So, as long as Dennis was going to go to the trouble of making one set, he figured he may as well make a couple more, (at least, I am not sure if another set exists or not), and so that is how I came into possession of a set of these drop outs. I'll show why those are necessary here in a moment. First though, I want to share the long and winding road that took me to the point where you see my Ti Muk today.
This all started when I rode a Krampus at Interbike a few years back. I figured the versatile Ti Muk might work with these wheels, but I didn't have the tires, nor the right wheel set to do that with. I do have a fat bike hubbed wheel set that spin Stan's Flow rims, but those were deemed too skinny by myself for this project.
|Clearance is super tight with stock Alternators|
Getting up to speed with what would work with fat bikes going forward, the Conversion Hubs were a good move, but that made my Enabler fork, a rear disc mount/rear disc spaced hub compatible fork, obsolete. A new fork was in order then. Being somewhat limited to a few forks with this front disc standard and 1 1/8th steer tube standard, I chose the MRP alloy Fat Fork. It is a little heavier than its carbon counterpart, but it was significantly less expensive. I saved 234 grams from the switch of forks, which isn't huge, but it is something.
There are going to be a lot of 29+ tires soon, but as for right now, I like the Knards. I've seen what they can do, and I have also experienced what they can do. (The Borealis Echo test recently, for instance.) Of course, I got the 120TPI versions and set them up tubeless using my buddy MG's special sauce and a combination of Gorilla Tape, (one layer), and a round of Velocity USA blue tubeless tape to reinforce the spoke hole area.
|Using the "DG Alternator Drops" makes more room|
The final key to the successful MukTruk transformation was the Dennis Grelk custom machined Alternator style drop outs. Dennis expertly figured out how to move the wheel rearward in relation to the seat stay bridge without raising the bottom bracket. This required a bit of a mod to the design of the original Alternator in that Dennis had to move the brake caliper upper mount to its own, dedicated threaded hole instead of ganging it with the upper swing pivot point, as Salsa Cycles' design utilizes. This required a little extra hardware, but I had everything I needed there to make the swap. With the new "DG-Alternator Drop" slammed all the way up, I have gobs of mud clearance, and no doubt I could probably also slot in a Surly Bud or Lou fat bike tire on a wide rim as well with this set up.
|MukTruk V2: With the "DG-Alternator Drop" set up, new fork, and 29+ wheels and tires I am set for adventure!|
|No questions on clearances here!|
Mike has his rig set up with a Luxy Bar, and I may do something like that at some point, but honestly, I may just get some Ergon BioKork grips with integral bar ends first, as I really like their feel and performance. The bar may get swapped for something wider though, as I've become accustomed to the short stem/wide bar feel of some other rigs I have ridden. Then there is the upcoming release of Jeff Jones' carbon Loop Bar.
The only bummer about this Ti Muk is the pigeon hole you find yourself in with the head tube size. 1 1/8th is something of an antiquated standard. No fork manufacturers are really supporting it with new releases anymore, so as long as I can live with the rigid fork, I suppose I'll be okay. Otherwise I like almost everything else just fine. I may have to swap to a more modern crank and bottom bracket soon. I don't suppose 100mm ISIS bottom brackets will be around much longer! That's something that may force my hand, and honestly, it would make the bike better. Maybe one of those fancy Race Face Next fat bike cranks is on the horizon.....
I did get a short ride on this Saturday evening and it feels.......normal. At least to me it does. The thing is, it steers better with the Knard 29 X 3" tires than with fat bike tires and I already know what this tire and wheel combination is capable of having ridden three different bicycles fitted with wide rims and 29+ Knards previously. It should prove out to be a ton of fun!