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Colin Reviews The Ice Cream Truck!

The heavyweight champ has been crowned.

By Colin Ford

Surly ice cream truck 6-2

Surly ice cream 8

This is my review of the Surly Ice Cream Truck, or The Truck as I referred to it during the time I had it. Gomez and I had the privilege of being two of the first non-Surly fat-bike riders to ride this bike during Frostbike weekend this past January. It was super rad. Getting to ride with David Gray, the inventor of the freakin’ Pugsley, was super rad too. Anyway… I got to ride the truck again for a month thanks to the awesome dudes at Surly and Fat-Bike.com. I went into this testing/review period knowing that this bike was a bombproof machine that was tough as nails. And it is. Let’s start with the frame.

The frame is 4130 chromoly ‘natch, and has a symmetrical rear end spaced at 190mm. The rear end is thru axle compatible and uses Surly’s new modular dropouts. The added stiffness from the thru axle is definitely noticeable while taking bigger jumps or drops or riding severely gnarly terrain. The BB shell Surly ice cream truck 9on this thing is about the size of a beer can; with 1000x the strength. Using a press fit BB allowed the widening of the chain stays to accommodate for the Fattest tires on the Fattest rims while using a 2x drivetrain. The toptube is custom drawn for maximum strength and coolness. The head tube is of the 44mm variety and can handle the newest fork varieties. Fork is also 4130 and has a thru axle as well, sweet. Spaced at 150 mm to accommodate people that want blue-toes.

Now that the techy bits are done. Let me just say this is the strongest bike I’ve ever ridden. I challenge any of you to break this frame. Yes that means you too, Spinner! Burly just isn’t a good enough adjective. I’d say more like thunder-rhino…or something. The bike is extremely stiff and really gives you the feeling that you’re piloting thee monster of omniterratortial dominance. The truck has a rad favoring geometry. It’s more in tune with the Krampus as we’ve mentioned all along. On the trail, this means tons of rider confidence, going downhill. The turning/cornering/railing of berms on this bike is really amazing for something of its massive stature. Outperforming the Moonlander’s handling while blasting Roman candles in its general direction. The Truck chews up roots, rocks, and sand while giving you more traction than I thought possible. Easily cleaning sections, on my home trail, that are usually a gamble. The 5 inch Bud and Lou give the bike great handling. You can utilize all of the tire tread (something I really like). Ya know, like when you’re well into a turn and you can feel the tires pulling you back on track.

Surly ice cream truck 1On to the beach!! – Aaaahhhh the beach. Beaches are not always just made from sand. I only was able to get the Truck to play in the ROCKS and  sand twice while I had it. Both times I was really impressed with the float the 100mm wide Clown Shoes that the tire combo of Bud and Lou dish out. I would have loved to take the ICT out on the beach with BFL’s but just didn’t have time. The 2x drive train, provides plenty of low gears to go into full blown rock crawler mode.  Over the rough stuff this bike just plows. All sizes of rock are no match for the truck. The toughness of this bike’s design shows through on long rock gardens and tough sections of beach (or basically anything). I really can’t wait too see what it’s like to ride in the snow again.

Surly ice cream truck 2Let’s wrap things up here shall we? So this bike is not light. It is strong. Weights have been mentioned in a previous article. But tubeless it weighs in around 35 lbs. I don’t care. When I first got my Pugsley it really gave me a feeling of “what does not kill me, will make me stronger”. This sensation has returned with the ICT. It’s probably not optimal for most race situations. It’s a solid – go anywhere and do super, bad ass shit – MACHINE! It takes some body English to whip around. It’s even handy with a rack! It is the toughest bike I’ve ever ridden. It’s a fat-bike. It should be over the top tough. Now I’m gonna go get some ice cream BRAAAP!

 

For more information about Surly Bikes visit – http://surlybikes.com/

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14 Responses to Colin Reviews The Ice Cream Truck!

  1. Chris D June 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Is that a seat post clamp mounted beer cozy? Rad.

  2. Nigel June 25, 2014 at 8:06 am #

    Time to sell my Moonlander frame…

  3. stephen June 25, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    While I own a Surly Crosscheck myself, I feel the article was a little lopsided on coverage. There are lots of folks out there that don’t like the idea of a press fit bottom bracket. I was hoping this article would have high- lighted all the pros we are aware of and addressed some of the concerns out there about this bike like Cost at over 850 for the frame alone your talking over 2k before you could bring one of these puppies home. You could go carbon for that price. Any thoughts?

    • Gomez June 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

      We’ve published three articles about this bike. If you’re skeptical, go test ride one at your LBS and make your own informed decision.

  4. Schoesch June 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    The uphill climbing performance of the truck would be interesting for me.

    • Gomez June 25, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      If you really want to know – Go take a test ride later this summer, when they hit bicycle retailers.

  5. Paul June 29, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    I think the concern about press fit bottom bracket is a valid one. Would it be possible to elaborate on why Surly chose to go this route, given the reliability and noise issues with press fit bottom brackets? Have they figured out a way to make that bombproof, like the rest of the bike?

    None of my local bike shops carry fat bikes. I wouldn’t be able to test ride one, and I would have to order one sight unseen. This may be the case for lots of folks who live in areas where fat bikes haven’t caught on yet.

    • Gomez June 30, 2014 at 8:35 am #

      Only time will tell, if the press fit bottom bracket will become a maintenance head ache. We can only report what actually happens during testing. During testing the ICT BB was trouble free, but that test period was just shy of a month. As for the reasons that Surly chose to go that direction: the answers to that are in the article, but I’ll try to elaborate. The press fit BB shell is wider than a traditional shell and the seat stays can be attached at a wider spacing. This provides for more tire clearance and a stiffer rear triangle. Press fit bottom brackets are not new. My 1988 Mountain Klein has one. It never caused any problems for me, but that was a long time ago. The bike is still in my collection, but is not ridden any longer.

      A test ride will do even less than this article to address your concerns about the long term reliability of the bottom bracket, If you’re concerned about the BB, the only way to truly find out is to wait for long term testing to take place.

      Our purpose is not to sell you this bike…or any bike. We just tell you what they have going and YOU make the decision on what you want. The fact that we’ve told you that the ICT has a press fit BB and you have concerns that you deem valid is all of the available information on the subject. How are we supposed to predict how this press fit BB will work 6 months or a year from now? The answer is – we cannot.

      Seriously – if you have questions for Surly, about if they’ve figured out a way to make the press fit BB bombproof, you should contact Surly customer service. Email them at derby@surlybikes.com.

  6. Kevin Higgins June 30, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    My buddy Pete who owns Ride Cycles in Invercargill has one of these coming and after reading the third installment of reviews for this bike, I couldn’t be more excited to check it out! Nice one! Who’s going to try and break the 30 lb build with one?

  7. HM Lee July 2, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    Will this be compatible with 29+?

  8. johann December 16, 2015 at 2:14 am #

    what front rack is that on the ICT? Custom?
    Any known rear racks available?

    • Gomez December 16, 2015 at 7:05 am #

      Both Surly and Old Man Mountain make racks that will work on an ICT.

  9. Goat December 20, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    I am looking for racks for the ICT with a lower-mounting bar. Old Man Mountain has a PHAT sherpa for front and rear (but without a lower-mounting bar).

    Are the Surly models the 8 and 24-pack?

    http://fat-bike.com/2015/10/new-product-release-surly-8-pack-rack-24-pack-rack/

    Or do you know of others that work with the ICT?

    Thanks.

    • Gomez December 21, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      Those are the Surly racks that are in the link.