Surly’s Lowside doesn’t have suspension, carbon fibre or 13 gears, but that’s why we love it

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Who the heck needs 13-speed when you’ve got a fully rigid singlespeed klunker with 26×3.0in tyres?

That’s how we feel about Surly’s Lowside – a bike that is basically the antithesis of almost everything else on show at Eurobike. For a start, this bike doesn’t have a motor, a battery, or any other electrics of any kind. There’s no carbon fibre frame, and there’s definitely no 3D printed components. You certainly won’t find a complex suspension design, ramp control, or a linkage fork. As for gears? Well, even Dan from Surly was genuinely surprised (and perhaps a little bit disgusted) to hear about Rotor’s new 1×13 drivetrain, which was being shown off in a booth about 50m away from the Surly stand.

Nope, the Surly Lowside has none of the gizmos and gadgets – this bike is about as pure and simple as it gets.

Using a 4130 chromoly steel frame and rigid fork, the Lowside is a hark back to Surly’s original 1×1 Rat Ride from ’98. Basically a bike that’s designed for riding wherever the day decides to take you, from singletrack to dirt jumps to pub jaunts to the skate park.

The complete bike comes setup as a 1×1 mountain bike with Surly’s own 26+ Dirt Wizard tyres, though it’ll also take 27.5×2.8in wheels and tyres. It has loads of adaptability beyond wheelsize too; you can fit a 100mm suspension fork, a dropper post, and the frame is derailleur ready – both the front and rear varieties.

Overall it’s a pretty low-bullshit bike. There’s external cable routing for the brakes (and gears if you put ’em on), a threaded bottom bracket shell, and proper press-fit headset cups. Throw in those aggressive Dirt Wizard tyres and humungous 820mm wide bars, it looks like a big ol’ bag of fun to us.

surly lowside singlespeed
Surly’s Lowside is a low-bullshit bike.

Surly Lowside Features

  • 26+ rigid pub-compatible mountain bike
  • Surly 4130 cromoly steel frame & fork
  • Ready for 26×3.0in or 27×2.8in tyres
  • 0mm rear travel
  • 0mm fork rigid fork (though you can fit a 100mm travel suspension fork if you want)
  • 70° head angle
  • 74° seat angle
  • 425mm chainstay length
  • 73mm English threaded bottom bracket
  • Gnot Boost 145mm hub spacing will accommodate 142x12mm and 148x12mm hubs
  • Sliding horizontal dropouts
  • Reach: 414mm (XS), 429mm (S), 445mm (M), 461mm (L), 477mm (XL)
  • Dropper post & front mech ready
  • Available sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large & X-Large
surly lowside singlespeed
Who needs gears? Well, if you do, there is a hanger on the frame. But why would you?
surly lowside singlespeed
The complete Lowside comes with Surly’s own singlespeed conversion kit, so you can put a regular cassette on there if you do want to fit gears. Oh, but not a 13-speed cassette.
surly lowside singlespeed
Nice chain tensioner.
surly lowside singlespeed
The Lowside is chubby tyre friendly.
surly lowside singlespeed
The aggressive Dirt Wizards look really, really good.
surly lowside singlespeed steel
You get straight-up 4130 chromoly steel tubing for the Lowside frame and fork – no carbon fibre nonsense here!
surly lowside singlespeed
Giving it a big-boy BMX look, the Lowside comes fitted with Surly’s own 820mm wide Sunrise bars.
surly lowside singlespeed handlebar
There’s a tidy 31.8mm shim for the bar and stem. So you could always fit different bars if you wanted to.
surly lowside singlespeed
With those 820mm wide bars and 26+ tyres, the Lowside looks like it’d be an absolute riot to ride!

What do you guys think of the Surly Lowside? Not enough gears and suspension for you? Or is this pure and simple fun? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Comments (6)

  1. Klunker=Coaster brake?

    Isn’t this just everybody’s single speed?

  2. Like the look but the price is on the Surly Highside 🙂

  3. As per Rubber B’s comment – I’m half tempted to get rid of carbon full suss bike and roll on this from now on whilst hitting some jump lines and practising skills getting back to basics.

    That price tag though, f me!!

  4. Surly make some cool looking bikes, but most of them seem to be £750 frames that even the marketing pitches at the <£75 secondhand Inbred frame market. I realise they're a small company with relatively high distribution costs, sponsoring a lot of niche events, etc. But a steel frameset for the price of a well sorted hardtail or even full suss in the sales?

  5. They have made my pub bike…

  6. Surly prices have gone up a lot in the last couple of years, hell of a shame because I’d happily buy one of these it was sensible money.

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