Home > Bike Types > Commuter

Surly Pack Rat front loads w/ two wheel sizes for new light touring rig

50
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

One of a few new bikes that Surly launched (or will launch soon) from Saddle Drive, the Pack Rat has arrived. Aptly named, the Pack Rat is all about brining your gear along – only on the front of your bike rather than the rear. Technically, the Pack Rat is in the style of a randonneuring bike, but in a typically Surly way, they’ve gone about it with their own style.

Starting with a 4130 chromoly steel frame with a double butted main triangle, the frame itself is classic Surly. Threaded bottom bracket, straight 1 1/8″ head tube, rim brake only, and Gnot-Rite 132.5mm dropout spacing for 130 or 135mm rear wheels. Sold complete as a 2×10, the Shimano drivetrain includes a 48/34t chainring combo and 11-34t cassette.

What really sets the Pack Rat apart is the new fork and front end that has been designed with loaded riding in mind. The custom fork includes braze ons for a front rack, and the complete bike even includes the Surly 24 pack rack. Riding with substantial weight on the front end can tend to slow a bike’s steering or cause the weight to feel like it’s pulling you through turns, so Surly worked to find a geometry that made the bike ride better while loaded. By quickening the steering while unloaded, Surly says that the bike rides more predictably when loaded – though it’s still fine when riding unloaded.

Additionally, the front fork has accommodations for internal dynamo wiring so you can add a dynamo hub while you’re at it.

26″ Wheeled geometry
650b Wheeled geometry

The last design consideration came down to the wheels. Surly wanted to keep the weigh as low as possible, so they claim to have settled on 650b wheels and tires as a result. However, to keep toe overlap to a minimum, the 38-50cm frames use 26 x 1.5″ WTB slick tires instead. The 650b bikes use 42mm Paris-Moto slicks from Panaracer. Maximum tire clearance is listed as 26 x 2.0″ and 650b x 48mm respectively.

To be offered as a frameset or a complete, the complete builds will go for $1349. Get more details on the Surly site below.

surlybikes.com

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

50 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Woody
Woody
5 years ago

Someone @ Surly has finally figured out reach and stack!

unrightfullyso
unrightfullyso
5 years ago

Awesome!

kimbo305
kimbo305
5 years ago

So I guess now Surly has cornered the supply of 650B rims with brake tracks.

feldybikes
5 years ago

Can someone explain the TT seat tube angle on the 26″ models? I get they’re adjusting it with frame size, but it changes gradually with the 650b frames, then a big jump where it remains static.

Woody
Woody
5 years ago
Reply to  feldybikes

It’s so you can fit tri-bars obvs

kimbo305
kimbo305
5 years ago
Reply to  feldybikes

High STA is a way to reduce reach (at the cost of natural/optimal pedaling angle), so it makes sense to do that for all of their smaller frame sizes (anything <50cm ETT, imo).

Keeping the same STA means that all of their 26" frames can use the same rear triangles, gaining efficiency in mitering/welding.

TheKaiser
5 years ago
Reply to  kimbo305

STA does not alter reach, it alters top tube length. I know some people will use the term “reach” to refer to how far the rider has to reach to the handlebars when seated, but that is not the generally accepted use of the word.

Also, I disagree with anyone who states that a change in STA equals a change in bike fit. With layback posts allowing +/- 25mm of adjustment, plus the saddle rails offering another 25mm+ range, it is unlikely that any of the commonly used STAs will put you outside the range that can be completely compensated for with a simple saddle adjustment. Until those adjustments are maxxed out, then STA is not the limiting factor in achieving a given seated pedaling position.

mudrock
mudrock
5 years ago

Very high bb drop numbers for a touring bike, higher than traditional cross bikes. So, slow steering, and high bb giving the rider less stability. Odd.

mudrock
mudrock
5 years ago
Reply to  mudrock

Or low numbers , giving one a high bottom bracket. you get the idea.

mudrock
mudrock
5 years ago
Reply to  mudrock

slow steering when loaded that is, have to start proof reading my comments

Fred Gravelly
Fred Gravelly
5 years ago
Reply to  mudrock

I wish the straggler had geometry like this (steeper ht/sta, slightly slanted tt, normal stack/reach) Surly said they wouldn’t put a sloping tt on a ‘cross’ bike… lol

Volsung
Volsung
5 years ago
Reply to  mudrock

Traditional cross bikes have 700c wheels. With 650b or 26″ the BB would have to be higher to not get pedal strikes.

mudrock
mudrock
5 years ago

And a slanted top tube, when the Cross Check and Straggler are level. WTF

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago

Why rim braked only? Surly (ha ha!) a disc version is in the cards?

Daniel M
Daniel M
5 years ago

I really hope they do as they did with the LHT and offer the 26″ wheels across the board. A 58cm frame with clearance for 26×2.3″ (60mm) slicks, and some way to tension the chain for SS/Rohloff, is my current dream. And Surly confirmed something I’ve long suspected in their blog post – companies feel legally compelled to beef up frames to work with disc brakes. I want to build the lightest possible steel all-road bike around a Rohloff hub (which is not light at all) and I keep coming back to rim brakes (v-brakes for me) in order to get a lighter and livelier frame.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Daniel M

Surly has a price point to hit, which is why their disc bikes may be significantly overbuilt (if they are to begin with).
Companies feel compelled to make things that don’t break. There are no “legal compliance constraints” with disc brakes that aren’t there for anything else. If they are “beefing up” just for legal reasons, that a poor excuse. They should be “beefing up” based on design and test studies to ensure the things don’t fail. Surly’s blog, for better or worse, is also a marketing piece and seems targeted to a specific audience.

Anyway, I don’t disagree that at a price point, disc options may be heavier or harsher (especially on steel forks). I wouldn’t base your decision on that though. You really need to ride different options and not base it on preconceived notions of how a disc bike will ride vs rim brake. A 0.5-1 lb difference isn’t going to matter on an bike designed for some degree of loaded touring to begin with.

Woody
Woody
5 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

“no “legal compliance constraints” with disc brakes that aren’t there for anything else”

Apart from the small fact that there’s a complete different set of ISO testing procedures for disc-equipped frames and forks vs. rim brake (presuming you want something that’s compliant)

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Woody

No what I am saying is that Surly’s blog post makes it seem disc brakes have all these extra superfluous lawyer driven constraints. That is simply untrue. Yes the tests are different (and more of them) which can make testing cost higher. Everything still needs to be designed correctly, disc or rim. And it’s not like they don’t make a disc design. They are simply making excuses.

Woody
Woody
5 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

That’s cool, hip Surly talk for ISO test regs. Testing for disc compliance in steel means overbuilding, plain and simple – hence the rims brakes and the blogpost defending the decision.

Alta
Alta
5 years ago

Am I the only one who still thinks Surly’s bikes are very long and low for non race bikes?

Shafty
Shafty
5 years ago

This BS halfway dropout spacing is silly. I’m nearly over Surly in general, because of traditionalist crap like this, and their reluctance to ditch brake bosses on Ogre/Troll. Who cares if it fits BOTH 130 and 135? Just pick one. Nearly all riders stick with their original wheels for the bike’s lifetime anyways. Why no disc brakes?! Between the BFD and this, they’re losing it.

Ray
Ray
5 years ago
Reply to  Shafty

Shafty,

Indeed, the people who just want to “pick one” have about 1000 odd bikes to choose from. Surly is for the rest of us. The tinkerers, the rat-roders, the broke-ish bike nerds, and the big boned guys and gals, the victims of brow beating bikeshop know-it-alls. They make bikes for the, “oh shit, I just cracked my ancient Trek 9000 that I’ve been riding to work for ten years; do you guys have a frame that is reliable but will accept all my old parts!?” guy. Yes, yes we do. Surly, if you’re listening, keep the godd*mn brake bosses! If you don’t…I’ll have to break out my artisanal voodoo doll collection! “Who cares” you ask? I care. Give these weirdos some credit, they’ve been ahead of the curve so many times (fatbikes, plus bikes, 29’ers). I say, keep up the good work and listen to those with positive and instructive criticism!

Shafty
Shafty
5 years ago
Reply to  Ray

If all you’ve got is name calling and a repeat of an uncommon fringe case for an argument, I’ll say you’ve proven my point as easily. I’d say it’s quite a sign when your ancient bike cracks. It’s probably worn in other areas too. It might be time to move on! How much is somebody saving when they replace half their drivetrain, cables all around, headset, new stem, frame/fork and then shop labor rate on top of it? I get the tack you’re taking, it seems to come from a place of resisting wastefulness, but it’s not always best for the customer long-term.

And really, if someone has to replace a wheel(an old one at that), what’s the big deal replacing it? You talk as though people typically maintain they’re bikes perfectly, and the only reason they’re retired is for frame failure. Why is cobbling so highly regarded?

Kenneth
Kenneth
5 years ago
Reply to  Shafty

Yeah, that’s right. Preach it Shafty! I’ve never understood the desire to cobble along some barely functioning unsafe bicycle. Things wear out and reach their intended life cycle, sometimes you just need to move on and get over it.

@Ray “victims of brow beating bike shop know-it-alls” Seriously? It’s a bike, you wore it out. You rode your bike a lot, you should be stoked.

lop
lop
5 years ago
Reply to  Kenneth

Exactly. Why is the bike industry the only place where people think that their 20+ year old sporting good still owes them something?

Ray
Ray
5 years ago
Reply to  Shafty

Gentlemen, gentlemen! I think there’s been some miscommunication here!

My point is this: The fringe case! Exactly! Why the hell not? I’m not going to argue that Surly makes bikes for everyone. Sure, they’re weird. They’re kooky. But why disparage (as you did) a company for giving people the option!? Do you hate options? No, you don’t, I’m sure of it!

A thought experiment, a ‘fringe case’ if you will. A scenario familiar to shops that deal with-service, have the pleasurable patronage of commuters–as you so aptly put, bikes wear out, so do their parts, etc. Now, does it make sense for someone who has, say, just invested in a IGH/daynamo wheelset, lovingly built by their shop for their trusty old commuter to junk the whole thing and get a fill-in-the-blank whatever you’d have them buy? Maybe they could just take that wheelset, add a Surly frame, keep their old parts and have a great day! Or maybe not. But why not have the option!?

When was the last time you wore out a handlebar? On your commuter bike? How about a stem? A seatpost? Hold on, hold on, we’re almost there! That’s why cobbling is so great, because parts are awesome. We’ve all got boxes of stuff laying around. You could probably go to your garage, or to a shop, fill a trash bag with random parts, toss a Surly in there, shake it around and come out with a completely rideable bike! And how much does it save? Now that’s a question worth asking! I guess it’s nice to have the option to find out.

Kenneth, sir. Surely you know that some shops harbor an unseemly conceitedness towards you and I. Doubtless you also know that sometimes it’s hard to make a good joke. Well, in case you missed it, that was my intent. Not everyone who ends up riding a Surly is a hipster weirdo cobble-freak. Some people ride them because someone with a beard and bad manners told them they should. And she might’ve even been right (joke). Bicycles are not human beings, they don’t just die. There are so many decent-even super awesome-parts out there. Good thing someone is thinking about how to use them rather than how to get you rolling on some new carbon hoops (not that I don’t love hoops).

Many happy returns, Shafty and Kenneth.

Wow!

The End.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Ray

I support this Ray, have faith.

It’s not like surly’s are sleek well finished bespoke frames and an unused boss makes the whole thing crude.
They are “crude”. Enjoy and benefit from that crudeness.

Stujo
Stujo
5 years ago
Reply to  Shafty

Imagine disliking that a touring bike has options to run both rim and disc brakes, them coming to bikerumor.com and expressing this dislike in the form of a comment on a post about Surly bikes.

Anonymous coward
Anonymous coward
5 years ago
Reply to  Stujo

If your riding a steel bike you are already a fringe case. I say that as someone that owns five steel bikes. The last non steel bike I owned was a 2001 Konami Stuff with an aluminum frame. My nicest bike is a 2014 Jamis Dragon pro made from Reynolds 853 steel. Absolutely lovely bike. 120mm travel hardtail with a slackish geometry that weights under 25 pounds but can take the beating of a much bigger bike. Oh and its cobbled together. It has carbon wheels, xtr drive train, Thompson post, Ritchey WCS Trail bar and stem, and a double crankset. It works perfect for my situation, because it was built for my situation. A cobbled together bike doesn’t imply it’s clapped out. Grow up and let people enjoy their rides even if it’s not your fancy.

Mike Franke
Mike Franke
5 years ago

I really, really don’t need another bike, but this is probably the one I want next. Frame and fork, please, because I’ll need to blow a boatload of money on Paul Components for it.

fred
fred
5 years ago

This bike seems alright, but Surly just makes too many bikes that are too similar. Crosscheck, straggler, lht, lht disc, this, plus – you can setup most of their mountain bikes the same way!! focus guys. focus. you dont need 6+ bikes that all do the same thing.

As for the dropout spacing, eh, whatever, it doesn’t make much difference for usability either way. What i can’t stand are forward facing semi horizontal dropouts… WHY??

-->
-->
5 years ago
Reply to  fred

Amen! I’m a long-time Surly lover/owner, but there are too many bikes in their lineup that do the same thing. Want a bike that can take a front load and ride fine? Try a cross-check, straggler, karate monkey, troll, lht, ecr, wednesday, etc… Purchase a fork with mounts and stick it on your pacer, krampus, even a steamroller. There’s pretty much every tire size you could want already.
Surly makes solid, heavy bikes that all do basically the same thing (in their category)

This bike already exists *sighhhhh

ascarlarkinyar
5 years ago

Oh wait this has been done already, it’s a randonneur bike…. the tiny sliver between a road bike and a touring bike. Why? Just to release something new? How about a 29er fat bike instead.

Tom in MN
Tom in MN
5 years ago

Pictures don’t show the 10 speed 4700 Tiagra the spec sheet indicates. Too bad, it would have been better to stick to more compatible 9 speed setup, which I think is what is shown.

Papi
Papi
5 years ago

Finally, a road bike with a QR seat collar.

Fred Gravelly
Fred Gravelly
5 years ago

Yeah, as if this wasn’t a “surly”-enough bike.. why the semi-horiz dropouts??

Eric Daume
5 years ago

I liked the dropouts on my Cross Check, and had no problem with the 132.5 spacing.

The dropouts let me easily run fixed or geared, and with fixed, they were long enough to accommodate a cog change by sliding the wheel back and forth (like the Riv Quickbeam).

132.5 spacing was simply transparent. I never noticed anything negative about it, except I could either road or mountain wheels.

Too bad this frame doesn’t have big sizes for tall guys like me, but I’m guessing the stack would still be too low anyway.

Dave B
Dave B
5 years ago

“132.5 spacing was simply transparent. I never noticed anything negative about it…”
+100 I had a Cross Check with the same spacing and never saw any disadvantages. The potential versatility was nice and there was no down side. Why pick only one?

Years ago during the transition from 6/7-speed to 8-speed, several manufactures provided 127.5 mm rear spacing to allow either 126 mm or 130 mm hubs on the same frame. Again, no disadvantages.

Fred Gravelly
Fred Gravelly
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave B

The negative side is frames cracking over time due to constant stress changes on the chainstays.

Eric Daume
5 years ago
Reply to  Fred Gravelly

It’s moving 1.25mm per side on a tough steel frame. Any evidence of all these cracked frames from moving 1.25mm per wheel change?

Eddie
Eddie
5 years ago
Reply to  Fred Gravelly

From that 1.25mm flex each side.. right.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Fred Gravelly

Stress changes?
Your frame flexes way more and more dynamically from riding. Surly’s spacing isn’t causing issues on their frame which are pretty beefy

S
S
5 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

When will they release the proprietary 132.5 hub ?? Lol

mtb4me
mtb4me
5 years ago

Love that regardless of opinions, Surly news (rare) gets tons of attention vs the newest bluetooth-enabled U-Lock, graphene nanotube’d tire or peleton catfight….just yappin’

S
S
5 years ago

“…Sure, they’re weird. They’re kooky. But why disparage (as you did) a company for giving people the option!?”

Why? Because I would love it if a company like Surly said “Instead of wasting time & $$$ on board meetings about designing/testing/building & promoting a new niche bicycle that we pretty much already make (2 or 3x over) we have streamlined our already extensive line of similar bicycles and now offer them at an even lower price for the new year. We even got over our fear of a slightly angled toptube on our cross bikes because anyone racing a surly either doesn’t gaf or know the reason the tt should be flat & we fixed the ill-fitting geo & stack/reach on the Straggler. We even made a better non-proprietary fork/rack mount system”

Homme
Homme
5 years ago

Bring on Surly’s new MidNight Special fast(ish) road bike! Hopefully it will be designed around 650B+, and spec’d with Surly Sunrise bars and wide range 1 x 11 groupset.

Wally
Wally
5 years ago
Reply to  Homme

Shhh! Respect the embargo!

jb
jb
5 years ago

Should be 1 1/8″ steerer, not 1 1/8″ headtube. Bonus points to Surly for not knowing what they are selling.

JImbo
JImbo
5 years ago

Frame stack on a 58cm Pack Rat is only 561mm.
For comparison, frame stack on a 58cm LHT is 606mm.
So the handlebars on a 58cm Pack Rat would be almost 2″ lower than the LHT.
(with respect to the crank)
I really want to like this bike but this would make the ride position not nearly
as comfortable as a LHT or other bike with a larger stack.
Why is the frame stack on these bikes so low?

Gerpy Tokumeino
Gerpy Tokumeino
4 years ago

Hi, the pictures here make the green appear very different from the color in Surly material. It is much darker in Surly’s picture. How is it actually ? More like this or more like on Surly’s website ?

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.