(SOLD) Surly Pugsley for sale; $1200 OBO

My 18″ Surly Pugsley is for sale in Albuquerque, NM.  This is a unique build designed for exploration in all conditions.  $1200 as shown.  Local pick-up only. E-mail me at nicholas.carman(at)gmail.com.

WPBlog001 585

For sale is a 2006 18″ Surly Pugsley, custom built for dirt touring and exploring remote places on rough tracks. The 120tpi Surly Knard tires are incredibly supple, and are setup tubeless to lightweight Surly Marge Lite rims with Stan’s sealant. Both wheels are hand built, and include a Shimano generator hub up front, which powers a Supernova E3 Pro headlight and a B&M Toplight Line Plus taillight. The headlight is one of the brightest dynamo lights on the market, and is encased in a durable aluminum housing. Fenders are custom made of recycled fender hardware, an aluminum rib, and coruplast (recycled election sign). The fenders keep the rider and drivetrain cleaner in wet or dusty conditions. They are well suited to trails, and have survived a full year of use. Rivnuts have been installed on the underside of the downtube for a Salsa Anything Cage or a standard water bottle cage. The top cap H20 mount and the extra holes under the downtube and on the fork ensure that you can carry enough water for desert adventures, even when paired with a full framebag. The fork is an aftermarket Pugsley fork with a 100mm hub spacing for a dynamo hub, or any standard front hub. It would readily accept a standard 29″ wheel if you wanted to build a 29″ wheelset for the bike.

I commuted through a winter in Anchorage, AK on this bike, and toured from Alaska to New Mexico last summer. There isn’t anything you can’t do on this thing, especially with so many useful attachments points, tubeless tires, and dynamo lighting.

The steerer tube is uncut and the bike would fit a rider between 5′ 7″ and 6′.

Surly 18″ frame (original model year, purple)

Surly Pugsley fork for 100mm hub, with rack and H20 mounts

Surly Marge Lite rims

Tubeless 120tpi Surly Knard tires

Chris King Headset

FSA Alpha Drive Crank w/Surly stainless steel 32T chainring

FSA Platinum 100mm ISIS BB (replaced 4/12)

XT front der, Deore rear der

Shimano DH-3D72 generator hub

Supernova E3 Pro headlight

B&M Toplight Line Plus taillight

BB7 brakes and Avid levers (203mm rotor front, 160 rear)

Shimano Ultegra shifters to VO thumb shifter mounts

custom aluminum/coruplast fenders

Surly 1×1 Cro-Mo Torsion bar

Race Face Deus XC stem

extra holes under DT for Salsa AC or H20

Ritchey grips

Easton EA30 seatpost and Specialized seat

King Cage top cap bottle cage mount

8sp chain and cassette

I built both wheels using DT Champion 2.0mm spokes.

For more ideas about what you can do on a ‘fatbike’ and the many ways you can build a Pugsley, check out this post on my blog: https://gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/pugsmorphology/

…or here: https://gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/via/

Please e-mail to arrange a meeting or test ride. I live near the Bosque so you could test ride the bike along sandy singletrack trails. Serious inquiries only.

WPBlog001 588

WPBlog001 596

WPBlog001 597

WPBlog001 589

WPBlog001 587

WPBlog001 593

WPBlog001 592

Between worlds

WPBlog001 575

The first meeting of the Rio Grande Young Farmer’s Coalition was held at Old Town Farm.  A sunny 75 degree day and the time to enjoy it are an uncommon pairing these days.  I am furiously buying selling building fixing and donating to prepare for our May 8th departure.  After surveying the scene from the vantage of a long-unused treehouse, I joined forces with Jeremy and went searching for something else.

Sun setting sweet summer day in April

Farm fresh long hairs on bikes and beat up pick-ups enjoy bluegrass and brew poured into thrift store ceramic mugs

Cottonwoods snowing silently, the biggest snowfall of the year

WPBlog001 581

WPBlog001 583

WPBlog001 582

Borrowed bike with fat tires and fenders

Sprint on sand, sprint on pavement;

under the interstate and across the bridge onto doubletrack singletrack and sandytrack to the secret swimming spot along the RIo Grande

Undone shoelaces, belts and button-ups;

piles of t-shirts, pants and socks

Run across silty shallows looking for deeps– much like Gulf Coast beaches–

alternately shallow and knee-deep braided river, barefeet running to sediment bars tracked with a million bird’s feet

Shooting for a far-off ropeswing, probably swings into four foot shallows anyway

Float, swim, flounder downstream back to piles of threads and steel

Back home by dusk, by way of the well-known route

Back home, to a memory of New Mexico winter, now sunny and eighty degrees

WPBlog001 579

WPBlog001 584

WPBlog001 578

WPBlog001 576

From a treehouse to the river via bike in less than twenty minutes. From New Mexico to the Netherlands in a day, soon.

Rivet Nutting

WPBlog001 564

Identify hole location, mark with sharp tool.  Hammer and punch to create impression.  Drill holes with small bit, patience and cutting oil.  Drill hole to size with larger bit.  Install threaded rivet nut with the “Brute” Rivet Nutter tool.

WPBlog001 574

WPBlog001 573

WPBlog001 572

I selected to install three rivets in such a manner that allows a standard water bottle cage,  a Salsa Anything Cage, or a Topeak Modula XL cage.  Specifically, the Salsa Anything Cage must be located above the chainrings.  The 64 oz. Klean Kanteen that I hope to use is too wide to clear the chainrings, but is narrower than the crank arms.

The standard H2O cage uses the lower two holes.

WPBlog001 569

The Salsa Anything cages uses all three holes.

WPBlog001 570

The Topeak Modula XL cage uses the upper two holes.

WPBlog001 571

At the rear, I drilled into each seatstay to install a butchered Nitto mini-rack to be used as a Carradice saddlebag support.

WPBlog001 568

The seatstay bridge had a small drain hole, which I enlarged and tapped for an M5 bolt.

WPBlog001 566

WPBlog001 565

I have a habit of drilling holes in new bikes.  I installed water bottle mounts to my Surly Pugsley last spring.  And, I drilled the seatstay bridge on my VO Campeur to accept a VO Pass Hunter rack..


WPBlog001 563

I rode the Cannnondale Holligan to the Railrunner station in downtown ABQ, and rode the train north to Santa Fe.  I sold the Hooligan to Cass and purchased this large-framed Raleigh XXIX+G from an acquaintance, who had at once ridden the bike with both drop bars and suspension fork.  I was back on the train within the hour.  The new bike rides real good.

Framebag coming soon, thanks to Scott of Porcelain Rocket.  Many changes to come in the next two weeks.

WPBlog001 562

Scott has made an informative video on how to make a pattern for a custom frame bag.

To Do Lists

WPBlog001 544

I have lists of things to do before I leave.  Somehow, I find more interesting things to do that were not on the list.  Meet a globe-trotting Japanese cyclist– Takashi– and rendezvous with another globe-trotting cyclist from Holland for late dinner and beers.  And, an impromptu sub six-hour campout along the Rio Grande.  Not much time for sleep these days.

WPBlog001 546

WPBlog001 547

Unlace the busted Phil Wood hub from Cass’ Rabbit Hole rim, and unlace the Rohloff from the long unused 26″ Rigida Andra rim to make one epic wheel– Rohloff to Rabbit Hole.  This wheel will find a home on Cass’ Surly Krampus frame.  The Phil hub will be sent back for repair.  I reused most of the spokes and cut them to length with the Phil Wood spoke cutter at Two Wheel Drive in Albuquerque.

WPBlog001 561

WPBlog001 560

WPBlog001 559

Reconnect with old friends.  Andy and Stella and family are visiting ABQ from Denver.  They hosted us last fall before diving into the Colorado Trail.  They rode to the farm for a visit over the weekend.  Stella is an aspiring bikepacker and commuter with a promising two-wheeled future.  In fact, the whole family frequently rolls on two wheels together.

WPBlog001 550

WPBlog001 556

Andy, better known by his blog moniker Big Dummy Daddy, was riding his Pugsley.  I sold him my Revelate Sweet Roll handlebar bag.  The robin’s egg blue Raleigh XXIX on the left is a recent acquisition, the first 29er amongst twenty (or more) bikes in the family.

WPBlog001 558

Prepare coffee and cocoa and cakes; soups, salads and sweets for weekend visitors to Old Town Farm.  Bike-In Coffee is a business that runs on coffee, rhubarb cake and two wheels.  Our kitchen is actually on four wheels, and is a repurposed 1973 Winnebago.

WPBlog001 548

Finally, buying and selling bikes.  The Velo Orange Campeur is still for sale.  A new (old) bike to come in the next few days!

WPBlog001 222

Gear Sale

Updated 4/18– The VO Campeur is still for sale for $800, or $875 with two VO Pass Hunter mini racks.  The bags are sold.  More listings soon.  

Leaving town, cleaning house, selling stuff.  I only need one of everything.  The Gear Sale page is accessible from the pages above and will house all items for sale.  It will be updated as new items are added to the list.  Check back soon for a purple 18″ Surly Pugsley and Lael’s Cannondale Hooligan.

The following items are currently listed, including a complete VO Campeur touring and commuting bike.  The complete bike is available for $800.

WPBlog001 525

WPBlog001 472

WPBlog001 468

WPBlog001 459

WPBlog001 458

WPBlog001 476

WPBlog001 527

Ride to the start

WPBlog001 540

Lael, riding to the start of the Cedro Peak 45km Ultramarathon

When an opportunity to enter a local ultramarathon arose, Lael immediately suggested that she could ride to the start, camp out, and run the next morning.  That was several months ago.  This past Friday we rode twenty miles out to Tijeras at sunset.  In the dark, I turned around and rode home through the city, bombing down old Route 66 amidst grit and low-budget glamour passing fresh stucco strip malls and crumbling motels.  Lael continued another ten miles in the dark, uphill, to a secluded picnic area where the race would start the next morning.  She lay down, slipped into her bivy, and arose in the dark to officially sign-in at 5:30AM.  Cold, she returned to the sleeping bag to stay warm while waiting for the start.  7AM– lose some layers and line up at the start in a ratty cotton tank top, athletic shorts and old-fashioned running shoes.  No tech, not even low-tech– no trail running shoes, no gels or technical fabrics.  Nothing but a few sips of water and a Big K Cola about 5 miles from the finish.  Forty five kilometers, 4000 ft of climbing, and twenty-six minutes ahead of the next female finisher, Lael won the 45km race.  Around noon, they tapped the keg and she sipped a beer while waiting in line for a complimentary hot dog.  She didn’t know anyone there and I couldn’t be there to watch, so she hung out with some mercenary bike cops responsible for trolling the course, which was composed almost entirely of rocky, forested singletrack around Cedro Peak.  And then, she rode home.  Lael races about once a year.  She often finishes third, which is pretty good for a sometimes racer.  This year she finished first.

Lael believes in transporting herself.  The fact that she rode to the start is impressive, and bold.  The fact that she won is badass.

WPBlog001 539

WPBlog001 535

WPBlog001 537

Lael has big eyes for the world.  Follow our adventures in Europe this summer from her perspective at Lael’s Globe of Adventure.

WPBlog001 541

Durable goods


I’d rather not buy anything.  I will spend hard-earned money on durable goods to reduce cost over time and to ensure proper operation in use.  Unearthing equipment from the closet has exposed tired, torn and broken gear.  Some is repaired, some is replaced.  Some is ready to go, despite wear.  Getting ready for summer.

Carradice Camper saddlebag, repaired several times.


Brunton cookpot, previously repaired (note handle from M5 bolt and housing ferrule), soon to be replaced.  Product discontinued.  Suggestions for an inexpensive .8L-1.2L cookpot, not too deep not too shallow, not too heavy?


Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 tent, previously repaired, several parts replaced.  In use for almost 5 years.  Ready to go.

2008wp 2

Klean Kanteen 40 oz and 64 oz bottles.  One large bottle dented, one smaller bottle broken from severe freeze.  Water always tastes good and can be warmed over stove.  Dented bottle, ready to go.

1144wp 2

Tires.  Since tires are consumable by design, it is common to consider the price of a tire in relation to durability and other features.  I prefer Schwalbe touring tires for puncture resistance and durability, wearing several tires well past 10,000 miles.  Maxxis makes some tough mountain bike tires that we like.  CST, Geax, and Kenda sell some great tires at a great price.  Reflective sidewalls are a useful feature, with no downside.  I am always looking at tires.


Nylon quick-drying shorts, without liner.  Cheap and durable, good for riding, swimming, sleeping, walking, everything.  Cotton t-shirts– everyone is giving them away.  Need new shorts, probably Patagonia 5″ baggies.


Wool long underwear is comfortable, wicks moisture and resist odors.  Wool is not particularly durable compared to synthetic fibers.  I generally trust Ibex for quality.  I generally avoid Smartwool clothing, but recent experiences are changing my opinion.


EMS down jacket, in use for two years.  Down is always said to last a lifetime.  That may be the case in the closet, but in the real world a garment will have a finite lifespan.  I recently replaced the zipper slider and  have patched several holes with duct tape.  I am searching for a purpose-specific ripstop fabric tape.  Light and warm, ready to go.


EMS Deluge jacket, made of Gore-Tex Paclite fabric, which boasts waterpoofness and breathability in a lightweight package.  The zipper is fatally scrambled and the fabric has worn in several places in two years of use.  Replaced.  The exact same jacket is on order.  Otherwise, I would have gotten the Marmot Minimalist, but this jacket fit me better.


Salomon mid-height Gore-Tex hiking shoes.  These are the best all-weather biking shoes I’ve ever used.  Expired, due to extended hard use.  Need replacement.


Patagonia Capilene 2 long-sleeve top.  My current clothing system relies upon this layer, over top of a lightweight wool shirt, and a cotton t-shirt.  Walz cycling cap has outlasted nearly a dozen chains.


Revelate Gas Tank, top tube bag.  Fits more than you’d think and built light and tough.  Ready to go.


Sea-to-Summit eVent compression drybag.  Durable, ready to go.


Enameled steel camping mug.  Tough as nails, beat to shit, ready to go.


Thermasrest Prolite sleeping pad.  Either it is durable or I am lucky, but this has been with me for over a year without any punctures.  I have punctured mats from REI and Big Agnes.  I have repaired several holes in the past with bicycle patches and duct tape.

5172wp 2

Mont-Bell UL3 Down Hugger sleeping bag.  This is one of the best in class, and after several years of testing bags, I have landed on this model.  Lael loves her Western Mountaineering Summerlite bag, except when it is 12deg at night.


Brooks saddle.  Comfortable.  More notably, this saddle has been extremely durable.  People often mistake it for a new saddle.  I smile and respond that is has seen over 30,000 miles since October 2009.  Lael loves the stock saddle from her Cannondale Hooligan.  If I was to buy a new saddle, I’d pick one up for $35.


Steel bikes.  I’ve broken one steel frame, but I’ve also ridden dozens.  I would not hesitate to ride aluminum, yet I still ride steel.  Titanium would be nice, but it’s out of my price range.  Steel wins again.  The Pugsley is coming to Europe.  Shown here with 26×3.8″” tires on 65mm fatbike rims last summer, I am currently building 29″ wheels for our upcoming journey.  Thinking about Rabbit Hole rims.


For further details, revisit my Kit List posts from last fall.

Up for anything

WPBlog001 500

The last time my mom visited in Anchorage she rode 25 miles in the snow, aboard a borrowed Mukluk.  And the time before that we explored historic tracks on Grindstone Island on rigid, vintage mountain bikes.  This time was a little different.

Bikes are still the best way to visit Albuquerque.  Several weeks ago Lael’s parents borrowed bikes and joined us for a ride in the Bosque.  This time, my parents borrow bikes and ride a mix of sandy singletrack and pavement to visit friends, to Los Poblanos, and simply to enjoy some southwest sunshine.  Mom rides the Cannondale Hooligan on Saturday, and the Raleigh XXIX 29er on Sunday.  Dad charges around on the Pugsley.  Lael runs.

WPBlog001 503

WPBlog001 518

WPBlog001 522

WPBlog001 509

WPBlog001 514

WPBlog001 515

Correspondance: Les sentiers de grand randonnée en France

FatFeb Colorado Trail Tennessee Pass

Last spring on April 8th, 2012, I wrote to Yann for the first time about touring France via the network of GR (Grand Randonnee) footpaths.  Those plans eventually fell by the wayside as Lael selected to participate in a yoga training in England, following by travel in Corsica and Germany, before rejoining me in Denver to ride the Colorado Trail in late summer.  I left Alaska on my own, on my Pugsley, and eventually landed in New Mexico.  This spring, we return to the idea of following footpaths in Europe.  The leading concept at the moment is to bring real mountain bikes, and to commit to off-pavement exploration– a hybridized bike would breed a hybridized version of these plans.  At worst, we encounter rough tracks and convoluted trails, or monotonous flat doubletrack through farmland.  At worst, we ride pavement part of the time while connecting trails when possible.  At worst, we ride bikes, sleep outside, shop at fresh markets all summer and see another side of France, and Europe.  At best– well, the potential spoils of ideas are the reason we dream.  At best– this could be the best summer yet.  

Yann is the craftsman and the gentleman behind Salamandre Cycles, producing some of the nicest fatbikes anywhere, and perhaps the only custom fatbikes in France.  He lives near Ardeche, in the Massif Central mountains of south-central France.  Visit his blog to see more of his bikes and the inspiring terrain in his region. 

 This correspondence begins last spring, 2012.82151046



My girlfriend Lael and I are planning a trip to France in May. We spend much of our time cycletouring, and have lived in Alaska for the winter, riding fatbikes (Surly Pugsley) and working to save money for our next trip. From our past experiences in France, specifically when Lael was a teacher in St. Malo, we recall the extensive network of GR trails. Is it legal to ride these trails on a bike? We are hoping to bring our Pugsleys for a full summer of riding in Europe. In the US many walking trails do not allow bicycles, but I thought that France may be different. Also, we might like to meet up with you. Where are you located?





I’m located in the south of Ardèche. The locality name is Banne. The place there is perfect for fatbikes: there is no snow, no sand, but rock everywhere and fat tires are wonderful on that kind of ground. The countryside is wonderful with many different landscapes only a few km from each others. But the weather is warm in the summer and after 11 o’clock, I prefer having a bath in one of the various clear water rivers rather than riding my bike.

In France footpaths are not walk only tracks. This is just a leading line for people who want to have long hikes. Paths are rarely forbidden to cycles. One general exception are coast tracks that might be officially forbidden to bikes especially in Brittany where they are very pleasant (you already know them if you were in Saint Malo). But, as a matter of fact, there is quite no policy made on them (not like your rangers) and if you don’t ride them on weekends you won’t have any problems. Of course in the summer there are more people there than the rest of the year, but you only might have some remarks from unhappy walkers (but if you have some problems, I’m not responsible !).

The main areas where you might have some problems are the national parks, except the Parc National des Cévennes (close to my home) where some people are living and where the restrictions are low restrictions (camping…). But National Parks are only a small part of France and you have many others wonderful places to go in France.

Some other countries in Europe might be less permissive (Austria, Switzerland, maybe Germany but it has to be verified).




Lael and I did not ride in Europe together that summer.  Instead, she rode her Cannondale Hooligan and hopped planes, trains and ferries to various destinations.  I reconnected with Yann this spring.



I wrote to you last year about riding in France.  We were diverted from these plans, but have committed to riding in Europe this summer.  We will fly to Amsterdam (cheapest ticket to Europe), and hope to ride south to spend some time in France.  As mentioned previously, most of the GR trails are legal to ride, and may be quite nice.  We expect to push our bikes at times if the trail is very steep or rocky, but would still be happy to experience the “less traveled” paths of France.  The system of GR trails seems perfect!

I have learned that there is a major GR route from Amsterdam to Bruxelles and Paris, GR12.  Have you heard anything about this route?  I expect it is mostly flat, perhaps muddy and with many roots in the spring, but it would seem to be a good way to begin our trip.  Any thoughts?

There is a map/guidebook available that I hope to order.  Also, can you think of any other significant resources to help us plan for a summer of off-pavement riding?  Maps, guidebooks, established long-distance routes?

The fatbikes on your website look amazing!  If possible, I hope to visit you this summer.




Hi Nicholas,

I remember this email. Is your girlfriend Lael (who went to France last summer but didn’t find time to get here)?

I don’t know anything about GR12. Yes it must be flat except in the Ardennes (low altitude mountains where SSEC took place in 2011) between Belgium and France.  You might have long flat rides in crop fields. I think you’d better go straight to the south, for an example following GR14 and then GR7. You’d travel in the wineyards of Bourgogne and Beaujolais before really entering Massif Central near Saint Etienne. There’s a long climb to go up to the crests of Pilat (alternatives to unridable GR7 from Saint Chamond to the top are possible, I can tell you on request) and there it’s perfectly ridable. It never goes under 1000m altitude for more than 150km. From there it’s possible to go down to my village by wonderful technical singletracks.

Another general alternative would be to join Luxembourg and then folow the GR5. You’d have a non-stop mountain ride to the Mediterranean Sea ! You can follow the top line of the Vosges (sandstone) that culminates 1430m, drop down to Belfort and climb just in front to top line of Jura (limestone) that culminates around 1700m, have another drop to Genève and then enter the Alps to the Mediterranean or not. And if you want to visit me, you’ll just have to cross the Rhône.

According to me, the best places for ATB riding in France are under a line that goes from Strasbourg to Bordeaux (+ Britanny) but this requires much time if you have to come from Amsterdam. Maybe you won’t have enough time to go so much southward. But I’d be glad to welcome you at home. Just let me know.





Yes, Lael is my girlfriend and we will both be riding this summer.  We will be riding from Amsterdam, and do not mind several days or weeks of travel to reach more interesting trails.  We hope to connect each local destination with small lanes, unpaved routes, and singletrack trails.  Thus far, your experience has been very helpful.  I will do some research and will likely contact you again once I have gained some greater perspective.  Thanks!



First image: Lael Wilcox; final image: Nicholas Carman

All other images: Yann, Salamandre Cycles