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Brass Nipples!
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Discussion Starter #1
Thought this would be a good place to start. I'll x-post in the SS forum. I live in Utah and am getting my order together for a Surly Pugsley with gigantic tires for use in sand and snow. I have a couple of questions.

1. What experience have any AK snowbikers had with mechanical versus hydraulic brakes in below freezing temps? I imagine the pads can freeze with either setup, but are hydraulics better otherwise? I'm looking at Avid mechs versus Juicy 7's versus XT discs.

2. What bottom brackets did the Pugsley owners choose? All I can find are 2 ISIS BB's, the Truvativ Giga Pipe Team DH and the FSA Platinum DH. What bottom brackets are the current Pugsley owners using?

3. Any other things owners learned setting up your bikes would be appreciated.

thanks
Bob
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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Hola, Bob. I have run Avid mechs, Juicys (DOT), and Magura (mineral oil) brakes up here and could not say one worked way better than another (or one failed for that matter) due to low temps. We don't generally get temps lower than zero F here in Kodiak though, do you? One thing about mechanicals for me here in soggy freeze-thaw coastal AK is that I would have more issues with ice in the cable housing than with increased fluid viscosity in a hydro. Anyway, slap whatever you want on there, I say.

Build that thing up in the next 3 weeks so I can try it out when I pop through!
 

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Beware of Doggerel
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Brake info

I like Hayes Hydros in the cold. I trust them and they are rock solid. I use a single rear brake. The front brake just causes the front wheel to break loose for me, so I remove it in winter. Out of the choices you listed I would go with the one that uses DOT type fluid.

I’ve tried the Magura Marta, but I haven’t had much luck with them in the cold. Now that I’ve read TS’s post I’m thinking that maybe I only had trouble with the Martas when it was below zero. But anyway I used them for part of a winter and they worked then they stopped working when it got cold, but would work in the garage once they warmed up. I couldn’t get solid steady performance out of them for a whole winter.

Lots and lots of folks seem to use the avid cable disc brakes on their snowbikes. I’ve never used them.

I used rim brakes for a year or so too, they don’t work very well at all but if you are on trails its not that much of an issue because you really don’t go that fast (or at least I don’t). And you don’t need much of a brake at all. If you are commuting or on streets or on busy trails then rim brakes are downright dangerous.

Good luck. Keep posting questions this board is a great source of snowbike info.

Adam
 

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Brass Nipples!
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys

I'll be riding over snomobile tracks to my cabin in northern Utah. It gets into the teens below zero (F) there at night, but I doubt I'll actually be pedaling in anything below zero.

I'm not sure I'll have the bike built when you're down, tscheezy, but I'm hoping I will. Surly keeps pushing back the arrival date on the tires.
 

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Wood chips are stupid
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779 Posts
I plan on using...

Avid mechs. on my new and improved winter bike. From what I have been told (and seen),if you use the cable activated discs,be sure to run full length housing . It keeps the cables clean. Another tip; try gluing your tire bead to the rim with tubular glue. One side only front and rear. On the rear, glue the non-drive side. It keeps the tire from slipping on the rim in warmer/wet refreeze winter conditions and shearing the stem off the tube when you run low tire pressures. And you will. Mine hasn't slipped yet. KOW. I know a lot of people don't use a brake up front. It works for them. And you scoot is lighter.


:cool: akdeluxe
 

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Pat's setup

Bob,
I'll be using one rear Avid cable disc on my Pugs with an FSA BB.

On our really cold Yukon ride, Mike's hydro disc locked up alot (closed when really cold) while my Hayes cable disc was fine. But if you're not riding in extreme cold it shouldn't be a problem. I just like the thought of fixing a cable brake vs a hydro out on the trail....
Those are our choices in BB for Pugs and I can't say one is better than the other. But of all the ISIS BB I've been forced to use, the FSA lasted the longest, so I went with that. So far it's holding up but I haven't been on it long. I'll keep a spare BB in the tool kit just in case.

I'm hearing the tires will be available early Oct.

Send pics of your bike when it's done.

Pat
 

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Brass Nipples!
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Discussion Starter #8
Good news: I ordered the frame and rims today. I've also decided on Avid mechanical 185 mm rotor disc brakes.

Bad news: QBP is out of the brakes.

Oh well, I'm still waiting for the tires anyway. Thanks everyone for your help.
 

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Wood chips are stupid
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oops on the glue

Drink beer.Did I say glue the non drive side on the rear tire on your winter bike. Sorry. I meant glue the drive side. If you need to change a tube. It is safer/cleaner to pull the bead on the non drive side so you don't shred/dirty your gloves on the cog set. Buy your winter shoes two sizes too big. Think circulation...not insulation.

akdeluxe
 

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Gearing?

Bob,
What gearing did you decide on for Pugsley? I am close to pulling to the trigger on a Pugs too. I have zero singlespeed experience and not much snow biking experience either. The simplicity of running two singlespeed rear hubs with different sized cogs is appealing.

Any recommendations for choosing a chainring and two cogs for primarily snow biking purposes?
 

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Pat's SS gearing

when I ran the Idiotsports I always used a 32x20 with 2.4 snowwheels. On the beach I used a 32x20 w/ 3.7 tires and wished I had a 21-22t cog instead. So for snow I'll run a 32x21/22 double cog set-up.
I use cassette wheels instead of SS wheels so I can install 2 single cogs w/ spacers. That way I can change gears w/o removing wheels or dealing with a freewheel tool and a vise. Just loosen the quick release, put the chain on a different cog, pull back and tighten the QR. Works like a charm.
My gear choice is for longer rides/races, so for shorter ones, I might stay with the 20t cog.

Pat
 

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Pat's SS gearing

when I ran the Idiotsports I always used a 32x20 with 2.4 snowwheels. On the beach I used a 32x20 w/ 3.7 tires and wished I had a 21-22t cog instead. So for snow I'll run a 32x21/22 double cog set-up.
I use cassette wheels instead of SS wheels so I can install 2 single cogs w/ spacers. That way I can change gears w/o removing wheels or dealing with a freewheel tool and a vise. Just loosen the quick release, put the chain on a different cog, pull back and tighten the QR. Works like a charm.
My gear choice is for longer rides/races, so for shorter ones, I might stay with the 20t cog.

By the way, I'm not a hammer and don't push too big a gear.

Pat
 

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That info helps a lot since I will be using Pugsley as a snowbike exclusively. If I were to use two rear hubs as Surly shows in their pics, can I get away with a 20t on one wheel and a 22t on the other or is that too much chain to take up in the rear dropouts? Sorry for my lack of general singlespeed knowledge. I am assuming that to compensate for a smaller cog you simply slide the wheels a little further back in the dropouts?

And in my opinion, anyone who even enters the Ididasport is a hammer!

patirwin said:
when I ran the Idiotsports I always used a 32x20 with 2.4 snowwheels. On the beach I used a 32x20 w/ 3.7 tires and wished I had a 21-22t cog instead. So for snow I'll run a 32x21/22 double cog set-up.
I use cassette wheels instead of SS wheels so I can install 2 single cogs w/ spacers. That way I can change gears w/o removing wheels or dealing with a freewheel tool and a vise. Just loosen the quick release, put the chain on a different cog, pull back and tighten the QR. Works like a charm.
My gear choice is for longer rides/races, so for shorter ones, I might stay with the 20t cog.

By the way, I'm not a hammer and don't push too big a gear.

Pat
 

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Caveman
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I run a 30t front ring on my bikes. It helps milk out a little lower gear out of the 22 & 20 t cogs
Pat gave me 23t cassette non-ramped cassette cog which works great and it will be on pugs as a bailout gear. You can get by with a little less fickle drivetrain snowbiking since you're not hammering a singlespeed up and down hills in the summer, its more slow and steady if you catch my drift.

I really wish they'd release the tires. these evening Pugsley rides are getting boring...
 

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Brass Nipples!
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2,006 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I'm (gasp) starting out with a geared setup until I get a handle on how hard it is to move those huge tires. I'm thinking a 32 x 22 or so will be about right for the snowmobile tracks I'll be riding, but I have some serious climbing I'd like to do on sand (Sand Mountain to be precise), so I don't think that will be low enough for my sandy rides.

I think I'll eventually get a third SS wheel for fixing the rear in the winter. I think the availability of a fixed cog would be a great safety feature in the cold.

One more question. I'm used to using rims with reinforced eyelets. Did the Pug owners build up with any washers between the nipples and the rim, or did the rims hold up without?

We're going to need a Pugsley forum. They aren't a perfect fit for AK, SS or the 29er forum.

That's a great picture, Bearbait!
 

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eyelets

Bob, my first pair of Marges were without eyelets and they seem to be fine, although I haven't ridden them alot. My new ones have eyelets on one side because we drilled the offsets by hand, so one side does not have eyelets. The newest, offset Marge rims should have eyelets.
All my rims are doing fine whether eyeletted or not.

Pat
 

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Caveman
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Fixed in snow.

Bob, Just a thought as I've never done it with a fixed, but a fixed gear for snow riding might not be the best idea. Think about those cranks and pedals turning while trying to push your bike a few miles though the soft stuff. I think a fixed as an emergency pugs wheel is a good way to go but not as the "all the time" wheel.
 

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Brass Nipples!
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Discussion Starter #19
Bearbait said:
Bob, Just a thought as I've never done it with a fixed, but a fixed gear for snow riding might not be the best idea. Think about those cranks and pedals turning while trying to push your bike a few miles though the soft stuff. I think a fixed as an emergency pugs wheel is a good way to go but not as the "all the time" wheel.
I agree. I'd like to have the front hub with a backup fixed cog in case the pawls on the freewheel froze open or something. I wrote Andy Corson at Surly about it and no one makes a disc hub for fixed (with lockring threads) use, so unless I switch to cantilever brakes, I'll probably pass on going fixed.

ONE OTHER BIT OF NEWS: TIRES ARE NOW IN ACCORDING TO ANDY C. AT SURLY! I'll probably be ordering mine tomorrow. Woo-hoo!
 
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