Strengths: Excellent build quality
Simple and strong
26 " platform means you can use all those leftover wheels, tires and other parts you have lying around
Weaknesses: None noted so far
This bike has been transformative! I use it as my everyday commuter bike and I've only driven a car to work once since I've owned it, and that was so I could go get new fenders. I have a short three or four mile commute to a busy job. That three or four miles is about the only time in my day that I don't have to focus on anybody else and can just enjoy a few minutes of quiet. I always have to wear dress clothes at work and need to haul a laptop often. None of this is an issue with this bike. You really don't need to worry about how you pack or how much you need to bring and its wonderful. Want to go to the gym after work? Bring an extra pair of clothes and shoes for that. Not an issue. See a garage sale on the way to work? Stop by, who knows what you'll find. I can shop for groceries if I feel like it, and don't need to worry about the size of backpack or panniers that I bring. Lock? Its always in there somewhere. Need to bring a dress jacket for a meeting? It fits fine. I talked the family into heading out for a long ride down a rails to trails path. I ended up hauling lunch, extra water, locks, tools, tubes and several jackets for everybody and none of this was a problem. Riding along the mostly flat tree lined trail turned into one of the most memorable rides I've ever had. It was by no means epic in the traditional biking sense; it was unplanned, highly disorganized and we averaged about 5 mph. This bike enables you to have all of that, and still make it a great time.
I love this bike and I can't remember when I've had a bike that I enjoy more. Above all else, its just a really nice bike to ride. It feels solid, well built and predictable; with functionality that still blows me away. Surly probably won't like this comparison, but its a bit like having a mini-van. You can throw a bunch of crap inside it; haul whatever you want to, and just not worry about it. It may not be as fast as that anorexic little high maintenance, moody, carbon fiber speedster in the garage, but its always there to ride when you want it, however you want to, with plenty of room for when the in-laws come to visit.
This is hands down the most useful and enjoyable bike that I've ever owned.
Strengths: Large load carrying capability, Nimbleness, Colour (love the green :-) )
New Dummy Bags, Racks, and Top Plate.
I just got my New N.O.S. Dummy last week and I have not been on my MTB for the last week! I can ride into town and then think O' I need to go shopping to the weeks food shopping, with the Dummy I can just go around to the shop and do the shopping it just fit's into the Big Bags.
Strengths: Carrying capacity - shopping, DIY, children, adults, kayaks and general luggage
Good handling with load (well secured) - including technical mountain biking (singletrack) and pavement
Standard parts compatibility (apart from extended chain/cabling) vs other load-carrying options.
Robust - only frame problem over 28000km off-road was a broken kickstand plate (welded in Mexico). Frame and bike build stood up to a lot of punishment that I wouldn't have trusted a standard Xtracycle build to manage.
Weaknesses: Compared to pannier systems, Freeloader bags are relatively slower to load and unload, but flexibility off loading more than offsets this.
Heavy to pick up and throw over fences etc compared to standard wheelbase unloaded bicycles.
Possible to carry too much stuff - doesn't encourage packing minimisation! :-)
Review based on a mostly off-road tour from Canada to Tierra del Fuego (www.bicyclenomad.com) - 28,000km over 20 months. (also see more detailed review with photos here: http://bicyclenomad.com/2012/07/10/reckoning-tour-testing-a-surly-big-dummy/)
Overall, given that I can happily run narrow slick tyres and go fast on-road, pop in to the shops without forethought and offer people lifts, and ride technical singletrack together with my already mentioned touring experience on it: possible the most flexible, useful bike I could ever hope to own.
So. Has anyone ever setup a dummy with a 10 speed cassette in the rear? I was all set to build a 3x10 speed dummy. Went to install my XT rear derailleur and encountered a problem. The shimano 10 speed RD has an arm that comes into contact with the dummy frame. This causes two problems. 1) Ther ... Read More »
I just built this up a few weeks ago, and so far it's been a blast. I think my daughter and I have over 300 miles on it since Memorial Day Weekend. She will soon be 2.5yo and is in love with this ride. She has spent many hundred miles in a trailer, both behind a fixie and Fargo. We have even don ... Read More »
If there is any bike that would steer me away from my lime 1x1...this would be it....
A 650b Big Dummy.
Being 5'3', with 28in legs (Too much info?), I gotta wonder if the sizing would work? Top tube is way more important but, with the load carrying ability this bike has, stand over has to be ... Read More »
I have just ordered a new Green Dummy.
Do you all have any tip's on Building up a Dummy from a frameset?
I have just finished building up My new rear wheel :)
Phil Wood hub, DT spokes, and Mavic EX721 rim.
:cool:Read More »
Replaced the seals in my Big Dummy's Rohloff IGH and threw in some cleaning fluid to prep for an oil change. Needed to ride the bike to move the cleaning fluid around so decided to get some groceries while I was at it.
[ ... Read More »