Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fat Bike Century Challenge

Starting to work on my set up
My fiend Tony asked me the other day to do a fat bike century with him. Challenge accepted. what?

I certainly am not doing this on my Blackborow DS, that's for sure! Way too low a gear and one speed. Nope. Not gonna do it. So, my only other choice right now is the Ti Muk. That's a great choice, but for one detail, and that has to do with gearing also. I changed it to 1X just recently.

That small 28T chain ring is going to get a work out! The SRAM NX cassette is as well. I tooled around a bit yesterday to try and get a feel for speed on this beast, and I think it will be okay, really. The thing is, I suspect I'll be in the highest three cogs, maybe four, all day. Yep. It can work, but ya know, bigger gears are more efficient than smaller ones are. 

So, you say, "Just change out the crank set ring!"  Ah! But the OD crank as an oddball BCD. Well......nowadays it is oddball. It didn't use to be that way. Anyway, getting a bigger "narrow-wide" chain ring for that is going to be tough or maybe impossible in less than two weeks. I'll just run what I have. It will work, but I may wear it out! We'll see.

Bar Yak cockpit set up.
There are greater concerns to be dealt with anyway. Like water. I have to not carry that on my back, so I think that light, supple On One carbon fork is coming off and the Enabler is going back on for now. That will solve the water issue. Two cages on the fork and two on the bike should suffice for this deal. The lowest, third cage on the frame will be for repair bits and tools in a bottle.

While I am at it I probably will go to a Big Fat Larry up front and a Larry out back. Lighter rubber will be a good thing and the Larry tread pattern rolls fast. Heck, I may go regular Larrys all the way around. I'll have to see what I have available to me to throw on there.

I transferred over the Bar Yak system to the Ti Muk for now as well. This will be its first big outing when we attempt this, so I will be interested to see how things work out during the ride. I tooled around a bit on the extensions to get a feel for that positioning and I like it so far. Getting down out of the wind will likely be a valuable thing at some point during the ride. I may have to spring for a GPS unit to track everything with and get mileage off of before we head out.  It would be a lot better than a wired computer! That's for sure!

Okay, so that's the plan of attack so far. I will be doing some experimenting and modifications yet that I want to try. Then I'll load up with Epic bars and Justin's Almond butter packets, throw in some flattened bananas,and head out for 100 miles of gravel on a fat bike. Stay tuned.....


spruceboy said...

Wolftooth makes narrow wide rings for that crank, in 94 bcd.

Surly makes one for the small ring spot / 58, in stainless, but it is only a 28 i think.

Guitar Ted said...

@spruceboy- Yeah, and the thing is, I would need a larger chain ring to go into the inner spot. (58BCD) Currently I am running the Surly 28T ring. As you probably know, the inner chain ring's chain line is where a narrow-wide ring has to go in on an OD crank set in order to have the proper chain line for 1X shifting. The outer 94BCD spot is too far outboard to be of any use here.

Unknown said...

I have done 100 miles on my fat bike with a 28 up front. It was doable. I have now switched to a 32 oval up front and that's made my cassette much happier.
I understand your water problem. I have no choice but to run the water on my back due to the fact I have a small Beargrease frame and there is only one mount for a cave in there. Have you thought about using a behind the seat waterbottle mount? They do make doubles as I am sure your aware. That would get those front two bottles out of the wind and help some with aerodynamics. Good luck. I have done a few centuries on the fatbike on gravel and I love it.

Guitar Ted said...

@Andy Czechanski- Yeah, I thought about it, but I am leaving that option open for a seat pack in case I need clothing dictated by changing weather. I don't know what the forecast will be, and as of now, we are stuck in a monsoon rain pattern here. I hope that clears up by the time this ride happens!

Ari said...

David Swanson and I have been talking about starting the fat bike season with a hundred also. I have been practicing with the blacborow with 3.8s on the clown shoes. The roll pretty well. Yet again too bad we live so far apart!!!

Exhausted_Auk said...

When? I might be interested. :-)

Nooge said...

Lezyne makes some attractively priced basic to mid level GPS units. If I were in the market for one that is probably what I would buy. Or a Wahoo Elemnt if you want a lot of features.

I am never buying another shoddy Garmin. Their quality has really gone down hill and the only remedy they offer if it doesn't work right (under warranty!) is 20% off a new unit if you send in the bad unit. Ridiculous!

MICHAEL said...

Sounds like torture. GTDRI material for sure. I hope to work up to a half-century someday on my 2013 Mukluk.