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  1. #1
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    If you had to do it all over again...4" or 5" tires?

    My winter goal is to build up a fat bike. Being a bigger guy larger tires make good sense to me. I went with 2.4 x 29 on my SS. The worked much better for me. I can't help but feel 5" vs 4" tires will offer me the same improvement in any riding condition.
    The new Surly Krampus is getting a ton of press due to the 29+ concept. A 4.7" tire is also a 29+. At 762mm in diameter the 5" tires are nearly an inch larger in width and diameter over the 3.7 (4") size. This puts the 5" size very close in diameter the much touted Knard from Surly.
    Beyond the extra float wouldn't the larger diameter of the 5" roll over obstacles better.

    I feel the question of tire size and drivetrain need to be answered before I can determine frame and other items.
    Do you agree with my thoughts on the 3.7 vs 4.7 debate?

  2. #2
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    I'm hoping for a 29+ with 4" wide tires. While I'm at it might as well have a number of tire options as well... Think if this happens demand would be intense.

  3. #3
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    I love my necromancer, and while I haven't ridden a moonlander, I can't help but be jealous and maybe even a little bit regretful that I didn't go bigger. I think that if it was just a little bigger it would be fine, but looking at the two side by side....they are much wider and taller. Yes, your larger diameter is only going to increase the ability to roll over things, but they are going to be heavier as well. Where there are pros, there are generally cons.

  4. #4
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    I think the choice is easy for a big guy wanting a fatbike for winter. Maximum float would be the key, which probably means a Moonlander.

    Now, for year round use the choice is more difficult. I bought a new fatbike in June this year to be used as my number one fatbike year round. I'm also big at 6'4 and 210 lbs, but opted for a Mukluk, even though I could have used the float of 100 mm rims and the fattest tires. For summer use the Moonlander isn't as good since the offset design makes some lighter rim choices for summer use impossible.
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  5. #5
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    I bought my Moonlander specifically to ride through snow and stay away from the indoor trainer. After 10+ inches of snow I know I made the right choice. The thing I didn't consider was how much I would enjoy using the local trails before the snow. Thing is that the moonlander did fine on all of the advanced trails pre-snow. Just not fast. I'm not going to beat anyone on Strava with it :-) I guess that would be the trade off. I was pulling over quite a bit to let the 29'ers zoom by me.

    Then I test rode a Krampus last weekend. 3" tires seemed like a good compromise for summer fat-trail-riding, and it was a FAST bike!

  6. #6
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    i too was amazed how much fun and playful my moonlander has been pre snow on my local trails. yes slower but a blast to ride. 4.8 tires on RD rims, climbs and goes down almost everything i have put it through.
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  7. #7
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    As a big guy as well (6' 1", 260+) I find that the Pugs is a bit slim on some deeper stuff. However, I've been riding nothing but the Pugs since May and like having the option of running a bit thinner rubber on the LM wheels during the summer months. 90% of my riding is on packed and groomed trails for my daily commute, so the extra float isn't as much of a factor most days. There have been a number of times when I would really like more float.

    I'm currently toying with the idea of moving to a Moonie front with a 5 inch wheel up there and sticking with the narrower on the back. Ideally I'll be moving to a Fatback in the next year or so and will at that time step up to a bigger footprint.

  8. #8
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    I started with a Fatback and 3.8 tires. Riding in loose sand/gravel, I could see I could use more float - but was already having chain issues 3x9 with the 3.8. I did put a BFL on the front and got good value there.

    My riding buddy got a Pugsley, and would have issues on things my fatterfront Fatback didn't. He then got a chance at a Moonlander complete, and now I'm the one having more issues! Next plan: BFL on the back of the Fatback (it will fit, I know that) with a moonlander MWOD crankset to take care of chain issues. I'd rather have the OD crankset, but it's not out yet. Maybe I can wait.

    Bottom line: If you're riding in loose stuff, go as fat as you can.

    I keep having daydreams of 2 skinnyLarrys cut and sewn into a 6-7" monster tire - but that would also mean a custom frame as well as cutting up 2 $$ tires. Also some kind of multichain drivetrain to clear said monster tire. sigh.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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  9. #9
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    If I had to pick one it would definitely be 5”
    4” is fine most of the time but 5”covers all the bases.
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  10. #10
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    i ride my moonlander easier than i did my pugsley, and over rougher terrain.....that says it all for me.
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  11. #11
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    I started riding a Pugsley last in October of 2011 at 6'1" 315lbs and today I ride a Moonlander at 229lbs...despite being lighter than I was when I started I still opted for the widest I could get.

    One could compare the query to snowshoeing as well in my opinion, the heavier you are the wider/longer the shoe you will want to get the most float. Sure you can get by with a smaller shoe and likely enjoy it still, but why not go bigger and make it a bit more easy? I wouldn't change the choice I made.

  12. #12
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    A Pugs will take BFLs on 80mm rims, as well as the thinnest tires around there. This is something to consider if you want a versatile bike

  13. #13
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    On my 2012 mukluk I run a Clownshoe/Bud on the front and Darryl/Nate on the back. The Bud is way bigger than the Nate and has noticeably more float. The combo works really well and I'm happy with it. Although I sometimes wonder how much better it would be with a large tire on the back as well. As it is I can pretty much get through 99% of what my buddy can with his Moonlander/Bud/Lou.

    It is unfortunate there is no good 4.5" tire option out there. The Mukluk has gobs of clearance with the Nate, but not quite enough for the Lou. It would have been nice if Surly had stuck to a BFL size casing (which fits nicely on a Muk) for the Bud/Lou. I'm guessing Surly upped the size intentionally to cut out the competition.

    At the end of the day, if I could do it over again, I'd still go with the Mukluk because it cost significantly less $$$ and it works really well.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails If you had to do it all over again...4" or 5" tires?-dsc01420.jpg  


  14. #14
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    What at your most frequent ridden trail conditions. If your trails are highly used having a packed solid base then go fat, pump them up to 10 psi and rip it up. If you have packed snow on top of loose/unconsolidated base it a whole new game. Being 6'4" and just north of 200lb mostly riding the later I want float (currently BFL's on RD's) to keep me on top of the snowpack and rolling along rather than busting through the crust, even if it means I'm slower on the really packed out trails.

  15. #15
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    I'm waiting for 6" tyres
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  16. #16
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    I've been riding "3/4" fat singlespeed for 3 years now during winter and muddy spring so I'm sold, I'll be taking the plunge for a fatbike sometime after Christmas. The way fat tires ride through not just snow but float over frost heaves, plow through thick mud bogs and generally over and through conditions I never realized possible on "skinny" tires is a blast. If you're gonna go fat why not go thephattest with the moonie?. How many times have you read about a fatbike rider who upgraded to a moonie and then regretted it?

  17. #17
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    I rode an original Purple Sizzurple Pugs with Larrys on Large Marge Rims for a couple years, and now run a Moonlander with Clownshoes, a Lefty and (previously) Big Fat Larry's, and now Bud and Lou. There's nothing I've ridden with the Moonlander that I couldn't have ridden with the Pugs, but it's just a lot easier. You can run higher pressure on snow and sand, so it doesn't feel like as much of a chore.

    I went out with 2 other guys on Dec 1 in Eastern Washington. One riding a Fatback with 100mm rims and Endos, the other on a custom bike with Large Marge's, a Mav SC32 fork and Husker Du's. They were lighter or the same weight as me and pretty certainly better riders. We could all muscle up the same firm sand. I had more control going downhill in sand, but it didn't really matter. They outpaced me going uphill on the rocky dry trail (my weaker legs probably contributed more than drag from the tires) but I caught up when we hit a section of trail with a lot of big loose rocks. I just bombed through and the tires ate it up, where they were getting bounced around a lot and had to pick through the obstacles. The difference between the 4.8" tires and the 3.8" or 4" tires, even on the same rims, is significant.

    I still take the Moonie out on the local single track, and it's fun. Which is the point, I think.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobShort View Post
    On my 2012 mukluk I run a Clownshoe/Bud on the front and Darryl/Nate on the back. The Bud is way bigger than the Nate and has noticeably more float. The combo works really well and I'm happy with it. Although I sometimes wonder how much better it would be with a large tire on the back as well. As it is I can pretty much get through 99% of what my buddy can with his Moonlander/Bud/Lou.

    It is unfortunate there is no good 4.5" tire option out there. The Mukluk has gobs of clearance with the Nate, but not quite enough for the Lou. It would have been nice if Surly had stuck to a BFL size casing (which fits nicely on a Muk) for the Bud/Lou. I'm guessing Surly upped the size intentionally to cut out the competition.

    At the end of the day, if I could do it over again, I'd still go with the Mukluk because it cost significantly less $$$ and it works really well.
    FYI....the Lou fits the Muk's just fine on a CS rim and perhaps better on a CS than a Darryl as it may make it too tall with the skinny'r rim. That is where it gets close on the lower chain stay brace. With the CL rim it's make a perfect radius of the tire to fit the frame.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    I'm waiting for 6" tyres
    give ya props for patience (lots of it too)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaco View Post
    FYI....the Lou fits the Muk's just fine on a CS rim and perhaps better on a CS than a Darryl as it may make it too tall with the skinny'r rim. That is where it gets close on the lower chain stay brace. With the CL rim it's make a perfect radius of the tire to fit the frame.
    Got any pics and clearance numbers? I have the non-alternator frame. I know guys with the alternators are using Lous no problem.

  21. #21
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    I have a Moonlander bias. That's what I'm riding currently, and I love that thing more than any bike I've had in a long long time. I've ridden both. For a big guy, non expedition, year round rider like myself I would not trade it for a 4" tire bike. This is just better for me.

    However that doesn't mean that I wouldn't really like to have a 4" tire bike in addition to my Moonie. Why not? N+1 you know.

    I'm seeing some people regretting going 4", but not the other way very often. Maybe the question could be, has anyone regretted going 5"

  22. #22
    gone walk about
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    for my area and rides 4" is plenty and have no desire to go bigger.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobShort View Post
    Got any pics and clearance numbers? I have the non-alternator frame. I know guys with the alternators are using Lous no problem.

    I don't have any pics but trust me, they fit in the regular 2012 frames (non alternator type) the little whiskers rub but I cut all those off.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobShort View Post
    Got any pics and clearance numbers? I have the non-alternator frame. I know guys with the alternators are using Lous no problem.
    Oh oh, I smell an upgrade coming your way!

    As to the question at hand, I'm on a 4" Pugsley, I wish I was on a 5" Moonlander but it wasn't widely available in Canada when I bought my fat gear last year. I get around OK on my Nates on RD's so I'm not about to spend the $1500 it would probably cost me to get the extra inch.

    If I was buying now I'd get a Moonlander, but I wish there was some other color options.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris View Post
    Oh oh, I smell an upgrade coming your way!

    As to the question at hand, I'm on a 4" Pugsley, I wish I was on a 5" Moonlander but it wasn't widely available in Canada when I bought my fat gear last year. I get around OK on my Nates on RD's so I'm not about to spend the $1500 it would probably cost me to get the extra inch.

    If I was buying now I'd get a Moonlander, but I wish there was some other color options.
    I'd spend 1500 to get an extra inch any day... I know you and BobShort have a serious case of tire envy...
    Last edited by chunkylover53; 12-12-2012 at 03:37 PM.

  26. #26
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    Are 135 mm wide hubs problematic with 5" tires like the Bud?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaco View Post
    FYI....the Lou fits the Muk's just fine on a CS rim and perhaps better on a CS than a Darryl as it may make it too tall with the skinny'r rim. That is where it gets close on the lower chain stay brace. With the CL rim it's make a perfect radius of the tire to fit the frame.
    How much taller do the bud or Lou get on the narrower Daryl rim. Are we now talking about a 31" od tire

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akita man View Post
    How much taller do the bud or Lou get on the narrower Daryl rim. Are we now talking about a 31" od tire
    I know it's going to get little taller but just don't know how much. There is about 3/16" clearance from center tread to the chain stay brace with the Lou on a CS rim with a light weight tube. I would just GUESS it will barley clear, again I'm guessing.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kreyszig View Post
    Are 135 mm wide hubs problematic with 5" tires like the Bud?
    No correlation between the two that I can think of here.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kreyszig View Post
    Are 135 mm wide hubs problematic with 5" tires like the Bud?
    No more problematic than a 170mm - if the 135 is offset, which most now are. There used to be some symmetrical 135mm rear hub frames, but none produced now that I am aware of. Those would need an internal gear hub or to go SS with a "modern" wide tire, and maybe not even then.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobShort View Post
    On my 2012 mukluk I run a Clownshoe/Bud on the front and Darryl/Nate on the back. The Bud is way bigger than the Nate and has noticeably more float. The combo works really well and I'm happy with it. Although I sometimes wonder how much better it would be with a large tire on the back as well. As it is I can pretty much get through 99% of what my buddy can with his Moonlander/Bud/Lou.

    It is unfortunate there is no good 4.5" tire option out there. The Mukluk has gobs of clearance with the Nate, but not quite enough for the Lou. It would have been nice if Surly had stuck to a BFL size casing (which fits nicely on a Muk) for the Bud/Lou. I'm guessing Surly upped the size intentionally to cut out the competition.

    At the end of the day, if I could do it over again, I'd still go with the Mukluk because it cost significantly less $$$ and it works really well.
    BobShort,

    I tried to send you a PM, but it kept giving me a timed out message, but is there anyway you can show a picture of the clearance of the Bud on a CS on the Enabler fork? That is exactly what I want to do, but I was told before in another thread that it may or may not be possible, but no one knew for sure.

    Thanks so much - BS

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by BullSCit View Post
    BobShort,

    I tried to send you a PM, but it kept giving me a timed out message, but is there anyway you can show a picture of the clearance of the Bud on a CS on the Enabler fork? That is exactly what I want to do, but I was told before in another thread that it may or may not be possible, but no one knew for sure.

    Thanks so much - BS
    I never check PMs anyway

    Anywhay here is a quick cell pic. I measured the gap at 5mm per side @ 10psi. The tires have been on there for a few weeks so they should be stretched. The tire does have a bit of a bulge in one spot where it gets a bit closer but not too close for comfort.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails If you had to do it all over again...4" or 5" tires?-photo.jpg  


  33. #33
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    Thanks for the picture Bob, I just ordered a Bud, and I can't wait for a little more float in the front. Regarding your question about the Lou fitting a CS on the rear, the guy on this thread says it is good, but someone else had a picture of the top of the tire hitting the top of the chainstay. I assume all the chainstay lengths are the same, but maybe there are different lengths, and that is why some and some can't.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BullSCit View Post
    Thanks for the picture Bob, I just ordered a Bud, and I can't wait for a little more float in the front. Regarding your question about the Lou fitting a CS on the rear, the guy on this thread says it is good, but someone else had a picture of the top of the tire hitting the top of the chainstay. I assume all the chainstay lengths are the same, but maybe there are different lengths, and that is why some and some can't.
    I have a 2012 Muk 2, the Lou on a CS fits fine, a pain to get past the brake caliper but once past that no problem.

  35. #35
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    Muk 2

    Quote Originally Posted by danaco View Post
    I have a 2012 Muk 2, the Lou on a CS fits fine, a pain to get past the brake caliper but once past that no problem.
    Do you have to adjust the rear axle further back to fit the Lou. Did previous Mukluks not have these adjusters?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaco View Post
    I have a 2012 Muk 2, the Lou on a CS fits fine, a pain to get past the brake caliper but once past that no problem.
    Is yours the Black and Red one without the adjustable dropouts right?

    Here is another post that someone said it doesn't work:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/sur...-=-821683.html


    Believe me, I really, really want this to work. As it will save me a grip of cash having to buy a new frame, especially now that I know the Bud works up front.

    Thanks for any more info - BS

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BullSCit View Post
    Is yours the Black and Red one without the adjustable dropouts right?

    Here is another post that someone said it doesn't work:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/sur...-=-821683.html


    Believe me, I really, really want this to work. As it will save me a grip of cash having to buy a new frame, especially now that I know the Bud works up front.

    Thanks for any more info - BS
    So I looked at the above thread/photo. Indeed, that one does not fit. There could be several reasons for the disparity of mine and that bike in the photo.

    1. The tire is on a skinner rim making the tire taller
    2. The frames are inconsistent as to the sizing of the brace and it's welded position (most likely)
    3. The tire is a big one ! I assume thre are more than one mold for these tires and it's very possible they are not all the same, another very possible secnerio. My Lou tire is hardly round that's for sure and is closer at one point than opposite side.

    I am betting its the frame manufacturing inconsistency with the brace, I just got lucky with mine. Knowing where these frames come from, parts like the braces are probably just eyeball cut and welded in.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaco View Post
    So I looked at the above thread/photo. Indeed, that one does not fit. There could be several reasons for the disparity of mine and that bike in the photo.

    1. The tire is on a skinner rim making the tire taller
    2. The frames are inconsistent as to the sizing of the brace and it's welded position (most likely)
    3. The tire is a big one ! I assume thre are more than one mold for these tires and it's very possible they are not all the same, another very possible secnerio. My Lou tire is hardly round that's for sure and is closer at one point than opposite side.

    I am betting its the frame manufacturing inconsistency with the brace, I just got lucky with mine. Knowing where these frames come from, parts like the braces are probably just eyeball cut and welded in.

    Danaco,

    Looks like you are, as I read further down that thread and he has Rolling Darryls (82mm rims), so that could definitely be the case. Do you have the alternator dropouts or the regular vertical dropouts? Do you have more clearance with the Bud up front or the Lou in back? I am using my Muk for 95% snowriding, so I don't need a lot of extra clearance like people who might be riding this in mud or places that could get rocks / sticks stuck in the tire tread (probably pretty tough to do that with either tire as the treads are fairly spaced apart).

    Thanks again, and I may be hoping that my Muk was built wide too.

    BS

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BullSCit View Post
    Danaco,

    Looks like you are, as I read further down that thread and he has Rolling Darryls (82mm rims), so that could definitely be the case. Do you have the alternator dropouts or the regular vertical dropouts? Do you have more clearance with the Bud up front or the Lou in back? I am using my Muk for 95% snowriding, so I don't need a lot of extra clearance like people who might be riding this in mud or places that could get rocks / sticks stuck in the tire tread (probably pretty tough to do that with either tire as the treads are fairly spaced apart).

    Thanks again, and I may be hoping that my Muk was built wide too.

    BTW..it's not the width I would be concerned with as I think the stays are most likely jigged all,the same from the BB shell (guessing) its the lower bridge I think they may just fit in by eye and you get what you get. Best of luck on that ! The upper bridge has tons of room.

    If it ends up being too tight, you could be adventurous and cut out the bridge have it re-welded the way you need it with more clearance. I forget if these frames are 7000 or 6000 series aluminum. 7000 you may not need to re- heat treat, with 6000 you will for sure. I know, crazy thought here and you minus well get a frame you know they will fit.

    BS
    BS

    I have the 2012 Muk 2 so no alternator DO's. Both tires are almost identical in width within a few mm's so either as a front or back I don't think will matter.
    I am however not convinced that the Lou may make a better front than the Bud. I was kid of disappointed in its ability to hold its line on side slopes in snow, slight at that. The float is very noticeable and allows one to really move along in varying conditions in the snow for the size and weight of these monsters. They are larger than 29er tires by a fair amount and accounts for a lot rolling over undulating terrain as I have found the same from 26er's to 29er's in the xc bike world.

  40. #40
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    I have 2012 mukluk, can i get lou to work with marge lites?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by force115 View Post
    I have 2012 mukluk, can i get lou to work with marge lites?
    Doubt it, will probably make them too tall and rub the lower brace but honestly don't know because I haven't tried it.

  42. #42
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    I like the 3.8's better when conditions are med-firm. Feels less like a clown bike and is easier to pick lines. IMO the rounded profile of BFL's at med-high pressure do not perform as well as Larry's in the same conditions. I have not tried Bud and Lou yet so this is just my take on it. If float is what you need - go fat and don't look back, but for all purpose fat bike use I'm not on board that bigger is always better.

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    I'll go along with the inconsistent chainstay brace location theory. On my first gen Muk I've been running Lou out back on a GFS 80, and it has about 3/16 clearance to the brace. Bud has a slightly larger OD and rubbed the brace even at lower pressures when I tried it. Thick mud will likely cause problems.

    <a href="http://smg.beta.photobucket.com/user/47flattie/media/DSC00374_zps52f8bbf2.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v651/47flattie/DSC00374_zps52f8bbf2.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>
    <a href="http://smg.beta.photobucket.com/user/47flattie/media/IMAG0375.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v651/47flattie/IMAG0375.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47flattie View Post
    I'll go along with the inconsistent chainstay brace location theory. On my first gen Muk I've been running Lou out back on a GFS 80, and it has about 3/16 clearance to the brace. Bud has a slightly larger OD and rubbed the brace even at lower pressures when I tried it. Thick mud will likely cause problems.

    <a href="http://smg.beta.photobucket.com/user/47flattie/media/DSC00374_zps52f8bbf2.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v651/47flattie/DSC00374_zps52f8bbf2.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>
    <a href="http://smg.beta.photobucket.com/user/47flattie/media/IMAG0375.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v651/47flattie/IMAG0375.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>
    Yup ! That exactly how mine fits, plenty fine for snow and as you say, mud could be an issue if nothing else, make a mess of the stays and brace. I never measured the diameter accurately of either tire but not surprised wjhat you found. How round are your tires, my front I'd pretty good while the backs got a fair bump to it but still maintains a good 1/8"-3/16"

    I'll always stick to the snow especially with these tires.

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    Bud is nice and round, but Lou has quite a hop/bump even after multiple attempts at reseating the tire on the rim. I'll probably put BFLs back on for summer but Bud/Lou are a game changer for me in the snow.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47flattie View Post
    Bud is nice and round, but Lou has quite a hop/bump even after multiple attempts at reseating the tire on the rim. I'll probably put BFLs back on for summer but Bud/Lou are a game changer for me in the snow.
    I haven't made a direct tire comparison yet to my skinner ones but the float was noticeable. Traction however suffered some in slippery steep sections. Too much area to put some weight down, I think anyway !

    What cranks are you running there ? Looks like the small ring is out where the middle usually is or further. This I s what I need to do. I may have to wait for the Surly OB crank to become available, they say between Jan/Feb

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    Origin 8 ISIS sub-compact 2x9, chainline is the same as the surly OD or MWOD crank when you use 2 BB spacers on the drive side of the FSA BB. I would wait for the OD crank, should be a lot lighter.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47flattie View Post
    I'll go along with the inconsistent chainstay brace location theory. On my first gen Muk I've been running Lou out back on a GFS 80, and it has about 3/16 clearance to the brace. Bud has a slightly larger OD and rubbed the brace even at lower pressures when I tried it. Thick mud will likely cause problems.
    All these reports of Lous fitting upped my curiosity so I decided to try my bud out back just for kicks. It fits! Barely. On an 80mm darryl it clears the chainstay bridge by about 3mm at the tightest point. I tried it on a clownshoe as well and the clearance is a bit better because the wider rim flattens the tire out a bit more. If the Lous are in fact a touch smaller in OD they should work no problem.

    Unfortunately with the Bud out back I can only get to the bottom 5 gears on my cassette when in my small ring. To make it work I'd need to go 1x or get a offset double crankset. I have no plans to do that now, but it kind of nice to know that I can.

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