Friday, February 04, 2011
A while ago, I wrote about how my own Phil Wood hub blew up on me and how Ben Witt of Milltown Cycles bailed me out with the loaner Phil hubbed wheel shown here.
How's it been going? Well, so far so good. The first thing I did was to remove the end cap on the axle and slide the free hub off to expose the pawls. I de-greased these and replaced the Phil grease with some red Tri-Flow grease, which is somewhat thinner in consistency. As I said, so far, so good.
Yesterday's slog was a good test. It was just above zero, and I ran into a couple of places where the torque was high, and no issues at all. Even the hint of failure was not present. In fact, it is feeling perfectly normal.
Now it is just a wait to see what Phil Wood & Co. does with my wheel. I haven't heard a peep yet, and they were to have had the wheel in hand by Tuesday. Hopefully it will hit the door here before Frostbike, because that's when I am scheduled to return the wheel I have to Ben. Hopefully his Pofahl fat bike will be readied by then, and he can start rolling on his slightly used, broken in rear wheel.
Notes From A Fat Bike Noob: So, what's the deal with these rigs? Well, first off, they are not a magic bullet for deep snow travel. Not even close. These bikes do have some amount of "float", but they have to have a compacted surface, or terrain that holds together, to traverse over without a lot of wallowing, or front wheel wash-out. Post-holed pedestrian paths through the snow, which are nigh unto impossible on any other bike, are sneered at by The Snow Dog. Not only that, but the suspension in those tires actually helps keep you from getting bounced off-line or sideways, which is what usually happens with a 29"er.
Other types of surfaces I have found working well for The Snow Dog are snowmobile trails, half-heartedly scraped sidewalks and bike trails, and "car-snow", which is easily dispatched by The Snow Dog's massive "Larry" 3.8"ers. My favorite thing to do so far is to ride in alleyways, since they usually have more fun "features" to launch off of and plow over.
The "Larrys" sound like 44" Swampers on a '77 Chevy 4X4 when you run fast over pavement, which just adds to the "monster truck" feeling you get when floating down the road. Making child-like "V-8" sounds is purely optional, but adds a lot to the ambiance and experience. I recommend it!
Oh yeah- and you will get worked over riding one of these. That weight takes energy to get it moving, and then when you get into the fun terrain and situations, it only adds more rolling resistance, which burns even more cals. I suspect it will be the best early season training I've had in years, just poking around on this thing for even short rides.
The plan is to do some more poking around this weekend, and it should be good, since the temps are forecast to be pretty reasonable for this time of year.
Have a great weekend, ya'all!