Strengths: It's a fat bike
It'sone of the most fun bikes I have ever ridden
At home almost anywhere, trails, town
Not as cumbersome as it looks
Weaknesses: Price/value for money
Components are cheap
General frame quality
This Review is for the Pugsley Necromancer.
Let me start off by saying I am in no way knocking this bike and this is an honest, hypeless review based on 26 years experience of mountain bikes.
I'll start off with the frame, the frame quality is what I would expect on a bike costing around $1000, it is a steel frame and let me make this clear, if you do not use frame sealant immediately on purchase you will have surface rust inside the frame, mine had surface rust when I unboxed it inside the seat tube and bottom bracket there is always a little trace of rusty residue around the frame drainage holes. The powder coat is very easily scratched and perhaps enamel would have been a better choice of frame finish. I have tried 9 Zero 7 and Salsa frames and they are imo better quality and finsh for around the same price.
Component choice. With the exception of the shifters MWOD and BB7s (which are now obsolete) crankset the componentry is equal to that found on bikes of $400-500. This isn't to say that it's poor quality, it works well enough. The reasons for choosing BB7s for the brakes i.e. better cold performance are well known but for fast trail rides they just do not cut it and how many people will be riding this bike in temperatures low enough for mineral oil to freeze ? One thing I have noticed as I do a lot of trail and singletrack riding is that with any rotors larger than 160mm and a reasonably good set of brakes (mine are SLXs) there is quote and alarming amount of fork flex even under mild braking loads.
The ride. Ok enough of the negative points, this is one of the most fun bikes I have ridden in years, the riding position is more reminiscent of town bikes rather than mtbsand is very very natural and comfotable. It's surprisingly agile and nowhere near as hard to pedal as it may seem at first glance. The same trails and singletracks which would be a breeze in a cold clinical way on my more modern machines become technical playgrounds. This bike has something that it is rare to fnd in a modern bike and that is character. It will encourage you to go places you wouldn't ordinarily consider on a 'normal' mtb, snow, mud , sand. Ok it won't ride over eveything and the float with the stock 3.7s is only really good enough for groomed trails or snow with a really really good crust but is guaranteed it will put a smile on your face that is hard to wipe off. On trails With decent tyre pressure, around 18-22psi around town and on cycle paths it is a laid back cruiser that is so relaxed to ride that when you ineveitably get passed by faster skinnier bikes you tend to think, hey just slooow down man, or maybe that's just me. On faster smoother fire roads type riding after a bit of experimentaion you can drift that baby like a Nissan Skyline. I can say with my hand on my heart that in the months since getting the Necromancer that my other bikes, all 7 of them have not been ridden.
As you can see my biggest gripes are with the price and quality of the bike not the performance, and if you do buy this bike you will upgrade the brakes at least, so far I've changed, brakes and bars and saddle and for the price point I would expect to upgrade something when it wears out not because it is not good enogh for the intended purpose in the case of the brakes..
Surly/QBP are going to be facing some stiff competition now that some of the big names in the industry are starting to sit up and take notice and better specced better value bikes will be available before long which will take spotlight away from Surly. What once was a niche market is becoming a mass market.
The fat bike is imo going to be the biggest revolution in everyday cycling since the mountain bike and don't be surprised if in 2 or 3 years you see them everywhere.
My excuses for the long review but it's rare that I'm compelled to write one but this bike and fat bikes have really put passion back into my cycling and although there are issues it really is anyone who considers themselves a cyclist shoud try
Strengths: Handles sand and packed snow ease. It also works very well on regular mtn bike trails.
Weaknesses: A little heavy. This bike requires a somewhat strong rider to power it.
I have owned my pugsley for a little over a year now. I have nothing but good things to say about it. It makes riding in snow, sand, and other conditions where conventional mtn bikes struggle very easy. The nice thing is that it is not a one trick pony. It does stereotypical fat bike types of riding as well as conventional off road mtn biking. It may not have as much float as a moonlander but it works pretty well in all soft conditions. the only place it struggles is is soft snow the is deep and unpacked. the fat tires roll over everything. This is due to the high amounts of traction plus the tires ability to absorb small bumps. This also helps the bike climb better. The front wheel is not thrown around by rocks the way one is on a regular mtb. The bike also has good geometry. It rides very stable and somewhat upright but at the same time it is aggressive enough to handle regular single track trails with speed. The bike felt odd for the first few rides but once I became experienced riding it the handling feels very natural. The bike has a tendency to want to "self steer" when leaning around turns. this can take some getting used to but doesn't hurt the handling of the bike.
The other nice thing about the bike is the components included with the complete build. Overall I have to say they are solid. The bearings on the rear hub can sometimes come loose but this is not an issue as long as they are checked and adjusted. but other than that everything is solid this is one of few bikes that I have bought where the stock wheels are staying true with no adjustments. Overall nothing flashy but they work when in tune.
On the whole I have to say this may be one of the most versatile bikes ever made. aside from downhill and freeride this bike can handle just about anything. I would recommend it to anyone who considers them self a serious cyclist.
Strengths: Great value
Uses reasonably common parts
Rolls over most things
Handles a bit like a tractor
As a snow and sand bike, the pugsley is competent due to its 66mm rims and 3.7 inch tires. It has clearance for even bigger wheels and tires although drive train modifications are necessary.
Where the Pugsley really shines, is as a general purpose mountain bike. With a relatively conventional mountain geometry, and the pugsley's huge wheels that roll over obstacles with ease, the pugsley is well suited to bikepacking and general mountain riding. The reliability of matching front and rear wheels gives extra confidence for long rides.
When the trail makes a turn uphill, the pugsley digs in and offers extraordinary traction in the rear without launching the front wheel skyward. The 38 pound weight of the stock pugsley means that long climbs can be difficult, but the big wheels track straight and don't get knocked off track easily.
Strengths: Amazing bike, and more than capable on ANY trail.
Weaknesses: Some of your friends may make fun of you if your tires are positively correlated to your waist size :)
This is my first real mountain bike. I work in a shop and could have gone in any direction on the cheap, but decided to be different. So glad I did. I sold a road bike in the fall to fund my "winter fun bike", well winter never came this year and I barely road my pugs. I even had it on the classifieds here at one point. My mentality completely changed the first time I took it to some actual MTB trails. This bike is truly inspiring in its capability. I have no regrets anymore on this purchase. If you are wondering at all if this is the bike for you, just go get it. Every review mentions smiling for a reason, it's pure fun. I experienced mountain biking for the first time ever on a fat bike, and I wouldn't change it. It's forgiving in line choice, climbs great as long as your legs can keep pushing, traction for days, and pisses your full suspension friends off when you can go places they can't!
Strengths: Fit and finish is top notch.
Components are really nice.
Rolls over anything in the way.
Weaknesses: None so far
Just got this bike a few weeks ago and have taken it out a couple times on the trails. I usually ride a Felt Trail Nine 29er with front suspension so this was a little change up in hitting the trails. The bike worked beautifully and I had a total blast. There wasn't anything on the Pug that I couldn't do compared to my 29er. Haven't used in the snow yet but am looking forward to it in the winter. Additionally, people LOVE this bike and always stop to ask about it if they haven't seen one before.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2012
Strengths: It is a Tank..
Weaknesses: Pulls in the turns. Mainly to the right it seems, possibly due to the wheel offset? But you get used to it pretty fast.
I laughed, I cried, I said "this is only awesome" 10 times in a row..all within the first 5 minutes of pushing off. Don't get me wrong I was skeptical on my way to demo it. Being a connoisseur of fast single track with my Stumpy 29'r hardtail (which I still love,) surely I was going to hate something twice as heavy and with the drag of a 4" tire. Buddy, I stand before you today a humbled man. The Pugsley absolutely rocks the trail. Wet, snow, sand, loose gravel/dirt even dry this thing rolls through it like a monster truck tearing through a parking lot filled with Toyota Prius's. Though the Stumpy is still my go to ride, as soon as I click into the Pug, I grin from ear to ear and and start singing Rage's Guerrilla radio "ALL HELL CAN'T STOP US NOW!" Love it..
a Cross Country Rider
from RutVegas, VT, USA
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2011
Strengths: It is a tank on 2 wheels, rolls over everything... the cat, the kids, the wife's flowers!
Weaknesses: The only thing i could nit pick about is the weight, other than that everything is ideal!
This is the most fun one could possibly have on 2 wheels. It rides better than any full susser I've owned, it has its own personality. I feel like I'm piloting a 2 wheeled BigFoot monster truck. It is AWESOME... nothing left to say other than get one and make sure you setup your tire pressure accordingly, that makes all the difference!
a Cross Country Rider
from Liberty Lake WA USA
Date Reviewed: March 17, 2010
Strengths: Solid, plows through mud snow and sloppy conditions.
Weaknesses: Accelaration, manuverability
Maiden Ride today, had a blast! Conditions ranged from greasy mud to deep snow. The Pug just kept rolling. Climbed better than expectected even at 35lbs. You ride it at Surly Speed. I gotta say it really happy with the way it rode..Tried to sell it glad I did'nt.
Bike Setup: Sram XO-X9 Avid Elixer Brakes, Vicious Cycle Rims
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2010
Strengths: the whole bike,built to crash
Weaknesses: tires a little thin,i put in a 1/4"thick,4"w strip of rubber,got to many flats,works good
year round rider,best bike i ever had,have another one with studs ride that when the temp hits +40 then it goes back to normal temp of+3 or lower.this bike works good in cold,1'of snow,need to lower tire pressure down to 10lbs to make it threw 2' of power.now that's what i call fun..
Similar Products Used: nothing comes close,harley davidson of bicycles
Bike Setup: stock,change nothing except seat
a Weekend Warrior
from Sydney NSW
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2009
Strengths: Unique, quality frame, traction and ride, cool purple colour
Weaknesses: you can feel the weight up hills. Unusual set up limited with 100mm BB shell, 2 rear brakes so can just buy a set. Cost of replacement tyres (in Australia RRP for Endomorphs is A$180)
First time I rode this was on a street and i thought it sucked. The steering was terrible - it kept wanting to go in a straight line, and the drag on a road made it slow. Think speed difference metween a mountain bike ands a road bike on pavement and it was a greater slowing of speed again back to the Pug.
BUT, get it on the dirt and this thing rocks. THe lack of suspension is not an issue and it some ways makes for a smoother ride than a FS as bumps are absorbed rather than stored in a shock and then spat out again with rebound. Handling is great on where there is sand and looose rocks on the trail. The only place it suffers it up hills (but you can granny gear up anything). Feels like ity has a lower BB height than other bikes.
Whever I think of selling it I remind my self that this will be my touring bike when I take a 6 month cycling holiday - full pannier mounts, can handle V brakes and if you want to commute on it, just pop in some 29 wheels and she's a smoking city bike.
Purple colours is tops (not so keen on the new gray) but yo0u get plenty of looks and questions. If you want to get some support from spectators in race, roll up on the Pug and you'll have an huge squad.
I'd still call it a second bike for most people i.e not generally for those with only one pushy
heavy + slow + funny looking + clumsy = the most fun ride ever...in the history of biking. Not sure why exactly, but I love the damn thing! And for as much as I complain about it, I think I'm faster on my 35 pound single speed Pugs than I am on my 28 pound full suspension dealy. Bottom line...one ride and you;ll be hooked. 5/5 for sure.
Weaknesses: Heavy (suck it up!) Strange parts (like wheel set), adds to the charm
Redefines fun. Every patch of sand on the trail makes me laugh, especially when I hear the sound of "SHOOOFFF" of the guy behind me washing out. It's the SUV of cycles, and it stops for nothing. Steering is unique and takes a bit of getting used to. It's not a bad thing, just different. The Pugsley is the absolute best bike I've even ridden. Bottom line: FUN! and that's why we ride.