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  1. #1
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    50 miles of Pugsley riding and what I've learned so far...

    I've now got 50 miles on my pugsley, about 8 hours of riding.

    This, of course, makes me an expert.

    OK, not so much but what I've learned so far is that fatbikes don't have an enormous local knowledge base to draw on- so my 8 hours of saddle time is all the experience I have to go on. Not too many people to compare notes with- the experts are way past this stuff and there's not a lot to compare to.

    So what have I learned?

    1: experience is greater than equipment. I'd go as far as to say equipment doesn't matter at all at this level. (this level being the "I've ridden 6 whole times, only two of them in actual snow" level)

    2: momentum is greater than equipment. Doesn't matter if you're rocking BFLs on 100mm rims, if you lose forward momentum in fresh snow, yer farked.

    3: Physical condition is greater than equipment. If you aren't in the kind of shape to slog through semi-packed snow for an hour, a light bike, a super fat wheel won't make a difference.

    4: Tire pressure is more important than tire size. A BFL pumped up to 20 psi will flat out suck compared to a endomorph at 8 psi.

    5: SPDs are fine as long as you like SPDs.

    Basically, at the beginner level, equipment is the least of your worries, or at least, It's the least of mine. Spending time learning about tire pressure, getting in decent shape, knowing how to keep your bike moving forward (know when to hold on, know when to run) all seem to be more important than light weight, super fat wheels or anything else.

  2. #2
    Geordie biker
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    Just getting out and riding as many miles on a bike to learn it is key.

    Only had my pugsley for 3 months but already done more miles than many other bikes.

    Learned a huge amount, and also smiled loads

    Pressures are key, nothing fancy, I do the squeeze test rather than use a guage, test and test again, then when out on a long ride or in group you will be better suited.
    2014 cannondale badboy 9
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    2014 milage so far - 2,095
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  3. #3
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    Good summary.

    The paradox about fatbikes is that the sort of places they encourage to go to mean you get in a nice walk most times as well as the ride.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    I've now got 50 miles on my pugsley, about 8 hours of riding.

    This, of course, makes me an expert.

    OK, not so much but what I've learned so far is that fatbikes don't have an enormous local knowledge base to draw on- so my 8 hours of saddle time is all the experience I have to go on. Not too many people to compare notes with- the experts are way past this stuff and there's not a lot to compare to.

    So what have I learned?

    1: experience is greater than equipment. I'd go as far as to say equipment doesn't matter at all at this level. (this level being the "I've ridden 6 whole times, only two of them in actual snow" level)

    2: momentum is greater than equipment. Doesn't matter if you're rocking BFLs on 100mm rims, if you lose forward momentum in fresh snow, yer farked.

    3: Physical condition is greater than equipment. If you aren't in the kind of shape to slog through semi-packed snow for an hour, a light bike, a super fat wheel won't make a difference.

    4: Tire pressure is more important than tire size. A BFL pumped up to 20 psi will flat out suck compared to a endomorph at 8 psi.

    5: SPDs are fine as long as you like SPDs.

    Basically, at the beginner level, equipment is the least of your worries, or at least, It's the least of mine. Spending time learning about tire pressure, getting in decent shape, knowing how to keep your bike moving forward (know when to hold on, know when to run) all seem to be more important than light weight, super fat wheels or anything else.
    +1. Good observations. I've probably logged 500+ miles on my Muk3 now, and maybe 100-130 miles of that being in snow conditions of one kind or another. Invariably, EVERY TIME I go out in snow, something different and new presents itself that I have to learn and adapt to. If I didn't like riding a bike so damn much, it would almost be confounding. Tire pressure, snow grip, snow depth, weight distribution fore/aft on my bike, climbing ability, speed, effort to keep moving, front-end handling, rear-wheel hook-up ... and probably 10 other things. I'm lucky to have access to a huge XC ski trail network with little/no negativity from skiers, along with hundreds of miles of singletrack, snowmobile trails and logging/dirt roads in every condition imaginable. At this point, if someone just handed me a free titanium snow bike that was 10+ pounds lighter than mine, I'd take it, but honestly, I don't really need it now. I have my hands full just learning what's already in front of me, keeping the motor running hard, and also paying attention to keeping it all fun.

  5. #5
    Nemophilist
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Basically, at the beginner level, equipment is the least of your worries...
    Always has been;

    Always will be, regardless of the venue.

    Ride on.
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailMaker View Post
    Always has been;

    Always will be, regardless of the venue.

    Ride on.
    Agreed.

    Part of why I wrote this was that there's so much utter BS surrounding these bikes.

    If I'd have listened to the salesman at the shop I bought my Pugs, I'd have been extremely disappointed first time there was heavy snow, and I would have done what most people with expensive toys do in that situation, I would have bought bigger rims, fatter tires, lightened my bike and then I would have been even more frustrated next time it snowed and lo and behold, I'm not floating over the snow like a butterfly...

  7. #7
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    Great post! This should be a sticky.

    It has been about the entire winter so far in Alaska for me to learn the in's and out's of snow riding. I agree 100% on your initial impressions.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    I've now got 50 miles on my pugsley, about 8 hours of riding.

    This, of course, makes me an expert.

    OK, not so much but what I've learned so far is that fatbikes don't have an enormous local knowledge base to draw on- so my 8 hours of saddle time is all the experience I have to go on. Not too many people to compare notes with- the experts are way past this stuff and there's not a lot to compare to.

    So what have I learned?

    1: experience is greater than equipment. I'd go as far as to say equipment doesn't matter at all at this level. (this level being the "I've ridden 6 whole times, only two of them in actual snow" level)

    2: momentum is greater than equipment. Doesn't matter if you're rocking BFLs on 100mm rims, if you lose forward momentum in fresh snow, yer farked.

    3: Physical condition is greater than equipment. If you aren't in the kind of shape to slog through semi-packed snow for an hour, a light bike, a super fat wheel won't make a difference.

    4: Tire pressure is more important than tire size. A BFL pumped up to 20 psi will flat out suck compared to a endomorph at 8 psi.

    5: SPDs are fine as long as you like SPDs.

    Basically, at the beginner level, equipment is the least of your worries, or at least, It's the least of mine. Spending time learning about tire pressure, getting in decent shape, knowing how to keep your bike moving forward (know when to hold on, know when to run) all seem to be more important than light weight, super fat wheels or anything else.
    True Dat!

  9. #9
    PUG U!!!
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    buckfiddious, damn fine post!!!
    You covered all the bases and hit that nail squarely on the head!!!

    After 3 years on my Pugs, I still don't know it all. To me, that's what's so fun about these bikes!!! Adapt and over-come!!! Lol

    The only thing I'd change after this amount of time on mine, is a new wider set of rims. 82mm Rolling D's would be just what I've been looking for!!
    Other than that?? I'm completely happy with my PEDAL BIKE!! :0

    Peace

  10. #10
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    Great post! I too have just bought a Pugsley within the past week and have about 50 miles on it. It is eating up everything!

    I am however having trouble in fresh snow and climbs on our local singletrack, I can not seem to climb anything ( I just get stuck at a stand still and spin) or really maintain control at all, Maybe I just need to go through with snow shoes and pack it down more or something, (It is slightly packed from other snowshoers). Snowmobile trails, roads, lakes seem to work fine.

    Right now I am running Large marge offset rims and endomorphs tubeless, I have tried everything from 5 psi to 20 and nothing seems to work. Do I need to invest in some Larry's or maybe huskerdu's? Like I said everything else seems to work great and is a blast, but I have tried multiple times on the single track without any luck. Any tips?

  11. #11
    PUG U!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjmsmith1 View Post
    Great post! I too have just bought a Pugsley within the past week and have about 50 miles on it. It is eating up everything!

    I am however having trouble in fresh snow and climbs on our local singletrack, I can not seem to climb anything ( I just get stuck at a stand still and spin) or really maintain control at all, Maybe I just need to go through with snow shoes and pack it down more or something, (It is slightly packed from other snowshoers). Snowmobile trails, roads, lakes seem to work fine.

    Right now I am running Large marge offset rims and endomorphs tubeless, I have tried everything from 5 psi to 20 and nothing seems to work. Do I need to invest in some Larry's or maybe huskerdu's? Like I said everything else seems to work great and is a blast, but I have tried multiple times on the single track without any luck. Any tips?
    Welcome to the FAT club!! Ha Ha

    This past week I packed some trail by riding over and over.*
    We only had 6-8"of snow, pretty easy to bike through.
    Today we got another 4 plus" of the white stuff.
    It's work to repack the trail!!
    Snowshoes are the bomb!!*
    "Stomp stomp stomp"*
    Then let everything set up;*usually a good night in the lower teens does the trick.
    I'm at a real disadvantage because it's just me, but when it sets up it's really fun to bomb up and down!!!
    What I have packed veries in width...... From a couple tire widths to a good*24".*
    To each their own.
    I like to mix it up with the width just because.

    I'm running Larry/Endo combo right now, at 6 and 8 psi.*
    I find a nice slow steady*pedal works good for climbing what little ups I have.
    Also if I get caught day
    dreaming, I almost always take a plunge in the cabbage, IE getting off the pack.
    Sometimes I end up laying on my side or do a face plant!! Lol
    All in all what could be more fun??!!

    Pedal On!!!

    Peace

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjmsmith1 View Post
    Great post! I too have just bought a Pugsley within the past week and have about 50 miles on it. It is eating up everything!

    I am however having trouble in fresh snow and climbs on our local singletrack, I can not seem to climb anything ( I just get stuck at a stand still and spin) or really maintain control at all, Maybe I just need to go through with snow shoes and pack it down more or something, (It is slightly packed from other snowshoers). Snowmobile trails, roads, lakes seem to work fine.

    Right now I am running Large marge offset rims and endomorphs tubeless, I have tried everything from 5 psi to 20 and nothing seems to work. Do I need to invest in some Larry's or maybe huskerdu's? Like I said everything else seems to work great and is a blast, but I have tried multiple times on the single track without any luck. Any tips?
    FWIW, in snow conditions, sometimes my Endo hooks up really well, and sometimes it just spins, regardless of tire pressure, how I balance for/aft, if I'm spinning or torquing, etc.. I did reverse my Endo the other day, but I can't honestly say if the improvement was significant - I'd give it a solid "maybe". I do think that there are times when riding uphill in snow where you just gotta get off and walk. I never know when it's gonna happen - sometimes it hooks up and I'm shocked how easily I crawl up a steep snow hill, and sometimes it won't hook up even when it's packed and looks easy. One of these days I'll try a rear Nate and see what's up.

  13. #13
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    Today I tried something new- rode down to the lake and then rode around the lake, on the ice. Tat was a blast. not all that fast, as the ice had a weird crust about 1/8" thick covering a half inch of snow over the actual ice.

    Tell you what, you grow up in central indiana, doesn't matter how long you live in wisconsin, riding on the ice feels weird.

    But it was a blast riding past the ice shanties- the fishermen occasionally looked out to see what was making all the noise. Headed across the bay to one of the local parks, rode the cross country trails for a while then headed back out on the ice.

    On the lake, the headwinds are insane- there's nothing to slow the wind, so it just comes at you full force. Also, 4 inch tires are kinda like sails in a cross wind.

    Today the endo's hooked up on everything, including ice. I have no idea what pressure I was running but it seemed pretty high- high enough to ride on the road and the ice but still pretty nice on the xc trails.

    Loving this thing.

  14. #14
    A Surly Maverick
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    Glad you are enjoying the fun of fatness BF

    Your Pug will be clocking up the miles as you clock up the smiles
    A Fatback'd Lefty for who life IS a Beach

  15. #15
    Just Ride!
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    Yep, First thing I learned was to spin, spin and spin.

  16. #16
    Dr. Frost
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    Have 4 hours on my moonlander and have a noob question. What do you do after riding about the mucky slop around the bottom bracket/front derailleur. Do you just let it melt off then ride again tomorrow or what?

  17. #17
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    If I've been riding anywhere near streets that have been treated with chemicals or salt, I try to get that stuff ASAP - I just hose my entire bike down and then go back when it's dry and lube the chain, hit the pivots with some light spray lube, etc.. If I've been purely on clean snow trails, I just let it melt and do the lube thing later. But ... I have no idea if this is the best way to handle it, so I'm interested in what others say.

  18. #18
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    Another 25 miles of riding, more stuff to learn.

    Learned that riding through mudpuddles = chainsuck and chansuck on hills = falling over.

    Learned that mud + puddles + cold = good luck shifting...

    Learned that mud gets everywhere with the big tires.

    Learned some more equipment-specific stuff, too. I didn't like the stock shimano deore shifters. they just don't work for me. So, I ditched them in favor of some paul's thumbie mounts and 9 speed bar ends. That was awesome.

    Also learned that shimano xt shadow rear derailleurs don't have a cable adjuster and that makes adjusting said rear derailleur nearly impossible. But that can be fixed with an inline cable adjuster.

  19. #19
    Perpetual n00b
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northernbreed View Post
    FWIW, in snow conditions, sometimes my Endo hooks up really well, and sometimes it just spins, regardless of tire pressure, how I balance for/aft, if I'm spinning or torquing, etc.. I did reverse my Endo the other day, but I can't honestly say if the improvement was significant - I'd give it a solid "maybe". I do think that there are times when riding uphill in snow where you just gotta get off and walk. I never know when it's gonna happen - sometimes it hooks up and I'm shocked how easily I crawl up a steep snow hill, and sometimes it won't hook up even when it's packed and looks easy. One of these days I'll try a rear Nate and see what's up.
    I've got Nate front and rear. Like riding on rails even in snow. 6psi front, 8psi rear and I'm 200lbs.

    My gf and I rode 9 miles of wooded single track on our Mukluks in about 2 inches of fresh snow and we averaged 8.2mph. She's got Larry front @ 5psi and Endo rear @ 5psi but she's barely 140lbs. Don't tell her I posted her weight online!

  20. #20
    Perpetual n00b
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Another 25 miles of riding, more stuff to learn.

    Learned that riding through mudpuddles = chainsuck and chansuck on hills = falling over.

    Learned that mud + puddles + cold = good luck shifting...

    Learned that mud gets everywhere with the big tires.

    Learned some more equipment-specific stuff, too. I didn't like the stock shimano deore shifters. they just don't work for me. So, I ditched them in favor of some paul's thumbie mounts and 9 speed bar ends. That was awesome.

    Also learned that shimano xt shadow rear derailleurs don't have a cable adjuster and that makes adjusting said rear derailleur nearly impossible. But that can be fixed with an inline cable adjuster.
    You ain't kidding about the mud or anything else that can get flung off those tires for that matter. Fenders should come stock! I've got the SKS GrandMOM and GrandDAD fenders but they are still too small. Cheap though!

  21. #21
    Eat the Earth
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    I agree that experience is greater than equipment but I've noticed that setting up a fatbike is a little different than a regular mtb. The higher the handlebars the better in the soft stuff, and keep your saddle back. This way you're less likely to spin out...

  22. #22
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    Just put a Nate on the rear to match the one up front. No snow this year but on singletrack it is awesome. Didn't like the endomorph at all and Larry in the back still left some spinning in soft conditions. Not anymore. I'm 250lbs and at 12psi life is good May never ride my rockhopper again
    Last edited by mike1125biking; 02-18-2012 at 07:21 AM. Reason: spelling

  23. #23
    Geordie biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike1125biking View Post
    Just put a Nate on the rear to match the one up front. No snow this year but on singletrack it is awesome. Didn't like the endomorph at all and Larry in the back still left some spinning in soft conditions. Not anymore. I'm 250lbs and at 12psi life is good May never ride my rockhopper again

    i love the larry and endo but for me, nates are a godsend off road.....more grip than anyone needs
    2014 cannondale badboy 9
    2014 salsa beargrease
    2014 milage so far - 2,095
    www.ukfatbikes.co.uk

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Another 25 miles of riding, more stuff to learn.

    Learned that riding through mudpuddles = chainsuck and chansuck on hills = falling over.

    Learned that mud + puddles + cold = good luck shifting...

    Learned that mud gets everywhere with the big tires.

    Learned some more equipment-specific stuff, too. I didn't like the stock shimano deore shifters. they just don't work for me. So, I ditched them in favor of some paul's thumbie mounts and 9 speed bar ends. That was awesome.

    Also learned that shimano xt shadow rear derailleurs don't have a cable adjuster and that makes adjusting said rear derailleur nearly impossible. But that can be fixed with an inline cable adjuster.
    cable adjuster is on the shifter

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    You ain't kidding about the mud or anything else that can get flung off those tires for that matter. Fenders should come stock! I've got the SKS GrandMOM and GrandDAD fenders but they are still too small. Cheap though!
    Build your own for less than $50.



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