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  1. #1
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    One of these kids ain't like the other ones...

    I've spent most of the last decade fanatically obsessed with traveling long distances on snow, and usually in Alaska. Without writing a book here, the easiest way to go far on snow is to be able to travel fast while conditions are good. In order to travel fast, you need to travel light and sacrifice creature comforts like dry socks and warm food. And shelter. Over the course of the last decade, I developed my own 'science' for doing this, and it has served me well when going fast.

    But the thrill of going fast has started to fade, and I've really started to enjoy going steady (not fast, not slow, just continuous movement) for days at a time, and just enjoying the scenery unfolding around me. In a word, touring. The difference is that most of the places that I plan to go touring the next few years have never seen bicycles, and the reason for that is that there are neither roads nor trails to ride on.

    If you want to ride on snow, and in places where there are no trails, the only way to do that is to have some serious flotation. And to be mentally okay with walking a lot when the wind is up or the snow is falling. I'm okay with both, as long as I'm seeing new country and my camera is working.

    In '98 I had a Marin hardtail that the brother's Sycip chopped the rear end off of, then tacked a new one onto, so that it could accept the biggest tire available--the Nokian 3.0 Gazzaloddi. Coupled with a cheap rigid fork out of my LBS's fork barrel, it was the best thing going at the time, and those 26 x 3.0's allowed me to ride the entire Iditarod trail in 15 days. But the bike had serious issues with geometry, length (19" chainstays, anyone?) and drivetrain (only 5 operable cogs out back, and "operable" is a stretch), so I sold it and used the proceeds to have Willits build a new one.

    The Willits Big Rig improved on the Marcip in every way possible: more tire clearance, better geo for snow riding, a full 8 speed cluster, 16.5" chainstays--the works. It rode like a normal bike, except for the flotation, which was way above average. It even had clearance for the new crop of fat 3.5" Remolino Tires mounted on the impossible (now) to find 82mm wide Sand Rims. I bonded with it on a second trip up the Iditarod (this time in 17 days) and I was sure I was gonna own that bike til the day I died. Then Surly came out with the 3.7 EndoMorphs, and the Willits' days were numbered because it couldn't clear 'em.

    Enter the Snoots. Without going into the why's and what for's of every little detail, it is the most purpose built bike I knew how to ask for, and Brad at Moots was at least as passionate about creating it as I was/am about having it. The purpose has changed from going fast and traveling light to going slow and enjoying the ride, and as a result the bike needed several modifications that are not all that out of the ordinary when taken one at a time, but add it all up and...

    ...well...

    I don't know what you get. But it sure as hell floats. I know that the next few winters (with a few potential summer trips on the horizon) are gonna be innerestin'.

    Without further ado...

    MC
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    Last edited by mikesee; 04-08-2006 at 12:29 PM.

  2. #2
    This place needs an enema
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    More pics
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  3. #3
    This place needs an enema
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    Next batch...
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  4. #4
    Cold. Blue. Steel.
    Reputation: OneGearGuy's Avatar
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    Wow!
    That is sure purposeful looking.
    Hydros work in the sub-freezing conditions, eh? That is good news.
    Is that the fork that hold your cooking gas?

    Thanks for sharing. OGG
    Spinning and Grinning...

  5. #5
    This place needs an enema
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    Some fully loaded shots, and a few trail shots. No time (tonight) to give further details or a ride report. Hopefully tomorrow.

    Til then, let's see how many details y'all can pick out, and (much more importantly) if you can successfully explain the reasoning behind said details.

    BTW--on the next-to-last shot, to give you an idea of the 'scale' of the tire's footprint, that's a size 50 Lake shoe, with a full size Sorel liner stuffed into it. For summer rides I wear a 42.

    G'night.

    MC
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    Last edited by mikesee; 04-07-2006 at 10:41 PM.

  6. #6
    N+1
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    Wow

    WOW, those are crazy conditions. Great shots. Why is the saddle slighted to the right?

    I wear those same size 50's on every ride!

    Thanks for showing.
    GET Bret Weir, I said.

  7. #7
    highly visible
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    Wow ... thanks for posting a full range of pics. Impressive ride.

    Hmm. Endomorphs, check. Large Marge rims, check. 70oz fuel-carrying capacity in the fork legs and downtube, check. (Not to diminish this incredible innovation, but we have known about this feature for a few weeks. Very, very cool.

    I see 135mm axles front and rear, for swappability and up-front tire clearance. Or wait ... are the axles wider than 135? I only see the DT 440 available with QR in 135mm, but the the TA versions also come in 150mm and 165mm -- that fork looks suspiciously wide, so I'm wondering if you got one of the wider versions and did some special conversion to QR. Also did you have to go with a 100mm BB shell, a la Pugsley?

    Fork looks like it has a lot of total offset, both at the crown and again at the dropouts. I presume this is to clear your size 50 Lake boots (I thought they went up to 48?) No surprise -- my regular size 44 shoes have no problem even with booties on, but my size 46 Lakes buzz the tire on my Vulture.

    I notice the front hydraulic and rear mechanical disc brake. Not familiar with the specific disc, being such an avid Avid user. Full length cable to the rear, of course, to keep ice out ... but still, if you were going to do one of each I might have guessed you'd do it the other way. So still scratching my head trying to figure that one out.

    Who built the trailer? Hard to tell w/o closeup pics, but clearly not BOB with the 3.0 Gazzi out back and using some kind of bolt system that attaches it to the frame above the dropouts. Is the "narrow" 3.0 on the trailer for better tracking in deep snow? OK, and whassup with a disc brake on the trailer? There's clearly not just a disc but a brake too. I could definitely see the usefulness, but how is it activated? Wait now I'm starting to see why you're running a cable disc on the back of the bike -- are you using some sort of cable splitter to allow a single lever to control both the trailer brake too? Also, I see a cassette on the trailer wheel -- is this so you can swap your skinny, full-knobby tire onto the rear of the bike for traction while climbing on firmer snow?

    Finally, does the right seatstay have a valve to dispense silicone spray onto the cassette to keep it from packing up with snow?

    I still have more questions than answers I guess.
    Last edited by GlowBoy; 04-07-2006 at 11:48 PM.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  8. #8
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    Whats the story with the fork?

  9. #9
    jl
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk
    Whats the story with the fork?
    Bontrager--Switchblade
    Snoots--Pipebomb

  10. #10
    AOF
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    Wow

    I'm going to guess that it is a Moots trailer, that connect to the chainstay, see pic:

    It doesn't look like there is a brake caliper on the trailer, but possibly a spare rear wheel with different gearing ratio cogs, or just in case.
    Looks like the "front" wheel is interchangable as well:


    I'm guessing the petcock on the fork is used to hold/ dispense white gas, or whatever he is using to cook with.

    That is very cool MC, it really shows that you put alot of time into this and Moots delivered.
    I'm looking forward to your ride report.

    Dan
    Last edited by AOF; 04-08-2006 at 08:34 AM.
    Southern NH NEMBA & My LBS & My Blog & Single Speed Alliance

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  11. #11
    Harmonius Wrench
    Reputation: Guitar Ted's Avatar
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    Curious?

    All the wheels are swappable. Two cassettes, are they the same ratios? It has an odd looking non driveside dropout on the fork. I'm not familiar with that, or the snow is hiding things I can't make out. I noticed rack mounts on the fork and rear stays, but you opted for the Monster BOB trailer instead. Interesting handlebar. Bar ends, like the old Syncros or welded on ends? Foam grips it looks like to me.

    Nice set up Mike. Can't wait to hear the answers!
    Riden' an Smilin'
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  12. #12
    Poorly Disguised Poser
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    Yeah give it up....

    give us the answers already!

    What are those strange looking skewer nuts? do you have to take the skewers out to remove the wheels? It looks as if the forks dont have dropouts, but rather holes for skewers to go through...which raises a few other questions.

    NEAT bike.

    It is neat to see something like this even though I couldnt stand the weather that it is meant for.
    My ego is bigger and better looking than yours.

  13. #13
    try driving your car less
    Reputation: jh_on_the_cape's Avatar
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    neat! All wheels interchangeable just in case.
    Trailer mounts directly to frame!
    Big QR levers for use with gloves.
    Fork legs hold fuel. Why is my rigid fork making sloshing noises???
    Only boring people get bored.

  14. #14
    oaken tub i'm in
    Reputation: evilbike's Avatar
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    What are those strange looking skewer nuts?
    Rockshox Maxles, no? A through-axle kinda thing.

    I wonder how long you'd have to drag the brakes to get the fork-stowed gas to ignite. Not a problem on a snow bike of course.
    Comparisons are odious.

  15. #15
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Next batch...
    Yowza! Very cool.

    Just curious, what do you use as your primary source of hydration? Bottles or Camelbak? I ask because I only see one bottle (but you may have others stuffed in a pack...or melt snow?), but it's so far down, seemingly hard to reach without stopping.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | bikecentric | ssoft

  16. #16
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    You guys are good.

    Some answers--I don't wanna give away too much.

    150mm hubs on all three wheels. Remolino Sand Rims--not Large Marge's. Rock Shox Maxle's on all three wheels, for tool-free (hence gloves-on) removal in the cold. No brake on the trailer, just a spare cassette and rotor "in case".

    No pics of the racks yet--but they are Moots Ti. The trailer proved to be about 4 times larger than necessary, so it'll be shortened and modified sometime this summer. Built by Lenz, and NO (his words) he won't make another one.

    Bar ends custom by Walt, and NO (sensing a theme here?) he won't make another pair.

    20oz of white gas in each fork leg, 40oz in the downtube.

    jl--Pipebomb is clever, but Bigwheel beat you to the punch in naming the fork Valdez.

    MiCly--seat tilt is actually just camera angle. It's straight on the bike.

    Lots more that y'all are missing. Keep it up--shouldn't take but a few more hours to get it all figured out.

    I'll give one HUGE hint, which pertains to the wheels, BB, cranks, and frame/fork as well: the wheels are built on-center. Any guesses as to how/why this was done?

    MC
    Last edited by mikesee; 01-29-2007 at 09:05 PM.

  17. #17
    try driving your car less
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    You guys are good.



    I'll give one HUGE hint, which pertains to the the wheels, BB, cranks, and frame/fork as well: the wheels are built on-center. Any guesses as to how/why this was done?

    MC
    only one spoke length throughout?
    Only boring people get bored.

  18. #18
    Feet back and spread 'em!
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    fuel pressure?

    Are the schrader fittings on top of the fork legs to pressurize the fuel to the stove?
    looks like they hit the down tube as there is a big bump pad there.
    there's a fitting on the down tube too.

    and what's with the white tape on the fork and seat stays? reflective for visibility or rub strip or maybe some sort of snow shedding trick?

    and your stem looks kinda funky. can't really see it, but is that your light mount on the bottom side?
    and your bar-ends look suspiciously fat. are you storing stuff in there?...batteries for the lights or are those the lights?

    On a more general note...if you getting into Long Slow Distance, are you hinting about some sort of super ultra mega endurance outing coming up? Alaska to Patagonia maybe? circumnavigate the US coast on the beaches? I'm sure it will be fun and well documented, whatever it is.
    Last edited by bikecop; 04-08-2006 at 11:44 AM.

  19. #19
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    I want one

    I just don't need one.
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  20. #20
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Imagine how many socks you could fit into my size 52 Sidi's.

  21. #21
    oaken tub i'm in
    Reputation: evilbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noslogan
    I just don't need one.
    That's the name of a band out of Richmond, VA.
    Comparisons are odious.

  22. #22
    Shamisen Appreciator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I'll give one HUGE hint, which pertains to the wheels, BB, cranks, and frame/fork as well: the wheels are built on-center. Any guesses as to how/why this was done?

    MC
    I assume by "on-center" you mean flange center, not axle end center. I would make a couple of guesses. Someone already said to use the same spoke length, which would potentially reduce the number of spare spokes you would carry (if any at all). Can we assume that your frame and fork are dished to one side? Monty and Megamo used to do that for their trials bikes so the rear wheels would be built centered between the flanges.

    With 150mm hubs, aren't the flanges centered between the locknuts anyway?

  23. #23
    Recovering couch patato
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    Seems like a waste to not put the fuel in the tires, so much room there :-)
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  24. #24
    Duckin' Fonuts.
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    Do I see H2O cage braze ons on the back of the fork legs?

    Building the whole rig and trailer on center should make the design of the trailer and its pivots simpler to keep the thing balanced and turning geometry easier to calculate.

  25. #25
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    The only thing that stood out to me that was not mentioned was the Gripshift.

    Simple, reliable, easily actuated with gloves. The only intelligent choice.

    My preferred shifting method as well.

    Same wheel build so all the wheels track in the same line in the snow?

    Also, super slack HA for toe clearance, necessitating lots of offset, also improving toe clearance.
    Last edited by Enel; 04-08-2006 at 02:22 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

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