Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MukTruk Update

Handles sand okay.
The MukTruk has been ridden pretty extensively since I got it together about two weeks ago now. Here's a bit of an impression of what it is like to swap fat bike wheels out for the "plus sized shoes" that I have on my Mukluk now.

It Is Not A Fat Bike:

While three inch wide tires can do a lot, they don't have quite the float of 3.8"ers or wider. Sand traps, while eminently more "doable" than on a 29"er, are still a chore on 29+ tires, while your fat bike would simply laugh and roll on. Still, your traction and roll over are tremendous with 29+. Definitely a "plus" over any 29"er set up and better in many ways than a fat bike set up.

You also have a lighter weight than a full on fat bike set up, and less rolling resistance with a better turn in than fat bikes have. If you can live without the flotation factor, this set up really rules.

Higher Bottom Bracket: Probably the biggest negative here is the higher bottom bracket, which makes dismounting and mounting a chore. If your fat bike has a dropper post, or can take one, get one if you go 29+. It will definitely enhance the ability to get going again off road, not to mention getting down steep stuff will be easier. I'd say the 29+ set up on the Ti Muk sent the BB height up at least by an inch, although I haven't actually measured the difference.

Smoove: The combination of a slightly bigger diameter wheel, tubeless, lower pressure tires, and the titanium frame, seat post, and aluminum MRP fork all add up to a much smoother ride than this bike ever had before. I sometimes forget to unweight the saddle when I hit sharper bumps since this set up simply erases small chatter. The fork has been particularly revealing in this manner.

So far I am really liking this set up. Of course, when Winter comes in, I will be swapping out wheels to fat bike wheels and tires again. The plan is to swap wheels with the boy's bike which has Rolling Darryls and to not use a front brake in Winter, since the fork and hub are not compatible. Until then, this bike will be getting the call a lot in the coming months for more adventures and for just cruising around.


MG said...

I think you nailed the one reason a dedicated 29+ frame rules... BB height, or rather, the lack thereof. Thanks to the ultra low BB on my Singular Rooster, it sits no higher than my fatbike, and has a distinct feel of being in between the wheels, as opposed to being on-top of them.


Tyler Loewens said...

Well that means a fat bike converted to 29+ would be a severe compromise (read: lose lose) on gravel then right? Hmmm...maybe 26+ is the way to go there.

Guitar Ted said...

@Tyler Loewens: I think your statement paints too broad a stroke. Almanzo 100? Yes- not a good choice. However; at Odin's Revenge, Mike Johnson had the upper hand when it came to bike handling due to conditions.

I also think it depends on the fat bike. The Borealis weighed 24lbs WITH a Bluto suspension fork and SPD pedals ready to ride. That bike with 29+ rubber, a rigid carbon fork, and proper gearing would be awesome on gravel.

So, saying any bike converted to 29+ would be "bad on gravel" isn't really correct. One has to consider all the variables.

Guitar Ted said...

And to clarify- Mike was using a MukTruk set up just about like mine at Odin's. I forgot to mention that!

MG said...

Fatbikes and 29+ can both be made to go well on the gravel. On my Singular Puffin fatbike, I was able to maintain an on-the-bike average of 15mph en route to winning the fatbike title at the recent Gravel Worlds, and I finished in the top-30 overall as well. Not bad for a guy on 4-inch tires!

mofok said...

In reference to running your Ti Muk this winter with only a rear brake: What are your experiences with performance and practicality with a setup like this and how do you expect it to affect your riding, if at all?

Guitar Ted said...

@mofok: Actually, I have always had two working brakes, but my son only runs a rear brake. Honestly, it doesn't affect his riding at all.

I may do a similar set up when I get my Blackborow. Speeds are slower in Winter, and especially in "crawler mode", and that's the sort of riding I normally do in Winter.

I probably would hesitate to run a single brake on something hilly like Triple D, although I know riders that do that and are fine.