Surly are on a roll right now and seem determined to cater for every cycling niche, sub niche and micro niche possible with their 2018 model lineup. The latest to roll out is the new Surly Bridge Club, “intended to hit the sweet spot that separates on and off-road excursions“. A flat barred go anywhere bike is how we’d describe it.
First off, why Bridge Club? Surly claim it has absolutely nothing to do with smokey rooms and card games, but is named after the Minneapolis tradition of riding out with your mates and hanging out under a bridge to share an alcoholic drink or two… If any UK brands want to follow this naming convention, Cake Club is yet to appear on the top tube of any bike frame.
Surly describe the Bridge Club as an all road touring bike and touted as an affordable option for someone who is new to bikepacking. Having seen the new Surly up close and personal, I’d say it would also double up duty as a very versatile commuter. Flat bars giving you a much more confident ride position when avoiding potholes and weaving through early morning city traffic, loaded with your work kit.
The frame and fork is constructed from Surly’s ‘Natch’ Tubing which is 4130 CroMoly steel. The non-suspension corrected fork measures 420mm axle to crown and features three pack mounts and rack and mudguard fitting points.
Unlike many other bikes in the Surly range, the braze-ons are kept to a minimum on the Bridge Club but you will still more than enough to satisfy all but the hardiest of tourers. Full rack and mudguard mounts and triple bottle mounts on the top and underside of the down tube on all but the XS frame.
Surly have a reputation for keeping things simple and have a huge fan base because of that no nonsense approach. Nothing changes here on the Bridge Club either. Favourable features such as a 73mm threaded bottom bracket, 27.2mm seatpost, external cable routing and options for 1x, 2x, even 3x gearing are all here.
The builds are equipped with 650b wheels shod with 2.4″ tyres and the frame has a maximum clearance of 650b x 2.8″ or 3″ if you fit 26″ wheels – remember them? Tried and tested QR dropouts are used both front and rear, featuring Surly’s ‘Gnot Boost’ spacing (138mm so you can squeeze in a Boost hub or a standard 135mm hub). The front sticks to a standard 100mm QR hub.
The geometry is roughly based on the Surly Troll and Ogre, however the fit has been subtly refined for 650b x 2.4″ tyres and biased towards road use. That’s not to say the Bridge Club will be skittish off-road, just don’t expect to be a trail shredder… Surly offer the Karate Monkey for true trail focused fun.
Pricing and UK Availability
UK Surly importers, Ison Distribution, will be receiving stock of complete bikes 25th April and shipping out to dealers soon after. The Bridge Club retails for £1,300 and will be available in sizes XS through to XL.
Want a closer look before it hits the shops? Surly Bikes and the Bridge Club will be at 2018’s Battle on the Beach at Pembrey Country Park on 14th/15th April.
For more information on the Bridge Club and all things Surly, head over to surlybikes.com
Last modified: 4th April 2018