Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday News And Views

We interrupt the "Rear View 2012" series for your regular Friday screed......

By-Tor sheds his gears...
I wasn't very sure about this idea, but I was game to give it a go. The single speed gearing was a bit of a guesstimate as well. I decided to go 32 X 22, and after trying it on a dry commute a while back, I was a bit afraid that it was a mistake.

However; I now have ridden it in the conditions it was intended for, and I must say, it is nearly- if not spot on. I can power through the drifts, and get slow speed maneuvering down without feeling way over-geared.  Some of the icy spots were tricky, but the 3.8" Larrys did okay. It might be nice to have those super-spendy Dillingers in a pinch, but I find that the asking price is too extravagant for a need that seldom seems worth having studs for here. Others may find those tires a god-send. Not I.

But the main point here is that the single speed should be great in the traffic induced slop-snow and icier times when drive train issues could crop up. Like the beginning of the big snow storm here last week, when The Snow Dog was suffering from icy build up on the cassette.

I'll give this a few good runs off road as well before passing final judgement. Hopefully the trails firm up a bit from a week ago. Then it was super shifty, sand-like, and not very rideable. If I think the gearing is still too low, I may opt for a slightly larger chain ring up front. I'm getting due for a new one anyway.

Fargo Gen II- Off Road Ready
Last September I did an "Experimental Vehicles" post where I slapped on a G2 offset 100mm travel Fox fork on this Fargo to see what I thought about doing something like this as a permanent installation for the Gen II Fargo.

As stated back then, I liked the feel and the idea. I ended up not getting back to the finding of a fork until just recently though. I was able to track down this new 80mm Reba RL with G2 offset and a 9mm quick release front drop out. I really was hoping for a 15mm through axle, but oh well..... This should do fine.

With the Cane Creek ST ThudBuster seat post, I think this will prove to be a super versatile rig for most average mountain bike trails anywhere. Plus- I can do gravel road riding in a pinch as well. Heck- this might even end up being a great Dirty Kanza 200 rig with a wheel/tire swap.

After a short spin around the block, the platform seems pretty tunable. It is going to be a bit odd at first to have a Fargo with some give up front, but it will be something I'll quickly get used too. This gives me two completely different Fargos. The Gen I is the ultimate gravel travel exploration machine. The Gen II is the ultimate drop bar off road exploration machine. Either one could do the other, but they are tuned to their specific tasks now.

My Son is at the top of the hill....
And in some family related- non-cycling news: I got a nice, long-ish plastic toboggan for my Son, (and in the end, for me too), so we could do some good, long sledding. We hit the local dike and checked it out. This is going to work out great. The snow.....well, not to sound ungrateful, but the snow we got has to be about the worst type of snow for winter sports you can imagine, besides the really wet stuff. It is like sledding in sugar. Of course, it sucks for fat biking too, but hopefully this will eventually form a good base and we'll see some better snow dump on top of this....or it will get warm and turn to slop. Whichever!

But back to sledding. This is an activity I have always loved. I just never kept up with it. Then too- finding a decent sled is really not easy. This plastic toboggan is.....well, it barely cuts the mustard, compared to what we used to be able to get, but at least it seems like it'll hold up for more than a few sledding sessions.

I'm looking forward to getting into some more sledding with my Son soon. If things hold out snow-wise, I know of a good hill south of town that should be a speedy little good time. It might even scare us just a bit. But as long as we don't get any broken bones, it'll all be good!

That's a wrap for today. Have a great weekend and ride those bikes if ya can.


Steve Fuller said...

With enough fatbike traffic, we've taken that sugary snow on a couple of trails and beat it into a path that regular mountain bikes are easily riding. Sugary snow does suck for sledding.

I like the idea of putting a fork on the Fargo for a bit of extra vibration dampening, but I think I will wait and see how a tubeless conversion and some pressure adjustments work out for me first. I have to say that I'm still not a huge fan of suspension forks. Maybe it's because I don't ride them a lot.

Guitar Ted said...

@Steve Fuller: Ding! Ding! Ding! You are the 4000 commenter on this blog! While I don't have any cool prizes to send your way, I thought you'd like to know this. :>)

guttmjo said...

What brand is your red saddle bag?
-happy Gen 1 Fargo owning Josh

Guitar Ted said...

@guttmjo (Josh), That, as far as I can ascertain, is an old, out of production Kirtland Touring bag. I found it at the shop where I work in the take off parts bin. Probably stripped from a trade in at some point years ago.

A friend of mine in Oregon ID'ed it as a Kirtland Bag, and his evidence was compelling.