Like clockwork every few years I get a jones to own a classic Surly 1X1. Usually this takes place around the Homie Fall Fest, as these things are an indisputable Minneapolis classic and so many good ones show up to the ride. In My opinion it’s no contest that the original non-disc brake version is the coolest. With the pinnacle being the pre-Surly brand Rat Ride.
You see, once upon a time a group of employees of QBP, who were way stoked on single speeding, managed to create a bike that would help define a counterculture in cycling. The MTB single speed. The named their little project “1X1” and their only model was the Rat Ride. I believe the original MSRP was $350 and people found out about it through a little black and white ad in the back of Dirt Rag. I’m a little fuzzy on the history, but when folks realized that this thing had legs the Surly brand (the name was coined by the Cross Wizard) was born to carry the mantle forward. Their first model was of course the 1X1.
A few years ago I came into a NOS decal set, and last year I was lucky enough to procure an early Surly from a friend’s collection. I then sourced a disc brake-less fork (working at QBP is definitely an advantage for locating such things) and the build sat. And it sat, and it sat. Occasionally I would put a part in a pile for this bike, but there it lay in a corner of the attic.
Recently though, a number of things converged: a desire to have a winter beater / loaner bike for when friends come into town, seeing all the rad rides at the Homie Fall Fest, and a want to put Surly’s ridiculously weird and awesome Sunrise bar to good use.
So boom, here it is. In the Rat Ride spirit the only bought part was the handlebar, everything else came from my parts stash. I think it turned out pretty nice! Hope you dig it.
1X1 Rat Ride
Headset: Peacock Groove
Cranks: White Industries
Freewheel: White Industries Trials
Rear Hub: 1X1
Front Hub: XTR
Seatpost: Shimano XT
Bar: Surly Sunrise
Brake Levers: Avid Speed Dial 5