Surly Ice Cream Truck

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Numbers of Gears
35.50, 35 lbs
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on Surly Ice Cream Truck. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

19 reasons to buy

  • Experts and amateurs alike, were impressed by the Ice Cream Truck’s strong climbing ability.
  • Experts said this fatbike handled like a trail bike and cornered well under heavy bikepacking loads.
  • Whether it be rocks, roots or branches,the Ice Cream Truck was able to roll over most minor obstacles.
  • The Ice Cream Truck opened up wide terrain choices; in snow, sand, sludge or anywhere you care to go.
  • This beast was resilient, handling 2 to 3 foot drops under expert testing.
  • Absolute monster tire clearance allows for 5” tires!
  • With intentionally aggressive geometry, the Ice Cream Truck was fast, especially on downhills.
  • Hydraulic Tektro disc brakes provided more-than-adequate stopping power.
  • Like a husky ballerina, she was both hefty and nimble enough for manuals and air.
  • Double-butted 4130 Chromoly steel tubing was strong and stiff on both climbs and descents.
  • This steed’s frame features an ED (electrophoretic deposition) coating to resist rust.
  • The versatility of the rear 12mm thru-axle and rear-facing horizontal droputs, allow for a direct-mount derailleur hanger, 190mm quick-release or singlespeed setup.
  • She’s festooned with fittins; plenty of eyelets and braze-ons for all kinds of racks, fenders, bags etc.
  • The Bud & Lou 4.8” tire combination was lauded; with Bud up front cutting through soft terrain while Lou in the rear, was high on traction. They proved good and grippy for sand, snow & loose trails.
  • Surly listened to criticism and widened the handlebar from 710 (on early models) to 780mm.
  • Many reviewers though the stock fork was great and felt no craving for suspension.
  • Owners loved Surly’s sparkling color options in lurid greens, pinks and blues.
  • Experts said geometry was ‘nailed’ for climbs and descents.
  • A clutched rear derailleur eliminated chain-slap.

3 reasons not to buy

  • It’s heavy. For fatbike or snow-racing, a weight-loss regimen was recommended.
  • One bikepacking expert said the top-tube may be too low, giving a front triangle that was undersized for frame bags.
  • One expert found the rear through-axle to be somewhat ‘clunky’.

Bottom line

Surly instigated the fatbike trend. The Ice Cream Truck is one of the most recent iterations of the company’s evolution, sporting a more aggressive geometry for improved climbing and an increased ability on trails. It was heavier than some carbon-based fatbikes, but given the clearance for 5” tires, the Ice Cream Truck was able to transcend most obstacles set before it. Many owners used this rig for more than just ‘traditional fatbiking’, enjoying its ability as a long-distance bikepacker and even as an all-round ride. For serious winter racing, experts recommended weight-reduction via carbon rims and a tubeless setup. It was well-loved with the stock rigid fork, or when coupled with fatbike-specific RockShox Bluto suspension.

Expert Reviews

88/100 based on 4 expert reviews
Level 2 expert

2019 Surly Ice Cream Truck Review

Level 2 expert

If I was looking for a new bike, the 2019 Ice Cream Truck would be at the top of my list. Whether you’re looking for a fatty to shred the gnar, grind out some miles, ride the marbles, or hit the groomers when the snow flies, the ICT is ready to play whatever role you need it to.

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Mountain Weekly News
Level 1 expert

Surly Ice Cream Truck Fat Bike Review

Level 1 expert

The Ice Cream Truck is as solid as your PE coach, yet flexible and nimble like your French teacher.

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Outdoor Gear Lab
Level 3 expert

Surly Ice Cream Truck 2018 Review

Level 3 expert

The Surly Ice Cream Truck is a steel fat bike with a trail bike attitude.

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Level 5 expert

Surly Ice Cream Truck Review

Level 5 expert

A go-anywhere, do-anything fat bike worthy of weekend or weeklong adventures.

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Mountain Biking UK
Level 1 expert

Matt Orton’s Surly Ice Cream Truck Ops Long-term Test Fatbike

Level 1 expert

It’s pretty safe to say that fat bikes don’t fly and one of the scariest things in the world is seeing one flying at you when you come off it at speed. I overcooked it, cocked it up and realized that I don’t really know how to jump.

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User Ratings

98/100 based on 13 ratings
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Compared to other bikes
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Top 20%
#2   Best Fat Tire
Top 30%
#5   Best Mountain
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#12   Best of All Bikes
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Surly Ice Cream Truck
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