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Daily Adventurers: Surly Preamble vs. Salsa Journeyer
As we say goodbye to summer and return to the grind, don’t let the daily commute take the fun out of your riding. If you’ve got the urge to head off the beaten path on your way to work, you might find yourself looking for a versatile ride that can double up as a daily commuter and off-road adventurer. There are plenty of options out there, but few do it better than Surly and Salsa. In this blog, we put the Surly Preamble and Salsa Journeyer head-to-head to find out which of the entry-level do-it-all bikes is best for you!
Designed to be the ultimate crossover commuter, this simple-but-effective machine borrows features from its big brother ‘Bridge Club’ – it’s the perfect gateway into the world of Surly’s steel steeds. Functional, fun and made for daily riding without breaking the bank, it’s the ideal platform for a workhorse commuter or weekend adventurer!
Salsa’s latest addition to their lineup combines elements from across their range to create a highly-capable all-road machine at a sensible price point. Slotting right between their performance-oriented Warbird and adventure-focused Vaya, the Journeyer strikes a happy medium of the two and serves as the perfect gateway into everything all-road!
At its core, the Preamble features a 100% Surly Chromoly steel frame and fork, ensuring strength, reliability, and most importantly ride quality. Robust yet lightweight and snappy, the double-butted tubing is the perfect choice for this versatile daily driver.
The Journeyer might not be steel, but it’s every bit as real! Modern aluminium tubing is more advanced than ever, retaining Salsa’s ride quality while reducing weight. Combine that with the carbon fork and you’ve got yourself a seriously good ride!
Upright & Agile (Preamble)
Primarily designed as an urban explorer, the Preamble’s more upright position makes it perfect for navigating city traffic, which conveniently also makes it great fun to ride on rough paths and gravel tracks. It won’t break any land speed records, but definitely have plenty of fun!
Compact & Confidence-Inspiring (Journeyer)
With its compact geometry, sloping top tube and stable position, the Journeyer lends itself to confidence-inspiring riding when it comes to the rough stuff. Looking for more speed? Get in the drops and you’ll soon realise that there’s no lack of straight-line speed on asphalt either!
Flat Bar (Preamble)
Comfortable and stable on cruisy rides, opting for a flat bar on the Preamble makes it perfect for day-to-day riding and getting around town while still retaining that off-road edge. Plus, there’s more space for mounting bags!
Drop Bar (Journeyer)
Versatile and comfortable, drop bars are a great choice for mixed-terrain riding by offering a range of riding positions to suit any situation. Stay upright and comfortable on the rough stuff, or get down on the drops if you’re in a hurry!
Simplicity is the key when it comes to 1x. Eliminating the front mech takes the thinking out of shifting, no need to worry about cross-chaining or panic shifting at the bottom of a steep climb. With a 40t chainring and 11-42t cassette, there’s no lack of range for fast flats or tough gradients.
When it comes to covering ground, it’s hard to beat a 2x setup. The wide range means you’ve got larger gears for injecting pace as well as smaller ones for unforgiving inclines. Whether you’re heading uphill or flying along the flat, this 2x-equipped Journeyer has got you covered.
Despite being geared towards urban riding, Surly’s ‘Fatties Fit Fine’ mantra still shines through with the Preamble. With space for up to 45mm tyres in both 700c and 650b (41mm with mudguards), broken tarmac is no match for this gravel-worthy steed!
Impressively wide for a bike in this category, the Journeyer has plenty of room for big rubber, capable of accommodating tyres up to 700x56mm or 650bx58mm. That’s more than enough room for chunky tyres for the trails, and of course, you can always throw on faster-rolling tyres for the road.
If you're looking for a reliable and versatile daily companion, this steel-framed commuter is hard to beat. With its comfortable and upright riding position, the Surly Preamble doesn’t claim to be a dedicated off-road machine, but its surprisingly wide tire clearance and off-road capability make it a compelling choice for the city commuter who wants to mix things up from time to time.
On the other hand, if you're seeking an all-road machine that can double up as a comfortable commuter, the Salsa Journeyer could be the perfect choice. With its modern aluminium frame, comfortable and confident geometry, 2x gearing and boatloads of tyre clearance, it's an off-road-ready bike that’s at home on any terrain – a great choice for riders who want the best of both worlds.
What should you pick?
Ultimately, your decision should come down to what kind of riding you plan on doing. If you’re mostly riding in the city with the occasional bit of off-road, consider the Preamble. Focused mainly on the rough stuff but still want to commute to work? The Journeyer could be the one for you. Both the Surly Preamble and the Salsa Journeyer offer exceptional value, so no matter which one you choose, you're in for a treat!
Stock of the Preamble and Journeyer can be limited, however if you're interested in acquiring one of these steeds then you can make a special order through our site. For more information on availability and to discuss the options that best suit your needs, reach out to us. Visit us in-store, give us a call (020 7733 6055), or submit a Contact Us form.