Coldest morning to date, finishing with a more complete frozen beard.
This morning was the most clear that it has been since I have started my month of biking. I probably could have ridden with out using my light due to the super bright moon. But, it gave me a chance to experiment with the settings/placement of the Magicshine to get the optimal light “throw.”
While riding today, the T500 has been making some interesting noises, mostly from the bottom bracket. If it is starting to go, it should not be a costly repair, but it probably is due for replacement. Shimano square taper bottom brackets are a dime a dozen at the bike shop.
This got me thinking of different bikes, and I stumbled across an interesting one:
This bike is from the site Bike Nashbar. It is called their steel commuter. This is basically what I want the T500 to be. Internal 8 speed Shimano Nexus hub laced to heavy duty 36h rims, lugged(!) steel frame, 700×38 road tires, fenders and a rack. Not too bad, especially since Nashbar throws out amazing sale prices from time to time. I will be watching for this one to drop a little more.
Are you seeing a pattern yet? I ride my bike, and think about other bikes? It is a never ending cycle… no pun intended.
So again, changing my mind on my next bike purchase, back to the board with a nice fat bike comparison. I have wanted a full fatty since converting the Gary Fisher Rig to a fat front last year. The half fat really piqued my interest in a full fat setup, so as of now, the next bike will be a full fat bike. There is just something about those large tires! And now that Surly has released the Black Floyd slick 3.8″ there is now a suitable road tire option to mix it up a bit from the knobbies. So, that said, lets compare:
The fat bike that started it all. Okay, maybe not. I am sure there were some folks up in Alaska doing this way before Surly. But Surly brought the idea down to the rest of us folks that are not in the Great White North. Anyway, here are the pros, in my opinion:
-Steel frame and fork
-135mm front and rear hubs, giving you a bail out SS hub in the front in case you wreck your rear derailleur out in the wilderness. Being able to easily switch wheels, shorten the chain, and ride home is a BIG plus in my book.
-Good parts spec for the price point, around $1600 complete.
-Rack mounts front and back.
-Easy single speed option, with track style horizontal dropouts.
-The only cons for this bike are the rim width and the steel frame. Yes, I have the steel from on both the pros and the cons list. I do like steel. But steel can corrode a little easier than aluminum, so therefore it is also a con.
-The Large Marge rim is 65mm, which now is one of the smaller rim sizes for fat bikes. This does not turn me away from the Pugsley, but it should be noted. Upgrades are inevitable, this would probably be my first step if I go this route. Or, I could just spend the extra money on the Pugsley option, The Black Ops Pugsley:
The Black Ops version comes with a little different specs, including the wider Rolling Darryls, which are 82mm. It also comes with a bigger price tag…
The Salsa Mukluk 2
The Mukluk 2 is the mid level of the Mukluk family, between the Titanium version and the Mukluk 3. Here are the pros:
-Nice looking bike. I love the matte black finish with red decals.
-Rolling Darryl rims, on dishless wheels. The rear hub is 170mm, and the front is 135mm. Big, wide wheels.
-Good parts spec, very similar to the Pugsley.
-Salsa Enabler fork. I love this fork. I think it is the perfect rigid fork for a bike like this. And with Salsa’s Anything Cage that mounts directly to the fork, this bike is ready for adventure!
-No SS escape plan, no swapping of the wheels if you trash your derailleur with different size hubs. I guess you could always just shorten the chain, but no horizontal dropouts.
-Grip shifters. I hate grip shifters. Sure, easy to switch, but just not my preference.
-Price. The Mukluk 2 is priced higher than the Pugsley at just around $2000. Ouch. Also, just read on an online forum that the Mukluk 2 has already sold out. So that leaves the very pricey Ti Mukluk, or the lower spec’d Mukluk 3. Too bad. If I had the cash though, I would buy a Ti Mukluk in a heartbeat! Gorgeous bike.
So that is where I am on the next bike decision. Now I know that there are other companies that make fat bikes, but I am limiting myself to these two companies just on buying complete. I really do not feel like building a fat bike from the ground up. Call me lazy. That’s fine. But speaking of other companies, here is a quick list:
And the fat bike specific Fatbikes.com
All pictures of the Puglsey, BO Pugs, and Mukluk are from Surly and Salsa’s sites respectfully.
Oh my… after I write a posting about switching to road biking, blah blah, Kona drops the Honzo on everyone! Holy crap! That bike looks amazing! Steel 1×9, with sliding dropouts for single speed conversions, can used tapered forks, can jump off of things, can ride all day, etc. Just check out the pics:
So Kona does not have a price listed, but I found on a dirt forum that the complete will be around $1750, and the frame around $550. Damn, looks like I need to start saving…
Looks like Kona hit this one out of the park. Thanks Kona, for making me want to mountain bike again…
Here is the rundown on my 29er SS:
-18″ (M) Haro Mary single speed, cromo frame and rigid cromo fork.
-Bontrager Duster tubeless ready single speed wheel set.
-Avid BB7 discs with Avid SD7 levers.
-Bontrager Big Sweep bars and Bontrager stem.
-Truvativ single speed crankset.
-SDG TiFly saddle.
-Kenda Nevegals 29×2.2
-Gearing is 32×16, also includes an 18t and 20t cogs.
-No pedals, I’m keeping the XTRs.
This is a solid bike, actually one of my favorite bikes ever. I just don’t ride it. Hasn’t been ridden much, you can look back through this blog to see how much I have ridden it. I love mountain biking, but it is very impractical for me at this point in my life. Shoot me an email if you are interested…
Had some time today to switch a few things around on some bikes. Switched my Avid SD7s from my commuter bike to the Haro Mary, along with swapping the Avid BB5s for Avid BB7s. Finally trimmed up the Jagwire cable housing on the Mary as well from switching out the On One Mary handlebars to a set of Bontrager Big Sweep. I feel that the Mary single speed is going to be a pretty solid bike this year. Another plan for it is to play around with the gearing a little bit. Right now, I am at a 2:1 gear ratio, which for the Cincinnati area is not too bad. I would like to gear it a little easier for when I go to other places though. Time will tell. Here are some pictures from my time working today: