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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you think? I finally finished this bike last night and we still have enough snow to ride it :) . We've been getting warmer days and cold nights (10 this morning) so the snow is good and crusty so you can go anywhere.

I built the frame myself (my first frame build). So far I'm pretty happy with it. I patterned it after a medium Mukluk, geometry wise, with a few tweaks (slightly shorter top tube). I copied the pugsley cable routing and used Surly instigator rear drop outs. I wanted to keep the head tube high like the Mukluk, but I'm not too happy about the stand over. In hindsight I would have lowered the top tube a little or used a curved top tube like the fat back. The handling seems good. I've never ridden a snow bike or a 29er so I don't really have a comparison. It seems to have more "wheel flop" than I'm used to compared to a 26er hardtail. Is this typical? I rechecked my head tube angle and trail after it was complete and it seems to measure up as designed and should ride the same as a Mukluk (70/73 head tube/seat tube angles).

The parts are a mix of new (the fat specific parts) and old stuff. Everything went together well. No tire rub, chain rub, etc. All gears are usable.

I've got to admit it's a pretty sweet feeling to "roll your own."

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks

Thanks for the positive comments. How do you x-post? The snow right now is so perfect here (western wyo). We have about 3 weeks this time of year when it is just hard (i.e. crust) even though there is still about 2' on the flat.
 

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Very, very nice, did you do the paint yourself as well? I love the blue with the panels.

I think the wheel flop you're feeling is normal. These wheels have a lot of gyroscopic forces goin on. Makes em stable as hell though.
 

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Nice. Fine looking ride.

Did you go 100mm bottom bracket and 170mm rear hub for the 1x9 setup?

Which fork is that? You could go with a shorter fork to pick up some standover. You'd need more spacers to get the handlebar back up where you had it, or a riser bar. That would steepen the geometry, which should help with the wheel flop. Of course, there is a trade off - the bike might be a lot more of a handful to control when you ride into softer snow with some speed. It would be an interesting comparison.

My Waltworks snowbike has fairly steep angles - 72/73. I went that way because I know from past experience that I don't like the way bikes with high trail numbers handle (wheel flop / lack of low speed stability on rough terrain). My fork has 45mm of rake, which works out to 71mm of trail for the given head angle and wheel diameter. I'm happy with my bike, but I suspect it's a bit of a compromise. Its the only fat bike I've ridden though, so I don't have anything to compare it to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
VT-Mike - The fork is the Salsa enabler and yes it is kind of tall. Based on the reading that I did, having never ridden a snow bike either, I went with 70-deg HT angle. The trail comes out to about 3.25-in (83 mm) with the Salsa fork. Before I make any final decisions I'll have to ride some snowmobile trails and stuff. Your bike is sweet looking and I like the low TT. Yes, I used 100 mm bottom bracket and 170 rear spacing. It is actually a 2x9 with a 24/34. Everything clears fine. The bottom bracket is an old one that I cut and widened to fit the 100 mm shell and I think the chainline on the crank could actually come in 8 mm or so and it would still be fine.

Icecreamjay - Yes I did the paint. It is actually just spray paint. Hopefully I can get it powder coated it this summer which will help with corrosion resistance and durability.
 

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That thing is awesome. Great job. I can appreciate the parts-bin build.

I think the Mukluk geo was meant to be fairly slow handling as to be less twitchy at crawling speeds.
 

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Hooder said:
VT-Mike - The fork is the Salsa enabler and yes it is kind of tall. Based on the reading that I did, having never ridden a snow bike either, I went with 70-deg HT angle. The trail comes out to about 3.25-in (83 mm) with the Salsa fork. Before I make any final decisions I'll have to ride some snowmobile trails and stuff. Your bike is sweet looking and I like the low TT. Yes, I used 100 mm bottom bracket and 170 rear spacing. It is actually a 2x9 with a 24/34. Everything clears fine. The bottom bracket is an old one that I cut and widened to fit the 100 mm shell and I think the chainline on the crank could actually come in 8 mm or so and it would still be fine.

Icecreamjay - Yes I did the paint. It is actually just spray paint. Hopefully I can get it powder coated it this summer which will help with corrosion resistance and durability.
Ah, didn't see that granny ring. Are you going to keep it manual shift up front, or is that temporary?

The Enabler is 468 a-c and 45mm rake. The non-offset 135mm Pugsley fork (which should be available soon) is 447 a-c and 43mm rake. I'm assuming that would drop your head angle by about 1 degree, which would lower your trail number by about 5mm. That could be an interesting experiment for not too much money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I rode it again to go get some lunch. I took it down to the local bike/ski/hunting/trapping/gun shop because the owner wanted to see it when I got it done. He thought it was a downhill bike. Seriously. I had to explain the the big tires were for snow riding. He really is a great guy just a little out of the loop on the latest and greatest.

I'm thinking that the comment on the gyroscopic affect of the wheels has some merit and contributed to the initial reaction that I had to the handling the first time that I rode it. I'm not noticing it as much anymore and I only have a few miles on it. I'll have to see how it handles on some snowmobile trails. I would like to try a pugsley fork sometime to see the difference a steeper head angle would make. Do they make one in non-offset 135 spacing? Also, I will eventually figure out something for a front derailleur. Maybe the manual thing will work.

As far as a full squish version goes I'm thinking someone who has made more than one frame would be better suited for that. Get Walt to do it with a widened Ventana rear end.
 

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It's worth mentioning that on soft surfaces the center of pressure under your tire moves forwards, reducing your trail.
 

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Surly makes a 135mm non-offset fork now: http://surlybikes.com/parts/pugsley_fork/
We now offer three versions of the Pugsley fork. All are CroMoly steel and allow ample clearance to fit a whopping 4" tire. Two versions are spaced 135mm between the dropouts. Of these, one is offset to match the the Pugsley frame, and the other is non-offset 9no curvy leg).
Problem Solvers makes a Direct Mount Front Derailleur Adapter. Designed for use with 100mm wide bottom brackets.
http://problemsolversbike.com/blog/comments/direct_mount_adapters_now_in_stock
 
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