Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Yes folks, I have been slammed by this and that mentally and haven't gotten much sleep in the last couple of days, so my brain is a mish-mash of bits and pieces. When this happens, I clear the slate with a "Randomonium" post. This is what is happening here today.....

By-Tor- The Mukluk Ti....
We'll kick things off with By-Tor. The Mukluk titanium rig has been ridden a few times on varying surfaces. My first impressions are that titanium fat bikes do indeed ride nicer than the aluminum ones. Even with the Snow Dog having Big Fat Larrys on it, the ride is not as smooth as By-Tor's is.

I will also say that for some reason the titanium one feels shorter, handles differently, and along with the material difference, is like riding a completely different fat bike design than my aluminum one. The tape measure and angle finder will be employed to sus out any differences soon. Stay tuned.....

Beyond that though, the bike is working flawlessly. The 1 X 10, the wheels, and everything else is just going great. I do notice more flex in this frame than with the aluminum bike. The whole frame twists ever so slightly in ruts and off cambers in a way that is a tiny bit like the wheels are going in different planes at times. Just a wee bit. I can tell at the handle bar. One grip will unload and the other will push up barely enough you can feel it. Oh yeah, and it isn't the handle bar either. That handle bar is super stiff! This tells me it is twisting at the head tube/down tube/top tube junctions. As I say, it is barely perceptible, and the aluminum version does not feel this way at all, but then again, it has a pretty flexible carbon bar on it. That may be the difference there. At any rate, these two bikes have entirely different personalities.

The Winter That Didn't Show Up: Wow! I would have never even bet on going this far into winter without snow. We have had one event where the white stuff just barely covered the grass, and that lasted a day before warmer weather blasted that into forgetfulness.

I look at this image from early last February. The snowmobile trail I was riding was about a foot deep of packed, consolidated snow. Maybe more. I guess that kind of scene will be a pipe dream this winter. And what about Triple D? Well, there is one shot at snow, according to the forecast, before that event. Even if that is right, it won't add up to enough snow to make a fat-bike really necessary. If standard procedure for winter 2011-2012 continues, that race will be dominated by 29"ers and cross bikes. I'll still take one of my fat bikes anyway.....

Yeah......I am still training for this, but my illness really kicked me in the jimmy. I'll be there though, just not as tuned up as I might like to be. "FUN" will be the goal. I think I'll easily attain to that. Next goal? Finish. We'll see.

 New Look TNI: The update for Twenty Nine Inches is nearing reality. The whole site is getting a refresh. Much needed too. It hasn't been tweaked since 2006. Too long ago! We're going to have a nice looking site with stuff that actually works for search, links, and content. We're going to finally roll The Cyclistsite into TNI so all content will be in one place. Ya know, we figured 29"ers are pretty much mainstream now, so talking about non-29"er stuff won't be seen as being out of the ordinary anymore.

This whole deal has been pretty much done by my friend, Grannygear in his spare time. I am not at all computer literate, so he's taken the whole re-do on himself, and learned the ropes to get it done. There have been a lot of decisions and phone calls and worrying and has been nutty. I sure hope it all goes smoothly and that we can get on with doing what we do best: Riding and writing. Computer website design is not much fun folks. Well......I don't think it is! 

 You know what? I am still getting post cards for Trans Iowa. Yes......really! Now I don't get many, or on a regular basis, but every once in awhile one will randomly show up. It is weird.

Be that as it may, we have had one drop since the roster registration ceased. So, one lucky guy got contacted off the list. He refused. I move on to the next guy now. All that to say, as a reminder, that if you can not make it to T.I.V8 for any reason, please tell me ASAP! The Waiting List is only maintained through the end of this month, then there will be no further transfers from The Waiting List, and the roster will be allowed to shrink if any further drops occur.

I should have more sponsor news to share with everyone shortly, by the way, and also news should start coming up concerning the Pre-Race Meat-Up.So keep checking the Trans Iowa site for updates as they occur.

And that's enough randomonium for one post. Thanks for reading!


Exhausted_Auk said...

An interesting article is in today's BBC news about an attempt to reach the South Pole by bike:
The rather odd machine has 20" wheels with 20cm (7.9") wide airless tires. I can understand not wanting to change a flat at -60F, but I still think Surly could have done a better job with the bike design.

Guitar Ted said...

@Exhausted_Auk: Thanks, I have seen a bit about this. It seems the folks I follow on Twitter from the U.K. have been interested in this, and that's where I have come in contact with the story.

Hannebrink bikes seem to work well on looser stuff, like sand, which they were designed primarily to be ridden on. Of course, that precludes any irregularities in the surface, or terrain gradients. Basically, it is a desert/beach cruiser.

I'm not at all familiar with the terrain she is about to tackle, but I would hope that her team has done its research. I will say that the bike as shown will have some incredibly low gearing. Typically, the Hannebrink bikes used a jack shaft and two derailleurs to bring up the ratios for true, all terrain uses.

I also would think that bikes like Mike Curiak's and the other AK riders would have been seen as a greater refinement on snow bike purposes than this, but we'll all see how she does, won't we? ;>)