Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Custom bicycle Build: Powdercoated Mukluk Build


Last week we finished building a custom painted Mukluk for a customer.  We've been working on this build for a while.  We had the frame set built as a complete bike when Mark decided to buy it.  At the time, frame sets were unavailable, and he wanted a different set up than the bike came stock with.  I had one more 17" frame set coming along that those parts could go on, so I agreed to break the bike down and sell him the frame and fork along with a different build kit.

Mark had specific theme he wanted to build centered around the new Brooks Apple Green B17.  He wanted the bike to be understated, offer a lot of performance for the dollar, and look kick ass.  I think he easily accomplished those goals.  This bike will assuredly turn heads and will perform great, but will do so in a  very refined manner.


Color is very hard to do well on a bike.  Anodized aluminium colors vary depending on a lot of factors such as alloy, manufacturer and anno process.  Getting those colors, in this case green, to match when they are next to one another is next to impossible.  The satin black color of the frame and fork serve to isolate and moderate the different greens on this build.  With the black to fill in the space between colors, it has the effect of lessening the differences between them.  You end up seeing sharp points of brilliant green without being overwhelmed by them.


The build kit on this bike puts higher dollar parts where they make the most sense.  The wheel set is built with Surly's awesome Rolling Darryl rims.  These are built around great bang for the buck hubs from Salsa and Surly respectively.  I built these using standard DT butted spokes which keep weight low but strength high.  Black brass nipples that offer serviceability and resistance to salt corrosion tie all the parts together.  Mark made some multi-layer Duct tape rim strips that look just killer on the blacked out wheels.

A green Sotto Voce Chris King headset with their new to them, (cheap bastards,) split compression ring will keep the front end turning nicely for years.  I love the new more understated logos.  It's the perfect little jewel to keep the front end on track.  The Mukluk is shod with Surly's Larry tires and ultra light tubes front and rear.

Drive train.

The drive train on this bike is simply and functional.  The bike is set up as a 1x8, (not pictured here,) with 9 speed spacing.  This was done by simply moving the 12t outer cog into the inner position on the hub and then adjusting the derailleur accordingly.  This involved some little gun smithing, but makes for a better chain line and shifting with the 24t cog up front.  The single gripshifter and derailleur are Sram's proven X9 set.  They are reasonably priced and function very well.  Cassette and chain are from Shimano.  Green cable ends complete the theme.

Mark wanted to build this bike as a dedicated snowmobile trail bike.  For his riding style, a 24t cog in the granny position works out just about perfect for 95% of his local trail conditions. For the crank set up, we added a Salsa Ring Dinger in the middle position to keep loose clothing out of the chainring, and to maintain chain position.  The inner guard is a modified NGear Jumpstop space out from the frame with Salsa's provided direct mount derailleur mount.  Clean, light, and simple.  I love that it maintains the "No Step" label.  I love that.  Whoever thought that little number up is a winner in my book.  

Finishing touches.

The saddle color is really the highlight component of the bike.  Set atop a classic Thomson post, it becomes the primary focal point of the bike.  The particular green is hard to photography well, and has a quality that is a bit lost in these pictures.  In person it's stunning.  I love it.  You can see how clean the set up looks in this shot, as well as how the three distinctly different greens work so well in this photo. Peeking through in the background are the awesome Ashima rotors sold under the JB Importers house brand Origin 8.  I love these rotors, and they are a big improvement in performance over the stock BB7 offerings. 

There you have it.  The latest creation to come out of Milltown Cycles.  I am pleased to say that we were able to help Mark bring this project together.  We achieved everything he was looking to do at a price that he found reasonable.  This bike should be a great ride for him for years to come.   

We do have one more 17" Mukluk frame set coming in to stock at the shop today.  Give us a call or shoot us an email if you'd like a set up like this, or if anything suits your fancy!  Happy Wednesday.  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Supplimental: 17" Mukluk Available

We got a phone call from Salsa folk this morning and were offered one more 17" Mukluk frame set.  We ordered it, and will receive the frame set tomorrow.  This Mukluk be built up very close to the stock set up for $1700, it will be available as the frame and fork only for $599.99, or it can be built in any custom set up you'd like. 

Give us a call at the shop if you are looking for one of these, or if you'd like to discuss any options as to a build. 

Have a great day!

White Industries Disc All Rounder Wheels

I built these wheels up for a lady eagerly awaiting a 2011 Fargo complete to arrive.  She will be running these and the rest of the bike in the stock configuration.  While most of her riding will be on roads and paths commuting around the cities, she wanted big tire capability for some light mtb use, and wanted to be able to do light weekend touring.  The Fargo fit the bill for her in terms of comfort, versatility, and performance.

The requirements for her wheels were pretty straightforward.  She will likely be using large volume road, or high pressure touring tires most of the time.  This eliminates many of the usual mtb rims we would use such as Stan's rims, which have tire pressure limits.  I chose to use Hed's stellar Belgium C2 rims on these wheels.  Their wider than standard road width will work well with any tires she's like to run.  They are some of the toughest road rims I've ever used, certainly they are strong enough for her smaller frame on light mtb trails.  The are fairly lightweight, and are the straightest and truest rims I've ever built with. 

These rims were laced to White Industries M16 disc hubs using DT Swiss Competition butted spokes.  The hubs are amazing, and will out roll anything I've personally used.  The spokes are light enough to keep things from being over built.  They are also plenty durable to resist the disc brake torque and loads for years to come.  This is easily a ten plus year wheel set.  They weigh in at right around 1900 grams, so while not for the weight wienies out there, they are plenty light for her purposes.   

Fargo complete builds should be arriving later this month, or early next.  We have five of these coming in for stock or for customers.  It will be exciting to get building on those, and to see those hanging out in the shop.  These wheels will make an excellent upgrade to an already killer for the dollar spec.  It will be a nice looking package all wrapped up. 

Happy Tuesday all.  We hope to see you at our Fat Tuesday ride tonight.  We will again be leaving from Goodbye Blue Monday in Northfield at 7pm. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A few more Mukluks.

Salsa has a few Mukluk framesets left in XS, S, and XL sizes.  Quantities are exceedingly limited, but if you're looking for one of these give us a call and we can see if they have any left.

Have a good one.

Fat Tuesday Ride.

Tonight's ride will again be leaving from Blue Monday in Northfield at 7pm.  There will be some fun stuff to see other than our usual frosty mugs.  We hope you can make it out. 

Last weekend's Triple D was an awesome event.  I want to thank Lance Andre, his wife Tracy, and all the other volunteers for all of their hard work.  I don't think I've ever been to a race where we were immediately made to feel so welcome.  It was a truly great event, one which I highly recommend participating in.   We also had a great time bumming around Debuque this weekend, with several notable events and sights taken in. Curtis, Cody, Ben and Jerry all finished in fine form.  The weekend was a huge success in that way as well.

I will be posting up a much more detailed race break down tomorrow with photos and hopefully a list of results.  Congrats again to all the staff, and to all the people who finished the race!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Surly Troll

Surly's newest bike, the Troll, is now in stock.  This is going to be a fun bike.  Part 1x1, part Karate Monkey, part Long Haul Trucker, and part Big Dummy, this bike is versatile. The Troll is designed around a 100 mm suspension corrected fork.  It comes in five sizes ranging from 14" all the way up to 22".

This bike has just about any braze on you can imagine.  It's has provisions for any type of rack front and rear.  The fork also features mid blade eyelets for low rider type racks.  Full fender bosses provide that option if you'd like.  Both cantilever studs and disc brake mounts allow you to use whatever type of brake you prefer.

A generous braced seat tube allows for quite a lot of stand over height. 

Surly designed new dropouts for the Troll.  They are similar to the newer style dropouts used on the Pugsley and Karate Monkey frames, but differ in a few regards.  The rear end of the Troll is designed a little more towards cargo hauling than it's Surly MTB counterparts.  These dropouts have built in mounting holes for Surly's new trailer.  It also features integrated fender and rack mounts that the other bikes lack.  Additionally, these feature a mounting hole for a Rohloff OEM 2 axle plate.  Rear facing horizontal dropouts allow for easy chain tension adjustments, while slotted chain stay disc mounts keep wheel removal easy.

Full cable housing is standard on this frame.  It fits well I think with the bikes intended mixed condition use.

As with all Surly bikes, Fatties Fit Fine in this frame.   Overall I really like the looks of this bike.  I like the color, the features, and the value for the dollar is spot on.  All size of this fine steed are in stock now.  We will be building up a 18" version of the bike for a customer starting today.  I will have photos up of that bike here as well as on our Facebook page as we start work on it.  

Happy Friday all!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Salsa Minimalist Racks.

Salsa Minimalist Racks will be arriving in stock in the next few days.  We've been waiting a long time for the Minimalist racks to come in.  These should be a really nice solution for those needing to carry some small or light bulky things in an efficient, lightweight package.

We will be getting a good compliment of both black and silver racks when they are released. If you know you will be wanted one or two of either you can contact us as we'll set some aside for you. Have a good one!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fat Tuesday Ride

We will meet again tonight in front of Goodbye Blue Monday at 7pm for our weekly fat bike ride tonight.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Phil Wood 100mm BB

All of Phil Wood's bike parts are gorgeous.  They represent some of the nicest US made bike parts money can buy.  Both in terms of fit and finish, and durability and performance they are as good as it gets.  Here is the bb for my upcoming fat bike build.  It's a darn shame to hide something this pretty inside a frame. 

These are specifically made for 100 mm shelled frames, and this one is offset for geared use.   Phil BB's are available for all shell sizes and axle widths, and the make top shelf external bearing BB's for modern cranks as well. 

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


All for now.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Another 17" Mukluk For Sale

We will soon be getting another 17" Mukluk complete in stock for sale.  This bike will be like the last ones we've had for sale.  It is a frame up build nearly identical to the complete build from Salsa.  The bike will sell for $1700, due to higher individual component costs and labor for the build. 

If you'd like this bike give us a call at the shop, or email our Milltown account. 

Happy Tuesday, on to bike building.

Also, don't forget about tonight's Fat Tuesday Ride.  7pm outside Goodbye Blue Monday.  There may be some fun things to see tonight, hope to see you there!

Monday, January 03, 2011

This week's work.

We have a mix of fun stuff and routine stuff going on this week at the shop.  A nice little shipment of 27 bikes came in this morning from Trek.  Nothing fancy or exciting unfortunately, just good old shop stop of fine 2011 town and kid's bikes.  It will be nice to see the floor stocked fully again.  We've been running low waiting for 2011 stock to be available for a bit now.

I have quite a few wheels to build this week again.  As was the case in December, January is starting off heavy with fat bike themed work.  For starts, I have five Rolling Darryl wheels to build this week.  One of these is my rear Phil Wood fat bike wheel, two of them are for a super Pugsley for Cody, and the last set is for a nice Mukluk build coming together. 

Cody's set will be built up offset on the rear and symmetrical in the front.  They will be build on a White Industries Eno for the front, non offset for an Enabler fork.  The rear will be laced to a White Industries M16 rear offset for the Pug.  He is running the Enabler fork in his Pugsley.  He wanted the symmetrical wheel lacing it offers along with the rack and water bottle mounting options it provides.  This will have the effect of slightly slackening out the angles of the frame, and should raise the front end of the bike a bit.  I've done this on customers bikes in the past with little noticeable change to the handling.

We also have a 16" Puglsey to build for a Triple D and ITI Race competitor from California this week.  She is flying out for the Triple D, and we will be bringing the bike down to meet her for final set up and adjustment.  Should be a cool project, I look forward to starting on that tomorrow.

The other set of Rolling Darryls will be built on Salsa and Surly hubs for a custom Mukluk build.  The frame and fork are off for powder coating, and the rest of the parts will be here Wednesday to finish that up. It should be a stealthy little scoot with nicely selected parts.  I really look forward to seeing this bike built. 

Parts for my fat bike are also arriving steadily.  Mr Pofahl dropped off this exquisite stem last week.  I will be using Woodchipper bars on this bike.  This stem is identical to the one on my Potts, and the position should be quite similar.  The bar height above the saddle will be the same, but the reach will be slightly shorter. This should shift my weight a little further back, while making the overall feel more upright.  I think it will work well. Other bits are due in today, the the whole thing should come together in the next few weeks.  I'll be on the Fargo until then, which is doing alright in the harder snow of late.

So, starting the year off with steady work.  That's a really nice thing to say in the beginning of January!  I'll have some photos up of the wheels and bikes as they get put together.  We are also going to be having out Fat Tuesday ride tomorrow night.  We will be meeting in front of Goodbye Blue Monday again at 7pm to start.  The route will likely be the same as last week, figure on about an hour and a half ride. We hope you can come and join us again, or come on down for the first time. 

Happy New Year all!  I hope your year has started off running as ours has!