Surly Instigator Frameset

DESCRIPTION

  • Tubing: 100% Surly 4130 cro-moly steel. Main triangle double-butted. TIG welded.
  • Rear Dropouts: Proprietary Surly 4130 billet. Spaced 135mm.
  • Brake Compatibility: International Standard disk or Cantilever rim-type
  • Braze-ons: Removable cantilever bosses, dual water-bottle mounts, Down tube shift cable routing, tube guides for hydraulic hose or solid housing, ICGS Chainguide mount.
  • Fork Compatibility: Geometry is designed around a 100 or 130mm suspension fork. Using shorter or longer forks will compromise intended ride characteristics, i.e. less BB clearance, faster or slower handling, etc.

  • USER REVIEWS

    Showing 1-10 of 50  
    [Nov 22, 2014]
    Bdub
    Weekend Warrior

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Lighter than previous Instigator
    Fits 26+ or 650b
    Rear dropout options of horizontal, standard qt 135mm, and the modern 12x142
    Geometry is soooo sweet
    Color
    1.5 inch head tube
    30.9mm seat post size

    Weakness:

    Nothing so far.
    Seat post clamp is comically large

    *please note this review is for the NEW 2014 Instigator 2.0. I couldn't find the new version so thought I'd add it here.

    Geometry is right in the sweet spot. I'm 5'11" and the medium is perfect. This frame seems much smoother regarding its dampening properties compared to the original, overly -gussetted 26" version. I've got a fox 34 up front so my head tube angle is different than spec but I must say it feels spot on. I'm running a light ish all mountain 650b wheelset instead of surley's rabbit hole rims and 27.5 by 2.35 tires so rolling resistance is much less and tackling hills ain't no thang.
    I HIGHLY recommend this bike to anyone who wants a smooth riding 650b hard tail with the brawn to handle a 5+ inch fork. It is extremely versatile, so far seemingly well crafted and just makes you feel 12 again. Best part, just about any shop can order a frame through one of the common wholesalers.

    [Jun 10, 2012]
    Scott
    Weekend Warrior

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Strong, steel, great geometry looks good

    Weakness:

    none

    I bought this frame used and built it up as a single speed with the rigid instigator fork and have used it as a commuter/ winter beater type bike. Yesterday rode it on some trails for the first time and was amazed at how well it handled, climbing and descending, jumping on some tough technical trails, especially with the rigid fork. It was a far more enjoyable ride than what my transition vagrant with domain 318 gives me, other than downhill sections of course.

    Similar Products Used:

    transition vagrant

    [Dec 21, 2009]
    korbs
    Cross Country Rider

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    This thing bangs. Takes a beating and keeps on greeting the next big drop. Solid design and beast looks. I have every confidence in this steel frame when flying down the rockiest decents.

    Weakness:

    heavy and slightly more difficult to climb with but heck, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. No braze-ons for racks.

    I Feel like i can do anything on this frame. The rear is slightly too bouncy for my likes but i think thats due to my having 1.8s in front and rear. Riding through the city to get to some of the trails is a breeze.
    I bought this bike so i could get a taste for XC riding with a geared and suspended ride. Ive been using a SS 29er for a long time and have loved it but wanted to take another step in a different direction. By all means a different ride, i feel like a kid again barreling down hills. So fantastic!

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    Gt zaskar w/ xt

    [Jul 18, 2009]
    bujiatang
    Downhiller

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    A solid frame that doesn't squirm bouncing down a mountain. The frame is so crisp, when a friend asked if I would join him on the trail of tears triathlon I thought about putting slicks on this bike and riding it.

    Weakness:

    no braze ons for a rear rack

    This bike has a solid frame that handles excellently on mountains in Montana. I bought this bike at the beginning of the summer for a trip out to see the inlaws near Butte. We camped at 8700 feet and rode to and from 9700. The bike handled better than any other bike I have ever ridden.

    I'm saving for a phil wood rear hub, so I can put a disc brake in the back and a drum brake in the front for those long descents by Devils Tower on 85.

    I ride this bike everywhere, some one looking for a solid bike that will not flinch need look no further. It handles bouncing down a mountain nimbly and yet can still keep up with friends on their road bikes riding around the city.

    Similar Products Used:

    Gary Fisher Kai tai (front suspension), Schwinn Hurricane (no suspension), Miata 2700 Elevation, Peugeot Uo8

    [May 22, 2009]
    surlychad
    Weekend Warrior

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Great geometry. Chromoly!

    Weakness:

    None!!!!

    To start things off I have not ridden on a hardtail in over 7 years. I have been into freeride and downhill riding. That being said, I've taken this bike out and WOW! Amazing! I rode a local trail and it didn't occur to me that I was even on a hard tail most of the time. I hit everything I did on my full suspension frames and felt maybe even more in control. It was a blast. I can say that I have found the reason that I started mountain biking 15 years ago once again. It is a bit heavier than a regular cross country rig but way lighter than my freeride and downhill rigs.

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    Specialized Big Hit Expert, Rocky Mountain RMX, Ellsworth ID

    [Mar 12, 2009]
    Anonymous
    Weekend Warrior

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Beefy, Strong, Dependable

    Weakness:

    On the heavy side.

    I'm a Clydesdale + rider, after killing two Gary Fisher Frames, both with identical BB frame breaks I was looking for something with a bit more "beef" to it.

    The LBS worked out a deal where I could replace my broken replacement frame for the Instigator + a bit of cash for my troubles.

    I think Surly puts it best on there product description.

    "If you ride big or are simply a big rider and break just about every thing you throw a leg over you’ll appreciate this level of stoutness."

    As for the bike being heavy, oh yea, its a truck. But lets face it, if I want to cut five pounds from my bike, I will step away from the donuts and ride my heavy bike more often.

    I primary use it for daily commuting, it takes my weight (substantial), full work clothes, and 17" laptop with out any complaints. Th LBS and I even worked out a rear rack for it, being that is the only brase-ons it does not have.

    On the weekends striped down, its a hole new creature. It makes curbs, hops and other urban interference a piece of cake.

    My only regret it killing two Fishers before getting to this. If you have never ridden steal before, try it out. There is something to be said about the flex, it just feels solid under you.

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    Gary Fisher 04 Marlin, Raleigh M80

    [May 06, 2008]
    John
    Weekend Warrior

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Burly, stiff, that beautiful steel feel. Nice handling with the fork set to 120mm.

    Weakness:

    A little heavy I guess, I don't really care about that though.

    I love this bike. It is very stable and I have to say, quite confidence inspiring. It kind of guilt trips you into trying things that used to be too gnarly for you. It drags a bit up hill, but I think that that has more to do with me than the bike. In all seriousness, the climbing isn't bad as the big tires give you great traction. It is just more a deliberate process than on some other bikes. Coming back down it is super stable and easy to control.

    I love this bike. My concept for it was to build the sort of bike that made me love bikes as a kid - uncomplicated and easy to ride, with the versatility to do urban stuff or take to a ski resort. If you want to go have fun in the woods on a nice steel bike that you can batter, this is it. If you get more of a rush climbing than descending, it isn't perhaps quite the right tool.

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    Cannondale CAAD 3 MTB.

    [Jul 04, 2003]
    Nick

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Everything, its the balls

    Weakness:

    whats that?

    This frame is the balls. I broke the first one on a weld, but the new generation ones have a gusset on the non drive side chainstay to seat stay neer the dropout. This frame rules. Its strong, its heavy, its awesome. Now available in black for those of you who dont like orange.

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    none

    [Sep 27, 2005]
    Wil

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    This is the first bike that i have had a problem with not being able to break. Huck anything with the confidance of steel under you. The frame design is super strong and cheap. You can put 3 inch tires on the back. Plus, it looks mean as hell in black. If you plan on riding xc i would put a long stem on it but if not go super short for the ultimate urban experiance. Over all it is the best bike i have ever ridden. light wieght cross countryers may beat me up hills but look out behind on the downhill. It can do just as much as a full suspension downhill bike but can be pedaled uphill with out having a stroke.

    Weakness:

    huh?

    This bike is awesome. Why have a 45 pound urban assualt machine when you can have an instigator? riddle me that. If you want a great bike that can do anything and are on budget get an instigator. If you want a great bike that can do anything and aren't on a budget get two.

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    Kona stinky D, Santa cruz bullit, speacialized P3

    [Mar 05, 2006]
    CallMeClyde
    Weekend Warrior

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    It's burly, black, and surly.

    Weakness:

    Haven't found any yet

    I wanted to build a bike for a little bit of everything from trails to banging around the city to hitting the beach for coffee on the weekend. With some decent components and big fat tires, this thing looks brutal and rides super smooth. It ain't winning any races but it gets there every time and gets positive comments wherever I go. I'm a big guy and have broken a lot of stuff over the years. If I break anything on this bike, it certainly isn't going to be the frame. I could have bought a lighter frame, but I doubt I could have found a sturdier frame for the money. If you don't have big bucks but want to put together a sturdy hard-tail with a bit of attitude, this thing rocks. If you're a spandex-clad cross-country racing weight weenie, keep looking.

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    '00 Kona Blast, '02 K2 Launch, various old school rigid mtbs

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