After writing about Airborne’s Interbike sale not too long ago (here) a friend of mine decided that she wanted to get back into cycling. What great timing on her part! With the sale price, a bike in a box showed up at her place today for the amazing price of $250! Since I am the resident bike geek in the workplace, I picked up the box on my way home from work to put together the Sabre for her, and thought I would post the build process. I am still not so sure I would call this a build, it was that easy!
The Sabre was packed amazingly well. Every important part was covered, and most if not all of the bike was tied together in one unit. There was a small accessories box that was loose in the larger bike box, that held the manual, reflectors, and two cable ferrules. This box had a small hole that had developed in transit, but nothing seemed to be missing. That would be my only complaint in the shipping category.
Once out of the box, the seat post was installed to place the bike on the rack, and I spent the majority of the build time taking off the packing material. All of the tubes of the bike were wrapped and taped, the fork was bubble-wrapped and taped, the bars were wrapped and taped; do you see a pattern yet? It was packed very well, with nothing really forgotten about. Everything went together as smoothly as possible.
One non-issue, that potentially could be an issue(Maybe?) is that the stem is installed backwards. This enables the fork to be installed during the shipping process, as the stem in the reverse position makes the bike easier to pack. This only takes an allen wrench to loosen two bolts, but I could see some folks just turning the stem around, while attached, and ending up with a fork in the wrong position. I think it would be very obvious, but some might not. I feel it should be noted though…
After the stem was spun around, I mounted the handlebars, installed the front wheel, and inflated the tires to the proper level. While the bike was still on the stand, I tested out the shifting and braking, and everything was as it should be, so pedals were installed and it was time for a test ride.
The Sabre reminded me of my first “serious” mountain bike, only the Sabre costs around $200 less! Just around 15 minutes speeding around the neighborhood, mostly due to this bike not being my size. Anyway though, in my short time with it, I walked away impressed. The shifting was spot on. The Shimano 7 speed shifters, matched to Shimano derailleurs front and back worked like a charm. I was expecting to spend most of the evening fine tuning the shifting, and I did not even have to adjust it. Flawless! The Tektro Novela disc brakes also surprised me, being a great, easy, virtually set-up free disc brake. The fork did not impress me as much as the other items, but I am used to riding a rigid steel bike, so I would probably not be the best to judge the suspension. Top all of that off with a WTB saddle, and that is a smoking deal for your first mountain bike. Well done Airborne!
If you are on the fence about buying an Airborne due to putting it together yourself, don’t be. This ended up being maybe a 30 minute investment, with most of my time removing packaging. If you are interested in this deal, you need to move fast since it is over on the 23rd. Head over to Airborne’s site here to start your adventure!
If you have ever read this blog, you know that I like a good deal. There are quite a few companies and products that really strike my fancy, but some of the best deals that I have seen comes from Airborne Bicycles. I have written about their bikes before, like here and here, and once again they are dropping the deals.
From their website today, they unleashed what I am calling “the deal of the year” when it comes to buying a new bike, all in the name of Interbike. Four of their models are now at amazingly low prices, with included shipping. With that said, lets take a look:
Sabre 26″ hardtail, $249.99
Airborne’s entry level hardtail. 21 speed drivetrain, Tektro mechanical disc brakes. This price makes me want to buy one of these for my wife.
Skyhawk 26″ hardtail, $349.99
The Skyhawk is a step up from the Sabre, offering better components and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. The geometry is also more in line with their higher end, very successful Goblin 29er.
Wingman dirt jumper, $549.99
The Wingman has earned rave reviews from various mountain bike publications, making it one of the best bang for your buck dirt jumpers.
Delta cyclocross, $749.99
The price on this bike shocked me. I have been bike lusting for this one for some time, now it is almost impossible to pass up this offer. SRAM drivetrain, Avid mechanical disc brake cyclocross machine? Yes please. Now it’s time to convince the wife…
If any of these bikes make you as happy as I am, you need to head over to their site here soon, as this offer ends at the end of Interbike, which is the 23rd of this month.
Amazing, simply amazing.
Just keep spinning…
Photos from Airborne’s site.
Fall is an amazing time of year. Leaves start to change, the weather turns a more comfortable temperature, and most bicycle companies start unleashing the hounds of their newest models. This year has been exceptionally good, and if you are in the market for a new ride then you might be a little overwhelmed with the new options. One company that never disappoints this time of year is Salsa, which upped the fat bike ante with this guy:
The Beargrease is the new “racing” fatbike. At a very svelte 28lbs or so, this is one of the (if not the) lightest fatbikes that you can purchase. Basing this model off of their successful Mukluk, they cut all of the fancy braze-ons to save weight, and added quite the impressive parts list to achieve such a light fatty. This bike just screams to be loaded up with a frame and seat bag and head off on a long distance winter race. It also looks like it would be a ton of fun just out and about on your local loop though…
Check out their site here to read more about it.
Just keep spinning…
Photo from Salsa’s site.
For all of those not paying attention, this coming model year is going to be stellar for bicycles. Need further proof of that? Check this Cross Check:
Yes, that is a Surly Cross Check. True, not a new model. Here is the kicker; this bike is now offered as a single speed complete, set up with mountain bars! This is the Cross Check that I have always wanted to build. Well done Surly!
Be sure to check out their blog this week, they are planning on dropping new products every day.
Pic from Surly’s site, also check out what looks to be a Krampus with an even fatter front…
Airborne Bicycles, based out of Dayton Ohio, have been turning out quality bicycles for a few years now, and at a very hard to beat price point as well. Last year, their Goblin 29er hardtail won over quite a few cycling magazines with it’s quality construction, smooth ride, amazing component selection, and well under the radar price, so how do you top that? By introducing this:
From the horse’s mouth, the changes from last year:
-Tapered HT with increased rear wheel mud clearance, increased standover clearance on the 16″ frame-size.
-Tapered Reba RL fork with increased 100mm travel
-Larger 180mm rotor up front for increased stopping power and fade resistance
-New 38/24 gearing on the all new SRAM X7 crankset that offers a better gear range for climbing paired to an 11-36 cassette.
-Geax AKA 2.2 tires that roll fast on hardpack and offer outstanding grip on loose and rocky terrain
-New Selle San Marco Ponza Power Saddle
All of those added features, a sweet new paint job, all for only $50 more than last year’s model. Amazing!
Just in case you are still drooling over last year’s version, hurry over to their website here and pick it up at a discounted rate, only until they are all gone. I would suggest that you move fast.
I am loving these product releases this year, for Airborne it is only getting better. One of these days I am going to get my hands on an Airborne! Well done!
Just keep spinning…
San Diego, also known as the whale’s vagina. Also home to around 50 or so craft breweries. During my recent two weeks out west, I tried to find some of the beers that I used to really enjoy and cannot find here in Ohio. I also tried to discover some new beers to lust after once my trip was over. That was accomplished thanks to some friends who live in the quiet little mountain town of Alpine, which is just around 30 miles east of the city. Little did I know that Alpine was the home to one of the finest little breweries that is known to man. You might think that is an exaggeration, but you would be wrong. Enter the Alpine Beer Company:
Located off of I-8, on the main strip of Alpine, you will find this little gem of San Diego county. The brewery is split into two sections, which oddly there is a book store in between the two sides. The book store did look interesting, but every time that I was by the brewery they were closed, which was a good thing since I like book stores. Anyway, the first area that my friend and I walked into was the brewery sales area, which had a variety of Alpine Beer company goods, and also sells their beer directly via growlers and 22oz bottles, no sixers here.
After spending some time chatting with their friendly staff, with me basically pestering them to ship beer to Ohio, (Which was responded with, “Yeaah, that’s not going to happen”) my friend and I walked to the other side of the beer company, their brewpub.
This is where the magic happens, when it comes to beer. Everything that I had from them was delightful. Sometimes I overuse that word, but drinking their beer was downright enjoyable. First up was a bourbon barrel aged Russian imperial stout by the name of Odin’s Raven.
Odin’s Raven was an amazing beer. What I remember: The bourbon alcohol flavor hits you at the first sip, but then you are overtaken by malty chocolate tones, but not too sweet, and finishes off like a stout should. It also clocked in at around 11% ABV, which makes it a very heavy hitter. Definitely a must have from a company that is more known for their hop varieties.
Next on my plate was their Chez Monieux, which was a Belgian style Kriek. I have not had too many of this style to give a great run down, but it was a sour, tart cherry carbonated blast that had a dry wine like finish, which makes sense, since it was aged in wine barrels. Good, but not normally my thing. I was glad that I had it though.
I finished off my tasting with their Alpine Ale, and also some of their Nelson IPA, both of which were again, delightful. Add these beers to the two that I have reviewed earlier in the week, and that equals one of my new favorite breweries. Be sure to check out their website here to learn more about this fantastic company, do not miss them if you are in the San Diego region. Big thanks to my friend Jimmy for taking me to the place (And letting me stay at your house!), and my friend Thom for the recommendation!
Well done Alpine!
Fresh from the rumor mill and out into reality, Airborne Bicycles has unleashed one of their newest models with this sneak peak:
The HobGoblin is their first foray into the world of dual suspension 29ers, and what a way to lose their 29er dually virginity! Aluminum frame, tapered headtube, pressfit GXP bottom bracket, SRAM X7 components in 2×10 mode, and Rockshox lending the cush, all for around $1700. There will also be an option for another, more expensive model which will include a 15mm Maxle and SRAM XO components. If you want to start from scratch, the frame will be available for purchase as well. Damn.
Maybe its because they are based out of Ohio and I like to show state loyalty, or maybe it’s because they pump out great products at more than reasonable prices, but I think Airborne is doing something right. Supposedly there are a few more models to come out this year, I feel that it is going to be hard to top the HobGoblin.
Just keep spinning…
Photo from Airborne’s site.
Have you heard of Foundry Cycles? I hadn’t either until this morning. Part of the QBP family of bike brands, they are relatively new to the game sporting only three bike models, all of carbon fiber; which cover dirt, road, and cross disciplines. All three models are very nice on the eyes, with pretty impressive part specs to boot. I would venture to say that these are some folks’ “dream bikes.” What caught my eye about this company though, apart from their gorgeous bikes, is they are offering up free bicycles to a lucky group of folks who apply. Consider this my application.
Auger cross bike.
So why should I get a free bike? Apart from the obvious (I ride bikes, like bikes, write about bikes, take pictures of bikes, etc.) I am not a fan of carbon fiber. Wait, what was that? Yes, I am not a fan of carbon. I feel that carbon is overpriced, and overrated. I feel that it has too high of a risk of failure. I feel that I would break one very easily. Not that I am a Clydesdale by any means, but I ride hard, and I ride a lot. I just do not trust the material. I guess that even though I am only thirty, I would classify as a retrogrouch. Steel is real baby.
Router dirt bike.
So win me over. Prove me wrong that carbon is not a weak, delicate, overrated material, and I will sing it from the rooftops that these bikes are legit. How do you prove me wrong? Send me a bike and lets dance. Ball is in your court Foundry.
Ratchet road bike.
Check out their site here for more pictures and more information about applying for the job. Better hurry though, deadline is tomorrow at midnight.
All pictures from Foundry.
Just keep spinning…
One of my favorite things about the cycling industry, among many, is that every year new products start showing up. Every company has a new product that is bigger, better, lighter, faster, etc. You get the idea. Airborne Bicycles is no exception, and from the looks of it 2012 is going to be a big year for them. Enter the Guardian:
Building off of the very successful Goblin 29er, Airborne has launched a more wallet friendly 29er to, as they say, “Get more butts in saddles.” I like that, more people on bikes is a good thing. Anyway, sharing quite a few components from the more expensive Goblin, the Guardian is a well spec’d entry level 29er, or just the rider on a budget. If you were on the fence about the Goblin due to the price, there is no reason for you to sit any longer. So what is the price? Head over the Airborne’s site and check it out!
Well done Airborne, can’t wait to see the rest of the line up.
Just keep spinning…
Photo from Airborne’s website.
So now that I have finally secured the funds to start my new bike build, I am unfortunately at another crossroads. This time, I am still leaning towards the Troll, but also leaning towards a full fledged fat bike. I seem to go back and forth with this, over and over, and waiting is not helping me one bit. So, for this installment, here is the next round of my bike comparisons.
As for why I am leaning towards a fat bike, it all started with this:
Gary Fisher Rig SS
This was my first taste of the big wheels. Only ridden around 100 miles, in a haste I dismantled it and sold it off, only to buy another single speed to then sell off, etc. I regretted it after the fact, but hind sight is 20/20 right? Anyway, after riding this bike, I really wanted to try out a full on fat bike. So recently, in my planning stages for the new bike, I found a used Surly Puglsey on the local Craigslist that got my mind rolling on the big wheels again. Unfortunately I was not as quick as I should have been with it, and it sold. So that leads up to the comparison.
We will start with this:
This is the current model that I am leaning towards. I will not go into details, since I have talked about this frame numerous times, like here and here. The frame is very versatile, and I feel like it would be a great fit for my riding style, and also the type of riding that I have been doing. Also, it would give me a bike that is ready for the woods, which is what the Xtracycle was lacking, thus it’s departure. Two things make me not want to go this route though:
First, there is newer model coming out later this year. From what I have read on a cycling forum, it will be in the fall. The newer model adds bottle/cage mounts on the fork, and another bottle mount on the underside of the downtube. I would like those options, but I am not sure that I can wait until then. Patience is a virtue that I do not possess. This is not a deal breaker for me though.
Second, the Troll fits big tires. I plan on using the 26×2.6 Maxxis Ardents on the frame, should I get it. But this could be the opening of Pandora’s Box for tires. It could only lead to wanting a little more rubber (enter “That’s what she said” joke here) and the Troll would be maxed out. Not a true fat bike. The Troll would always be lacking in the tire department.
For the fat bike route, I will not go into too much detail again, since I will only be repeating myself. Click here to see my comparison of the Pugsley and the Mukluk, which would probably be the route that I would take. In a perfect world, I would buy both. Hmmm, if only…
The next few days will be tough on the cycling decisions, thankfully that is the worst thing in my life that I have to worry about. For that, I am thankful.
Just keep spinning…
Surly Troll picture from their site, click the link to the right to have your mind blown on their products.
QBP, purveyor of cycling goods, has brought the masses many great fat bike related items. The Surly Pugsley, the fat tires, 45NRTH, the Salsa Mukluk, the Moonlander, and now this: Check it.
To give you the rundown, a new Salsa dual suspension fat bike. Granted it is still a prototype, but this is a big step for the fat biking world. I would imagine if this goes to production, a bunch of hardtail fat bikes will be popping up on eBay and Craigslist. Very nice Salsa!
Photo from Salsa’s site.
Continuing the theme for night rides tonight. Temperature in the low 30s, but luckily no rain. Tonight also brought out the HaroX instead of the T500. I feel very fortunate to be able to switch from bike to bike when ever the feeling hits. Today’s ride was filled with lots of thinking about what new bike or frame to buy, but then all the thoughts came to a head with, “Be happy with what you have, that you have options.” With that said, here is some bike lust for you:
Jones steel diamond frame and unicrown fork
Thanks to the current issue of Dirt Rag, this is my new bicycle obsession. Jones bicycles, you might have heard of Jeff Jones before? Let’s be honest, you probably have not. He is a custom frame builder, building rigid specific frames and forks, that are meant to be ridden hard. His most noticable work would probably be this:
Jones titanium Spaceframe with truss fork
Back to Dirt Rag. In their latest issue, they have a review of the diamond frame, and from the write up, I would love to have one. I will be honest, most of Jones’s products are out of my price range, but the steel diamond frame could be built for a decent price. I won’t go into too many specifics, but check out Jones’s website for more information. If anything, there are some amazing photos and lots to read. And be sure to check out Dirt Rag’s website, lots of good stuff going on over there in Pittsburgh.
Anyway, tomorrow brings another day of riding. It has been one week straight, 3 more to go. I am sure it will be another day of thinking while on the ride, and being thankful that I have options. And also thankful that I can spin on two wheels…
If you are on Twitter, I am posting links to the Map My Ride stats @codsow. Check it!
Photos from Jones Bikes.
Yesterday I picked up the latest edition of Bicycle Times and one ad in particular caught my eye. Inside the front cover was a picture of this:
Beautiful disc brake only, single speed, steel frame cyclocross bicycle from Raleigh Bicycles. This bike is amazing. The bike has a decent set of components, some of the highlights:
-Shimano Alfine crank set.
-Eccentric bottom bracket for easy chain tension.
-Double wall rims.
-Kenda ‘cross tires.
I love a single speed bike, but it is almost like this bike was built for an Alfine internal gear hub in mind. That would be an amazing upgrade to an already fantastic bike. ‘Cross bikes are used now a days for more than just cyclocross. I would venture to guess that most end up in the streets for commuting duties, due to more comfortable geometry compared to a road bike. This bike with an Alfine IGH would be a perfect commuter.
Looks like this bike is in the $800 range, not too bad. Nicely done Raleigh!
Photo from Raleigh’s website.
As of late, I have been selling off my childhood one piece at a time via eBay to fund my next bicycle purchase. Who would have thought that a bunch of toys and games from the 1980s would enable you to buy a bicycle? Fascinating. As in the poll to my right, here are the current contenders for my hard earned money:
I really like the Troll, as you can check here and here. It is crazy versatile. Load it up with racks, fat tires, and hit the trail for an off road jaunt to the next county over. Or, put on some road shoes in the form of 26″x2.5″ slicks and eat roadies for breakfast. It is nice, and it is orange, which is important this time of year in Ohio.
Complete price around $1300.
26″ wheels. For me this is a pro due to the fact that I could use the same tube size that I already use for my HaroX.
Rack and fender mounts.
Clearance for large tires.
Solid component spec with durable, quality parts.
Rigid. A rigid 26er does not sound like much fun in the woods, my old rigid 29er was pretty rough.
Salsa Fargo 2
Drop bar 29er with rack and fender mounts, built for heavy off road touring. Sweet bicycle, very similar to the Troll in my opinion, difference being 29″ wheels as opposed to 26″ and drop bars and road style shifters. I would call this an adventure bike.
Complete around $1600
Rack and fender mounts.
Enabler fork with anything cage braze-ons.
29″ wheels. I do like bigger wheels for dirt duty.
Might be overbuilt for what I am looking for. Especially if any time is spent on the road. Also might be overkill since I now have the T500.
Rigid. Can you tell I am not digging a rigid bicycle for off road duties? I must be getting old.
Price. One of the more expensive on the list.
Airborne Zeppelin Elite
This bike is pretty amazing in my opinion. Good, quality components. 5″ of suspension travel. Nice, comfy trail bike, all in a budget price. I have wanted a dually for a while, I am sure it would be a different ride than the rigid 29ers that I have grown used to. Easier on the back for sure!
Complete, mail order for $699.
Price! Seriously, 5″ travel dual suspension for $700? That is amazing. Definitely in the budget, with room for upgrades immediately.
Good components spec, SRAM X7 and X9 drive train.
Company based out of Dayton. I think it is cool that a company is based out of this part of Ohio, I guess state loyalty runs deep!
Suspension. I am not sold on the fork and shock for this bike. No pedal platform on the shock that I am aware of, so there has to be some sort of pedal induced bob.
Mountain bike only.
The Surly Pugsley. What an amazing bike. I love the idea of fat tires. Just the idea of riding in the snow or on the beach, or basically any place that in inaccessible to most bicycles is tempting by itself.
Complete around $1600.
Big, fat, wide tires. Ride over most things. Extend the normal cycling season.
Price. Along with the Fargo, one of the higher prices on the list.
Heavy. Big fat tires come with big heavy wheels.
Mountain bike only, unless you buy the new Black Floyd slick tire, which would make your fatbike a fat road bike.
Step back in time with this bike. Rivendell makes some amazing bikes, but unfortunately they are a little out of my price range. Someday though, maybe for my 40th birthday, I will own one. That gives me ten years to save…
Frame only around $1500.
Beautiful, mobile, work of art.
Not something that you see everyday. Or ever.
Frame only. Unfortunately, I do not have the parts to do this frame justice, thus putting it out of my desired price range.
Road, gravel road bike only. No heavy mountain bike duties.
So there is the complete bicycle shootout. These are five very different, very nice bicycles. For me, the Troll and the Fargo are very similar. So similar in fact that I would go with the lower price of the Troll. The remaining three are very different bikes that each have a different personality. The go anywhere slowly but surely Pugs. The classy, gravel grinder in the Hunqapillar. And the wallet friendly, make you smile trail bike with the Airborne. Out of those three, as much as I lust for a fatbike, the Airborne has an edge. It is hard to compete with that price. That would leave some money left over to do some upgrades on the Zeppelin, and also the T500 and HaroX. So for the time being, the Airborne has the definite advantage.
I would like to hear your opinion about these bikes, or any others that you might think might compare to these. Also while you are here, do your duty to your country (or just this blog) and vote on which bike you would go with in the “Help me choose my next bike” poll.
Not too long ago, I stumbled upon Airborne Bicycles. They are a relatively new bicycle company based out of nearby Dayton Ohio, that is pumping out quality bicycles at very reasonable prices. How they do it, I am not sure, but for certain I am seriously considering adding one to my current stable. Here are a few that strike my fancy:
This bicycle makes me happy. Big wheels from WTB. Front suspension in the form of a Rockshox Reba. Components from SRAM in the 2×10 variety. Elixir hydraulic disc brakes. All together for just $1149.95! That is pretty amazing. I love 29ers, having owned a couple different versions, and their MSRP was definitely higher. Great price on a great bike, which many different magazines are giving great reviews!
This is another bike that really intrigues me. I have been intrigued by a dual suspension for quite some time, but their prices have always been too steep for me. Plus, after my last MTB being a rigid steel single speed, that really made me start thinking about a dually. Anyway, parts: Rockshox front and rear suspension, SRAM X7 and X9 drive train and Tektro hydraulic discs. Nice parts, all for $699.95! This is the best deal of the bunch in my opinion. Try to find an equally spec’d dual suspension mountain bike for a similar price. I don’t think it can be done. Bravo Airborne!
Another great bike of a different variety. A well equipped disc only cyclocross bike. Their site says limited quantity, and after seeing this one I can see why. Great looking bike, makes me want to start ‘cross racing. Great package at $999.95!
One thing that might be a deal breaker for some with this company is that they are mostly mail order. Myself, I do not find this to be an issue. I still support my local bike shop by buying the majority of my parts and having things fixed there as well. This type of bicycle sales is great for the consumer, giving us lots of options, which in this case are very affordable. These low prices with a little bit of maintenance knowledge will make for a very enjoyable ride.
These three are just half of the Airborne line up, just the ones that I really, really enjoy. Hopefully this brand sticks around for a while, and from the looks of the reviews, I would imagine so. It is nice to see a somewhat local company do well in the cycling business. Rock on Airborne…
All pictures from Airborne’s website.
While surfing the web for bicycle parts tonight, I stumbled onto this:
All in one, handlebar and front basket combo, all made out of one piece. It appears to be a comfortable riding position, and also two mounting points for the stem, to dial in the perfect handlebar height. That is pretty clever. I am sure it is pretty heavy as well. Could not find a weight or price on the bars, but I am sure they will be out in the near future. Props to Origin 8 for making something cargo related! Be sure to check out their site at the above link!
Photo from Origin 8′s site.
So again, changing my mind on my next bike purchase, back to the board with a nice fat bike comparison. I have wanted a full fatty since converting the Gary Fisher Rig to a fat front last year. The half fat really piqued my interest in a full fat setup, so as of now, the next bike will be a full fat bike. There is just something about those large tires! And now that Surly has released the Black Floyd slick 3.8″ there is now a suitable road tire option to mix it up a bit from the knobbies. So, that said, lets compare:
The fat bike that started it all. Okay, maybe not. I am sure there were some folks up in Alaska doing this way before Surly. But Surly brought the idea down to the rest of us folks that are not in the Great White North. Anyway, here are the pros, in my opinion:
-Steel frame and fork
-135mm front and rear hubs, giving you a bail out SS hub in the front in case you wreck your rear derailleur out in the wilderness. Being able to easily switch wheels, shorten the chain, and ride home is a BIG plus in my book.
-Good parts spec for the price point, around $1600 complete.
-Rack mounts front and back.
-Easy single speed option, with track style horizontal dropouts.
-The only cons for this bike are the rim width and the steel frame. Yes, I have the steel from on both the pros and the cons list. I do like steel. But steel can corrode a little easier than aluminum, so therefore it is also a con.
-The Large Marge rim is 65mm, which now is one of the smaller rim sizes for fat bikes. This does not turn me away from the Pugsley, but it should be noted. Upgrades are inevitable, this would probably be my first step if I go this route. Or, I could just spend the extra money on the Pugsley option, The Black Ops Pugsley:
The Black Ops version comes with a little different specs, including the wider Rolling Darryls, which are 82mm. It also comes with a bigger price tag…
The Salsa Mukluk 2
The Mukluk 2 is the mid level of the Mukluk family, between the Titanium version and the Mukluk 3. Here are the pros:
-Nice looking bike. I love the matte black finish with red decals.
-Rolling Darryl rims, on dishless wheels. The rear hub is 170mm, and the front is 135mm. Big, wide wheels.
-Good parts spec, very similar to the Pugsley.
-Salsa Enabler fork. I love this fork. I think it is the perfect rigid fork for a bike like this. And with Salsa’s Anything Cage that mounts directly to the fork, this bike is ready for adventure!
-No SS escape plan, no swapping of the wheels if you trash your derailleur with different size hubs. I guess you could always just shorten the chain, but no horizontal dropouts.
-Grip shifters. I hate grip shifters. Sure, easy to switch, but just not my preference.
-Price. The Mukluk 2 is priced higher than the Pugsley at just around $2000. Ouch. Also, just read on an online forum that the Mukluk 2 has already sold out. So that leaves the very pricey Ti Mukluk, or the lower spec’d Mukluk 3. Too bad. If I had the cash though, I would buy a Ti Mukluk in a heartbeat! Gorgeous bike.
So that is where I am on the next bike decision. Now I know that there are other companies that make fat bikes, but I am limiting myself to these two companies just on buying complete. I really do not feel like building a fat bike from the ground up. Call me lazy. That’s fine. But speaking of other companies, here is a quick list:
And the fat bike specific Fatbikes.com
All pictures of the Puglsey, BO Pugs, and Mukluk are from Surly and Salsa’s sites respectfully.
Finally review time for this piece of equipment. I have been using the iBert Safe-T-Seat for around a year and a half, and sadly, I feel our time has come to an end. Here is what I think about it:
The iBert Safe-T-Seat takes a different approach to hauling kids on bikes. Instead of mounting the seat over the rear wheel, it mounts directly to the stem, in between the arms of the rider. This might make some uncomfortable, but here is why I like it:
The iBert gives your child an unobstructed view of the bicycle ride. Now, you no longer have to make your child stare at your back, or backside, while taking them for a ride. While on our rides, we actively talk about what we are seeing, squirrels, birds, other people, etc. It brings me great joy to roll alongside a team kit roadie type, and have my daughter wave and say hello. It breaks even the most die hard, serious cyclist out of their “zone.”
Another perk of the iBert is if your child falls asleep, you can see where they are leaning, and normally, they will be leaning onto one of your arms. That is a huge peace of mind to me. Think about your child on a rear mounted seat, leaning to the side, and who knows where those little sleepy fingers might end up. No, not your backside, I am talking about spokes here. That would be a tragic incident, even for my full grown adult digits. That in its self is worth the price of admission.
The only downsides to the iBert in my opinion would be minor. One, the little plastic clips that hold the padding to the plastic seat pop out easily, and become lost pretty quickly. I think we only have one of the three left. Not a huge deal, but I feel it should be mentioned. Another downside, which is one of the perks as well, is the front mounted position. This puts your child in a very bad situation if you would happen to wreck your bicycle. But with most things cycling related, just use some common sense and everything will turn out just fine. 3 foot gaps are landed easily, 6 footers are more of a challenge with the iBert. Kidding! I would not even dream of jumping with this seat.
This seat works best on paved surfaces, but on occasion I have ventured onto light, smooth single track, which is a blast. Slow and steady wins the race, stay away from super technical riding/racing, and the iBert will do what it is supposed to do, hold your child safely.
My daughter in Bicycle Times, actually her second appearance!
Again, my daughter and I have used the iBert for around a year and a half, and sadly our time has come to an end. She will soon be switching to a seat on the back of the Xtracycle, hopefully a PeaPod. She is almost too large for the seat, weight wise she is still okay, but unfortunately she is too tall for it. Luckily my On One Mary bars have a nice bend to allow her long legs to be comfortable for the time being.
Our experience with the iBert has been amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to give their child a first person introductory view to cycling. Just don’t try to jump anything…
Yeah, that sums it up. Check the Surly blog. It has good stuff. Now this has me pondering some bicycle options. I am planning on getting a new bike. At first I thought a fat bike would do. Then maybe a Cross Check. Now, I have no idea what to do. The logical answer in a perfect world would be to buy one of each. Back to reality. Do I go the fat bike route, and have two wheelsets since Surly has a slick fat tire? Or do I go with the Cross Check since a more road oriented bike would probably be the best option for me? Or what about the new Ogre, 29er do all bike? Or the complete Troll, 26er do it all bike? Holy crap, this is going to take some time to soak all in… Thanks Surly!
Check this new frame out: Surly Troll. I always seem to change my mind about what I would like to build, but this frame seems like a good idea. I am starting to think that this would be the ultimate commuter/tourer/mountain bike. It would also fit into my plan to keep my bike stable down to just a few bikes.
I am thinking about buying this frame, running either Maxxis Hookworm 26×2.5s or Schwalbe Big Apple 26×2.35s, and also having it be a pseudo fat bike in the winter since the tire clearance is up to a 26×2.7! It might be interesting to even have a legit fat front, and a 26×2.7 in the rear. As you can tell, this frame has a lot of options.
I am also still thinking about the xtracycle conversion. The Troll would replace that. My only problem is what/how to keep my daughter involved in cycling. The xtracycle conversion would make that pretty easy. I guess trailers are always an option, but I am not sold on them just yet. I would also still like a Big Dummy, but I do not see that happening in the near future. Maybe Surly will read this, and hook me up with a few bikes? Maybe even an old Conundrum mountain unicycle…