Monday, January 09, 2012

Muk vs Muk

Squaring Off
With the Triple D Race coming up in less than a week, I had to make a decision on which Mukluk to bring to the event. So, I squared off the two against each other in the back yard and let 'em have at it until one or the other came out victorious.

Okay......not really! 

But I did make a choice. Here is how that came about. It has as much to do with non-bike related things as anything else. It won't take long for most of you to figure it out either. It has mostly to do with the lack of snow, obviously, and that it doesn't look like we'll be getting any before the event.

Originally, I was planning on using The Snow Dog, and why wouldn't I? It has the widest rims and biggest tires of the two. Perfect for a snowy course. What was I thinking?! Well, I was thinking winter, so don't blame me for the lack of the white stuff, okay? To prove my point, you can see that I had affixed my bags to The Snow Dog and I had been training on it in this configuration, thinking this would be my set up, but nooooooo! No snow, and most likely warm-ish temps will have me looking elsewhere for a ride for Triple D.

Guess which one is the Big Fat Larry.
Really, I bet a lot of guys will be sporting 29"ers and even cyclo-cross bikes this coming weekend. I definitely have something worthy of using there in that vein, but since this was intended to be a fat-bike sort of event, I am sticking to the plan.

Of course, this means I am taking By-Tor the Titanium Mukluk. I swapped tubes Friday in By-Tor to Bontrager 29 X 2.50" and they work great, and weigh almost exactly half of what I was using in there before. This cut By-Tor's weight to sub-30lbs, and that isn't all that bad.

Now the weather here has been a "Freeze-Thaw" dance and I am betting it still will be come next weekend. A 29"er might do okay, but in the grease and/or muck, a fat-bike has a better chance. Plus.....who knows what the heck the promoter might cook up.

Noticeable difference, no?
 So I am taking the titanium bike, and even though it is 1 X 10, and the Dubuque/Dyersville region is hilly, I will suffer with what I have available there. I have no designs on going fast. I may be doing quite well just to finish. That's my goal.

Now as far as the bikes and how they differ, that is an interesting story. I knew a couple of things had to be pretty easy to find, since I could definitely feel a difference between the two rigs beyond one being titanium and one being aluminum. I pulled out a tape measure and went to work.

The Snow Dog actually feels spot on, and the titanium bike felt odder. I tracked that down to a miscue I had in setting up the saddle. Once that was fixed, the bikes both felt a lot more similar. While the differences were less, there still were differences. I finally pinpointed one glaring difference that the Salsa website doesn't show. The Titanium Mukluk actually has longer chain stays. Longer by about a quarter of an inch, which switches up the weight distribution enough to be able to feel it. This is with the Muk Ti's Altenator drop slammed all the way forward, by the way. The Snow Dog feels more "playful" as a result.

But otherwise, the differences are largely in the feel department, and By-Tor the Titanium Mukluk will definitely be a smoother ride!



Vito said...

If I may inquire...What kind of seat bag are you sporting on the Snow Dog??

Steve Fuller said...

I have been going back and forth on whether to ride my Mukluk or my Dos Niner for the event. Course conditions tha I've heard about lead me to believe that a 29er would be fine. That said, i think that I am going to end up taking my Mukluk due to the spirit of the event and the promoter factor as well.

Guitar Ted said...

@Vito: I believe it is an old Jaand Mtn Wedge III Bag.

The newer ones are slightly different, but this one of mine looks so much like a jaand bag, I can't imagine it isn't an earlier version of the Mtn Wedge III.

My bag has no identification, no branding at all, and I found it in an abandoned pile of gear at the shop where I work 10 years ago. It had already been there a long time previous to my acquiring it, so I can't pinpoint its vintage.

It seems to be the "just right" size for a surly tube, a packable jacket, and some smaller goodies though!

john said...

Good luck in the first race of your season. Gonna be some event.
Are you interested in some long miles on Wednesday???

shiggy said...

@GT, the seat bag looks a lot like the Kirtland bag I have had for 25+ years, except mine is navy blue

Guitar Ted said...

@shiggy: Hmmm....could be. Does your bag have any branding on it anywhere?

Keith M. said...

Somewhere Geddy, Alex and Neil are smiling and they don't know why. Great naming of the snow bikes.

jvillebiker said...

Tell me about the saddle bag on the snowdog!

Guitar Ted said...

@jvillebiker: Read the comments here! The bag appears to be either an old Jaand or Kirtland piece.

shiggy said...

@GT the only branding is a sewn on label on the back. Easy to remove.

The internal stiffener wraps top to bottom. Rail straps are secured with toggle/clamp buckles attached to the top and point straight to the back.

Can not find mine ATM for a pic.