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  1. #1
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    New here and want to pick your brains - added a couple pictures

    Hi Guys and Gals.

    Our first snow fall that stayed was Oct 10 last year and I drove home in a snow storm on April 29th this year. Because of this I have decided to join you next winter on the trails on a new fat bike, but I would like to use your knowledge and experience to help me pick one. I have been reading as many forums as I can and gathering as much info as possible but I am sure I have missed some.

    So let me introduce myself by telling you that I am 42 yrs old and in the 205 lbs range but am trying to reduce the last number. I will be riding on groomed x-country ski trails as well and single track during the winter. If I like the machine as much as you guys seem to I can see running it in the summer as well. I live in forested but relatively flat country with a couple of river valleys. We have tons of mud during the summer months as our area has lots of clay and very little gravel or rock.

    My current collection of bikes includes road bike, a hard tail mountain bike converted to grocery getter with racks and fenders and a 5" travel full suspension. Right now I am leaning towards the Surly Moonlander or Necromancer (or something similar).

    So this is what I am asking.

    What are the Pros and Cons to the Moonlander (those really big fat tires are why I'm interested)?
    How is the stock gearing? Would you change it and if so why?
    Do you feel limited not have a triple up front?

    Pros and cons to the Necromacer?

    I hope I'm not asking to much especially on my first post but as a whole you all seem very knowledgable and willing to share. So thanks in advance. I hope to see some of you on the trails.
    Last edited by sdsyver; 06-15-2013 at 09:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    I don't know if any of this will help you any or not, feel free to ask questions!
    I got my Necromancer in November 2012, and have been riding it on and off until now and have about 800 miles on it between commuting on the road, some minor trail riding, and a good bit of cruising through snow filled parks; there are days when I don't especially look forward to using it [usually when commuting and trying to keep up with a riding partner on a road bike, I can maintain the same speed but it just takes a good bit more energy], but most of the time it is simply awesome to ride around on as it really floats over things and leaves a barely noticeable footprint behind [granted I'm 170lbs, but still, compared to my touring mountain bike that has 2+" tires there is a huge difference], plus passing other cyclists or even cars on it is too much fun.

    Only riding through fresh snow I do wish I had a lower gear than the granny gear [22-34 I think], but I have never felt like I was limited on the fast side of things as I can keep my typical road speed of about 18-21mph no problem and with a tailwind can hit over 30mph so I'm not missing a triple crank; offroad is a different story as you let air out of the tires resulting in the cycle computer no longer reading an accurate speed because the effective radius changes [but speed seems to be about the same as if I was on another bike, but the bike smooths out rough ground nicely]


    If I was to do it again I would probably still get the Necromancer and not spring the extra $300-400 for the Moonlander because I do not need the monster tire clearance, or the 18mm wider rims and the extra 'float' they bring [that could very well be something for you to look into as you are heavier]. But then again I have spent a good deal of money on trying out different configurations: I have a set of 120tpi Black Floyds, 27TPI Knards, and the stock Larry and Nate, then there was the experimenting with different handle bars [Easton Monkey Lite, On-One Mary alt bar and an On-One Midge off road drop bar, and briefly a Nashbar trekking bar], and then spare tubes and rimstrip [I am currently running with Qtube Extremes which are marginally lighter than Surly Toobs, but have been using a Cuben fabric rim strip I made which weighs less than 2g compared to about 200g for the Surly rimstrip], plus I have been sewing up some bike packing bags for it.



    So Necromancer vs Moonlander, get what you want, the Moonlander might be a better fit though especially if you want to think about running a big tire [Bud/ Lou combo, or any of those likely to come in the next few years]. Other than it needing a little more effort to go fast it rides like a bike, will need minor maintenance and some upgrades like most any bike, and you will have a lot of fun on the thing [probably more fun on it than any other bike, I still don't know the reason why though, I guess it just comes with the territory!]

    Oh, and people love to stop you to ask about it, I have had people in cars pull me off the road to ask about it, so you better like talking about bikes at least a little bit because you will be doing it a lot

  3. #3
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    Thanks Agent 9 this is the type of info I'm after. Good stuff!

  4. #4
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    If your primary motivation is winter riding, I'd get the bigger tires. I'm 25 pounds lighter and the extra float is noticeable.
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  5. #5
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    Thats a question I have. Does the rim strip actually keep out mud, sand etc. Seems like a sure way to get a flat tire to me. I see why they have made the rims that way but still been wondering.

  6. #6
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    With cutouts I like a rim strip that is stuck on good, like a good quality adhesive tape, with a strip the wrong way inside it to keep the sticky from showing through the holes.
    I just don't like the way the surly rim strips bulge up so much through the holes, but it may actually make the ride better to have that extra give and air volume.
    I haven't had any problem with mud retention or punctures either way though.

    If you have drilled out double wall rims like the Kris holm rims, or home drilled Large Marge or Weinmann DHLs I would think mud and dirt could get stuck between the rim walls, but not on single wall rims like Marge lite, Rolling Darryl or Clown shoes.

    As far as advice on which bike to get, I can't really help, since I never see snow, so I didn't go super fat.
    I can say that I wouldn't miss a triple on any fatbike. You would have to be haulin a$! down hill to need more than a 36-11 with tires that diameter. 36-11 is plenty for me on a 29er that I ride around town. Yeah, I could go faster, and I definitely used to when I was younger, but I don't need to go over 30mph on a bicycle anymore. Last time I did. I broke two vertebrae.

  7. #7
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    Sorry, I can't answer your question about the rim strips, nor can I speak of the Necromancer or Moonlander specifically, but I would like to give my opinion regarding tire/rim widths.

    I ride a Mukluk 3 with stock Nate (4.0) on 82mm rims.
    Wife rides a Pugsley with stock Larry (3.8) and Endomorph (3.7) on 65mm rims.
    We ride snow-covered single-track and snowmobile trails.

    The wider tires/rims provide marginally better floatation.
    But the narrower tires/rims provide more precise steering.
    So there are some trade-offs regarding tire and rim widths.
    It could be a difference in steering geometry, but I think it is more of a tire profile issue.

    Fat biking in the snow has become just as enjoyable as dirt on my 29er.
    I now wish I had gone for the Mukluk 2.

    One more thing...
    As tempting as it is, you might want to rethink riding groomed XC ski trails.
    Around here, skiers pay a trail fee that is used to keep the trails groomed.
    They think they should have exclusive rights to those trails.
    The county and state thinks so too.
    Stumpjumper Marathon 29

  8. #8
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    I just put a Clownshoe with a Bud on the front of my Pugsley when I switched to a lefty fork.... Now I wish I had a Moonlander with the ability to run Lou in the back. Get the Moonlander. You won't be disappointed.

  9. #9
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    I'd get the Moonlander. With the Moonlander you can put a narrower rim and tire on if you want but if you get a Necro and want to put on something wider you don't have that option.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhz06 View Post
    I'd get the Moonlander. With the Moonlander you can put a narrower rim and tire on if you want but if you get a Necro and want to put on something wider you don't have that option.
    In a round about way that would be why I bought my Grand Cherokee with the Hemi in it. Not as limited in the future as to what I can do with it.

  11. #11
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    Re: New here and want to pick your brains

    Moonlander.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by not-real-fast View Post
    Sorry, I can't answer your question about the rim strips, nor can I speak of the Necromancer or Moonlander specifically, but I would like to give my opinion regarding tire/rim widths.

    I ride a Mukluk 3 with stock Nate (4.0) on 82mm rims.
    Wife rides a Pugsley with stock Larry (3.8) and Endomorph (3.7) on 65mm rims.
    We ride snow-covered single-track and snowmobile trails.

    The wider tires/rims provide marginally better floatation.
    But the narrower tires/rims provide more precise steering.
    So there are some trade-offs regarding tire and rim widths.
    It could be a difference in steering geometry, but I think it is more of a tire profile issue.

    Fat biking in the snow has become just as enjoyable as dirt on my 29er.
    I now wish I had gone for the Mukluk 2.

    One more thing...
    As tempting as it is, you might want to rethink riding groomed XC ski trails.
    Around here, skiers pay a trail fee that is used to keep the trails groomed.
    They think they should have exclusive rights to those trails.
    The county and state thinks so too.
    Did not realize that about rim sizes. Makes sense though. As far as riding on trails here in winter so long as I stay out of track set portion I am fine. It is a multi use trail network in town so long you are not motorized. It is something I should look into though so thanks for bringing it up. Sure hope I can they are only a block from my house.

    Quote Originally Posted by autodoctor911 View Post
    With cutouts I like a rim strip that is stuck on good, like a good quality adhesive tape, with a strip the wrong way inside it to keep the sticky from showing through the holes.
    I just don't like the way the surly rim strips bulge up so much through the holes, but it may actually make the ride better to have that extra give and air volume.
    I haven't had any problem with mud retention or punctures either way though.

    If you have drilled out double wall rims like the Kris holm rims, or home drilled Large Marge or Weinmann DHLs I would think mud and dirt could get stuck between the rim walls, but not on single wall rims like Marge lite, Rolling Darryl or Clown shoes.

    As far as advice on which bike to get, I can't really help, since I never see snow, so I didn't go super fat.
    I can say that I wouldn't miss a triple on any fatbike. You would have to be haulin a$! down hill to need more than a 36-11 with tires that diameter. 36-11 is plenty for me on a 29er that I ride around town. Yeah, I could go faster, and I definitely used to when I was younger, but I don't need to go over 30mph on a bicycle anymore. Last time I did. I broke two vertebrae.
    I kind of figured lower gearing would be the key but was not really sure. So go low seems to be what most of you suggest. Especially since I'm not in the best shape of my life. Thanks guys.

  13. #13
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    I have a 2013 Moonlander and love it. I've ridden it on snow, packed dirt, gravel, and pavement. In addition to the stock BFL's, I have Black Floyds, and Bud/Lou all on Clownshoe rims. Because of the 28mm onset, the 'lander is optimized for the Clownshoe rims and using Rolling Darryls or skinnier rims results in unfavorable spoke tensions. Might 'work' but could be problematic under hard conditions.
    Get the 'lander. You won't stop smiling.

  14. #14
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    I am now trying to locate a medium Moonlander and that is proving to be a difficult thing. Will head to the city in a week or so. Might find something or at least get sized properly and order one. That would suck having to wait.

  15. #15
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    sdsyver - I am 5'10" and ride a medium 'lander. You will be lucky if you can find one. They are in big demand. A wait for an ordered one could be lengthy, especially this time of year. The anticipation will make it all worthwhile when it finally arrives......

  16. #16
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    I've got a necromancer being built here in the next week or two in Japan. I will be using it as a commuter as well as just for fun. And where I am we don't get as much snow, so MAX float wasn't on my priority list. But I think the necromancer will suit me just fine.

  17. #17
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    Sounds to me that a Moonlander would serve you well. I rode a few times this past winter with a guy on a Necromancer and he switched bikes with a friend on a Moonlander and all he could talk about during that ride was how much nicer it was to be riding the Moonlander. The Bud and Lou set up as tubeless make it a much nicer ride in true winter conditions.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdsyver View Post
    What are the Pros and Cons to the Moonlander (those really big fat tires are why I'm interested)?

    Pros and cons to the Necromacer?
    Here is some info that might help:

    Surly Moonlander vs. Pugsley? | The Lazy Rando Blog...

    If you need max floatation as a priority I would get the ML. If you want a versatile fatbike I would get the Pugs/Necro which can take up to BFLs on 82mm rims.

    I ride my Pugs with 1 x 8 IGH and have never had issues riding snow, beach sand or touring in the MTNs. YMMV.

    In case you want to consider a set of summer 29er wheels for a Pugs:

    Pugsley 29er Wheels? | The Lazy Rando Blog...
    Last edited by vikb; 05-12-2013 at 11:15 AM.
    Safe riding,

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  19. #19
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    You might also consider the Mukluk, which will take BFL's without a problem. Bud and Lou (at least on the back) a little more difficult, but the lack of offset makes building up different wheels less problematic. That said, the Moonie is still a great bike.

  20. #20
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    The Lou (rear tire) will not work on the Mukluk and the BFL is a terrible deep snow tire.

  21. #21
    db4
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    i have med /large moonlanders in stock 631 549-1127 Glenn
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New here and want to pick your brains-img_1272.jpg  


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Here is some info that might help:

    Surly Moonlander vs. Pugsley? | The Lazy Rando Blog...

    If you need max floatation as a priority I would get the ML. If you want a versatile fatbike I would get the Pugs/Necro which can take up to BFLs on 82mm rims.

    I ride my Pugs with 1 x 8 IGH and have never had issues riding snow, beach sand or touring in the MTNs. YMMV.

    In case you want to consider a set of summer 29er wheels for a Pugs:

    Pugsley 29er Wheels? | The Lazy Rando Blog...
    Thanks for the link and info. You bring up some very valid points and the bike would be used year round once I finally pick one. I am currently leaning towards the Moonlander likely for the very reasons you have stated "wanting the biggest and baddest". Once I get into a shop and have a good look at things I may change my mind. This is why I love these type of forums. Lots and lots of experience to draw from. I do like the look of the Mukluk to as deuxdiesel suggested. I will certainly post pictures of what ever i get!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdsyver View Post
    Thanks for the link and info. You bring up some very valid points and the bike would be used year round once I finally pick one. I am currently leaning towards the Moonlander likely for the very reasons you have stated "wanting the biggest and baddest". Once I get into a shop and have a good look at things I may change my mind. This is why I love these type of forums. Lots and lots of experience to draw from. I do like the look of the Mukluk to as deuxdiesel suggested. I will certainly post pictures of what ever i get!
    I've been on a Moonlander since mid January. I also have a full suspension 29er, but the Moonie is all that I've ridden since January. I've ridden snow (fresh, deep and groomed), sand (wet and powdery dry), slick rock and various dirt single track. I also rode pavement for the first time yesterday. Mostly I ridden with BFL's, although I used Bud and Lou on sand, snow, dirt and slick rock. I haven't found the bike to be at all lacking. The only reason I'll be using the 29er in the near future, is if the Moonie is out of commission.

    Some people have a different bike for every occasion, while others have one bike for all occasions. I'm happy to have my Moonlander for all occasions.

  24. #24
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    Well everyone thanks for all the help. I picked up a 16.5" Moonlander and it fits perfect. I tried out the Necromancer as well but liked the way the Moony felt best. Since I had a couple hrs to kill before my next appointment I went straight from the bike shop and did an hour and a half ride. My first upgrade was to add a bit of mud to the paint job. It is the oddest thing to ride at first but was beginning to get it figured out by the end. I'll post a picture or two in the next couple days. Thanks again.

  25. #25
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    Congrats - enjoy the new bike...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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