|2013 Surly Pugsley frame, size XL, or 22".|
I can unequivocally attest that fat tires equate big fun. The only running concern I've had about the Pugsley is the frame size. I'm about 6'2", and have a 89.5 cm PBH measurement. I'm fairly tall, sure, but I'm not a giant. I have a 22" Surly Big Dummy, which seems to fit pretty well for my mostly around town trips. I also have a 58 cm Surly Cross-Check, which at times I have wished was instead a 60 cm. When I was in the market for a Pugsley, I couldn't quite decide between a 20" and a 22", out of concern about standover clearance between the top tube and my nether regions while on the soft surfaces likely to be encountered on a fatbike.
Apart from standover clearance, I own bikes that have effective top tube lengths similar to both the 20" and 22" Pugsley, and tend to prefer those with a longer top tube. However, nothing beats an actual ride on a bike to be sure. The problem was, I had difficulty finding Pugsleys of any size to test ride. I was able to try a Large sized Salsa Mukluk, which seemed a decent fit, but in the numbers, is somewhere between the 20" and 22" Pugsley. I'm a steel-frame sort of guy, so I didn't seriously consider the Mukluk, though I'm sure it's a great bike.
I scoured internet forums and reviews, reaching the conclusion that random impressions of fit among a wide range of people, even of similar height to mine, is not particularly helpful. When the time came, the issue of standover clearance must have been at the fore, as I made the plunge toward a 20" frame. The bike rode great and the giddiness of playing with fat tires made me initially unconcerned about the flagpole length of seatpost sticking out of the frame.
|My 2012 Surly NecroPug, 20".|
Eventually, I thought about the situation. I acknowledged that riding a fatbike is now part of my DNA, and that I'm in it for the long haul. But what about the options? A lot has happened in fatbikes in just the last year, with new models popping up regularly. Yet, though my experience, I greatly enjoyed the versatility of the Pugsley; it can accept the full range of fat tires, from the stock 3.8" fatties, to 3.0" 29ers on Rabbit Hole rims, to 4.8" super fatties with a slightly modified drivetrain. I'm also not particularly interested in carbon or aluminum for reasons of expense and/or dependability, nor am I interested in sacrificing versatility by committing to a bike limited by tire size options. So, weighing the possibilities, an upsized Pugsley frame was the answer I chose.
|Meet the new boss, not quite the same as the old boss.|
|Park HHP-2. It's nice to have the right tool for the job.|
|Parts swapped over, the new 22" Pugsley is complete.|
|29er wheels on my new 22" Pugsley.|
|WTB ExiWolf 2.3" tire with plenty of clearance in the Moonlander fork.|
|The non-offset wheel looks a little odd in the rear, but the rear of a Pugsly looks a little odd no matter what. Plenty of tire clearance even though the centerline is 17.5 mm closer to the drive side.|
|The non-offset rear wheel tracks a little to the right of the centerline, but it doesn't seem like much of a problem. No matter what an evolutionary biologist may tell you, bilateral symmetry is overrated.|
|Like this, the Pugsley could easily be mistaken for a Karate Monkey at a casual glance.|
|Looks more or less normal, even from the back.|
In the mean time, I am likely to have a used but in good condition 20" Pugsley frame for sale, likely offered as a good deal to my loyal readers. Look for more details here soon. Until then, happy trails!