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Anyone ridden a Surly Pack Rat?

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Anyone ridden a Surly Pack Rat?

Old 06-10-19, 12:27 AM
  #1  
eggnoggbubble
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Anyone ridden a Surly Pack Rat?

Still thinking about my new bike....

Brief recap: I have Bike Friday HAD which I love for kiddie hauling but it's a bit heavy (27kgs - yes I balanced it on the bathroom scales) for solo missions so I'm looking for a bike for commuting (17km each way twice a week, within 10k on the other days) and light touring. I was thinking of a BF Diamond Llama but I'm moving away from that at the moment, perhaps a tad beyond the budget (certainly at the top end) and I'm not sure how much I really need the folding / travel aspects (the wife had a folder but we never folded it so now she has a non-folder)

So I started looking at touring bikes instead and of course surly LHT came up, that's a little slower and heavier-duty than I need, as it happens a friend is buying the Midnight Stealth so I looked but that is just too roadbikey for me (I don't ride that fast, I like to enjoy the view, but not so slowly as to want an LHT) so I was looking at Cross Check when Pack Rat caught my eye - I love having front loading on my bikes (the front basket on my HAD gets the most use, I only use the back for kids and for when the front is already full) so the Pack Rat seems like a logical choice.

It's a bit non-standard tho and there aren't so many reviews online (unlike the LHT....) does anyone have any experience with one?

Thanks for any thoughts!
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Old 06-10-19, 12:33 PM
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Cool

See website ... https://surlybikes.com/bikes/pack_rat maybe you can do a revue..
there is a Q & A there ..


QBP have a import warehouse there ? where will you buy it?



I like my Pocket Llama, I have had for years..

you can specify a lighter bike build at Bi Fri because they start building it with your order..







...

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Old 06-10-19, 07:39 PM
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yes, I saw that Q&A, fairly helpful, also since posting i searched youtube and found a couple of reviews, most seem fairly positive, good riding experience both loaded and unloaded.

I confess I haven't completely given up the idea of a BF, I do take your point that I can pretty much specify what I want and they'll build it for me, so I could definitely order a biased-for-speed Llama...

However, you also ask "Where will I buy it?" and that's a funny thing, although I live in Okinawa and arrived at Surly by goooogle, it turns out there is a surly dealer LBS about 3km from my house - this is freakish and completely not my usual experience (finding stuff on via the internet and then trying to figure out how to get it to okinawa....). An extra plus is that I know the guy vaguely from his previous workplace (bicycle section of an outdoor shop) and I did buy a wheel for my mundo (now sold to a friend) from him last year. So if I go the surly route I'd get to support my local LBS and also have local support for any issues or upgrades.

That, combined with the fact that a BF is likely to end up significantly more expensive (BF will likely come to $2,000 including shipping, Surly should come in around $1,500 which feels more like what I feel comfortable paying) and with a folding/travel capacity I'm not sure I need at this point (tho it would be nice to have the option, - for sure the BF would probably do pretty much everything I want of a bicycle, no getting a ride part-way with the pack rat....), means I am leaning towards the Pack Rat. I do think either bike is likely to fulfill my needs pretty well (tho I suspect a BF will continue to sit on my wish-list....dang it you got me thinking in about BF again...)

thanks for the input!

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Old 06-11-19, 08:02 AM
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OK ... Taipei to Okinawa , is closer than Minnesota...

yea any shop with a QBP account can order the bikes. though they are a pay before shipping company..
As we find using the US distribution..

so you may have to commit to buying one , before they order it..



QBP ships it charges the shop in full , then , where Trek for example has a rotating line of credit for their dealers..




...

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Old 07-30-19, 02:17 PM
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I have not ridden a Pack Rat. I own a LHT, it is my daily commuter, grocery hauler, get-around-town, as well as touring bike. I carry any loads in the rear panniers.


I love the variety and niches that Surly covers... but frankly, I just don't get the Pack Rat. I guess it is Surly's love letter to Randonneur bikes. If you intend to ever use rear panniers on it, then be aware that it has a shorter chain stay (shorter than proper touring bikes) and you need to make sure you can avoid heel strikes to the panniers (although I think its 415mm might be a good length).


This article is written from more of a touring perspective, but is an interesting read given the large selection of Surly bikes.
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Old 07-30-19, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by eggnoggbubble View Post
Still thinking about my new bike....

Brief recap: I have Bike Friday HAD which I love for kiddie hauling but it's a bit heavy (27kgs - yes I balanced it on the bathroom scales) for solo missions so I'm looking for a bike for commuting (17km each way twice a week, within 10k on the other days) and light touring. I was thinking of a BF Diamond Llama but I'm moving away from that at the moment, perhaps a tad beyond the budget (certainly at the top end) and I'm not sure how much I really need the folding / travel aspects (the wife had a folder but we never folded it so now she has a non-folder)

So I started looking at touring bikes instead and of course surly LHT came up, that's a little slower and heavier-duty than I need, as it happens a friend is buying the Midnight Stealth so I looked but that is just too roadbikey for me (I don't ride that fast, I like to enjoy the view, but not so slowly as to want an LHT) so I was looking at Cross Check when Pack Rat caught my eye - I love having front loading on my bikes (the front basket on my HAD gets the most use, I only use the back for kids and for when the front is already full) so the Pack Rat seems like a logical choice.

It's a bit non-standard tho and there aren't so many reviews online (unlike the LHT....) does anyone have any experience with one?

Thanks for any thoughts!

Do you care about disc brakes vs rim brakes? Or drop bars vs non-drop bars/sort of flat bars?


If you have spare wheelsets and other significant parts, you could get a frame and build it up.
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Old 08-12-19, 05:57 PM
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I don't get this bike.

The HT angle and fork offset are well within "normal" for a typical road or cross bike. How is this "optimized" for front cargo, aside from the fact that it 1) has mounts for a front rack and 2) comes with said front rack?

But there's otherwise absolutely nothing remarkable about this bike. Looks like a nice bike though.
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Old 08-12-19, 05:59 PM
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https://www.somafab.com/archives/pro...argo-frame-set
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Old 08-19-20, 01:25 AM
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Dang, 53 weeks, but I'm gonna necro...

I just discovered the Pack Rat in my search for a new commuter/gravel/recreational ride. I must have skipped over this bike before, but now it's looking kind of good.

(Mainly because there's one available in my area! There's just crap for bikes around right now, very frustrating.)

But, yeah, the front-rack thing is kind of weird. I commute with two rear bags right now, but I could be convinced to go forward. But I like that it still has rim brakes. And I use sort of small bagson the back, so I might be OK.

So, did the OP ever get one of these? Has anyone?!
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Old 09-09-21, 06:21 PM
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ha, I see your necro (finally!) and raise you about a year....

I finally got one, I love it, if you can find one I heartily recommend it. I posted a short review here: https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting...inued-but.html
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