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Thread: Brrrrly.

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    Maybe it would have been the ideal time for those mega tires then - basicly miles of flat but very soft/unconsolidated trail.

    I would love to hear what Pete has to say.

    Is there any chance you will be coming to Alaska this winter? I (and others i am sure) would love to see that bike in action.
    We've discussed riding Unk to Nome, but won't look into it in detail til after the holidays have passed.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    The consistency of the snow in Jay's photo was bottomless mashed potatoes. It was demoralizing because you could see this beautiful, smooth, groomed surface laid out in front of you, but even walking on it was tiring. Definitely would have been interesting to see if the 2XL's on 100's would have allowed enough more riding.

    How much difference would it have made if Pete's bike was running 100's on that ride, Mike? Obviously the bigger tires are going to be able to ride more, but would the difference have been as drastic?
    I wasn't there that year so I don't mean to imply that this bike would have made it rideable. The gist of my post is that both Pete and I are pretty competent at riding snow, and we both have a pretty good sense for what is rideable, what isn't, and where to save energy by walking instead of trying (and failing) to ride. Pete's repeated surprise at what he could ride mirrored my own: We've both got a lot of re-learning to do when it comes to quick assessments. Repeatedly on Sunday we'd think it wasn't rideable, and it wasn't with Bud/Lou but it was with the 2XL's.

    As with any rim/tire setup on soft snow, there comes a point of diminishing returns where you can ride but you're putting out so much effort it starts to seem more appealing to walk. I liken these moments (and we get lots of them) as more akin to powerlifting than cycling. Pure anaerobic effort for marginal gain, but sometimes it works out that after a short distance you 'plane out' and can bring things back down to aerobic while still keeping the pedals turning. What the 2XL's do is to make the riding up to that point easier and more efficient relative to Bud/Lou. So you're riding more and saving energy at the same time.

    This is all well and good if your conditions are like ours. If you have groomed hardpack or musher trails to ride the 2XL's are simply the wrong choice (overkill, thus slow) for that.

    Pete should weigh in on 100's vs. 80's. My $.02 is that it wouldn't have mattered much on that day -- Bud/Lou just weren't close enough to working that a few mm's of rim would have done it.

  3. #103
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    Thought came over me last night and I can't tell from the pictures here or on the builder's site. Is this approaching territory where a jackshaft system could be of benefit, right by the elevated chain-stay brace, with the same basic frame geometry and maybe some additional bending to the stays as the builder mentions?
    Pro-could use a narrower set of cranks?
    Pro-could use a wider tire 6" + with the same set of cranks?

    Con-narrower crank, leg/foot hits CS?
    Con-jackshaft placement hits leg/knee?
    Con-weight, complexity

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by bme107 View Post
    Thought came over me last night and I can't tell from the pictures here or on the builder's site. Is this approaching territory where a jackshaft system could be of benefit, right by the elevated chain-stay brace, with the same basic frame geometry and maybe some additional bending to the stays as the builder mentions?
    Pro-could use a narrower set of cranks?
    Pro-could use a wider tire 6" + with the same set of cranks?

    Con-narrower crank, leg/foot hits CS?
    Con-jackshaft placement hits leg/knee?
    Con-weight, complexity
    Thinking out of the box is always good, if only to remind yourself how you've arrived at a certain place, before moving forward.

    Adding mechanical complexity to a bike that is ridden in/to remote places that can take days to walk out of if something breaks? Not remotely interested.

    I'm not against a jackshaft per se, but the genre seems in it's infancy WRT product development, and I'm not interested in being that guinea pig.

  5. #105
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    I donít have too much to add other than the fact that I was able to ride in conditions that I wouldít have even attempted before. The difference is significant.

    Itís hard to think back to the 2012 ITI and imagine if this bike would make a big difference in the conditions encountered on the river the second day - Iím assuming that is what the picture posted earlier is from. That year we all had BFLs which were not great tires and I know the bike I was running them on had sliding dropouts pulled so far back to accommodate those tires, the geometry was far from ideal. I remember being surprised at how little I could ride that year which I think had a lot to do with BFLs and long chainstays.

    Iíd like to think that the 2XL tires on 100s would have pedaled in the conditions that year, but hard to say.

    Surely noted before, these tires are slow as shit on hardpack.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meriwether View Post
    I finally got to writing something up for this bike. I'm sorry to link to my blog but...don't want to transfer all the photos over here too.

    Here's the link...

    Cheers,
    Whit
    Thanks for writing that up, it's cool to read about the process of building the bike.

  7. #107
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    Yeah, the photo is from the second day, and was taken near McDougalls, if I remember right.

    So given these tires are slow on hardpack, and (probably?) even slower on cold snow, do you think it would have been worth taking this bike with these tires on the ITI in 2012?

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    Yeah, the photo is from the second day, and was taken near McDougalls, if I remember right.

    So given these tires are slow on hardpack, and (probably?) even slower on cold snow, do you think it would have been worth taking this bike with these tires on the ITI in 2012?
    The beauty of this bike is that you can choose the tires -- including 2XL's -- that make the most sense on the start line.

    If I thought conditions were going to be like the ITI cakewalks of the last few years, no way I'd take the 2XL's.

    If conditions were sour (or what we used to refer to as "normal") and it looked like marginal riding at least as far as Rohn, then they'd be very high on the list.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    The beauty of this bike is that you can choose the tires -- including 2XL's -- that make the most sense on the start line.

    If I thought conditions were going to be like the ITI cakewalks of the last few years, no way I'd take the 2XL's.

    If conditions were sour (or what we used to refer to as "normal") and it looked like marginal riding at least as far as Rohn, then they'd be very high on the list.
    Yeah, I understand that.. I was just trying to ask if the extra riding vs slower riding in the cold and hard sections trade off would have been worth it in 2012.

    At least in the ITI there seems to be a drift away from larger tires, may be due to all the ice we have had in the last two years driving folks towards the studded tire options.

    On the "cakewalk" front, that was a fair characterization to mcgrath, but after mcgrath I think it was maybe less so.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    Yeah, I understand that.. I was just trying to ask if the extra riding vs slower riding in the cold and hard sections trade off would have been worth it in 2012.

    At least in the ITI there seems to be a drift away from larger tires, may be due to all the ice we have had in the last two years driving folks towards the studded tire options.

    On the "cakewalk" front, that was a fair characterization to mcgrath, but after mcgrath I think it was maybe less so.

    Was definitely referring to as far as McGrath.

    I think the drift away from big tires in the ITI is a result of the firm/icy conditions overall. One or two 'normal' years in a row should swing the pendulum back.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    The beauty of this bike is that you can choose the tires -- including 2XL's -- that make the most sense on the start line.

    If I thought conditions were going to be like the ITI cakewalks of the last few years, no way I'd take the 2XL's.

    If conditions were sour (or what we used to refer to as "normal") and it looked like marginal riding at least as far as Rohn, then they'd be very high on the list.
    Bottom bracket would be a little low with Dillinger 4's, no? Also, how are the fancy rims working out?
    --Peace

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars_D View Post
    Bottom bracket would be a little low with Dillinger 4's, no? Also, how are the fancy rims working out?
    You are correct, it would be low with a 4" tire. I don't live in a world where a 4" tire is even a consideration, so I hadn't, um, considered that.

    Rims are great so far. I've run them as high as 10psi and as low as 0. Got 'em to burp once at 0, not when riding but just when sitting (bouncing) on the back wheel. Will try to duplicate it when riding.

    Swapped to schrader valves on the rims. Not sure why some people are so hyped up about them. Seems like a minor increase in hassle factor to add/subtract pressure compared to prestas. Not even sure what I was supposed to be gaining anymore?

  13. #113
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    May have been all ready addressed....what is that seatpost?

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1spd1way View Post
    May have been all ready addressed....what is that seatpost?
    Shazam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Swapped to schrader valves on the rims. Not sure why some people are so hyped up about them. Seems like a minor increase in hassle factor to add/subtract pressure compared to prestas. Not even sure what I was supposed to be gaining anymore?
    You can air them up effortlessly with the 12V car pump you have back at the parking lot or when you cycle through a gas station. You know, for all the times you've done both of those things.

    But the best part is now you can hunt around for a little stick, on the trail, that's the right size and strong enough to depress the pin w/o breaking off in the stem and plugging the whole mess. Fun times I tell you!

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by bme107 View Post
    You can air them up effortlessly with the 12V car pump you have back at the parking lot or when you cycle through a gas station. You know, for all the times you've done both of those things.

    But the best part is now you can hunt around for a little stick, on the trail, that's the right size and strong enough to depress the pin w/o breaking off in the stem and plugging the whole mess. Fun times I tell you!
    You mean you don't have a floor pump in your car? The last thing I would depend on is a 12v POS car pump. They're noisy and a waste of $$.

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    Local trails have gotten something like 40" of snow this week.

    Which makes the prospect of actually riding this bike (or any other) downright silly. Pushathon.

    We dug out the skins and teles and busted out a mid-day lap. Creamy soft turns.

    Snow seems to have stopped for a few days, we'll see if we can get some riding done before the next wave moves in.

  18. #118
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    Brrrrly.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Local trails have gotten something like 40" of snow this week.

    Which makes the prospect of actually riding this bike (or any other) downright silly. Pushathon.

    We dug out the skins and teles and busted out a mid-day lap. Creamy soft turns.

    Snow seems to have stopped for a few days, we'll see if we can get some riding done before the next wave moves in.
    When in Rome...!
    I'm very envious. Careful with all that new pow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    You mean you don't have a floor pump in your car?
    I jest. I know people like schrader, but I don't see it as an advantage, for reasons they state.
    My 2 floor pumps can do both types of valves as can most modern bicycle pumps. Pump from 1998 has a double sided head. Pump from 2010 has a single sided universal head.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Local trails have gotten something like 40" of snow this week.
    Be happy with that. We got like the equivalent of that in rain. My lawn is a swamp. Can't even enjoy the record highs....

  20. #120
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    Inching closer.

    With a few weeks of over-snow riding under our belts, this seemed like a good time to check in with some of the finer details on this build.





    I'm anal to the Nth degree when it comes to sorting out a new bike, doubly so when there is no real precedent or benchmark for that bike. In other words, during and after every ride so far I've been fiddling and fine tuning the position to put my CoG exactly where it needs to be to take full advantage of the massive float that this chassis is capable of.





    Position aside, there are a few small details that add up to something bigger when it comes to riding in cold temps. Because snow sucks so much of our power out, and because we're swaddled in so many layers of clothing (robbing yet more power), I think it's critical to maximize efficiency in every way possible. Pedals on this bike are ISSI, and that's only important because they offer a +6mm and +12mm spindle kit to help you fine tune your fit and feel. I installed a set of the +6 spindles right off the bat, largely so that I could eliminate crankarm rub from my writ-large winter shoes.


    I also dug into the pedals so that I could remove the sticky-when-cold factory grease and install something thinner. I have a stash of Morningstar "Soup" that I use for stuff like this, and the pedals spin much more freely at sub-zero temps now that it's in there.







    Low gearing is critical for where/when I ride snow. I'm using a SRAM 1 x 11 drivetrain, with a 26t Wolftooth ring and a 44t Wolftooth cog replacing the stock 42t. That gives me 18.9 gear inches on the low end, and that gear ends up getting used the lions share of the time. If Wolftooth gets enough call to make a 24t ring for the Cinch cranks, I'll be first in line to buy one.









    Bodyfloat sus post has been a revelation for me. I miss having a dropper for remounting the bike in soft snow -- the kind where you're ankle deep (and sinking) in fluff, and can't *quite* get yourself back onto the saddle to get restarted. With that exception, I have been thrilled with the comfort and invisibility of the Bodyfloat. Took me about a ride to get the preload set just right, and since then I've been consistently impressed by how unaffected it is by dropping temps or poorly chosen lines.





    Neoprene saddle insulator. Tri geeks use these, albeit for very different reasons than I do. Slips right on, stays on, mitigates cold getting to the nether regions. I think these are important at any sub-freezing temp, and they become critical from about 0 degrees on down.





    Whit's iteration of a Type II fork has been invisible thus far. For a rigid fork, that's the highest compliment I can give. Double bonus that it uses a Maxle Lite for super easy gloves-on wheel install/removal.








    Hopey steering damper. I keep it turned off most of the time, but with a quick twist of the dial on top it can be activated for uber-soft snow. If you ride groomed singletrack you don't need this. If you spend more time on ungroomed and especially wind-affected snow, you won't believe how much of an effect this little unit has in keeping the front end quiet so that you can stay on the bike longer. Easy to test, too -- ride a mile with it on, then twist the dial to turn it off and be amazed at what a drunken sailor you've suddenly become WRT holding a line.





    RWC bottom bracket. The stock RF units have given me decent life but I wanted to try something new. I flushed all of the stock lube, replaced it with Morningstar Soup, then trimmed the labyrinth seal to remove some spinning friction. That last step is not recommended if you ride dirt or dust or mud with your fatbike, but highly encouraged if your fatty lives it's life in cold/on snow.





    For literal decades I've run Hayes hydro brakes in the snow, and especially for my Alaska trips. They are reliable as hammers and that's the main thing. With no big AK trips on the horizon it seemed like a good time to try something new with the mechanical MX Experts. I supplemented them with 2-piece rotors in an attempt to keep them quiet. So far so good -- on both brakes and rotors.





    Many more pertinent/geeky details to come on this bike -- will try to highlight them in the next week or two after holiday chaos has subsided.


    Thanks for checkin' in.


    MC

  21. #121
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    Glad your feeling better Mike and getting a chance to ride the new fatty.
    Safe riding,

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  22. #122
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    I like the neo seat cover, gonna have to get me one of those. It would be cool if they had heated ones!! Can you explain more about the steering damper? Also, what is the object to the right of your stem on the handlebars?

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    I like the neo seat cover, gonna have to get me one of those. It would be cool if they had heated ones!! Can you explain more about the steering damper? Also, what is the object to the right of your stem on the handlebars?
    Stick a chemical heat pack between the saddle and neo cover...?

    Damper info. Essentially slows movements away from center, to whatever degree you tell it to, with free return. So, depending on size and speed, a hidden rut or wind-drift is either less likely or completely unable to knock you off line.

    Object on bars is a light. Also have (a red) one wrapped around my rear hub shell.

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Stick a chemical heat pack between the saddle and neo cover...?
    Not a bad idea. I have a Selle SMP PRO saddle and a chem pack might fit well in the taint slot!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Damper info. Essentially slows movements away from center, to whatever degree you tell it to, with free return. So, depending on size and speed, a hidden rut or wind-drift is either less likely or completely unable to knock you off line.
    Interesting, so it would make quick steering imputs from rider slower also?

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    Interesting, so it would make quick steering imputs from rider slower also?
    Correct.

    But since rider inputs are coming through a ~28" wide lever, and wheel inputs are only coming through a 5" wide lever, rider inputs are less affected.

    Still -- at times/in places where you want fast handling, like hardpack, you'll want to dial it off.

  26. #126
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    If don't mind another question about the hopey dampener - how durable is it, that is how long do you get between rebuilds? I am very tempted to get one, but lost interest when it appeared they require really frequent rebuilds. Maybe I am miss informed?

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    Mike, is that the Angular Contact BB from RWC/Enduro?

    Mine have been amazing.

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    Death from Below.

  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    hopey dampener - how durable is it, that is how long do you get between rebuilds?
    Inconsistent.

    Some have lasted a few years between rebuilds (only ridden in winter -- I take them off in summer) while others have been new at Knik and non-functioning by Finger Lake.

    As a result, I've kept tabs on eBay and MTBR/Pinkbike classifieds through the years so that now I have one on each of our fatbikes, and a spare for each on the shelf. Tim @ Hopey will *usually* rebuild/turn them around within a week.

  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Mike, is that the Angular Contact BB from RWC/Enduro?

    Mine have been amazing.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Yes.

  30. #130
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    Good points on the steering dampener. Same reason why I lower front pressure way down on the tricky stuff. Slows the steering tremendously, providing me with an eternity to make corrections. Makes a huge difference.
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  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    Good points on the steering dampener. Same reason why I lower front pressure way down on the tricky stuff. Slows the steering tremendously, providing me with an eternity to make corrections. Makes a huge difference.
    An Łber-soft front tire or a tight headset are poor-man's damping!

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    So, I have to ask (if only semi-seriously): When will we be hearing about ideas to traverse the GDMR (Great Divide MTB Route) during the "off season" (winter)? Seems like you're nudging up to the perfect rig for such a trip, and with your cold weather experience...

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    I assume these are footprints in the 2XL tire track...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR Z View Post
    So, I have to ask (if only semi-seriously): When will we be hearing about ideas to traverse the GDMR (Great Divide MTB Route) during the "off season" (winter)? Seems like you're nudging up to the perfect rig for such a trip, and with your cold weather experience...
    I found that route utterly unenjoyable in it's prime season. I have less than zero interest in going back.

    That, and there are soooooo many other places on this planet I've not yet seen or experienced...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    there are soooooo many other places on this planet I've not yet seen or experienced...
    Right on :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Was definitely referring to as far as McGrath.

    I think the drift away from big tires in the ITI is a result of the firm/icy conditions overall. One or two 'normal' years in a row should swing the pendulum back.
    I don't know.. last year I think the nome bound folks had pretty hard trail conditions, yet still people seem to be thinking that D5 or D4s are the way to go.

    Too bad the d5 isn't more bud or lue sized, or there isn't another, bigger studded option.

    /drift

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    I don't know.. last year I think the nome bound folks had pretty hard trail conditions, yet still people seem to be thinking that D5 or D4s are the way to go.

    Too bad the d5 isn't more bud or lue sized, or there isn't another, bigger studded option.

    /drift
    I've ridden Knik to Nome 4.75 times, McGrath a bunch more, in all sorts of conditions. Given a choice, D5's or anything in the 4.2" range would never, ever be on my radar.

    Am hoping to ride Kaltag -> Nome this spring. At minimum I'd ride Bud/Bud. If the forecast went to pot as we were getting on (or off) the plane, I'd swap a set of 2XL's onto the bike. Because I've never ridden fast regardless, but riding is always faster than walking.

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    I love the sheer dedication on evidence in this thread. This is industrial strength, professional grade fatbiking that I can only stand in awe of. Mikesee is through effing around.

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiro11 View Post
    I love the sheer dedication on evidence in this thread. This is industrial strength, professional grade fatbiking that I can only stand in awe of. Mikesee is through effing around.
    I know... Makes me feel kinda inadequate too. At one time, my bike was the biggest and the baddest. An ano black 907 with Clownshoes and Bud and Lou. I can no longer say these are THE biggest fat tires.
    I like turtles

  40. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I know... Makes me feel kinda inadequate too. At one time, my bike was the biggest and the baddest. An ano black 907 with Clownshoes and Bud and Lou. I can no longer say these are THE biggest fat tires.
    "It's not the size that matters, it's what you do with it that counts."

    --said to me way too many times...

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    Too bad the d5 isn't more bud or lue sized, or there isn't another, bigger studded option.
    Hmm..
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  42. #142
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    Is that a D4 or D5? Holy hannah.
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

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    and I'm OK admitting..
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  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_G View Post
    Is that a D4 or D5? Holy hannah.
    D4.
    I have the one on the right on the front of my test bike and the unstudded version on the rear.
    They work well:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-usZQhBlKyM
    (set the Youtube player to Autoplay in order to see all the latest powder vids with the 5.6s)

    These 5.6's will fit on Mikes bike, and likely some other ones as well, so we are trying to make Vee produce these as a 3XL.
    (they are the protos for the 2XLs that were shrinked to a diminutive 5.2 for production )
    Last edited by Espen W; 01-08-2016 at 10:17 AM.
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    Practically speechless.

    I thought my 4.7 Barbagazzi's were cartoonishly large.
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

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    and I'm OK admitting..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_G View Post
    Practically speechless.

    I thought my 4.7 Barbagazzi's were cartoonishly large.
    People just don't (can't) get the difference until they see them in person. Espen's pic is a close second.

    Barbe's are nice tires -- for riding groomers.

  46. #146
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    I seen the 5.6" live. And it's huge. 5.6" in front and jumbo jim 4.8" in the rear. Big difference.

  47. #147
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    ....I can't even....

    That is just...craycray.
    Just a regular guy.

  48. #148
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    Those comparison photos are quite amazing. I was pondering the contact pressure needed to ride in deep unconsolidated snow while riding on hardpack today (I'm an engineer, i can't help it). If Mike lets all the air out and caps it at 0.0 psi, what does the pressure become under rider weight? So for easy math, say a 200 lb rider is putting down a static footprint of 6" wide x 12" long. Two tires would provide 1 square foot of contact surface, which would equal 200 psf. Divide by 144" per sq. ft. and the bearing pressure is about 1.4 psi.

    Add in the planing effect you can get once you get moving and it's likely that we're talking less than 1 psi contact pressure. Maybe that contact patch is optimistically long but a 32" diameter wheel is 100" circumference so maybe not.

    It is a far cry from struggling to move on 3.8" tires on 65s.
    1Pugs 1-18-08.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    Those comparison photos are quite amazing. I was pondering the contact pressure needed to ride in deep unconsolidated snow while riding on hardpack today (I'm an engineer, i can't help it). If Mike lets all the air out and caps it at 0.0 psi, what does the pressure become under rider weight? So for easy math, say a 200 lb rider is putting down a static footprint of 6" wide x 12" long. Two tires would provide 1 square foot of contact surface, which would equal 200 psf. Divide by 144" per sq. ft. and the bearing pressure is about 1.4 psi.

    Add in the planing effect you can get once you get moving and it's likely that we're talking less than 1 psi contact pressure. Maybe that contact patch is optimistically long but a 32" diameter wheel is 100" circumference so maybe not.
    Nice work.

    I ran through a similar exercise a few years ago -- trying to determine how much weight my bike could carry (bike + rider + load) with Bud and Lou. Pretty sure I was in the middle 3's for 'bearing pressure' with a ~20 day load of food and fuel.

    I are not an engineer. Don't even drive trains. That exercise hurt my head, but enlightened me as to what the physical limitations were, and how each parameter affected the overall.

    Since tires this big weren't on anyone's radar (we were still amazed at the size of Bud/Lou) I determined that my best bet for gaining flotation was to saw off a leg. This was proved out when riding with my sweetie a ~month ago. I was on 2XL's at ~1.5psi. She was on Bud and Lou at 3psi. We were riding about the same amount, and walking about the same amount. The fact that I outweigh her by ~65# meant that Bud/Lou were plenty for her.

    As to the planing effect, we all know it exists and we all know how easily it can be interrupted. Most often because we have to stop pedaling to effect a lean or some sort of body english to stay on a skinny trail. Stop pedaling and you stop planing, and (usually, for me, living/riding where I do) things devolve rapidly from there. I mention this because at less than about .5 psi, I have yet to get up on top of the snow and begin planing. It is more or less like powerlifting, or at least completely anaerobic and unsustainable -- you just keep deforming the tires and plowing ahead. Until you can't.

    But majorly grin inducing nonetheless.

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Nice work.

    I ran through a similar exercise a few years ago -- trying to determine how much weight my bike could carry (bike + rider + load) with Bud and Lou. Pretty sure I was in the middle 3's for 'bearing pressure' with a ~20 day load of food and fuel.
    That sounds pretty close. I did the measuring and math and came up with 2.8 with 6 person-days of food and fuel and some of Tadhg's gear. I would guess around 15 pounds less than your rig with about a 240 pound total including me.
    Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I've ridden Knik to Nome 4.75 times, McGrath a bunch more, in all sorts of conditions. Given a choice, D5's or anything in the 4.2" range would never, ever be on my radar.

    Am hoping to ride Kaltag -> Nome this spring. At minimum I'd ride Bud/Bud. If the forecast went to pot as we were getting on (or off) the plane, I'd swap a set of 2XL's onto the bike. Because I've never ridden fast regardless, but riding is always faster than walking.
    How much bare ice have you seen on the coast? I have been envisioning glare ice and huge cross winds.. Which seems to me to be a pretty unfun without a studded tire.

    In 2014 I used a bfl in the back, and D4 on the front.. in the bare ice from farewell to outside nikolai I repeatedly got spun around like a top by crosswinds on the sections of bare ice. Doing that endlessly on the coast has me worried...

    Good luck with your Kaltag to Nome ride! I am really looking forward to that section, assuming I make it that far

  52. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    Hmm..

    I'm still in disbelief of this pic.... Holy F**K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    How much bare ice have you seen on the coast? I have been envisioning glare ice and huge cross winds.. Which seems to me to be a pretty unfun without a studded tire.

    In 2014 I used a bfl in the back, and D4 on the front.. in the bare ice from farewell to outside nikolai I repeatedly got spun around like a top by crosswinds on the sections of bare ice. Doing that endlessly on the coast has me worried...

    Good luck with your Kaltag to Nome ride! I am really looking forward to that section, assuming I make it that far
    In the 4 times that I've traversed from Unk to Nome I'd say the longest stretch of bare ice I saw was short enough that I could easily hold my breath all the way across it. And I did.

    But those were very rare. I've seen pics from Andy Heading's 2001 trip across to Koyuk, and heard Oatley's stories of glare ice and crosswinds, but never seen 'em myself. Perhaps this is the year?

  54. #154
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    Here in Nome expansive glare ice conditions are far less of an issue than they have been for the last three years. The snow-rain-freeze cycle of recent years, which covered the ground in layers of ice that persisted all winter, never materialized this winter. Instead, we've been getting a lot more snow, wind, and temps in the 20s and low 30s. If this continues, expect more snow cover along Norton Sound than in recent years, but ever changing trail conditions due to the wind. I don't know too much about conditions to the east and the interior. You guys probably have more contacts over there than I do. A couple of pineapple express storms could change everything, of course.
    Veni vidi velo!

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    A fantastic addition to any fatbike.... Any bike, really.
    I like bikes

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    We were riding about the same amount, and walking about the same amount. The fact that I outweigh her by ~65# meant that Bud/Lou were plenty for her.
    I've been following t2XL threads fairly intensely. ^ this fact alone (I'm 145# soaking wet) had me wondering just what a little guy like me could do on a 2XL rig. Unfortunately, here in SE MI, USA, I might see your everyday conditions ~one day out of every 2 years. Can't really justify building up this kind of rig for that, but I'd still love to see what a total lightweight could do with all that float!

  57. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR Z View Post
    I've been following t2XL threads fairly intensely. ^ this fact alone (I'm 145# soaking wet) had me wondering just what a little guy like me could do on a 2XL rig. Unfortunately, here in SE MI, USA, I might see your everyday conditions ~one day out of every 2 years. Can't really justify building up this kind of rig for that, but I'd still love to see what a total lightweight could do with all that float!
    As seen on Youtube:
    (these are the 5.6'' protos, though, but you get the idea):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-usZQhBlKyM
    (set player to autorun to see all seven vids)
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  58. #158
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    Couple of questions for you, Espen.
    Have you tried similar deep powder riding with production 2xl's? If so, do they perform similarly? I'm considering building a O'beast ti that will accomodate 2xl's on 100mm rims but don't know if the "3xl's" will fit.
    Also, wondering about rim width. Clownshoes are relatively cheap, and 85mm Carver carbon wheels aren't much more expensive but going to 100mm carbon is very expensive. Does the rim width make a big difference in that deep powder? If so might take the weight penalty and go with Clownshoes rather than $1800 upcharge to BFD's, especially since those tires are already so heavy. I'm interested in your thoughts. Actually 1 more question: 217mm rear: do you think that's coming?

    Thank you for your great posts and videos. Free-range riding into deep powder will be a game-changer for sure. Back-country fatbiking without depending on snowmobiles to pack the trail would be amazing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campykid View Post
    Free-range riding into deep powder will be a game-changer for sure. Back-country fatbiking without depending on snowmobiles to pack the trail would be amazing.
    Keep in mind that the output required to keep moving through untracked snow is tremendous. I can do it, but really only if the grade is generally down. Even on the flats I just dig a hole and grind to a stop, then step off the bike into snow up to my knards.

    In other words, by all means go this route, but temper your expectations re: the ability to go deep into the backcountry without a trail. Unless you live somewhere with coastal (very moist) snow, or some other condition that means it sets up hard and fast.

  60. #160
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    Yeh, I figured it looks easier than it is, but I like to dream!

  61. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Keep in mind that the output required to keep moving through untracked snow is tremendous. I can do it, but really only if the grade is generally down. Even on the flats I just dig a hole and grind to a stop, then step off the bike into snow up to my knards.

    In other words, by all means go this route, but temper your expectations re: the ability to go deep into the backcountry without a trail. Unless you live somewhere with coastal (very moist) snow, or some other condition that means it sets up hard and fast.
    This has probably been asked before, but is there any consideration toward a trike or quad which would have more float? It might combine 2XL capabilities with "sit n spin" ease. Maybe the tire drag would just be too much...
    Just a thought!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    This has probably been asked before, but is there any consideration toward a trike or quad which would have more float? It might combine 2XL capabilities with "sit n spin" ease. Maybe the tire drag would just be too much...
    Just a thought!
    Hard to ride singletrack on a doublewide.

  63. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Maybe the tire drag would just be too much...
    Just a thought!
    Keep in mind the limited power available to drive a bike. Even for far easier road touring setups I've seen people easily overload or over gadget their bikes to the point that their daily range was too low to be useful and the enjoyment factor was in the toilet.
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  64. #164
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    Alright. I guess I was figuring it would be good for exploring more than singletrack.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas
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  65. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by campykid View Post
    Couple of questions for you, Espen.
    Have you tried similar deep powder riding with production 2xl's? If so, do they perform similarly? I'm considering building a O'beast ti that will accomodate 2xl's on 100mm rims but don't know if the "3xl's" will fit.
    Also, wondering about rim width. Clownshoes are relatively cheap, and 85mm Carver carbon wheels aren't much more expensive but going to 100mm carbon is very expensive. Does the rim width make a big difference in that deep powder? If so might take the weight penalty and go with Clownshoes rather than $1800 upcharge to BFD's, especially since those tires are already so heavy. I'm interested in your thoughts. Actually 1 more question: 217mm rear: do you think that's coming?

    Thank you for your great posts and videos. Free-range riding into deep powder will be a game-changer for sure. Back-country fatbiking without depending on snowmobiles to pack the trail would be amazing.
    Yep, it surely opens up some new possibilities. Not only riding where one could not ride before, but possibly more important: making previously marginal/super tricky conditions much easier.

    Production 2XL: haven't tested them vs the 5.6 protos yet, but will soon, as we finally got some powder here in Oslo as well. (cold, dry and fluffy powder).
    Production ones will likely not have quite the same flotation as they are 5.2 vs 5.6 and approx 31.5 vs 32'' diameter. In addition, the protos have a more supple 1-ply casing. How big the difference remains to be seen, and there is no doubt that also the 5.2s are utterly amazing in the soft stuff and head and shoulders above any other production tire.


    Rim width: you definitely want to go 100mm in order to maximize the footprint.
    A flatter tire profile will have more flotation at the same pressure.
    These tires really shine for the deep powdery stuff, where acceleration and low rotational weight is less of a concern, so a lower priced alloy rim is not a bad option.
    You could check the price of 100mm carbon hoops on AliExpress, etc though, as those prices often come close to what we (bike companies) pay OEM for similar product, and shipping prices on Aliexpress are actually much lower than what the assembly factories charge for shipping samples.

    217mm: Good question. In order to provide a production bike worthy chainline around a 5.6 with a standard 11speed cassette, a 217 is required. With the 5.2, a 197 with a more inboard chainline works.
    I run a 197, but the chainline in the bigger cogs is not pretty at all.
    The challenge with 217 spacing is keeping the Q factor acceptable while providing ample heel clearance for big boots in big sizes. A mass produced bike will have more limiting factors than a custom build.
    However, Mikes Meriwether shows that it is doable, so the big question might be if the big hub companies go ahead with 217.
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  66. #166
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    Thank you Espen! So sounds like I should wait until the 5.6"/217mm products and compatible frames are available.

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    hey mike,

    sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, but which valves are you using on brrrrly?
    I saw a pic with what looked like the 949 valves in those Kuroshiro rims.

    thanks in advance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by alias View Post
    hey mike,

    sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, but which valves are you using on brrrrly?
    I saw a pic with what looked like the 949 valves in those Kuroshiro rims.

    thanks in advance!
    Yep, these are 949.

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    Trying to work on my own project, wondering where you got the custom thru axle that was needed?
    I proudly ride for these guys.

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    See post below.
    Last edited by mikesee; 02-17-2016 at 05:16 PM.

  71. #171
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    Enjoy some mid-winter meltdown with 40* at 8000' today.

    Brrrrly.-8a3a1878.jpg

    Digging the PSC compound tires at these temps, and the Giant (rumored to be great down to single digit temps) dropper post.

    Basically exhaling, then catching our collective breath before embracing the last of winter that's due to blow in any day now.

  72. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    Trying to work on my own project, wondering where you got the custom thru axle that was needed?
    Whit just shared this with me:

    www.paragonmachineworks.com - SH007ShimanoEThru217x12mmRearSkewer

  73. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Yeah, it looks like that is 217mm length though. I think my Whiteout with a 197mm rear is a 221mm thru axle. Sounds like it may be designed for a 197mm hub.
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  74. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    Yeah, it looks like that is 217mm length though. I think my Whiteout with a 197mm rear is a 221mm thru axle. Sounds like it may be designed for a 197mm hub.
    It would help if Paragon included a drawing or detailed specs, but I'm 99% sure this is for a 217mm rear end, because Whit asked them to make these, and once they were in stock he shared the link with me.

  75. #175
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    paragon seem to list their skewers as the OLD length - there are 148, 177, 197 etc, as other options, so i reckon this is just as you say... for 217 OLD hubs!

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    The kind of winter we're having thus far:


    Brrrrly.-8a3a4824.jpg


    310" of snow has fallen, and after ~10 days of stupid warm meltdown, we're *just* starting into the actual storm season. Typically late Feb through early April are when it really adds up.

    Glad I dove deep into this bike this fall, and psyched that Whit agreed to build it.


  77. #177
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    Holy crap that's a lot of snow!!! My question is how the hell do people even get out of their homes???

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  78. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Holy crap that's a lot of snow!!! My question is how the hell do people even get out of their homes???

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  79. #179
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    Nice! I love riding my fat bike in the snow, but you guys can keep all that.

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  80. #180
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    It's great skiing, don't knock it. Love the pow!

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    No knocking here, just seeing what mike and such deal with for snow is ruining my dream of moving out towards that area. I like some snow during the winter....but a few feet of it HE!! NO !

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    Heading out.

    Jeny and I have been looking forward to a late winter adventure since the temps started dropping last fall.

    Riding a chunk of the Iditarod was the goal, but for many reasons we leaned away from it. Wanted to stick closer to home, see more of our own backyard.

    Little by little we lasered into an omniterrain desert route, in and through Canyonlands and Glen Canyon. Roughly equal amounts of distance covered on wheels and in boats. Camping under the stars and all that.

    Originally the route included lots of rough jeep trails, and for that we knew that 29+ wheels and tires were ideal. But then as I tweaked the route, poring ever deeper over every topo and aerial map I could find, I found a way to skip 40+ miles of jeep trail by riding 30 miles of dry creekbed. Oh, and maybe a little bit of a slot canyon... What could go wrong?

    Lots, actually, including pourovers and cliffs that cannot be seen on the maps, no matter how closely we look.

    So we've added a day of food to the larder -- in case we have to backtrack and go to Plan B -- and we've installed 27.5" fat wheels and tires onto the bikes. "B Fat", as they'll likely come to be known. Jeny has 4.0's on her bike, I have 4.5's on mine. With just a few quick shakedown rides on them, my initial impressions are that 26 x 4" just became completely obsolete -- except for kids. As with the 29" wheels that most of us have come to know and love, the B Fat setup rolls over everything better than 26 x 4. Where I live and ride, and for where we're heading on this trip, rollover is The Most Important Thing.

    Note that I'm talking about non-snow adventures here. Should Trek come out with a 27.5 x 5 or 29 x 4.5", I reserve the right to try them in the deep and then punt my current 26 x 5" setup.

    Anyhoo -- here she is, loaded for bear. 6 days of food, 4.5 liters of water, a boat/paddle/pfd, etc... I have a ~12L daypack (not pictured) with 2.5L of water, a stove, DSLR, spare UWA lens, 5 batteries, intervalometer for time lapses, and light puffy jacket. Oh yeah -- iPhone 5 w/Gaia for navs -- really slick.



    Brrrrly.-8a3a5775.jpgBrrrrly.-8a3a5780.jpgBrrrrly.-8a3a5781.jpgBrrrrly.-8a3a5782.jpgBrrrrly.-8a3a5777.jpgBrrrrly.-8a3a5778.jpg


    It may look trim, but holy effing eff is it dense.


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    I think you forget the wings

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It may look trim, but holy effing eff is it dense.
    I was just thinking the same thing. Nice packing job, especially considering the packraft and related gear. Looking forward to the trip report from this one.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

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    Well, that answers the question I had about 27.5" going bigger than 4". You get all the cool prototype stuff.
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    Oh, and 2 questions....Did you reuse the rear hub? Also, why did you ditch the suspension post (coming form a guy who is looking hard at that post)?
    I proudly ride for these guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It may look trim, but holy effing eff is it dense.
    Must be. I don't do the bikepacking thing and can't figure where you packed everything listed.

    On another note, I used a frame bag this year for the first time so I didn't have to wear a pack over my winter layers. The thing I miss the most is the natural top tube "handle" on my diamond frame. Now I get what you mean. Don't know what you have until it's gone. Carrying the bike out of the house, or putting in on the hitch rack is awkward, never mind schlepping it for miles through deep snow.

    What TPI are they using for the protos?

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    Any chance those Barbi's would fit in a stock Moonie fork, Mike? (mostly thinking over-all diameter)

    Just doing some mathematic masturbation, I'm coming up with the follow (guesses)/numbers for the 27.5x4.5" (assuming Bontrager's current accuracy in labeling their tires):

    Flat Bead-to-Bead: 241mm
    Flat Tread: 127mm
    Diameter: 775mm
    Mounted Tread Width (80mm rim): 113mm
    Mounted Casing Width (80mm rim): 108mm

    Am I anywhere close?
    Last edited by JR Z; 03-10-2016 at 03:33 PM.

  89. #189
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    I just had my first 2 rides on a B fat setup, and completely agree about their superiority compared to 26 fat. For my needs, the 27.5 Hodag is plenty big, but interested to hear your thoughts on the Barbegazi 4.5.

  90. #190
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    its a beast! the wheels must be huge as they fill the gap for the xxl no problemo. interesting on the roll over - a brave new world! awesome. enjoy the trip! and how you have 4.5l of water in there as well as everything else is remarkable. good old Ringle cages!

  91. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    Oh, and 2 questions....Did you reuse the rear hub? Also, why did you ditch the suspension post (coming form a guy who is looking hard at that post)?
    I'll venture a guess on the seatpost question: Because it is damn near impossible to mount a seat pack using that Body Float post. At least so it won't chafe a hole through the bag, and dip the tail end of it into that enormous tire as the post moves through its travel. I could be wrong about that, but I don't think so........
    Riden' an Smilin'
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  92. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post

    Originally the route included lots of rough jeep trails, and for that we knew that 29+ wheels and tires were ideal. But then as I tweaked the route, poring ever deeper over every topo and aerial map I could find, I found a way to skip 40+ miles of jeep trail by riding 30 miles of dry creekbed. Oh, and maybe a little bit of a slot canyon... What could go wrong?
    Sounds like quite a fun venture!! Enjoy and please report back. Your pictures and tales are always inspiring!

  93. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    Oh, and 2 questions....Did you reuse the rear hub? Also, why did you ditch the suspension post (coming form a guy who is looking hard at that post)?
    Brrrrly.-8a3a7002.jpg

    I missed having a dropper for remounting in deep snow, and now for steep techy descents.

    Now that I have the dropper back, I miss the comfort of the Body Float. It is a great post.

  94. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR Z View Post
    Any chance those Barbi's would fit in a stock Moonie fork, Mike? (mostly thinking over-all diameter)

    Just doing some mathematic masturbation, I'm coming up with the follow (guesses)/numbers for the 27.5x4.5" (assuming Bontrager's current accuracy in labeling their tires):

    Flat Bead-to-Bead: 241mm
    Flat Tread: 127mm
    Diameter: 775mm
    Mounted Tread Width (80mm rim): 113mm
    Mounted Casing Width (80mm rim): 108mm

    Am I anywhere close?
    I don't think they're significantly (if at all) taller than a Bud, so they should fit fine in Moonie frame/fork.

  95. #195
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    That's a "plaid" hub!?

    I see what you did there, don't think I didn't notice.

    Right on past ludicrous, right on past.
    Trust me, I have a beard and gray hair.

  96. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by worldskipper View Post
    That's a "plaid" hub!?

    I see what you did there, don't think I didn't notice.

    Right on past ludicrous, right on past.
    Never even saw ludicrous on the way past...

  97. #197
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    Mike, do you have the dimensions for the 27.5 Barbegazzi's?

  98. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    Mike, do you have the dimensions for the 27.5 Barbegazzi's?
    I do, but if Trek hasn't released them yet then it's not my place to do so.

  99. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by worldskipper View Post
    That's a "plaid" hub!?

    I see what you did there, don't think I didn't notice.

    Right on past ludicrous, right on past.
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Never even saw ludicrous on the way past...
    Sadly, I can't give more rep for this.

  100. #200
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    A little Birdie inside @ Trek gave the thumbs up on sharing dims, so here's what I've got:

    Bontrager ~80mm rims, tubeless, at ~11psi (last ride finished with ~25 miles of pavement), tires have been used enough to account for stretch:
    111mm casing width, 768.35 total O.D. including knobs.

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