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  1. #1
    Chris Bling
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    Listen! What Fatbike related purchase made all the difference?

    Hey everyone,

    I was recently cruising up a local dry riverbed and was thinking to myself,

    "What has been the one purchase (related to my fatty) that has had the biggest impact on my riding"

    After much thought, I came to the conclusion that for me, it was having Surly Nate tires. They have really enhanced my ability to go anywhere/do anything. I can stand climb and not spin out, they are gnarly has all get out, and I am a better rider now. nuff said. The second to thes tires was a set of 777 mm wide handlebars.........

    So I will turn it over to the forum

    What has been the single best purchase you have made to improve your fatbike experience? I am excited to hear the responses

    Here is a pic from my ride that day

    What  Fatbike related purchase made all the difference?-img-20130404-00371.jpg
    Last edited by dustyduke22; 04-17-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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  2. #2
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    In order of most to least

    New saddle. It's hard to ride on an uncomfortable saddle.

    Nate made a difference. More grip for sure.

    Getting rid of the way-too wide stock bars and replacing them with lighter, narrower bars that actually fit through tree gaps made a difference. Trails here have lots of runs right between two trees and those trees are usually really close together.

    Hydraulic discs made a difference (less worry about brakes in general, no fiddly adjustments.)

    replacing the entire drivetrain/shifters made a big difference in reliability and consistency.

    Wider wheels made surprisingly little difference, though they were a lot lighter.

  3. #3
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    Pogies. I commuted and was car free for years, always struggled with winter gloves. Too fluffy doesn't work with shifters and brakes, too thin and you hurt.....permanently in my case with a frostbite incident. So when I bought the pugs, I figured my snow & winter riding would be limited not with tires or clearance but because of my hands!
    Found pogies(well, ATV mitts since I had Jones Loops) and rode all winter long. Never had hand issues, went out in blizzard and sub zero conditions.
    Dumb I know, but my riding was most impacted by pogies!

  4. #4
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    Moving to lightweight wheels/hubs (holy darryl's/salsa hubs to Marge Lites/616 hubs). I didn't see much difference in normal riding, but when it comes to acceleration and the big climbs, it's a night and day difference.

  5. #5
    Chris Bling
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    Wow, talk about some differences!

    Keep them coming
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  6. #6
    will rant for food
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    In the context of winter riding:

    1) Fogtech fluid. I could suddenly see, not tear up, and wear something to shield my lower face! I don't use the wipes, and there are some cons with the stuff (twice weekly recoats, and it attracts debris). My old man claims 409 works just as well, haven't tried it.

    2) Roomy pogies. I had been using Bar Mitts - I thought I liked them at the time. Then I tried some Moose Mitts. Still tough, but lighter feeling, pliable, more spacious innards, my fingers felt less constricted.

    3) Craft Storm pants. Can handle a whole bunch of stuff from 0 F to 40 F.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  7. #7
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    Barr Mitts and Wolvhammers. Comfort and warmth are key to enjoying long winter rides. These two items have made cold hands and feet a thing of the past for me.

  8. #8
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    From a stock 2011 Pugsley
    1) Marge Lites
    2) USE ShokPost
    3) CARVER Carbon fork

  9. #9
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    1. Switched Grip shifters to SRAM XO. Wow. I can shift with ease.

    2. wide platform pedals for better leverage.

    3. changing handlebar width to get through trees.

    Next best upgrade would be rims/tires..if I can sell enough crap to get 500-600 dollars. Shouldn't cost that much..geesh.

  10. #10
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    1) moonlander with bud and Lou
    2) jones bar with ergon gips because of shoulder and elbow issues
    3) flats 24/7 allowed me to wear keen boots dry & warm while hiking a bike in winter.
    2013 mongoose Fat bike
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  11. #11
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    Bar mitts. I have cold hands that like to sweat. So gloves aren't really any fun, since they just get soaked. Bar mitts are amazing. Able to ride all winter without gloves, even below freezing.

    Haven't made the purchase yet, but 120tpi tires (HuDu's - I have 27tpi larrys now) and drilling out the wheels should make getting things up to speed and staying there MUCH more enjoyable.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  12. #12
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    I rebuilt my entire front end all at once so it's not as clear to me:
    Adding Carver fork, 47mm Neon trials rim, Bones Trials hub, and HuskerDu 120tpi made a HUGE difference in handling.
    I just finished a 40K race at 326th out of 524 and I was the only person on a fatbike, most on cross bikes
    Last edited by roobydoo; 04-17-2013 at 06:55 PM.

  13. #13
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    Miles of smiles

    This is going to sound like the obvious answer...but buying a fatbike was my best purchase. Previously I'd been riding year-round in Alaska on a fully-rigid bike with Snowcats and the widest whatever I could find since 1996/97...riding for fun, commuting, racing, bikepacking, grocery-getting...all on a WCF DBR with an alu Kinesis fork. Snowcats were the sh!t. Some time just after the first purple Pugslys were being sold, a buddy of mine (Arctic Cycles - Home Page) had been renting out Snowcat shod xt/xtr level bike to Ididtasport racers called and told me about these super-fat bikes that made a Snowcat look skinny...meh...I wasn't riding much then anyways, and my Snowcats worked pretty well enough when the trails cooperated. I kind of forgot about them until a couple months later when a guy that I had met once or twice rolled past my Captain and I who were outside talking about that weeks fire training evolutions. I thought to myself...wow, though are some really big tires...OH! that must be one of those bikes Billy told me about! So I waved Martin down and kind of asked a few questions, but mostly ogled his purple puglsy. He let my tool it around the training grounds for a minute or two...I did a bunny-hop or three, popped a wheely or two and passed her back to her lucky owner. I was really excited a week or five later to find out Billy had sold his fleet of Snowcat bikes and bought a handful of Pugslys...I was even more excited the next trip I took into Anchorage when I found out Billy had planned a day trip to the Lost Lakes trail, up and over the pass. It was fall at the bottom, with some muddy climbing that I normally would have had to walk...and it was a great time. It was an even better time when we reached the top of the pass and were greeted by 3-6" of snow. Not all of the trail at the pass was covered in snow, but the sections that were were a non-issue...In fact that was what struck my the most about these bikes...it made the entire ride a non-issue. I had no chamois, borrowed gloves and helmet, no Time pedals, generic seat and stem, etc, etc...but I had an incredibly good time...for the entire ride...It was my first real ride on a fatbike and I knew I was hooked...but I just couldn't get past the a-sym stays and offset wheel...it bent my brain looking at it...I held-out for a few months until Billy told me about a new bike that was symmetrical...I hadn't even fully crossed the threshold of Speedway Cycles when I saw Pete Bassinger's Fatback with black USChoppers hundies in a corner...with kind of a subdued golden-glow about the whole bike...Billy said "See! He just rode that thing to Nome!" I did my damndest not to do the whole squish-n-squeeze thing, but I knew I had to have one. A couple weeks later I bought a frame and started spec'ing parts. Four painful months later Billy finally had it built up and I had it paid off... Soon I discovered that this fatbike-thing was true, skinny rims are the devil, Greg was an architect previous to his career as a prophet...All of a sudden, I found myself in love with the world, So there was only one thing that I could do...Was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long... Our Lady of Ghisallo built my bike...It's a love affair, mainly Sarah and my Fatback...
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  14. #14
    Chris Bling
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    Quote Originally Posted by roobydoo View Post
    I rebuilt my entire front end all at once so it's not as clear to me:
    Adding Carver fork, 47mm Neon trials rim, Bones Trials hub, and HuskerDu 120tpi made a HUGE difference in handling.
    I just finished a 40K race at 326th out of 524 and I was the only person on a fatbkie, most on cross bikes
    Well done My first race I placed 6th out of 20 folks. It was an enduro style event so it was fun to see the strange looks and hushed wispers Glad to see guys are racing on them!
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  15. #15
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    Buying my wife a Pugsley made the biggest difference. Now she "gets it", and even if she can't ride with me, she wants me to go ride and have fun.

  16. #16
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    My Moonlander. It is my do everything bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What  Fatbike related purchase made all the difference?-912091_378262685622371_1976520060_n.jpg  


  17. #17
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    Going tubeless with UMA 90 rims.

  18. #18
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    The most significant would be:

    1) Seat needed to match the other bikes.
    2) I hated the microshift thumb shifters. XT shifters immediately made it better.
    3) Bud and Lou (tubeless) allows for crazy snow rides.
    4) Crampon Ultimate pedals. Feet don't slip off when riding on snow.
    5) Dogwood pogies allow for comfortable cold weather riding.
    6) Revelate frame bag. The water bottles don't start freezing until below zero.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnitman View Post
    This is going to sound like the obvious answer...but buying a fatbike was my best purchase.
    As a fellow Alaskan biker, I went through the same evolution of fatbikes with the same results. And so guess what? The single best recent fatbike purchase I made that has made the most difference is... an even fatter bike.

    I am now running on hundies with Bud and Lou. Rarely am I working significantly harder than others on hardpack and those times when there is a significant difference in exertion levels, I am floating while they are plowing a furrow with 4" tires and 80mm rims.

    That said, going uberfat required more than a simple rim and tire purchase. So I guess mabe I should say fatter tires, rims, frame, and mwod cranks.

  20. #20
    Moderator Moderator
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    Good lights, so i could use the fatbike for my trail commute, not just on weekends during daylight. My office has since moved, but it was the best year and a half of commuting and riding.

  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=damnitman;10327659]This is going to sound like the obvious answer...but buying a fatbike was my best purchase.

    +1 for sure. After riding a few different bikes at the Sweaty Yeti, I was totally sold on the Fatback. I contacted Greg and spec'd out a steel frame. Best bike I've ever had. Ride it year round. Riding rigid on single track beats my 45 year old bones up, so I broke down and got a Mendon Lefty. Really smoothed out the ride. Bought a Foxwear Jacket, Long Sleeve Shirt and Pogies. Best clothing purchases for cycling yet. So, in order of Best to Just About Best
    1. Steel Fatback
    2. Mendon Lefty
    3. Foxwear E Vap Jacket, Power Dry Long Sleeve Shirt, Pogies
    Steel Fatback

  22. #22
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    Nates front and rear was tops for sure.
    Sram drivetrain in second - dat 1:1 actuation!

  23. #23
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    Ergon grips. Did 45 miles on gravel the other day with zero shoulder issues. Before the switch rides longer than 25 left me stiff and sore. Yes I'm old.

    My second favorite change was going to trigger shifters on the Moonlander.
    "The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt." - Surly Blog

  24. #24
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    My best changes are playing with tire pressures. Nothing can be more fun than having your pressure dialed when playing on snow, ice, and mud.

  25. #25
    Levi Early
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    1: carver carbon fork. made a huge different to the way the bike feels. The front end is so much lighter, just pull the front wheel up over things and moto through.
    2: bar ends. I havent had a set on a bike since the late 90s. I love switching hand positions, especially when I can stand up and climb.
    3:hydraulic brakes. I trail ride mine and needed something that could stop me a little better. I had an "encounter" with a tree that the bb7s could not stop me in time for.

    I am waiting to swap my nates out for a lighter casing version and build a new wheelset. Im looking at some hope hubs with holy rolling darryls or marge lites.

  26. #26
    Fat & Single
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    Tubeless by a mile !
    Trek 9.9 Superfly SL
    FM190 Fatty
    Indy Fab Deluxe 29
    Pivot Vault CX
    Cervelo R3 Disc

  27. #27
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    Re: What Fatbike related purchase made all the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    Tubeless by a mile !
    Gotta agree, huge difference.

  28. #28
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    The fatbike.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57ļ36' Highlands, Scotland

  29. #29
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    Swapping out my bars for something with less sweep. Hands are way happier now.

  30. #30
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    Beyond the bike itself the biggest holy s⊙⊙⊙ moment was when I got the right tire pressure. It made the ride so much fun and the bike handle like a dream!!! I have not ridden snow but the right tire pressure even on dirt is key.
    E.p.
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  31. #31
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    1) Pressure gauge. Finding just the right pressure for the conditions is important, but requires a lot of riding, adjusting and riding some more. With a pressure gauge I can keep track of what I'm doing and recall previous settings far more easily.

    2) Bud & Lou. I initially set up my Moonlander with BFL's front and back, but they were too slippery for snowy singletrack and commuting in difficult snow conditions. The front was constantly washing out and I had no drive traction either.

    3) Schwalbe AV10D, or "my ghetto tubeless rim strips" to be more specific. Going tubeless made a huge difference to rolling resistance and rotating weight. With BFL's or the Bud & Lou on Clown Shoes, light tubes like the 13F just don't fill the tire at pressures I like to run. It took some effort to set up right, but the benefits far outweigh the couple of hours of initial work I spent on the wheels. After that I've only needed to inflate or deflate the tires to set the pressure - the tubeless system has required zero seconds of thought or work.

  32. #32
    Chris Bling
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    Something I forgot to mention above was getting the Xt shifters. Being able to dump 4 gears at a time is a huge help!
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    Swapping out my bars for something with less sweep. Hands are way happier now.
    Swapping out my bars for something with MORE sweep (Jones Closed Loop). Hands are way happier now, and have lots more room to mount more things I don't really need

  34. #34
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    What Fatbike related purchase made all the difference?

    Tubeless is huge. Putting a bud on front also made a world of difference for snow riding. Love my ergo grips, love my pogies, love my schmancy LEH seat. Love my bike, IT is the single best purchase for my quiver.

  35. #35
    Stubby-legged
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    I was going to say the Dogwood Designs pogies..but buying the parts to build my wife's fatbike has to top the list.

  36. #36
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    Call me a p***y. I have a rail trail right out my backyard that allows me 40+ miles of riding (with plans of another 100). Slapping on some Black Floyds allows me to hammer on that trail! I think that a fatbike is perfect on a paved trail that you share with walkers, kids, dogs, etc. as you're not doing 30+mph, can go off the trail to avoid something with zero drama and still get a good workout. I can sustain ~18mph and feel as whooped after 40 miles as I would after 75 miles on my road bike. Rail trail friendly is how I describe it. Plus it handles like a motorcycle with 30psi.

  37. #37
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    2011 Mukluk 2 - for loose/deep snow use
    1. Nate and Bud
    2. Tubeless
    3. Carver Carbon O'Beast fork
    4 . Carbon bars
    5. Lighter cassette
    6. Got rid of the WTV Pure V saddle (to wide and heavy) replaced with WTB Rocket V
    7. Lighter/better chain

  38. #38
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    Many improvements all ready mentioned by others.....
    Wider handlebars for more control made a big difference on the Moonlanders.
    (Wife agrees)
    Frame bag is a huge convenience
    Moonlander's
    Sandman Hogger Ti

  39. #39
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    What Fatbike related purchase made all the difference?

    Number one by a decent margin was going from Larry / Endo to HuDu / Nate.

  40. #40
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Quote Originally Posted by trevorrr View Post
    Number one by a decent margin was going from Larry / Endo to HuDu / Nate.
    I was debating whether to do this myself. Currently running HuDu's front and rear but contemplating to go full Nate next winter or just Nate on the rear and HuDu up front. Any thoughts?

  41. #41
    Chris Bling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pucker Factor View Post
    I was debating whether to do this myself. Currently running HuDu's front and rear but contemplating to go full Nate next winter or just Nate on the rear and HuDu up front. Any thoughts?

    Nate front and rear gives you mega traction as well as good steering up front. Its real nice when there is a small ridge in the snow and instead of your front tire sliding when it hits it, like with Larrys, it will just bite and keep you upright
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  42. #42
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustyduke22 View Post
    Nate front and rear gives you mega traction as well as good steering up front. Its real nice when there is a small ridge in the snow and instead of your front tire sliding when it hits it, like with Larrys, it will just bite and keep you upright
    Thanks...I think that's the way I'll be going next season.

  43. #43
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    What Fatbike related purchase made all the difference?

    If I was going to do it again I would probably do double nates. I need the extra traction on descents in the mountains.

  44. #44
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    Tires. First tired out Endomorphs, they were OK, then transitioned to Larrys, they were slightly more OK. Oh, then one day I decided to just for sh°ts and giggles try out the Nates. Holy crap! Major freakiní game-changer right there. Iím on my fifth set to date, having logged over 2,500 miles on Surly Nates. These things just rock. Not once have I ridden them in the snow, however, I ride on rocky/loose/gravelly/off-camber/nasty/ugly/rooty/crappy stuff, and havenít yet been let down.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by bighit View Post
    1)
    2) jones bar with ergon gips because of shoulder and elbow issues
    Bighit: I am considering a Jones bar and was wondering if you ended up changing your stem size, or if you went with the same stem with the Jones bar? Jeff Jones seems to recommend NOT changing the stem length, with the intention of a sorter reach and a more upright ("balanced") position -- but I'm curious how people have dealt with it, especially on a fat bike.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoClark View Post
    ...same stem with the Jones bar?... I'm curious how people have dealt with it, especially on a fat bike.
    I don't know how common this situation may be, but you might need longer cables in some cases if you keep the same stem.

    With the stock low sweep bars on my 2013 Muk 3, the cables didn't have a lot of extra length when it came to making the ~90 degree bend to head for their destination. With the Jones closed loop bars installed, the cables exit my controls going forward, so they have to sweep back more than 90 degrees to get where they were going, and that made them a bit too tight in extreme turns on my setup.

    Since I was looking for a more upright riding position to begin with, I opted for the shortest stem I could find (with a slight rise also), and that moved things back far enough to avoid having to replace the original cables .

    FWIW, I had asked my LBS to leave the steerer tube uncut when they set the bike up so I could play with different riding positions. I ended up with a 97mm spacer stack. I checked with Salsa and they said the design of Enabler fork made it fine to exceed the 30 mm spacer stack height limit rule quoted by many bike "experts". The original uncut tube would have allowed going at least another 40mm on the stack, but I thought that just looked too ridiculous, particularly on top of the short headtube of my Small/15" frame Muk. Yes, the extreme stack height may have contributed to my particular short cable problem, YMMV.

    I'm so glad I went with the Jones loops, and it would have been worth it even if I did have to lengthen the cables. Riding them is a treat, and one area where they really help me is when I'm pushing the bike up one of those hills that would probably have best been handled by going around, if only I'd been able to figure that out from the bottom.

  47. #47
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    I went with a luxo build made from almost entirely pre-owned bits. That said, the parts I'd give up last are:

    1) Lefty w mendon's clamps
    2) Rohloff (it just works, always)
    3) Bud/Lou (in snow or sand) or Nates (on singletrack)
    4) frame bag

    And I _really_ like an 8" rotor up front a 6" out back with my BB7s. Keeps the rear end from skidding out too much. The BB7s have required almost zero maintenance.

  48. #48
    Chris Bling
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    Something else worth mentioning is a have a 34 tooth cog on my cassette Makes life much easier on the steep and deeps
    Last edited by dustyduke22; 10-03-2013 at 10:18 AM.
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  49. #49
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    1) Digital 3-150psi pressure gauge with .1lb resolution
    2) Going from our first mid 30lb models to the current 21.8lb prototype
    3) Vee Speedsters for hardpack. Holy s..t they are sickly fast.
    R&D Manager
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  50. #50
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    my lefty

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