The Pugsley is a fat bike, one of the first. It has a weird bendy offset fork and rear triangle, so it can use 135mm hubs, rather than contemporary fat bike hubs. That’s nice because 135mm hubs are fine, and way cheaper and easier to source. The stock Pugsley build isn’t bad, but we like to custom build them with drop bars, 'cause then they feel AWESOME.
Surly bikes can feel kinda dead, like the Long Haul Trucker or ICT or Pacer. Or they can feel peppy and full of zing. I think it has to do with tidal patterns in the Bay of Fundy, but I can’t be sure. Anyway, the Pugs feels quick and zingy, like a Dick Dale riff. Of course, that’s kinda tire dependent. With nice, lightish tires, like the Schwalbe Jumbo Jim, it feels great. Add tubes and studs, it’s a bit of a slug. But so is everything when you add 2400 grams of rotating weight. My Pugs feels good enough to ride as a full time whip. It’s kinda slow on dirt roads, and really slow on pavement, but off road, or on fire roads, wet fields, singletrack, swampy stream crossings… it’s pretty great. Also can take a front load really well. I like it with a custom modified Simworks Obento Rack. It’s lighter and less finicky than a Surly Rack. That said, if you are a DIY-er, get the Surly rack, cause the Obento requires all sorts of careful bending.
Here’s our favorite thing to do: Take a Pugsley frame and add a Wednesday or Moonlander fork up front. That lets your run 4.8” tires front and rear, which is pretty handy. But it keeps the low Q factor of the Pugs, and the lower cost. A fine way to go!
Get the Pugs with a wider fork if you wanna use it as a snow bike, or just wanna run wider tires. If you are just using it as a 3 season trail bike, if you even live in a place with more than 3 seasons, keep the stock fork.
Surly's site is really forthcoming with all the details so go check 'em out!
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