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  1. #1
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    Are Surlys overrated??

    I read a post on the KM reviews that the Karate Monkeys are just too over hyped and not good for regular 29er XC riding. I am really considering buying one and need some opinions here. Anyone with some experience feel free to comment.

  2. #2
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    Who said that and why?

    I love mine! I built mine here last winter, really been enjoying it. It's pretty nimble for a steel framed 29er. It's EXTREMLY versatile, and you can use the frame as a canvas to create your masterpiece bike as you see fit. It also rides really nice, and is a really well made frame. My only complaint, is the weight, but we can't all afford CF bikes, nor do I like the ride as much with CF or Aluminum. Steel is a bit more forgiving, not to mention easy to repair and super burly.

    I'd reccomend one.

    Here's mine, look at how much fun I'm having!:

    -Eric
    Keeping the hardtail dream alive, one ride at a time.

  3. #3
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    Yes, they are overrated.

  4. #4
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    I don't think Surly makes their components out to be anything more than they are- simple, well designed, durable, relatively inexpensive bikes. they don't appeal to those who need the latest, most high-tech, lightweight parts, but they appeal to people who like stuff that lasts and is just made right without a lot of tech hype. the "image" is kind of punk, which appeals to some, but that's not what makes their stuff good, it's just part of the package. the ideas they create are humble and blue collar, so the image fits.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I don't think Surly makes their components out to be anything more than they are- simple, well designed, durable, relatively inexpensive bikes. they don't appeal to those who need the latest, most high-tech, lightweight parts, but they appeal to people who like stuff that lasts and is just made right without a lot of tech hype. the "image" is kind of punk, which appeals to some, but that's not what makes their stuff good, it's just part of the package. the ideas they create are humble and blue collar, so the image fits.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker View Post
    Yes, they are overrated.
    How so? If anything I'd say they are under rated. Most people who are looking at a new frame for a bike go for something far more expensive and glitzy that on the trail really yields no big desernable difference in riding. Usually the people I see riding them are bike die-hards/LBS employees who know what they can do.

    If you are looking for the latest and greatest bike, or the best race bike, I wouldn't pick a surly, but if you need a versitle, or robust/fun trail bike, you can't go wrong.
    -Eric
    Keeping the hardtail dream alive, one ride at a time.

  6. #6
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    Under rated. Seriously smart all around bikes. That is unless you are a weight weenie, then I would look elsewhere.

  7. #7
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
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    I love my CC, works well off road for sure. But they are over rated for sure. Flex like crazy, and I'm used to steel frames since they're all I ride.

    Dropouts and other small stuff aren't as good as other builders imho. But one thing is for sure, they ride very smooth and comfortable. I think that's what puts them in another category, and for that reason they are worth buying.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  8. #8
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    Just get one you will love it!

  9. #9
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    Depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a true XC machine, than the KM probably is over rated. The geo isn't as up to date as many other 29" bikes, and it's pretty heavy tubing. If you want a good steel XC steed, the Kona Unit is a pretty unbelievable deal.

    The KM offers fatter tire clearance, and a whole lot more braze-ons. The Kona will probably be the more performance oriented of the two, but less versatile.

    I agree with the flex comment, unicrown junkie. I had a CC, which I loved, that was one hell of a noodle. Very comfortable, but the difference from it to my current steel ride, made with Columbus Zona tubing, is night and day.

  10. #10
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    Of course, many people believe stiffness is overrated and actually detrimental. See here, for instance.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSSasky View Post
    I agree with the flex comment, unicrown junkie. I had a CC, which I loved, that was one hell of a noodle. Very comfortable, but the difference from it to my current steel ride, made with Columbus Zona tubing, is night and day.
    FS: Chinese carbony goodness, trade for a steel frame?

  11. #11
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    I own two; a Pugsley and a Big Dummy. I sold my old mtb and now only ride these two off-road. Mostly the Pugs. But I do want a 29er, so I'm thinking of a Karate Monkey too. Yes I LIKE SURLY.

  12. #12
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    Fantastic bike. Fun and versatile.
    Last edited by Hank244; 10-27-2011 at 08:13 PM.

  13. #13
    PRETENDURO
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    Yes, they are overrated. Please go and buy a Walmart bike so that we can have plenty of Surly bikes for ourselves.



    Owner of a 2009 Surly Big Dummy, 2009 Surly 1x1 11th Anniversary Edition 1x1=11, 2009 Surly Pugsley
    QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given Brewtality too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.

  14. #14
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    They are just over-reacting,
    Go get one,
    You will know how fun it is to ride
    When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.

  15. #15
    ppp
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    Yes, they are over rated. That's why i have a KM, a CC, a 1x1 and considering a Ogre.

    ( Oh, and i come from a high-end titanium past... Over rated? )

  16. #16
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    Me too over-reacted,
    That's why I got a KM, a CC, a LHT and a previous 1x1
    Still looking forward for a Pacer though
    When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.

  17. #17
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    Surly is held in high regard by a fair amount of bike nerds, hipsters, and average joes alike. Aside from being versatile platforms for creative bike building, surly frames are nothing special which is why they are special i suppose. I've enjoyed my CC for what it is; a bike that does a lot of things OK. I do want to sell it though as it isn't really my style I've decided, but that money will likely go into another surly(pugsley?karatemonkey?bigdummytoreplacemyxtra dale?). I'm a surly fan and biking enjoyer.

  18. #18
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    Overrated? Hardly. The KM may not be the hot ticket to the podium, but who ever claimed it to be? (Although plenty of people still race them anyway) So I guess it depends what you're looking for in a XC bike. It'll shred any trail that you have skill to ride. Hell, I ride "XC" trails on my Long Haul Trucker. But whether you like the KM will probably boil down to whether or not you like the super short chainstays and old school horizontal dropouts. If not, look elsewhere. That simple.

    It seems to me that Surly, as a company, is not only not overrated, but has an outsized influence on the bicycle market for such a small brand that most non-cyclists have never heard of. They routinely popularize innovative bicycle designs that were previously only the pervue of eccentric home mechanics (singlespeeds, fixies) and one-off custom builders (29ers, fatbikes, cargo bikes). And they have been a major player in the industry-wide renaissance of steel bikes in general. You could say that Surly is only successful because they are really only a division of QBP, the biggest parts distributer in the industry. But, QBP lets them run with some pretty bizarre concepts - far from sure bets. And Surly hits a homerun time and time again. The other industry heavyweights like Trek, Specialized, and Pacific don't have a "skunkworks" brand that is nearly as successful or trendsetting.

  19. #19
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    I can't comment specifically if Surly is overrated as I've never ridden one, but anyone who offers tires 3.8" wide has got to be at least cool and so obviously onto something.
    I would buy one just to ride on those tires.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    I love my CC, works well off road for sure. But they are over rated for sure. Flex like crazy, and I'm used to steel frames since they're all I ride.

    Dropouts and other small stuff aren't as good as other builders imho. But one thing is for sure, they ride very smooth and comfortable. I think that's what puts them in another category, and for that reason they are worth buying.
    Interesting... I'm a big dude, 6'5, 260lbs, and ride a 62cm cross check. I have never found it to be flexy. Actually, I wish it were a bit more forgiving sometimes... Mine's a 2006 (dark green)

  21. #21
    Dirt Huffer
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    Surly fills the niche market well. I dont think they're over rated for what they make.

  22. #22
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    Are Surlys overrated?

    Are you overrated?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames View Post
    Interesting... I'm a big dude, 6'5, 260lbs, and ride a 62cm cross check. I have never found it to be flexy. Actually, I wish it were a bit more forgiving sometimes... Mine's a 2006 (dark green)
    Funny: I'm 6'5, 225lbs, and rode a 2006 62cm Metallic Green CC. I thought it was super noodley, and eventually the weld around the BB gave way. I replaced it with a custom frame built with similar geometry, but oversized, stiffer Columbus Zona tubes.

    It's not like I don't want some flex - I still want a nice, responsive steel frame. I just felt the CC was a bit too flexy. The steel frame I have now strikes a much better compromise.

    But, flex is very much a personal issue. Some like it harder than others ...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSSasky View Post
    Funny: I'm 6'5, 225lbs, and rode a 2006 62cm Metallic Green CC. I thought it was super noodley, and eventually the weld around the BB gave way. I replaced it with a custom frame built with similar geometry, but oversized, stiffer Columbus Zona tubes.

    It's not like I don't want some flex - I still want a nice, responsive steel frame. I just felt the CC was a bit too flexy. The steel frame I have now strikes a much better compromise.

    But, flex is very much a personal issue. Some like it harder than others ...
    I've found my CC to be pretty stiff too. Especially compared to my previous "road bikes" which were 80's lugged Japanese steel. Much, much more forgiving, but I could actually see the BB flexing when I pedaled hard. I'm 6'2", 200-ish so no lightweight.

  25. #25
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
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    I took a whole whopping ten years and change off of drop bar equipped bikes after I broke my DT on my Zunow Hummingbird one day riding home from work. That was in 2000.

    In 2004 when I saw the CC, I liked the design(minus the screwy rear brake ferrule location), and bought a frameset with a CK headset installed. It sat on top of my motor home un-built for at least five years until I finally put it all togther at the end of 2009.

    Then started commuting on it here in Seattle and the PNW. This spring I finally brazed back together my other Zunow(see RoadBikeforums), and hit the road. Mind you, this Zunow was built in 1988. So after puttin' away the CC most of the summer, I finally got back on it last month, and did I ever notice the flex! I think my older lugged stuff is stiffer personally., and by a lot.

    I'm not saying don't buy a Surly, in fact, get one! I love mine, and I am with several others here, I want a Pugsley. I just think that these bikes are overrated due to their enormous popularity, kind of like all the North Face stuff I see people wearing these days. Just because a gazillion people have it doesn't make it any better than the next guys product. QBP has done a great job with Surly no doubt!

    BTW, my weight is 200 also(damn....) and I'm only at six feet up in the air.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

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