Surly Pack Rat Bike
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.
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.
According to Surly When this project started, we didn’t set out to make a new bike, we set out to see if a bike dedicated to a front load would have enough merit to stand on its own in an already diverse lineup, because as many of you already know, one of our current bikes + our 24 pack rack + a basket is a pretty dreamy thang. We started with some prototypes. We bent, we tweeked, we welded, we cut, we wiggled, we straightened. We made some ground, lost some ground, advanced, retreated. We circled. We found a sweet spot. We found something we weren’t sure we would when we set out. Something unique. At that point we decided to go forward with the bike. We started going to meetings. We started fighting over names and colors.
- Everything else about the bike is similar to our other commuter bikes:
- 68mm threaded BB shell
- Custom-butted steel frame
- Clearance for whatever drivetrain you feel like
- 1 1/8” head tube
- 27.2mm seat post
Is the Pack Rat for you?
While the Pack Rat shares many features of the Cross Check and the 650b Straggler, it is its own animal. The combination of fast geometry, lightweight tubing, and rim brakes makes for an efficient, lively commuter that’ll haul your gear while keeping an eye on it, and keep your back dry while you’re at it. A bit more specialized than a Cross Check or Straggler and much lighter and more spirited than a Long Haul Trucker, if your plans involve riding with a front load or you want them to, you owe it to yourself to head down to your local dealer and test one out.