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  1. #1
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    2019 Framed Alaskan Carbon or 2018 Salsa Mukluk X01 Eagle?

    Hi everyone,

    I am looking to get a fat bike and have narrowed my choices down to two: A 2019 Framed Alaskan Carbon with Mastodon fork and carbon wheels, or the 2018 Salsa Mukluk Carbon X01 with carbon wheels. I live near the Framed Bikes headquarters and do like the price point the Alaskan Carbon is at - $2900. Another local shop offers a new-old-stock 2018 Salsa Mukluk Carbon X01 for about $4k. Being about $1k difference, which would you more experienced fat bikers go with?

    I have ridden both and do like the Alaskan with the Mastodon fork. The Salsa didn't have the suspension fork and felt a tad more bouncy, but it was a nice ride since it featured 4.8" wide tires. The shop selling the Salsa seemed to think the Framed bikes were not of the same level of quality as the Salsa, but I wonder if that's just because they are trying to make a sale. The Alaskan seemed every bit as good as the Salsa and I felt the groupset quality is about a similar level to each other with the Alaskan having the Shimano XT and Salsa having SRAM X01.

    I know I'd be happy with either one, but just wanted to see what the community thought about which would be a better overall bike for the money. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Youíre going to get a ton of different replies here.

    Personally, Iíd go for the Mukluk. If these are the two bikes that youíve got it narrowed down to, IMHO option, the Salsa is the better choice. Ideally, it would be nice to find the Mukluk used, and pay less than the Framed would cost you. Iíve seen some used Ď18 XO Mukluks in the $2500 range.

    Is this going to be a year round bike for you? The Mastodon is heavy. Iíve never felt the need for a suspension fork on a fat bike in the winter. The bouncy feeling youíre describing was most likely due to the amount of air in the tires. Iím a Shimano XT/XTR fan more than I am a Sram fan, but the Shimano XT buildkit is pretty inexpensive. Derailleur and cassette can both be had for the $60íish dollar range ea. Kind of surprised that Framed specíd a $3000 bike with XT stuff. You donít see that very often...

    Iím also local to Framed, I have nothing against them, Iím just not a huge fan. Often times I base my bike purchases on resale. I donít keep stuff very long and at some point my stuff moves on. The Framed stuff doesnít seem to bring much on the 2nd hand market. Iíve been watching a few local people try to unload their stuff and it just seems to sit. If you buy a used Mukluk, chances are you can get rid of it next year and not take too much of it a hit. This might be strange reasoning on my part, but Iím at peace with it.

    Youíll enjoy whatever bike you choose.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the detailed response. I would appreciate a variety of replies since I am interested in seeing what the community thinks between the two. This will be my first fat bike and I'm open to suggestions. My main reason for narrowing things down to these two is the fact that the Framed seems to offer a good value and a number of friends ride Framed bikes and have positive opinions of them. The Mukluk appeals to me because the local shop is offering a deal on it being last year's model and they want to sell it.

    This will likely be a year-round bike for winter and singletrack and generally anywhere or anytime I don't feel like riding my gravel bike. The only experience I have with fat bikes is demoing them at the bike shops. On the very brief initial rides, the Alaskan felt more plush and controlled with the Mastodon fork compared to the Mukluk on going over potholes and dropping off curbs. The Alaskan literally floated over some bigger potholes in the parking lot of The House, while the Mukluk kind of bounced about (maybe too much air pressure). If I got the Mukluk, I'd probably put a suspension fork on it - either a Bluto or Mastodon and that would add a bit to the total cost, making the Alaskan a bit more appealing.

    I generally keep things for a long while. I am of the mindset of doing my research and investing decent money into one very good thing, and then keeping it till it falls apart. Resale value isn't a big deal as a result. What I do care about is buying something that is what I feel to be the best value given my budget. I am not a competitive rider so I will not be pushing my bike to the limits and require top-shelf components. I've never ridden SRAM, but my last Scott Scale MTB had XT components and it lasted me over a dozen years without any issues.

  4. #4
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    If you have ridden them both in similar situations, buy the one that speaks to you.

    I am interested in the AK carbon, but my AK alloy is doing me just fine. I would love the fork in the summer.

    I can tell you that the House has been awesome with customer service whenever I have needed anything.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-san View Post
    Thanks for the detailed response. I would appreciate a variety of replies since I am interested in seeing what the community thinks between the two. This will be my first fat bike and I'm open to suggestions. My main reason for narrowing things down to these two is the fact that the Framed seems to offer a good value and a number of friends ride Framed bikes and have positive opinions of them. The Mukluk appeals to me because the local shop is offering a deal on it being last year's model and they want to sell it.

    This will likely be a year-round bike for winter and singletrack and generally anywhere or anytime I don't feel like riding my gravel bike. The only experience I have with fat bikes is demoing them at the bike shops. On the very brief initial rides, the Alaskan felt more plush and controlled with the Mastodon fork compared to the Mukluk on going over potholes and dropping off curbs. The Alaskan literally floated over some bigger potholes in the parking lot of The House, while the Mukluk kind of bounced about (maybe too much air pressure). If I got the Mukluk, I'd probably put a suspension fork on it - either a Bluto or Mastodon and that would add a bit to the total cost, making the Alaskan a bit more appealing.

    I generally keep things for a long while. I am of the mindset of doing my research and investing decent money into one very good thing, and then keeping it till it falls apart. Resale value isn't a big deal as a result. What I do care about is buying something that is what I feel to be the best value given my budget. I am not a competitive rider so I will not be pushing my bike to the limits and require top-shelf components. I've never ridden SRAM, but my last Scott Scale MTB had XT components and it lasted me over a dozen years without any issues.
    It sounds like the Alaskan might be a good fit for your needs. The XT is great stuff. Itís all I usually use. I do like the idea that the Mukluk uses the newer spec. 12 speed stuff.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, it is nice the Mukluk features a 12 speed drivetrain. I think the XT also offers a 12 speed? Not a huge deal for me since I doubt I'd miss having an extra gear. I think I'll go ride the two again and try my luck haggling with the shop selling the Mukluk and see if I can't swing a price closer to the Alaskan.

  7. #7
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    There isnít 12 spd Shimano XT. XTR was just released in the last few months. Itíll probably be 18 months before it trickles down.

    That Mukluk is a ton of bike for $4K. The HED wheels are $2K+ by themselves. The framset is another $2K. Youíre already at 4K, even without any parts. The XO build kit is $700íish on the used market. Retail was $5400 on that bike. Great deal at $4,000 if you ask me. What shop is it at? I might go buy one.

    On the the other hand the Framed is never going to be worth any more than you paid. The XT is already close to being out dated. Iíd much rather have the HED carbon wheels than any other carbon fat wheel, other than maybe Whisky Parts Co.

    Iím solidly in the Mukluk camp here. No comparison for the extra money IMHO.

  8. #8
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    Two of my friends who are serious cyclists (at least know more about bikes than me) urged me to go for it citing similar things - better drivetrain, way nicer wheels, better frame design, etc. The shop sweetened the deal a bit further so I ended up buying it. I'll be getting the Mastodon fork on it. The shop is Now Bikes in Roseville. They're having some kind of sale right now so maybe not a bad time to stop in for a look. They had a really nice Otso that was specced with some top-shelf gear and was super light for a fat bike, and some Beargreases on the floor. Now I'm just waiting for my fat-compatible parts to arrive for my roof rack before I can go get it. Thanks for the input!

  9. #9
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    Mukluk all day. If you "live by" framed, you also live by QBP. This is a non-factor. I doubt it comes with HED rims unless it is used but I'd still go with the Salsa.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by D_Mac View Post
    Mukluk all day. If you "live by" framed, you also live by QBP. This is a non-factor. I doubt it comes with HED rims unless it is used but I'd still go with the Salsa.
    Last yearís Mukluk XO came with HED carbon wheels. The GX build came with HED Aluminums.

    The XO was very well bought at the 4K pricepoint. Well done, OP. I called the shop to see if I could get the same deal. Unfortunately, they were only offering this price on bikes that they had in stock. Q had 1 left in my size, but it was more money.

  11. #11
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    Wow! I put HED rims on my Fatboy last year and they blew my mind. This makes this even more of a no-brainer.

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