Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Feels Like Winter

While the days have gotten short and the temperatures have been cool, there has been lots of beautiful sunshine to enjoy on at least one way of my commute.

I've been riding this beast almost exclusively for the last few weeks enjoying it's midfatness on the little snow we do have.  The $30 pogies have continue to serve me well, even after 7 years.  I was riding at -5 F this afternoon with my bare hands in them for the last 5 miles of my ride.

More exciting than snow has been the overflow from frozen streams around town.  I came upon this immediately after leaving the house yesterday.  An ice damn in a culvert had water flowing out down the road in single digit temperatures.  A couple of trails around town have had a some significant overflow issues on and off over the past few weeks.  In a very dorky way, I really enjoy the dynamics of water and ice.

 Spotted this guy just off the trail riding to school today,

then heard something behind me and noticed I'd parked my bike right between the two bulls.  Fortunately the were mellow and disinterested in my existence.

The left palm of his antlers appears to have broken off at some point. 


  1. Whatever the event was behind the broken antlers, it would have been fun to witness. Must take one helluva lotta energy to do that.

    Your 1x1 is looking quite fat. What tires/rims?

  2. Pat beat me to it. I'm pretty sure you had an Endomorph wedged into the front a while back, but I'd like to know more too.

  3. Pat, first, the 1x1 isn't fat, just big boned.
    Second, I'm hoping that moose hangs around for a while, I'd love to find those sheds once he drops them. I've got a friend who has a knack for finding moose/caribou sheds, so I might give him a call.

    Andy you're right, it is an old Endomorph stuffed in the front. I have trimmed the side knobs with end cutters to clear the unmodified, stock fork. The back tire is a trimmed down Nokian Gazzaloddi 3.0 down hill tire, discontinued a number of years ago.

    In that picture the front rim is an Alex DM24 (~34mm), but I swapped it around this week so I have some drilled out SunRingle DoubleWides (~44mm) front and rear.
    Wheels and rear tire could be lighter, but it's actually a really fun set up, and can hang with a proper fatbike in most conditions.

    I told Gypsy Nick to think of it as 26+.
    I'd love to see some 26x3.0 Knards and then set them up on some MargeLite rims.

    I'll take some pictures and do a proper post about the set up sometime.

  4. The 26+ concept enabled via a 26x3.0 Knard is a stroke of genius. I rode the Knard on a Krampus a while back and really liked its feel. The multiple smallish knobs and rounded profile remind me of the terrific, yet long extinct Fisher Fattrax 26x2.2 tires I used to ride in the late '80s. A lot of bike hoarders like me have at least one bike sitting around capable of becoming a 26+ bike. And, with an extra set of wheels, 26x3.0 tires would make just about any 29er a nearly-fat bike. This 'missing link' sized Knard would be the perfect key to opening up the world of nearly-fat biking to a lot of people.

    It all comes back to supporting the "fatties fit fine" slogan on every Surly. Of their 26" wheeled bikes, there are few tires available with just barely sub-fatbike volume to take full advantage. I know I'd put a pair of 26x3.0 Knards on my Big Dummy and probably even my Stumpjumper, if given the chance.

  5. bw/r, I love the ingenuity of that setup. The bit about trimming knobs with the end cutters just rules. I don't doubt that it rolls really well with full fats.

    I also dig the idea of a 26 x 3 knard. I think people would go ape-shit over it. But devil's advocate here, and I don't know anything about that crazy black magic marketing stuff, but every other envelope-pushing tire they've introduced has had a frame designed around it, and I wonder about the PR ramifications of just throwing a crazily-sized tire-only out there to the masses, with a bunch of people buying it, thinking it will turn their modern MTB's into semi-fats and then finding out it's either a total no-go or there are all kinds of rub issues.

    Probably over-thinking this. Bike nerds are bike nerds and would probably figure it out just fine. Or maybe they could disclaimer it by saying that it's designed to fit such-and-such surly frames. Or perhaps they could design a whole new frame around it. That would be more in character, I suppose. ;-)

    I do think that the knard tread is pretty awesome. The large quantity of sharp edges made available by the large quantity of smallish knobs makes for a fast and sticky tire. On dirt, at least.

    1. Pat, I think you're right, but the optimistic side of me is going to argue with you anyway just for fun and because my bike nerd nature has already severely over analyzed the situation.

      I think Surly doesn't necessarily care too much about about the marketing and PR. I honestly think they just come up with stuff that they think would be fun and if other people like it, well then that's great too. QPB, God love 'em, seems to have realized the genius behind this approach and lets those knuckleheads take one of the most unorthodox approaches to bike industry success.
      And if something reaches a point where it doesn't make sense for Surly to produce anymore they let it fade away. Remember the Instigator or the Conundrum unicycle? Now I'm imagining a Quandry: a unicycle on clown shoes with a Bud.

      I think there are more people that would make a tire like that work than we realize. I spent a few months chasing Gazzaloddis from all over the country, only to have them sold out from under me more than once.
      I finally found some locally, but that's another story. It's great to live in a fat bike hot spot.

      I think a number of current fatbike owners might jump on some smaller tires for summer riding when they don't feel they need quite as much floatation.
      They might not be inclined to build a 29er or Rabbit Hole/Knard wheelset for big bucks, but a tire that will still work on Marge or Darryl and not feel as freakish as full fat might be a winner.

      Surly could build that new 26+ frame you suggested. Make a 1x1 with a derailleur hanger. Sell it as a complete with the O.D. crankset (http://surlybikes.com/parts/od_crank) and call it the OverDose.

      I want them to exist.