Updated: 12th March 2024

Are you in search of the perfect bikepacking rig that combines simplicity with versatility for all your adventure needs?

Look no further than the Ogre!

Crafted by Surly, this steel utility vehicle isn’t just any bike; it’s designed with the spirit of full-loaded exploration in mind, ready to tackle any journey, whether it’s a cross-town errand or a cross-country adventure.

Though it’s often seen as a touring bike or an all-season commuter, don’t let these categories limit your imagination.

The Ogre is more than capable of taking you on global tours and off-the-beaten-path bikepacking adventures.

Its robust design and versatile nature make it a trusty companion for riders who dream of pushing boundaries and exploring the unknown.

One might assume that a bike as rugged as the Ogre would be slow and cumbersome on pavement, but that’s far from the truth.

Designed with agility in mind, the Ogre performs admirably both on pavement and gravel, defying expectations.

It truly excels for those who cherish the “take-the-long-way-home-and-discover-some-hidden-gems-along-the-route” type of journeys.

This bike stands out as the quintessential commuter for all seasons, adept at seamlessly transitioning from a weekday workhorse to a weekend adventure companion.

Imagine effortlessly hauling all your essentials to work on a Friday, only to embark directly on a weekend escapade, returning just in time to start the new week.

The Ogre embodies the spirit of adventure without compromising on practicality.

In Surly’s lineup of off-road, steel touring bikes, the Troll and ECR stand alongside the Ogre, offering their own unique advantages for the adventurous spirit.

If you’re torn between these options, I highly recommend exploring them further.

To aid in your decision-making process, I’ve put together a comprehensive comparison of all three bikes.

This guide aims to demystify the nuances of each model, helping you determine which bike aligns perfectly with your cycling aspirations and requirements.

Whether it’s the rugged versatility of the Ogre, the nimble resilience of the Troll, or the expansive capabilities of the ECR, this comparison is designed to steer you towards the ideal companion for your journey.

The Ogre boasts impressive versatility with its ability to accommodate both 29” x 2.5” tires for those who favor a more traditional setup, and 27.5″ x 2.8″ tires for riders seeking a bit more cushion and stability off-road, all while leaving room for fenders.

This bike comes equipped with Surly’s own Extra Terrestrial 29×2.5” tires, which are 60TPI, Slate-wall, and Tubeless Ready, striking a perfect balance between durability and performance.

The Ogre doesn’t skimp on attachment points either; it’s loaded with options for racks and fenders, multiple three-pack mounts, and mid-blade mounts for all your gear-hauling needs.

Additionally, its Gnot-Boost rear spacing, complete with a Rohloff torque arm slot and a Bill/Ted trailer mount, means hauling substantial loads with a trailer isn’t just possible—it’s practically encouraged.

Whether you’re embarking on a grand tour or simply need a reliable setup for carrying all your essentials (and then some), the Ogre has got you covered.

The drivetrain is a 1×10 speed microSHIFT Advent X, NX configuration. Featuring a SRAM NX crank with 32T and the OE 10-spd cassette with 11-48t.

The Ogre not only inspires confidence with its easy and enjoyable ride quality but also stands out as an exceptionally budget-friendly option for both newcomers and seasoned riders alike.

Priced in such a way that leaves room for personalized upgrades, you can transform it into a high-performing touring or commuter bike for under $2,000.

While the bike is highly praised for its versatility, some owners have expressed a preference for swapping out the original Shimano groupset for alternatives like the NX Eagle, seeking a different riding experience.

Additionally, although the bike’s adaptability is one of its strong suits, a few riders have noted challenges with the rear dropouts.

Specifically, keeping the rear wheel aligned with horizontal dropouts can be tricky, requiring a firm hand on the QR skewer.

Despite these minor hiccups, the Ogre’s flexibility in setup ensures it can be tailored to meet a wide range of preferences and riding styles, making it a solid choice for those looking to hit the road or trail with confidence.

Beyond these minor adjustments, the Ogre presents itself as an outstanding foundation for the ultimate commuter or touring bicycle.

For those envisioning extended bikepacking or touring adventures, incorporating comfortable handlebars, such as the H Loop Bars, is advisable for enhanced comfort over long distances.

The bike’s design thoughtfully accommodates racks, allowing for the addition of practical storage solutions like the 24 Pack Front Rack alongside an everything cage or other cargo cages.

With these modifications, the Ogre transforms into a versatile workhorse, perfectly equipped for daily errands and embarking on extended tours alike, offering an unmatched blend of utility and adventure-ready performance.

The 2.5-inch tires coupled with the steel frame ensure both comfort and exceptional handling across city streets.

This bike glides smoothly over cracked asphalt, alleys, and service roads, and it truly excels on gravel paths.

Its versatility is unparalleled; from embarking on extensive global tours to casual coffee shop jaunts, this bike consistently performs.

Its adaptability and reliability make it an outstanding choice for anyone seeking a “do-it-all” bicycle, capable of meeting a wide range of needs with grace and efficiency.

Crafted from Surly’s renowned 4130 CroMoly steel, the frame boasts a main triangle that is double-butted and TIG-welded for unmatched durability and strength.

Complementing the frame is the Surly Ogre fork, also TIG-welded from 4130 CroMoly steel.

This non-suspension corrected fork features a tapered and butted straight blade design, equipped with low- and mid-blade fully threaded through-blade rack eyelets and fender mount eyelets at the dropout.

The 1-1/8˝ x 285mm threadless steer tube, 51mm disc mount capable of accommodating up to a 203mm rotor diameter, and integrated line/housing guides enhance its functionality.

Additionally, it offers two sets of height-adjustable bottle cage mounts, although it’s important to note that the use of cages may be limited when using some racks, and vice versa, ensuring versatility and convenience for all your adventures.

Priced at $1,699, this commuting/touring rig offers exceptional value as an entry-level bikepacking setup capable of much more than navigating single tracks.

Its versatility and functionality make it a worthwhile investment for those looking to embark on varied adventures beyond the beaten path.


Is the Surly Ogre a gravel bike?

Not traditionally, but don’t let that fool you. The Surly Ogre is a jack-of-all-trades that can tackle gravel with the best of them, blending the lines between touring, commuting, and yes, gravel grinding.

What is the weight limit for the Surly Ogre?

This beast can bear a load! The Surly Ogre comfortably supports up to 300 lbs or 136 kgs of rider and gear, making it a sturdy companion for your most ambitious adventures.

What is the boost spacing for Surly Ogre?

The Ogre flexes its versatility with Gnot-Boost spacing, accommodating a range of hub standards. It’s ready for whatever path you choose, paved or unpaved.

What size rotors are on a Surly Ogre?

Ready to stop on a dime (or for a scenic photo), the Ogre is equipped for disc brakes that can fit rotors up to 203mm. Powerful stopping, regardless of the terrain or load.

About The Author



Codey Orgill, a seasoned bicycle adventurer, has been exploring the world on two wheels for over 10 years. Since embarking on his initial cycling journey, Codey Orgill has traversed numerous countries, experiencing a series of epic adventures.