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  1. #1
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    Moonlander or Pugsley for off road touring?

    This is related to my post in the Clydesdales sub-forum (link).

    Basically, I'm 6'8" tall and want to get a fat bike for off road touring and go anywhere exploring. I'm looking at getting either the Pugsley XL or Moonlander XXL.

    The Pugsley is my first choice because of the versatility with rims and tires. However, the Moonlander XXL is just ever so slightly larger than the Pugsley XL, which makes it tempting. Comfort on a bike I might be spending days or weeks on is important.

    I've done lots of reading about both bikes and it seems like the Pugsley is the frame of choice for most people using it for the same purposes as me (people like VikB, Joe Cruz, etc.).

    What I read about the Moonlander is a) it goes anywhere and b) it drives like a dump truck. Is the Moonlander lack of agility that much worse than a Pugsley? I have no intention of going high speed through highly technical single track, but I still may need to maneuver around things at times.

    Anybody have touring experience on a Moonlander that can offer an opinion?

  2. #2
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    I have a Moonlander that I primarily use for exploration, gravel grinders, and some single track- I dont have any problems with it not being nimble enough. I bought my wife a pugsley and while the frame is a bit too small for me I think it is easier to maneuver. I dont think you can go wrong with either.

  3. #3
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    I have a custom necro with a moonlander front end and bud tire. When I ride singletrack I find the bud slows me down a lot. Usually I steal the front wheel from my wife's pug for summer trail rides - rolling daryl and nate combo - The bike is way more maneuverable with the smaller wheel and rubber. I enjoy the ride much more and it rides much more like a normal mountain bike. For long distances, I'd go that way.

  4. #4
    slow:biker
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    By no means am I your size but I use a Necro Pugs for the uses you mention and have been very happy with it.

  5. #5
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    Get a moonlander,at 6 foot 8inches with a name like you got,i'm sure you can steer that dump truck with one hand

  6. #6
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    One more for the list to consider. Salsa Mukluk. I know, the head tube and seat tube measurements will make you think it is small. But look at the ETT and wheelbase on the XL. The slack HA of the Muk makes a big difference in getting the front wheel out in front of you where it belongs.

    Compare the reach and stack numbers and it comes in just shy of the Moonlander, with a longer wheelbase than either the Pug or Moonlander. But you get a symmetrical design so you can swap in 29+ as an option later. Just a thought, not a diss to father Surly of any sort.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the feedback so far. Three votes for the Moonlander has me leaning that way. Not sure if I can steer it one handed but what I can't dodge, I'll run over.

    The other question is how much work it will be plowing it 40 miles through the woods every day. The things we do for fun

  8. #8
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    Sorry, canyonrat, I missed your post when I was writing my other reply. The Mukluk would be a good option except the 170mm rear spacing prevents an IGH (for now - I've seen the rumors about a spacer/adapter). My LBS does stock the Mukluk, though. Nobody within 200 miles stocks Surly. I'll keep an eye on the Mukluk.

  9. #9
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    I have a Moonlander, and I've been riding it on anything since Late September. The great thing about the Moony, in my opinion, is once you get her up to speed she'll carry that speed with ease. Adversely when you point her up hill she will loose momentum fast, so you may have to start on the gas a little sooner.

    However, it's a very comfortable bike. I too like to be comfortable especially for long mileage days. Surly has hit the sweet spot for Geo with the Moonlander, and I'm sure the Pugs too. The bigger tires and rims = higher volume and more cushion in the rough stuff. Do I think a Moonlander is the go too here? Well it's definitely not for everyone, but you're a big guy, I think you can handle the girth of the Moony. I can handle it quite well and I'm 5'11". It will pedal a lot better than it looks, and I think the bigger wheels will be a good fit for your size.

    The Pugs is just as good in all the categories, but it will be a little lighter, steer a little quicker, and accelerate a little faster. That's basically because of the narrower wheel.

    Either way you can't go wrong. Surly hit it out of the park with their Fatties.
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  10. #10
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    Go with a moon,i will take you places you don't even want to be......

  11. #11
    MaverickMotoMedia.com
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    I'm 6'8" and I found the geometry of both to be lacking and the handling less than adequate.
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  12. #12
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    Thanks, Gigantic, I remember from another thread and PM that you said you felt like you were sitting on top of the bike, not in it, so you were building up a 9:zero:7 (I think). Was the handling problem the diving into corners issue I've read about?

  13. #13
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  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    I have had a pug and a moonlander and I am big. If the go anywhere exploring you want is off trail the moonlander with bud and lou are way better. My moonlander of the same size as my pug rides like a significantly bigger bike and I like it. If you are staying on trail the pug can be a tiny bit faster but I don't think it is worth it. The joy of a fat bike is being able to explore the widest range of terrain. The moonlander has a wider range which to me means the more joy.
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  16. #16
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    The go anywhere exploring is what I'm really looking for, along with a good, comfortable fit. At my height, the XXL Moonlander seems right, and at my weight (plus bikepacking gear), Bud and Lou on Clown Shoes seems like a great idea.

    I posted the same question on Reddit in the fat bike sub-reddit and got almost the same feedback I got here. Pugsley is a hair more nimble on trails but the Moonlander can go anywhere and be comfortable for big guys. Sounds good to me.

    Now I'm going to go spec out a build and see about getting this beast ordered. Pictures in a couple months when its ready to ride.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, I have a moonlander too and I've never gone from my FS 29er to my Moonlander and thought "Uggh, this thing is slow". I can go just as fast, just might take a tad bit more work. But the "fun" level is totally worth it. The climbing traction is 10x better than my 29er as well. I have wide bars (740) to wrestle the tires, but I've never thought it handled like a dump truck, more like a monster truck that I can bust through the woods with if I want. Sometimes you just get that energy to get off the dirt path and the Moonlander can do it no problem. It's pretty fun riding through deadfall and breaking through branches and stuff. That was my biggest surprise when I first got it - how much it can ride over. You don't have to worry about "tree down, I have to lift my bike over" since you can just ride around it in the thick stuff.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigAngryGuy View Post
    Thanks, Gigantic, I remember from another thread and PM that you said you felt like you were sitting on top of the bike, not in it, so you were building up a 9:zero:7 (I think). Was the handling problem the diving into corners issue I've read about?
    the 22" frame is very tall and it puts your center of gravity exceptionally high and forward oriented. If you're doing gentle, off-road touring, this may not be a big deal, especially if your trails don't include much technical terrain and descending. I use my bike for more enduro-oriented riding and the handling of the pugsley was unacceptable to me; I found that the 9:Zero:7 cockpit was much more comfortable, with a more rearward weight bias thanks to a longer top tube and slacker seat and head tube angles. I definitely feel more confident on the 9:Zero:7 than I ever did on the Pugsley and as an added bonus, the bike is about 5 pounds lighter.
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