Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fat Dreams Have Been Stoked

One part this....
When I was up at Milltown Cycles a while back, I rode a bike that I have not been able to quit thinking about since. I may just have to pull the trigger on something along these lines....

The first part is a Cargo Bike ingredient. That would be a Big Dummy frame. I have written about this before, how a Big Dummy would be a very practical rig for me. I already use an Xtracycled Schwinn from the late 80's, and a Big Dummy would be a huge improvement. So, at the very least, I think the Big Dummy is a big no-brainer here.

The Xtracycle stuff I already have pretty much seals the deal there, since no other frame I can easily get accepts those bits. Plus- it is a Surly. 

Really, that is all that needs to be said right there.

..two parts this..
Then the bike I rode had Marge Lite rims on it. These are meant for fat bikes, but they can be used on any frame that will accept them, and the Big Dummy frame will.

I would likely have a decent set of Shimano hubs available for this project. Nothing fancy there, just your garden variety Deore disc hubs that would build up a nice, strong wheel with decent Wheelsmith spokes and nipples.

Gotta have the disc brakes to stop the loads with, and that duty would fall to some Avid BB-7's I have lurking around here somewhere, or I could finagle some old hydro brakes into this picture as well. Either way, stoppage is covered here and the wheels would hopefully be able to carry a decent load. Actually, that's my only major concern here. Most of the time, I am not going to be carrying anything too extreme, or too heavy. Mostly bicycle stuff. But there are a few times I carry some monstrous loads, like when I get stuff for putting on Trans Iowa.

But if my weenie Xtracycle can deal with that, why shouldn't a Marge Lite equipped Big Dummy, right?  That's what I figure, anyway.

...and 2  parts this.
The final piece of the puzzle is the Bontrager XR-1 2.4 inch wide tires. The bike I rode had these on the Marge Lites and they measured out to 70mm wide.

That put a big ol' footprint down on the ground and best of all- the bike rode like a magic carpet. Now this makes a great wintertime commute sled or something I can run errands with in the winter. Fat tires spread out for big time traction on a long wheel base bike.

Sounds like good times to me! Now, there are some minor concerns here.....

I would need a Pugsley fork to really make it work right. Extra expense there, and leaves me with a Big Dummy fork sitting around. Also- I would need to do a modified drive train, since the fatter tires would interfere with the chain line. Nothing insurmountable, but it is noteworthy if you are also considering doing this.

Otherwise, what am I missing here? Cargo-Fatbike-Lite. I like the sounds of it.

Now talk me down from the ledge!


Head Honcho said...

Why talk you down? I want one too!

Ari said...

We have a 16" Big Dummy that my wife rides but i have been taking my daughter to school with it for 3 years now. Make sure to get Dennis Grelk to make you a kickstand!

Exhausted_Auk said...

Banjo cycles in Madison, WI built a bike they dubbed the Big Dumb Pug: http://www.bikecommuters.com/2009/06/11/chriss-big-dumb-pug/
Looks like it was shown at the NAHBS in 2010.

MG said...

Do it... It's an inspired project.

Small Adventures said...

Sounds AWESOME to me,Mark,can't wait to see it!!! :D I can imagine how sweet a Dummy would be (LOVING my Xtracycle'd TREK :) ),but a Dummy project of that stature is insanely kool!

Andrew Forsberg said...

I love my Big Dummy. I'm really curious to hear about how well it works with the fatty tires and Pugley fork. I run studded tires in the winter for commuting, and it works great. My ride is all streets, though.

Nicholas Carman said...

I'm touring on Large Marge and Marge Lite rims with 2.35" (60mm) Schwalbe Big Apples. Aside from the weight (esp. the DH Large Marge) it rolls great on pavement and dirt roads. For more traction in a fast rolling tire, there are a growing number of options in the 2.3-2.5" range, including: the 2.4 XR, 2.35 Small Block, 2.35 Fat Frank, 2.4 Holy Roller, 2.5 K-Rad and more. Get your hands on some 2.35 Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pros for some serious winter commuting.

For me, the 65mm rim allows a fast tourer, with the capacity to "go fat" whenever I want. All I need is a pair of tires. Lightweight single wall rims are a revelation. I'd be curious to know if a Marge Lite offset rear wheel would hold up under load on dirt roads? Only one way to find out I suppose.

I've also seen some nice 40mm wide DH rims, custom drilled to save weight. Would be a suitable platform for this medium-fat dream of yours. Surly has an opportunity to take hold of a market they accidentally created-- mid-weight or medium-fat bikes. Notice how much of a gap there is between 2.5-3.7" tires. I think we'll see more lightweight/XC type stuff soon in these sizes, especially with bikes like the Troll, 1x1, and the Dummy that already have huge clearances.

I guess that's a +1 on your medium-fat dreams.