Surly Neck Romancer Pug Fat Bikes


This year, we offer you an alternative to the standard Pugsley. The Neck Romancer Pugsley is the stealth bomber in our fleet. The frame and fork are black with subtle black and gray decals. The rims are black. The spokes are black. Almost everything is black. But this bike isn't just an alternate color version of the standard Pugsley. Where the standard Pugsley sports 65mm-wide Large Marge double-wall rims, the Neck Romancer utilizes our 82mm-wide single-wall Rolling Darryl rims to expand its tire footprint, increasing its traction and all-terrain floatation. The increase in rim width puts the tire closer to the chain, so to avoid chain rub we spec’d this bike with our MWOD rings on a Mr. Whirly crankset. This provides all the chain/tire clearance necessary while retaining low- and mid-range gearing for crawling through the sticky and flying under the radar. The Neck Romancer Pug is available as a complete bike (with a Moonlander fork) and as a frame, no fork. Choose the right one for you from our fat bike fork offerings…or pick something else (there are a few non-Surly options out there) and build up your ride to suit your specific needs.


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[Apr 08, 2013]


It's a fat bike
It's one of the most fun bikes I have ever ridden
At home almost anywhere
Not as cumbersome as it looks


Components do not match price
Powder coat
General frame quality

This Review is for the Pugsley Necromancer.

Let me start off by saying I am in no way knocking this bike and this is an honest, hypeless review based on 26 years experience of mountain bikes.
I'll start off with the frame, the frame quality is what I would expect on a bike costing around $1000, it is a steel frame and let me make this clear, if you do not use frame sealant immediately on purchase you will have surface rust inside the frame, mine had surface rust when I unboxed it inside the seat tube and bottom bracket and there is always a little trace of rusty residue around the frame drainage holes. The powder coat is very easily scratched and perhaps enamel would have been a better choice of frame finish. I have tried 9 Zero 7 and Salsa frames and they are imo better quality and finsh for around the same price, if they had been availble I would have chosen them over the Surly.
Component choice. With the exception of the shifters MWOD and BB7s (which are now obsolete) crankset the componentry is equal to that found on bikes of $400-500. This isn't to say that it's poor quality, it works well enough. The reasons for choosing BB7s for the brakes i.e. better cold performance are well known but for fast trail rides they just do not cut it and how many people will be riding this bike in temperatures low enough for mineral oil to freeze ? One thing I have noticed as I do a lot of trail and singletrack riding is that with any rotors larger than 160mm and a reasonably good set of brakes (mine are SLXs) there is quote and alarming amount of fork flex even under mild braking loads.

The ride. Ok enough of the negative points, this is one of the most fun bikes I have ridden in years, the riding position is more reminiscent of town bikes rather than mtbsand is very very natural and comfotable. It's surprisingly agile and nowhere near as hard to pedal as it may seem at first glance. The same trails and singletracks which would be a breeze in a cold clinical way on my more modern machines become technical playgrounds. This bike has something that it is rare to fnd in a modern bike and that is character. It will encourage you to go places you wouldn't ordinarily consider on a 'normal' mtb, snow, mud , sand. Ok it won't ride over eveything and the float with the stock 3.7s is only really good enough for groomed trails or snow with a really really good crust but is guaranteed it will put a smile on your face that is hard to wipe off. On trails With decent tyre pressure, around 18-22psi around town and on cycle paths it is a laid back cruiser that is so relaxed to ride that when you ineveitably get passed by faster skinnier bikes you tend to think, hey just slooow down man, or maybe that's just me. On faster smoother fire roads type riding after a bit of experimentaion you can drift that baby like a Nissan Skyline. I can say with my hand on my heart that in the months since getting the Necromancer that my other bikes, all 7 of them have not been ridden.
As you can see my biggest gripes are with the price v quality of the bike not the performance, and if you do buy this bike you will upgrade the brakes at least, so far I've changed, brakes and bars and saddle and for the price point I would expect to upgrade something when it wears out not because it is not good enough for the intended purpose in the case of the brakes..
Surly/QBP are going to be facing some stiff competition now that some of the big names in the industry are starting to sit up and take notice and better specced better value bikes will be available before long which will take spotlight away from Surly. What once was a niche market is becoming a mass market.

The fat bike is imo going to be the biggest revolution in everyday cycling since the mountain bike and don't be surprised if in 2 or 3 years you see them everywhere.

My excuses for the long review but it's rare that I'm compelled to write one but this bike and fat bikes have really put passion back into my cycling and although there are issues a fat bike is something that anyone who considers themselves a cyclist shoud try.

Similar Products Used:

9 Zero 7 (tested)
Salsa Mukluk (tested)

[Feb 19, 2013]
Cross Country Rider


No chain rub
Very comfortable stock cockpit
22-36 w/ Bash is how Id set up my summer trail bike
Thumb Shifters are easy to use with gloves, but only the rear is indexed
The salsa pro-moto handlebar is very comfortable, considering it for my other bikes


27 TPI Tires on a $2200 CAD bike
The overall component spec could be slightly upgraded
How expensive components like tires are to buy new - the LBS wants $200 for 1 new tire or $150 @ online shops
Heavy, but you don't feel it all the time

Had this bike for 2 months, riding a few times a week in winter conditions.

I thought that I would be able to go through anything with these tires but its obvious from the start the most fun is on hard packed trails.

The tires come stock with Nates in the rear and Larrys in the front. The Nates really bog down the acceleration but do provide lots of traction. The Larrys are not the best at turning until theyve been tuned via PSI.

Setting up your tire PSI correctly is the key - you can go too low if you're riding hard pack trails. Test on a section of trail with a turn that you wipe out on and keep lowering your front pressure until it sticks.

Overall it rides like a XC trail bike, and its kitted out like one with the chainring and bash selection. Ive taken more than a while to really get into the bike, I really wasn't sure I was going to keep it at first but now Im really into it.

I was going to spend my money on a new FS trail bike, most likely a 29er, but Im glad I stepped out of the mold and got this bike.

If I was doing it all over again, Id probably spend the extra ~$1000 and buy the Salsa Beargrease for the weight savings.

Similar Products Used:

never used a fatbike

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