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  1. #26
    Caveman
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    Fantastic photos and awesome trip. I'd been dreaming of a Fat tire trip there and this just adds fuel to the fire. Interesting ferrying with the alpacka, never tried that. Post more photos. Great to see a big burly trip on this forum!

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearbait View Post
    Fantastic photos and awesome trip. I'd been dreaming of a Fat tire trip there and this just adds fuel to the fire. Interesting ferrying with the alpacka, never tried that. Post more photos. Great to see a big burly trip on this forum!
    The idea was to paddle over and maybe follow a while each (too) big a river we couldn't wade across. On the itinerary we took, we only encountered two of those. At the first big river, right off the main dirtroad where we were dropped off, one of those itinerant search & rescue megajeeps powered up to see what we were about to do. They were so mighty impressed with the bikes and what we were about to do with them that they ferried us across - one is entitled to be lucky now and again .

    The second river was in the middle of nowhere and no rescue jeep to be seen . When we found we'd have to paddle across, one of my mates announced he had packed a 40mm thin accessory cord and that it might reach across twice.
    So we inflated just one alpacka, he paddled it across taking one end with him. We then tied the raft in the middle of the cord, so we could haul it back and forth without letting go of both ends. It was only "just", I had to stand kneedeep in the freezing water when the raft was at the other end.
    We then just piled our laden bikes one by one on to of the raft and seesawed everything and the remaining two of us across. It was already late in the day and nobody of our little band fancied rafting downriver for a while - it would have been "just" with the bikes anyway, a class III to IV with some sharp bends and into a shallow canyon for miles downriver.

    Our crossing might not be "by the book", but it worked pretty fast and saved us inflating two boats, unpacking the bikes, taking the bikes apart, stacking them on the rafts and doing everything in reverse order once across.

    I'll see if I can post some more pictures, but my limit is reached at my server... anyone know a free server where I can post pictures and copy picture forum codes (I'm a bit of a computer moron...) ?

  3. #28
    AJT
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    .................................................! !!
    Adventures off the beaten path
    www.backcountrybiking.co.uk

  4. #29
    AJT
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    I mean .................................................. .........wow
    Adventures off the beaten path
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  5. #30
    Dr Gadget is IN
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    Quote Originally Posted by caminoloco View Post
    I'll see if I can post some more pictures, but my limit is reached at my server... anyone know a free server where I can post pictures and copy picture forum codes (I'm a bit of a computer moron...) ?
    I've been using Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket for a year or two now. Haven't bumped bandwidth limits yet.

    PS: Fantastic adventure and photos! Thanks for sharing.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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  6. #31
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    Ok, here goes - with the help of Wadester and Photobucket

    We encountered these strange hexagonal patterns in the highlands, a local guy who I showed the picture told me they were caused by freezing/thawing. Anybody knows exactly how these patterns are formed ?

    Photobucket

    A few of the countless river crossings, from afar some looked like lakes but coming closer they were just a maze of smaller and bigger channels.

    Photobucket



    Biking the Icelandic highlands, here was a nice stretch (picture taken while biking). More often there were footballsized rocks all strewn about. But no problem for our fatbikes, apart from the deeper river crossings we never had to push our bikes on the "expedition" part of our journey. It would have been a nightmare with regular bikes, although appearing firm everything was kind of "soft" - even softer then wet sand on a beach. In regions where a lot of ash had recently fallen it was downright "soft sandy" where the gale winds had forgotten to blow it away.
    Locals told us that on certain stretches we should pray for rain, because if it was dry and windy, ash/dust clouds could be as dense as a fog. So we prayed...but those old Icelandic viking gods have a weird sense of humouring us because we got far more rain then we asked for .

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

    I had 70mm (rear) and 80mm rims, my mates were on 47mm hoops. I liked the extra float on sand and over rocks the wider rims gave me, but they did did slow my bike down a bit in the steering dept. Or would it have been the dwindling wine supply that made steering more difficult ?

    Photobucket

    The mayor difficulty of the more travelled dirtroads in the interior are the washboard sections. Fatbikes ar better then normal mtb's on such sections if the "waves" are small and close together. If they're pretty big and deep, like on the picture, it doesn't really matter...

    Photobucket

    Here's why such things are called lava "flows", we traversed both. The second one is Iceland's most recent one, from last year and still smoking... The volcanic cone is also brand new, you could still feel the heath emanating from the cracks around it.

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

    Biking some of those snowfields was a hoot !

    Photobucket

    I like this picture, that's the Eyjafjallajökull in the back, the volcano that paralysed European air traffic last year.

    Photobucket

    One of the more "challeging" trails, near Thorsmork. The "wire" you see is a cable to haul you up. It doesn't show on the picture but that section was nearly vertical - I was taking a breather .

    Photobucket

    Same trail, one hour later and 1200 ft up...

    Photobucket

    Fast forward an extra hour and an extra 1200 ft...

    Photobucket

    Aahhh, but is was worth it, still warm & smoking lava...

    Photobucket

    Hours of downhill singletrack next to a thundering mountain stream...

    Photobucket

    With the grand finale at sea level, the Skógafoss !

    Photobucket

    A few anecdotical pictures: not even an extremely trailworthy Sandman is capable of everything. I'm on the trail, my mate was on the trail but got "distracted" a bit and went head over heels . No bodily harm done.

    Photobucket

    When in Rome, do as the Romans... a restaurant's menu. What would you like to taste ?

    Photobucket

  7. #32
    Really I am that slow
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    Nice, man you have my gears grinding about next summer!
    Read my BLOG!

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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot View Post
    Nice, man you have my gears grinding about next summer!
    I'm definitely going back to Iceland next summer. Probably for something similar: first an "expedition" part and then a "regular" co-guiding part with a group. Personally, I'd like to see the Westfjords and I think I can do something really nice there with fatbikes and packrafts. I've got a friend who now lives in Reykjavik but her father still operates a fishing trawler out of those fjords.

    And the second part like this year, just "normal" singletrack biking between the volcanos in the south. With luggage transport in a jeep, it's hard enough already as it is !

  9. #34
    a lazy pedaler
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    great trip caminoloco! thanks for sharing!

  10. #35
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    super
    fantastic
    great
    superb
    terrific
    marvelous
    wonderful

    En ja...wat is nu een rondje Texel nu nog

  11. #36
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    Sweet Pictures!!

  12. #37
    Harmonius Wrench
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    One of the best threads I've read on here in a while. Thanks!

    Question: Regarding the bikes and crossing rivers and having volcanic soils/ash to contend with: How did this affect the performance of your drive train, hubs, etc?

    Anything that you can share about the "wear and tear" issues from subjecting the bikes and equipment that you carried would be interesting to the forum, I think.

  13. #38
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    For ten of twelve years ago I made a biketrip on Iceland with my former girlfriend. I recognize many photo spots. But I also see some very interesting tracks! I can't wait to do such a trip with my Pugsley.

    @ politiefietser Tommy: rondje texel stelt natuurlijk nu niks meer voor. Wellicht in de winter als er sneeuw ligt maar de omstandigheden zijn natuurlijk niet te vergelijken met die in IJsland. Wel wil ik kijken of ik in de winter naar Zweden kan gaan, maatje van mij heeft daar 2-de huis. Wellicht een mooie roadtrip om daar naar toe te gaan. Expeditie Zweden?

    TBB

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted View Post
    One of the best threads I've read on here in a while. Thanks!

    Question: Regarding the bikes and crossing rivers and having volcanic soils/ash to contend with: How did this affect the performance of your drive train, hubs, etc?

    Anything that you can share about the "wear and tear" issues from subjecting the bikes and equipment that you carried would be interesting to the forum, I think.
    Good questions, being the "tech" guy on the trip it was my task to carry tools, spare parts and keep things up & running. For the "expedition" part of the trip we had 3 Sandman fatbikes, two with SC32 forks and one with the prototype German A forks. That last bike had an "old" DTSwiss 165mm rear hub while all the others had Shimano XT hubs, modified by Sandman to 165mm. All were running Isis BB's.
    On the second week the two SC32 bikes left and 3 newer Sandman bikes entered the frame. Two titanium models and one alu. A mixture of Sram and Shimano parts and "outboard" BB bearings - all with the German A forks . And during that same week 5 "normal" bikes including a Lapierre tandem (!).

    Problems with the Sandman bikes: the air pressure went suddenly out of one of the old SC32's on the second day. We inflated it again and it held its pressure afterwards. Bizarre.
    I installed a KS dropper seatpost on my own bike the day before I left for Iceland and after a week it suddelly started to sag. It developed all of a sudden a one inch "suspension": instead of locking, it went in about an inch under pressure, bouncing up again when unweighted - just like an unsprung fork. Not a very big problem, I just raised my seatpost a bit and I had the combination of a suspension AND a dropper seatpost . But that was not what it was supposed to do, being practically brand new... I haven't been able to send the post back yet so I don't know what went wrong internally.

    And after two weeks of riding I think my Isis BB has passed its prime, it alreadyy had a year on it and now it turns a bit rough. But still no play, so I'll let it be for now

    So far for the fatbikes, no puctures - even in the obsidian stuff where the others went around.

    Of the "normal" bikes the tandem sheared off part of its freehub pawls, but could finish the days' ride (and the owners had a spare). It also broke about 10 spokes, but I suspect the wheelbuilder was the culprit... Apart from that, one Magura fork "froze", locked out. I'm not familiar with those forks so I called a dealer I knew who was and asked if it was an easy "field" repair. But he advised me not to open it for some "wilderness 1st aid".

    Another fork (a recent Rock Shox) baffled me: on a descent I came across the owner who was complaining that his forks had frozen up "again". He then proceeded to de-gunk the area between the sliders and the stanchions, with me kidding him "like that was going to solve the problem". But lo and behold: after he cleaned it somewhat, the forks worked again ?!?

    Apart from that the normal wear & tear: some wasted brake pads, a torn tire (not a fat one) and some clogged shifter cables which I "relubed" without taking them off.

    For the drivetrain, I only lubed the chain and the derailleur pulleys, nothing else apart from a very good, throrough lubing and cleaning before departure (I basically took my bike apart before leaving). In Iceland I used Finish Line Ceramic Wet chain lube and only had to use that once a day - even on days including countless river crossings. It did attract grit at the outside, but apparently kept the inside lubed nonetheless because I didn't hear a croak or squeek during the whole of the trip.
    I had never used it before (I had another lubricant with me but stuck with the Finish Line after testing it on the first day), but that lube was close to perfect for the conditions, but nevertheless on the wettest, ashiest day (+7 hours) my bike developed chainsuck. After two times I got my chain damaged and it finally broke on a steep hill. I put in a quicklink, relubed the chain and the problem was gone.

    That said, the drivetrains and all moving parts sure got a beating... it's difficult to judge how much of % wear everything took but it was way more then normal use.

    In Reykjavik there are several big bike shops, but once in the interior yoyo. And always remember that safety = prevention. Carrying a huge 1st aid kit for your bike and yourself isn't "safety", that's just for patching things up after something went wrong.

    Safety is preventing by preparation and behaviour that you don't need that sort of kit. Safety isn't patching things up, patching things up is damage control .

    As for gear packing, I packed my kit in Ortlied waterproof bags. But those aren't watertight when dunked, like when tripping while crossing a river or flipping & swimming with a packraft. So I had packed all my stuff (apart from the raft) in additional, lightweight drybags.
    I wouldn't trust any of the bags individually (rolled up closures always leak when dunked...), but I know the two combined are a good match: the Ortlieb drybags for toughness and for keeping most of the wet stuff out. The flimsy interior drybags for keeping the important stuff really dry. Dirty laundry can be stuffed between the two :-)
    Last edited by caminoloco; 08-12-2011 at 09:46 PM.

  15. #40
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    The only thing I can comment on is the KS post. There's much dislike for that brand in the Adjustable Seatpost Thread. Reports of brand new units having reliability issues from the start.

  16. #41
    Harmonius Wrench
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    @caminoloco: Thanks for the detailed response!

    I am somewhat surprised by the lack of bigger issues there given the terrain, but happy to understand it wasn't worse than it was.

    We used to swear by Finish Line "Wet" chain lube for sodden courses or winter riding. I have not tried the "Ceramic Wet" version. I may look into that.

    I found it interesting that your fat bikes could take on the obsidian while the skinnier tired bikes avoided it.

    Thanks again for such a detailed response. Much appreciated!

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted View Post

    I am somewhat surprised by the lack of bigger issues there given the terrain, but happy to understand it wasn't worse than it was.

    I found it interesting that your fat bikes could take on the obsidian while the skinnier tired bikes avoided it.
    The 3 "expedition" bikes were in good working order before departure, I made sure of that. And for the bikes on the following week, I had provided the owners with an ultra detailed bike checklist a few pages long .

    Before that checklist, you wouldn't believe the rolling wrecks some people would start a (serious) biking holiday with...

    As for the obsidian rock gardens: to be frank we recognized it too late for what it was and were already in the middle of it with our fatbikes before it dawned on us that we were actually biking through a field of glass rocks sharper then flint :rolleyes. We had avoided a soggy snow field and all of a sudden marveled at the weird rocks were were hobbling over. It's really a beautiful "mineral" (not really a mineral because it's basically glass).

    But after we got through the first one ok, we just continued - the obsidian lasted for a few miles, patches off and on. The normal bikes avoided such rock gardens altogether, they were forced to walk or go around them.

    In my experience fat tires don't shred as easily as skinny ones. I think (but don't know for sure) that's because a fat low pressure tire "molds" itself around sharp edges without slipping off - the slipping off is what causes a tire to shred.

    One of my biking friends clearly has the Icelandic "blues" as well, here's a nice feelgood youtube movie about Iceland he just sent me He added "makes you want to return straight away"...

    Inspired by Iceland Video - YouTube

    He's right, watch at your own risk !

  18. #43
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    Tbb, zweden in de winter klinkt goed! Maar ardennen afgelopen winter was ook al leuk....

  19. #44
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    My brother, who joined us biking in Iceland, posted a video on youtube of a "typical biking day in the Icelandic mountains"... Warning, graphic images, people with vertigo need not watch this :

    GOPR0185 ridge - YouTube

  20. #45
    Really I am that slow
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    Quote Originally Posted by caminoloco View Post
    My brother, who joined us biking in Iceland, posted a video on youtube of a "typical biking day in the Icelandic mountains"... Warning, graphic images, people with vertigo need not watch this :

    GOPR0185 ridge - YouTube
    Just a wee bit of exposure
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  21. #46
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    Aha, so that’s the sort of terrain that Dick Cepek tires were designed for! I’d always wondered where they’d be suitable.

    Whoa man, that looks like a once in a lifetime sort of bike adventure. I’d love to do a ride like that. Thanks for sharing!!!
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by caminoloco View Post
    My brother, who joined us biking in Iceland, posted a video on youtube of a "typical biking day in the Icelandic mountains"... Warning, graphic images, people with vertigo need not watch this :

    GOPR0185 ridge - YouTube
    Awesome! No way to place protection up there.

    BTW-Does your bro have the same bike pictured here:

    Photobucket

    Looks like a righteous bike! I like it's curves
    Last edited by intheways; 08-14-2011 at 08:37 PM.

  23. #48
    Fat bikes have more fun !
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    Good job!

    Yes, I rode a (grip-shifted) titanium Sandman Gobi with Gravity Dropper too, although mine was an XL and the one pictured here and shot by myself is an M-sized one, being pushed up the Eyjafjallajökull by Carl.

    Sorry I cannot include pictures here myself yet : I tried but I need to have scored at least ten pure-text comments before having the right to include graphics.

    It was a loan : I ordered a Sandman with a Pinnion gearbox in the crank, but it wasn't ready yet. I'm a Cannondale Prophet biker with a Rohloff axle gearbox, but Rohloff doesn't see a market for their product in a wide-frame version. I think they are dead wrong...

    I succesfully biked the BCBR Epic 2010 on the Prophet, but with 115 Kg on my own 54 year old 6ft4" frame I shied away from taking 2.5" wide tires to these volcanic slopes - although normally-built bikers could and did. The Surly 3.8" tires on the Sandman kept me afloat on everything it was thrown : ash, sand, lava rocks, obsidian glass boulders, snow, ice, mud, gravel, grass...

    And yess !!! we both have nice curves

    Bro Bart

  24. #49
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    Thanks for the info! It sounds like you have an even sweeter bike one the way

  25. #50
    Fat bikes have more fun !
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    I forgot to include tephra : a light-grey fluffy kind of volcanic ash that gets airborne in strong winds, unless wet.

    To be fair : the slopes on this video are a bit exaggerated by the 172° angle of the action cam on my helmet. To balance things, footage on flat surfaces look not like action at all.

    And as a workplace prevention expert, I foot everything that looks too dangerous, after figuring out a plan B and C.

    I believe you could actually ski down those slopes on your shoes - I did this as a student in the Italian Dolomites, descending 500 altimeters in minutes, nearly completely wearing off my soles - though I'm not sure these volcanic ashes wouldn't cause a slide that would bury me.

    Anyone out there who would know ?

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