The Straggler differs from the Cross Check with minor geometry changes, and disc brakes. © Cyclocross Magazine

The Straggler differs from the Cross Check with minor geometry changes, and disc brakes. © Cyclocross Magazine

Ask the guys at the Surly booth a serious question, and get ready for a lot of cyclocross-esque heckling before they get down to business. Ask about the Straggler, and they’ll all ask you what you think of the color, a blinding purple metallic, which is a stark contrast to the military green of their classic steel Cross Check. “I like the color a lot,” I told them, honestly.

“I [expletive] hated it,” the one boldly offers. “But then I saw it, and now I [expletive] love it.” It might take some getting used to, but the Straggler is the latest addition to the Surly lineup for cyclocross, though it’s more geared for mountain bikers who love to race ’cross versus dedicated ’crossies, since the steel frame is far from the lightest model out there, and the tire clearance is made for tires like their own Surly Knard, a 41c. (For reference, 33c is the max in UCI races.)

“It’s basically the Cross Check, just a little different,” the Surly rep explained. “It’s got disc brakes, the bottom bracket is a little bit lower, the headtube is a little bit higher. We refuse to make a sloping top tube. Plenty of people make those bikes but we like a horizontal top tube. We think they look cool and ride cool.”

“It’s got trucker dropouts, it has a new horizontal dropout, which means you can put fenders on the bike and get the wheel out, which is sweet. There are tensioners so you can set your wheels anywhere you want to so if you have to pull it back for some big tires, you can. It’s nice to put the wheel wherever the f&^* you want.”

Easy adjustment for any tire. © Cyclocross Magazine

Easy adjustment for any tire. © Cyclocross Magazine

It’s clear that the people who make the Surly bikes are heavily invested in them and in having them ride exactly the way that they want to, so he explained component choice by saying, “We went with STI shifters because we all wanted them.” The tire is the burly Surly Gnard, which is about 550 grams for the 120 tpi tire. “We wanted a bike that we can rally on,” he added, explaining that the Surly crew are MTBers who bring that mentality to cyclocross.

And the brakes? “The brakes actually work,” he finished. “I said I didn’t need discs on the Cross Check, but we got the Straggler prototypes. So I was riding that for a long time, all winter, and then I got back on the Cross Check after three months, and then immediately sold it. Disc brakes are sick.”

The MSRP will be set around $1800 for the complete bike with Tiagra, though it has yet to be locked down.

Fat Tire Friendly. © Cyclocross Magazine

Fat Tire Friendly. © Cyclocross Magazine

Specs:

  • Frame: Surly Straggler, 100% Surly proprietary 4130 CroMoly tubing. ED Coated. TIG-welded. Double-butted main triangle
  • Fork: Surly Straggler, 4130 CroMoly, disc only, lugged and brazed. Sloping crown with threaded eylets, tapered and butted curved blades with mid-blade rack eyelets, dual dropout eyelets
  • Seatpost clamp: Surly Stainless, 30.0mm Drivetrain
  • Crankset: Shimano CX-50, 36/46, Black
  • Bottom Bracket: Surly Enduro, Black
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano CX-70, Black
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra RD-4601, Long cage. Black
  • Cassette: Shimano CS-HG62, 11–32t
  • Chain: KMC x10, Chainy
  • Headset: Cane Creek 40, 1-1/8˝. Black
  • Brakes: Avid BB7, 160mm front & rear
  • Brake Levers: Shimano Tiagra, Black
  • Shifters: Shimano Tiagra, Black
  • Stem: Kalloy AS-025N, 26.0mm bar clamp. Aluminum, 4-bolt. Black
  • Handlebar: Salsa Cowbell, 31.8mm. Black
  • Saddle: Velo VL-1353, w/CroMoly Rail. Black
  • Seatpost: Kalloy SP-342, 27.2mm. 300mm. Black
  • Front Hub: Surly Ultra New, Black
  • Rear Hub: Shimano 529 disc, Black
  • Rims: Alex XD-E Lite,
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Comp, 2.0/1.8
  • Tires: Surly Knard 41, 27tpi
  • More info: Surly Bikes