Sunday, May 19, 2013
Part 1: Road Biker - Well, Not Really
Last July I bought a road bike. I went to the bike store with the intention of buying a Specialized Tricross Elite Disc Apex Compact.
This bike was pretty and very comfortable. The gearing was well suited for the mountains where I live. The Tricross could handle dirt and rough pavement, which are abundant in the Rocky Mountains where I live. This bike was within my budget at $1,450.
I was about to pull the trigger on the Tricross when I spotted a sweet looking Specialized Allez sport bike nearby. I test rode the Allez (pronounced “al-lay”). The Allez was a two-wheeled rocket! I was in love. I plunked down $1,300 and the Allez was mine!
I have never regretted buying the Allez.
Part 3: Fast Ride
A few weeks ago, during a rare non-snowy day, my boss, Steve, and co-worker and biking buddy, Jason, took an hour out of the work day and rode along the Cherry Creek bike path. Steve has a titanium Moots road bike. Jason has a carbon Specialized Tarmac.
This photo gives you some idea on how nice and smooth the Cherry Creek bike path is.
We started off fast and kept pushing each other. We covered 18.12 miles in 53:30 minutes at an average speed of 20.3 mph. Our top speed was 36.5 mph. Granted, there were no hills and the path was smooth.
It seem to me we were going very fast. I think pedaling knobby-tired beasty mountain bikes up steep hills, over rocks and through snow is good training for a speedy road bike outing. Jason is a competitive bike racer. Steve is a spin class instructor. I was lucky to keep up. I think these guys were dogging it for my benefit. The ride was hugely fun!
Part 4: Surly Cross-Check
I am very happy with my speedy Allez road bike. However, I did not enjoy riding my Allez in my neighborhood. The hard smooth tires made the bike skittish on rough surfaces. The Allez also has tall gearing that makes it difficult to pedal up steep climbs.
I wanted a bike that could handle both dirt and pavement. My mountain bikes are great for rough terrain but are not a lot of fun on pavement. I started thinking about a cross bike again. I test rode the Specialized Tricross Sport Disc Compact.
This is a new model for 2013 that has a light aluminum alloy frame and decent components. Disk brakes are a big plus. I liked the Tricross and knew the bike would serve my purposes well.
However, there was one more bike I wanted to check out. I was intrigued by the Surly Cross-Check.
I did a search online and found one, and only one, Surly Cross-Check available in the greater Denver metro area. The downtown “Flagship” REI had a single medium-frame Surly Cross-Check. Surly does not make a lot of bikes, which can make them hard to find.
As with most Surly products, the Cross-Check is a slightly strange bike. All Surly bikes are made of 4130 chrome-moly steel tube. I like Surly’s sense of humor and attitude. They make old-school bikes. Except for color choices, Surly does not really change their bikes much year-to-year. Here is a link to Surly’s website:
I drove down to the store in my Toyota Corolla. It is a long drive to from my house to downtown Denver. I did not anticipate buying the Cross-Check. I had pretty much made up my mind to get the Specialized Tricross. When I arrive at REI I had a hard time finding a place to park! The store was packed! Colorado is a big outdoor recreation state. I noticed that people who frequent stores like REI and Whole Foods tend to be fitter than those you see at Wal-Mart. I can’t help thinking that nutritious food and exercise may have something to do with overall fitness and health.
I walked into the store and made my way over to the bike department. REI has 100’s of bikes. I managed to find the one-and-only 54cm Cross-Check sitting in a rack. I was there about 20 minutes when a bike sales guy approached me, “Hi, I am Joe. Can I help you?” The guy was tall and maybe in his late 40’s. I reply, “Yes, I would like to test ride this Surly Cross-Check.” I thought that I was pretty clear. Joe then says, “What sort of riding do you plan to do?” Maybe REI trains their sales people to ask certain questions. I really suspected that Joe took me for a newbie ignoramus. I felt like saying, “I plan to do the sort of riding that requires this bike.” But I was nice and said, “I want a bike for riding on mountain roads, including rough pavement and dirt. I also might take the bike for a ride on an occasional dual track trail or fire road. I may try a little light touring.” Joe nods and pulls a Cannondale Quick CX-1 off a nearby rack. He says, “This is the bike I would recommend for you.”
I didn’t ask for a recommendation.
The CX-1 would be perfect for riders looking for a high-performance hybrid bike. I could tell at a glance that the Cannondale had mountain bike geometry. I have five mountain bikes already. I wanted a versatile road bike. I could also tell the Cannondale had very slack steering. “Slack steering” means the fork has a lot of rake that makes the bike very stable and forgiving. Hybrid bikes are designed for relaxed cruising so stability is a desired characteristic. I like bikes that are extremely responsive, unforgiving and slightly dangerous. I am not likely to mend my ways any time soon!
I said to Joe, “I already have a bike that fills the niche of the Cannondale. I really want to tryout the Surly.” Joe decided that I was not going to listen to reason. He said “OK, you need to sign a waiver. I will get the bike ready for you.” He gave me a helmet and told me to take the bike on the paths next to the Platte River. I asked, “When do I need to be back?” He smiled, “We close in three hours. Try to be back by then.”
I was somewhat skeptical about the Cross-Check. The bike has odd bar-end shifters, cantilever brakes, lacks the secondary tricross brake levers, has rear horizontal dropouts and has only 18-speeds. The gloss black triangular frame looked rather ho-hum.
But as I stared to ride the Cross-Check I found that the bike felt pretty good. After carefully navigating through the some of the crowded areas, I let the bike go. Boy was I surprised! The bike accelerated sharply and handled really well. The bar-end shifters were delightful and the brakes worked well. The Cross-Check was responsive, maneuverable and fast! I became convinced that Surly had really thought through how to make the Cross-Check a great bike. I found some dirt paths and gave the Cross-Check the acid test. The bike gobbled up the dirt with perfect controllability. I rode the bike for about an hour and covered a lot of ground.
I was sold!
When I got back to the store, I held onto the bike until Joe noticed my return. He said, “What do you think?” I said, “Wrap it up! I’ll take it.” I had to remove the wheels to get my new bike into my tiny Corolla.
Here is a photo of my Cross-Check when I got the bike home:
After riding the Cross-Check around my neighborhood a few times, I decided I needed to change some things. Where I live the roads are loose dirt and rough pavement. There are also lots of really steep hills. I did not like the WTB SST saddle that much.
Part 5: Unable to Leave Well Enough Alone
I decided to modify the Cross-Check to make it better suited for my neighborhood.
The first thing I did was to get some lower gears. The bike came equipped with a rear gear range of 11-32. High gear was fine with 11 teeth. But I wanted a lower gear than 32 teeth. The small chain ring on the crank had 36 Teeth. Therefore, the lowest gear ratio the bike had was 1.125, which is not bad in most parts of the country. Where I live, every ride is uphill both ways! I bought a new cassette that was 11-34T. Two more teeth on the low gear (34T vs. 32T) makes a big difference.
Hear is the new cassette on the bike.
I bought a better quality cassette than the bike came with. I shaved a whopping 1/3 of a pound off the bike with the new cassette.
I also bought a 34 tooth small chain ring. A smaller the chain ring equates to a lower gear. Just like a larger rear cog equates to a lower the gear. Here is a comparison between 36 tooth and 34 tooth chain ring.
The new chain ring is on the left. There is actually a big visual difference.
Here is the new chain ring installed on the crank.
The bike now has a 1 to 1 low gear ratio that makes the bike much easier to pedal up steep hills.
I also got a new saddle. One of my favorites is the Specialized Phenom. The new saddle meant I needed to change the seat post. The Phenom requires very precise adjustment and the original UNO post did not adjust finely enough. Here is the new saddle and post:
The final modification was to swap out the Ritchey Speedmax tires for Kenda Slant 6 tires. The Kenda tires have much better traction on loose surfaces than the Ritcheys.
I am a big fan of Kenda bike tires. Kenda tires provide a lot of bang for the buck. I also changed the original brake pads to larger pads with higher friction.
The bike stops a lot better with Clark pads. The stock Tektro pads were fine for flatter terrain.
Part 6: My Real New Bike
With a few strategic modifications this bike is a lot of fun. I also think it looks more serious somehow.
The Cross-Check is extremely versatile and allows me to jump on a bike, pedal up my driveway and go for a ride. As a result, my training mileage has shot up.
I added clipless pedals that help me pedal a bit faster. Today, I got in 21 miles on the Cross-Check. I rode from my house and was pretty much on dirt the whole way. I found a nice trail. The Cross-Check did fine on the trail but was a bit of a handful on some moderate rocky sections. I climbed 1,411 feet during my ride. My average speed was 10.5 mph. I think I can get faster.
Thanks for reading my blog.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Part 1: Red Cone and Webster Pass
One of my favorite places to ride my mountain bikes or run is Webster Pass to the top of Red Cone Peak. Red Cone is not a particularly high peak for a Colorado mountain. At 12,801 feet, Red Cone is dwarfed by the nearby mighty Mount Evans.
Here is a shot of Red Cone in the 6-week period during the summer when there is not much visible snow.
This is a good shot of both Webster Pass and the "spur" up Red Cone. From the start of Webster Pass to the top Red Cone is about 12 to 14 miles.
This is a US Forest Service map that makes the various trails seem well marked and easy to find.
In reality, Webster, Handcart and Red Cone move around a bit due to rock slides and washouts.
The trails on both Mount Evans and Red Cone have a lot of character. The trails on Mount Evans are very high and long. The trails on Red Cone are shorter and steeper! I mean really, really steep. The best trail on Red Cone is Handcart Gulch, which can only be accessed on foot or bike. However, quite a few trails on Red Cone are wide enough for 4x4s and ATVs.
Here is what Colorado Central Magazine has this to say about Red Cone for 4-wheelers:
"Red Cone gets the rating of 7 from Massey and Wilson — the most difficult route in their book. From this eleven-mile road (between Webster on US 285 and the Keystone Ski Area) the view is worth the effort. Supreme driving skills are mandatory to challenge this one. Close maneuvering through trees, tight switchbacks, and extremely rocky sections characterize the ascent to Red Cone Peak.
Red Cone’s descent is very steep. No vehicle can make it back up this stretch. The vehicle must crawl three-quarters of a mile downhill through rock talus and moguls. First gear in low range holds the vehicle speed to a crawl. Brakes can’t be used or the tires will skid. The rear-end wants to slide around. If this happens, the driver must slightly depress the accelerator or the four-wheeler will slide sideways on the steep peak and roll 1,500 feet into Handcart Gulch. Several more steep sections must be descended to Webster Pass."
People in four-wheel drive vehicles consider conquering Red Cone a badge of honor.
Fortunately, the mangled wreckage of those four-wheelers that didn't earn the badge of honor are promptly removed.
Since I only tackle Webster and Red Cone with running shoes and bikes, the four-wheelers think I am nuts.
The four-wheelers are a nice bunch of folks that give and take good natured ribbing. Anyone on these roads is a bit nuts.
This is Handcart Gulch trail.
Forget finding this trail in the winter. I know this for a fact because I looked for the trail and I know where it should have been.
This shot is near the Red Cone Summit.
I was thinking that I might be able to get this far on my 907 Fat Bike. I didn't make it. I was hoping that some of the slope would be wind-blown and exposed. The wind blows at umpteen bazillion miles per hour on high exposed peaks and can clear a path along a ridge. No such luck. BTW, Red Cone is so steep that it doesn't pose too much of an avalanche danger.
Mountain Goats live on top of Red Cone year round.
These hardy creatures are not overly skittish and very curious. Nobody with a lick of sense bothers these animals. The goats tolerate human visitors as long as the human keep their distance. These animals can do some real damage if they get upset. These critters do not take guff from anyone.
Part 2: Winter Bike Riding on Webster Pass
When I loaded my 907 on the bike rack I had plans to ride along the headwaters of the South Platte River starting near the summit of Kenosha pass. I still think the trail along the South Platte headwaters would be a very good ride.
Here is my 907 loaded and ready to go.
The weather was nice and in the 40's. We have not received much snow this winter, which does not bode well for the Western United States. Colorado is nicknamed "The Mother of Rivers" because more major rivers have their source in Colorado than in any other state. Of course, the water source is the massive snow pack we usually have. States like California and Nevada rely on the mighty Colorado river as a source of water. 65% of the water used in Southern California is from the Colorado River.
The Platte River drainage is a major contributor of water for the breadbasket states of the Great Prairie. In the mountains, roads and trails tend to follow flowing water since these routes are usually the easiest to traverse.
As I was driving by Webster Pass on the way to Kenosha, I decided to see how far I could get up Webster. I like the raw untamed feeling of the beautiful, and somewhat hazardous, Webster Pass and Red Cone.
I parked at the bottom of Webster Pass.
I had already covered about three miles when I came to this sign. You can see Red Cone looming in the distance. Like I said, Red Cone is a small mountain. But it looks pretty darn big and imposing from this angle.
The temperature was down right balmy at 26 degrees F. At high elevation, the sunlight is pretty intense.
Here is the sun beating down through the trees. Even though the the air feels cold, the thinner layer of atmosphere combined with lower air density allows far more ultraviolet rays to reach the surface. I wear sunscreen SPF 5 million.
As I climbed up Webster pass I ran into some difficult snow conditions. Snowmobiles had packed down the snow. The relatively warm temperatures made the packed snow very slippery and uneven.
I had to drop my tire pressure to 4 psi to get traction. Unfortunately, the snow conditions were just too slippery. I made it to the base of Red Cone but just could not make it up the extreme grade.
Here are a few shots of my 907, which I have named "Big Orange Beast" of just "Beast" for short.
The snow is deep enough that the Beast can stand all by himself. Fat bikes are very stable.
Although the big tires are the most remarkable feature, the Beast is a finely-tuned all terrain bike that is quick and agile.
The Beast has amazing traction and can plow through some pretty deep snow. Shifting is quick and flawless.
I like what this bike can do.
The 907 is a snow racing bike. Average speed on the ascent was 7.8 miles per hour for 8.1 miles. That is fast for a bike chewing through soft snow on a 15%+ grade.
Part 3: Descent
The lower part of Webster pass was in pretty good shape.
This is a photo of some nice packed snow. According to my Garmin 305, I hit a top speed of 30.7 mph. The Beast was steady as a rock at higher speeds. The massive tires are like mega-gyroscopes. The bike could go faster but my legs were just too tired.
I did take a small detour to visit the Platte River.
I am glad the Forest Service puts up signs.
The river is frozen.
The same idiots that harass the goats will walk out on the snow-covered river ice. Snow is a good insulator. Ice under snow is thin. A person falling through the thin snow-covered ice is in big trouble and may not be able to get out before hypothermia sets in. Mountain rivers are cold and fast.
I called my wife when I got to the car. There is no cell phone coverage on Webster or Red Cone. I asked her if she wanted me to pick-up Chinese carry-out in Bailey. She said she was pleased I wasn't dead and ordered Szechuan Tofu. I got Combo Chow Mein. I have got to say I don't worry much about calories after a jaunt on my 907.
Thanks for reading my blog.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Part 1: I Got my 907 Fat Bike
Finally, I was able to pick up my beautiful orange 907 fat bike last Thursday. Every 907 fat bike is a custom build.
Sitting near my fat bike was a small-framed black 907. The buyer of little black 907 had specified SRAM X7 shifters and derailers. The crank was a mid-level Race Face Evolve 36/24T. The bike had a nice white Bontrager saddle. The pretty fat bike was topped off- with a Bontrager Stem and Easton handlebars. Perched on the handlebars were the great XT brakes. The bike rolled on 45 North Husker Du tires with 27 treads per inch.
My brain had registered all this information from a single glance at the black 907. I had spent so much time researching and demoing fat bikes, I can read a "build" as quick as a cat. I think with time and much therapy, I can get over my bicycle component OCD!
The bike shop guys told me that a fellow that owned a rare polished frame 907 had ordered the little black fat bike for his wife. I thought that was cool. My wife has a nice mountain bike but refuses to ride with me. She says I ride too fast and go on dangerous trails.
I have no idea what she is talking about.
The bike tech wanted to make sure my 907 worked properly and adjust the "fit". I was pretty nervous as I climbed aboard my fat bike for the first ride. I had paid extra to get high-end components. When you buy a bike you can get components that are light, cheap or strong. But you can on get two of the three. My fat bike cost about the same as the gross domestic product of a small banana republic.
What if my 907 was not worth the money? The little black 907 was a nice bike and cost less to boot.
I sat on my gleaming orange 907 right outside the door of the Golden Bike Shop. I rolled down the sidewalk. Due to some parked cars, I had very little room to get to the street. Without thinking, I cut a quick "Z" turn in front of a parked car. The 907 responded perfectly! I made a couple of quick upshifts and the 907 surged forward like it was shot out of a cannon. I zipped around a corner and started up a steep hill. I purposely lugged the bike to see if how well the bike would shift under extreme pedal pressure.
I prepared for the acid test. Would my 907 shift from the big crank ring to the small crank ring while I was standing on the pedals in high gear going up a hill. Every fat bike I demoed would get stuck in the high ring and would not downshift under high pedal loading.
I hit the left shifter trigger. Immediately, without a sound, the bike downshifted! I ran the 907 through every gear. The bike shifted flawlessly! And it was FAST!
Part 2: Getting Ready
I spent Friday and Saturday getting ready for my first ride. I bought a Lezyne high-volume hand pump. Fat bike tires are so darn big that my high-pressure hand pump just would not work. I used this pump on my first ride. This pump was just great.
This pump works great. The biggest advantage of a fat bike is the ability to run a wide range of air pressure in the tires from 5 psi to 30 psi.
I also got a NXE Smartphone bag so I could use my GPS.
This bag mounts to the top tube and is very solid. This is a very high-quality bag. Even though this bag mounts up by the stem, I found it gets in the way when mounting or dismounting on very steep hills. I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
I then lost my mind and bought a monstrous Jandd seat pack. I previously talked to a guy that was an experienced fat biker. He said that heading up into the snowy wilderness requires a lot of extra stuff like dry clothes.
I bought a Jandd Mountain Wedge III Seat Pac. This thing was huge and required bungee straps running to the chainstays to stabilize the seat pac's mass. I got this bad boy at Evergreen Bicycle shop.
I am always willing to defer to someone's greater experience. I had foolishly wanted a Large Topeak Wedge DryBag that was plenty big enough for my tire pump, pressure gauge, first aid kit and food.
This pack mounts nicely to the seat and doesn't weigh much.
More on this later.
Part 3: First Ride - Where is the Snow?
Colorado is a sunny place. We have been getting modest amounts of snow. But due to temperatures in the 40s and 50s there are a lot of bare patches on trails under 9,000 feet of elevation.
Only one thing to do!
I bought this bumper sticker but have not put it on my car. With the passage of Proposition 64, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado, this sticker could have two meanings.
I can see Mount Evans from my house. At 14,265 feet, Mount Evans is covered with snow. I loaded my 907 on my bike rack and headed north.
This is my 907 fat bike all ready to go. The temperature is a near tropical 45 degrees F at my house.
I just hoped that there would be snow on Mount Evans. As I started up Squaw Pass on the way to Mount Evans I ran into a snow packed road. I was getting pretty stoked!
I snapped this shot just by holding my camera with my right hand and hitting the shutter button. Besides the rush hour traffic represented by one oncoming truck, the right side of the road is a cliff. I needed to keep my eyes on the slippery road as a whipped along at 22 mph.
I got to the parking lot at the base of Mount Evans at 3:30 in the afternoon. The temperature was a more comfortable 12 degrees F.
There was a group of snowshoers that came out of the woods just as I arrived. They wanted to know all about the fat bike. They thought the fat bike was cool but had never seen one. I was happy to talk to them.
As the snowshoers were getting ready to leave, I got my bike off the rack. I said my goodbyes, then deftly sped across the parking lot, over a snow berm, and flew into the forrest. Yup, I was showing off!
Here is my 907 on Echo Lake trail, which runs along the side of Mount Evans. Echo Lake Trail is steep, narrow, rocky and pasted on the side of a darn big mountain. In some places the side of the trail was nearly vertical. The trick is not look down! Firstly, your bike tends to go where you look. Secondly, I am not overly fond of heights.
Here is a shot of the back trail.
I put a red "X" on the photo to show you where I had been. This is a really pretty place.
Here is a shot of where I am going.
I put an red arrow to show where I am going. The trail makes a hard right and starts climbing. I had stopped to rest and catch my breath here. These shots were taken at 11,500 feet of elevation. 11,500 feet is considered to be the lower threshold of "Very High Altitude". Blood oxygen saturation is about 40% to 50% less at 11,500 feet than at sea level. But since I live at high altitude I am pretty well acclimated.
Part 4: The Descent - Trouble in Paradise
I tried to make it up to 12,000 feet but zonked out at 11,800. I started the descent. This was really fun. The 907 rails snowy curves. What I did not realize is the seat bag was flopping around with the cornering forces. All of a sudden I heard an ominous thwap! Evidently, the the seat bag stabilization straps had rubbed against the rear tire and snapped in two. One strap was wrapped around the rear hub. The other strap was wrapped around my cassette. The temperature had dropped to 1 degree. It was getting dark and I was stuck a long way from the car. Fortunately, I managed to get the straps untangled in about 10 minutes. However, in the cold, dark and howling wind, 10 minutes seems like a really long time.
After I freed my bike from the straps I cranked up the 907 to as fast as he would go. Oh, my that bike is fast!
Here is the 907 back at the car. There was just the faintest last glimmer of a pretty Rocky Mountain sunset. Dark means cold. I got off the mountain at the perfect time.
Given the debacle with my Jandd seatbag, I have since bought the smaller Topeak bag. The 907 is not a beast of burden. I could have bought a Salsa Mukluk if I wanted a luggage carrier. The 907 is too fast to be weighted down. I have learned my lesson.
Here is the lonesome drive home.
I didn't see another car until I hit the town of Evergreen. For just a little bit, I owned the whole mountain.
Thanks for reading my blog.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
PART 1: Dropped By The Shop
I dropped by the Golden Bike Shop last night. I wanted to change the saddle selection from the WTB Rocket to a WTB Pure V Pro. The salesguy was jazzed! He says "Bruce, my man, the spokes are in and your bike will be done late tonight!"
I was driving my Toyota Corolla commuter car. I was not expecting to pick up a bike. Rats! The bike shop guy took a photo of the completed bike with his phone camera. Here is my 907!
Unfortunately, I can't get it until tomorrow! My beagle, Lucas, had to have surgery today. I am waiting by the phone if I have to authorize additional work. Lucas will be fine. The vet is removing a benign growth from his colon.
I am bummed! My poor dog had to go under the knife. My bike is all ready and I can't go get it. Now, I think I am coming down with a cold.
Part 2: Last Minute Change
While I was at the shop yesterday, a bike tech stuck his head out of the back room repair area and asked if I wanted the stock 24 tooth small chainring or the special 22 tooth small chainring. I opted for the 22 tooth chainring.
My 907 is 2x10. The crankset has 36-22T chainrings . I specified 10 speed rear cogs with a gear range of 11-36T.
(Note: 2 x10 means there are 2 chainrings on the crank and 10 cogs on the rear wheel. "T" is shorthand for "tooth")
This is very low gearing for any bike. In low gear, I will have to make 1.6 crank revolutions to get 1 revolution of the tire. In high gear, a single crank revolution will cause the tire to rotate 3.3 times.
My bike will be very slow and very fast. This is a good thing.
Thanks for reading my blog.
Monday, January 21, 2013
PART 1: Waiting Patiently For My Fat Bike
When I put a deposit down on a 907 Fat Bike, I knew it would take a few weeks to get all the parts and get the bike assembled. The only items that the bike shop had on hand were the Surly Holy Rolling Darryl Rims, Surly Nate Tires, Surly light tubes, and Surly Rim Strips. Every other component had to be ordered. The bike shop started ordering stuff immediately.
A beautiful orange 907 frame arrived from Anchorage, Alaska, in just three days! The Crane Creek headset arrived from North Carolina in four days.
The Hope Evo II hubs were made in Lancashire, United Kingdom, and arrived from the US distributor in Texas in 4 days.
The Race Face Turbine crank, stem and handlebars took a week to arrive from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Shimano XT drivetrain and XT brakes were made in Osaka, Japan, and arrived from the US distributor in Irvine, California, in 5 days.
From all parts of the globe the components for my bike have arrived. Why don't I have my bike yet? The DT Swiss Comp spokes the shop ordered have not shown up yet. Well, DT Swiss is based in Biel, Switzerland, after all.
Here is the ironic part. DT Swiss manufactures all their spokes in Colorado! Not in Switzerland, not in Canada, not in Alaska, not in Japan, not in the UK - the spokes are made here in my home state! The issue is that Fat Bike spokes are just a tad longer than spokes for a regular 26" mountain bike. The hubs on a fat bike are very wide and the rim is flattened so "normal" spokes won't work.
I should get the bike sometime this week. I know it will be worth the wait.
PART 2: Really Cool Fat Bike YouTube Video
The guys at the Golden Bike Shop made a fat bike video. Fat bikes are not slow bikes.
The music is by a local guy that is a pretty fair singer and guitar player.
I have done a lot of riding at Elk Meadow. This video shows a typical mountain bike trail in Colorado. The bikes in this video both have Surly Nate tires, which I have found to be the best for Colorado winter trail conditions.
The guy standing on the side of the trail that looks like a lycra death sausage is not having fun on his cross bike. I have ridden a normal tired bike on this type of stuff and had to go slowly. I also had to push the bike when the snow got too deep.
PART 3: Riding Anyway
I took my hardtail cross-country bike, Little Stumpy, out for a ride yesterday. There were some pretty tense moment on some icy sections. I took Little Stumpy because is has the stickiest tires of all my bikes.
This is a Maxxis Minion DHF. This is a very aggressive tire but no match for snow.
My 2006 Stumpjumper Pro is a pretty capable bike.
I averaged 9 mph and hit a top speed 24.6 mph, which I guess is not bad for a white knuckle ride on a pretty slippery trail.
I still want to get my fat bike soon.
Thanks for reading my blog.
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