Surly Midnight Special Rival 1

$2,198.99

Free shipping on bicycles priced over $1500 (within the lower 48).

Embark on your next cycling journey with the Surly Midnight Special, a trustworthy companion on every surface. This champion of versatility, with its 650b road plus tires, devours road chatter and absorbs life’s bumps, turning your bicycle travels into thrilling escapades. Ready to be adorned with your favorite bicycle luggage, it invites you to load up, surrender to the call of the open road, and embrace the unexpected of a long day ride or a long bicycle tour.


Overview

Imagine a journey, where the surface beneath you is a symphony of textures – from the rhythmic hum of smooth asphalt to the gritty growl of gravel, and the chaotic chorus of cracked, worn-out pavement. The Surly Midnight Special can be your trustworthy companion on adventures like these. This champion of the all-purpose olympics, with its 650b road plus tires, devours road chatter and absorbs life’s bumps with grace. The Midnight Special invites you to stuff your pockets with bananas, surrender to the call of the open road, and embrace the unexpected.

The Surly Midnight Special is your passport to bicycle touring, welcoming you to wonder through diverse terrains with ease and confidence. Ready to load up with bikepacking bags, touring racks and panniers or a creative blend, the Midnight Special makes for a lovely canvas for your favorite bicycle luggage. Whether you’re navigating the rhythmic dance of city streets or the rugged symphony of far off gravel roads, the Midnight Special turns your bicycle travels into thrilling escapades.

Geometry & Ride Characteristics

CAD of 54cm Surly Midnight Special (Use BikeInsights.com to compare/contrast bicycle geometries)

The geometry of the Surly Midnight Special is designed to accommodate “road plus” tires, providing a unique blend of comfort and speed. Its frame is built to handle 650b x 60mm or 700c x 42mm tires, allowing for significant cushioning on rough surfaces. The bike’s angles and tube lengths are crafted to ensure a responsive yet stable ride, making it suitable for both paved roads and gravel. The geometry emphasizes versatility, allowing riders to explore a wide range of terrains without compromising performance.

The Surly Midnight Special offers a unique riding experience that is both smooth and lively. Its “road plus” design ensures that the ride feels cushioned and comfortable, especially on deteriorating pavement and gravel stretches. The larger tire clearance absorbs road imperfections effectively, providing a plush ride without losing the agility and responsiveness of a road bike. Whether transitioning from pavement to gravel or tackling long, varied rides, the Midnight Special’s riding characteristics make it an adaptable and enjoyable companion on the road.

  • Road Plus Design: The Surly Midnight Special’s geometry is tailored for “road plus” tires, a deviation from traditional road bikes which typically have slimmer profiles. This design allows for a broader tire base, enhancing comfort and versatility on varied terrains.
  • Tire Clearance: While many road bikes might accommodate up to 700c x 28mm or 32mm tires, the Midnight Special is designed for 650b x 60mm or 700c x 42mm tires. This expansive clearance provides more cushioning, especially on rough surfaces, compared to standard road bikes.
  • Head Tube Angle: With angles ranging from 71.0° to 74.0° across sizes, the Midnight Special offers a balance between stability and agility. In comparison, racing bikes might have steeper angles for quick responsiveness, while touring bikes might lean towards shallower angles for stability.
  • BB Drop: A consistent BB drop of 65mm for most sizes (except 70mm for the smallest sizes) ensures a low center of gravity. This is in contrast to cyclocross bikes which might have a higher BB for obstacle clearance, providing the Midnight Special with stability, especially on descents.
  • Wheelbase: The wheelbase, ranging from 993mm to 1050mm, is longer than many aggressive road bikes. A longer wheelbase generally offers more stability, especially at high speeds, making it suitable for long-distance rides on varied terrains.
  • Chainstay Length: A consistent chainstay length of 425mm across all sizes ensures predictable handling. This is slightly longer than some performance-oriented road bikes, providing stability and comfort, especially on rough terrains.
  • Top Tube Length: The actual and effective top tube lengths provide a range that ensures riders get a comfortable reach. Compared to endurance bikes, which might have elongated top tubes, the Midnight Special offers lengths that cater to a more neutral posture.
  • Seat Tube Angle: Ranging from 72.5° to 75.5°, these angles ensure an optimal pedaling position. In comparison, some aggressive race bikes might have steeper seat tube angles for a forward-leaning aggressive posture, while the Midnight Special leans towards a balance of performance and comfort.
  • Standover Height: The varying standover heights across sizes ensure that riders of different heights can comfortably straddle the bike. This is crucial for stop-and-go situations, especially in urban or off-road settings.
  • Stem Length and Angle: The varying stem lengths and a consistent angle of 6° across sizes allow for a balanced steering response. In comparison, some bikes might have shorter stems for quicker handling, but the Midnight Special opts for a middle ground, ensuring both responsiveness and stability.
  • Handlebar Width and Crank Length: These specifications are tailored to the size of the bike, ensuring ergonomic comfort and optimal power transfer. While some bikes might offer a one-size-fits-all approach, the Midnight Special’s geometry ensures size-specific customization for the rider.

vs. the All-City Space Horse 700c, Tiagra

The All-City Space Horse 700c, Tiagra, is designed with a focus on touring and commuting, offering a more relaxed and stable ride, especially on long journeys. In contrast, the Surly Midnight Special emphasizes versatility with its “road plus” design, accommodating larger tires and providing a blend of agility and comfort on both paved roads and gravel. While the Space Horse leans towards a more traditional touring geometry, the Midnight Special’s geometry is tailored for a broader range of terrains, often at a higher relative cost, reflecting its multifaceted capabilities.

  • Frame and Fork Material:
    • All-City Space Horse: 612 Select Chromoly Steel for both frame and fork.
    • Surly Midnight Special: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, Natch tubing for both frame and fork.
  • Geometry:
    • All-City Space Horse: Traditional touring geometry, designed for stability and comfort over long distances.
    • Surly Midnight Special: “Road plus” design, tailored for versatility on both paved roads and gravel, offering a blend of agility and comfort.
  • Groupset:
    • All-City Space Horse: Shimano Tiagra, a reliable mid-range groupset suitable for touring and commuting.
    • Surly Midnight Special: SRAM Rival 1, a higher-end groupset designed for versatility and performance across varied terrains.
  • Tire Clearance:
    • All-City Space Horse: Accommodates 650b x 38mm (for smaller sizes) and 700c x 40mm tires.
    • Surly Midnight Special: Designed for larger “road plus” tires, handling up to 650b x 60mm or 700c x 42mm.
  • Ride Feel:
    • All-City Space Horse: Offers a more relaxed and stable ride, especially tailored for long journeys, touring, and commuting.
    • Surly Midnight Special: Provides a unique blend of smoothness and liveliness, suitable for transitioning between pavement and gravel, and optimized for varied terrains.
  • Wheelbase:
    • All-City Space Horse: Has a longer wheelbase typical of touring bikes, emphasizing stability, especially with loaded panniers.
    • Surly Midnight Special: Features a wheelbase that strikes a balance between stability and agility, making it adaptable for both long rides and quick maneuvers.

vs. the Surly Straggler, 650b

The Surly Straggler, 650b, is designed with a more aggressive stance, leaning towards cyclocross and adventure riding, making it nimble and responsive on varied terrains, including off-road trails. In contrast, the Surly Midnight Special, with its “road plus” geometry, emphasizes a balance between agility and comfort, accommodating larger tires for smoother transitions between paved roads and gravel. While both bikes are versatile, the Straggler is more off-road oriented, whereas the Midnight Special offers a broader range of comfort across multiple terrains, often at a slightly higher relative cost due to its multifaceted capabilities.

  • Geometry:
    • Surly Straggler: Aggressive geometry leaning towards cyclocross and adventure riding, designed for nimbleness on varied terrains.
    • Surly Midnight Special: “Road plus” design, tailored for a balance between agility and comfort on both paved roads and gravel.
  • Groupset:
    • Surly Straggler: SRAM Apex 1×11, suitable for quick shifts during off-road and cyclocross scenarios.
    • Surly Midnight Special: SRAM Rival 1, a higher-end groupset designed for versatility across different terrains.
  • Tire Clearance:
    • Surly Straggler: Accommodates 650b x 41mm tires, optimized for off-road and cyclocross conditions.
    • Surly Midnight Special: Designed for larger “road plus” tires, handling up to 650b x 60mm or 700c x 42mm, offering more cushioning on diverse surfaces.
  • Ride Feel:
    • Surly Straggler: Offers a more responsive and agile ride, especially tailored for off-road terrains and cyclocross conditions.
    • Surly Midnight Special: Provides a smoother transition between terrains, ensuring comfort on both pavement and gravel.
  • Wheelbase:
    • Surly Straggler: Has a wheelbase designed for quick maneuvers, especially in off-road conditions.
    • Surly Midnight Special: Features a wheelbase that strikes a balance between stability and agility, adaptable for long rides and diverse terrains.

vs. the Kona Rove DL

The Kona Rove DL is designed with a focus on gravel and adventure riding, featuring a butted Cromoly frame that offers a robust and responsive feel on off-road terrains. In contrast, the Surly Midnight Special’s “road plus” geometry emphasizes a balance between comfort and agility, accommodating larger tires for smoother transitions between paved roads and gravel. While both bikes cater to versatile riding, the Kona Rove DL leans more towards rugged off-road experiences, whereas the Midnight Special offers a broader comfort range across multiple terrains.

  • Geometry:
    • Kona Rove DL: Geared towards gravel and adventure riding, offering a responsive and agile geometry for off-road terrains.
    • Surly Midnight Special: “Road plus” design, tailored for a balance between agility and comfort on both paved roads and gravel.
  • Groupset:
    • Kona Rove DL: Features SRAM Apex components, suitable for rugged terrains and quick shifts.
    • Surly Midnight Special: Equipped with SRAM Rival 1, a higher-end groupset designed for versatility across different terrains.
  • Tire Clearance:
    • Kona Rove DL: Accommodates Maxxis Rambler EXO TR 650x47c tires, optimized for gravel and off-road conditions.
    • Surly Midnight Special: Designed for larger “road plus” tires, handling up to 650b x 60mm or 700c x 42mm, offering more cushioning on diverse surfaces.
  • Ride Feel:
    • Kona Rove DL: Offers a robust and responsive ride, tailored for off-road terrains and adventure scenarios.
    • Surly Midnight Special: Provides a smoother and more versatile ride, ensuring comfort on both pavement and gravel.
  • Wheelbase:
    • Kona Rove DL: Designed for agility, especially in off-road conditions, allowing for quick maneuvers.
    • Surly Midnight Special: Features a wheelbase that strikes a balance between stability and agility, adaptable for long rides and diverse terrains.

Features

Road Plus Tire Compatibility: The Surly Midnight Special is designed to accommodate 650b road plus tires, providing a smooth and comfortable ride on a variety of terrains.

Relaxed Geometry: The relaxed geometry of the Surly Midnight Special provides a comfortable riding position for long-distance touring and bikepacking adventures.

Stable Handling: The bike’s geometry is designed to provide stable handling, making it reliable and predictable on a variety of road conditions.

Durable Construction: The Surly Midnight Special is built with a durable steel frame, designed to withstand the rigors of long-distance cycling and off-road use.

Bag, Rack and Fender Mounting Points

The Surly Midnight Special is equipped with the following mounting points to cater to all your bikepacking needs:

Front Fork Mounts: There are multiple mounts on both sides of the front fork for water bottles, cargo cages, or front racks.

Rear Rack Mounts: The rear of the bike has mounts for attaching a standard rear rack for panniers or other gear.

Down Tube Mounts: The down tube has mounts for a water bottle cage or for attaching additional gear.

Seat Tube Mounts: The seat tube also has mounts for a water bottle cage.

Under Downtube Mount: There’s a mount under the downtube, which is a common place to carry an extra water bottle or tool keg.

Fender Mounts: The bike has mounts for full coverage fenders, which are essential for wet weather bikepacking.

Surly Midnight Special Featured in the Wild

Reader’s Rig: Graham’s Surly Midnight Special

Graham Berry from London showcases his Surly Midnight Special in this feature, detailing its transformation from its original Perry Winkle’s Sparkle blue to a raw steel finish, aptly renamed “The Duchess” after its majestic rusting. Graham uses the bike for commuting, city rides, countryside adventures, Audax events, and occasional bikepacking. He describes the bike as initially “Princess Periwinkle” but after enduring two winters and off-road rides, it underwent a 20-hour stripping process to achieve its current look. As Graham mentions, “It’s now rusting nicely and looks pretty stately, so a new name was called for. I gathered suggestions and put it to a vote: ‘The Duchess’ won, hands down!”

Reader’s Rig: Wayne’s Surly Midnight Special

Wayne Reid, a photographer and child mentor from Bristol, UK, shares his love for the Surly Midnight Special on bikepacking.com. He describes the bike as a reflection of his personality and riding style, appreciating its versatility and practicality. He says, “The Midnight Special’s versatility and ability to function in most terrain is something I really value. It has morphed from adventure rig, gravel grinder, road bike, and winter steed with fenders and a rack.” Wayne’s Surly Midnight Special, with its bare steel look and component choice, is a testament to the bike’s adaptability and enduring appeal.

This is the most VERSATILE bicycle ever

In a detailed review on YouTube, the Surly Midnight Special is described as an incredibly versatile bike, capable of adapting to a wide range of terrains and uses. The reviewer, who has used the bike for everything from commuting to bikepacking to participating in an Iron Man, praises the bike’s adaptability and performance. He states, “The Midnight Special’s versatility and ability to function in most terrain is something I really value.” He also highlights the bike’s performance with different setups, including 650b wheels and a suspension fork, further emphasizing its versatility and adaptability.

 

Specs

Build Kit

The Surly Midnight Special features a SRAM Rival 1 drivetrain, with a 40t crankset and an 11-speed, 11-42t cogset, offering a wide range of gears for various terrains. The bike is fitted with TRP Spyre brakes and 160mm rotors for reliable stopping power. The wheels are Alex Adventurer 2, tubeless-ready rims, paired with Teravail Rampart 650b x 47mm tires, providing excellent traction and control. The bike also includes a Selle Italia Base-X saddle and Salsa Cowbell handlebars for comfortable riding.

Frameset

  • Frame: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, Natch tubing, double-butted main triangle, TIG welded, E.D. coated
  • Fork: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, Natch tubing, TIG welded, brazed lugs, E.D. coated

Drivetrain

  • Front Derailleur: n/a
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM Rival 1, long cage
  • Cassette: OE 11-spd, 11-42t
  • Crankset: SRAM Rival 1, 40t
  • Shifter: SRAM Rival 1
  • Brakes: TRP Spyre, 160mm rotors
  • Rotors: 160mm front and rear

Components

  • Headset: Cane Creek
  • Stem: ProMax 31.8
  • Handlebar: Salsa Cowbell 31.8
  • Grips / Bar Tape: Velo Black
  • Seatpost: TranzX Dropper +RAD Internal 31.6mm
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Base-X
  • Seatclamp: Promax 27.2 x 300

Wheels

  • Front Wheel: Alex Adventurer 2, Tubeless ready, Novatec 12 x 100mm
  • Rear Wheel: Alex Adventurer 2, Tubeless ready, Novatec 12 x 142mm
  • Tires: Teravail Rampart 650b x 47mm

* Specifications are subject to change without notice

Frame Construction

The Surly Midnight Special features a frame made from 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, using Natch tubing. This material is known for its strength and durability, making it an excellent choice for a versatile bike that can handle a variety of conditions. The main triangle of the frame is double-butted, a process that reduces weight without compromising strength. The frame is TIG welded, a type of welding that provides strong, high-quality joins. The frame also features an E.D. (Electrodeposition) coating, which provides a protective layer that helps to prevent rust and corrosion. The bike uses a dropout system, which allows for easy wheel removal and installation.

Geometry

Midnight Special Geo

SIZE 40cm 46cm 50cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm 64cm
Reach 363 366 379 389 393 402 409 423
Stack 531 538 544 560 580 599 620 641
Head Tube Angle 71.0° 71.5° 72.0° 72.5° 73.0° 73.0° 73.5° 74.0°
Head Tube Length 95 100 110 125 140 160 180 200
Seat Tube Length 400 460 500 540 560 580 600 640
BB Drop 70 70 65 65 65 65 65 65
Wheelbase 993 994 1007 1018 1012 1027 1036 1050
Chainstay Length 425 425 425 425 425 425 425 425
Top Tube Length, Actual 487 506 531 552 564 579 597 622
Top Tube Length, Effective 500 520 540 555 570 585 605 625
Seat Tube Angle 75.5° 74.0° 73.5° 73.5° 73.0° 73.0° 72.5° 72.5°
Standover Height 720 751 778 806 827 846 866 895
Stem Length 70 70 or 80 70 or 80 100 or 120 100 or 120 120 120 120
Stem Angle
Handlebar Width 400 400 400 420 440 440 460 460
Crank Length 165 170 170 175 175 175 175 175
Fork Length 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400
Fork Rake 50 50 50 50 40 40 40 40

Warranty

Register your purchase at Surly’s Warranty Registration.

LIMITED WARRANTY FOR THE SURLY MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

This Surly product is warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for three years from the date of retail purchase of the product, subject to the limitations detailed below. Save your dated receipt for proof of purchase.

This warranty does NOT cover the following:

  • Damage due to improper assembly or follow-up maintenance or lack of skill, competence or experience of the user or assembler
  • Products that have been modified, neglected, used in competition or for commercial purposes, misused or abused, involved in accidents or anything other than normal use
  • Installation of components, parts or accessories not originally intended for or compatible with bicycle as sold
  • Damage or deterioration to the paint, surface finish, aesthetics or appearance of the product
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Labor required to remove and/or refit and re-adjust the product within the bicycle assembly

This limited warranty is expressly limited to the repair or replacement of a defective product, at the option of Surly, and is the sole remedy of the warranty. This limited warranty applies only to the original purchaser of the Surly product and is not transferrable. This warranty applies only to products purchased through an authorized dealer or distributor. In no event shall Surly be liable for any loss, inconvenience or damage, whether direct, incidental, consequential, or otherwise resulting from breach of any express or implied warranty or condition, of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or otherwise with respect to our products except as set forth herein.

This limited warranty gives the consumer specific legal rights, and those rights and other rights may vary from place to place. This limited warranty does not affect your statutory rights.

TO THE EXTENT NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW, THESE WARRANTIES ARE EXCLUSIVE AND THERE ARE NO OTHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS INCLUDING WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


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Filter Reviews:
MR
05/23/2024
Mark R.
US US

Fast delivery, quality product, competitive price

Campfire Cycling delivered the bike I ordered in great condition and in the timeline they promised. When various steps along the way (received at the store, assembled, shipped to me) were underway / completed they kept me informed and up-to-date. The best part was opening the box, seeing the bike in perfect quality and finally putting it together and taking it for a ride. It rides beautifully and I plan to purchase any future bikes from Campfire Cycling. Thanks for the slick ride!