By Greg Fuller
Since Surly Bikes released the Pugsley back in 2010, the term “Fatbike” (a bike with 4+ inch wide tires) has entered into the lexicon of many bike enthusiasts. Much has been made of their utility as winter bikes, capable of rolling through the white stuff like no bike had before. The Pugsley pioneered what bigger tires could accomplish, and last year, Surly did something even better. They released the Wednesday, the every-man (and woman!) fatbike. The Wednesday is ready to roll with whatever crazy ideas you have, whatever time of the year they pop into your head. From the tires up, this bike will put a smile on your face every day of the year. Check it out.
Wheels and Rubber
The Wednesday’s 3.8” wide Nate tires are simply superb on most terrain I’ve put them through. In snow their aggressive tread pattern and widely spaced lugs provide excellent traction, even while climbing icy and slushy hills around Petoskey. You will be amazed at how pretty this town is when it is buried in snow. There is nothing like rolling through deserted streets at night during a snowstorm, sharing the roads with the plow trucks. It is like riding on the surface of the moon. In the summer, Wednesday rips on singletrack trails, and it makes a great rigid mountain bike. Nate’s have a very aggressive tread, so they’ll keep you on the trail even when you take those corners a bit too fast, or ride off-camber.
My Wednesday put in quite a few laps last summer at the Boyne School Forest Loop, a beautifully curated trail in Boyne City. The high-volume tires give a supple and fun ride, while providing predictable, reassuring handling. I have had so much fun exploring sandy, loose trails that wouldn’t suit a traditional mountain bike. The newly designed 80mm tubeless-ready rims are laced to wide thru-axle hubs, providing tons of lateral stiffness for great handling and durability. On our local crushed limestone rail-trails like the Northwestern State Trail, Nate provides the sure-footedness and vibration dampening to pound out the miles. Ironically, the one thing Nate doesn’t prefer is pavement. When you’re zooming down a paved hill on a Wednesday, the buzz of the big Nate tires almost screams at you “Take me out to play in the dirt!”
Surly’s design ethos is built around their commitment to functionality, versatility, and durability. These values help make Wednesday both fun and functional. A bike built for ripping up singletrack Thursday, getting to work on Friday, and then heading out on that backwoods bikepacking trip over your 3-day weekend. Surly’s 4130 cro-moly steel frame provides a comfortable yet peppy ride; the many thoughtful innovations make the frame truly shine. The frame is fully compatible with both front and rear racks and fenders, so it lends itself to long-term touring and commuting. With enough bottle bosses to mount 5 water bottle cages in various positions, it’s sure to keep you hydrated.
If you’re interested, Wednesday will fit extra-big 26×4.6” fatbike tires on the stock rims, as well as 27.5×3” plus tire setups with either 177x12mm thru-axle or 170x10mm quick release hubs. The stock fork is suspension corrected, so it can be swapped for a 100mm suspension fork like the RockShox Bluto, if that is your thing. The Wednesday is like a chameleon, but instead of changing colors, it changes into whatever kind of adventure companion you can imagine.
I think everyone who lives in Northern Michigan should own a Wednesday. It is the perfect all-terrain companion for staying active and having fun throughout our long, cold winters. Unlike your trusty Subaru, it is never too cold to get the Wednesday started. At $1499 MSRP, they are a very budget friendly option, considering how versatile and functional they are.
Surly’s info on the Wednesday: http://surlybikes.com/bikes/wednesday/bike_info