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Time to go farther
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mikesee said:
Won't fit a Pugsley. Clears my fork and trailer, but not between the chainstays. Doh.
The 4" rim weighs ~1600g.
MC
Judging by your notes on the Remo's benefits over a large marge in another post, you'd take a wider rim (and therefore footprint) if it would fit? I kept thinking this winter that a somewhat flatter edge transition from a wider rim would be better in the worst conditions I played in.

I wonder how much can be swiss cheesed/machined out of one of the 4" rims? I've seen the singlewall and heavily machined large marge pictures and it sounds like a significant weight reduction. Perhaps I should just shut up and research more myself...
 

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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
Pivvay said:
Judging by your notes on the Remo's benefits over a large marge in another post, you'd take a wider rim (and therefore footprint) if it would fit? I kept thinking this winter that a somewhat flatter edge transition from a wider rim would be better in the worst conditions I played in.
Yes, sorta. I don't think a rim wider than the Remo is necessary. I think a tire with a more square profile, and/or significant edge knobs would be even better. The volume of the EndoMorph's is amazing. The lack of edge knobs make them difficult to control. The ONLY reason I've even entertained the idea of the 4" rim is to give the Endo a more square profile, to keep it from being so sketchy in fresh or windblown snow.

Pivvay said:
I wonder how much can be swiss cheesed/machined out of one of the 4" rims? I've seen the singlewall and heavily machined large marge pictures and it sounds like a significant weight reduction. Perhaps I should just shut up and research more myself...
For my uses (loaded and/or remote rides) I'm leery of the singlewall concept on any of these rims. Certain basic engineering principles suggest that it's a bad idea. Removing excess weight is not difficult: Coming to grips with how much you can reasonably remove before compromising wheel strength is the tough part.

Besides--it's just weight. Far more important things to worry about with this sort of thing.

Cheers,

MC

P.S. Local paper did a story yesterday on a recent ride with this bike and trailer. See it here.
 

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Time to go farther
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Aren't Remo's single wall? Considering they seem to be unobtainium to the masses I've had passing interest in anything bigger than the large marges but actually available. In terms of tires, is there anything actually in the works that'd be an improvement? Not that the Pugsley/large marge/endomorph combo isn't a huge improvement compared to what used to be available but we're always looking for better/stronger/faster right?

Windblown snow sucks butt. That's all I have to say about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
Pivvay said:
Aren't Remo's single wall? Considering they seem to be unobtainium to the masses I've had passing interest in anything bigger than the large marges but actually available. In terms of tires, is there anything actually in the works that'd be an improvement? Not that the Pugsley/large marge/endomorph combo isn't a huge improvement compared to what used to be available but we're always looking for better/stronger/faster right?
Remo's are single wall, sorta. They're also double wall, sorta. You gotta see the inside of one to understand.

There is an unsubstantiated rumor of something 'else' coming out WRT a big snow tire. Ain't gonna spread it til it gets substantiated.

MC
 

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Glad to have you back after the wind-fest MC.

When discussing better/stronger/faster Remolino-width rims we may need to re-examine and re-evaluate some basic material concepts in order to make significant advances.

Just to get everybody on the same page, discussion-wise, I'll assume that people have reviewed Scot Nicol's excellent series on basic materials characteristics: http://www.ibiscycles.com/tech/materials_101/ He may have had frames in mind when writing it, but it should be required reading for anybody wanting to get into a discussion regarding materials usage in bicycles, period.

With that in mind, we need to consider the challenge at hand, that is to say how to go about designing a rim that could improve upon those currently available from a performance standpoint, but that would also be economically viable to produce and market.

Initially rims were made of wood. It was lightweight and people had experience working with it. When using a fixed gear and/or friction brakes acting on the tires there were no concerns about rim wear from braking, and with tubular sew-ups the need for a precise interface at the tire/rim junction was minimized. No need for thin bead hooks or airtight seals.

Rim brakes and clincher-style tires presented challenges that wooden rims were not in a position to answer, so the industry switched to metal rims. Steel works well from a strength standpoint, but forces compromises in the areas of weight, corrosion resistance and braking friction. The density of steel demands thin wall sections in order to bring the weight under control, but they soon become too thin to, A) be durable and B) provide a braking surface with any sort of wear margin. Unprotected steel (other than stainless) can provide a great braking surface, but it rusts. Coating the steel with paint or plating prevents rust, but sabotages the frictional properties of the braking surface.

Aluminum addresses those problems by being both less dense than steel (which allows thicker cross-sections without being too heavy) and having fewer problems with unsightly oxidative characteristics. Various alloys of aluminum (in combination with other metals) provide a combination of basic material characteristics that make them a very good choice for most rim configurations of somewhat normal size and usage.

That being the case, two fairly recent developments in the bike world have stretched the envelope of desired performance characteristics beyond that which aluminum is in a position to answer. These needs may come from opposite poles of the cycling spectrum, but they have provided a synergistic impetus to the next wave(s) of rim materials.

The development of rear suspension on mountain bikes presented a number of difficulties for the mounting and positioning of rim brakes. That, in combination with increasing demands upon braking performance created by a greater emphasis on fast downhill riding and racing has pushed the development and deployment of disc brakes on bicycles. As a result of the proliferation of lightweight and effective disc brakes, rim manufacturers can now design rims free from the demands of functioning as braking surfaces. So far on mountain bikes this has primarily played out shape optimizations that allow enhanced strength/weight ratios rather than changes in the materials used, but carbon-enhanced aluminum has recently appeared as a rim material and I am sure that we will see more of that type of thing from more manufacturers in the near future.

In the road world many manufacturers have been forced to look at lower-density alternatives to aluminum in order to reduce weight and/or increase the volume of the rim in order to improve aerodynamics. Some have gone with aluminum rim structures with composite fairings, some with carbon structures with aluminum braking and tire interfaces, and some with all-composite designs. Designs using carbon braking surfaces may work satisfactorily under clean and dry conditions, but the wear characteristics in less than perfect conditions can be cause for concern.

So where does this lead us? I believe that as rim widths in the MTB world rise, the use of composites for the basic structural core of the rim becomes progressively more attractive. The fact that one can specify the use of non-rim brakes is no longer a negative issue for most (sorry G.P.) but there are still some issues with respect to real-world durability. Composites can be very, very strong, but certain metals and plastics have advantages when it comes to rock damage resistance and such.

I have yet to see this, but I believe that the best way to get the ideal combination of high strength, acceptable durability and significantly lower weight than the Remolino and Large Marge will be a composite rim with externally armored flanges. The armor could be a thin stainless steel sheath or a thicker thermoplastic (think bash guard) layer. It would only need to be applied where necessary to protect the underlying structural composite from rock damage. The armor need not be thick enough to provide structural strength, it should simply protect the surface integrity of the underlying composite.

While an 80mm rim might be the ideal application for such material in order to provide tha maximum possible weight savings, it would not surprise me if the same combination of materials could also be used to good advantage with DH rims greater than 36mm in width as well as for deep-section CX rims for use with disc brakes. Why not deep section aero DH rims with shorty bladed spokes? ;)

Remember, you read it here first!
 

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Nothing wrong with that idea, especially for aero rims that are going to have a suitable shape for braking surfaces anyhow.

That having been said, for really wide rims I'd rather free up the engineers to optimize the section shape without regard to braking surfaces, as well as giving them the freedom to determine the best possible protective material for the underlying structural composite without needing to factor in frictional properties and brake wear characteristics. I suspect that some sort of slick or ablative material might prove to be more protective than the type of friction-optimizing ceramic coating that would be best for braking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #112 ·
I've been subtly and not-so-subtly reminded all summer that I have yet to write a travelogue of what happened on the AK trip this past winter. As busy as I am with work, and as much as I'm enjoying 'just riding' right now, sitting down and writing just ain't gonna happen any time soon.

So, in the interim, please read this somewhat singleminded article on what happened out there. FWIW, the weather *was* bad, but maybe not quite as bad as he made it sound. Or at least that's the way it seems right now, in the heat of summer...

There's also this rather non-helpful post that I wrote immediately upon returning.

Wish I had more time to write, but then again, life is pretty good as is. Guess I'll write all those articles and finish the last 30 pages of my book after retirement. Whenever that is...

Cheers,

MC
 

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Mike,


You need to come back to Indiana and speak again. I was at the hmba meeting when you spoke about your adventures. What great stories. Forget a write up, go on a book tour...after you write one of course.

God, I love Moots!
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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It is cold out, and I have time on my hands....

mikesee said:
........

There is an unsubstantiated rumor of something 'else' coming out WRT a big snow tire. Ain't gonna spread it til it gets substantiated.

MC
Any further word on the possibility of another snow goin' tire? :)

I'll bet the conditions are about right for the Snoots out in Western Colorado. Wonder what Mike has been up to lately.............
 

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Discussion Starter · #115 ·
Guitar Ted said:
Any further word on the possibility of another snow goin' tire? :)

I'll bet the conditions are about right for the Snoots out in Western Colorado. Wonder what Mike has been up to lately.............
I wish I had better news. It's on the middle burner, according to the head honcho at the company that's considering producing it. They're committed to making it happen, just need to clear some of their other backlogged projects first.

Thought about this tire all through my snow ride today. Oh what I would give...

Wouldn't expect to see anything until next winter at the earliest.

MC
 

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mikesee said:
I wish I had better news. It's on the middle burner, according to the head honcho at the company that's considering producing it. They're committed to making it happen, just need to clear some of their other backlogged projects first.

Thought about this tire all through my snow ride today. Oh what I would give...

Wouldn't expect to see anything until next winter at the earliest.

MC
Thanks Mike! Have fun with what ya got out there! We just got rid of our ice, so hope to be out again soon on my meager Gordo/WW LT combo in the snow. :D
 

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mikesee said:
I've spent most of the last decade fanatically obsessed with traveling long distances on snow, and usually in Alaska. Without writing a book here, the easiest way to go far on snow is to be able to travel fast while conditions are good. In order to travel fast, you need to travel light and sacrifice creature comforts like dry socks and warm food. And shelter. Over the course of the last decade, I developed my own 'science' for doing this, and it has served me well when going fast.

But the thrill of going fast has started to fade, and I've really started to enjoy going steady (not fast, not slow, just continuous movement) for days at a time, and just enjoying the scenery unfolding around me. In a word, touring. The difference is that most of the places that I plan to go touring the next few years have never seen bicycles, and the reason for that is that there are neither roads nor trails to ride on.

If you want to ride on snow, and in places where there are no trails, the only way to do that is to have some serious flotation. And to be mentally okay with walking a lot when the wind is up or the snow is falling. I'm okay with both, as long as I'm seeing new country and my camera is working.

In '98 I had a Marin hardtail that the brother's Sycip chopped the rear end off of, then tacked a new one onto, so that it could accept the biggest tire available--the Nokian 3.0 Gazzaloddi. Coupled with a cheap rigid fork out of my LBS's fork barrel, it was the best thing going at the time, and those 26 x 3.0's allowed me to ride the entire Iditarod trail in 15 days. But the bike had serious issues with geometry, length (19" chainstays, anyone?) and drivetrain (only 5 operable cogs out back, and "operable" is a stretch), so I sold it and used the proceeds to have Willits build a new one.

The Willits Big Rig improved on the Marcip in every way possible: more tire clearance, better geo for snow riding, a full 8 speed cluster, 16.5" chainstays--the works. It rode like a normal bike, except for the flotation, which was way above average. It even had clearance for the new crop of fat 3.5" Remolino Tires mounted on the impossible (now) to find 82mm wide Sand Rims. I bonded with it on a second trip up the Iditarod (this time in 17 days) and I was sure I was gonna own that bike til the day I died. Then Surly came out with the 3.7 EndoMorphs, and the Willits' days were numbered because it couldn't clear 'em.

Enter the Snoots. Without going into the why's and what for's of every little detail, it is the most purpose built bike I knew how to ask for, and Brad at Moots was at least as passionate about creating it as I was/am about having it. The purpose has changed from going fast and traveling light to going slow and enjoying the ride, and as a result the bike needed several modifications that are not all that out of the ordinary when taken one at a time, but add it all up and...

...well...

I don't know what you get. But it sure as hell floats. I know that the next few winters (with a few potential summer trips on the horizon) are gonna be innerestin'.

Without further ado...

MC
Great bike. I had a chance to test a Sandman today which seems to follow the same ideology. It performed like a charm in the snow and I'm told it also excells in loose sand and on rocks.




Seems Sandman Bikes might make a small batch in titanium which suits me perfectly. Did Moots ever commercialize the Snoots?
 
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