Surly Rolling Darryl Rims (Putting My Surly Pugsley Fat Bike On A Diet)

17 Dec

Question: How long does it take to finish building a Fat Bike? Answer: The world may never know! I’ve never met any Fat Bike owner who has actually finished tinkering with their creation—there is always a “little upgrade” or “tweak or two” in the works. Fat Bikes, like my Surly Necromancer Pugsley, are among the most versatile and customizable bicycles in the world and every time you think the bike is finished you find something else you would like to do with it. My wife has never understood why I need to keep buying upgrades for my Pugsley, but then again, I’ve never figured out why she needs 200 pairs of shoes (that number might be slightly exaggerated). Last week the guys at the local bike shop (Zion Cyclery in Zion, Illinois) made a few upgrades to my Pugsley, or, to put it another way, they helped me put my Fat Bike on a diet.

Surly Necromancer Pugsley Fat Bike

Surly Necromancer Pugsley Fat Bike

My Surly Necromancer (AKA, Surly Black Ops Pugs, Surly Neck Romancer) weighed an incredible 41 pounds the day I brought it home from the shop—this is about six pounds over factory weight because I had a Shimano Alfine 8 Internal Geared Hub installed, along several other upgrades. The bike came with 82mm wide Surly Rolling Darryl rims that weigh 1030 grams each (33.3 ounces). Last week we swapped out those rims for Rolling Darryl rims with cutouts and that took off six ounces per rim. These cutouts now only reduce the weight of the rim, but they also allow you to install a colored rim strip. I used the Surly PVC RIm Strip—they call the color red, but it is actually burgundy. To add a little more color to the rims I had them install red anodized spoke nipples.

Surly Rolling Darryl Rims

Surly Rolling Darryl Rims

My Pugsley came with rather heavy 1.3mm inner tubes that weigh about one pound each, so we switched these out for lighter 1.0 mm tubes (Surly Toobs). In the summer I use Slime in my Fat Bike tires and this adds eight ounces to each tire, but have finally decided that this is not necessary when riding in the snow (I hope).

Surly Rolling Darryl Rims

Surly Rolling Darryl Rims

Thanks to the incredible effort of the owner of the local bike shop I was finally able to get a pair of 45NRTH Dillinger winter tires, the first-ever studded Fat Bike tire. These tires have an aggressive tread pattern and 240 lightweight aluminum-carbide studs. I haven’t had a chance to use them in the snow yet, but I can tell you that they have an amazing grip in the mud. Due to their business practices 45NRTH is one of my least favorite companies in the world, but this tire looks and feels great (I will publish a full review after Chicago gets some snow this year).

45NRTH Dillinger Fat bike Snow Tire

45NRTH Dillinger Snow Tire

This trip to the bike shop helped my Pugsley shed 3.5 pounds—that doesn’t sound like a lot, but you can really tell the difference when climbing a hill. As I said in an article last year, once you start customizing a bike it is hard to stop until you run out of cash. When the guys at the bike shop were ringing up my sale I asked them how much their average new bike sells for at the shop—well, I topped that number by about $40 with just this upgrade. Therefore, I am officially finished customizing my Pugsley—at least for today.


Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Fat Bikes, Product Reviews


Tags: , , , , , , ,

35 responses to “Surly Rolling Darryl Rims (Putting My Surly Pugsley Fat Bike On A Diet)

  1. Joboo

    December 17, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Awesome comment about the wife!! :)
    Here Here!! ;)
    Make sure you tell her that I’m joking!! ;)
    Didn’t the Necro come with Rolling D’s, all be it non cutouts?
    What made you get a new set instead of drilling your non holed rims??
    Not judging, just asking.
    Great FatBike minds must think alike; I’m also upgrading my LM wheelset to the Rolling D’s!! Lol

    Here’s to your area getting some snow!!
    Pedal On!!

  2. All Seasons Cyclist

    December 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Joboo — my wife will laugh at my comment and yours — she is great!

    My Pugs did come with Rolling D’s w/o cutouts, but I didn’t want to try to do the cutouts myself (if the rims were made of oak or maple I wouldn’t have hesitated a bit). The local bike shop gave me a “package deal” on the upgrades and a friend of mine bought the old rims and my old Nates, so the final hit to the wallet was not as bad as it could have been. In addition, my wife never looks at the American Express bill (I told you she was great).

  3. Stef

    December 17, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    “Due to their business practices 45NRTH is one of my least favorite companies in the world”. Can you share your thougths about this company?


    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 17, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      I don’t like any company that promises products it can’t deliver. One example: 45NRTH has been advertising their Dillinger snow tires, but according to the folks at QBP they only got 20 sets of tires for this winter (and they sold out immediately, of course). Nearly the same thing happened with their new snow boots. I just wish they would stop advertising products they can’t deliver.

  4. sedge808

    December 17, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    OMG. How cool are these wheels.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM

      Riding in the snow is my favorite part of cycling — and these tires are perfect for it.

  5. sarahsdoodles

    December 17, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Wozas, I’ve never seen tires like that! Glad you and your wife each support each other’s purchasing habits! :)

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      You might not need tires like that where you live, but normally the Chicago area gets a LOT of snow in the winter and these 4″ wide tires “float” over the snow. I look forward to riding in the snow like a little kid waiting for Santa.

      As for shopping, my wife and I have mutually adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

      • Joboo

        December 19, 2012 at 9:14 PM

        Sir, enjoy the snow you’re going to get. Don’t fret about the rain before hand!! ;)
        You’ll put those new studded monsters to the test!! :)

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          December 19, 2012 at 9:54 PM

          My wife has been telling me to calm down — I guess my excitement about the snow is getting hard to hide! :)

  6. tinatimebomb

    December 19, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Hello yankee neighbor, Im in Georgia the past 3 years, but Im from Cincinnati

  7. Rich miller

    December 19, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    I just posted a question about marge lites vs holly Daryl’s on another blog entry. Should have looked around more. I can’t wait to get my bike and I don’t really know why I’m so addicted to this fat bike thing after one test ride and 100 hours of reading. Great intel. Keep it up. I’m in Erie pa. So we get the snow a day after you.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 19, 2012 at 9:56 PM

      Let’s hope we both get a beautiful snowfall! For me, the best ride in the snow is the day after it falls — after it has settled a bit and (hopefully) the temperature has dropped. Ride safely!

  8. Karen

    December 20, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    This looks soooooo fun to ride!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 20, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      It’s not the fastest bike I own, but it is a blast to ride on sand, snow, rocks, and mud.

  9. Rollin Fatties

    December 21, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Not sure where you heard that 45NRTH only got 20 Dillengers. My two local shops received at least a dozen each as well as at least 40 pairs of the Wolvhammers. I picked up both and they are fantastic.

  10. under the skies of arkansas

    December 23, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    that is such a cool looking bike i ride snow but stay on the deer and cowpaths

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 23, 2012 at 8:22 AM

      Thank you! We don’t have any cowpaths here — I imagine they are “loaded” trails — closest thing we have here is the Chicago politicians (basically the same thing as what the cows leave behind)

      • under the skies of arkansas

        December 23, 2012 at 8:26 AM

        lol i was a kid in chicago during mayor daily the first watched the iron go up on the sears tower from my bicycle

  11. coastkid71

    December 25, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    I need to upgrade my old pugsley, some Marge lites are on the cards…
    Enjoy your winter!


    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 25, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      There is always something we can change! I am now trying to find a pair of red platform pedals for winter — found a few online, but don’t like the design of any of them so far.

  12. Vito

    December 27, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    The red is a nice touch;)

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 27, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      Thank you! I’ve ordered a new red seat clamp and red screws for the braze-ons (the Necromancer has 20 braze-ons).

  13. fredrik76

    December 27, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    Reblogged this on Fredriks sykkelblog and commented:
    Take a look at my follower “All Seasons Cyclist” blog about his Surly Fatbike build. I love fatbkes myself, maybe I buy one sometime.

  14. fredrik76

    December 27, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    Reblogged this on Fredriks sykkelblog and commented:
    Take a look at my follower “All Seasons Cyclist” blog about his Surly Fatbike build. I love fatbkes myself, maybe I buy one sometime.

  15. hughonabike

    February 7, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Nice bike, Impressive. I agree, like you I see no reason to stop upgrading, it takes over, I don’t need to upgrade I just do. It borders on the stoopid but it makes me happy. Your wheel upgrade is one best you can do to a Pug. I done a bunch of upgrades on my Pug and I intend to do the wheels next. I’ll go with Marge lites (yellow with red tape) as I can use Big Fat Larrys’ and still get all the low gears, it’s tight clearance wise but I don’t do snow so, I win. I’m planning a red Rohloff hub and possibly a Thudbuster seat post. It’s going to cost a fortune, no normal person would consider funding such bike porn. BTW, I don’t think I’m normal, It’s overrated anyway. Talking about Bike Porn. Would you like to see my custom self built titanium Fat Bike. It’s sick.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 7, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      Since I made the modifications mentioned on this page I’ve made several others! When I bought the bike I swapped out all of the silver bolts that were in the braze-ons (all 22 of them) and put black ones in. A couple weeks ago I took out the black bolts and went to red anodized (to match the rim tape), and them found a few other red anodized items as well. I don’t think I’ll ever finish upgrading this bike.

  16. Otto

    October 25, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    Help! trying to find the answer: can 45nth husker du fit the pugsley necromancer on the rear? Still have the endo. on the back and it seems going to a 4.0 tire would be tight! searched, but can’t find the answer.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 25, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      Otto, I have a pair of 4″ Husker Du tires on my Surly Necromancer Pugs and they fit perfectly — front and rear. This is a great set of tires!

      • Otto

        October 26, 2013 at 7:42 AM

        Thank you! Greatly! I’m not too impressed with what I’m seeing with the Nate and hope the Husker Du will Do a better job and a little more fat to add.


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