If you ever looked at miles of mostly unrideable landscape and thought "Huh, I wish I could ride over that," Surly's Moonlander is reason for applause. The chromoly frame was built around humongous 4.8-inch wide tires on Surly Clown Shoe rims. These beautifully large assets are meant to roll over any obstacle. The flotation and traction gained by using large-volume, low-pressure tires can get you over and through otherwise unrideable terrain: ice, snow, sand, mud, wet rocks and roots. Speaking of ice and snow, the drivetrain uses Shimano SLX shifters so you can change gears in mittens, and a Surly Offset Double crank provides low gearing options. Plus, rain or shine, dry or mud bog, Avid's BB7 mechanical-disc brakes slow you down in any conditions.
|Frame||Surly TIG-welded chromoly w/double-butted main triangle|
|Fork||Surly TIG-welded chromoly|
|Rims/Wheels||Surly Clown Shoes|
|Hubs||Front: Surly New 135mm; Rear: Shimano XT disc|
|Spokes||DT Swiss, stainless|
|Tires||Front: Surly Bud, Rear: Surly Lou, 26 x 4.8|
|Crankset||Surly Offset Double|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano SLX|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Deore XT|
|Rear Cogs||Shimano, 10-speed: 11-34|
|Handlebars||Salsa ProMoto 2|
|Brake Levers||Avid SD-1|
|Brakes||Avid BB7 mechanical-disc, 7-inch/6-inch rotors (F/R)|
|Accessories & Extras||Surly stainless steel seatpost clamp|
* Subject to change without notice.
Displaying reviews 1-3
I finally got on the fatbike train this winter. Bought this beast after much deliberation in early December, right after it first snowed in Minnesota. Perfect timing, in hindsight. I hadn't ridden a fat bike before test riding this thing. Based on the marketing and user stories I'd read, I assumed that this bike would allow one to humble the Himalayas, and that isn't quite true. Trying to ride thru 8 or 10 inches of snow on the test ride quickly popped that balloon. But it rode well enough on slightly packed trails, and hey, I'm riding in the winter. Not a big deal to many, sure, but new to me, and fun. I've ridden it maybe 12 times since, mostly at Lebanon and the MN River bottoms in every snow condition we've had in Dec and Jan - fresh snow, chewed up unpacked snow, slightly packed snow, snow packed into a freeway of speed, sun-exposed slushy snow, some meltwater crossings, ice, rutted out frozen junk, one tire-width lanes of evil, and so on. My riding skills on snow have come a long way. I've crashed more times than I can count, walked thru mashed potato junk that feels like miles of flour-like sand, but pretty much smiled all the way, even at -5. And rolled right over everything in my way. Maybe this is more about my journey than the bike, but that's a good thing. The bike has been rock-solid, shifting and braking remain perfect, handling feels right. It's been the constant in figuring out how the winter trail biking world. I know more about snow conditions than I ever thought I would, and I'm loving it. I've heard some complaints from others offended about price, and while it may seem overpriced based on parts, that overlooks some of the magic powers it must contain. I'm not a Surly apologist by any means, either -- this is the first one I've had. I just think the overall experience, fun, and ability to be out riding in the winter is worth what I paid. Those who do not buy are missing out on the fun. Almost every other (skinnier-tired) fatbike rider says they want the Moonlander, for whatever that's worth. I just figured the fatter the better. When everyone's riding CF framed fatbikes in a few years, maybe I'll feel old school, but I believe I'll still be happy chuggin' along the river.
This bike is so much fun! I have much more traction with the huge tire footprint. When climbing my rear wheel slips less and going downhill I'm faster than my 29er. Steering might take a little bit of time to get used to but after a couple of rides I had no problem with it. The big tires and low pressure it gives a very smooth ride, I notice my wrists and shoulders aren't sore after riding rough single track. Running lower pressure (4-8 psi) you won't be as fast as other mtb on the flat areas but you can just plow through rooted/rockey areas. I have six bikes and I ride the Moonlander the most throughout the year. If I had only one mountain bike to ride the trails all year long it would be the Moonlander!
The Surly Moonlander is a bike of a different breed. I could say a lot of good things about it, but you won't know what it's really like till you actually ride one! Even people who don't ride comment on the size of the tires and the sparkly paint, so you are sure to be noticed!