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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sand Rat View Post
    I mean, what do you suppose is going on at Surly Headquarters as they read what is being said about them here?
    They're pondering the following list of options:

    1) Uh-oh, they're on to us. Take the money and run!

    2) Re-tool marketing strategy to reflect a new, post-ironic era. Replace with ultra-sincere, family values oriented strategy.

    3) Double down on the current strategy. Forgo paint altogether. Send reps to clients' homes to pee on their carpets.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Danger View Post
    Um, I think a lot of people are forgetting that Surly has made much of its money by selling bikes nobody else was making. I'm not sure how much image has to do with it.
    Hey Slow Danger, is that Lancelot Link "Secret Chimp"?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9hwZotllHc
    Last edited by ward; 07-04-2014 at 11:27 AM.

  3. #53
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    I mean, what do you suppose is going on at Surly Headquarters as they read what is being said about them here?
    Probably laughing for a moment and then resuming not giving a ****.

    they know their target audience well, I'm sure they don't care about the trolls.
    Transition Bandit 29
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfatbaldguy View Post
    If you're old enough, you just might remember the International Harvester pickups and the Travelall. Studebaker cars and trucks, too.

    Would they still be around today if they had marketed them like Surly?

    Checker car company made klunky 56-chevy-looking cars for 20 years. Until about 1982 anyone could buy one new and drive it 500,000 miles. A few people did.

    If they had marketed them like Surly?
    The Internationals are still around and if I was listening to Death Metal and riding a Ogre I would be driving this truck.
    An Analysis Of Surly's Marketing Strategy-cxt_truck_001.jpg
    If I wanted a creepy van International has one of those too, just to move the Ice Cream Truck out of school zones.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME View Post
    ...surlys are over priced, its been posted here many times....how do they get away with it?...image ....image ties into fashion.
    To paraphrase you - Really?

    I know how they get away with it. They use a cunning strategy of aiming at folk who actually ride their bikes to places instead of around in circles, and then provide a bicycle that handles well and can take a beating. I'm happy to pay a decent price for a simple sturdy steel bike. Looked after, I know it will last 100 years like some of my other simple steel bikes have.

    As for image, maybe that's more something of concern to the trailpark pseudoracer heroes with their weight weenied anodised carbonised blinglespeeds. Most people I know with Surlys are riding them well away from the admiring crowds.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Hey Slow Danger, is that Lancelot Link "Secret Chimp"?
    Dragon Woman is hot. She makes me go right into display mode.
    You're so cute internet tough guy. Noogie...Noogie...Noogie.

  7. #57
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    Surly sells an image; that image is centered around idiosyncratic bicycles. To compare them to premium brands like Prada & Gucci is more than a stretch, though; it's nearly a laughable troll. It's more apropos to compare Surly to one of the most iconic American brands, Harley Davidson. Like the Motor Company, Surly is selling a lifestyle and that lifestyle is explicit in their marketing: Rugged, bearded, beer-guzzling guys who DGAF. Like Harley, their bikes are not even remotely technologically advanced, (although not without innovation); they feature lower-grade, 4130 Cromo, Deore derailleurs, mechanical brakes, and other less than cutting edge components. Rather than shy away from their performance deficits, they make it the centerpiece of their marketing. "We ride bikes. We drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. We don't wear spandex. We DGAF. Racing Sucks!" Their blogging and social media are hugely entertaining, irreverent and occasionally crass; they even pretend to not like doing these things, because as a company, they DGAF.

    Also like Harley Davidson, they know the value of their image and price their products accordingly. The Pugsley is essentially an $800 bike with a fancy wheel set on it. Nashbar's virtually identical, $900, also Chinese-made "BiG Ol' Fatbike" (they've raised their prices since then, but it was originally out at that price point) is proof enough. What do you get for the $600-800 difference? You get a huge boat-load of "I Don't Give a F@¢k," which for a lot of people, is worth the premium. (you also get, if you're lucky, after-sale & warranty service from your local bikeshop, which is also quite valuable and arguably worth the additional $$, as well.)

    Surly's marketing is abso-f@¢kingly brilliant. I really, really dig it. They are a fun company to follow and the characters, at least the characters in the marketing department, seem to be having a blast. If they weren't in Minneapolis, MN, I'd kill to work for them. If it wasn't for the near ubiquity of Surly fatbikes in the midwest, I would have never have known about them and would have never bought a fatbike. (I visited my home town, Davenport, IA, 2 years ago- before then I'd never seen, nor heard of a fatbike. They're quite plentiful there and I made the mistake of riding someone's Ops Pug and it was all over for me.) My first fatty was a Pugsley that I put about 1200 miles on in 9 months of ownership; I stopped riding my 29er, in fact. Hat's off to Surly, without them, we wouldn't be here and fatbikes would be another obscure, b@stardized niche like 32ers or tandem Mtbs.

    Let's be honest though: Surly's bikes are wonderfully flawed devices that use their flaws as selling points: they're heavy, they're crude and lack refinement. It's a little absurd to get butt-hurt and defensive when someone says that the emperor has no clothes. Surly knows that, and you know what? They DGAF, why should you?
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  8. #58
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    Can we get back to talking about what is important like death metal and beer? Oh and SUrLY bikes are not overpriced they just cost more than cheaper bikes.
    And I love beer!!

  9. #59
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    Beer? Ok!
    Last edited by Gigantic; 07-06-2014 at 03:32 AM.
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    ...Surly's bikes are wonderfully flawed devices that use their flaws as selling points: they're heavy, they're crude and lack refinement...
    Hmmm, perfect match with most Surly owners then...
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Can we get back to talking about what is important like death metal and beer? Oh and SUrLY bikes are not overpriced they just cost more than cheaper bikes.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Hmmm, perfect match with most Surly owners then...
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  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    The Internationals are still around
    Thanks for asserting my point, Co-opski...niche marketing works. That isnt your father's C- or D- series truck, but its "in your face" style does appeal to a certain market segment, Im sure. Which is a larger market share: the Luddite responding to the wealthy redneck resource hog, or wealthy redneck?

    I imagine very few cyclists are among the few hundred buyers of extreme trucks, though. In fact, I'd expect these drivers to be a definite hazard to cyclists.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfatbaldguy View Post
    Thanks for asserting my point, Co-opski...niche marketing works. That isnt your father's C- or D- series truck, but its "in your face" style does appeal to a certain market segment, Im sure. Which is a larger market share: the Luddite responding to the wealthy redneck resource hog, or wealthy redneck?

    I imagine very few cyclists are among the few hundred buyers of extreme trucks, though. In fact, I'd expect these drivers to be a definite hazard to cyclists.
    My old Unimog...


    Was never a danger to cyclists... in fact shuttled several. Not "high dollar" (or high speed) but an awesome "tool" of a truck none the less. Wish I still had it... would be an awesome fat biking truck! Would need a Surly sticker!!

  15. #65
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    I have also analysed Surly's Marketing Strategy........


    It is Successful

    Disclaimer :- Pug owner, various Surly Fat Rims and lots of their excessive (tyre) Rubber.
    A Fatback'd Lefty for who life IS a Beach

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    My old Unimog...


    Would need a Surly sticker!!
    I'd agree!

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    That's marketing. Surly has done some brilliant marketing- they've managed to make straight gauge 4130 bikes desirable. 20 years ago, straight gauge 4130 was considered 1 step better than gas pipe. then the steel bike market almost died and all the fancy steels (which, honestly, were just fancier, manipulated and carefully drawn versions of 4130) went away.

    They charge a pretty high price for what would have once been considered a bottom of the barrel frame. It's a $500 hotrock frame.

    They've cultivated a "blue collar" attitude... or at least what middle class kids think blue collar means. Hang out with some blue collar folks and you'll find that what surly sells as blue collar and what blue collar actually means are two very different things. Blue collar means you don't have a lot of cash, and you take meticulous care of your gear because you bought the best you could get and you want it to last- the faux dirtball attitude that surly sells isn't blue collar. Watch blue collar guys take care of their Harleys sometime- do they let dirt sit on the chrome for more than a second? No. Do they buy unattractive colors? No. Do they ride their gear hard and put it away wet? No. They take care of it.

    What you see as a blue collar attitude is blue collar as envisioned by hipsters who's only real connection to blue collar is a sons of anarchy marathon.

    I would suggest that surly is a lot more like deBeers than Gucci- a company based on manufacturing false scarcity.

    Couldn't have said it better myself. The brilliant part of Surly's marketing is that they sell a run of the mill steel "Made in Taiwan" frame and convince some people that it is cool and unique. I like my Pugsley because it skirts the edge of being retro and innovative and I would be buying an Ice Cream Truck if it wasn't for that press fit BB.

    With the fat bike market getting more competitive, I think the people who say that Surly's are overpriced aren't saying that they are the most expensive, only that you can get any number of made in Taiwan bikes with better or similar specs for less.

    I am actually actively trying to destroy the Surly image in the following ways when riding my Pugsley:

    1. Wearing spandex and other assorted bright cycling clothes that I am to cheap to replace from the 80's and 90's.
    2. Not having tattoos
    3. Not having a cool hairdo, beard or chain wallet.
    4. Using clip less pedals.
    5. Being really nice to people.

    Surly could send me a cease and desist order with some cool new clothes to change this behavior but I doubt they can convince my wife to like gnarly beards.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntm1973 View Post
    ...only that you can get any number of made in Taiwan bikes with better or similar specs for less...
    But that's the rub. Where, and more importantly, when?

    When I bought my 1x1, I didn't know of any other similar frameset that was generally available at a better price, or I would have bought it.

    No-one was building anything like the Instigator when I bought it.

    The Pugsley was the only choice when I bought it. There is still very little alternative if you want to use hubgears.

    On behalf of all old Surly owners, I must apologise.

    You see we didn't realise we were being fashionable or trendy when we bought our bikes on the basis they were to do a job rather than the aura around them.

    Is that a fashion sin? I abase myself in horror at my ignorance in buying bikes fit for purpose.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  19. #69
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    Careful guys...
    keep gong and that carefully cultivated image will become so thin as to reveal a great contradiction. But many instinctively already knew that through mesmerized by the image.

    A successful business can't be built upon such a in your face attitude and last, their product would become a distant runner-up to our great film-flam man...TC
    Just like Fat Bikes...the posters on here can go anywhere...and do.

  20. #70
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    Remember That One Bike, That That One Guy Had? | Blog | Surly Bikes

    I think this blog post pretty much sums up why surly bikes are awesome. Because people who ride surly bikes ride bikes like these.

  21. #71
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    does marketing also play into reverse psychology?

    I hate the sub-culture being portrayed by their blog and would never associate with 'em folks.. yet i own 2 surlys..

    i like them because their bikes are anti tour de france stuff.. and they don't have flashy decals and i associate with owners of surly's and the context in which they use their bikes.

  22. #72
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    Just bought another Surly. Damn those ba$tards got me again!
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  23. #73
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    If we think we have a decent grasp of all things Surly, anyone up for going to the next level?

    What widgets of mass dependence does Surly have hidden away in their quiver to surprise us with next?
    Just like Fat Bikes...the posters on here can go anywhere...and do.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sand Rat View Post
    If we think we have a decent grasp of all things Surly, anyone up for going to the next level?

    What widgets of mass dependence does Surly have hidden away in their quiver to surprise us with next?
    A tire + rim combo that's 0.25" too big to fit into existing fatbike frames and a frame + fork that is compatible.
    Safe riding,

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  25. #75
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    Just picked up a new Singleator yesterday. It came packed in a brown paper bag stapled closed with a label slapped on it. Beats the crap out of all these plastic blister-packed things out there.

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