Surly Lane Cruiser Turbo - SUV Utility eBike

Surly Lane Cruiser Turbo - SUV Utility eBike

This might be one of the biggest cargo bikes you can throw a leg over.

The Surly Big FAT Dummy is the bigger tyre'd brother of the Surly Big Dummy.  While the latter was available in a 26" wheel size, the FATTER version was available in 26" x 4-5" or 29+ configuration.  

No matter how much you lust after one, they are no longer being produced by Surly, though it could be argued they helped pave the way for what the big three and others like them are now offering in their cargo lines.

I'd been hunting down one of these locally with little luck.  There was a overpriced and abused one in Geelong, a super sweet one in Sydney that the owner wasn't ready to part with - and the one you are looking at.  It was in Charlotte, NC, USA.


Fortunately the owner was happy to ship, and did a great job of it.  It came superbly spec'd with Hope hubs, Shimano XT stoppers, a Bafang BBSHD mid-drive motor with the upgraded Lekkie Buzz Bar cranks, and the SRAM EX1 8 speed I wanted.



Unfortunately the battery could not be shipped and it's still in the owners cupboard.  If you're a Charlotte local, it's going cheap!

I bought another Surly Big Dummy with the Rolling Jack Ass stand for purging purposes only - and then rolled that over.   Without the heavy duty stand this bike is far less user friendly.     

Same goes for the dropper posts, which making boarding a breeze, and open up options for multiple partners wanting to ride the same bike.

Other SUV essentials are full fenders for year round riding, 'license' plate, integrated lights, and the 24 pack front rack which will easily carry a case of wine or 40kg child - possibly even both though it's rated for 14kg.  There was a recall of these due to possibly some consumer installation error, hence the double HD zip-ties for insurance purposes.    

The rear pannier bags are great - and expand to a massive volume should it be required.  Even with loaded it feels very stable and rides 'like a bike'.  

The Blackburn Outpost Pro frame bag is something I used for years for these builds as extra protection from moisture and so it looks less like an ebike.  


The gearing is 36t upfront with an aftermarket Lekkie chainring.  The stock chainring belongs in the round file.   The motors prefer to spin (up to 120RPM) rather than grind.  Higher RPM puts less strain on everything when there is more power at your disposal than just your legs - chain, cassette, hubs and spokes.  The 8s SRAM cassette is 11-48t and is available in both XD and HG splines.  Enough to climb the steepest of hills.

The lights.  

Having a 48V battery opens up your options.  The light bar and rear light is on an seperate switch and is in the ballpark of light output for cars / motorbikes.  All wiring plugs are XT60s.




Another add-on or what I'd consider 'must have' is the gear sensor.  The derailleur cable runs through this sensor, and when it detects movement it stops power to the motor.  This makes for much smoother shifts.  Once the PAS (Power Assist Setting) is above 3 (of 5) there is a risk of crunching the drivetrain into a mess when shifting, shearing cassettes and the like.   


The kiddie bars were also sourced from another bike, and I can't tell you how much fun this bike is as a parent with your kid(s) in tow.    

I've used this thing daily, for long haul errands into the city, route marking for Melburn Roobaix, school runs with compulsory stops to pat horses on the way home and the emergency trips to Dan Murphy's for boxes of wine.

Lil FYXO is going to miss this bike BUT don't worry, the next one is always better.



Left this until the last - but the Quad Lock mount is usually the first thing I put on a new bike.  How did I live without one?!


If you see this bike getting around Geelong, say hello to its new owner.


Build list:

The build

  • Frame: Surly Big Fat Dummy - Large
  • Fork:  Surly 
  • Headset: Cane Creek
  • Rims: Stans Alloy
  • Hubs: Hope FATSNO
  • Shifters: SRAM EX1 8s
  • Crankset: Lekkie Buzz Bars
  • Motor: Bafang BBSHD, 1,000W mid-drive
  • Battery: 48 V / 17 AH battery, Bafang DZ40 display
  • Chainring:  Lekkie 36t
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM EX1
  • Cassette: SRAM, 11-48T
  • Chain: SRAM 10-speed x 2
  • Brakes: Shimano XT hydraulic, 180 mm Hope rotors
  • Tyres: 29 x 3.0 Surly / Bontrager - tubeless
  • Handlebar: Raceface 31.8
  • Stem: Selcof 50mm
  • Seatpost: Brand X Ascend II 150mm
  • Cages: Blackburn
  • Grips: ODI Lock on Grips
  • Saddle: San Marco 
  • Pedals: Crank Bros
  • Extras: Blackburn Outpost Frame bag, Surly 24 pack Rack, Quad Lock, Fenders, Lights.

Got Bafang mid-drive conversion questions - just ask!