Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fat N' Single

Waiting on Andy......
Wednesday I had planned on meeting my co-worker, Andy for a fat bike ride. He had just gotten his Pugsley single speed at the shop the day before and was itching to check into some of the local single track. I said I'd be happy to take him around.

We settled on a time and a meeting place, so I decided I'd ride over from the house. I went through some of the areas we'd be riding later, and the dirt was looking really fine. The day was Sunny, dry, and cooler than it had been in a long time. Perfection, really. What a great day to have off to go plunking around on single speed fat bikes!

Of course, my fat bike wasn't technically a single speed, but I did leave it in the "high range" for the entire ride, so I think that counts! I've become accustomed to using that higher combination, and I'll likely not be needing the lower geared combo until after the snow flies.

I allotted a bit too much time to meet Andy, and I was at our meet-up spot way ahead of schedule, so I went ahead and did a bit of recon for our ride. The sand underneath the four lane highway bridge was deep and loose as ever, but the ol' Blackborow just walked right through it all. I had also hit a couple of other big sand piles on the way over, and cleaned those as well. Big tires make such a big difference here. I turned around after a bit, not wanting to get too far away from the prescribed meeting spot, and went back to sit on a nearby bench and wait for Andy. I figured he'd be fashionably late, but it ended up he was actually almost 15 minutes late. Oh well! At least he made it!

After a quick saddle height adjustment we were off, and then it was a fast, ripping single track ride for the most part. It's funny how fat bikes are not really that big of a deal to motor along twisty single track. Especially the newer breed of fat bikes. I tried to discern if I felt anything making me work all that much harder, but other than huffing it a bit more up any steeps, I really think the Blackborow just carves up single track as well as any 29"er I have in the stable.

Andy's brand-spankin' new size small SS Pugs. What a lovely color, and it sparkles!
It was obvious that Andy's Pug wasn't holding him back either, as he was almost always right on my wheel. Andy mentioned the 3.8" Knards were really easy to roll and had great grip. Oddly enough, his size Small Pugs fits that size Medium Revelate frame bag perfectly.

So, I showed Andy a taste of both sides of the river. Honestly, for my tastes, I like the South side stuff better. Many of the newer, North of the river trails seem to be more about getting from Point A to Point B, and aren't all that challenging. A few places on the South side do give you pause, and I like that, but maybe I am out of touch with the tastes of the local off-roaders. Dunno....... I think Andy had fun, so that was all that mattered.

A quick stop to smell the flowers and watch the bees at work.
This is another ride that really confirmed for me that the Bluto is a great addition to the front end of the Blackborow DS. I used up all the travel a couple of times during my three hours in the saddle, and the smoothness and control were palpable. I was suspicious of the spindly looking stanchions on the Bluto when paired up with 4.8" of mondo-griptastic tires. However; I've been pleased with the performance so far. If I lived somewhere with a lot more speed and bigger rocks? I probably would be wanting more stiffness and more travel than the 100mm that this fork is set up with. That said, a Bluto simply transforms the bike's capabilities on twisty single track. I'm really glad I have the option to run it.

So, anyway..... A great day on the bike and I am looking forward to getting all the parts lined up for this bike's transformation, which would be the "normal Summer set up". So, yeah..... I'll probably get that done come Winter!

No comments: