Thursday, March 29, 2012

Springtime Changes

Spring just started last week, but you'd never know it by how it looks outside, and especially out in the woods.

This picture is from March- not early May!
Generally this level of greenery and flower is left for late April/early May. Heck, even the Bluebells are blooming! I was blown away by how fast the green stuff is taking over out in the woods right now.

The other odd thing was that the woods were devoid of critters. Of course, someone had just blazed through the woods ahead of me, but even the birds were strangely less noisey yesterday. That was odd, but I needed a bit of solitude, so I actually appreciated this.

The legs are coming around, but still not where I want to be coming into an event. Climbing on the single speed was "okay" yesterday, but I wasn't snapping right up those steeps. Gotta do some more work on that. The softer, loamy ground may have had something to do with that less than sharp feeling, but I know that I am not in "climbing mode" just yet.

The gear on the Sawyer is also a bit tall as well. That said, I am stuck with that as long as I run The Belt. That's the thing about The Belt. Very tough to swap out cogs and belts without spending a ton of dough.

Not an El Mariachi
So, let's say you got a fat bike, but you wanted to ride it in the summer on some lighter wheels. What to do? Well, one solution was presented to me at Frostbike by Handspun Wheels. Fat bike hubs laced to 29"er rims.

So they sent out a set to have me thrash them. I'll report on that later on TNI, but for now I am tickled about how it came out.I set this all up yesterday.

The bike now has a totally different look, and obviously is lighter to boot. It almost looks "normal" with these wheels on it, but one peek at the tire clearances tells you something is missing!

The one thing I said going into getting this bike built up was that versatility was key. These wheels certainly open up a lot of possibilities. I can run it as is, with a suspension fork, (albeit with a different front wheel), or use the original Larry 3.8"er as a "fat front" set up.

But that isn't all. I can also single speed this bike. Added into all of this is the bikepacking/touring capabilities, and then it becomes very apparent that I could ditch a lot of my bicycles for this, singular titanium beauty.

Wheels swapped = Much Better Now!
Then there were the issues I had with a certain less than stiff wheel set on the Titus Rockstar. Well, I nipped that in the bud yesterday as well.

I popped off the American Classic/WTB Frequency wheels from the MBC single speed, put the MBC single speed wheels back on that, and then went to work on the Rockstar. The hub needed a swap from a quick release axle to a 15QR type, so I did that. Then the rotors and finally swapping over the cassette.

Result? Unbelievably stiffer wheels. Night and day difference from the way it was sent out. Now I can not wait to see how it does on some trails around here.

The WTB Bronson tires, which are listed as 2.2"ers, but have a tread width of a 2.4"er, still leave plenty of clearance in the back of this frame. That was a concern going into the swap, but I am happy to see it has plenty of room to spare.  I'm a little bummed that this didn't get sorted before I went to El Paso, but oh well. At least it got sorted!

One of my Favorites
Then I swapped tires on the new Fargo. I got this frame and fork last fall, and I love how it feels and rides on single track.

The tires I had on it were Specialized Ground Control tires, which were great. I now have some Michelin Wild race'r tires on it, which it seems have taken forever to become available, but they are now.

These are tubeless ready type tires, so they went on some Velocity Blunt SL wheels and aired up nicely.

These tires have some lowish knobs and a squared off profile. Kind of an odd look, but they are supposed to be fast on hard pack. We'll have to wait a bit to see, since things are still pretty loamy out there just now.

So there were a bunch of springtime changes going on yesterday, and I spent most of the afternoon in the Lab futzing and fettling with bicycles. Not a bad way to spend a day. Gotta keep the fleet running!


Doug Mayer said...

RE the 29er-fied Mukluk Ti: versatility in a frameset is great, but like I found with my Cross Check, all that versatility gets to be an expensive pain in the rear when you try to use the same bike for different purposes throughout the year. And, you can only have it setup one way at a time (though I've considered getting a second Cross Check, lol).

RE the Fargo gen2: I want one!

Steve Fuller said...

I've managed to spend some quality time with my bike fleet this week to. Catching up on maintenance and cleaning, and playing around with setting up some sets of tires tubeless for the Gents Race and maybe Dirty Kanza. Good for the soul.