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  1. #1
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    An Analysis Of Surly's Marketing Strategy

    Hey, you, riding your champagne-colored Moonlander on the sidewalks of Boca Raton!

    Did you know Surly uses a marketing strategy that's equally effective for brands like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Burberry?

    The simple formula is:

    Rudeness + Exclusive Pricing = Brand Desirability

    Read about the research recently published by respected academics in the Journal of Consumer Research at the link below:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-we...203347972.html

    Discuss.

  2. #2
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    Are you just mad that you can't afford a surly?

    You should give examples or you just come off as surly malcontent.
    "The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks."
    -Douglas Adams

  3. #3
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    The Surly attitude beefs are worn. If you like a bike, buy it. If you don't, don't. Who cares about a Surly blogger's attitude.

  4. #4
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    So you're saying Surly is a luxury brand with exclusive pricing?

    You also missed the part about them testing this on 70 and 200 women, last time I checked men and women are different.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Spock View Post
    Discuss.
    Give the dog a bone?

    Too obvious...

  6. #6
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    All bike companies do it, but sometimes it's the reverse in "race to the bottom" pricing, and make hay on volume. The fat bike sector is going through that right now.

  7. #7
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    The fact that we're trying to compare the purchasing habits of a group of hypersensitive women looking for a $1000+ purse, vs a broad collection of men and women who like to get dirty, sweaty and bloody while playing in the mud, makes it difficult for me to see the parallels at play here.

    Besides, last time I checked, most bike shops sell the way they want to, and since Surly doesn't have a high end, exclusive carbon fiber road line, and offers nothing in the way of sales/marketing training to their dealers, I doubt you'll see much in the way of snobbery involved in the sale of a Pacer, Troll, or Karate Monkey, particularly when compared to a roadie exclusive shop selling euro branded everything, who tells you that your dirt covered MTB is not welcome in their boutique.

    Agreed, don't like the 'tude, don't read the blog. Want a solidly built, powder coated steel frame to beat the snot out of, buy one of their bikes if you want to.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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    Unless I'm misinterpreting this, I see Surly as the opposite of the exclusive brands. They are priced low enough that they are within reach of most cyclists and can be purchased almost everywhere. I'm seeing more correlation to the carbon fiber bikes that are now approaching 5 figures. Surly's blog seems more tongue-in-cheek, trying to embrace the anti-social skate punk attitude.

  9. #9
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    You know how I know you are not the REAL Mr. Spock?

















































    This thread.

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    Yeah, I feal real exlusive on my $2300 moonlander when a $6K plus carbon or Ti fatty is on a ride. Get real.

    In a world where a mid level dualie trail bike is $4K I think you are mistaken. Top this off that the manufacturer is clear to say where the frame is made from, they don't do custom, oh, and the weight is often compared to a boat anchor and marketed to the explorer (every day trail rider), and not the racer or tech head, I think you, sir, are lost.

    Not to mention this topic has been cover a million times.

    If you are board, seek vises elsewhere.

  11. #11
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    Logical...
    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    You know how I know you are not the REAL Mr. Spock?

















































    This thread.

  12. #12
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    As someone just recently in the market I find their prices a bit high even compared to Trek, but then I'm not sure what discounts one gets via their LBS or if they will come down in response to a lot of competition coming into the market. Their marketing strategy of random silly names gets a bit old. It's one thing to name a bike. It's another to have a Moonlander with a Bluto with big fat larrys on snowshoes with a red rocket, five russian midgets, a trunk monkey and a three day old burrito with a space shuttle chain.

    On one hand they are kinda the Henry Ford of fatbikes. On the other hand they sell a rigid steel frame bike for two grand and people paid it because their marketing is good and they don't have any competition. Well, one of those is going away fast.

    Lastly, my stable has two treks, a gary fisher and a bikes direct. I can't ride any of without getting dick comment from someone. I'm sure it'd be the same on a Surly. Bike people can be like middle school girls, threads like this being a good example.

  13. #13
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    Exclusive pricing for Surly bikes, eh?

    OP you are a few spokes short of a wheel.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

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    $9k for a top end Tiawan trail bike nowadays when a high end trail bike in 2004 was $3200, but was handbuilt in the good old USA.....times are a changing, I don't think it is just Surly.

    As for the names who cares? Would you like the standard numbering system?

    The moonlander can now be called the 9900 FB, SH, SFDTMTAF (fat bike, super heavy), super fun don't tell me tires are fat.

    We all have way too much time on our hands to argue about this garbage, don't like? Don't buy, end of story.

  15. #15
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    OP- Congrats you & now me are doing just what Surly wants... talking about/marketing their bikes.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fattirefury12 View Post

    As for the names who cares? Would you like the standard numbering system?

    We all have way too much time on our hands to argue about this garbage, don't like? Don't buy, end of story.
    Well this is a thread on Surly marketing, so if there was a place for people who care about this stuff this would be it.

    I think the book "Rikki Tikki Tembo" sums up why the Surly product naming system is flawed better than I can. If you don't get it at the end have a child explain it to you.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    The fact that we're trying to compare the purchasing habits of a group of hypersensitive women looking for a $1000+ purse, vs a broad collection of men and women who like to get dirty, sweaty and bloody while playing in the mud, makes it difficult for me to see the parallels at play here.
    Have you ever hung out at a high end bike shop?

    For the most part, pople are pretty much wired the same way. People use fashion to help define who they think they are...or want to be....bikes are a fashion statment just like anything else.....why do you think people ride singlespeeds? Why do you think people ride fat bikes in the summer? Riding Unsuspended bikes through rocky hell rides? They are making a fashion statment....my father called it "making a personel statment through an act that is just plain st00pid"....

    Any compeny that names its self SURLY is making a fashion statment and trying to define its self in the market....are you a surly guy? Ride our bikes and tell the world........come to think of it...I should go trademark HUGE NUTSACK BIKES.....gota go....
    The bike is never to heavy, you are just to WEAK!

  18. #18
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    Surly has exclusive pricing? This is either a pro-level troll or a dude with a garage full of Walmart bikes

  19. #19
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    umm....?....
    I must admit I don't read the surly blog very often, but it's nice to see a co. that lets their employee's actually rant/rave/bla bla about whatever they want. Seems everyone is so sensitive these days you can't get away with that anymore.

    Exclusive pricing? Not seeing it...

    Maybe some of the local handbuilt $5K custom ti frame manufactures (but then you are paying for the local skill/craftsmanship, whether it's worth it or not is up to the buyer, no one else ),

    not surly....
    I try to avoid Florida if at all possible...lol

    sorry this thread did not quite go the way you thought

  20. #20
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    Every time I look at their blog all i get is......
    <a*href="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php" title="Smiley"><img src="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-finger007.gif" alt="Smiley" border="0" /></a> and more of this <a*href="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php" title="Smiley"><img src="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-finger007.gif" alt="Smiley" border="0" /></a> and sometimes even this <a*href="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php" title="Smiley"><img src="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-finger007.gif" alt="Smiley" border="0" /></a> I'm not real sure but maybe they are trying to tell us something<a*href="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php" title="Smiley"><img src="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-confused013.gif" alt="Smiley" border="0" /></a>
    Last edited by bdundee; 07-03-2014 at 11:40 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME View Post
    Have you ever hung out at a high end bike shop?

    For the most part, pople are pretty much wired the same way. People use fashion to help define who they think they are...or want to be....bikes are a fashion statment just like anything else.....why do you think people ride singlespeeds? Why do you think people ride fat bikes in the summer? Riding Unsuspended bikes through rocky hell rides? They are making a fashion statment....my father called it "making a personel statment through an act that is just plain st00pid"....

    Any compeny that names its self SURLY is making a fashion statment and trying to define its self in the market....are you a surly guy? Ride our bikes and tell the world........come to think of it...I should go trademark HUGE NUTSACK BIKES.....gota go....
    You HIT the nail right on the HEAD.. "FASHION STATEMENT" I can relate and totally agree with you. Just like owning Watches, Luggage or what ever..Could i just get by with a $300.00 bike for exercise? Yes but I wont.I just bought a Salsa Beargrease XX1 for this same reason...!
    Trek Equinox 9.9 TTL, Trek Madone 6.9 Project One, Trek Fuel 9.5, Trek Fuel 9.0, Trek Rumblefish Pro, Trek Remedy 9.9,BGXX1

  22. #22
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    Sure do like allot of they're bikes, and products... especially tires! In the beginning (of fat biking) they had the gumption to produce the Endomorph... against all odds! And it (fat biking) "snow balled" from then on. They didn't invent fat biking, but w/o they're efforts, it would NOT have evolved to what it is today. Hat's off to those folks! And keep up the good work!! They can flip me the bird any time they want... I'm still gonna buy they're stuff. And BTW, a big fat Endo for sand would be nice...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME View Post
    Have you ever hung out at a high end bike shop?

    For the most part, pople are pretty much wired the same way. People use fashion to help define who they think they are...or want to be....bikes are a fashion statment just like anything else.....why do you think people ride singlespeeds? Why do you think people ride fat bikes in the summer? Riding Unsuspended bikes through rocky hell rides? They are making a fashion statment....my father called it "making a personel statment through an act that is just plain st00pid"....

    Any compeny that names its self SURLY is making a fashion statment and trying to define its self in the market....are you a surly guy? Ride our bikes and tell the world........come to think of it...I should go trademark HUGE NUTSACK BIKES.....gota go....
    I like that you have no f*cking clue who you are talking to.

    Mendon Cycle Smith
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    I like that you have no f*cking clue who you are talking to.

    Mendon Cycle Smith
    That was a little funny.

  25. #25
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    I single speed & fat bike because I like it. It's not an image thing "fashion statement" at all. I usually ride solo or with one or 2 buddies who I've been friends with for 20+ years. Usually ride at odd hours too. I think MOST cyclists are truly passionate about their platform. Whether is me a guy in his 40s on I fat bike or SS, a hipster on a fixie, or a 5k carbon tri bike. Surly/QBP has brought products to the market that have improved my quality of life enjoyment. Overall they are a good corporate citizen. I don't want a fat single speed for my image, I want one to see if I can make it up the next climb with a smile on my face.

  26. #26
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    Exactly. Saying that everyone chooses their equipment based on fashion or an identity they want to project... is naive. Perhaps it is even projecting one' sown thought process into other people. Some people are slave to fashion but a large percentage of people aren't.

    I ride singlespeed because it is less maintenance, lighter, quieter, cheaper, more durable. And best of all, it frees my mind when riding. The bike and I become one. It isn't me controlling the bike but rather just a fixed extension of my body. Put simply, the bike was not bought based on marketing.

    So no, not everyone chooses based on fashion. Surly's marketing is unique and there is nothing wrong with that. I don't own a surly but appreciate their creativity.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfiler View Post
    I ride singlespeed because it is less maintenance, lighter, quieter, cheaper, more durable. And best of all, it frees my mind when riding. The bike and I become one. It isn't me controlling the bike but rather just a fixed extension of my body. Put simply, the bike was not bought based on marketing.
    Heck yeah man. All that stuff.

    I simply couldn't hack it. I prefer to ride flats now (I found myself injuring my hamstrings), and my slovenly riding chops couldn't get it to work on climbs.

    I'm riding a pavement bike with a two speed crank (FSA Patterson) which is pretty fun. It is cheap and simple to use and it gets me up the climbs with some single-speed-ish technique. I want similar for off road but was not long term impressed with a Hammerschmidt setup.

    Either way - I ride to empty my brain of earthly concerns. Fewer moving parts, less to go wrong.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    I like that you have no f*cking clue who you are talking to.

    Mendon Cycle Smith
    Really? I would say the same about you...Do you think that bike choice is only tied to what works best? Thats almost as silly as some 230lb fat guy trying to reduce his bikes weight by 100 grams ....Yet i see it in bike shops all the time.

    surlys are over priced, its been posted here many times....how do they get away with it?...image ....image ties into fashion.
    The bike is never to heavy, you are just to WEAK!

  29. #29
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    I always pictured Surly riders as blue collar, cheap beer drinking, rock and rollers. Have I been wrong all these years?

  30. #30
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    Some of us like expensive beer and Death Metal

  31. #31
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    Big Dumbie + Gulden Draak + Deicide = cool

  32. #32
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    I never connected Surly to Gucci. Must be part of that global wide Velomati conspiracy.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    I always pictured Surly riders as blue collar, cheap beer drinking, rock and rollers. Have I been wrong all these years?
    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.

  34. #34
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    later

    who the heck cares about any of it anyways.. all this petty bs. i am done with it.. have a good life

  35. #35
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    It does work

    Not about Surly, but about the 'marketing'.

    The OP brings up a valid point.

    The more rudely she is sold, the more I see her tattered and torn, the more I am drawn to embrace her up from the dust, remembering my disgrace.

    Star-Spangled Banner like youve never heard it before

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  36. #36
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    I am convinced there are people that like to argue online as much as I like to ride.

    The arguments in here can be made about the majority of brands.

    Want to solve something, try to figure out a way for me not look at someone in disgust everytime a new person says "those are big tires" like I have never heard it before.

  37. #37
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    Why would you expect a Surly frame to cost lesser than an Aluminum frame? 90% of the cost of your frame is stuff other than the cost of the steel/aluminum. If the cost of chromoly steel made up even 50% of the retail cost of a Surly frame, I bet the LHT 62cm frame would cost more than the LHT 42cm frame. As it is today, they cost the same which tells me that the actual cost of the steel is negligible.

    It's much the same with other companies. Surprised to see the price for Brook's new Cambium which uses rubber instead of leather? You're paying for more than just the raw material.

  38. #38
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    I have 3 Surly bikes currently, have had 5 total. Their marketing is ineffective to me. I just like simple, well built, adaptable, no BS, steel bikes.
    Jason
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    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?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    Some of us like expensive beer and Death Metal
    Heck yeah, party on Garth!! Cheers
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    I like that you have no f*cking clue who you are talking to.

    Mendon Cycle Smith
    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    That was a little funny.
    me gotz a chuckle too.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME View Post
    Really?
    yes really.

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    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.

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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?

    "Like"^

  45. #45
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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.
    That sums up my Surly purchases.

    I hadn't heard of them when I bought my first 1x1, but it was the first SS specific mtb frame I'd seen so I jumped on it. I also later bought an Instigator, and that was because of its very strong rear end - it was bought for an overland expedition.

    And there was no alternative to the Pugsley in the UK when I bought mine.

    The website persona is just fun IMO. Plus the Surly guys turn up to the odd event, actually ride their bikes, drink beer, and talk to us about bikes. That seems to get us bikes we want to actually use. The "Racing Sucks" approach works for me.
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  46. #46
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    Mr Spock Troll threw a line out and caught some crackers !!!

    Dont feed it....
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  47. #47
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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.
    Thank you, it took us two pages until this was finally said.
    '15 Specialized Fatboy
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  48. #48
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    People are also forgetting that they took a massive risk by investing in fatbike tire production.
    '15 Specialized Fatboy
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  49. #49
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    I am guilty of owning many Surly Tyres... and the other QBP brand 45NRTH tyres, awesome products, if they didn't make them we would be a lot worse off today... maybe ??????

    I dont want to get dragged into this troll dig but Surly go out on a limb with reasonably priced stuff and usually hit the spot.

    If you want to be conservative... take a back seat and shut up.
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  50. #50
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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?
    Old enough!

    As a kid my father once thought about buying a Checker, (9 kids) I think he got out voted by the styling dept.

    Could it be that anyone who is taking the marketing approach of Surly seriously is missing the point?

    I mean, what do you suppose is going on at Surly Headquarters as they read what is being said about them here?

  51. #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.

  52. #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.

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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.
    '15 Specialized Fatboy
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  54. #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.

  55. #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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  56. #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.

  57. #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?

  58. #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.

  59. #59
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    Beer? Ok!
    Last edited by Gigantic; 07-06-2014 at 03:32 AM.

  60. #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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  61. #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.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Hmmm, perfect match with most Surly owners then...

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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.

  64. #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...
    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/51222326@N04/7074163673/player/4bde3b88ed" height="322" width="500" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    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!!

  65. #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

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    My old Unimog...
    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/51222326@N04/7074163673/player/4bde3b88ed" height="322" width="500" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

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

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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.

  68. #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

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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

  70. #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.

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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.

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

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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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?

  74. #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,

    Vik
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  75. #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.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    A tire + rim combo that's 0.25" too big to fit into existing fatbike frames and a frame + fork that is compatible.
    "like"^...

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Just bought another Surly. Damn those ba$tards got me again!
    Do tell Vik, What now?

  78. #78
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    I was speaking with a Surly/Salsa dealer who wasn't all that happy with how Surly/Salsa is handling the fat bike scene. He might just be upset because they are staying tight lipped regarding release dates and updates.

    He is kind of a dick anyways...so ymmv.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    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.


    I think this has been Surly's marketing strategy more than image. Make bikes that some people will want/can use that noone else is making.
    I have a CrossCheck because I wanted a single speed road bike with drop bars, 35mm+ tires and full fenders.
    I have a Pugsley because I wanted a fat bike.
    At the time I bought each Surly was my only choice outside of custom.
    Some of their products remain niche products that sell enough for them to maintain the model but not enough to generate serious competition. Others like the Pugsley are very successful and you get many other brands competing and Surly will lose market share.

    As for image I usually ride my bikes in spandex and hivis jerseys and I am decidedly non hip. But I do really appreciate a low maintenance, durable bike as I am lazy

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBBaron View Post


    I think this has been Surly's marketing strategy more than image. Make bikes that some people will want/can use that noone else is making.
    I have a CrossCheck because I wanted a single speed road bike with drop bars, 35mm+ tires and full fenders.
    I have a Pugsley because I wanted a fat bike.
    At the time I bought each Surly was my only choice outside of custom.
    Some of their products remain niche products that sell enough for them to maintain the model but not enough to generate serious competition. Others like the Pugsley are very successful and you get many other brands competing and Surly will lose market share.

    As for image I usually ride my bikes in spandex and hivis jerseys and I am decidedly non hip. But I do really appreciate a low maintenance, durable bike as I am lazy
    Very well said, I think people forget that Surly had the Pugsley out YEARS before any other fat bikes existed. In fact, the price hasn't really gone up that much either (I could be wrong, I think it was $1200 when it came out, they can be had locally by me for $1550 now). I think the pugs came out in the early 2000's? The only reason I remember was the adrenaline bikes ad in Mountain Bike action which had a small pic and advertisement.

    Bottom line is, Surly makes bikes that fit a niche with little competition, fat bikes just gained some momentum.

    I still have a hard time understanding the bicycle hate. There are brands that are over priced, have annoying marketing, or representatives that are arrogant as all heck when interviewed, that doesn't mean I can't stand them or go out of my way to complain on a forum about it. But everyone is entitled to their $0.02

  81. #81
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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?
    I hope a fat big dummy that can fit Bud and Lou's, with a troll/orge drop-out for adding trailers, gates belt drive compatible, and lots of braze-ons. Heck toss on a Bluto and call it good. Just to be edgy let the customershave the choice of dirt drop bars, jonesLoops or ape hangers.

  82. #82
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    Like a $425.00 frame ? That is not exclusive pricing, Just affordable, well thought out ,versatile bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fattirefury12 View Post
    Very well said, I think people forget that Surly had the Pugsley out YEARS before any other fat bikes existed. In fact, the price hasn't really gone up that much either (I could be wrong, I think it was $1200 when it came out, they can be had locally by me for $1550 now). I think the pugs came out in the early 2000's? The only reason I remember was the adrenaline bikes ad in Mountain Bike action which had a small pic and advertisement.

    Bottom line is, Surly makes bikes that fit a niche with little competition, fat bikes just gained some momentum.

    I still have a hard time understanding the bicycle hate. There are brands that are over priced, have annoying marketing, or representatives that are arrogant as all heck when interviewed, that doesn't mean I can't stand them or go out of my way to complain on a forum about it. But everyone is entitled to their $0.02
    Wiki has the Pugsley as introduced in 2005, but i don't remember a complete bike until much later. I know mine was built from parts because they only sold frame, fork, rim, and tire at the time.

  84. #84
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    Any chance this Forum could get back on track with threads of folks riding bikes and posting pictures and ride reports and films etc... and having smiles per miles than threads that is being posted up like this?

    Really this forum has gone so down hill in the last year

    I come on here and see loads of threads like this and then just leave wondering WTF?

    I paid £1550 UK price 6 1/2 years ago for a Surly Pugsley, it is still a great ride and i have prob spent 5 times that on booze, so it has been a cheap deal
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
    http://coastkid.blogspot.com/

  85. #85
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    im gonna get wasted tonight
    " F#ck it, lets go ride bikes!"

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    No, too many people cruise the forums and obsess over parts instead of ride.

    I could really elaborate on this, but god forbid I nit pick at fitness level and skill level, but that is interpreted by user.

    If we talk about a weight or performance of a part, then the:

    - My local rep told me blah blah blah....
    - My friend has that and says it is heavy....
    - I saw one of those broken in the park....
    - Such and such magazine said this is better...
    - But that one is 63 grams lighter....
    - The geometry is horrible...
    - THEY ADDED SUPER STICKY SEALS THIS YEAR!!!
    - 14 SPEED!!!! 16 SPEED!! AHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    I guess the mountain bike marketing machine is working very well, so everyone get your hard earned cash out and start spending on parts you don't need!

    The wonderful thing about a ride is that talk is cheap, it all comes down to how you can ride your bike, most solid riders can pick up any bike classified for the type of riding they are doing and excel. I think the majority of people that actually spend real time in the saddle take any forum info with a grain of salt...I guess the forum points you in a general direction, and every once in a while gives you internet gold to laugh your tail off.

    Remember, even if you don't ride well, you can be a star in the forum, some of them let you buy one to put next to your name too

    That being said, the equipment junkies have taken over the forums, reliving the same posts over and over. How many bikes with Bluto's do you need to see? How many times do people have to say BFL's don't perform as well as Bud and Lou's in the snow?

    When does it get to a point when you have so many posts you are they guy who never rides and just rants and raves on every post?

    What just happened?

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    Any chance this Forum could get back on track with threads of folks riding bikes and posting pictures and ride reports and films etc... and having smiles per miles than threads that is being posted up like this?

    Really this forum has gone so down hill in the last year

    I come on here and see loads of threads like this and then just leave wondering WTF?

    I paid £1550 UK price 6 1/2 years ago for a Surly Pugsley, it is still a great ride and i have prob spent 5 times that on booze, so it has been a cheap deal
    IMO you are missing the point CK.

    Sometimes, people just want to indulge in some nonsense bs; just for the pleasure of it. No different than having a few after a ride.

    Back in '67, before Uncle Sam called my name, if you told me that in 5 years I would have shoulder length hair and a full beard, I would have laughed.

    No tats, don't like beer, save one for a thrust quenching cool down, but used to purchase the keg for the weekender, attended too. Dropped the happy smoke stuff in '75, but still hung out with the same. Close cut hair, and no beard now.

    What I am trying to say, is that perhaps at one time I was close enough to the Surly 'image' to pass, in a glance?

    At the age of 67, I try to enjoy people as they come, I don't take much too seriously. The people on here are quite capable of providing great help when needed, just weed out what doesn't interest you, taking pleasure in what does.

    You, yourself, are one with whom I enjoy and respect for the contributions made, which are many. And I might add, I enjoy the non bicycle topics in your blog. It would be a shame and a loss to both, if you become discouraged and departed.

    While I am at it, when the UK forum started, I understood that it could mean a loss for us...far too few of you all are regulars on here anymore...you all are missed.

    Maybe...more...not less, to bring things around a little?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fattirefury12 View Post
    No, too many people cruise the forums and obsess over parts instead of ride.

    I could really elaborate on this, but god forbid I nit pick at fitness level and skill level, but that is interpreted by user.

    If we talk about a weight or performance of a part, then the:

    - My local rep told me blah blah blah....
    - My friend has that and says it is heavy....
    - I saw one of those broken in the park....
    - Such and such magazine said this is better...
    - But that one is 63 grams lighter....
    - The geometry is horrible...
    - THEY ADDED SUPER STICKY SEALS THIS YEAR!!!
    - 14 SPEED!!!! 16 SPEED!! AHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    I guess the mountain bike marketing machine is working very well, so everyone get your hard earned cash out and start spending on parts you don't need!

    The wonderful thing about a ride is that talk is cheap, it all comes down to how you can ride your bike, most solid riders can pick up any bike classified for the type of riding they are doing and excel. I think the majority of people that actually spend real time in the saddle take any forum info with a grain of salt...I guess the forum points you in a general direction, and every once in a while gives you internet gold to laugh your tail off.

    Remember, even if you don't ride well, you can be a star in the forum, some of them let you buy one to put next to your name too

    That being said, the equipment junkies have taken over the forums, reliving the same posts over and over. How many bikes with Bluto's do you need to see? How many times do people have to say BFL's don't perform as well as Bud and Lou's in the snow?

    When does it get to a point when you have so many posts you are they guy who never rides and just rants and raves on every post?

    What just happened?
    I like to ride and talk about gear. I also enjoy building nice bikes. You must really hate me.

  89. #89
    Loud hubs save lives!
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    The upper middle class selling a blue-collar, Pabst & flannel bike lifestyle is disingenuous more than anything.. Like a Williamsburg trust-fund hipster looking for transcendence in pretending to be poor or something. Having spent 20-odd years of my life well below the poverty line I don't have much sympathy for that act, nor do I recommend anyone being poor for that matter. It's really and truly awful.

    Other than that I really enjoy the glimpses of the QBP designers and processes. They are also positive advocates of biking in general. And I like their bikes a lot.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Do tell Vik, What now?
    Commuter bike. Nothing sexy for folks in the Fat Bike Forum. Not even an IGH. Totally boring!
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by 43st View Post
    The upper middle class selling a blue-collar, Pabst & flannel bike lifestyle is disingenuous more than anything.. Like a Williamsburg trust-fund hipster looking for transcendence in pretending to be poor or something. Having spent 20-odd years of my life well below the poverty line I don't have much sympathy for that act, nor do I recommend anyone being poor for that matter. It's really and truly awful.

    Other than that I really enjoy the glimpses of the QBP designers and processes. They are also positive advocates of biking in general. And I like their bikes a lot.
    Yeah, how dare someone wear flannel and drink a can of beer. Oh and definitely hate people based only on how much money they have. If they don't have the same amount of money as you, they're a total a-hole.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by 43st View Post
    The upper middle class selling a blue-collar, Pabst & flannel bike lifestyle is disingenuous more than anything...

    ...Other than that I really enjoy the glimpses of the QBP designers and processes. They are also positive advocates of biking in general. And I like their bikes a lot.
    In my life I've seen lots of poseurs around bikes.

    So long as they actually like bikes, we have something in common, I don't care about their minor personal defects if they ignore mine.

    Even if the Surly lads were like that*, we have something in common, we like bikes.

    If their spiel attracts some poseurs into bike ownership, is it such a bad thing? It's a far healthier habit than other social drugs, and some will become real bike enthusiasts.

    The rest will soon move on, and their bikes will become bargains, barely used.

    So embrace the spin.





    *I don't think they are - they are definitely bike enthusiasts (I've met a few of them).
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  93. #93
    will rant for food
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Commuter bike. Nothing sexy for folks in the Fat Bike Forum. Not even an IGH. Totally boring!
    Obligatory Hercules script mis-read
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Commuter bike. Nothing sexy for folks in the Fat Bike Forum. Not even an IGH. Totally boring!
    Straggler or ECR???

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by 43st View Post
    The upper middle class selling a blue-collar, Pabst & flannel bike lifestyle is disingenuous more than anything.. Like a Williamsburg trust-fund hipster looking for transcendence in pretending to be poor or something. Having spent 20-odd years of my life well below the poverty line I don't have much sympathy for that act, nor do I recommend anyone being poor for that matter. It's really and truly awful.

    Other than that I really enjoy the glimpses of the QBP designers and processes. They are also positive advocates of biking in general. And I like their bikes a lot.
    I didn't know when I traded my carpenters pants seven years ago for a three piece suit I had to give up my blue collar beliefs and life style. F my life for trying to fight this thing called "life" and bring in as much as I can for my family Well actually, no.

  96. #96
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    Does anyone besides Mister Peanut actually wear a three piece suit to work on a daily basis? No. Now note that Surly doesn't make a bike for him, proving that they really do only cater to carpenter pant wearing non-hipster actual blue collar wearing folk... at least using the logic in some of this thread.

    Of course if you were someone who didn't care about brands and was short on cash and reasonably handy why you wouldn't be a bikesdirect is beyond me. Surly is for people who can scrape up a little cash and don't mind paying for what is probably a better product and definitely better service, and a brand name you've heard of.

    F my life, I'm terrified of what strangers on the internet will think of my bike!

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by bepperb View Post
    Of course if you were someone who didn't care about brands and was short on cash and reasonably handy why you wouldn't be a bikesdirect is beyond me.
    One possible reason is that someone short on cash realizes there are other people short on cash at a LBS and by buying a Surly from them they them help out. Hopefully that person at the LBS does the same to propagate the anti-vicious cycle.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  98. #98
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    I am finding it so intellectually stimulating pondering all the nuances of class in advertising in this thread.

    Just kidding, this is the worst thread ever. I'd be embarrassed to post here if I wasn't mocking you turds.

    Oh and I have a surly but I didn't buy it because I wanted to fit the Surly image. I already was that image before they came up with it. Maybe they saw me one day doing a wheelie and patterned their whole advertising scheme after me.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    One possible reason is that someone short on cash realizes there are other people short on cash at a LBS and by buying a Surly from them they them help out. Hopefully that person at the LBS does the same to propagate the anti-vicious cycle.
    Why, does Surly pay the likely short-on-cash taiwanese worker more than bikesdirect?

    I'm half kidding. I understand the "support your LBS" angle. If you have one that isn't filled with incompetent thieves or isn't unwilling to talk to you because you're not a retired couple looking to buy hybrids at MSRP consider yourself lucky and support them. Because that isn't the case everywhere and things are probably headed in the wrong direction as I type this.

    Still mine services my Gravity the same as my two Treks and my Gary Fisher, makes the same money when I buy parts. When I buy a helmet they don't even know what bike it will be used on. So really buying a bike there isn't a prerequisite for supporting your LBS. I'm not really sure where they make money but in every other industry I've worked in it was really the service and accessories.

  100. #100
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    I am the 99%, and I ride a Surly.....

    Blue collar vs 3 piece, PBR vs Craft, geez louise.

    The ones you gotta watch out for aren't riding bikes, way too proletariate for them, they might have to mix with low people, or tear a well manicured finger nail.

    Keep your eye on the prize folks, we aren't each others "enemies". If your family makes less than a million dollars a year, you probably won't ever be one of the asshats buying the next national election, or paying for the right to force your personal opinion down everyone's throat (whether they want to hear it or not), you'll simply vote, work, and live your freakin' life like the rest of us......
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

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