Surly now makes an e-bike. Are these the tip instances? Not so quick — the Huge Straightforward presents large causes to surrender the automobile. In fact, it comes at a worth.
This month, Surly Bikes launched a tremendous pedal-assist electrical variant of the Huge Dummy cargo bike into the world. Designed to simply carry cartons of cargo, groceries, or perhaps a gaggle of children, the Huge Straightforward additionally expands the potential for dwelling a car-free way of life.
Is the Huge Straightforward the household truckster for you? That will rely in your want to haul large hundreds and your propensity to #RideLoaded. And it might additionally require a small-vehicle mortgage to beat the $5,000 price ticket.
I’ve been driving a preproduction Huge Straightforward for the previous month by one of many coldest and snow-choked Minneapolis winters of current reminiscence. Right here’s my preliminary impression.
Surly Huge Straightforward First Look Assessment
The Huge Straightforward options the Bosch Efficiency CX mid-drive unit and makes use of the model’s strongest PowerPack 500 battery. The sort of e-assist motor delivers a gradual, clean help as much as 20 mph. Nonetheless, above 20 mph, the rider does all of the work.
Relying on the load of your cargo and the way a lot help you want, the Bosch has 4 modes — Eco, Tour, eMTB, and Turbo — every with ascending ranges of highly effective help.
The eMTB mode felt prefer it provided essentially the most torque. I used it usually to blast by a few of the lingering snow drifts on my commute.
On lengthy stretches of Minneapolis’ well-known Greenway stretching between my house and workplace, I ramped it as much as Turbo to get by the chilly commute as quick as potential. On this setting, I shortly realized to not mash on the pedals. There gave the impression to be way more pressure, each on my knees and on the system, as I approached the 20 mph energy cutoff. Shifting to a decrease gear and specializing in a quicker, smoother cadence gave a way more seamless powerband.
At stoplights, I reminded myself to “shift down” to Tour or Eco to ease again on the take-off torque. One snowy night, the rear finish started to fishtail after I began to cross a busy freeway on a inexperienced mild.
As I grappled with a way of impending doom, satisfied I used to be about to yard sale in entrance of stopped visitors, the added enhance of the Bosch motor kicked in and swung the lengthy tail round. I shot throughout the intersection in what certainly should’ve seemed like a cool Steve McQueen transfer.
No less than that’s what I informed myself.
Controversy: Surly E-Bike
Surly’s advertising materials boasts that the Huge Straightforward “rides like a motorcycle,” which means that its lengthy wheelbase gives a clean, secure journey.
However there was a little bit of vocal discord on social media channels geared toward Surly launching an e-bike. Purists scoff, and, to some, an electrified Surly could seem outdoors of the “regular” Surly field.
Personally, I see this precisely throughout the Surly punk rock program of versatile, utilitarian, and different biking transportation choices. The Huge Straightforward might simply substitute a automobile and supply money financial savings on fuel, title, parking, and insurance coverage bills — all of the whereas extending the rider’s “commutable” distance exponentially.
Admittedly, the $5,000 worth of admission is a bit powerful to swallow. However when fashionable high-end path bikes and highway bikes routinely see costs north of $eight,000, the Huge Straightforward doesn’t sound too out of line to me.
Surly Huge Straightforward Vary
One of the crucial frequent questions for any e-bike is the vary of the battery. However there are numerous exterior components that play into vary, together with cargo and enhance mode. To that finish, Surly received’t quote a variety for the Huge Straightforward however as an alternative factors prospects to Bosch.
The Bosch web site has an E-Bike Vary Assistant function that takes into consideration rider weight, cadence, and cargo weight, together with mode settings to assist calculate battery vary.
Surly ships the Huge Straightforward with only one battery, but it surely does embrace the mandatory wiring and docking harness to simply accept a second battery. Doing so will basically double your vary. If including a second battery, each ports are keyed-alike with Abus lock cores for simplicity.
I used to be happy to search out that in my Minnesota winter take a look at, I saved the lengthy tail outdoors with no points. Though throughout the newest “polar vortex,” I did take away the battery to prime off the cost indoors in a single day.
Surly Huge Straightforward Load Check
Previous to the official launch of the Huge Straightforward, Surly hosted a bunch journey for media as a part of guardian firm QBP’s Frostbike occasion. Being a Surly journey, the primary cease for our group was the liquor retailer. Because the Surly crew boasted, the Huge Straightforward can simply haul as much as an estimated 300 beers. The overall load specs, in line with Surly, are 300 kilos for the rider, 200 kilos for the cargo, or a max whole of 400 kilos.
We saved it to a extra manageable pair of Coors 30-packs. In the meantime, Surly designer Adam Scholtes muled two Surly Ice Cream Truck fats bikes on customized platforms. The burdens all proved effectively inside spec, and we had no bother zooming by a neighborhood park and carving snowy turns earlier than returning to the QBP launching pad.
Whether or not toting kiddos, brewskies, or rummage sale scores, the Surly Huge Straightforward gives all of the muscle and area you’ll want. Purists might disagree with a scrappy model like Surly embracing the e-bike motion, however the Huge Straightforward is one other large step for transferring folks — and equipment — with out automobiles.