Mukluk 2 / Big Fat Larry Update-
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  1. #1
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    May 2010

    Mukluk 2 / Big Fat Larry Update

    You may remember my Muk 2:

    Wednesday night, I got together with a group of guys from North Central Cyclery Bikes, Parts, Repair, Bicycle Shop and we did a gravel/mud ride, all on fat bikes. Here's the before:


    Here's the after:


    Here's my updated review. I now have around 100 miles on the Muk. (I know, I know. I've been busy, and the Vaya has been getting a workout lately). Around 1/3 of those miles were from the gravel/mud ride. On the gravel, 20-ish psi in the BFLs on Rolling Darryls was about perfect. Surprisingly good rolling, tons of control. On the pave, slightly higher produces easier rolling, but not a big deal. I had been contemplating dropping the big crank and replacing it with a bashguard--after some touring-ish riding, I'm planning on keeping the full triple. It was useful.

    The BFLs were great on gravel, and we also took a number of utility roads where new power lines are being put in. Of note, these were areas where ComEd has been driving a ton, so we weren't making new trails or dragging mud around; we were slogging through established tracks made by utility trucks. I was amazed at how good the BFLs did, when suitably aired down. Traction wasn't an issue...until...

    We reached an area where the mud went from gloopy to sticky. At that point, the BFLs started to pack up. Here is a shot showing 3 BFLs on the red/black Darryls, and two regular Larrys:


    When they started to pack, I started to have problems. The rear packed with mud, but more importantly, the front packed. Bad. I was running anything cages with a thermos o' coffee, and eventually, the front wheel wouldn't even spin. There were several sessions of "stop, clean, dig" that enabled me to keep moving...but in these conditions, I think the regular Larrys did better than the BFLs, simply because of their greater frame clearance. Traction wasn't an issue, but clearance was. This was slick, gloopy mud atop a firmer base.




    I had, in another post on here, commented on begin interested in the concept of Big Fat Nates. After further thought, I don't think that'd be a good idea. I think the extra mud clearance of the regular Nates would be more advantageous than the extra width of BF Nates. I do think the BFLs are going to be substantially better than anything else in the snow and sand, where clearance won't be an issue and where flotation will rule. In retrospect, if I was planning a big mud ride, I'd probably remove the anything cages (they did get in the way), and in a perfect world, would throw on a set of Nates.

    Here she is after some scraping and about 5 miles of post-mud road:


    She is definitely broken in now.


    Incidentally, that's my frame bag made by Errin from Frontage Roads It is perfectly sized and works great. Even in the mud. I took it off before the last couple pics, as I threw it in the washing machine. But I've got to give props to Errin--the bag is well made, looks great, and functions perfectly. I had a hydration bladder, some food, and some tools in it, and it worked like a charm.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    She looks nice dirty....
    Safe riding,


  3. #3
    dvn is offline
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    Apr 2011
    What did you use to space out the cassette? I'm in the process of building my Mukluk 2 and want to run BFL's as well.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: Nakedbabytoes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Nice ride! I only have BFLs and Endos for tires, but I do notice the BFL tend to pack easily with clay type mud more readily than the Endos. I have a Necro, so clearance becomes an issue at that point. Supposedly, Nates don't pack as readily so maybe BFN wouldn't be so bad either. Lou & bud are Nate like in knob placement, so I doubt any BFNs are in the works anyways since they are so similar. I can't run them though, the knobs hit the stays in the rear.
    You don't mention camber or cornering issues on the BFLs. Mine suck at that. Higher psi, not an issue but drop it and I am loosing it on loose stuff on camber or turns even though the float is great and riding otherwise is excellent.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    I used....(drumroll)....a cassette spacer!

    Seriously...just a couple mm spacer, made for cassettes. Some use them to space out cogs to use a standard cassette on an SS rig.

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