Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Eyes Wide Open

Christopher left a comment on Saturday's post which read, in part, "I am glad that you are still enjoying the bike, I have not heard many good reviews of that bike, vs. the Surly or Salsa, but if anyone can make it work it's you."

So far, I am enjoying the bike a lot.  I suspect that, if I had bought the bike with the intention of competing in snow-bike races that it probably wouldn't compare to well with the Surlys and Salsas.  I will probably take it up to the snow and find some snowmobile tracks to follow, and see how it works in the snow.  I figure that the extended rear end will limit the traction on steep climbs (though some Surly Nate tires might take care of that), and it does weigh a few pounds more than the more expensive bikes.

But, for commuting on snowy days, and just knocking around for the fun of it, I don't know if paying more than twice as much for a bike would get me twice as much enjoyment.  I'm having a ball just riding around town on the thing!

Speaking of commuting, I took the fat bike to work, today.  Obviously, the roads are pretty clear, and I didn't need the big tires.  But, I wanted to take it in and show it to some of the guys in the lab.

As you can see, I transferred the Nelson Longflap saddle bag over from the Handsome, and mounted some lights on the bars.  I was concerned about how long it might take to get to work, but it ended up taking 39 minutes, door to door.  That is within a couple of minutes of my normal time on the Handsome (counting stops at lights, etc.)

EDIT:  My morning route is 8.3 miles, and slightly downhill, overall.  I forgot to time my ride on the 9 mile route home from work.

The weather was nice for commuting.  The temperature was 41 degrees F when I left the house, at 5:20 AM.  This was my front-door thermometer reading when I got home, at 4:15 PM.  No wind, partly cloudy skies.  Not too shabby for early January in Denver.

It seems to me that you could fab up a big rack for the back, and mount some Xtracycle Wideloaders and you would have a heckuva nice heavy-duty camping/adventure bike.

All that being said, if I do see a bargain on a Mukluk frameset, I will probably jump on it, just to get the shorter wheelbase.  I have the parts to build it up, courtesy of the Fat Sand Bike, after all...

I am considering changing out the handlebars.  I am no longer a big fan of mountain bike bars.  I'm thinking something akin to mustache bars (there's a surprise).  The bar has to be compatible with mountain bike components, though, so that I can mount the twist shifter for the Nexus hub.



At 5:25 PM , Blogger Steve A said...

Please remind us again of how far the commute is. I'm not surprised the commute isn't a lot longer - traffic lights and stop signs do not care WHAT kind of vehicle you operate.

On my v2 commute, there was less than ten mnutes difference between the fastest and slowest bikes. Over 20 miles and less traffic control devices than most people run across...

PS: I almost drove to work today. Thank goodness for our drought!

At 5:35 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Steve: I added the distance to the post (8.3 miles).

At 1:09 PM , Blogger Wilson said...

Jon, you mention your Nexus hub. Have you done a review of it anywhere? I would like to hear your impressions.

At 10:46 AM , Blogger Apertome said...

The bike just looks like so much fun. The Carradice adds a touch of class, too, though the orange frame is a good start. It looks like quite a find.

At 2:57 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Wilson: I haven't really made any mention of it, but I will. Short version is, so far I am impressed with it.

At 2:59 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Apertome: I am liking the bike as a commuter, and i think the bag looks good, myself. I still think it would make a heck of a camping bike with a big rack on the back.


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