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  1. #1
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    Big Fat Larry vs. Husker Du

    Taking delivery of my Beargrease frame set this week and it's going to be my one and only off-road bike so it needs to be snow and trail capable. I understand there could be chain rub and other drive train issues with Big Fat Larrys.

    I'm going to see If I can patch together something workable with the 100mm x 148mm FSA bottom bracket and Isis crank I have on hand. Two questions:

    1) Big Fat Larry or Husker Du? Planning on Rolling Darryl Rims or maybe Marge Lite for a 170g (each wheel) weight savings. Salsa website says a 4.8" tire up front and a 4.0" tire out back will fit no problem.

    2) Will the following tubes work even though specs say 4.0" max?
    Q-Tubes Super Light 26 inch x 2.4-2.7 inch 32 mm Presta Valve Tube
    Last edited by FrY10cK; 12-21-2012 at 03:16 PM.

  2. #2
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    I would recommend the Nate over the BFL for a do-everything bike; you might be able to get the Bud into that fork as well, which would give you some of the extra float you want. I was displeased with the traction of BFLs on loose/wet stuff so I sold mine.

  3. #3
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    A BFL will fit on Rolling Darryls. You may need to do some drivetrain modification (drop a gear or two from the cassette).

    That said, go for the Husker Du. I've run both on my Muk2. The BFLs roll fast, are high volume, and are great tires--surprisingly light. But the Huskers give far better traction in sketchy conditions than the BFLs, without a rolling resistance penalty. I haven't run 'em in snow yet, but everyone says they rock there, too.

    I wish the HDs were a bit higher volume, truth be told. But that's it. They're better everywhere you need traction, and equal everywhere you need to roll smoothly (pave, gravel, hardpack).

    Nates have a ton of traction, no doubt, but there's a serious rolling resistance penalty you pay for that traction. I think HDs are a better compromise.

  4. #4
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    Great info. Thank you guys.

    For others coming upon this thread, here's the relevant page from the Salsa website:
    Salsa Cycles | Bikes | Beargrease Frameset

    It says,
    Rear Tire Clearance
    Designed for 26 x 4.0" tires on 82mm rims with full drivetrain, 4.0" tires or BFL on 100mm rims with modified drivetrain (emphasis mine). Not compatible with Surly Lou or Knard tires

    Fork Tire Clearance
    26 x 4.8" on 100mm rims

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrY10cK View Post
    Great info. Thank you guys.

    For others coming upon this thread, here's the relevant page from the Salsa website:
    Salsa Cycles | Bikes | Beargrease Frameset

    It says,
    Clearance in the rear is the same as clearance on a 2012 or earlier Muk. Because it doesn't have alternator dropouts, there's not enough fore/aft clearance for Bud/Lou. There is enough width to clear BFLs, on 82 or 100mm rims...but you have to drop a gear or two from the cassette, and space the remaining gears over to the side to clear the tire, so you don't chainrub in the lowest gear combinations. (And of note, if you do run BFLs and want to drop a couple gears, make sure you retain the SMALLEST GEAR in the cassette, at the end of the cassette. Drop an intermediate gear or two. The smallest gear is required to properly index the end of the freewheel hub.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawfarm View Post
    (And of note, if you do run BFLs and want to drop a couple gears, make sure you retain the SMALLEST GEAR in the cassette, at the end of the cassette. Drop an intermediate gear or two. The smallest gear is required to properly index the end of the freewheel hub.
    Good info again. Thanks.

    Husker Du it is. I'm going to try the Q-tube Super Light tubes and keep reading about tubeless setups before I maybe try it someday.

  7. #7
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    I have a clown shoe on the rear of my Mukluk -- gives a little more float with the Husker DU, but without the traction shortcomings I have heard attributed to the Big Fat Larry.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Big Fat Larry vs. Husker Du-img00095.jpg  


  8. #8
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    I just changed my fatback over from BFL's to Husker Du's and the difference in traction is huge. As said before the BFL's are a great tire and roll very well but the Husker Du is a do it all tire with brilliant traction. The build quality is very good and so, for me, the durability against punctures and nasty sharp debris has been very good. I have the 120tpi version and I have to say I have no complains.

    For your information in 6 feet tall, 195lbs and ride western Alberta in the Rockies. They get tested every ride believe me. Good luck with your choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willum View Post
    I would recommend the Nate over the BFL for a do-everything bike; you might be able to get the Bud into that fork as well, which would give you some of the extra float you want. I was displeased with the traction of BFLs on loose/wet stuff so I sold mine.
    Big Fat Larry vs. Husker Du-imageuploadedbytapatalk1355879790.352574.jpg
    Bud fits nicely in the Greaser fork! I would run Nate in the back facing backwards for snow/winter use. Great combo!

  10. #10
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    Hmm....Husker Du's on Clown Shoe rims. They're only 100g heavier (each).

    I wonder if they would make it impossible, like running Big Fat Larry's, to use all 10 (or 11 if I go Sram XX!) cogs? 100mm is 3.94".

    I can't imagine Clown Shoe rims would make the Husker Du's wider than 4.0" would they? On the other hand, would they really add more float on snow and sand? Would the Q-tubes Super Light tubes still work?
    Last edited by FrY10cK; 12-19-2012 at 12:15 PM.

  11. #11
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    judging by what the trials riders do, the wider rim makes low pressures more stable, so the low pressure increases flotation, while the wider rim just helps support the tire at those pressures. I don't think a wider rim really puts any more rubber on the ground/snow at any given pressure.

  12. #12
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    Q tubes work fine - I run the HuDu in back and the BFL up front on RDs - great combo in my opinion (for snow at least). The BFL floats the front and sort of packs a wide initial trail and the HuDu just grabs the hell out of it from the back. Even with the small HuDu I had to sacrifice the 11 tooth cog to get clearance on my Carver. No big deal though - don't even notice it being gone.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat View Post
    Q tubes work fine - I run the HuDu in back and the BFL up front on RDs - great combo in my opinion (for snow at least). The BFL floats the front and sort of packs a wide initial trail and the HuDu just grabs the hell out of it from the back. Even with the small HuDu I had to sacrifice the 11 tooth cog to get clearance on my Carver. No big deal though - don't even notice it being gone.
    I thought I read somewhere, you had to keep the smallest cog. something to do with the way it interfaces with the lockring, or end of cassette hub.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by autodoctor911 View Post
    I thought I read somewhere, you had to keep the smallest cog. something to do with the way it interfaces with the lockring, or end of cassette hub.
    That is correct. You can run without the smallest cog for a while, but eventually, you'll either break the cog or strip out the end of your freewheel hub. The smallest cog is designed with a built-in spacer that indexes over a bit on the hub, and makes sure you have a good grip to propel the bike. If you drop that one, you lose the indexing, and are just barely hanging on to the hub with your smallest gear in the cassette.

    I speak from experience.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawfarm View Post
    That is correct. You can run without the smallest cog for a while, but eventually, you'll either break the cog or strip out the end of your freewheel hub. The smallest cog is designed with a built-in spacer that indexes over a bit on the hub, and makes sure you have a good grip to propel the bike. If you drop that one, you lose the indexing, and are just barely hanging on to the hub with your smallest gear in the cassette.

    I speak from experience.
    One can purchase freehub body spacers at any decent bike shop to space the cassette over. If you are really cheap, just move the smallest cog or two to the inboard side of the cassette. Either way, just adjust your limit screws appropriately.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by autodoctor911 View Post
    I don't think a wider rim really puts any more rubber on the ground/snow at any given pressure.
    I'm quite sure it does. If you think of the tire on a narrow rim, the profile resembles a light bulb, but a wider rim makes it more square, so the sides of the tread come closer to the ground.

    I second all complaints about the lack of traction with BFLs. Thinking of buying Bud and Lou thanks to the Moonlander clearance. If I had less clearance, Husker Du would probably be my choice.

  17. #17
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    I measured the height of first gen BFL's to first gen Du's on a rolling Daryl. Same height. Thought some may want to know that.

    For width I came up with 91-93mm for the Du and 101-102mm with the BFL on the RD's.

  18. #18
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    In my experience the BFLs aren't as good as the Huskers for traction but they float more.
    I prefer traction to float on snow otherwise the bikes gets too squirrely and washes out often.
    Best tire I've tried on snow were Nates, lots of solid chunky grip!
    Have a Beargrease as well (great frame, so light and fun) and plan on using my Huskers for now and through the summer as they seem like they will be the bomb on dirt but looking forward to scoring some 120 TPI Nates for next winter.
    Have fun!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    I'm quite sure it does. If you think of the tire on a narrow rim, the profile resembles a light bulb, but a wider rim makes it more square, so the sides of the tread come closer to the ground.

    I second all complaints about the lack of traction with BFLs. Thinking of buying Bud and Lou thanks to the Moonlander clearance. If I had less clearance, Husker Du would probably be my choice.
    As long as we're dealing with fairly flexible tire casing material, the area of the footprint depends on weight and pressure. A wider tire has a different shape of contact area at the same pressure than a narrower one, but the total square cm(inches, whatever) will be the same, unless the surface you are on is deforming significantly under load, at which point you have lost flotation.

    As far as the shape being different, this will affect traction, and rolling resistance, but not really flotation. But then if rolling resistance is reduced due to the wider, shorter cross section of tire deformation, it may feel like it is floating better.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrcRS View Post
    I measured the height of first gen BFL's to first gen Du's on a rolling Daryl. Same height. Thought some may want to know that.

    For width I came up with 91-93mm for the Du and 101-102mm with the BFL on the RD's.
    How is the Larry wider, but not taller? Is it the difference in tread depth? Or is the casing actually wider than it is tall?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawfarm View Post
    That is correct. You can run without the smallest cog for a while, but eventually, you'll either break the cog or strip out the end of your freewheel hub. The smallest cog is designed with a built-in spacer that indexes over a bit on the hub, and makes sure you have a good grip to propel the bike. If you drop that one, you lose the indexing, and are just barely hanging on to the hub with your smallest gear in the cassette.

    I speak from experience.
    That may be right now that you mention it. I think I pulled the 13t and kept the 11. It's been awhile since I did it.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogdude222 View Post
    One can purchase freehub body spacers at any decent bike shop to space the cassette over. If you are really cheap, just move the smallest cog or two to the inboard side of the cassette. Either way, just adjust your limit screws appropriately.
    Even if you do that (which is what you have to do when you remove gears from the cassette), leave the 11t gear on the cassette.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat View Post
    Q tubes work fine - I run the HuDu in back and the BFL up front on RDs - great combo in my opinion (for snow at least). The BFL floats the front and sort of packs a wide initial trail and the HuDu just grabs the hell out of it from the back.
    Brilliant!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by autodoctor911 View Post
    As long as we're dealing with fairly flexible tire casing material, the area of the footprint depends on weight and pressure. A wider tire has a different shape of contact area at the same pressure than a narrower one, but the total square cm(inches, whatever) will be the same, unless the surface you are on is deforming significantly under load, at which point you have lost flotation.
    I stand corrected - this is the same result I figured out after giving it more thought.

    So it depends which variables we fix in the comparison. If pressure is fixed, flotation will be the same. But if we compare two setups that have equal rolling resistance, the one with a wider contact patch and greater volume (both of which are achieved with wider rims) will have lower pressure, and lower pressure means better flotation.

    Inversely this is the same thing you said: at the same pressure and flotation, a wider contact patch rolls more easily.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post

    Inversely this is the same thing you said: at the same pressure and flotation, a wider contact patch rolls more easily.
    I'm not sure that is correct. In snow, you're essentially cutting a trench through whatever portion of the snow you're compacting. A longer, narrower contact patch would generate less 'drag' through the snow (because you're disturbing less snow) than would a wider, shorter patch.

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