Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Snow Dog Lives!

The band is gettin' back together......
With the son's new fat bike build last Fall I had to strip down the old Mukluk and hang it from a peg for a while. But now it is back up and running! Here are the details of the build and my thoughts following after not having ridden this bike for a few months or so.

  • Wheels: I used the idle wheel set from the titanium Mukluk. I put the old Larry 3,8's with Bontrager 29"er tubes in there as well. Basically this is the wheel set from the original titanium Mukluk build. 
  • Bottom Bracket/Crankset: New FSA DH 100mm ISIS bottom bracket with some old take-off Bontrager ISIS cranks. I decided since I did not have the front derailleur for this to go 1X9. I used the purple e13 Guide Ring in 32T size from the original titanium Mukluk build. Pedals are some old pinned flats I had lying about. 
  • Cassette, Rear Derailleur: I had a 11 X 34 cassette and an old SRAM X-9 derailleur from the parts bin. 
  • Saddle/Seat post: Right off the original titanium Muk build as well- FSA SLK post and WTB SST saddle. The post is shy of being long enough, so it will get replaced with something else soon. 
  • Brakes: Magura hydraulics that were the brakes on this bike when I stripped it down. I did have to replace the rear rotor with an Avid and the front stayed with the Ashima that was on there, so the rotors are not the matches for the brakes. At some point I will get those rotors back to the originals. 
  • Controls: I used a 9 speed X-9 shifter, the Magura levers, (obviously), and Ergon grips which are no longer in production, but are like the new enduro grips they have coming soon, only those will be smaller and better!
 Ride Notes: 

In no particular order, these are some thoughts I had while riding the Snow dog yesterday....

  • This geometry is stellar for going through deeper, softer terrain. I was feeling that I didn't have to make much for weight shifts. Although the titanium Mukluk is supposed to be the same,  it doesn't handle in the the same way as this bike. It never has, actually. New Mukluks are not the same either. That's why I'll likely keep this one up and running for a long time. 
  • Surly Tires work far better in deep, drifted snow. The verdict will really be served today, as I am using the Sterlings to ride to work, but the Larrys are noticeably better at "float" than the Vee Rubber tires are. Self steer is unheard of, and with the ridiculously low pressures, the tires don't feel like boat anchors to pedal on harder terrain or pavement. The Sterlings have far better forward bite though, and can be set up tubeless, which makes them really good, but more like "regular mountain bike tires" than "fat bike tires". 
  • I need a longer seat post!
  • 1X set ups are okay, but I really need at least a 2X for serious, longer distance fat biking. That or one of them fancy 42T add on cogs for my cassette! 
So, there it is! Back up and running for awhile. I will definitely be tweaking this out as I go along, but it was sure mighty fun having the Snow Dog back underneath me again on a Winter day's ride! 

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