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Surly Instigator 2.0

August 6, 2013


Of all the bikes I rode at Saddle Drive this year, the Surly Instigator is the one that haunts my dreams.  The Straggler was definitely the sparkliest, and the ECR was certainly the most versatile, but the Instigator was, by far, the most fun!


A uniquely Surly approach to the tweener trend that’s currently sweeping the land, rather than increase the rim size to achieve a 27.5″ outer diameter with a two inch wide tire, they increased the tire size on a 26 inch rim to achieve the same rollover advantage but with better flotation, traction, confidence, and comfort. but without eliminating the option to use 650b wheels and tires if one so chooses.

Better yet, Surly future-proofed this rig by building it with replaceable dropouts that accept 12×142 axles in addition to 10×135 axles with single- or multi-speed drivetrains.

The mini-fat tires and trail specific geometry will feel very familiar to Krampus riders, but to folks that may have found the rotational mass of the 29×3 platform unwieldy, the Instigator is a lighter, snappier, more playful version of the same concept and it is awesome!


With short chainstays, slack headtube angle, solid spec, and 140mm travel suspension fork, this bike’s special purpose is immediately evident: this bike was born to shred!

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