Feb 10, 2006

KISS...Keep it Single Speed...A Quest for the Ultimate Alaskan 'Single Speed' Cruiser

Surly 'Pugsley'

A well thoughtout, 'first' dedicated production 'fat bike' frameset:
  • relatively inexpensive
  • versatile amenities brakes, racks and gearing
  • 135mm spacing front and rear, interchangeable
  • clearance for large rims and snow tires
  • solid construction w/ reasonable overall weight
This frameset has the potential to bring 'fat tire biking' to the masses!


Pugsley and Surly related Copy

Read from various forums, correspondance, websites.
Compiled here in one archive!

Pat & Kathy's 160 mile bicycle beach ride
from near Hope to Homer,Alaska

Pugsley Canning Stock Route Adventure

Jakub's CSR Pugsley Adventure (from Surly website)

A Report on the 2006 Knik Glacier Expedition


Surly Pugsley Blog

Sand/snow bike build blog

Pugs on Snow

Pugsley Riding Tips

Pugsley Blog

Pugsley Transport

29er SnoCat offset wheelset for a Pugsley

Pugsley at Tour de Felasco

Need Pugsley Snow Bike Setup Help

Pugsley Pics From Today

Large Marge, Setup Info From Surly Spew




Pugsley Chain-line








Pugsley setup and spec sheet
From the Surly website

The premise behind Pugsley’s design is based on the allowance of tires with a larger-than-average footprint. Our frame and fork will accept 4” tires on 26” rims. The floatation and traction gained by using large-volume, low-pressure tires can get you over and through otherwise-unrideable terrain: ice, snow, sand, mud, wet rocks and roots. In many conditions, bigger is better.


There are design problems associated with using wide tires, however: the tire can rub on the chain, the chainstays, and the front derailleur. We’ve addressed these issues by using a 100mm-wide bottom bracket shell and providing an E-type front derailleur mount. The 100mm shell allows us to widen the chainstays for more tire/frame clearance, and it moves the chainrings outward for more chain/tire clearance. An E-type bottom bracket-mounted front derailleur positions the derailleur cage outboard of the tire. In order to maintain a good chainline with this setup, we offset the rear hub 17.5mm to the drive side...the same distance that the chainrings moved outward (compared to a standard chainline). The result is a straight chainline and the ability to use a standard drivetrain (compact mountain triple crankset with a full cassette of cogs on a 135mm-spaced hub) without chain/tire/front derailleur interference. Pugsley has horizontal drops with a derailleur hanger, so you can set it up as a single-speed or internally-geared rig if you don’t want to use derailleurs.

Note: After lacing up some Pugsley offset wheels, we’ve decided to modify some Large Marge rims to give you more disc-side dish and more even spoke tension. Use these special, asymmetrically-drilled (6mm offset) Large Marge rims on the Pugsley. Non-Surly rims, intended for use in Pugsley wheelsets, should be drilled 6-12mm offset to the drive side.


Now, think about trying to shove a 4” (102mm) tire through the dropouts of a fork designed to accept a standard 100mm-wide front hub. Add a disc brake caliper to narrow the gap. It all adds up to a big hassle when trying to get a wheel, with an inflated tire, in and out of the fork. We solved the problem by designing the fork to use a wider hub. Pugsley uses a 135mm hub on the rear, so it seemed logical to use a 135mm hub on the front, too. We offset the fork the same distance as the rear end, so the wheels will be interchangeable. Why would you want interchangeable wheels?
  1. If you’re using your rig as a single-speed, differently-sized freewheels can be installed on each wheel to give you high and low gear options
  2. You may want a fixed-gear/freewheel option, in case there is a risk of your freewheel seizing up or not engaging when riding in extreme conditions. A fixed cog always moves you forward. And, it can be used to slow you down, if you choose not to use brakes or if your brakes stop working
  3. If you use the same model of hub front and rear, you’ll only use 1 or 2 lengths of spokes versus 3 or 4…less confusion and fewer spare spokes to carry if you’re on a remote tour


If you decide that you don’t want to use the Pugsley fork, our Instigator fork (as well as many 100mm-travel suspension forks) has the same axle-to-crown length. You’ve got plenty of fork options with this frame.

We provide disc brake tabs on the frame and fork. If you’re using discs, you’ll have to use rear brakes or rear brake adapters for the frame and the fork. Absorb that for a second: rear hub & rear brake on both ends of the bike. Not everybody needs or wants disc brakes, so we also provide 120mm-spaced cantilever pivots for those of you who want to run traditional cantilevers. Keep in mind you’ll need to use our Large Marge rims to use these types of brakes. The pivots are thread-in type, so they’re removable if you don’t want ‘em on there. V-brakes and other types of rim brakes will not work; the tire interferes.


The ride quality of the 1x1 has proven itself over the years, so we decided not to stray too far from the tried and true. Pugsley's geometry is a bit relaxed compared to the 1x1 frame, so the Pugsley is comfortable but still responsive and maneuverable. It handles essentially like a mountain bike, but it is far more stable on and in the slick stuff compared to most bikes. Large-volume tires (we highly recommend the Surly Endomorph 3.7 tires) allow it to float over snow, sand, and mud better than any bike you’ve ridden to date. And, like all our frames, it’s durable, too.


Who should ride Pugsley? Hunters of all types (animal, mineral, or vegetable), beach/desert riders, snow/ice riders, wilderness explorers, and anybody else in need of a bike that will provide extra stability, traction, and floatation when the terrain gets loose and unpredictable. Pugsley was created to go where other bikes may flounder. Who should ride a Pugsley? You should, but you may not realize it yet.

SPECS Pugsley Frameset


100% cro-moly steel. Main triangle is double-butted. TIG-welded

Rear Dropouts:

Surly horizontal dropouts with derailleur hanger. 135mm-spaced. Offset 17.5mm

Braze compatibility:

Most rear international standard disc brakes or cantilever-type rim brakes (when using Large Marge)


Cantilever bosses with removable pivots, dual water bottle mounts, top tube cable housing guides for use with continuous housing, fender and rack eyelets

Seatpost :


Seatpost dia:

30.0mm, Surly Constrictor™ included


1-1/8" threadless

Front deraill:


BB shell:

100mm wide, 1.37 x 24t

Chainring clear:

Compact triple: 22-32-44t


Suspension-corrected... 447mm axle to crown, tapered straight blade, 4130 cro-moly. International standard rear disc mount and removable cantilever pivots spaced 120mm apart. 135mm-spaced dropouts, 17.5mm offset

Sizes available:

16", 18", 20" and 22" (measured from the center of the bb to the top of the top tube)


Barney Blue/Purple Pearl Sizzurple


18" medium- 5.66 lb (2.56 kg)
Fork - uncut = 2.52 lb (1.14 kg) uncut





When it comes to winter riding in Alaska the words that come to mind are variable and extreme. Low temps (-20 and below possible), wet conditions (river overflow to your knees), ocean environs (can you say salts)...and they all raise their own havoc on any part that is "bearing'd".


When we built our original 'ice bikes' on the Kobuk River some 20+ years ago the IBIS crew and I envisioned a bike with components that were completely servicable; in situ! WTB was just bring their Grease Guard systems to market and IBIS built the 'Kobuk River Cruisers' / KRC with GG Hubs and retro'd the simple steel headset pedals and BB with the GG concept (other WTB parts were not available yet - but the concepts were well rooted and on the D-board).


When we built our original 'ice bikes' on the Kobuk River some 20+ years ago the IBIS crew and I envisioned a bike with components that were completely servicable; in situ! WTB was just bring their Grease Guard systems to market and IBIS built the 'Kobuk River Cruisers' / KRC with GG Hubs and retro'd the simple steel headset pedals and BB with the GG concept (other WTB parts were not available yet - but the concepts were well rooted and on the D-board).


The key to successful riding in the 'extreme' and the reliability of the product has clearly been the serviceability. Granted, I have been relentless in purging the hubs and I've researched and applied some high-end industrial products (Arctic greases and lubes) but...the hubs just keep on turning - even at 25 below!

WTB products have allowed me to ride where no bikes have gone (in most cases and at least not often if so) with the performance and reliability neccessary for survival in the wilderness and winter environs here in remote Alaska.

For that reason, we are working with WTB to ensure the same performance, reliability and survivability in our new KRC / KISS Quest.

More to come...



AOC is testing some of White Industries 'hardware' for the 'Kuskokwim River Cruiser', spec bikes they're planning on producing.

They have some killer SS products that fit the bill...


From White:

ENO Single Speed Hubs deliver proper chain line on single speed bikes, so we designed the ENO with single speed mountain bikes in mind. We also use stainless steel axle ends with an aluminum axle. The bolt on axle ends are available with an 8mm Allen head and can be converted to QR axle ends.

Single Speed bikes are a fun way to get that child in you to ride! With our ENO line of single speed components, you can choose from standard single speed hubs, dedicated disc brake hubs, and the unabashed and never duplicated Eric's Eccentric ENO fixed gear hub.

We also pride ourselves with the fine craftsmanship of the ENO Trials Freewheel and ENO Crankset.

Freewheels !DOS ENOS 'Dually'!

DOS ENOS 'Dually' Cranks

Cranks !Eric's ENO Eccentric!


Jones Bikes' H-Bar
Jeff Jones Custom Bicycles
8000 Griffin Creek Road
Medford, Oregon, 97501

Phone: 541-535-2034 (10am to 5pm Pacific Time M-F)
Email: jeff@jonesbikes.com


The Lowdown

These bars may look unconventional but the bottom line is that they flat out provide better handling and more comfort over a traditional bar.

Better hand and body positions = more power output with better handling and comfort.

Better handling and power output

The shape of the bar really allows you to throw the bike around in technical situations.

With your hands in the wide and rearward grip position you can keep your weight back and your arm stance wide for stable and controlled technical or steep downhill riding. This position is just like having a wide bar with a short stem, similar to a downhill or dirt jumping bike, but with more sweep.

This additional sweep brings your arms in closer to your side to allow more comfortable and natural use of your arm and back muscles.


The sweep also allows you to push and swing the bike side to side with more control and power. It's especially beneficial when climbing.

These bars allow you to really get up on top of the pedals and grind out low cadence standing power for climbing in hard gears which is why the bar is so popular with single speeders. Your hands pull more towards your shoulders, a more natural 'pull' with stronger muscles. This allows you to push down with more force at the pedal.

In extremely tight turns with the bar close to 90 degrees your outside arm and wrist is not taken to the edge of their flexible range as with traditional bars. This provides more control and stability on switch backs.

More comfortable and ergonomic

The bar's sweep matches your natural hand and wrist positions creating a stronger hand and body position.

With the H-Bar, your weight is evenly distributed across the width of your hand instead of being focused at the out side edge of your hand, the main cause of finger numbness. This 'even grip pressure' on the bar allows a better, more secure grip on the bar. This is especially nice if you chose to ride a fully rigid bike.

The many and varied hand positions greatly reduce hand numbness and wrist pain. The H-Bar also reduces back pain since it has a hand position range 5.5" rear to front. This range allows you to move around and stretch your back. This is a bar you can ride all day.

Get further back or further forward.

With a full 5.5" rear to front hand position range you can really shift your weight back for steep downs or move to the front to keep the front wheel down for steep seated climbs.

Stiff and strong

The H-Bar is built with a big, stiff and strong 1" / 25.4 center tube instead of using a shim or a bulge with a 7/8" / 22.2mm tube like other bars. This is not a weak, XC only bar. It can handle big or aggressive riders without worry while still being light.

Shock absorbing

The natural shock absorbing qualities of titanium along with the 1" taper ovalized cross tube have a great feel and reduce fatigue without being flexi.

More knee room

Because the center bar is straight and does not sweep back like regular bars and because you may use a longer stem with the bar, knee room is increased.

This means that on steep technical standing climbs, you can really get your weight up front, get on top of the pedals and pedal freely with less risk of hitting your knees on the bar.