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  1. #1
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    Less 'Beast'ly Fat Bike

    So I'm new here, and I hope members dont get the wrong idea - that the Walgoose bike has brought the riff raff out of the woodwork. I've been researching fat bikes for about a year now and have been lurking and learning. My problem is - I was reluctant to drop $2k on a bike without the ability to test ride one. The cheapo Walmart bike is my solution. Allows me to start fat biking with a reasonable investment.

    I've read it all and others are doing similar things, but here we go. Ultimate goal is a sub-35lb. fat bike with gears and disc brakes. Things move kind of slowly here on the Big Island of Hawaii. Everything takes longer to ship in - although most everything I will be doing will be used/donated parts from friends and the LBS.

    First one didn't make it here in one piece -




    Second try went much better -


    Weighed it on the digital bathroom scale. Stripped of reflectors and decals it weighed in at 48.8lbs!

    Got a plan and started collecting parts:

  2. #2
    gone walk about
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    happy gooseing
    "ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK"

  3. #3
    Puro Vida!
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    Less 'Beast'ly Fat Bike

    How is the bike? Maybe a good bike for my mrs?

  4. #4
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    I'm happy with it... but I am looking for a project starting point. It is way to heavy, needs gearing and needs brakes terribly. So basically unless you are looking for a project, I probably wouldn't go this direction.

  5. #5
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    It only needs gearing if you aren't into singlespeeds. Definitely not a must. Here's mine. Good luck on your build.

    Less 'Beast'ly Fat Bike-photo.jpg

  6. #6
    Human Test Subject
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    Thank you for starting another mongoose thread. The other 9 weren't quite enough.

  7. #7
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    I'm involved in many forums and in every case, my posts are highly technical and enjoyed by all.
    This would be an example:
    Next Briggs powered chop - Club Chopper Forums

    Hopefully, you can give it a chance and keep postive.

    -Greg

  8. #8
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    Hub sits at 100mm wide- I'm going to add 30mm to it and build a solid titanium axle.

  9. #9
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    WOW, I took the time to read all pages of the Briggs build, As a powder coater and custom fabricator I can really appreciate the finish and details.
    I really like the effort put into the many photos documenting the build.

  10. #10
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    Thanks- hopefully this will turn out just as intriguing.

  11. #11
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    Every spoke nipple looked like a drill bit was used on them



  12. #12
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    damn thats a cool bike

    looking forward to seeing how this one turns out

  13. #13
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    I dunno but to me it seems in your attempt to try affordable fatbiking you, if you carry out your plans to upgrade, you will end up spending just as much money.

    Oh well, should still be interesting.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    I dunno but to me it seems in your attempt to try affordable fatbiking you, if you carry out your plans to upgrade, you will end up spending just as much money.

    Oh well, should still be interesting.
    It looks like our new friend likes projects, which is awesome. This little cheapy is easier to justify cutting and modifying than a more expensive bike.

    I'll be watching this thread closely.

  15. #15
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    Please document as fully as possible since what you do might translate into other projects, not that the Walbeast isn't a fun challenge.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    I dunno but to me it seems in your attempt to try affordable fatbiking you, if you carry out your plans to upgrade, you will end up spending just as much money.

    Oh well, should still be interesting.
    If he keeps reasonable, it is possible to push the Walgoose to a setup with disk brakes and realistic tires & tubes for $350 (meaning a total of $550). All the rest (drilling, wheel rebuilding, paint or whatever else...) is just time so it is cheaper and nicer if tinkering is a hobby

  17. #17
    Nemophilist
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    Hey;

    Buying a turn key bike is not always the goal. Anyone can do that if they have the funds. Some of us even make the entire thing!
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  18. #18
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    ^^ exactly how I think.

    Cut the front hub in half this morning...



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopsmitty View Post
    Every spoke nipple looked like a drill bit was used on them


    Could you please throw that unlaced rim on a scale? The best feature of this bike may be the rims. I'd love to know how many grams they weigh prior to drilling.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailMaker View Post
    Hey;

    Buying a turn key bike is not always the goal. Anyone can do that if they have the funds. Some of us even make the entire thing!
    Hey, I get that totally.

    Not my thing but still cool if it makes him smile.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  21. #21
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    Bare rim weight - 1234 g

  22. #22
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    Individuals have "drilled" about 300 grams from each rim, but I'll bet you can do better.

  23. #23
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    I am tempted to cut them on the cnc, but I'd have to swing the head... We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

  24. #24
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    Stock hub with bearings, axle, nuts etc - 326 grams
    New hub complete minus disc brake - 388 grams

  25. #25
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    Keep it coming.

    Looks like you're aiming for being the Manuel Beastly of bike modification...
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  26. #26
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    subscribed! this thread looks promising

  27. #27
    gran jefe
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    wow. nice work so far. subscribed.

  28. #28
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    Next project is to reinforce the rim at it's 'weld'. I am able to see light through the joint - it appears to be only joined at the outer rim edges... Then we are going to drill them.

  29. #29
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    Walked in to work and on my desk were more used goodies from the resident mountain biker. Between Grant and Matt at Mountain Road Cycles - this thing is coming along...

  30. #30
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    Forgot to mention - total weight of the RaceFace parts - 691g

  31. #31
    gran jefe
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    i think that crank would survive a nuclear war! wow...

  32. #32
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    Someone on I think Rat Rod Bikes stripped and polished the rims and they look very cool.

  33. #33
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    I was thinking of doing just that - because I have to strip the joint to be welded.

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    Finished product weighs 1014g.

  35. #35
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    Last edited by dudeist; 05-03-2013 at 10:05 PM.

  36. #36
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    *****in'. That's like 1/2 lb right there. Nice!!

  37. #37
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    I made a quick model of the wheel in Solidworks and did a stress analysis with a couple different hole designs. This one proved to be the strongest with the most weight removal.

  38. #38
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    Great Work keep it up!
    Still cleaning my Fatback.
    It's a life style.

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    Going to have to fix the chain line while adding new gearing... But we'll tackle that when the rear wheel gets built and we can see what works on the rear hub.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopsmitty View Post
    I made a quick model of the wheel in Solidworks and did a stress analysis with a couple different hole designs. This one proved to be the strongest with the most weight removal.
    That's interesting. I got the same pattern when I worked out how I wanted to lighten my rims.

    My method was more low tech using my man-in-a-shed with hand tools ethos - I used masking tape and joined up the spoke holes because I figured the metal was only needed between them. Then I outlined the edges of the masking tape and ended up with your pattern.

    BTW why leave the valve hole area untouched? Do we actually need a valve hole - surely it can simply be in one of the open areas? It's a bit more weight to save.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  41. #41
    Are we there yet?
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    Chopsmitty, you obviously are a very skilled craftsman, and we all love seeing your work.

    I can see you are a perfectionist. Doesn't it bother you starting off a project with junk like this bike? There are so many issues going on here that you might as well start from scratch. I wouldn't be surprised to find frames out of line too. (we've already seen forks)

    I drilled my front wheel, (turned out nice) and moved on to the rear. Had everything marked off and drill in hand. Then upon closer inspection, I could see the wheel had been over tightened, and the cheap rims were slightly deformed at the spoke holes.

    Since the rear wheel supports more weight, and is subject to the stress of driving and braking, I couldn't do it. Junky parts, crappy quality control.

    (my rims aren't even the same color. Front is white(ish) silver, and the rear is greyish silver)

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostQuick View Post
    ...I could see the wheel had been over tightened, and the cheap rims were slightly deformed at the spoke holes...
    Easily fixed - use spoke washers to spread the load. The wheel won't collapse.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostQuick View Post
    Chopsmitty, you obviously are a very skilled craftsman, and we all love seeing your work.

    I can see you are a perfectionist. Doesn't it bother you starting off a project with junk like this bike?
    I'm hoping that the last step in this project will be to weld up a new Ti frame!
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  44. #44
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    Velobike, i can't imagine doing that by hand - the CNC did it for me and the whole job took just over an hour.

  45. #45
    bigger than you.
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    wow. you can spitshine a turd!

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I'm hoping that the last step in this project will be to weld up a new Ti frame!
    That is exactly what I was thinking- but it's going to take a while. I have too many projects in the works now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    wow. you can spitshine a turd!
    Carefull....that almost sounded like a compliment

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopsmitty View Post
    I made a quick model of the wheel in Solidworks and did a stress analysis with a couple different hole designs. This one proved to be the strongest with the most weight removal.
    I sure wish I had your setup... that must have nice edges.

    Rim's only Al. Maybe it's time to build a micro CNC setup.

    Any chance of posting:
    - a jpg of the cutout template with dimensions?
    - comparative strength against no cutouts, and against 1.5" circle cutouts?

    If one were to cutout such a shape with drill bits, and an appropriate saw for the straight edges, how critical is it to keep the edge square and the straight into the corners smooth to avoid stress risers?

  49. #49
    A Surly Maverick
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    Great job so far !

    LOVE what you did with the wheel cutouts
    A Fatback'd Lefty for who life IS a Beach

  50. #50
    gran jefe
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    chopsmitty, pretty amazing. nice work!

  51. #51
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    I love watching these types of builds in process. Way to use what you have access to. So many times my students ask my why I am making a particular part in the shop. My answer is usually "because I can". Enough said, excited to see how this turns out.

  52. #52
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    Super post I am a newbie and was hoping for a post just like this. The bonus is I work at a prototype shop so I have access to all the machinery I need

  53. #53
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopsmitty View Post


    Going to have to fix the chain line while adding new gearing... But we'll tackle that when the rear wheel gets built and we can see what works on the rear hub.
    You need to replace that kickstand spring with a titanium one. Seriously though, nice work.

  55. #55
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    WOW. never thought I'd see this. I mean I kinda did, but not really. Follow me?

  56. #56
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    Any updates chopsmitty?

  57. #57
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    Not really.. My co-worker Grant did bring me some more parts. A cog set for the rear hub and a 24 tooth front sprocket! Getting closer!

    Matt Bisaro at Mountain Road Cycles has the front wheel/hub and is going to lace it up with new quality parts. Will post pics when we get that back.

  58. #58
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    I bought an archer 3 speed for my rear any tips on lacing it up? What size spokes ect...

  59. #59
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    I've only laced/trued motorcycle wheels. Matt Bisaro was excited to work on the wheel, he has all the spokes right there - and tons of specific experience - so he is doing the work for me.

    Question for anyone who reads this - I'm a really a motorcycle guy. I can make anything work, but what would be the best derailleur to start with??? I know I need something for the 7 speed cassette but what about the specific mount styles?

    I see this on ebay:


    SRAM X.3 7/8 speed Rear Long Cage Derailleur Black Mountain MTB

    SRAM X.3 Rear Derailleurs.

    Will work with 7, 8 or 9 speed cassettes, depending on the shifter used

    Item Specifications
    Color Black
    Weight 272g
    Intended Use Mountain
    Cassette Spacing Shimano/SRAM 9,Shimano/SRAM 7,Shimano/SRAM 8
    Shifter/Derailleur Compatibility SRAM 1:1
    Largest Cog 34teeth
    Chain Wrap Capacity 45teeth
    Derailleur Action Top-Normal (Traditional)
    Cage Length Long

    Will this work ok?

  60. #60
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    Should be fine, but an x7 is only a little more expensive and should be a little lighter and offer better shifting. Main thing is any 9 speed should work and long cage will be required if you want to have a triple in front. Otherwise a medium cage (for a double) or short cage (for a single or compact ratio double) should be fine. Good luck, great build so far.
    --Peace

  61. #61
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    I haven't actually used one of these but from what I understand about how they work I think an old Saint Rear Derraileur might be the easiest way to go because they bolt right to the rear axle requiring no hanger. Would seem to be just what the doctor ordered for this bike.

    Like this New Shimano Saint RD M805 SGS 9 Speed Rear Derailleur Low Normal Long Cage | eBay

    Also why 7 speed? That's pretty old school, anything 7 speed you find new is going to be very low end and heavy.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopsmitty View Post


    Finished product weighs 1014g.
    your setup is pretty mean. i signed up just to follow this build and see what else you make.
    aloha \m/

  63. #63
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    Screwed up when welding the hub together and aligned the spoke holes side to side. Had to fix that today and clearanced Matt's derailleur hanger alignment tool to make up for my mistake..

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    Amazing and bemusing in equal measures !!!!

  65. #65
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    Bummer on the hub. Sorry I didn't catch that when I looked at it earlier. Whoops.

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    No prob. Just make sure you guys get over to our place before the airport!

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    This showed up today. Huge box!


    Only thing in it was two significantly lighter tires!


    I've got a Thompson seat post, tubes, steering stem... I gotta put some pressure on my wheel builder!!

  68. #68
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    lmk how you like those tires. i got a set on the way but my builds gonna be awhile before i finish. hopefully get to ride it out in hilo tail end of summer when i go up to visit a buddy for a fishing trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Wood View Post
    I bought an archer 3 speed for my rear any tips on lacing it up? What size spokes ect...
    pretty good calc can be found here Freespoke and heres a pretty understandable wheel build guide Wheel Building

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by cujo_mia_chew_toy View Post
    lmk how you like those tires. i got a set on the way but my builds gonna be awhile before i finish. hopefully get to ride it out in hilo tail end of summer when i go up to visit a buddy for a fishing trip.
    Just got a Floater a week ago and am loving it so far. Haven't done much off roading, but they roll great on hard surface. The little off roading I have done it seems to hook up well. Seeing it in pics doesn't do it justice- it's a great looking tire in person- I think this is going to be my all around go to tire as it rolls well, fairly lightweight and gives plenty of traction.

    Great job by On One.

  71. #71
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    Stock tires - 2840g each

    Floaters - 1460g each

  72. #72
    gran jefe
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    wow, 6 lbs of lost weight just from tires. should feel a lot better.

  73. #73
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    Stock Mongoose tubes - 727grams
    Q-tubes superlight 2.4"-2.75" - 240grams

    That's 2.14 lbs just in the tubes!

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopsmitty View Post
    Stock Mongoose tubes - 727grams
    Q-tubes superlight 2.4"-2.75" - 240grams

    That's 2.14 lbs just in the tubes!
    I was trying to put my stock mongoose tires on my marge lites with the Q's for the hell of it. I couldn't get the bead set evenly at pressures I felt comfortable going to while stretching out those tubes. I have read several times they fit BFL/CS but I didn't want to risk it without spares handy. By the bulging (or lack there) of the rim strip through the cutouts, it was only stretching to size in half the tire. Shrug.
    Fatbike Chicago on Facebook

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochunk View Post
    I was trying to put my stock mongoose tires on my marge lites with the Q's for the hell of it. I couldn't get the bead set evenly at pressures I felt comfortable going to while stretching out those tubes. I have read several times they fit BFL/CS but I didn't want to risk it without spares handy. By the bulging (or lack there) of the rim strip through the cutouts, it was only stretching to size in half the tire. Shrug.
    Use soapy water.
    --Peace

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars_D View Post
    Use soapy water.
    I was. But that wasn't the thing holding me back. As I stated, the smaller 2.7" tubes filling the larger tire evenly at sane pressures was the limiting factor. It's one thing to crank up to 30 psi in a Larry vs, say, a BFL with the smaller tube. I didn't want to risk it. If I had a Surly toob handy I would have used that for that application.

    It was more of an experiment as to how heavy the stock Beast tires would have felt on my Pugs, and how well it rolled on pavement as I had a long paved ride this weekend.
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    Front wheel is done! Here's the detail shot of the weld reinforcement done at the seam.


    Going to try to get the caliper mounted tomorrow..

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopsmitty View Post
    Front wheel is done! Here's the detail shot of the weld reinforcement done at the seam.


    Going to try to get the caliper mounted tomorrow..
    Sweet! Can't wait to see it in real life!!

  79. #79
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    Cut a bracket on the CNC


    After a little TIG welding, Disc brakes in the front...


  80. #80
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    Re: Less 'Beast'ly Fat Bike

    Awesome job!

    (FYI, a bicycle front brake lever goes on the left)

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOV View Post
    Awesome job!

    (FYI, a bicycle front brake lever goes on the left)

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    In America! I have a few buddies that run their front brake opposite. Some BMX guys in town run their rear brake on the left just for something different. Some motorcycle dudes run their front brake on the right because it is more familiar. Either way, you can do whatever you prefer!
    My motorcycle runs on infant blood

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOV View Post
    ...(FYI, a bicycle front brake lever goes on the left)...
    No it doesn't. It goes on the right for a large part of the world's population.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOV View Post
    Awesome job!

    (FYI, a bicycle front brake lever goes on the left)

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2

    Where's the rulebook for that?
    OG Ripley v2
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  84. #84
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOV View Post
    (FYI, a bicycle front brake lever goes on the left)
    No arguing about religion, please.

    chopsmitty, that really looks good. nice work.

  85. #85
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    Remember everybody, I'm a motorcycle guy. Clutch on the left, front brake on the right.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopsmitty View Post
    Remember everybody, I'm a motorcycle guy. Clutch on the left, front brake on the right.
    So am I, and I never had a problem with going back and forth. Shrug. I prefer the 'standard' bike setup as it's what I've ridden for longer than I've ridden motorcycles I guess. And I rarely use the rear on a motorcycle. I also tend to cover the rear on the bicycle more.
    Fatbike Chicago on Facebook

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    Sorry, took a long break in the action. Have too may projects! I'll get the rear rim delaced, welded and cut this weekend.

    Picked up some more craigslist stuff... It's very difficult to find this stuff in Hawaii and shipping kills the deal. Trying to keep this as 'cheap' as possible...


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    Wheel is done and the hub is widened by 40mm. Have to turn the axle and off for relacing...

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    Axle done, 7 speed cassette installed ...

  90. #90
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    Sweet!! I was lucky enough to see the hub being split on the lathe. Awesome stuff!!

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  92. #92
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    Looking very good.
    --Peace

  93. #93
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    Have all the parts. Just might get riding this weekend...



  94. #94
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    Bike sits at 36.4 lbs right now. Still need to add the rear caliper, brake line and master cylinder/handle. The gearing is pretty darn good! The bike is light enough (for now) and works very well!



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    Great job, Chopsmitty!

    Fun to watch this come together, and glad to hear the results are working well!

  96. #96
    has a bad
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    Wow, you make these mods look really easy. Well done!

    In that last picture, is the chain touching the tire?

  97. #97
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    Awesome color combination! That thing looks great

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    Quote Originally Posted by xobloof View Post
    Wow, you make these mods look really easy. Well done!

    In that last picture, is the chain touching the tire?
    Not even close. It's just a seven speed cassette, but I'm thinking there was room for more....

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopsmitty View Post
    Not even close. It's just a seven speed cassette, but I'm thinking there was room for more....
    I think you need to get in touch with Manuel Beastly for a job in his pit crew.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  100. #100
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    Fan-freaking-tastic!

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