Surly Big Dummy owners insights?

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  • Surly Big Dummy owners insights?
  • Premier Icon BigDummy
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    5 years worth of my pictures on Flickr

    A few points in no particular order:

    – I’ve found myself mostly using it for passengers – a stoker bar is a very good investment
    – If you can, get a Xtracycle Kickback stand – VASTLY better than a regular stand
    – Wide-loaders and long-loaders give you vastly more flexibility to carry stuff – well worth getting
    – Give yourself plenty of steerer tube – a lot of people settle into a high posture
    – Your granny ring will get a good workout, especially if you take passengers
    – Good brakes and big rotors are great
    – The rear brake will need about 195cm for a 18” frame – you’re always going to have to buy hose by the metre and re-fit
    – It’s well worth having some substantial rubber on it so that you can run at reasonably low pressure – it’s a harsh ride on hard tyres, especially for the passenger
    – Make yourself puncture –proof – a puncture on a loaded cargo bike is an immense faff
    – You’ll end up with loads of straps and bungees. Buy lots, some things work far better than others
    – I keep a D-lock bungee’d to the top of the chainstays so I never forget to take it
    – You need tandem rear gear cables – buy several
    – Reflective tape on the rack uprights is a Good Thing
    – The deck can get splashed going through puddles. Again, especially if carrying passengers, use mudguards
    – There are pictures in my feed of a SKS Chainboard. I’ve abandoned that as it rubbed. I use a large bashring now to save my trousers
    – Loads of people want to talk to you about it.
    – People give you a lot of space in traffic, with a passenger on it, you’re almost never subjected to close passes. You can’t ride aggressively in traffic though – it’s too bulky and doesn’t have the acceleration, you have to be pretty chilled.
    – Especially with a load, keeping going is far better than stopping and starting
    – With a kickstand, it’s possible to put more weight on the thing than it’s safe and controlled to ride with – do be a bit careful!
    – In my experience, turning up at the municipal tip with it causes no problems, they always let me unload
    – It’s surprisingly good fun off-road with some big tyres on. It handles steeps very well because of the weight distribution and length. And you can carry loads of booze, which your mates will be greatly impressed by.
    – It feels oddly thief-proof. I’m sure I’ll get bitten one day, but I am quite confident leaving it around
    – A passenger can sit side-saddle, make sure their legs go on the side that you naturally put a foot down when you stop. Sitting astride is far better though
    – A surprisingly high proportion of people are natural passengers, and most people enjoy it.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
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    If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself showing off A LOT, which is great fun. I basically bought this kayak on eBay so I could carry it from Street to Bristol over the Mendips. 🙂

    Premier Icon BigDummy
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    This was a fun day. 🙂

    Premier Icon MisterT
    Subscriber

    Hi All – I need/want/dream of a big beastie utility bike, I’ve been pondering building up a Big Dummy, I seem to have many old MTB part worn parts suitable for use from seat pin, stems, bars, disk brakes, wheels, cranks, shifters and mechs etc… so ill be buying frame and building from scratch.

    so I’m hoping some of you owners of the Dummy have some insights you can share about the good, bad and ugly of them, which bags to get, do you need a chain device, what doesn’t and does work well etc.

    thanks for anything constructive you share.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    In case it isn’t obvious: certainly the best thing I’ve ever bought. Probably cost me c.£2,500 over 5 years all in. Absolutely, positively worth every penny. thoroughly recommended.

    🙂

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    If you haven’t seen, DJ Menges’ brilliant The Goat build is probably definitive.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    The Facebook group “I love my Surly Big Dummy” is full of some fairly relentless nerding about parts as well.

    Premier Icon MisterT
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    wow! – some great info there to get my braincells into… thanks

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    I like a good Dummy thread – if you think of anything else, do just ask. Welcome to have a test ride if you’re anywhere near Bristol too.

    🙂

    T1000
    Member

    excellent bike, if your on a budget then the Yuba Mundo is Worth considering.

    I’d recomend a Nuvinci 360 Hub gear v well suited to haulin stuff around

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    I don’t have any insight other than my Xtracycle (sadly now sold) was one of the best things I ever did.
    Do it!

    I’ve got a friend with a BigDummy and StokeMonkey and it gets used for the school run every single day year in year out. Unfortunately it’s too heavy for me to get up to my house (36 steps).

    Premier Icon Baldysquirt
    Subscriber

    I have an Xtracycle, and although I have issues with it as a thing (too flexy really for lugging my daughter up big Sheffield hills which I need to do every day), on the whole, I’m hooked. Pretty much set on buying a BD frame in the near future.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    Practical Cycles are lovely people to deal with. He’s sold me most of my accessories.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
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    (too flexy really for lugging my daughter

    I started with an Xtracycle conversion. The Dummy frame is massively stiffer.

    The main beam is ovalised, and absolutely massive. You can still get some side-to-side flex, but it is a completely different feeling.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    excellent bike, if your on a budget then the Yuba Mundo is Worth considering.

    I had an early Yuba Mundo and absolutely loved it, but I just wasn’t using it to its potential and it got to the point where it needed lots of money spending on it so I sold it to Sustrans Stockton.

    T1000
    Member

    Rob at [http://www.reallyusefulbikes.co.uk/] is v helpful as well

    lardman
    Member

    I have a Yuba mundo and its a fab bike for hauling my 3 boys, and shopping etc: I also use it with stoker bars to carry passengers too!

    Second the recommendation for ‘Practiclecycles’ they’re very good to deal with, and sorted a problem with my frame immediately.

    Love mine, but now the boys are too big to go on the back i might be selling it soon.

    lardman
    Member

    I’ve also ridden some trail centre ‘red’ trails with the twins on the back. Lots people shouting, “stop, you’ll never get that down this trail….” Pah, i’ll show you….

    jools182
    Member

    BigDummy – Member
    If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself showing off A LOT

    those people looking might not be thinking what you think they are thinking 🙂

    Premier Icon Baldysquirt
    Subscriber

    My other option other than the Big Dummy which I’m half entertaining is to have Matt at 18bikes do something along these lines with my current xtracycle build. Some nice curved stays would stiffen things up a lot. It won’t be a cheap option in the long run, though.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    those people looking might not be thinking what you think they are thinking

    Anyone who cannot marvel at the sight of a man carrying a canoe on a bicycle has no poetry in them.

    😉

    Premier Icon MisterT
    Subscriber

    Baldysquirt – have you spoken to Matt about it? – if so what’s his thoughts? (or should I ask him myself?)

    BigDummy – I might well take you up on the test ride, I’ve got a couple of old road frames I’ve gotta drop off at Argos for resprays and work, and after catching up with my sister near Windmill Hill, i’m sure i’ll have a couple of hours to kill before heading home… i’ll drop you a note nearer the time to see if it’s feasible.

    thanks all…

    Premier Icon Baldysquirt
    Subscriber

    Mister T – I’ve had a bit of a chat with him about it. Everything’s possible, but considering I can hopefully sell my current xtracycle build as I’ve accumulated most stuff new for the next incarnation, it makes so much more financial sense to go for the tried and tested Dummy. If I could risk it costing more, I’d love to give it a try!

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    The Dummy really is the Daddy of them all. 🙂

    We had a Kona Ute.
    Carried two children to school year round till they preffered their own bikes.
    Hauled all manner of stuff. Giggling & tipsy Mums at BBQ’s being a speciality. 😉
    Agree with Big Dummy about it turning heads. And in traffic folk did actually give it plenty of room, & waves. (Not the single finger sort).

    Nice upright riding position is best.
    These types of bike waft along rather than fly.
    Decent brakes are a must when loaded up.

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