The Long Haul Trucker was designed in all aspects to go the distance in relative comfort, and to be able to haul a bunch of stuff. Its low bottom bracket and long chainstays provide comfort and stability. Surly gave it ample tire clearance for larger tires (larger tires soak up a lot of road static) with room for fenders. The frame’s tubing is thicker-walled and larger-diameter than standard road and sport-touring frames, and this pre-tunes it for the weight of cargo. And it’s got all the braze-ons, from rack mounts to water bottle cage bosses to spare spoke holders. Like all their frames, it’s made of CroMoly steel. You’ll probably never need to have the frame repaired, but if you do you’re more likely to find someone who can weld steel than someone who can weld titanium or aluminum. Repair carbon fiber in the middle of Mongolia? Good luck with that. The fork has two sets of eyelets on the dropouts as well as at proper mid-blade height, and bosses built into the side of the crown. All this makes the fork compatible with most types of racks, and provides options how you can mount racks and carry your stuff. Surly chose components that balance technical ability, durability, and value. The 3 x 10-speed Shimano Deore/XT drivetrain with Microshift bar-end shifters works well on a fully loaded tourer, will last you a while, and won’t shoot holes in your wallet. Add whatever else you need, like racks and fenders. Go somewhere. Do something. Ride a Long Haul Trucker.
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.
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