Surly Lowside

surly lowside single speed mountain bike

Sometimes, I like to coast on a bike. I’m not sure why, but sometimes it can also be fun. Sliding around, foot down style, it can almost be as great as riding a fixed gear. So, I sometimes pull a bike that isn’t one of my tracklocross bikes out for a ride in the woods. Today I fancied a new bike, so I built up a Surly Lowside, okay I started doing this last week, but today I finished.

I had thought about a Lowside ever since Surly first launched it. I was thinking back to my old 1×1 and wishing I had never sold that bike. I reminisce about that bike more than any other I have ever had, and I think wanting the Lowside was me just using my rose-tinted specs and trying to make amends for a previous mistake. Eventually, I knew I would get one, and the Dream Tangerine colour just seemed too good to let slip past.

I had a spare set of Shimano Zee cranks in my spares box, so I could justify building a Lowside as a way to use up spares. If I’m honest, only the cranks and the pedals were the parts that came from the spares box. However, using these cranks meant I could buy a frameset rather than the complete bike and save myself from the horrors of an SRAM chainset and BB.

I am also not a big fan of orange frames and tan wall tyres. Tan wall tyres look fantastic on many bikes, but I don’t think it works well the way Surly have used them this time. Surly do grey wall tyres, though, and I decided to take a punt on them.

I grabbed a Dirt Wizard for the front and an Extra-Terrestrial for the rear. I went with this choice because it reminded me of mid-school BMX. Visually it looks similar to running a Primo Dirt Monster and V-Monster tyres from back in the day.

Is there anything better than making your “adult” bike remind you of the freedom of childhood?

I’ve now gone and flowed around some singletrack, and I can say that I really enjoy this bike. It is a bike I can just pull out and use when I want. I don’t need to spend time checking pivots, making sure my pressures are okay. I even went with cable disc brakes to keep maintenance low.

I hate bikes that take effort to look after.

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