Back on the Riding Horse, Which Happens to be a Surly Pugsley

Surly Pugsley

I’ve long considered a fat bike. The first time I rode one, I couldn’t stop smiling. The last time I was grinning this stupidly, I was probably 10 years old. As I grew older, bicycles became a more serious affair. Sure, I laughed and had fun, but to smile uncontrollably on a bicycle was rare. As of late, a neck problem has put a serious damper on my riding, making it not only uncomfortable, but not very much fun. I was offered a trade for my Litespeed L3, so I took it after convincing my wife it was a good idea. So now, I am back on the riding horse in the form of a Grassy Green Surly Pugsley.

The original idea was to sell the Litespeed and buy a proper mountain bike. As per my personality, I researched the crap out of mountain bikes. The shop I work at sells Giants and Felts, so I was trying to decide between 27.5″ and 29ers. I settled on 27.5″ full suspension from Giant, the Trance to be more specific. Riding one just harkens back to my downhill days. I was watching all sorts of videos on enduro racing. I thought I knew what I wanted, and my course was set. Then the neck pain started to happen.

I usually get upper back/neck pain early in the season when I have been off the bike for a while. But this was a pain that prevented me from turning my head to the right, and kept me from being able to lift my head up to look ahead. Not a good thing when commuting or just riding on the road in groups. I thought the race geometry of the Litespeed didn’t help, hence the decision to sell. Then I rode the cyclocross bikes, and the same thing happened, though the pain took a little longer to manifest, and went away quicker post-ride. I figured an upright mountain bike was the solution.

Enter the Pugsley. I have always loved fat bikes since building up a Fatback fat bike for a customer and riding it through the snow. I couldn’t get anyone to purchase the Litespeed. A buddy of mine, who is a die hard roadie, had a Surly Pugsley chilling in his garage. He offered a trade. After a snub from the wife. I rode the CX bikes several more times before I had to ask her for the okay on the trade due to the neck pain. I made the trade, and promptly rode to and from work the next day. 40 miles total. Neck was a little sore during the ride, but I was also wearing a backpack. However, I could still turn my head to the right. Post-ride, the soreness subsided far more quicker than after riding my drop bar bicycles.

Being comfortable on the bike is paramount. Riding a bicycle should be an enjoyable affair. The Surly Pugsley has brought back that enjoyment as well as a smile to my face.


2 thoughts on “Back on the Riding Horse, Which Happens to be a Surly Pugsley

  1. I hope your neck problem is nothing serious. I’ve always rode a 26 and have considered switching to a 27.5, I used to tell myself that 26 not dead. Right bike fit counts and prevents any injuries and soreness while riding. I ride xc and I mostly use the giant xtc, already bought the giant atx frame and considering of building and still keep the 26. I dunno how it would be switching from one size to another. Ah, that’s something I’d have to find out.


    • I hope it’s not serious either! My wife says there are two large muscle knots in the area. Most likely something that got worse with time and age. I have checked my fit, which is spot on, but I am thinking that as I get older, I may have to change it to something less aggressive. Believe me, the wheel size debate got me all discombobulated. I test rode all the sizes and they all have their merits. My philosophy is to ride what makes you the most comfortable, which at this point for me, is the Pugsley. 🙂


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