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  1. #1
    KAIZEN!
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    New question here. Salsa Mukluk 3 - sizing & potential upgrades?

    Help please!

    I made the plunge to fatbikedom and narrowed down my choices based on availability in my locale and budget for a 2nd hand bike. I wanted to get in relatively cheaply to see how I will like it. I purchased a 2013 Salsa Muk 3 <size small...this has bearing on my first question below.>.

    My primary intent is to increase my riding season here in Calgary Canada... Typically we get snow by November (if not earlier) and it stays till March, April or (gulp) May.

    Primarily I am hoping to get out to increase fitness in the shoulder seasons on the road, paved bike paths and gravel.

    Secondarily, I want to try it out in my local riding areas off-road on mountainous double track. (Saw some inspiring Lefty mod photos on the web!)

    Thirdly, it might become a project bike to do some mods as a weekend (or substantially longer - parts of Tour Divide or Pacific Coast Trail, etc.) bike packing rig.

    I looked at the local Salsa dealers but nobody had a Mikluk to try (get sized) but using the Salsa site, it says I should be in the large size ballpark! This bike was advertised as a size large and it certainly looked 'fat' when I went to see it.

    I am 6' tall, 210lbs with longer legs (33" inseam) and shorter torso and arms (relatively speaking). I am no stranger to fitting a 'regular' bike in general terms (I had two of my bikes - a road and a mountain bike, professionally fitted previously.)

    Before purchasing it, I rode it for about 30 minutes and it seemed to fit not bad. The seat post needs to be adjusted high (near its limit) but at that level, it's good for my leg length. The reach feels acceptable (all stock build and parts) and if anything, could be brought a bit closer towards me (shorter stem and or a Jones H bar in the future?) I do prefer a more upright style of riding.

    I might take this one into a LBS to initially see what they think. I am hoping this size small will be ok or I guess I can try selling it and looking for a different size...

    Question: Anything I am missing here so far as sizing a fattie? How come this small feels OK? There doesn't seem to be a ton of difference in measurements between sizes on the Salsa site...

    Secondarily, I am seeking the collective wisdom of the group on future upgrades once I get the cockpit fine tuned. It came with drilled out Unholy Darryl rims front and back with a good pair of Nate's (tubed), plus a spare Big Fat Larry and a Knard - all tires 3.8" X 26". (I have been looking into switching to tubeless from wisdom off this site!)

    Any other mods to help increase my comfort level for longer training rides and week+ long getaways? (I have a spine injury C5/C6 from a car accident 4 years ago and torn up knees.) Figured I would bust my hump trying to increase my fitness and stay in shape rather then pop painkillers and become sedentary/unhealthy!

    What about utility mods? I don't own any bike packing-specific bags or gear...yet! Where should I start?

    Thank you all in advance for your thoughts and honesty. I can't wait to get this sorted and get riding!

    Cheers!
    Dean

  2. #2
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    Size s sounds way way off for you.

    I used to ride m sizes with long top tubes, but my latest bike is a size L, and it feels a lot better. I'm normally between m and L, Got 50mm stem on it now. I'm 5.11.. (personally I climb better in size L bike)

    If you like the feel of a bike that small, keep riding, but I'd say based on your size that you'd be a lot happier in size L, at least I was.

    As for comfort, look at a thudbuster or a good seat with dampening effect to save your spine.
    Also if you use clip pedals, move the attachment on your shoes as far inwards as possible to lessen the q factor (to save your knees)

    Also when riding: tip; angle your seat forward (down), then extend your spine, pull your shoulders down and in, tuck your chin, so that your spine is straight. I'll help a lot for neck and lower back issues..

    Personally I've got c7 issues from a few motorbike accidents and a busted knee from snowboarding along with some lumbar issues. Being mindful of the above helps tremendously.

  3. #3
    Thingamejigger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy81 View Post
    Size s sounds way way off for you.
    +1 having a seat post at its limit is the clue... I'd be on a large.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockeygod View Post
    I purchased a 2013 Salsa Muk 3 <size small...It came with drilled out Unholy Darryl rims front and back with a good pair of Nate's (tubed), plus a spare Big Fat Larry and a Knard - all tires 3.8" X 26".
    I have the same bike with a lefty, 5'-8" 170lbs. Long legs and tons of seatpost showing (~10").

    If you asked before purchasing I surely would have said large or at least a medium. Sounds like you got a lot of extras that make the purchase more enticing though.

    Bike fit is very personal, especially if you have back ailments. With an long (uncut) steerer, long stem and seatpost, could you get in a good position? Probably. Would that position be optimized to the frame as the manufacturer intended you to ride it? Maybe not. Does that even matter? Not really.

    I see tons of bikes on here with contact points vastly different from me and each other. I think to myself, in my experience, could I ever ride that bike set up like that? But it doesn't matter if they are comfortable and not complaining about this or that.

    You say it feels OK, I suggest you try to dial it in to feel good with some cheap stems/bars/posts and ride it for a while. It's a used bike and you could consider selling at a loss after 6 months as a rental fee. Find out what you do and don't like about the bike, the genre, the tires and use that to make an informed decision down the road.

    Maybe you want a larger frame for longer reach or to fit a larger frame bag for bikepacking. Maybe you want a 190mm hub and to fit 5" tires on 100mm rims. Maybe rigid is fine for you or maybe a suspension fork option is warranted.

  5. #5
    KAIZEN!
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    Thanks all for the responses!

    As an addendum, the bike was advertised as a large. When I tried it, the seat was adjusted fairly high (but not at it's limit) and it felt pretty close to good for height. I didn't have any tools with me and the seller didn't either - in all honesty, she was not a biker; had only ridden the bike a couple of times since riding it last fall. I don't think she was purposely misrepresenting the size, it probably looked like a large to her and there were no sizes stenciled onto the frame... she said she rode it with the seat all the way down (probably wrong for her but I'm guessing she was about 5'7".) Honestly, with those big tires, as a newbie myself to fat bikes, the beast looked like a large to me too!

    I measured it today when I was setting it up and according to Salsa's site, it is indeed a small. Thus my confusion as it felt pretty good when I rode it! I heard that some people say they size down a recommended size for fatties anyway. So I don't know how this one will work out. My own fault; lesson learned... take a tape measure!

    I will take the advice of bme107 and see if/how this one can be fit 'properly' to me and try it out. I did get the price reduced by 1/3 as well as a second set of tires in good shape (and I hear fat tires are expensive!), plus pristine Nates mounted, drilled out rims, new Ergon grips and... a new bell <ding ding!> LOL! So if it truly doesn't work, I will sell it (or maybe give it to my wife to see if I can hook her into fat bikes!)

    There is another Muk3 sized large that just came up for sale near me. I will try to check it out (with a tape measure!) and give it a test ride. If the price is right, maybe I will pick it up. It's a 2014 I believe...

    Appreciate hearing more comments. Thanks all!
    Dean

  6. #6
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    Did a 4 hour ride yesterday in Bragg Creek, 50km SW of Calgary. Perfect weather! Did about 28km primarily up and down the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Dry, hard pack trails with some roots and the odd rocky section, plus the odd muddy spot around water crossings.

    The bike climbed amazingly compared to my skinny-tired bikes! I didn't have to pick the best line; just keep the legs turning and I went up and over whatever was in the path! I am sure I would have had trouble cleaning some of the steep, root-strewn and rocky uphill climbs on my other bikes. The low gearing helped. I was probably equally as fast climbing on the Mukluk as my other bikes... Might have been faster in some conditions and slower in others. I could feel the extra weight of the fat bike on the climbs.

    Now the downhills were OK on the rigid bike but I couldn't go as fast as full-suspension (as proven by lots of bikes passing me), but plenty fast to still enjoy it! I will need to adjust the mechanical disks... Perhaps swap them for hydros if I keep this bike...maybe go to 180 rotors as opposed to the stock 160s as on some of the long (10 minutes!) sections, I felt the stock setup was pushed to its limit. (I weigh 210 before gear.)

    Aside from noticing the front tire was mounted backwards, and the front QR came loose (could have been an epic fail on a downhill), the bike performed well. I had a blast! I only saw one other fatty the whole afternoon - an Alibaba or something (never heard of it) and had many comment, "wow look at the bike tires on that bike!"

    I honestly think that fat biking suits my style of riding now especially given that I am almost 50 YO, I have been there/done that for downhilling and racing xc and 24 hr events and am coming off a car crash four years ago resulting in spine damage (my fitness isn't near what it used to be!) I don't need to prove anything to anyone! I can go at my own pace to improve my fitness and enjoy the scenery.

    I would like to try a size L frame (if I could find one in titanium, and had the cash, that would be sweet!) and go from there. Ultimately if I could sort the cockpit to best fit me in an upright position and then potentially add suspension forks and a thud buster, I can see this becoming my favourite bike!

    Now I need to research further mods and bike packing bags for a Mukluk. Can anybody make any suggestions based on experience?

    Cheers!
    Dean

  7. #7
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    Pics from yesterday

    Sorry, I don't understand why the second pic is upside down AND there are two of them? Tried to attach it several times. Stand on your head!

    You can see the Unholy Rims were drilled out to become Holy!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Salsa Mukluk 3 - sizing &amp; potential upgrades?-image.jpg  

    Salsa Mukluk 3 - sizing &amp; potential upgrades?-image.jpg  

    Salsa Mukluk 3 - sizing &amp; potential upgrades?-image.jpg  

    Dean

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