Over the years, Surly has been finding new and better ways to haul stuff on the front of their bikes — from fork braze-ons to racks to bags. The Pack Rat is the culmination of all those years and is specifically designed around porteur-style racks and front-loading optimization. Why would someone want to strap a bunch of crap to the front of their bike? Glad you asked. Having your stuff in front of you means it’s close at hand and easily accessible. It also allows for better weight distribution. We’ve all ridden with a pannier full of groceries. Some of us have wiped out around a sketchy corner and watched as our precious eggs and bananas go flying every which way in an act of Mario Kart-level carnage. A front load keeps the bike nimble and allows you to more efficiently use your body English to steer from the rear and avoid such a super market massacre. The drawback with front-loading on a lot of bikes, however, lies in how it affects the bike’s handling. The weight pulls you through turns in an awkward sort of way as if the load is doing the steering and you don’t even have control over your own life anymore. It makes for an overall less enjoyable ride. The Pack Rat’s front cargo-specific design eliminates that steering issues but also rides great without cargo. There’s no need to load it down with cans of beans every time you want to go for a ride. Unless that’s your thing. We’re not here to tell you how to live. In an effort to jumpstart your front cargo carrying dreams, Surly includes a 24-pack rack on the complete bike version. The Pack Rat rolls on 26” wheels in the smaller sizes and 650b wheels in the larger ones. Smaller diameter wheels keep the weight of the load lower than a 700c wheel would, thereby improving handling and ride feel. Pack Rat’s fork also includes some handy internal routing for generator hubs so you can safely ride off into the night. Dedicated commuters, credit card tourers, those who enjoy the occasional sub-24 campout, and sweaty back people looking to leave their backpack behind need look no further than the Pack Rat.
Off-road touring can be a zesty enterprise, but it’s not without its perils. Bicycles are simple machines that are extremely efficient, but all simple machines carry along with them the chance of breaking down. This efficiency can get you in trouble if your bike decides to break down far away from the comforts of your parent’s basement. If you’re going to ride your bicycles where no one can see, you better take gear that’s up to the task. Troll is up to the task. Surly's Troll was once a simple mountain bike frame with a few extras that made it nice for touring. The Troll has evolved into a frame that has been pushed deeper into the category of off-road touring. Its geometry is no longer suspension corrected, which gives it more room for a larger frame bag. The Troll is a bike that has one purpose – and that purpose is to carry you as far away from society as possible.
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