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My Pug got decorated with pink fun fur, pink el wire and blue glowstix for Burning Man this year. It was the perfect bike for roaming around the playa. When other folks hit soft ground and started to wobble I barely noticed anything had changed.

Too bad I managed to forget to take a night shot when the bike was lit up - it looked pretty awesome.



The Alfine was ideal for the dusty conditions...as my friends' bikes broke down I just kept rolling all week....with no change in how the bike pedaled, shifted or braked...:thumbsup:
 

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hey vik! cool playa bike!!
i have a couple friends that went down this year and before they left they were talking about me building something approaching a fatbike for them, since you're riding one, do you mind if I ping you for advice?

I've got 2.6's which with some cajoling can fit some regular frames, figure the playa dust won't cause much of an issue with tire clearance since it's not as sticky?
I hear some years it's crust over dust, other years it's just silt, so kind of waffling on trimmed semi-slicks or full knobs like gazzaloddi jr's.

I'm figuring that single speed bikes would be fine for them with the right gear ratio, which seems to jibe with their fears of the derailleurs probably getting seized anyways?
What're you running as a ratio there? (guessing 32/20?)

I have an excessive amount of really wide 24's left over from my urban days, think with 2.7's on 24's running at really low psi they'd get along ok as well?

Can someone ride safely enough with only one brake under playa conditions?
My friends seem convinced that they need all the braking possible to avoid the giant metal mania things going on, but I kept thinking "sand riding... to stop you kinda just stop pedaling 90% of the time!!".

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
byknuts said:
hey vik! cool playa bike!!
i have a couple friends that went down this year and before they left they were talking about me building something approaching a fatbike for them, since you're riding one, do you mind if I ping you for advice?

I've got 2.6's which with some cajoling can fit some regular frames, figure the playa dust won't cause much of an issue with tire clearance since it's not as sticky?
I hear some years it's crust over dust, other years it's just silt, so kind of waffling on trimmed semi-slicks or full knobs like gazzaloddi jr's.
Thanks...:thumbsup:

Well first off on what would be a typical year a normal 2.1" knobby or semi-slick MTB tire would work well most places at Burning Man. You might have a tough time on 2% of the playa where it's very loose, but you could avoid that for the most part.

I don't think it matters a whole lot whether your tire is knobby or semi-slick....one might be better in one spot and the other somewhere else, but I'd say it would even out. If you had to choose I guess go knobby.

If it's a really soft year [you can check by reading the Burning Man BBS and blog] than going for the fattest tires would be important...if you can get a 2.6" knobby in the frame you'll be happier than a 2.1" tire. You don't need any clearance for the dust, but make sure you don't ride behind a water truck spraying the road....that wet dust will turn to clay on your wheels/frame in 6' and take a lot of work to get off. Just ride to the side of where they are spraying or cut across to a different street. In the extremely unlikely event it actually rains lock your bike to something and walk home. Come back when the playa has dried out.

byknuts said:
I'm figuring that single speed bikes would be fine for them with the right gear ratio, which seems to jibe with their fears of the derailleurs probably getting seized anyways?
What're you running as a ratio there? (guessing 32/20?)
Yup a SS is ideal. My GF rode a donated cruiser which was SS and she had no issues. I used it to hit the bathrooms so I didn't have to leave my bike unsupervised or lock it and the cruiser was a lot of fun. My bike has an Alfine so I had gears, but since I rode with her most of the time I just spun along in whatever gear I had. I can't recall what gear I used most, but as long as you pick something moderate it will be fine.

byknuts said:
I have an excessive amount of really wide 24's left over from my urban days, think with 2.7's on 24's running at really low psi they'd get along ok as well?

Can someone ride safely enough with only one brake under playa conditions?
My friends seem convinced that they need all the braking possible to avoid the giant metal mania things going on, but I kept thinking "sand riding... to stop you kinda just stop pedaling 90% of the time!!".

Cheers!
Most years a fat 24" tire would be totally fine. I'm not sure how a 2.7" 24 would compare to a 2.1" 26 in softer stuff - I'm guessing it would be better. If you have them in your garage I'd use them.

Burning Man is relatively safe. You do need to be able to brake, but a single front brake or a back pedal brake is okay. There are not many powered vehicles on the playa and they are only allowed to roll along at 5mph. The bigger danger is drunk or high bikers - especially ones without lights at night. Make sure you have good lights front/back and to the side. A bell is also helpful.

My one accident at BMan this year was a girl coming at me at high speed wobbling side to side. I stopped and got off my bike to give her a stationary target to get around. She rammed right into my bike and complained bitterly that I should have gotten out of her way as she had no brakes! I was fine, but she had a nasty cut on her leg.

I had to pedal my bike and push my friend along on her bike for two days when the pawls in her rear hub refused to engage. The traction and stability of the Pugsley were appreciated for this application. We repaired her hub by carrying a heavy mallet with us and beating the axle as necessary.



My GF's ride was given to us for free and worked great - SS, wide balloon tires and a back pedal brake....:thumbsup:

Bring a cable lock with you and lock your bike up if you leave it for any length of time.
 

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Must say a completely excellent makeover on your Pug Vik :thumbsup:

Looks the cat`s whiskers :)
 
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