The heavyweight champ has been crowned.
By Colin Ford
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 on 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.
On 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.
Let’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/