Saturday, September 24, 2011


Not a Night Crawler!
Hey, I was thinking about this rig by Origin 8 recently. It's the "Crawler" fat bike. The unique thing about it was the single speed type drive train working a Nuvinci hub with a Constantly Variable Transmission.

Yep! It really doesn't have "gears". It has balls and ramps though! Without twisting your mind into mush explaining the inner workings of a Nuvinci, (which if ya gotta see, can be found here), just know that it is the smoothest shifting hub ever. Well, shifting isn't really the right word for it. You twist a throttle like collar, and the pedaling feels different.

Harder or easier, really, that's about the size of it. You want to spin? You can keep your cadence perfect, no matter if you have hills or downhills, until the terrain exceeds the capacity for the hub to keep up. That was the only downer on the Crawler. It just wasn't quite geared low enough.

Otherwise, you twisted one way for going up, and the other for flatter or downhill terrain. It was really interesting how you can fine tune the cadence you desire accordingly to speed and how you feel. It was really intuitive and fun, actually.

The bad side? This hub weighs a metric ton. It made the rearward weight bias on the Crawler really noticeable, and the entire bike had to weigh well north of 40lbs.

The thing was, I was looking at the bike that was the closest to my ideal winter rig. Single speed type drive, IGH type drive train, and the only thing missing here- the Gates Center Track.

Now that and a lighter set up would be totally killer in winter.


Mike Muffels said...

I have a similar winter bike build in mind but then with a Sturmey Archer 3-speed 170mm wide disc brake SLVR hub. I ride a single speed rigid 29er now (that I also have an Alfine wheel built up for) but I don't think 1 gear is enough for winter off roading. But three likely is. 1 general purpose gear, 1 climbing gear and 1 "road" gear. And the price is right.

Matt said...

A single-speed, gates center track, IGH fat bike would make me start saving my pennies up too!

Hook said...

I'm not familiar with the Crawler. Is it an 'offset' designed frame (like a pugsley)? I ask because, while I haven't sat down to figure out the millimeters, I have often wondered if a fatbike designed specifically for ss/igh use could run a non-offset 135mm rear hub, and still have chain clearance. I know folks run IGHs (like the nuvinci) in their Pugs frames, but it always seemed silly to me to have the hub offset to gain clearance for a 9-cog cassette outside of the rubber when the hub actually only has a single cog.
All that aside, I concur: an IGH/belt-drive Fatbike would be awesome. Expensive, but awesome.

Guitar Ted said...

@Hook: The Crawler is a symmetrical frame with a 135OD rear spacing. The chain line isn't "perfect", but it worked on my demo ride out there in Nevada.