Saturday, December 09, 2017

Minus Ten Review- 49

Back when it used to snow. In December. Remember that?
Ten years ago on the blog here I was trying to test these new Schwalbe 29"er tires. There was snow on the ground and we had a lot of ice too. Yes.......on the first week of December. I know, weird, right? I mean, we go almost to Christmas anymore without snow, except last year, when we had snow, and then it melted on Christmas and that was that.

Anyway.....

Enough grousing about the weather. Back ten years ago, the deal was that these tires were the bomb for snow riding. That sounds so odd now. But keep in mind that we were a good three years from being able to buy complete fat bikes out of the box. I was well aware of the Pugsley at this time, but it would have been a 2G investment at bike shop employee discount to get one built. Surly sold you the proprietary parts- the frame, fork, rims, and crank set. You supplied the rest. Building up wheels, sourcing the parts, your time, and headaches had to all be figured into the price.

Of course, not knowing that a fat bike would blow my mind and perceptions sky high, I could not justify a 2G investment for a bicycle I thought I would only use for a month, month and a half tops, every year. Yeah...... Unfathomable now, but I used to think that.

Anyway, Racing Ralphs, the original ones, were very supple, grippy tires on consolidated snow and packed snow. They were amazing in that regard. Ultimately they would go on to be one of my favorite tires I ever used before going tubeless. They were awesome on dry to tacky single track. They just weren't tubeless rated. Bummer. Then Schwalbe came out with tubeless Racing Ralphs and changed the tread pattern. The tire was never quite the same for me after that.

3 comments:

Rob E said...

Odd to think that the OG mass produced fat bike has come full circle, started out as a frame/fork/rim combo only and as it turns out that is how they come now if you're so inclined to want one. Kind of a shame really, love mine and it's one of my favorite gravel bikes.

Guitar Ted said...

@Rob E- Yeah, that is ironic. However; didn't Surly say that the Pugs wasn't going away? As in, a "new" Pugs was being hinted at? That's how I interpreted that when they dropped the Pugs from the line as a full build.

Rob E said...

I'd love to see it come back but between the ICT, Wednesday and the new Blackborow I don't know where it would fit without remaining virtually unchanged.