

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.

Surly Ghost Grappler rear bottle mount seat stay

There’s even bottle bosses on the seat stays for additional hydration needs.

riding Surly Ghost Grappler on trails

Surly Ghost Grappler geometry

Geometry

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.

Surly Ghost Grappler complete bike

 

Surly Ghost Grappler spec & pricing

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.

surlybikes.com

 

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rodegeek
rodegeek
4 months ago

As a very tall rider I like that stack spec! Nice to have lots of bottle mounts but I’d but a bottle by the rear dropout as a last resort – that’s about the dirtiest place on a bike.

Rowdy
Rowdy
4 months ago
Reply to  rodegeek

Downtube is dirtier. I’d be more concerned with it snagging on something. But I’d run it on a bikepack tour.

N C
N C
4 months ago

The worst part about drop bar mountain bikes is the expense of the brifters. I’m wondering how a set of TRP Hylex brakes with AXS buttons grafted on would work. Still probably cheaper than a set of 11sp GRX brifters at $800.

Rowdy
Rowdy
4 months ago
Reply to  N C

If you’re talking about running AXS then it’s kinda ironic that cost is an issue for you. Seems like barend shifters and a basic drivetrain would be just fine for someone concerned about economy.

Yep
Yep
4 months ago
Reply to  Rowdy

Microshift makes an eagle-compatible bar-end shifter. It’s awesome for something like this.

K B
K B
4 months ago
Reply to  N C

Hylex+Blips works fantastic and is great looking but definitely NOT cheaper, since it requires the $400 blip box

Phil
Phil
4 months ago

Looks like Surly is late to the drop bar mtb party. Salsa, Singular and a host of other brands have been doing these kind of bikes for years…….and the silly 27.5 wheels! Put some proper rubber on it! (29″)

Timmy
Timmy
4 months ago

“growing popularity of bikepacking”… Is it 2014 again? That’s just a surly fargo up there^^^°