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  1. #1
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    Converting the Pugsleys (Pugslies?) for Bikepacking

    The girlfriend and I both have Surly Pugsleys. Hers is a 14" and mine is a 20". I ride mine in the winter with a mendon-clamp-adapted lefty, she rides hers in the winter with a stock pugs fork.

    Going with the mantra of "ride what you've got," I have chosen to adapt these for bikepacking. My plan is to install a Maverick SC32 on hers that I picked up and continue to run mine with the lefty. I am building rabbit hole wheels for both bikes to hopefully adapt these into effective touring machines. My thought is that I won't step in to the 29+ category of tires just yet, but I will instead stick with some higher volume, lower tread 29er tires like WTB Wierwolf LT or something similar. My main reason for choosing the rabbit hole rims was to build strong wheels that worked in the offset triangle (if anyone is interested in a set, PM me). I had considered using Velocity Synergy O/C rims, but I decided I might was well give us the option to run 29+ if we so choose.

    My understanding is that with the forks we are running, we will have slacker HTA's, slightly longer wheelbases, and a little bit less BB drop than the stock Pugsley. When I compare this to the Krampus and the ECR, the slacker HTA and longer wheelbase seem like good things, but the lesser BB drop seems bad (especially when I look at something like the Salsa fargo). Tell me what I should expect in terms of ride quality. Let's ignore things like Q-factor for now and focus on the two dimensional geometry of the bike. Are we going to be so lacking in stability that the ride is totally exhausting, or would you expect it to work out alright?

    For what it's worth, we will be running frame bags, seat bags, and bar bags and keeping the weight off of our backs. My hope is that this keeps the center of gravity low and manageable.

    My reasoning for running suspended front ended is to lessen fatigue over the long-haul. Any input is welcome.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a good plan. I like a rigid set up myself but think you have thought it out just fine. only way to find out is go bike packing! let us know how they turn out? thanks

  3. #3
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    There's a lot about rigid I like too. In fact, I exclusively rode rigid ss for about a year. I just find it limiting with my skill level and thought a little squish would reduce fatigue. Aside from the general simplicity and lack of something to break, is there a reason rigid would be preferable for bike packing? I mean any reasons beyond those one would argue for rigid in any other riding situations?

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  4. #4
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    Converting the Pugsleys (Pugslies?) for Bikepacking

    Along the same "ride what you've got" lines, I just had a custom wheelset built for long haul bikepacking on my Mukluk. I used the Stan's Flow EX hoops with the idea of being able to run both high volume and low volume tires. Currently I'm experimenting with a WTB Nano and Maxxis Crossmark for pavement/gravel road touring. I'd like to try a Surly Knard 29+ at some point, maybe in the fall.

  5. #5
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    Looks nice, but I don't imagine it changes the geometry much. Am I right?

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by syntheticreality View Post
    Looks nice, but I don't imagine it changes the geometry much. Am I right?

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    I'm not really sure about the geometry numbers, but the ride is nice. It's much snappier on the trails due to the obvious weight reduction. And it's great on gravel roads with 45psi in the tires.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by syntheticreality View Post
    Going with the mantra of "ride what you've got," I have chosen to adapt these for bikepacking. My plan is to install a Maverick SC32 on hers that I picked up and continue to run mine with the lefty. I am building rabbit hole wheels for both bikes to hopefully adapt these into effective touring machines. My thought is that I won't step in to the 29+ category of tires just yet, but I will instead stick with some higher volume, lower tread 29er tires like WTB Wierwolf LT or something similar. My main reason for choosing the rabbit hole rims was to build strong wheels that worked in the offset triangle (if anyone is interested in a set, PM me). I had considered using Velocity Synergy O/C rims, but I decided I might was well give us the option to run 29+ if we so choose.


    I've got a Pugsley and a Krampus. I've toured on both and the Krampus is now my go-to touring rig.

    I really dig the big 29+ wheels/tires for covering rough ground fast and getting through techy spots fairly easily.

    Whether you love Knards depends on where you are riding, but they work great for me.



    My GF has Pugs that we may well convert to a 29+ bikepacking rig. We don't have any soft conditions riding where we live now so the fat tires are going to waste and she doesn't have power to spare.

    Your plan sounds solid.

    Front suspension is very terrain dependant. I have a fork for my Krampus that I have not installed. I keep thinking about it, but I rarely think about suspension while riding the Krampus so I don't need it.

    I don't think there is a wrong answer - with the exception/caveat that I wouldn't go touring in a remote place with a fork I wasn't feeling 100% sure of in terms of reliability.

    I hope you guys have a lot of fun on the converted Pugsleys. They are great bikes!

    Post some photos when you have them rolling as 29ers.

    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  8. #8
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    I'll just chime in about the WTB Nano's, surprisingly versatile tire that isn't bad offroad, and it very good on dirt and gravel roads. So if your lady wants some lighter tires and you put some squish on the bike they would be what I would choose for bikepacking/touring.
    tSETFREEBYLOVEt

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post

    SS Nice! Is it fixed? Two separate gearings? Man this makes me think......
    tSETFREEBYLOVEt

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trower View Post
    SS Nice! Is it fixed? Two separate gearings? Man this makes me think......
    None of the above. vikb runs IGHs on most of his bikes. That looks like a Shimano Alfine, either 8 or 11 speed. Also looks like he is running a rear wheel in the front with one cog, just in case the gear hub dies.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    None of the above. vikb runs IGHs on most of his bikes. That looks like a Shimano Alfine, either 8 or 11 speed. Also looks like he is running a rear wheel in the front with one cog, just in case the gear hub dies.
    +1 - Alfine 8's in both green and purple Pugs w/ 23T cogs....then 23T fixed cogs up front for the unlikely event of a IGH meltdown far from help.

    For everything, but my FS trail bikes I like IGHs.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  12. #12
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    Re: Converting the Pugsleys (Pugslies?) for Bikepacking



    How's this for half fat?

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  13. #13
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    Re: Converting the Pugsleys (Pugslies?) for Bikepacking



    Progress so far on her front end.

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  14. #14
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    Re: Converting the Pugsleys (Pugslies?) for Bikepacking

    Almost done with hers, just need to cut the steer tube.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by syntheticreality View Post
    Almost done with hers, just need to cut the steer tube.

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    Nice work....

    Is there much clearance between the tire and frame at full fork compression?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  16. #16
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    There is a ton of room on the sides. I couldn't bottom it when I tried. I've installed the 29er internal bumpers. Mind you these are 2.55 tires, but I suspect it might barely clear. One could always make bigger internal bumpers to limit the travel a tiny bit more.

    Edit: I just noticed you were asking about the frame clearance. I'll take a look and get back to you.

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  17. #17
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    Re: Converting the Pugsleys (Pugslies?) for Bikepacking

    Oh, and here's mine. I'll get a better pic soon.



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