Surly Grappler

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
Gearing Type
29.5, 30.36 lb
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Surly Grappler. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

12 reasons to buy

  • Experts find the Grappler is smooth and stable through challenging terrain.
  • The abundance of mounting points on the fork, down tube, seat tube, and seat stays is ideal for touring and bikepacking.
  • Surly's Gnot-Boost spacing means the fork fits 110mm Boost hubs, and the dropouts fit 142mm or 148mm hubs.
  • Custom dropouts allow the use of single-speed and internally-geared hubs.
  • The Grappler has clearance for tires up to 27.5" x 2.8” or 29" x 2.2” in the front and 27.5" x 3” or 29" x 2.5” at the rear.
  • Experts highlight that the sturdy and compliant Chromoly frame is optimized for supporting weight and handling rough trails.
  • An Electrophoretic Deposition (E.D.) coating reduces the risk of corrosion on the frame.
  • Reviewers appreciate the inclusion of a dropper post which enhances descending ability and allows riders to get a foot down when stopping with a loaded bike.
  • One tester says the lack of suspension spices up trails that would otherwise be boring.
  • The Grappler’s thru-axles increase stiffness and responsiveness.
  • Experts appreciate the tidy cockpit layout with the dropper post lever on the left and the shifter on the right.
  • The Grappler balances solid climbing and descending ability, according to one reviewer.

4 reasons not to buy

  • One expert says the microSHIFT levers aren't the most comfortable and don’t offer much tactile feedback.
  • Several reviewers criticize the lack of power and control from the Tektro Mira mechanical disc brakes.
  • The Surly Grappler is heavy, weighing roughly 30lb.
  • Two experts say the jump between the three lowest gears is large, leaving the rider searching for the appropriate gear on less extreme gradients.

Bottom line

Surly’s Grappler (previously known as the “Ghost Grappler”) is a drop-bar trail bike. Its high-quality Chromoly steel frame, capable MTB-style geometry, and well-considered components provide a fun, playful trail ride quality, impressive versatility, and go-anywhere bikepacking ability. According to reviewers, the Grappler's weaknesses are its cheap mechanical brakes and high weight. This bike is overkill for riders who stick to pure gravel riding but a solid choice for those who venture onto more aggressive trails and enjoy multi-day bikepacking adventures.

Expert Reviews

81/100 based on 3 rated expert reviews

Surly Grappler Review

In all, I’ve enjoyed testing the Grappler. It’s a gravel bike that gets you off the track and into the wild, its mountain-bike-esque trail proving very capable with lots of ride stability.

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Surly Grappler Review

The Ghost Grappler suffers from a few component compromises, but overall, it’s a stunning frame with a massive amount of versatility. The bike copes with virtually any terrain and has a fun, involving ride whether loaded up or running empty.

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This review has been given a score. Read more here

Surly Ghost Grappler Review

Unless you have superpowers, you won’t win an XCO race on this bike, but you’ll finish the tour divide, no matter how long it takes. The Ghost Grappler isn’t really about speed; it’s definitely about the journey.

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Path Less Pedaled

So Good… Except for One Thing 🤦 (Surly Ghost Grappler Review)

Overall, the Ghost Grappler is a great bike and good value. It’s smartly specified, I love the handling, and I think this bike would be ideal for bikepacking, especially if you like drop bars.

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Peaches Cream

Trail Yes!! 2022 Surly Ghost Grappler Review

If you want to buy a dope-ass bike and you have a sort of a dope-ass budget to buy your dope-ass bike, buy one of these guys right here.

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Surly Ghost Grappler Review: Risky Business

I think the Ghost Grappler lives up to Surly’s claim as a “dedicated drop-bar trail bike built for bikepacking excursions, singletrack sessions, and all-day dirt rides,” so folks will just have to figure out if that combo fits them.

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Kenny Ness

Surly Ghost Grappler with Kyote Alt Bar / Flat Bar and 29er Wheels

I really liked the idea of a drop-bar, do-it-all gravel bike, but the drop bars just really haven’t worked out for me… I also swapped out the brakes because the stock brakes were completely inadequate.

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second runnings

Surly Ghost Grappler – The 400 Mile Review

This is a great bike, and I’m really happy with what it can do. I foresee many years of happy riding, no matter the trail.

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User Ratings

100/100 based on 6 ratings
  • 5 star
  • 4 star
  • 3 star
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

Bike Comparison

Surly Grappler in comparison to averages

Forum Discussions

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