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  1. #1
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    Surly MidNight Special

    The Surly Pacer is being retired, and it looks like the replacement will be the Surly MidNight Special. To quote mongol777 "...I think MidNight Special is a replacement for Pacer and not Pack Rat as people reported earlier."

    Evidence is scant, so far. Fellow board member, cassa89 found a link to a German retailer "Surly MidNight Special All-Road Frame Kit, 650B/700C, 56cm, pearl white-FM0234" but it looks like they took their listing down. I wonder if the MTBR forums had anything to do with that?

    An Australian distributor *was advertising the same bike, though:

    SCV Imports

    *Looks like our mentions are the kiss of death for online listings; QBP be all

    I am guessing that the 650B part of the MidNight Special refers to 650x47B road plus type tires, like the WTB Horizon, or the newer knobbier versions.

    The price for a frame was about 900 Euros, while the price for a complete is listed as 3,100 Aud (don't worry if you're in the US, though, it will be cheaper I am sure).

    At those prices, I'm starting to wonder about the steel they're using for this model. By that I mean, I really can't see Surly moving away from 4130 CroMo, but maybe the new frame has frame-specific butting? Or maybe they are using a different heat treatment?

    Additional manufacturing steps like those would increase the price of the frame, but would impart favorable ride characteristics, especially for an Allroad, performance-oriented bike.

    Post your MidNight Special intel here.
    Last edited by PDKL45; 09-18-2017 at 08:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    As posted in Pack Rat thread:
    - Should be announced on Oct 15
    - Availability is Feb 2018 in Canada, $995 CDN for F&F
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
    As posted in Pack Rat thread:
    - Should be announced on Oct 15
    - Availability is Feb 2018 in Canada, $995 CDN for F&F
    Really looking forward to seeing the frame specs on both.

    Someone over in the Pack Rat thread was expressing surprise at the price of the frameset ($995 CDN/approx. 900 Eur/probably 900,000-1,000,000 Korean won) as compared to the Pacer, but I'm sure there's a reason for it, as stated above.
    Last edited by PDKL45; 09-18-2017 at 05:32 PM.

  4. #4
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    Well, it is pretty big jump (if Midnight Special is in fact replacement for Pacer)
    Right now Universal sells Pacer for 525 USD which is roughly 640 CDN which means MSRP in Canada is likely 700+ CDN. So cool 300 CDN jump in price.
    I do not know what Surly has in store for us. For a longest time it has been 4130 across all frames with exclusions of some MTBs with their trumpet tubeset (which is still 4130).
    Perhaps variation of All-City ACE tubes?

    I am keeping my 54cm Disco Tomato Pacer frame until it becomes "rare vintage last year of Pacer" and I will retire off it :-)

    PS Joking, trying to sell it
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  5. #5
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    I am also curious to see about how they will spec the complete.

    Assuming the MidNight Special is a performance-oriented allroad bike, intended to be used with narrow 700C road tires, as well as light, supple 650B tires, such as the Compass Babyshoe Pass or the WTB Horizon, it may get something like a 32-48 OEM/FSA crankset, but a 34-50 compact double may be more likely, maybe with an 11-34 cassette?

    I will be building up a frame if I get one, so it won't really affect me, but I am curious to see how modern all road bikes are specced. Dan D'Ambrosio wrote a good article for adventure cycling, focused on touring bikes, but a lot of what he wrote applies equally to allroad/adventure bikes. Climbing a steep, loose gravel road in a low gear of 34-28 can't be a lot of fun.

    https://www.adventurecycling.org/def..._DAmbrosio.pdf

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
    I do not know what Surly has in store for us. For a longest time it has been 4130 across all frames with exclusions of some MTBs with their trumpet tubeset (which is still 4130).
    Perhaps variation of All-City ACE tubes?
    QBP seem to keep their proprietary tubing brand-specific (ACE for All-City, Kung-Fu and Cobra Kai for Salsa), so maybe they're going to introduce a new type of Surly tubing?

    That said, they may just give one of the other types of steel a goofy new name, it wouldn't be the first time they did something like that (I'm looking at you, Darque Black).

    The Name Game, Part 1

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDKL45 View Post
    I am also curious to see about how they will spec the complete.

    Assuming the MidNight Special is a performance-oriented allroad bike, intended to be used with narrow 700C road tires, as well as light, supple 650B tires, such as the Compass Babyshoe Pass or the WTB Horizon, it may get something like a 32-48 OEM/FSA crankset, but a 34-50 compact double may be more likely, maybe with an 11-34 cassette?

    I will be building up a frame if I get one, so it won't really affect me, but I am curious to see how modern all road bikes are specced. Dan D'Ambrosio wrote a good article for adventure cycling, focused on touring bikes, but a lot of what he wrote applies equally to allroad/adventure bikes. Climbing a steep, loose gravel road in a low gear of 34-28 can't be a lot of fun.

    https://www.adventurecycling.org/def..._DAmbrosio.pdf
    Don't care for complete, only bought complete once because was in a rush and Spesh did not sell AWOL frames in Canada. Can't call it a waste as I used parts from complete on other builds but still - not falling for it again. I just want to get my grabby hands on the frame (getting ready to buy both, tbh if Surly comes through with what I want :-))
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    Hmm..Was thinking about a Straggler but price increases in the UK make it not a very attractive option right now. 900 EUR for this frame makes Surly even less attractive. Was only a year ago I bought and built my Wednesday for that kind of money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EssexBoyUK View Post
    Hmm..Was thinking about a Straggler but price increases in the UK make it not a very attractive option right now. 900 EUR for this frame makes Surly even less attractive. Was only a year ago I bought and built my Wednesday for that kind of money.
    It's the same here in Korea. Still, I think wait and see is the best policy on this frame, there's sure to be a good reason for the price. I have a couple of other options in mind and am happy to wait a few months to properly weigh up my options. A springy light steel frame would be very tempting, though, even at that price.

  10. #10
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    Is it safe to say this bike will use rim brakes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by islander View Post
    Is it safe to say this bike will use rim brakes?
    Seems unlikely, with the German ad specifically stating 650B/700C. It is possible to to rim brake conversions to 650B from 700C, there are guides online (but it would be unlikely that a major bike company would release a bike that had to be converted in that manner).

    That said, if it is 700C in larger sizes and 650B in smaller sizes, then all bets are off.
    Last edited by PDKL45; 12-06-2017 at 06:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDKL45 View Post
    Seems unlikely, with the German ad specifically stating 650B/700C. It is possible to to rim brake conversions to 650B from 700C, there are guides online.

    That said, if it is 70C in larger sizes and 650B in smaller sizes, then all bets are off.
    I read it as 700 in large sizes and 650 in smaller sizes just like Surly does on the other models..

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    I was too hasty with my reply. I meant to say that while you can do 650B conversions with certain rim brakes, I don't think a company would release a bike without discs for 700c/650b conversions in 2018.

    The German ad stated:

    "Surly MidNight Special All-Road Frame Kit, 650B/700C, 56cm, pearl white-FM0234"

    So you have a single frame size being advertised as being compatible with both 650B and 700C. The Pacer had fairly tight clearance from what I know, so this bike, as a seeming replacement, may be somewhat like a Pacer with better clearance and disc brakes, perhaps (PERHAPS! I'm speculating here) able to take up to 700x40C as well as 650x47B, like a lot of other all-road/adventure road bikes these days, such as the Cosmic Stallion.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDKL45 View Post
    ...like a Pacer with better clearance and disc brakes, perhaps (PERHAPS! I'm speculating here) able to take up to 700x40C as well as 650x47B, like a lot of other all-road/adventure road bikes these days, such as the Cosmic Stallion.
    Pacer with more clearance and disc brakes = Straggler?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
    Pacer with more clearance and disc brakes = Straggler?
    Straggler, minus dropouts designed by a mad scientist and 1st year engineering student on LSD, plus dropouts designed by crazy researcher and undergrad materials science student on mescaline = MidNight Special?

    I don't know man, like I said, pure speculation.
    Last edited by PDKL45; 12-08-2017 at 01:44 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
    Pacer with more clearance and disc brakes = Straggler?
    Great idea that was implemented horribly.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Great idea that was implemented horribly.
    I don't know, man. My straggler is an amazing bike. The dropouts are by far the worst part of the bike but in my ownership they've never been a problem in practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Utahbikemike View Post
    I don't know, man. My straggler is an amazing bike. The dropouts are by far the worst part of the bike but in my ownership they've never been a problem in practice.
    Agreed. I love the Straggler. In fact, I think it's one of the better bikes in Surly's current line-up. People seem to fret a lot about the dropouts, they ain't no big deal in my experience.
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  19. #19
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    Bump...

    Was this just an unfounded rumor bike? Any updates from those in the know?

    Im uncomfortable on a Straggler so looking at the Vaya now, wondering if it's worth holding off a bit for something new from surly

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  20. #20
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    According to the now "famous on the MTBR Surly Sub-Forum" Cosmic Sports, who advertised the orange Pugs early, the MidNight SPecial was listed as:

    "Surly MidNight Special All-Road Frame Kit, 650B/700C, 56cm, pearl white-FM0234"

    It looks like it's coming; maybe within a week or two? It's supposedly the Pacer's replacement, and the Pacer is still listed, so the Pack rat wasn't the replacement, as was originally posed by one or two people. Maybe they will release it for Frostbike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDKL45 View Post
    According to the now "famous on the MTBR Surly Sub-Forum" Cosmic Sports, who advertised the orange Pugs early, the MidNight SPecial was listed as:

    "Surly MidNight Special All-Road Frame Kit, 650B/700C, 56cm, pearl white-FM0234"

    It looks like it's coming; maybe within a week or two? It's supposedly the Pacer's replacement, and the Pacer is still listed, so the Pack rat wasn't the replacement, as was originally posed by one or two people. Maybe they will release it for Frostbike?
    What will be the difference between a Pacer and this new Midnight Special?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
    What will be the difference between a Pacer and this new Midnight Special?
    That I do not know, but I assume better tire clearance?

    With it advertised as 700c/650b, I would say it was done with road plus in mind.

    https://www.wtb.com/collections/road-plus

    Maybe there are some geometry tweaks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDKL45 View Post
    That I do not know, but I assume better tire clearance?

    With it advertised as 700c/650b, I would say it was done with road plus in mind.

    https://www.wtb.com/collections/road-plus

    Maybe there are some geometry tweaks?
    Would it make sense for Surly to make a steel bike with similar geometry to something like the Giant Defy range?

    The only bike they have in their range with a lot of head tube is the LHT & DT.

    Anyway, for them to replace the Pacer, then it sounds like the Pacer isn't selling like hotcakes, so what could Surly do that might address this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
    Anyway, for them to replace the Pacer, then it sounds like the Pacer isn't selling like hotcakes
    Not sure it's ever been their most popular model. In the UK it hasn't been widely available for several years even when they have a colour change. Even the thread on here is called ‘the most unheralded Surly’.
    I’d be quite keen to see this as currently have road plus on my Stooge which rides very well on the WTB Byway tyres. Also just about to embark on a 650b conversion on my 26” LHT and already have B+ on the Wednesday so I'm quite sold on the in between wheel size format.

    A road plus randonneur Surly model would be a great addition to the line up.

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    https://surlybikes.com/blog/road_plu...dnight_special

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    Way more clearance than I anticipated. So stoked. I'm in!
    All good expeditions should be simple in concept, difficult in their execution and satisfying to remember--Alastair Humphreys

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    Huge clearance, huh? It's the type of clearance and flexibility with wheels/tires that I thought the Pack Rat would have.

    It has the "long head tubes are the work of the devil" Surly frame, but it looks completely awesome.

    Anyone see an official price on it yet?

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    Looks great but I am going with Gorilla Monsoon - awesome color, great looking fork (not a big fan of unicrown on Surly MS), nice long headtube for 55cm size.
    https://allcitycycles.com/bikes/gorilla_monsoon

    $850 USD for the frameset, placed an order with my LBS
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
    Looks great but I am going with Gorilla Monsoon - awesome color, great looking fork (not a big fan of unicrown on Surly MS), nice long headtube for 55cm size.
    https://allcitycycles.com/bikes/gorilla_monsoon

    $850 USD for the frameset, placed an order with my LBS
    The both look good. The midnight spécial is less expensive and have better number geometry for me than the gorilla moonson.

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    I like the spec on the GM better than the MS. The MS with a one by group seems pretty perfect.

    I imagine I'll likely go with a MS frame and build it up from parts I have laying around. Looks like I'll be switching up the quiver a bit. I gotta say, I have a feeling my Ogre might end up going...
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  32. #32
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    I'm getting tired of Surly's short head tubes.

    At 6'3", I usually look for the biggest bike in the lineup. The 64cm Midnight Special has a stack equivalent to the biggest Gorilla Monsoon, but the largest GM has a reach similar to the 58cm Midnight Special, three sizes down.

    Somehow, Surly claims the largest MS can fit someone who is 6'8", but I'm guessing only if they want their bars 8" below their saddle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatalpine View Post
    The both look good. The midnight spécial is less expensive and have better number geometry for me than the gorilla moonson.
    Geo numbers on GM work better for me. It seems that MS is more road oriented (12mm through axles, flat mount brakes, 68mm BB) and GM is more off-roadish (with 73mm BB, clearance for mtb/gravel cranks, 15mm front axle, standard IS mounts). I do like them both but GM speaks to my heart, love at first sight and ticks all the boxes for me. I also appreciate standard headtube on GM as I have no intention to run tapered steer or modern suspension fork on it.
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    Looks like it'd make for a great randonneur. I'm riding my disc trucker now, but a lighter weight bike with a rack capable fork would be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDKL45 View Post
    Huge clearance, huh? It's the type of clearance and flexibility with wheels/tires that I thought the Pack Rat would have.

    It has the "long head tubes are the work of the devil" Surly frame, but it looks completely awesome.

    Anyone see an official price on it yet?
    1800

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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    Looks like it'd make for a great randonneur. I'm riding my disc trucker now, but a lighter weight bike with a rack capable fork would be great.
    I was once thinking the same, until I started my faux Troll rando project. A Midnight Special would be perfect with fenders on the WTB Horizons with a decaleur and rando bag in the front.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
    Looks great but I am going with Gorilla Monsoon - awesome color, great looking fork (not a big fan of unicrown on Surly MS), nice long headtube for 55cm size.
    https://allcitycycles.com/bikes/gorilla_monsoon

    $850 USD for the frameset, placed an order with my LBS
    Different bikes, no? Seems like AC thinks the GM is more of a rowdy monster dirt bike than the Pacer-replacing roadie that is the MidnightSpecial. GM is a bit of distraction in this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islander View Post
    Different bikes, no? Seems like AC thinks the GM is more of a rowdy monster dirt bike than the Pacer-replacing roadie that is the MidnightSpecial. GM is a bit of distraction in this thread.
    Totally agree! Different machines for different purposes IMO.

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    I'd be curious to know how the MS rides with 2.2s on dirt. Not like a rock garden but on some loamy singletrack. Maybe a bit twitchy? Probably like a plush CC? I imagine it's fine on gravel/dirt roads.
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    Quote Originally Posted by islander View Post
    Different bikes, no? Seems like AC thinks the GM is more of a rowdy monster dirt bike than the Pacer-replacing roadie that is the MidnightSpecial. GM is a bit of distraction in this thread.
    Already said it several posts up (road vs offroad), http://forums.mtbr.com/surly/surly-m...l#post13546865
    But fair point on distraction, I'll shut up and wait for my GM.
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  41. #41
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    I can't help but feel that Surly cheaped out on the fork design, the crown area is quite ugly and bottom tier looking.

    Would have much preferred to see a fork that looked more like that on the LHT or CC.

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    The unicrown fork is surprising indeed. Adding a braze on rack mount to the curve doesn’t help its looks. Their standard fork crown should have been used IMHO.

    Note that the color does have some pearl to it. There are pics of a plain white one, but the production version is pearl. Looks nice.
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    Yeah, fork is not the prettiest.
    On the bike itself - did anyone noticed how Surly blog said it is available like right away? Did they finally got their shit together?
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    Yeah there’s a handful of these in each size ready to go!
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    Universal has them up so I imagine your local Surly dealer can order one.

    https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...s.php?id=94187
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfltroll View Post
    I like the spec on the GM better than the MS. The MS with a one by group seems pretty perfect.

    I imagine I'll likely go with a MS frame and build it up from parts I have laying around. Looks like I'll be switching up the quiver a bit. I gotta say, I have a feeling my Ogre might end up going...
    I feel like the MS came with a nicer spec, specifically the drivetrain and brakes. The rest seems pretty close.

    Curuious how the MS would be on a little singletrack.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
    Yeah, fork is not the prettiest.
    On the bike itself - did anyone noticed how Surly blog said it is available like right away? Did they finally got their shit together?
    Yes and no - the frame-only units ($625US msrp) are elusive..

    Am I the only one hoping the frames come with a black option?

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    I dig this bike. Wonder if frame-only are available now.

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    It'd never happen, but a white carbon fork would look amazing with this frame.

  50. #50
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    I'm always interested in new Surly bikes, but the Midnight Special seems so similar to a Straggler that I'm surprised they offer both, instead of one or the other.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
    I'm always interested in new Surly bikes, but the Midnight Special seems so similar to a Straggler that I'm surprised they offer both, instead of one or the other.
    I really believe the MS is everything the Straggler should have been but wasn't. I wonder if you can swap the straggler fork with its nicer looking crown for the MS's unicorn fork.
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  52. #52
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    I really dig this thing... But I don't need a third version of basically a bicycle I already have two of...

    But still. I want it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    I really dig this thing... But I don't need a third version of basically a bicycle I already have two of...

    But still. I want it.
    I'm with Agwan. Already have two other bikes which do the same job and more. Like it and will have a spare berth soon once my fleet consolidation is complete. Will add it to my long shortlist

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    Damnit. This is the exact bike i wanted but settled on a straggler. Love my straggler, but I'd love this more.

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    Wonder how much singletrack this thing can really hit if you threw a different set of tires on it. I don't plan to hit a lot, but I am not sure I need the All-City Gorilla Monsoon. The MS is has a nicer drive train and brakes and is a couple hundred less.

    From their blog post:

    Is this bike for off-road riding?
    Sure, as long as the off-road isn’t too gnarly, game on.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    I was about to share that article here. The author replied to just about every comment.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    If anybody is interested, I walked into the LBS last night to probably buy a Midnight Special. Turns out the QBP rep was there. Also turns out I think he learned more about the bike from me, than I from him. A lot of canned answers to questions ("you gotta do what's right for you/"yeah the tires fit, but QPB recommends..." style answers)

    I am sold on the MS for road plus, but I am not sold on the road plus platform (very very slightly not sold). It has a lot of clearance for 700c, yeah, but if I end up just going with 700c, there are other frames I would prefer. Unfortunately the LBS is simply a dealer and does not stock them so a pre-ride is not possible.

    I decided against the Gorilla Monsoon because I already have a mountain bike (Karate Monkey), and while the GM would be different, I think the MS would be different enough to warrant a purchase.

    Also, I need to ask about the Salsa Journeyman.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyriverag View Post
    If anybody is interested, I walked into the LBS last night to probably buy a Midnight Special. Turns out the QBP rep was there. Also turns out I think he learned more about the bike from me, than I from him. A lot of canned answers to questions ("you gotta do what's right for you/"yeah the tires fit, but QPB recommends..." style answers)

    I am sold on the MS for road plus, but I am not sold on the road plus platform (very very slightly not sold). It has a lot of clearance for 700c, yeah, but if I end up just going with 700c, there are other frames I would prefer. Unfortunately the LBS is simply a dealer and does not stock them so a pre-ride is not possible.

    I decided against the Gorilla Monsoon because I already have a mountain bike (Karate Monkey), and while the GM would be different, I think the MS would be different enough to warrant a purchase.

    Also, I need to ask about the Salsa Journeyman.
    My current cross bike (but more road geo) can only fit 700x40c tires and I look at that as almost a road plus bike. I am totally sold on it. Road geo and fat tires. I can tackle some rough singletrack on my bike, but it does leave me wanting for slightly fatter tires. Keeping the road geo, you'd have to go 650b, which is what makes the MS ideal for me. I will most likely pick one up after I get a chance to ride it and determine what size I need. I can't imagine what this thing can do with some fat 2.4" tires or 2.25" thunder burts.

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    Thanks for the insight. What do you think a 700c x 40ish wheel/tire would do on something like the Midnight Special? Or on a road bike in general?
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyriverag View Post
    Thanks for the insight. What do you think a 700c x 40ish wheel/tire would do on something like the Midnight Special? Or on a road bike in general?
    I run 700x40 Maxxis Ramblers on my Disc Trucker. They seem like more than enough traction for easy singletrack, downhill corners on dirt roads and gravel commuter paths. They're tubeless, so they are also plenty of cushion for bad roads and any pebbles you might find. I feel like 650b Plus is _maybe_ useful for full-on singletrack. Using it on a road bike seems like massive overkill for pretty much any situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by asollie View Post
    I run 700x40 Maxxis Ramblers on my Disc Trucker. They seem like more than enough traction for easy singletrack, downhill corners on dirt roads and gravel commuter paths. They're tubeless, so they are also plenty of cushion for bad roads and any pebbles you might find. I feel like 650b Plus is _maybe_ useful for full-on singletrack. Using it on a road bike seems like massive overkill for pretty much any situation.
    I was waiting for both GM and MS just so I can run Schwalbe G-One 27.5x2.35. I had them setup tubeless on old 1x1 frame with drops and they are amazing on the road and good enough on easy flowy singletrack. I am completely sold on Road Plus. My GM order fell through (stock taken by big orders so nothing in sight till at least Aug), I can't get over MS fork and rear brake cable routing over the top of the downtube so now waiting for Jorneyman details and may be BMC will have something soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyriverag View Post
    Thanks for the insight. What do you think a 700c x 40ish wheel/tire would do on something like the Midnight Special? Or on a road bike in general?
    Overall diameter is about same as 650bx60 so running 700x40 shouldn't make a big difference. If you're talking slapping on something that big on a regular road bike (given clearance), it would cause some havoc with the geometry.

    Quote Originally Posted by asollie View Post
    I run 700x40 Maxxis Ramblers on my Disc Trucker. They seem like more than enough traction for easy singletrack, downhill corners on dirt roads and gravel commuter paths. They're tubeless, so they are also plenty of cushion for bad roads and any pebbles you might find. I feel like 650b Plus is _maybe_ useful for full-on singletrack. Using it on a road bike seems like massive overkill for pretty much any situation.
    I don't think so. I don't know what trails you ride with the Ramblers, but there are some pretty rough ATV type trails on a couple of my routes. Going full-on MTB is a no-go, since the rest of the ride is fairly tame forest service road or tarmac. But the reason why I am buying into this, is because going 650b allows you to keep a very road bike-ish geometry that you couldn't with fat 700c tires. Chainstay clearance/Chainring clearance/toe overlap, etc. For my rides, a fast or even slick 27.5x2.2" tire would do wonders. Gives me the cush I need and still fast enough on pavement, without messing up a nice road geometry.

    Quote Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
    I was waiting for both GM and MS just so I can run Schwalbe G-One 27.5x2.35. I had them setup tubeless on old 1x1 frame with drops and they are amazing on the road and good enough on easy flowy singletrack. I am completely sold on Road Plus. My GM order fell through (stock taken by big orders so nothing in sight till at least Aug), I can't get over MS fork and rear brake cable routing over the top of the downtube so now waiting for Jorneyman details and may be BMC will have something soon.
    100% agreed on the fork. So ugly. Wish they would've gone with something like on the Straggler or taken some queues from their All City brethren. At least there are other options, such as Whiskey.


  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    Overall diameter is about same as 650bx60 so running 700x40 shouldn't make a big difference. If you're talking slapping on something that big on a regular road bike (given clearance), it would cause some havoc with the geometry.



    I don't think so. I don't know what trails you ride with the Ramblers, but there are some pretty rough ATV type trails on a couple of my routes. Going full-on MTB is a no-go, since the rest of the ride is fairly tame forest service road or tarmac. But the reason why I am buying into this, is because going 650b allows you to keep a very road bike-ish geometry that you couldn't with fat 700c tires. Chainstay clearance/Chainring clearance/toe overlap, etc. For my rides, a fast or even slick 27.5x2.2" tire would do wonders. Gives me the cush I need and still fast enough on pavement, without messing up a nice road geometry.



    100% agreed on the fork. So ugly. Wish they would've gone with something like on the Straggler or taken some queues from their All City brethren. At least there are other options, such as Whiskey.

    Yes, aftermarket fork is probably the way to go, color matched white looks gorgeous but I do not believe it will provide the same clearance as the stock fork. And I do not understand why not route full housing brake cable under the downtube, why route on top of it?

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    I was almost at the "shut up and take my money" stage with this frame, until I read the Radavist review. I have to say, the weird dropouts are kind of killing it for me. It's like the worst of both worlds: you give up the alignment advantages of through axles (and possibly the stiffness), yet you also give up the convenience of quick release, because apparently you need some weird adapter to use QR wheels. I had a Cross Check about 10 years ago and kind of had the same reaction to that frame and those lousy semi-horizontal dropouts.

    I do like the flat mount brakes though.

    The 650b Bombtrack Audax looks like it would fix most of my complaints, if the bare frames ever make it to the USA.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
    Yes, aftermarket fork is probably the way to go, color matched white looks gorgeous but I do not believe it will provide the same clearance as the stock fork. And I do not understand why not route full housing brake cable under the downtube, why route on top of it?

    My only explanation would be to avoid the weird transition from bottom to top cable routing at the B.B. I’ve got that on my Niner Sir9. Had to ghetto rig it a bit and looks ugly. But I guess that doesn’t look at great, either.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    My only explanation would be to avoid the weird transition from bottom to top cable routing at the B.B. I’ve got that on my Niner Sir9. Had to ghetto rig it a bit and looks ugly. But I guess that doesn’t look at great, either.
    I have routing under DT, BB and over to caliper on my Nature Boys and Specialized AWOL - out of the way and it works and looks fine. I get it that Surly had to work with traditional DT shifter braze-ons but I think it would have worked better under DT or even better with internal routing.
    Not trying to shit on some of their last bikes, I am long time fan and owner of many of their frames but both Pack Rat and MS look like rushed products, hodge podge design if you will.
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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaluna View Post
    I was almost at the "shut up and take my money" stage with this frame, until I read the Radavist review. I have to say, the weird dropouts are kind of killing it for me. It's like the worst of both worlds: you give up the alignment advantages of through axles (and possibly the stiffness), yet you also give up the convenience of quick release, because apparently you need some weird adapter to use QR wheels. I had a Cross Check about 10 years ago and kind of had the same reaction to that frame and those lousy semi-horizontal dropouts.

    I do like the flat mount brakes though.

    The 650b Bombtrack Audax looks like it would fix most of my complaints, if the bare frames ever make it to the USA.
    Agree on drop outs but at least it sort of aligns with Surly's philosophy on allowing people to use their favorite/partsbinspecial parts.

    For Audax 650B - super nice looking frame, I especially like nice tidy cable exits on the chainstay vs for example wed lump on All City Cosmic Stallion. But pressfit BB is a deal killer for me on such frame. And tire clearance is far cry from MS or GM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaluna View Post
    I was almost at the "shut up and take my money" stage with this frame, until I read the Radavist review. I have to say, the weird dropouts are kind of killing it for me. It's like the worst of both worlds: you give up the alignment advantages of through axles (and possibly the stiffness), yet you also give up the convenience of quick release, because apparently you need some weird adapter to use QR wheels. I had a Cross Check about 10 years ago and kind of had the same reaction to that frame and those lousy semi-horizontal dropouts.

    I do like the flat mount brakes though.

    The 650b Bombtrack Audax looks like it would fix most of my complaints, if the bare frames ever make it to the USA.
    Well crap. Guess I’m not surprised Surly came out with yet another wacky rear end. I hate these one size fits all approach that Surly’s been doing lately. Gnot boost garbage and now this. That would be my only complaint with this frame and could be a deal killer.

    I had issues with the Cross Check as well but it wasn’t the horizontal dropouts themselves. It was the odd 132.5 spacing. Super annoying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    Well crap. Guess I’m not surprised Surly came out with yet another wacky rear end. I hate these one size fits all approach that Surly’s been doing lately. Gnot boost garbage and now this. That would be my only complaint with this frame and could be a deal killer.

    I had issues with the Cross Check as well but it wasn’t the horizontal dropouts themselves. It was the odd 132.5 spacing. Super annoying.
    Here are some closeups of the front dropouts and their bolt-through "kinda sorta a skewer but not really" thing from the Google 650b group. The term "train wreck" comes to mind:

    https://groups.google.com/d/msg/650b...k/77l3cBDDBwAJ

    I'm probably overreacting, but, it's just frustrating when it's such a nice frame in so many other ways. I suppose you could solve half the problem with an aftermarket fork, but only if you can buy the frame sans fork and put the money towards a Whiskey, Niner or similar. The Niner RDO has a flat mount option and some nice looking rack/accessory cage mounts too.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
    Agree on drop outs but at least it sort of aligns with Surly's philosophy on allowing people to use their favorite/partsbinspecial parts.
    I do appreciate that part of it, and I do stuff like that quite often. The problem as I see it though, is that the Surly frames are starting to get a little too expensive to just serve as a cheap platform to hang spare parts off of. That's more the kind of thing that would have me going to Nashbar to look for clearance frames for $149

    For Audax 650B - super nice looking frame, I especially like nice tidy cable exits on the chainstay vs for example wed lump on All City Cosmic Stallion. But pressfit BB is a deal killer for me on such frame. And tire clearance is far cry from MS or GM
    Yeah the pressfit is a concern, though I believe they claim they've only ever seen one problem, which was solved by replacing the frame for the customer. I don't know how common it is to have problems with steel pressfits, or if that's more a carbon thing (maybe that's just wishful thinking). The New Albion Drake is also pressfit, otherwise I'd be looking seriously at that one.

  72. #72
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    Looks like both Whisky forks do fit 50 or 52mm 650b wheels. But **** they are expensive. I had no idea.

    What would you upgrade first - a new wheelset (likely DT350 hubs and Stan's Crest MK3 rims), or to a Whisky carbon fork? Actually, I am not even sure I care that much. Would probably go with wheels. Suggestions or thoughts?

    Also, what inner rim width would work best with WTB Byways and/or WTB Nanos?
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    I was really liking the MS at first, but now I'm leaning more toward the Kona Rove ST. I took a test run a couple years ago and thought the Rove felt nice and stable but the handling was a little sluggish on pavement. It ought to be better off road. I wish Surly would have specced the MS with a 1x drivetrain. Whatever I end up with will be used heavily for commuting plus mixed terrain rides. I've also been looking at the Bombtrack Arise 2.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountaindude View Post
    I was really liking the MS at first, but now I'm leaning more toward the Kona Rove ST. I took a test run a couple years ago and thought the Rove felt nice and stable but the handling was a little sluggish on pavement. It ought to be better off road. I wish Surly would have specced the MS with a 1x drivetrain. Whatever I end up with will be used heavily for commuting plus mixed terrain rides. I've also been looking at the Bombtrack Arise 2.
    I looked hard at Bombtrack - the Arise 2 looks sweet but comes specced as singlespeed and does not fit road plus. Really only their Audax and Hook EXT fits road plus. That and I have no idea about actually obtaining a Bombtrack bike. If suddenly found the Hook EXT in front of my face in my size though, yeah, I'd probably buy it after a quick test ride.

    I also looked at Rawlands xSogn, 1x, similar price, similar spec to the MS, but with bar end shifters. And the chainstays are super long (450). Still considering this one.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyriverag View Post
    I looked hard at Bombtrack - the Arise 2 looks sweet but comes specced as singlespeed and does not fit road plus. Really only their Audax and Hook EXT fits road plus. That and I have no idea about actually obtaining a Bombtrack bike. If suddenly found the Hook EXT in front of my face in my size though, yeah, I'd probably buy it after a quick test ride.

    I also looked at Rawlands xSogn, 1x, similar price, similar spec to the MS, but with bar end shifters. And the chainstays are super long (450). Still considering this one.
    Amazon is selling last year's Bombtrack frames and complete bikes, but I wouldn't want to buy without riding.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountaindude View Post
    Amazon is selling last year's Bombtrack frames and complete bikes, but I wouldn't want to buy without riding.
    Ha, yeah, saw that. No EXT in my size, otherwise I'd probably go for it.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyriverag View Post
    I looked hard at Bombtrack - the Arise 2 looks sweet but comes specced as singlespeed and does not fit road plus. Really only their Audax and Hook EXT fits road plus. That and I have no idea about actually obtaining a Bombtrack bike. If suddenly found the Hook EXT in front of my face in my size though, yeah, I'd probably buy it after a quick test ride.

    I also looked at Rawlands xSogn, 1x, similar price, similar spec to the MS, but with bar end shifters. And the chainstays are super long (450). Still considering this one.
    Adrenaline Bikes in Orange, CA has a bunch of Bombtrack frames and complete bikes. I saw a few Hook EXT frames and bikes there, though I think one of the frames had very limited sizes available.

    No 2018 Audax frames either . They do list the complete bike, which is way out of my price range.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaluna View Post
    Adrenaline Bikes in Orange, CA has a bunch of Bombtrack frames and complete bikes. I saw a few Hook EXT frames and bikes there, though I think one of the frames had very limited sizes available.

    No 2018 Audax frames either . They do list the complete bike, which is way out of my price range.

    Thanks for the heads up. I am in WI. Though I will be in CA on Wednesday (San Fran area), and then closer to Orange (San Diego) in May. Will be likely on my MS or Journeyman by then though.

    Not gonna lie, when I first saw the Hook EXT online got an instaboner.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    I want this bike

    Do you guys think this would handle well four panniers and be used as a touring setup?

    maybe add a 11-36t casette..

    EDIT: I own a Troll as a tourer, but would have to sell that to buy this thing

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    Not mine and I am not associated with seller in any way. If anyone is looking to build 54cm with Whisky #9 - sweet deal if you ask me, https://www.ebay.ca/itm/292469848594?ul_noapp=true
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    I think Surly have shot themselves in the foot a bit with the Midnight Special as they have probably killed of a lot of interest in the Pack Rat before its even hit the shops.
    I really think the Pack Rat is a pretty specialised bit of kit with 650b, rim brakes and probably clearance of maximum 650 x 42 with fenders.
    Thinking about the cycling circles I move in I think most, if not all would go for the Midnight Special vs Pack Rat. Disc brakes, plenty of clearance, modern hub standards and pretty versatile.
    Also look on here here the Pack at thread has gone. No one has posted on there for 3 week and usually there is quite a frenzy when Surly release a new frame.
    Personally I'm a rim brake, DT shifter, standard hub size kind of guy when it comes to road bikes so would probably take the Pack Rat over the MS. But hey, they are all bikes right?

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaluna View Post
    I was almost at the "shut up and take my money" stage with this frame, until I read the Radavist review. I have to say, the weird dropouts are kind of killing it for me. It's like the worst of both worlds: you give up the alignment advantages of through axles (and possibly the stiffness), yet you also give up the convenience of quick release, because apparently you need some weird adapter to use QR wheels. I had a Cross Check about 10 years ago and kind of had the same reaction to that frame and those lousy semi-horizontal dropouts.

    I do like the flat mount brakes though.

    The 650b Bombtrack Audax looks like it would fix most of my complaints, if the bare frames ever make it to the USA.
    The biggest critique of Surly frames has been their overbuilt harsh ride in contrast to pricier options. Heck, there's a whole niche of riders that think disc-ready frames w/o thru axles are too stiff and stick to rim brakes for that reason. Fretting over the less-than-super-stiff ride that a non-thru axle that still fits the many hubs type out there is a non-issue for a bike that isn't for loaded touring. If running thru axles, this dropout system is dead simple and is only slightly more complicated if you're the guy still married to Tulio's 9mm QRs.

    It just seems like a knee-jerk reaction from the Radavist's 'princess-&-the-pea' types.

    For me, I can get over the unicrown as it kept the price down, but I sure wish they'd given it the fork hole for internal routing of the generator hub wire like they did on the Pack Rat; and offered the frame in a black option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islander View Post
    The biggest critique of Surly frames has been their overbuilt harsh ride in contrast to pricier options. Heck, there's a whole niche of riders that think disc-ready frames w/o thru axles are too stiff and stick to rim brakes for that reason. Fretting over the less-than-super-stiff ride that a non-thru axle that still fits the many hubs type out there is a non-issue for a bike that isn't for loaded touring. If running thru axles, this dropout system is dead simple and is only slightly more complicated if you're the guy still married to Tulio's 9mm QRs.

    It just seems like a knee-jerk reaction from the Radavist's 'princess-&-the-pea' types.

    For me, I can get over the unicrown as it kept the price down, but I sure wish they'd given it the fork hole for internal routing of the generator hub wire like they did on the Pack Rat; and offered the frame in a black option.
    The more I think about it, the more I’m willing to withhold final judgement until I find out exactly how the QR adapters work (mainly because I’m really pleased with their choice to use flat mount brakes). If the traditional quick release operation isn’t too compromised, then I have no problem viewing this as just a standard QR bike that, as a bonus, offers a way forward if you happen to have a TA wheelset. If it’s difficult though, then it becomes kind of a serious design encumbrance, especially if you take your wheel(s) off frequently.


    EDIT: A closer reading of Surly's blog entry on the MS gives me the answer about the QR adapters. You use the Surly 10/12 Adapter Washers, which I guess have been available for a while. They don't look too painful to use -- you just put them on each wheel and they're held in place by the skewer. I don't think I'd want to use them on a frame that isn't designed for that kind of clamping pressure (e.g. anything carbon), though obviously it's a non-issue in this case since the frame is designed with them in mind.

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    Midnight Special framesets popping up for sale on UK and European websites but not sure they are available yet. Best price so far is £679 GBP. (about 950 USD) Quite competitive compared to other Surly frame prices although Pack Rat is coming in at £479 so £200 cheaper.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by EssexBoyUK View Post
    Midnight Special framesets popping up for sale on UK and European websites but not sure they are available yet. Best price so far is £679 GBP. (about 950 USD) Quite competitive compared to other Surly frame prices although Pack Rat is coming in at £479 so £200 cheaper.
    I seriously doubt there is a large enough market for the Pack Rat and I'm not convinced Surly is the right brand to try and service it anyway, seems more like something Soma should be doing.

    I'll be very surprised if this rim brake version of the Pack Rat ever sees a new model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
    I seriously doubt there is a large enough market for the Pack Rat and I'm not convinced Surly is the right brand to try and service it anyway, seems more like something Soma should be doing.

    I'll be very surprised if this rim brake version of the Pack Rat ever sees a new model.
    I totally agree. As mentioned up tread I think the Pack Rat is pretty niche. Looking at UK availability the larger 650b models aren't yet available in the UK so wonder if they are having issues sourcing certain parts (eg reasonably priced rim braked 650b rims??)
    Midnight Special will have wide appeal. I know all of my brevet riding, comedy off road buddies would all probably go for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
    I seriously doubt there is a large enough market for the Pack Rat and I'm not convinced Surly is the right brand to try and service it anyway, seems more like something Soma should be doing.

    I'll be very surprised if this rim brake version of the Pack Rat ever sees a new model.
    I have to admit, the Rat Pack kind of looks like a LHT except in 650b instead of 700c for the larger sizes. I was pretty underwhelmed.

    For those looking at framesets, what wheels do you plan to buy? I can't even find decent rim brake 26" wheels. I suppose custom built is still an option as good rims are available, but in that case, why go with a heavy steel frame? No knock on Surly. I have a CC myself, but I wouldn't kit it out with custom wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
    I have to admit, the Rat Pack kind of looks like a LHT except in 650b instead of 700c for the larger sizes. I was pretty underwhelmed.

    For those looking at framesets, what wheels do you plan to buy? I can't even find decent rim brake 26" wheels. I suppose custom built is still an option as good rims are available, but in that case, why go with a heavy steel frame? No knock on Surly. I have a CC myself, but I wouldn't kit it out with custom wheels.
    Probably better to post in Pack Rat thread. If I were to build Pack Rat - I'd lace some cheap wheels or just get something like this, Suzue 650b Trekking and Commuting Wheelset
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    I ride a Disc Trucker for my brevets and I would really like to see a disc brake, low trail, 26" or 650b bike with midfork mounts for a handlebar bag. Surly really screwed the pooch with both the Midnight Special and the Pack Rat. Randonneurs are kinda retrogrouches and so the rim brakes make sense, but the mid trail fork and without the specifically located midfork eyelets makes no sense. The allroad market is saturated with mid to high trail bikes in all frame materials and those bikes are seeing all kinds of use from gravel racing to randonneuring and recreational/comfort road rides.

    I'm currently using two stems to mount my handlebar bag on my disc trucker with one and the handlebar with others. In my frame size, 50 cm, 26" wheels make more sense for me in my size but for larger sizes, 650b is probably a better fit.

    If I had a magic wand, I would eliminate both of these bicycles from the Surly lineup and market similar frame geometry with disc and rim brakes to cover all riders. Surly is famous for braze-ons and there is simply no explanation for why these bicycles don't come set up for a front handlebar rack from the factory. It might even make sense to offer a mid trail fork separately for those worried about the possibility of shimmy or for gravel use and/or to offer them with couplers for those of us who travel.

    Surly is the perfect company to offer/sell a real randonneuring bike as a complete at the right price point. A low trail, disc brake, allroad type bike made of lightweight steel at the right price point is a hole in the market right now. It's unclear to me why they would offer these two bicycles without fully thinking it through. Either one of them with the right fork would make perfect randonneurs, but as soon as you factor in the cost of a custom fork, their price point no longer makes sense.

    Until we get some common sense in this area, I'm going to continue riding my disc trucker, which is quite a bit heavier than it needs to be for what I'm using it for, but otherwise suits my needs quite well. The right disc brake bike can straddle two different wheel and tire sizes without much effort, but few are carrying panniers on a long brevet.

    The allroad category covers gravel, credit card tourers, and people who live where the roads are poor in addition to randonneurs, and so there's a wide market to put these bikes in. Adding a few braze ons costs practically nothing, and if someone doesn't want the low trail fork, forks and frames could be sold separately to cover all of these riders with one frame.

    I'll be riding my Disc Trucker until I can afford a custom frame, maybe from Waterford, that will eventually combine all of the features I'm looking for. It's just a big surprise to me that some of these more minor things have been overlooked when they introduced two new bikes and either one of them could have filled this niche, but instead, both missed the mark.

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    OK, I have to admit - MS started to grow on me. My GM order was restored thanks to help from All-City, I am still gaga for it and have all parts ready but now I can't stop thinking that I will need road-road bike to complement it :-)
    Still not sold on white but it does look sharp with black CF fork, may be this one? https://otsocycles.com/collections/l...hic-hilli-fork
    One thing I noticed - 68mm BSA mentioned everywhere but if you check frame sheet here https://surlybikes.com/uploads/downl...e_Sheet_vF.pdf - it says 73mm.
    Decisions, decision - I will wait what Salsa Jorneyman is all about (I think they supposed to reveal it next Sat) and go from there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
    OK, I have to admit - MS started to grow on me. My GM order was restored thanks to help from All-City, I am still gaga for it and have all parts ready but now I can't stop thinking that I will need road-road bike to complement it :-)
    Still not sold on white but it does look sharp with black CF fork, may be this one? https://otsocycles.com/collections/l...hic-hilli-fork
    One thing I noticed - 68mm BSA mentioned everywhere but if you check frame sheet here https://surlybikes.com/uploads/downl...e_Sheet_vF.pdf - it says 73mm.
    Decisions, decision - I will wait what Salsa Jorneyman is all about (I think they supposed to reveal it next Sat) and go from there.
    FWIW the white is nice. A little pearly. I can try to get a good pic later.

    Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post
    FWIW the white is nice. A little pearly. I can try to get a good pic later.

    Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
    Thank you - that would be great! One of my 1x1 is white and I am not very fond of its color. But it is one of the earlier frames, without tt brace so keeping it and I think I will powdercoat it at some point.
    I watched this vid and white appears to be nice pearly as you say https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpXvRXb6xHQ

    For folks in Canada - saw MS frameset on NRG website (I believe they are distributor for QBP in Canada) and it shows as $995 (I assume CAD), http://store.nrgenterprises.com:9080...?partno=FM0234
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    I really like the look of that fork.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
    For folks in Canada - saw MS frameset on NRG website (I believe they are distributor for QBP in Canada) and it shows as $995 (I assume CAD), http://store.nrgenterprises.com:9080...?partno=FM0234
    Nrg makes Surly stuff expensive in Canada. At the current exchange rate it should be $810 CDN.

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    After going for a test ride, I bought a Midnight Special. It sold me hands down. I love the quick handling, comfy ride and the paint looks great. It should pair nicely with my Krampus.

    Surly MidNight Special-img4529_high.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountaindude View Post
    After going for a test ride, I bought a Midnight Special. It sold me hands down. I love the quick handling, comfy ride and the paint looks great. It should pair nicely with my Krampus.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Congrats! It is a good looking ride!
    Patiently waiting for my GM frame and will go after MS or Black Mountain Cycles (when announced) for all-road
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  98. #98
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    Good looking bike.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  99. #99
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    What size Midnight Special in the picture? How do you like it so far?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMA View Post
    What size Midnight Special in the picture? How do you like it so far?
    Quote Originally Posted by mountaindude View Post
    After going for a test ride, I bought a Midnight Special. It sold me hands down. I love the quick handling, comfy ride and the paint looks great. It should pair nicely with my Krampus.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG4529_high.jpg 
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    What size Midnight Special in the picture? How do you like it so far?

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