The Surly Ice Cream Truck carries its fattest tires yet. At 4.8” these wheels are huge and quite intimidating, at first. They’re so big that Surly has to make custom parts, for both the wheels and the bike. But no worries, these wheels, and bike are easy to handle as the Ice Cream Truck is as solid as your PE coach, yet flexible and nimble like your French teacher and lucky for you, unlike your actual prom date, the ICT has an easy learning curve. Yet this is not a one-time-ride bike or even a once-a-week ride.
Surly Ice Cream Truck Bluto
The ICT—like your dating skills, has ample room for growth. Are you looking for a solid one-bike quiver? Well, the Ice Cream Truck is factory-ready to easily replace its rigid front fork with Rock Shox’s Bluto Fork. The Bluto is Rock Shox’s front fork designed for chubby tires, which looks like an anorexic motorcycle shock but excels at gorging house-sized rocks. Or perhaps you want a set of wheels to go bikepacking to remote locations and ponder on your career choices and bad relationships? Well, the ICT has more anchor bolts than your local sports climbing spot. Out of the box, the Truck is ready for the rear and front racks, as well as extra bottle holder placements in the Surley Ice Cream Truck fork.
Riding this beast when fully loaded is the closest you’ll ever get to sit at the controls of a diesel freight train; it takes a few seconds if not minutes to get going at full speed, but once it reaches cruising speed there’s no stopping this train.
Someone at Surly was listening to Uncle Ben when designing this beast, and sure enough “with great power comes great responsibility”. The Ice Cream truck is made from 100% CroMoly Steel with a triple butted mainframe. Yea yea, say what you want, but one ride on this steel beauty and you’ll be answering all skeptics with: carbon fiber what?
There might be stiffer materials out there (e.g. aluminum) or lighter (titanium) but there’s nothing out there with the versatility, dampness, cost, and rigidity of steel, and this Truck is an excellent example of how time tested materials never go out of style, they just go on. To rein in all the horsepower provided by a double crankset (22/36 t) and an XT rear derailleur, the Ice Cream Truck comes with SRAM’s Guide RS hydraulic disc brakes, which despite my initial skepticism have held up to the job quite well.
I managed to make it this far without using the words fat, bike, and sister in the same sentence, so I won’t mention any similarities between the ICT and any of your– or my—siblings, except to say that your sister is not nearly as fun. There I said it. But sibling rivalry aside, the ICT is a groundbreaking ride for more than one reason, first wheel size. These wheels are as fat as they come, literally. Surly decided to push the envelope of chubbiness and it paid off.
If you have a bike-oriented checklist to tick off before you hit the pearly gates, riding Utah slick desert rock on a fat bike has to be one of them. These wheels are so fat, you can ride up walls in them, and their footprint is so wide you can go scarily slow on technical sections and on steep trails, it actually makes you think you have balance!
If I were to find a weakness to the ICT it would probably be it’s racing weight. While it is a great bike to race, hardcore enthusiasts of the masochist sport known as “fat bike winter racing” will feel the ICT as a little more than they need. But other than that ICT is the ideal one bike quiver, fat or not!
Check out our picks for the best mountain bikes.