Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Randomonium: Fat Bike Thoughts

100mm of float foundation
Whelp.........I am wheeless. On the titanium Mukluk, that is. The Velocity Duallys had to return back home, and I had other ideas anyway. Big, floaty ideas.

Not that I didn't like the Duallys, because I did, but my priority wheel set has to be a big, fat, ridiculous one. Why? Well, I am tired of punching through and being in an unstable situation on the blasted, drier snows, like we had to ride at Triple D. So, I have this plan to set up some 100mm Clownshoes with some Vee rubber tires. But first, I needed to get some hubs.

Those hubs should show up today. Purple hubs. Salsa Cycles purple anodized hubs. They are convertible from quick release to through axle, so if these go to a different bike, it's no problem. You may say, but aren't those front hubs a front disc spacing?, and I would say, "Right you are". Still no problem, since I can get an adapter for my rear spaced front fork. Going forward, if I get another fork, it would most likely be front disc spaced, so I would be good there as well.

So anyway, the first piece of the puzzle arrives today and I will be slowly making my way toward getting a big, wide, expedition worthy wheel set up and running for the titanium Mukluk. Now if I were to be racing more, I would get a Dually wheel set. Those are sweet for that purpose.  The thing is, the Triple D, which is pretty much the only fat bike race around here I am interested in, isn't done on a groomed course. 100mm rims and big tires are overkill anywhere else races are held around here. The Triple D would be a suitable event for the big fatties, but otherwise I am not doing any super-groomed, fast, hard packed trail on my fat bike in a racing situation. Why? Because lap races on groomed courses is so 1990's. My opinion, and it isn't what I think of when I think of fat biking. Many of you might enjoy that sort of thing, and I think you should go do that then. It just is not for me, that's all.

To Carbon Infinity....and beyond!
Besides, I don't ride a fat bike to be out racing anyway. In fact, I like it for quite the opposite reasons. I do like lighter weight, high performance parts though. The thing is, I just don't see the value in going with carbon fiber rims for a bike I am not going to be racing on. The Clownshoes are fine for me. Yes......they are heavier, but they also cost a heck of a lot less money, and for the times I will want to be using them, cost is a consideration. Weight is way down the list of "needs" for this project. Besides, there are no 100mm wide carbon rims........yet. Sarma is coming out with them, but their 80's cost over a grand a pair already. Nope. Not gonna go there.

Now for tires I am going to probably slap a Snowshoe on the rear and a Snowshoe, or an upcoming Vee Rubber tire that isn't out yet, or a Bud on the front. We'll see there when the time is ripe. There may be an offering from Bontrager, or others, before Winter comes back around here and I need such monster tires. So, what will I do with the bike until then?

 Skinny set up
Why I will slap on the "skinny" wheels, that's what! I did this back in 2012 and I really enjoyed the Mukluk that way. It rode really well, albeit more like a "touring" set up. I don't mind that at all, and actually, for casual mountain biking, just to see the sights, it was fantastic.

This will make it so I have a good geared hard tail with a flat bar set up. I have the Fargo Gen 2 with the drop bar, but no other geared, flat bar hard tail. Ironically, back in 2012 I was trying out a bike packing set up, but now that I have the Bike Bag Dude's frame bag, seat bag, and Chaff Bags, I am set to go in that way. I already told my son that we're going camping this Summer, so we'll be taking his fat bike and mine will be there with the "Summer-set up".

So the Winter "big wheels" will be slow in getting put together. Winter is about shot here, (really......just you wait and see!), so no hurry to get them done just now. I figured I may as well get started on next year now though.


MG said...

Nice... You'll like the big, wide rims for snow riding. The Vee tires are coming along nicely too. An original Snowshoe on the rear with their new tire on the front will be a great combo too, I suspect.

Now that I've got the 29+ Rooster, I'm going to put the Vee Speedsters on the Puffin for summer, at least around here. Might mount the knobbies up if I'm taking it out to CO, but for around here, even on singletrack, the Speedsters are surprisingly good (and really fast & fun) to ride.

Have fun!


Doug H said...

It will be interesting to see what you think of the 100's. I have a set of Origin8 100' on my Muk (non-ti) and I really like them. My Dillingers tended to self steer really bad at anything below 7 PSI with my 80's, with the 100's they seem to behave much better.... Float is better to, but that is to be expected.

galaxysearchlights said...

fat is the new skinny.