The Surly Preamble proves that not every bike has to do everything, or at least, that’s the official line from the Minnesotan bike brand. The steel frame, fabricated from Surly’s ‘Natch tubing, joins their Pavement line as one of the more affordable options. They say it is designed for comfort, durability and general buffoonery on mostly paved surfaces, but with clearance for 700c x 41mm tires, it appears to be sufficiently equipped to venture onto more uneven, less predictable surfaces.
Ison, the UK Distributor for Surly, gave us a preamble to the Preamble at CORE Bike. Here’s a quick look.
Surly Preamble Steel Road Bike
“We design our steel road bikes for versatility rather than race results, and the only wind tunnels we use are the ones attached to us”, says Surly. The new Preamble is one such steel road bike, fabricated in Taiwan from the brand’s ‘Natch tubeset with custom tube sizes and butting profiles seen across the XS-XL frame size range. Riders from 5ft to 6ft 7″ are accommodated.
The XS and S frames get a short chainstay length of 420mm, allowing clearance for 650b x 41mm tires, with sloping top tubes helping to keep standover height sensible. The M, L and XL frames see a chainstay length of 435mm for fitting in 700c x 41mm tires; that is with or without fenders.
Indeed, the Surly Preamble boasts multiple accoutrements for the addition of a variety of practical items such as fenders, racks and Anything Cages on the fork. The seat tube and downtube are both graced with a set of bottle bosses. The fork is of Surly’s own design, also fabricated from chromoly steel with a 1-1/8″ steerer tube rotatably coupled to a 34mm headtube.
At the rear, we see a custom-cast single-position vertical dropout, as seen on the Surly Bridge Club. Surly opt for quick release thru-axles front and rear for the tool-free ease of use.
The Preamble frame geometry is said to play nicely with both drop bar and flat bar setups, and complete builds of both variations are offered in addition to a basic frameset.
Pricing & Availability
The Surly Preamble frameset goes for £650 and is available in Thorfrost White and Skyrim Blue colorways. The Drop Bar complete bike offering (pictured above) comes in Thorfrost White only and is priced at £1,399. Spec highlights include a microSHIFT 1 x 9 group with 11-36t cog and a Salsa Cowbell Bar. The XS & S bikes get 650b x 1.35″ Kenda Standard tires, while the M, L & XL bikes get 700c x 35mm Kenda Kwest tires.
The Surly Preamble Flat Bar offering comes in that Skyrim Blue color and is more affordable at £1099. Highlights on this build include the microSHIFT Acolyte 1 x 8 group with a 12-42t range and a Kalloy handlebar with a 35mm rise and a 9° backsweep. The XS & S bikes get 650b x 1.35″ Kenda Standard tires, while the M, L & XL bikes get 700c x 35mm Kenda Kwest tires. For more comprehensive info on build spec options, head to the Surly Bikes website.