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  1. #1
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    Pugsley alternatives (scared of frame cracking)

    I have a (2010?) snowblind white Pug that was purchased used. I absolutely love this bike. However, I'm afraid of the possible impending frame crack on the seatpost. It's fine right now (no sign of any cracking), but since this problem seems like it will happen eventually, I'm thinking perhaps I should sell this bike now while it is still fine. Since I bought it used, I probably can't just contact Surly and count on them to replace it if it cracks I'd imagine.

    I have tried riding the first gen and current gen Mukluks, and they are just not the bike for me, at least how they are set up "out of the box", the geometry feels all wrong, and they ride harsher. Whenever I ride one, it's kind of fun for a bit riding a bike that's noticeably lighter than mine, but soon I can't wait to trade off again and get back on my pug.

    I have ridden the current 9zero7s, and I could probably live with one of those. It's definitely different than my Pugsley, but perhaps with a little tweaking, could probably learn to really enjoy it. Mainly the HTA that throws me I think.

    I have not ridden a Fatback. I understand they make both aluminum and steel versions. Are they "Pugsley like"? Does anyone here with riding experience on both a Pugs and Fatback think they're pretty comparable to ride?

    I like the yellow on the new Pugs, but have they fixed this problem? Probably not. Perhaps the Moonlander isn't subject to this frame cracking issue? Hate to say it, but I'll probably be staying away from Surly this time around.

    Mukluks seem so available.. and a decent price for the Muk3. Could some stem/bar/seatpost changes make it less of an upright ride and more towards the pug perhaps? Or would I be fighting the frame geometry and never really getting along with the bike? If I got a 9zero7, would I just simply get more used to it with more seat time, and enjoy a weight reduction compared to the pug? Why are Fatbacks so rare to see out and about in MN? Hard to find? These are some of the questions going through my head.

    Figured I would see if you guys with more riding experience than me might have some input as far as what direction I should start looking or things I should consider. Thanks much.

  2. #2
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    Are cracked Pugs frames common? Is that why they now have a seatpost gusset triangle?

  3. #3
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    I put many thousands of km on my 2005 Pugsley without any sign of frame cracking, and I know several other people who have high mileage Pugsleys also without breaking them.
    If you are determined to replace your bike, maybe the new on-one is right for you. It is intended as a trail bike, so it is much more like the pugsley in its geometry.

  4. #4
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    Ride the hell out of your Pugs. Enjoy it. Ride without fear. Take a peak at the suspect area every time you lube the chain. If, and thats a rare if, something happens, get a free yellow (revised) frame from Surly. Easy, no-cost solution.
    Jason
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  5. #5
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    the white pug was my first "high-end" bike (relative to department store bikes)..

    Is the frame crack issue likewise common across other bikes in the same price range as the pug?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakedbabytoes View Post
    Are cracked Pugs frames common? Is that why they now have a seatpost gusset triangle?
    No, it's affecting the rear of the seat tube. See this thread:

    Pugsley frame failure

    That thread is not the only place with examples of cracking Pugsleys I have seen. Also, it only seems to be affecting the snowblind white Pugs so far.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    Ride the hell out of your Pugs. Enjoy it. Ride without fear. Take a peak at the suspect area every time you lube the chain. If, and thats a rare if, something happens, get a free yellow (revised) frame from Surly. Easy, no-cost solution.
    Oh, I have been watching it like a hawk. I would love to ride this bike until the end of time, but I bought it used. Surly isn't going to give me a free replacement if/when it cracks, I presume. Plus, I don't want to be constantly worried about a crack starting to appear, and constantly looking for it and such.

    Has the yellow frame really been revised, to address this problem?

  8. #8
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    Yes, the new red/yellow frames have a revised seatstay/seattube junction.
    Jason
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  9. #9
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    Hey;

    Don't worry about it. It's a steel frame. It won't fail suddenly. If it even does crack, it is a snap to weld it back up, reinforce it a little even, and carry on. I wouldn't give it a second thought. Now, if you're looking for excuses to get a new bike, well....
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  10. #10
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    Take it for what its worth but the bike is already two years old and not all the frames are failing. If you end up that concerned about it you should have the concern with all bikes because any frame could fail. If the frame fails Surly frames are relativly low cost and you already have all the parts to swap. Think about it this way you wil probably loose some on the resale might as well enjoy the bike and just buy a frame later on if you need to.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailMaker View Post
    Don't worry about it. It's a steel frame. It won't fail suddenly. If it even does crack, it is a snap to weld it back up, reinforce it a little even, and carry on. I wouldn't give it a second thought. Now, if you're looking for excuses to get a new bike, well....
    I'd be in this camp too. Those cracks are appearing in a spot that has a low probability of catastrophic failure. I also think it's probably a pretty isolated QC issue that we're seeing because it's so unusual...

  12. #12
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    My vote is to ride the heck out of it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldbike View Post
    I put many thousands of km on my 2005 Pugsley without any sign of frame cracking, and I know several other people who have high mileage Pugsleys also without breaking them.
    If you are determined to replace your bike, maybe the new on-one is right for you. It is intended as a trail bike, so it is much more like the pugsley in its geometry.
    On-One geometry looks to be very far from Pugsley. That is if you take the Mukluk to be way different than the Pugs. Given that HTA, rake, and fork length are all different it could ride identically or be totally different. Bottom line with bikes is you really need to ride them to see how they ride. This is especially true if you are the kind of guy that worries about what 1/2 degree of HTA difference will do.

    As to the potential frame crack, as others have said, ride it til it cracks (which is very low probability) and then weld it up. This probably only works if you can stop worrying about it so maybe try riding it for the rest of this season. See if you can stop worying and if not sell it as the season heats up (cools off?) next fall.
    Latitude 61

  14. #14
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    If mine cracks, I'll just have a buddy weld it up.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  15. #15
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    Like others have already said. It won't fail suddenly, or catastrophically. Out of all the Pugs I've sold over the years, only one has "failed", and I found it, the owner never even knew.

    Look for lines in the paint around the welds, but know that you could do this once a year and likely still not get stranded.

    Steel is real. Since you aren't the original owner, yes, no warranty, but it's super easy to weld and get another several years out of.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  16. #16
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    Ride the balls off it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Like others have already said. It won't fail suddenly, or catastrophically. Out of all the Pugs I've sold over the years, only one has "failed", and I found it, the owner never even knew.

    Look for lines in the paint around the welds, but know that you could do this once a year and likely still not get stranded.

    Steel is real. Since you aren't the original owner, yes, no warranty, but it's super easy to weld and get another several years out of.....
    Big point there, OP .... Even if cracked at that location, it's still gonna be rideable for many miles.

    If it cracks ... It won't leave you stranded, unless you intentionally abuse it, AFTER realizing it has cracked.

  18. #18
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    If it were to crack any welding shop can fix it and make it stronger than new with very little weight gain. Have it sand blasted first, than fixed and they can see if there are any other problems at that point.Then you can have it power coated or painted to a custom color it's a winning problem.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    On-One geometry looks to be very far from Pugsley...
    Strangely, if you stick a Pug fork on the On-One frame the figures look very similar.

    You get:

    ..................Fatty*.......Pug
    HA.............70.15º.....70.5º
    BB drop......56mm.....55mm
    Trail............89mm....87mm
    Flop............28mm....27mm

    With the same fork on each frame there's not much variation, so the difference is largely down to the forks.

    Maybe we'll see Pug owners snapping up On-One forks to get the Fatty feeling, or Fatty owners getting Pug forks to recapture the Pug characteristics.




    *that's the Fatty geometry with a Pug fork fitted
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by exp18 View Post
    If it were to crack any welding shop can fix it and make it stronger than new with very little weight gain. Have it sand blasted first, than fixed and they can see if there are any other problems at that point.Then you can have it power coated or painted to a custom color it's a winning problem.
    Bingo

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by exp18 View Post
    If it were to crack any welding shop can fix it and make it stronger than new with very little weight gain. Have it sand blasted first, than fixed and they can see if there are any other problems at that point.Then you can have it power coated or painted to a custom color it's a winning problem.
    I'd take such a frame in a heartbeat, and do exactly as you said

    Easy repairs ... It's the real advantage of steel.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormwalker View Post
    That thread is not the only place with examples of cracking Pugsleys I have seen. Also, it only seems to be affecting the snowblind white Pugs so far.
    True, but it DOES seem like the other postings elsewhere are by the same people...posting the same pictures trying to be the squeaky wheels saying the engineering is bad, without having an engineering degree...

    g

  23. #23
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    And to the OP's question my Fatback and my Pugs don't really ride the same. Of coarse if you feel the need for a new bike sell it and buy something else you don't need our permission, heck I do it several times a year. That being said if you really like it I'm with the others, ride the hell out of it.

  24. #24
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    It's a bicycle , Man..... Ride it !! Personally, I love my Pug's, and let me tell you, if it broke, I would weld it, and be on my way. Even as the original (warranted) owner, if it broke, I would weld it before sending it back. But dont overthink this. It's just a bicycle. Sounds like your losing sleep over something that may, or may not happen. It WONT leave you stranded. Hell, a crack in That area doesnt even require dissasembly. Ride your bicycle. Love your bicycle. and Keep your bicycle. It'll be ok man.......

  25. #25
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    Mine is cracked - Maybe

    Mine has a crack in the HAZ as shown below. I will ride it until I see rust stains. This will let me know it is truly a crack in the metal and not the paint. It currently bleeds back fluorescent penetrant but this could still just be a paint issue. If it progresses and Surly covers it - cool. If not, I will get it rewelded, locally annealed and painted/powder coated in a better and cooler color
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pugsley alternatives (scared of frame cracking)-pugsley-frame-crack-1.jpg  


  26. #26
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    As the owner of a 2012 907 equipped with Salsa Muk 2 170mm hubs, I would love to be able to step back in time and purchase the snow blind pugs that I originally wanted. I am now on my 2nd long hike out of "da woods" and the offset design of the pugsley with the "spare" rear wheel out front is an ingenious idea that seems to be overlooked or taken for granted nowadays.

    My next fatbike will very likely be an offset design and will likely be a Moonlander or Pugs. They are proven and they work. A fella I know had a cracked Surly frame and he was back on the trails within a week after Surly was notified of the problem. If your frame cracks, check with Surly.. They may not warranty it since you are not the original owner but they may help you out. If not, no big deal - get someone to weld it up or worst case, buy a new frame for $575 MRSP (IIRC).

  27. #27
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    How much does it typically cost to reweld the seat stay ? Never worked with metal...

  28. #28
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    Don't get the white Pugsley. Mine is also starting to crack, and I have been nice to my bike. There are many other reports of the same issue, and that is only out of all of the people who have both discovered the issue, and decided to post about it. I'm sure there are more out there.

    If I'm shelling out my hard earned, I wouldn't want it to be on a possibly faulty frame.

  29. #29
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    What would a frame repair look like?

    Between the repair and the repaint, I wonder how much more a new frame would be? I'd have to have a pro repaint it, as I'm no good at it.

    This is pretty much my favorite bike ever, the snowblind white Pug. It's actually kind of ruined subsequent newer and more expensive bike purchases, as they just aren't as awesome as the Pug is to me. If I sold it, I know I would miss it, even in favor of a newer one. But I don't want to be stuck with a cracked frame. Just trying to figure out what kind of cash outlay I'd be looking at with a frame repair + repaint. I guess if I'm just prepared for that and know what to expect with a frame repair, I'd have a little more peace of mind. Thanks everyone for your input, I appreciate it.

  30. #30
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    I love my white Pugs too, but the 2013 model is better in every conceivable way (hello marge lites). If it's the color, you could always take the yellow frame and have it painted or powder coated.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripower View Post
    Mine has a crack in the HAZ as shown below. I will ride it until I see rust stains. This will let me know it is truly a crack in the metal and not the paint. It currently bleeds back fluorescent penetrant but this could still just be a paint issue. If it progresses and Surly covers it - cool. If not, I will get it rewelded, locally annealed and painted/powder coated in a better and cooler color
    I'd get that welded now before rust contaminates it. Get a brace welded on there between the stays so the stays are as one, instead of two flexing independently.

  32. #32
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    Still riding my purple pugs. First thing i did was stick a 400 mm post in it. Apply the old school Klein rules ! It will be fine its a surly

  33. #33
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    SW, there's a couple of pics of the repair I had done on the 'other' thread here;

    Pugsley frame failure

    Depends on who you get to do it I guess, but with a repaint as well a budget of £100 / $160 should cover the cost of paying a professional.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by clockd View Post
    ...First thing i did was stick a 400 mm post in it...
    Probably all that needs to be said for prevention of cracks.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  35. #35
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    You'll either lose the cost of a frame on resale and buying a new bike or it won't be that expensive to fix if it does crack some day. Long post should help to ease your mind.

  36. #36
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    Welding shouldn't cost more than $40, rough guess. A 12pk of beer seems more appropriate. New powder coat is anywhere from $80-150 depending on color/number of coats. We'll say $200 on the high side for frame strengthening and a new color. Sounds like a reasonable deal to me! After all, while there are numerous models of fat bikes these days, nothing rides like a Pugsley!
    Jason
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Skid Marks View Post
    I'd get that welded now before rust contaminates it. Get a brace welded on there between the stays so the stays are as one, instead of two flexing independently.
    I have some experience with welding similar tubing, most brush planes use this type of tubing. Gussets or brackets may not be the way to go. When you reinforce that area with a gusset or bracket you will move the stress to a new area and may cause you more problems. That is why I would take it to someone how knows how to fix thin wall tubing. Welding the crack then build up the area around the old weld. This is only reinforcement you should need. Anneal the area and grind out smooth. This is my opinion of how I think it should be fixed, take it with a grain of salt or I would take it to a good welding shop that knows thin wall tubing, but it will cost more than 40 bucks. Surly did not put a gusset there for a reason and I don’t think it was because they were being cheap.

  38. #38
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    One last question, if I were to perhaps use this as an excuse to upgrade...

    Is the Necromancer frame revised like the regular 2013 Pugsley?

  39. #39
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    Necromancer IS a pugsley, but with a moonlander fork, and a MWOD crank set-up. Plus RD rims. It has some higher end components, but you loose the front/rear offset wheel interchangeability. I personally ended up choosing the yellow Pugs because I want that option, but will powdercoat mine black or grey, because screamin yellow zonkers (loaded yellow) is not my thing.......

    Seriously, most weld shops I know would do that job for free, as would I. Powdercoat is about $80. It's not rocket science, despite what some pureists would say. Weld it, and anneal area surrounding with a torch. The pre-powdercoat sandblast will finish the stress releive job.

    If you like the pugsley platform, stay with it. Some bikes just "fit" better than others. Once you find "the one" it's foolish to change.

    For me, mine is "perfect" in every way. It will never leave me on MY account

  40. #40
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    But the Necro and the Pugsley have the same exact frame.

  41. #41
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    Yeah, that is what I'm wondering. Is the Necromancer using the pre-2013 Pugsley frame that is prone to cracking? Or if I were to order a new Necromancer frame, would it be the same frame as the 2013 yellow/red Pugsleys, except in black?

    I was hoping to upgrade my wheelset to something like Fat Sheebas or even Rolling Darryls if I could find a deal. With that kind of upgrade path, it might make sense to sell my current bike and build up a Necromancer anyways. I'm not concerned about running a symmetrical front wheel. In fact, I'm starting to fantasize about running a CS front with Bud, and RD rear with Nate.

    So this is now becoming justification for an upgrade. Funny how that works.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormwalker View Post
    Yeah, that is what I'm wondering. Is the Necromancer using the pre-2013 Pugsley frame that is prone to cracking? Or if I were to order a new Necromancer frame, would it be the same frame as the 2013 yellow/red Pugsleys, except in black?

    I was hoping to upgrade my wheelset to something like Fat Sheebas or even Rolling Darryls if I could find a deal. With that kind of upgrade path, it might make sense to sell my current bike and build up a Necromancer anyways. I'm not concerned about running a symmetrical front wheel. In fact, I'm starting to fantasize about running a CS front with Bud, and RD rear with Nate.

    So this is now becoming justification for an upgrade. Funny how that works.
    I think it was a handful of 2010's frames not sure if anyone with a 2011 or newer had the issue? I have the Necro in a 2012 and it is the same as the 2013 frame.

  43. #43
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    Geometrically and/or tubing wise,
    What changed between 2010 and 2011 ?

    Just curious !!

  44. #44
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    Ok, that answers my question. Thanks!

  45. #45
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    Dang u guys talking up welding it and strengthening it with additional plates like its no big deal.. Maybe it's not a big deal, but my noob was tells me there is more engineering behind it or else any avg Joe will just weld bunch of tubes up and sell the frame

  46. #46
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    Not so fast. From another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by captbuck View Post


    this was after 2 months of riding

    apparantly the cracks do not discrimate

  47. #47
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    Well that throws a wrench into my necromancer plans.

  48. #48
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    I think this just means .......... that perhaps you should just stop worrying about it and enjoy your bike. There is no magic bullet, or shield of invincibility. If it happens, fix it. If it dont, it dont.

    Look, someday your body will expire too, right ?? But untill then...... go ride your bike !!

  49. #49
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    ^ Either that or go with the 2013 yellow or red frame.

  50. #50
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    You will never win at the "what if" game. Im in a heavily populated fat bike state and home of most of the brands including Surly, and RARELY have ever heard of any issues. And anything ive ever heard go wrong Surly covers. I would be willing to bet if anything went wrong with that frame of yours and you have this thread talking about it, they would help you out. Seriously though - I think you're way overthinking and worrying about it.

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