Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Winter Views: Finding The Limits - Part 2

The Sun is sorely missed during these times.
Monday I got out again on the Blackborow DS. The weather has been warm-ish for January, with Monday's temps in the upper 20's F. This sometimes makes for poor fat bike riding, but the consistency of this snow is quite good, actually. I believe it is because the storms which dumped it on us were Pacific based and not coming from Alberta via the Arctic. That snow sucks! very dry and powdery stuff that makes fat biking almost impossible.

This snow sticks together better when it is compacted, so any vehicle that has been out on it before you go on a fat bike makes for great riding tracks. Monday's ride was along the Sergeant Road corridor on a combination of snow machine tracks and truck tracks.

I managed to stick to the thin, white tracks most of the time, anyway, but more than that, the consistency of this snow has allowed me to do some surprising, to me, things. Stuff that isn't on the menu with "that other kind of snow". Like when I pulled a wheelie coming up a small embankment. That was not possible on snow like we've had for the last several years which acted more like sand than snow.

I also was able to traverse some deeper sections and a place where a bunch of that dirty, plowed up snow-gunk had collected which usually stops me dead in my tracks. It's the snow. Traction is higher, and stability is better in this kind of snow. I wish we'd get this stuff every Winter, but my feeling is that this is an outlier year. We'll see.....

Moved the heavy stuff to a more centralized, and lower, position.
I also had made a slight change to my bike before heading out. It may have, or may not have had any effect, but I like it better regardless. I got rid of the seat pack which had been holding my spare tubes and tools. I had a Salsa Anything Dry Bag and lashed that with the gear inside to my down tube.

Now days, you'd be able to use an Anything Cage for this, but my bike does not have the triple bosses for the Anything Cage, so I went with this for the time being.

I may see about modifying something or getting a Wolf Tooth B-Rad mount to accommodate what I want to do here. At any rate, the Anything Cages on the fork blades are coming off and water bottle mounts will go in their places. I've not got a lot of use for those big cargo cages now, and water is important.

I did not want to put the 4lbs plus on one of the fork legs either. That would have played havoc with my handling, and I don't need that. So, on the down tube it went. Yeah, two fat bike tubes, a pump, tools, and a rag weigh that much. It's pretty crazy, and why going tubeless is so popular on fat bikes. Your component weights are so heavy that going tubeless actually saves weight in the case of fat bikes. Not to mention the reduction in rolling resistance. Someday I'll upgrade the wheels on the Blackborow DS. But until then, I have to run tubes. I'm not going to mess with any "garage fixes" to my wheels to make them tubeless. Plus, I'd need tires anyway. Too expensive for me now.

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