Friday, 30 September 2011

Mud crawling

Ok, that's me just finished with another great beach ride, testing out the new tyres, so here is my post ride thoughts, from the perspective of the conditions I ride regularly around Moray

I bought the nate to use as a mud tyre & that is pretty much what it should be used for. Think of it as a fatbike swampthing....

Compared to a regular Larry -
It weighs more
It doesn't roll as well....I would not like to ride these for huge distances
I would not use it as an all season trail tyre, I think the Husker Du is going to much better option. Nate has too deep a tread & open spacing for general use
makes your balls go numb when riding on the road 

But.............

It has awesome grip & traction....if you cant float over it, you are going to dig your way through with these! These are the ultimate winter tyre. If Nate had a last name, it should be Crawler! The extra traction in the sand was handy at times





The BFL works really well, I'm very impressed with them. They take everything that was good about Larry & make it just a little bit better. I was running 7psi on front tonight, I think I could have gone even lower without any problem...will experiment another day.




After trying the BFL/80mm combo on the beach tonight, I can only imagine the moonlander will be amazing to ride on soft snow & sand.

So what have I learned from this?.....well I have decided that for the moment, without going to the expense of the moonlander, I can get the most out of my bike with a second set of wheels.

The plan is to get a set of 100mm rims for beach riding. BFL on front, Larry on back
Second set will be my existing 80mm rims, with hopefully Husker Du all round, with Nate being the rear tyre choice during winter.


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Fresh goods

It has been a busy week in the shed, with all the bikes requiring some sort of attention.

The Ragley Bluepig has been kitted out with new winter tyres - Specialized Storm controls sould keep it rolling during soggy season. I fitted a longer stem, which although "uncool" these days, has really improved the feel of the bike & weight distribution. With the short stem & slack head it was way to easy to lift the front when climbing.it now feels like a great set up for the trails round here now, fun bike for winter trail centres, dog walking ect.

The EX8 has had new full length cables fitted, some brake issues repaired & wheels straightened. This bike has been neglected since the fatbike arrived. I was planning to sell it, but hopefully I will get some trail miles on this week & find the love again. But I do think it would make a good deposit on a Surly Moonlander, hmmm...

The 907 had been broken after only 300 or so miles. The BB decided to die due to sand & crud working through the seals onto the bearing races. After a wee wait in sourcing a replacement, I have made some extra dirt seals using waterproof grease & amalgamating tape. So far it is holding up well & I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will work at keeping winter out of the BB! I have also replaced the granny gear with a deore 22t, as it is a bit thinner than the old one that came with the bike, it was causing chain suck when riding in really dirty conditions. So far it seems to be working.






The really big news in the Fatbike world is the arrival of my new tyres! I believe these are the first set to arrive in the UK after I imported them direct from Alaska (Thanks to Bill & James at Fatbikes.com)

These have been causing a stir, becasue the Nate if the first Fatbike mud/trail tyre & the Big Fat Larry (BFL) is now wider, 4.5" if fitted to a 100mm rim.

The Nate is going to be fantastic for winter mud conditions. The open tread pattern provides really amazing levels of grip & is excellent at clearing mud. Not to mention it looks mean

This is Nate next to 2.35" Maxxis Righroller





The BFL looks to be a great tyre also. The thing I have noticed most during my short test, I ordered both tyres in 120t tpi & they have much more feel than the 27tpi, you really notice the difference.





Mounted up on 80mm flattop rims they come in about 104mm, but for me, most important is the are a good bit taller. This means I should be able to run these at a lower pressure & not have to worry about pinch punctures.

I chose this combo as I ride a variety of condition, Nate is going to rock when it comes to traction, BFL, should provide a good bit more float when run really low.

I did notice that Nate doesn't roll quite as well as larry in soft condition, which comes as no surprise TBH. Seem ok on harder trails. Have to wait to see how it gets on the beach.





And here is a short film of the swamp testing I did with bike & dog! Really greasy mud under that water, but the bike handled it fine...well almost!


Finally, I also got another set of lights to see me through the winter. These 2 plus my head torch now gives me 3000 lumen's for 6 hrs riding. Bring on winter!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Late summer Beachridin'

We seem to be having a mini heatwave at the moment, temperatures were 24 degrees today! I managed to get a great ride last night, leaving from the house & heading down the West beach, catching a fantastic sunset.
Not the longest ride I have ever done, but one of the most relaxed & chilled out




And a short video of the ride, hopefully capturing the feel of the ride

Friday, 23 September 2011

Things you gotta do....

Well, I was supposed to have been going to the first UKFat Bike meet, but a late call from work meant I had to go back to Norway over the very weekend it was taking place!
Rather than sulk, I made this wee film of the last 8 month spent in the shipyard. Sure, not bikes, but normal service will resume now that I'm home for a few weeks!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Seasons change

I have finally made it back home after an extended stay at work to find that summer has officially gone. How do I know this, well, bike lights & winter gear are used most days, goodbye summer, we will miss you!


Scotland has been lashed with wind & heavy rain all weekend from the remains of hurricane Katia as it slowly made its way East from the Atlantic. 
It hasn't been the best riding weather since I came home, but I did manage to get out for a few hours yesterday for a ride through my local trails, returning along the beach. I will be heading back to work again in a few days, so it was great to get out again - whatever the conditions


This is one of the great things about having a fatbike where I live - I can just leave from the door & have loads of trail choices that would not be possible on other bikes, such as the dunes & softer trails along the edge of the beach. Perfect for a day like yesterday, soon as the weather improved I can hit the trails, no wasted time loading the bike on the van & driving to trail centres!