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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For all my Turner Homies; I haven't posted much lately but wanted to "share" my latest ride. Details on the Surly site. Yeah, I know, it ain't a Surly either :D 35 lbs.
 

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mtnbikerx said:
For all my Turner Homies; I haven't posted much lately but wanted to "share" my latest ride. Details on the Surly site. Yeah, I know, it ain't a Surly either :D 35 lbs.
Very nice. Now the questions:
-Are those Snowcats on the left in the bottom picture? If so, I can't believe those other rims make them look so puny. They (on the right) don't look like Large Marges; what are they? And why not Large Marges?
-Is there any funky offset in the frame and/or wheels? I don't like that aspect of the Pugsley. I'd like to get a frame like that and be able to run regular 29" wheels on it the rest of the year.
-How does it ride? What does it allow you to ride, and what are its limitations?
-Why no front brake?
Thanks!
 

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looks like a fun toy. but holy steep headtube angle batman! what was the plan there? somethin to do with quickening up the steering due to the big tires? im curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
And you shall have ....

Answers:

-Are those Snowcats on the left in the bottom picture? If so, I can't believe those other rims make them look so puny. They (on the right) don't look like Large Marges; what are they? And why not Large Marges?
-Is there any funky offset in the frame and/or wheels? I don't like that aspect of the Pugsley. I'd like to get a frame like that and be able to run regular 29" wheels on it the rest of the year.
-How does it ride? What does it allow you to ride, and what are its limitations?
-Why no front brake?


Yep - SnoCats, I had the same reaction when I got them down from the storage rack!
The rims are "Remolinos" originally built in New Mexico for sand riding by a guy named Ray Remo (something like that) and adopted in Alaska for snow riding. Even wider than Large Marges; 82mm. The Remolinos are not available anymore - this is one reason I bought the bike on eBay vs a new Pugs.

There is no funky offset; that is the OTHER reason I was looking for a WildFire vs Pugs. A 29er wheelset (and suspension fork) bolts right on and the frame is nearly 2 lbs lighter than the Pugsly.

Ride?: I'm a FS guy; RFX, VPX etc and the rigid fork / hardtail thing had me wondering about ride quality. Yeah, you do have to pick your arse up and loosen your shoulders on the nasty bumps but the volume of air in the tires sucks up the hard impacts. Consider it's use though, I bought the bike mostly for snow, so no problem. I've ridden it the last couple of weekends in the semi-frozen "tundra" in the Maine woods and it's like driving a jeep vs. a dune buggy. It ain't fast or flickable but I can ride through anything with clearance for my handlbars. The 6 inches of water standing over a six foot long mudhole between frozen roots and rock outcroppings? Just ride through it, uncanny. No wheelspin at the "climbout point". Lifting the front wheel over obstacles? It's immediate with no fork sag to compensate for. The ride is a little jouncy as the only rebound control is -- wait, there is no rebound control. If you are spinning with a bad spin the bike actually pogos but that is a technique issue. I'm running between 5 and 10 PSI. It's very difficult to measure the pressure accurately at that level, esp with a presta stem. Set up with no front brake because the way I bought the bike it came with POS Deore brakes. When they are wet there is NO stopping power and the complet front brake assembly weighed 1.5 pounds. But the biggest reason is the uselessness of front braking on snow and ice. I'm getting a 180 Avid cable brake for the rear to counteract the inertia of the large rear tire assembly.

In summary it's FUN!

Oh, and Cactuscorn:
Yeah, I noticed that head angle but haven't measured it yet. Although I can't forsee a time when I'll be bombing much with this bike, so far it handles ok considering the gyroscopic effect of the enormous front tire. Also if I'm not clipped in my toes tend to collide with the front tire in certain turning situations. Again, technique.
 

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Hmmm - I could use a set of wheels that size about now, but what's up with all those gears on the rear hub assembly? Shouldn't that thing be a SS for true punishment? :D
 

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Now with flavor!!
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Oh man that looks like fun.

So if you ride off of a decent sized curb, do you just keep bouncing?
 

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Major fun!!

kidwoo said:
Oh man that looks like fun.

So if you ride off of a decent sized curb, do you just keep bouncing?
I've been riding the Pugs for the last week and I can't believe how much fun these things are!!! As pointed out above, crappy technique makes for a bouncy ride when running low pressures on the Endomorph's, but man the traction.

I was out last night, it warmed up to about 30 and we've had about 2-3 feet of snow over the last couple weeks so things are prime for some snow riding. I started crashing into snowdrifts that line the sides of the streets here in Anchorage and the Pugs just plowed through them. The snow was about 2/3rds of the way up the tire, it was so freaking cool.

Through soft stuff in the 6-12 inch depth range it just went like there was nothing in front of me. I just clicked into a lower gear and kept on pedaling. On hardpacked snow I can spin out my setup -- 1x9 with a 32t up front and 11-34 out back. That was another surprise, its easy to get to speed and keep it there. Most would think with so much tire and rim it would be sluggish, but that's not the case. These babies really fly! This is a great winter setup.

The strangest part is turning with some speed because of the gyroscope effect of the massive wheel/tire setup. It takes a little more effort. But the cool thing is so far I haven't washed out at all. You don't have to pick a line either, just keep pedaling and you're good to go.

These tires grip like its dry pavement, only you don't have the rolling resistence of pavement grinding your tires down. I'm really surprised/impressed at how much grip there is, the rear doesn't spin at all when accelerating. I was climbing this hill that was smooth hardpack and kinda slick to walk on and Pugs just motored up without any hiccups. Cool.

A couple other things that also came up. If you search Remolino, you get Ray's site, he does sandbike tours in New Mexico -- I think. The Remo's are wider, but the Marge's IMHO are better built, double walled, nicely machined and so forth. Of course bigger is better and if a set of Remo's come up for sale I'm gonna jump on them.

I have a set of now obsolete snowcats and the Marge/Endo combo just completely dwarf's them. These things are so awesome the cats are going up for sale.

Also, I'm only running a rear brake as most snowbikers do. Locking a front brake on a stretch of ice is a bad thing. There's more than enough braking from the rear to get the job done. I'm running a 6" Hayes with no problemo.

Just for reference, this is what it looks like out in front of my office, so this is what I'm riding though. This is more or less what its gonna look like until sometime in April.
 

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It was easy for me to resist a singlespeed. It was even easier to resist a singlespeed road bike. And yes, it was somewhat easy for me to resist a 29er. But this thing has a grin factor that's off the chart. I've always enjoyed plowing through obstacles using little riding finesse, because finesse is overrated anyway. I think my bike has arrived.
 

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Roostalee said:
It was easy for me to resist a singlespeed. It was even easier to resist a singlespeed road bike. And yes, it was somewhat easy for me to resist a 29er. But this thing has a grin factor that's off the chart. I've always enjoyed plowing through obstacles using little riding finesse, because finesse is overrated anyway. I think my bike has arrived.
Finesse is just an excuse for those who can't do it with brute force.

Chris - tell me more about the SnowCats! I looked at a set that were rigged for V-brakes, but they wouldn't work on the Spot SS (I've decided SS sucks in snow anyway - no ability to gear down means the rear end just digs deeper into the snowpack when you hammer on the cranks - even running a flabby 2.4) But if your set will take a cassette and a disc rotor they may work on the Burner - PM if you're interested. Likewise Jim - if the new ride means your snowcats (or whatever they are) are looking for a home, let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
SS? Ack!

cutthroat said:
Hmmm - I could use a set of wheels that size about now, but what's up with all those gears on the rear hub assembly? Shouldn't that thing be a SS for true punishment? :D
I actually built a 1FG singlespeed for last winter and used the aforementioned SnoCats. As long as there are no hills the SS is a dream :D There is no tendency to constantly shift up to a higher gear for faster roadspeed. Once you reach your spin -- that's it. However; hills, especially rocky, rooted nasty woodland climbs truly s--k on a SS.

Just my humble opinion, and that's all that counts for me :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Steep 'cause

cactuscorn said:
looks like a fun toy. but holy steep headtube angle batman! what was the plan there? somethin to do with quickening up the steering due to the big tires? im curious.
I showed a pic of the rig to "Mark", the designer/ builder of Wildfire Cycles fame, and he mentioned the frame was built for a taller front fork than the one I have on it. He noticed the steep angle too. Like to find a Shiver SC and then I could ......NO! Must resist!

www.wildfirecycles.com
 
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