Two Wheels - Six Strings

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

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Slow Go On The Snow

I rode the fat Beast to work, yesterday, and I was glad to have it, particularly, on the way home. This snow is the type I have mentioned, before, which doesn't seem to pack, at all. The auto traffic simply churns it up into a granular mess which is too dry to call slush, and too loose to think of as real snow. It really is like sand, made of ice crystals.

And, riding in it is very much like riding in loose sand. The big tires on the Beast ride pretty much on top of it, but the resistance is pretty high, and the speeds come down from my already slug-like pace I normally maintain. The ride home, yesterday, took me almost an hour.

It's only a 9 mile ride!

I will admit that it could have been (and has been) worse. A few years ago, I rode home in similar conditions on a bike with 2-inch wide studded tires. It took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to ride that same nine miles. The next day, I ordered my first fat bike, the Tommisea Fat Sand Terrain Destroyer.

That bike was a terrific commuter. The 8-speed Nexus internally geared hub was great, around town. But, the gearing and the long wheelbase made it pretty much useless, offroad. So, I sold it and built up the Salsa Mukluk.

The Mukluk was a beautiful bike, well-made, relatively light, and one of my least favorite bikes, before it was over. It excelled, off road, but there was something about the sizing, or the geometry, or something, which made it less than comfortable on the road. If i was only riding fat bikes on singletrack, it would have been perfect.

As it is, though, 90% of my riding is around town, and the Mukluk just wasn't great for that. So, I sold it (to pay for a Gibson guitar), and figured I was through with fat bikes. Then, on  lark, I bought the beast and started modifying it. Now, it seems like the best of both worlds. The geometry is comfortable for 'round-towning, and works just fine on the trail, as well.

It is a bit heavy (38.5 pounds, with the rack and tools on it), but not so heavy that I don't enjoy riding it. One of these days, I am going to save up the shekels to have a copy of the Beast frame built from titanium. Then, I'll have a killer setup!



At 6:48 PM , Blogger Pondero said...

Thanks for the insight in the Beast. What about the geometry makes it work for you?

At 8:07 PM , Blogger Jon said...

I'm not able to put it into numbers, off the top of my head. But, if you put the Beast frame next to a mid 1980s mountain bike, everything lines up, pretty closely. It feels very much lie my 1985 Schwinn Sierra..

At 12:10 PM , Anonymous Josh said...

I've been inspired by your Beast mod, and have begun one of my own. One thing that the naysayers of Beast modding will never understand is the pure joy of taking a big-box bike and turning it into something capable and truly unique. I look forward to seeing more posts about your Beast. Ride on, brother!


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