Thursday, March 14, 2013

Snow Cycling

Not a fat bike
The days previous to this have been rather odd. It rained all day on Saturday and Sunday, it was supposed to be a terrible snow storm, was a nasty bit of slush. Then it froze solid.

This was a recipe for the best fat biking conditions of the, (over stayed), Winter. I rode By-Tor a couple of days to great effect on some nicely packed and very fast snow on parts of my commute. However; the ever strengthening March Sun is not going to lose this battle, and the snow is disappearing, despite temperatures well below freezing.

So I decided to break out Project White. The Inbred set up as a single speed, because it is not capable of gears, was sporting some skinny Michelin Wild Mud tires tubeless on new XT 29"er wheels. "Pizza cutter", I thought, as I took off for the snow covered field and bike path beyond it. But as many know, the bike did go on through. Slowly, with much effort, but it got through.

It obviously wasn't the same as a fat bike, and that's really the point here. It wasn't as good as a fat bike, if you wanted your ride to be easier, faster, more fun, and longer. Certainly, anyone that rides with regularity could ride a mountain bike on packed snow, as I did. However; the float and control one gains with fatter tires can not be denied. It is faster and more efficient than standard fare.

The Project White rig.
So now for an update on the white rig. It isn't like the old Inbred, neither is it worse or better than the old one. It is different. Quite different.

It is a 19"er vs the 18"er I had before, and I do notice the stretched out chassis a bit. Of course, I can adjust with a shorter stem, and I will. The feel of the longer bike is different as well. It seems "planted" yet not "dead" like the Vassago did for me.

Otherwise with the addition of a Surly chain tug, this bike is feeling really good now. I will make tweaks along the way, but for now I have a positive outlook on the Inbred. Besides the stem, I plan on switching out the fork at some point, and the tires and wheels will end up being something entirely different at some point. I envision some wider rims and beefy, 2.25-2.4" tires to compliment a move to a possible rigid fork.

Speaking of working on single speeds, I have been tweaking on a few of mine of late and will be showing that stuff off soon. My next big single speed project is the old Karate Monkey, which celebrates its 10th year with me this very month. It was my first 29"er, and although I have not spent a lot of time on it lately, it still is an awesome rig. Look for 10th Anniversary Monkey updates to come soon.

1 comment:

Max said...

Looking forward to your Karate Monkey update! I had wondered if you had retired it or were just riding other bikes instead.