Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday News And Views

The key to the new drive train.
Think Fat. Think Snow:

My Ti Muk is a little overdue for a new drive train. What better time to try something new then? Well.....hold on a minute! Actually, this idea is reminiscent of the very first drive train this bike had. That would be a 1 X 10, which I ran for quite a while on the Ti Muk.

Well, now all the cool kidz are running 1 X 11 drive trains, so, hey! I may as well give that a go now, I figured. So, I have invested into a SRAM NX shifter, rear derailleur, and cassette. The final piece of this puzzle came in the other day. That would be the Surly XSync chain ring in a nice, low 28T size to fit my crank, which is the venerable Surly OD Crank. This ring replaces the two I have on there now.

While I am not a convinced rider when it comes to eliminating the front derailleur, it is something that does make sense for a fat bike. Why? Because the rear tire generally is dumping all sorts of garbage downward right about where a front derailleur resides on a seat tube. That means a clumping of debris that can stop a rear wheel from turning, in certain situations. No derailleur means less, or no clumping of debris. A good thing when you are swamping through the mire or dredging through sloppy snow on a fat bike.

The good news on gearing here is that the 28T ring in the 42T low gear on the NX cassette means I have an equivalent to a 22T X 36T which a triple or 2X system would have. I rarely have ever had to get that low, but I have done it a few times. With this 1X set up, I do not lose that range. The NX cassette fits on a standard Shimano free hub body, so I "only" have an 11T high gear on the cassette, which is a pretty slow gear in a 28T cog up front, but this isn't a speed weapon folks. This is a fat bike. It's a faster gear than my Blackborow DS, and I was fine on that all last Winter. So, top end speed will be fine for what I intend on doing with this bike.

A 1X drive train also will allow for a tiny bit more tire to chain clearance.
The final advantage is that the chain gets moved a tiny bit more away from the tire when I will be in the lowest gear. I am hoping this will allow me to squeeze in a Lou tire in back. If I can manage that, and have better traction, I think then I will have a great bike for many conditions I see around here. Finally, with the addition of the new fat bike for my son, and the tear down of the old Mukluk frame, I now have the original Enabler fork back for possible swapping in here when/if I need more carrying capacity. So, I feel it is all coming together here to make for a great set up.

Imagine something like this in aluminum, less wide BB, and with "Salsa" on the down tube.

So, the big deal coming up this weekend in the bike biz, (no- not RAGBRAI!), is Saddledrive, which is where QBP launches news of new bikes across its various brands. Salsa Cycles has been due to revamp their mountain bike hard tail range for several years. Rumors have been rampant, and totally based off of this thread on mtbr, you can expect that the following things might become reality by Monday when the press releases come out. 
  • A 29+ hard tail dubbed the Woodsmoke.
  • A 27.5+ hard tail dubbed the Timberjack
  • The El Mariachi is dead
  • Something new in their fat bike line.
  • Small changes to the Warbird. 
  • Boost frame/fork Fargo capable of running either 27.5+ or 29"er wheels. 
Again- all the above is stuff gleaned from the linked thread. Apparently,  some of this is pretty close to the mark since it has been said a "Salsa employee" sent one of the leakers a private message requesting that his post be taken down. Of course, I have a memory and some of what he posted was also corroborated in others posts. Oh well.......

We'll all know more very soon. Stay tuned.........

Sad News From North Carolina:

It is with sadness that I pass on the word that Jeff Archer, owner of First Flight Bikes and curator of the Museum Of Mountain Bike Art & Technology has died after being struck by a car while Mr. Archer was crossing a street in Mooresville, North Carolina. (See the news here)

I am a fan of all things mountain bike, and historical stuff is right up my alley, as far as interesting things go. Mr. Archer was a fine resource, keeping the MOMBAT site up to date, for a long time on the internet. In fact, I was aware of his work on the web before it was called MOMBAT. I would often look at the entries made as the site grew and be reminded of the past or learn many things I never knew about brands and the products and bicycles from the earlier days of mountain biking.  In many ways, Mr. Archer was similar to the late Sheldon Brown as far as the depth and breadth of knowledge compiled on the MOMBAT site.

I had a brief, over the internet, contact with Mr. Archer when I reviewed a handle bar from his Mountain Goat brand, which Mr. Archer revived. He was always kind, graceful, and quick to respond to my e-mails. I am sure there are many, many more out there who have had similar experiences with him. He will be greatly missed.

Hope that you all have a great weekend.


blooddoc23 said...

Gosh that's awful, that guy was hit by a drunk driver while on foot. That's tragic!

Smithhammer said...

The more I ride 1x drivetrains, the more I like them. Putting one on my fat bike turned out to be the gateway drug to having one on my regular trail bike. I don't miss a front derailleur, nor the extra ring, at all.

Irishtsunami said...

I am with Smithhammer, my first was an early El Mar with 1x10. I just did it to the Blackborow, my only regret is not going with a 28 tooth in the front. Oh well, live and learn and wait until later to buy a new one so my wife doesn't much.