Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday News And Views

Your Local Entertainer
Winter Finally Shows Up, and you just knew I was going to ride a fat bike the minute snow hit. Well, you were right, I did. I wasn't prepared for the stir it caused amongst some of the locals though. was snowing. Yes....the wind was howling. Yes.....the air temperature was 11F. 

So? Why all the attention? I mean, I rode The Snow Dog plenty of days last year that were equally as snowy and cold. That didn't hardly get me a lick of attention. Maybe a rude look or two, but today! Oh my! 

It started out with someone honking at me before I had gone a mile. It wasn't one of those "angry honks" either. It was a "toot-toot!"  the likes you would give someone you know really well. I wasn't facing the vehicle, but I raised a hand to acknowledge the salutation anyway. Later up the road, another honk and friendly wave. Hmm....that's odd, I thought.

That was nothing though. On the way home, folks were staring at me, weird looks, astonishment visible from my vantage point. Then, as I was traversing some deep snow on a sidewalk, I noticed in my peripheral vision a car going very slowly to my right. I gave a quick glance to see a guy filming me with the camera in his phone! (I'm sure that won't be a very complimentary Facebook post!) There was a lady in a car right behind him gawking at me as well. The guy with the film degree took off, but the lady in the car behind was still staring wide eyed, stopped in the road. Suddenly, she took off, then slammed on the brakes, skidding sideways, and almost crossing two lanes of traffic. I was moving along by this time, so I didn't see the end result.

Further up the road, side walk shovelers stared with contempt, and then a guy in a 4X4 gave me the thumbs up sign. That was nice! I gotta say though, that was the weirdest commute ever.

More Thoughts On The Salsa Fat Bike FS Prototype: A couple of the commenters on the "Fat Bike Full Suspension?" post from Wednesday brought up something I hadn't thought about, but is very important to consider when looking at this concept.

That is how this bike might be used by riders. Given the mad traction afforded by the massive rubber, the full suspension aspect, and the decided bent away from being a strict flotation bike, in all likelihood this will get used in a way that would be unique to fat bike specific parts. Not to mention the aspect of physics, which also would be unique to this sort of application. Imagine riders slamming into rocks at 20 mph, riding off three footers, and hitting high "G" corners and whoop-de-doos at higher speeds. All with wheels and tires designed for flotation and a suspension designed for far lighter wheels and tires.

To their credit, Salsa says they don't know what they will learn from this experiment, but they know they will learn a lot. I would submit that they will find out a lot of fat bike specific parts and the application of those within a trail bike setting will lead to ideas for new parts and frame/fork designs up to the task. (Yes- I am saying this probably will not work as shown. ) I think what will come out of this might be some good stuff for mountain biking, and may advance the fat bike world into more year-round specific rims, hubs, tires, and possibly suspension forks. I also think a fat bike full suspension device will be refined out of this that will work, but might find a limited audience due to weight, due to rider perceptions about travel, and misunderstanding the effects of the fatter rubber.

I could be totally wrong about all of the above too.

Which one, which one?!!
Triple D Update: Well, this Sunday the Triple D event will take place. They actually got a dump of snow over that way yesterday, so the fat bike will actually make more sense now. (I bet there are guys scrambling to switch bikes at the last minute now that it has snowed!)

Poor ol' me! I have to decide which one of my fat bikes to take! The Snow Dog has the fattest, floaty-est wheels, and the lowest gears. By-Tor the Titanium Mukluk has lighter everything, and a dreamy ride.

I'm pretty sure By-Tor is going to get the call though, merely due to the distance, (65 miles), and all the climbing looks to be on the front end of this course, so I think the gearing will be fine.

Look for some Triple D Tweets from me over the course of the weekend. You can find those by searching for the hastag- #TripleD Otherwise, try to enjoy the winter that has finally come, and get outside!


Jerry said...

I'm one of those scrambling. I was planning to ride my fargo for the triple D. after all, it was looking like a gravel race just a few days ago. my mukluk was covered in sand and dirt and general crap. Hopefully I can get it ready for the race.

Dave said...

Great snow ride story. It's heartening to hear a positive reaction from people.

On the suspension front, it would seem to me like a Lefty would be ideal in concept, casting aside the proprietary complications.

And last, does the titanium bike have enough clearance to fit the Big Fat Larry's?

mw said...

which one to choose. that's too funny.

Guitar Ted said...

@Dave: Yes, the Ti Muk has plenty of clearance for the BFL.

SS:Mntbiker\Olskoolrodder said...

Sounds like the most awesome of commutes,Brother!

Joboo said...

People seeing the FatBike for the 1st time; I remember mine well.
4:15 a.m. Jan. 2010 leaving the Holiday station store on my way to work.
Flashing lights, loud ass sirens at 4 a.m. a state trooper pulls up along side me and just plan freaks me out!! :) Full of questions at 4 in the morning. Where'd ya get that bike?
Why are the tires so big??
Are you cold? Lol
Can I take it for a quick spin????
Dude, I have to get to work,(it's now 4:45), no you can't take it for a spin, you'll make me late!!
Gotta love the FatBike!!!


Steve Fuller said...

The snowfall means that I won't be prepping two bikes for the weekend. Now it just means deciding on tires. I have Husker Du's on the Mukluk now, but I'm bringing my Larry's with me. Since this is the first time I've ridden my Mukluk in snow, I'll talk to some smart people (like you) and make my decision. I forgot how the pre-event obsession over last minute things feels. I like it. :)

Jay said...

Ti Mukluk looks great! Love the purple

Ari said...

I really like how your Ti Mukluk turned out. Good luck on the race and post some pictures. Say hi to all and again I am missing the midwest. Can't wait to come out to Iowa in April.
Slender Fungus Cycling Association.

Guitar Ted said...

@Jaqy, @Ari: Thanks guys! By-Tor The Titanium Mukluk is pretty dang cool. I am pleased with the way it turned out.

Ari- I will definitely give everyone your best. Take care!