Surly did not invent the fat tyred bicycle but they have really taken the concept of “bigger is better” and run with it since the Puglsey was introduced in 2005 as the first mass produced fat tyred bicycle and as Sheldon Brown said, “Pugsley is, in its way, as revolutionary as the original mountain bikes were in the early 1980s.”
The Pug runs some 26 by 4.0 tyres which have an actual diameter of 29 inches due to their high volume and depth and are designed to run at a maximum of 30 psi. They function best when they are run at lower pressures to maximize the tyres traction and shock absorbing qualities and it is akin to riding a full suspension mountain bike without any suspension parts save for those tyres.
The frame on the Pugsley is specifically designed to accommodate those extra wide tyres and rims and has offsets in the frame and fork as the front wheel is the same as the back drive wheel and has a 135mm hub, and can be swapped with the rear wheel. The frame is designed with rear facing drop outs with a derailleur hangar which also allows for the installation of any drive system save for a belt drive.
This is a bicycle that will go almost anywhere as long as you can keep spinning those pedals and go in places other bicycles cannot as it will float over sand, mud, and snow without leaving much of a trace.
This is a great bicycle for those who have a use for one… my primary purpose will be to use this through the winter and it will also open up some decent winter trail riding and one of the things it excels at is riding along our river where there is sand, loose rocks, mud, and stretches where you have to ride through deeper water.
On the trail it is about as stable a bicycle as I have ever ridden and is stable at every speed… it does take a few minutes to get used to the handling with those wide tyres and it carves through corners with ease.
I am looking forward to going on more adventures along the riverside and should I find myself in deeper water, the Pugsley also floats and can serve as a life preserver.