Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mukluk set up musing.

Things are starting to heat up for fatbike season.  Mukluk completes are coming in around a month, Pugsley completes are coming in less than two week, and wheel parts for some builds are coming from the west coast this week, (these are going to be fun!) 

I've started to think about the build for my Mukluk.  I've always planned to build my bike up as a 2x9 drive train.  I will be riding this bike all seasons, and I want more gear range than just a 1x9 can offer.  With the arrival of 10 speed  mtb drive trains, I think this would be a good torture test of the new components.  The reports on the current crop of offerings is almost universally good.  The shifter performance and longevity of these new systems seem to be close to, or exceeding their respective 9 speed counterparts.  I still have my reservations on the lifespan of chains, but I guess we'll see how it goes.  I figure this is as good of a time as any to start converting the fleet.

There is some debate when choosing parts for snow bikes.  One school of thought is that you should pick less expensive parts because they will likely be wreaked due to salt and weather exposure.  The other thought is that nicer parts will stand up better to those conditions because of nicer materials and a higher level of finish.  My bike will be a mix of both of those thoughts.  Most of the parts will be mid level performance parts.  These will help keep the overall weight of the bike down while working like it should.  The wheels and other bearing components of the bike will be fairly top tier stuff.  These are the parts that I've seen take the most abuse, so I think it makes sense to build the bike with money put into these areas.  I'll go forward with this general game plan and see what I end up with.

The biggest decision I have yet to make is the one of handle bar choice.  Although they do move my weight a bit further forward than a flat bar, Salsa's Woodchippers currently lead the list.  I have never ridden anything so comfortable, and that pretty much make it.  The Mukluk will probably need a fillet brazed 45-55 degree stem like the Potts wears, but I like that aesthetic anyway.  I am getting a medium Mukluk for the shorter stand over and shorter effective top tube length.  I drew up some drawings for a custom fatbike way back in February of last this year, and the Mukluk is almost identical to what I had drawn.  It should be nearly perfect for my purposes and riding style. 

No matter what bar option I choose to go with I will be using some form of Shimano Barcon shifter.  I have either 9 or 10 spd shifters laying around, so I'm good no matter what.  I have some question as to whether the Dura Ace 10 spd barcons will work with the new Dyna-sys 10 spd mtb derailleur, so that will be a determining factor here.  In either case I am planning on using a XT direct mount front der paired with a XT shadow medium cage rear der.

The crank set up I will be using will be a Phil Wood square taper bottom bracket with a Stronglight 94 bcd 5 bolt crank.  I will likely start out with a 24-32t double, something I've found to work really well in the past.  The compact 5 bolt crank will give me the option of running a smaller 20-30t double if the need arises.

Wheels for my personal bike are going to be something special.  I will share further details of these when the parts arrive.  Most of these should arrive in about 2 weeks, with the big ones coming hopefully this week.  I am a firm believer that wheels are everything on any bike, and these will be to die for. 

Happy Tuesday all, have a good one.


Guitar Ted said...

Ben, this sounds awesome. Can't wait to see what you are cooking up for wheels!

As for 10spd Shimano mtb- I am quite sure your bar end shifters will not pull enough cable. I am wondering if in fact a SRAM bar end wouldn't work. The ratio Shimano is using on 10's mtb is pretty darn close to 1-1.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ben,
Nice write-ups about the fatbikes. Will shadow derailleurs work with barcon's? I bought a nos Pugsley frameset, so I suck up all the info I can get my hands on. Thnx again.

Ben said...


I was worried about that. I may go a close ratio 10 Ultegra rear then. A 30-20t with an 11-28 cassette would probably be perfectly sufficient for how I will be riding this bike. I don't want to mess around with close to indexed shifting, so I may just go that route. Sram Apex with Sram bar ends is another good option. That would be pretty sweet as well. The wheels will blow you away. I guarantee it!


As GT said, it will probably not work. The Sram may be the way to go, although 9 speed barcons and drivetrain components are readily available still, and are awesome.

These are also all good options for use on Paul's Thumbies, which now come in Sram and Campy versions in addition to Shimano.

Jerry said...

will this bike have a carbon fiber kickstand? those are sweet.

Ben said...

No, but it may have a carbon fork....