Big Dummy Gets Smarter

Checked in with Surly Bikes yesterday on the Big Dummy and learned from Dave Gray, the Product Design and Development dude, that new factory samples are en route. Those samples should address much of our concerns with Bettie

  • Stand-over height
  • Rohloff’able
  • Whippiness
  • Disc brake compatibility

In my long-term Bettie notes, I’d complained about the stand-over height and whippiness as the two biggest issues. Cargo bikes should drop the top-tube right to the bottom bracket so you can easily step into and out of the bike, especially with a load or kids or both: the latest Big Dummy uses the Instigator’s top-tube design. The whippiness is an obvious problem and inherent to trailers whether attached or not. Any longtail should make that better, and Surly is making it stiff.

Rohloff is a good option, to simplify the drive train. Nuvinci is another.

The disc brake problem came up for us because we’re using Magura’s Gustav for the stopping power on really hilly routes, fully loaded. The Gustav’s need exact tolerances and the Xtracycle just didn’t have them, even after using Magura’s planing tool.

It was great talking to Dave and hearing about the Big Dummy.