Adventure bikes – Surly Pugsley, Evingson Cycle Voyageur

This past November, the Associated Press contracted me to write an article on the rise of the “adventure bike,” which is a new breed of bicycle made to be ridden in deep snow, sand, mud and other terrestrial mediums heretofore considered impassable on two wheels.

Essentially beefed-up mountain bikes with massive tires, adventure bikes have been manufactured by custom shops since the late 1990s. Surly Bikes, a company based in Bloomington, Minn., debuted the category’s first mass-produced model when it shipped its Pugsley frame in mid 2005.

Surly Pugsley

In the four months since my initial investigation, I’ve ridden three adventure bike models, including the Pugsley and two custom models by Evingson Cycle of Lindstrom, Minn., and I’ve formed some strong opinions. Indeed, in early February I sat in the saddle of an adventure bike for more than 28 hours over a day and a half, racing in the Arrowhead 135 Ultramarathon, a 135-mile race through the snow in Minnesota’s remote North Woods.

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Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.