Saturday, June 07, 2014

Forked: Part 2

The Snow Dog: Now with a higher carbon content!
About a week ago I posted here about my new On One Fatty fork for the Snow Dog. I've been cautiously riding it around a bit here for the past week, just trying to settle in the head set and mostly to get acquainted with the change. Big changes like adding a new fork like this to a bike I really was accustomed to kind of throws me for a loop sometimes. I guess it takes me a while to "warm up" to things while sometimes I can constantly change a bike and it never really seems to bother me. Whatever the reason, I just was very averse to jumping in the deep end with this fork until I got to know it better.

Well, I can say that yesterday was the first time I rode it and never really thought about it. It was becoming "normal" and the sensations of the bike were good. They never really were bad, per se', so that may be a bad choice of words, but I wasn't blown away by anything in particular either. In fact, I really cannot say anything is all that much different. It's all in my head, most likely. Obviously, the bike is somewhat lighter, but honestly- I cannot feel it when I ride the bike. The geometry must be very close to what it was with the Enabler, so there are no real quirks that I can sus out with how it steers or handles so far.

Fat bikes, in my opinion, seem to be very "wheel-centric" in every way. The wheels dominate the looks, the traction, the way the bike handles, and when it comes to weight, the wheels are the heaviest component by a much larger margin than they are on almost any other type of bicycle. It's all about those fat, ginormous, heavy wheels. Sure- you can nuance certain things about the fat bike by doing component swaps but the wheels are the biggest attribute and the biggest detriment to a bike like this.

That's why I feel that tubeless tires and rims, lighter rims, and lighter tires are well worth the money to upgrade to on these machines. The old maxim about how wheels are the best thing to upgrade on a bicycle? Times two on a fat bike. The difference on my switch from tubed Larry 3.8's to the Velocity Dually/tubeless Sterling set up was not just a little different, it was hugely different. Even when I initially set the Sterlings up tubeless on the Fatback wheels, the difference was so obvious it was laughable. That's why the fork is merely a slight to not noticeable change here. The wheels will make a bigger difference when I change them. It'll be good......

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