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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have finally started planning my ultimate fatbiking expedition, and i need some help in figuring out how to source/assemble what i have envisioned as the perfect bike for the job.

the expedition will be over 1000 miles, nearly all snow-covered, with almost zero chance for support or assistance along the way. as such, i will need a bomb-proof setup for sure. although there are lots things to consider for every piece of gear, the bike is the major component (contains nearly all of the moving parts and is essential to forward progress).

my first decision was that the front and rear wheel need to be swappable. this will take care of several scenarios where an otherwise trip-ending problem could be solved with realtively ease. i know the Pugsley can be set up to be swappable like this, but i was hoping to use another frame. i also was hoping to have centered (dishless) wheels, which the Pugsley does not (in its swappable form) and run 100mm rims (possibly with a full cassette).

ideally, i would like to have a 150mm rear hub width and a 150mm front hub width (though 160 or 165 would work as well if they were available). is there even such a thing as a 150mm-wide fork? (i have searched high and low and have not found one). would a custom fork builder be able to build a fork like that? and how would running a rear hub (with cassette, possibly) affect the front wheel being centered with regard to the frame?

i came across lots of posts and pictures of the Moots Snoot, which i think had a custom 150mm fork. i dont need a Ti frame or fork, and definitlely dont need the ability to carry gas/fuel inside the fork or frame tubes, so i am not looking for anything that exotic. i would like to have a steel or aluminum frame and fork, but with accomodating dimensions. is that something one of the smaller fatbike builders would tackle (obviously, i would have to ask them directly i suppose). just wondering what was already out there or what other expedition-length riders have come up with. any and all ideas or thoughts are welcome.
 

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is buachail foighneach me
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Speedway Fatback, Wildfire and I believe Vicious all offer symmetrical rear spacing. Any custom fork builder out there could build you the fork you're looking for.

1000 miles of snow, no assistance or support, and no need for all the extra fuel? Is that a carrot you're willing to let us take a bite out of?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sean salach said:
Speedway Fatback, Wildfire and I believe Vicious all offer symmetrical rear spacing. Any custom fork builder out there could build you the fork you're looking for.
that is what i figured, but was wondering if such a beast existed already or not. thanks for the info.

sean salach said:
1000 miles of snow, no assistance or support, and no need for all the extra fuel? Is that a carrot you're willing to let us take a bite out of?
bite away, but i didnt mean to infer i didnt need the fuel, just dont need to carry it *in* the frame/fork. (i actually wouldnt be surprised if somebody figures this one out pretty quickly).
 

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The latest (that I'm aware of anyway) Snoots that Mike had built uses a 165mm hub front and rear. I think in Mike's case this is probably a good idea, especially since he carries fuel in the fork legs, and he's planning on some crazy trip he hasn't let us in on yet, but for most everyone else, having the same front and rear spacing isn't neccesary. I have heard of a few freehub failures due to sand/silt, but in the snow, the only problems you are likely to encounter are moisture freezing inside the freehub, or the grease thickening in the cold, causing it to freewheel forward. It is very easy to carry a spare freehub body and lube. On the hubs I use, with two 5mm wrenches, the freehub can be removed and replaced faster than a tube can be changed.
Start with good quality, have it winterized and you should be fine.
 

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I am no expert but I agree 110% with Greg. I have commented before in other threads that the swappability of front and rear wheels is in my humble opinion just not needed for 99% of bike expeditions.

thirstywork said:
The latest (that I'm aware of anyway) Snoots that Mike had built uses a 165mm hub front and rear. I think in Mike's case this is probably a good idea, especially since he carries fuel in the fork legs, and he's planning on some crazy trip he hasn't let us in on yet, but for most everyone else, having the same front and rear spacing isn't neccesary. I have heard of a few freehub failures due to sand/silt, but in the snow, the only problems you are likely to encounter are moisture freezing inside the freehub, or the grease thickening in the cold, causing it to freewheel forward. It is very easy to carry a spare freehub body and lube. On the hubs I use, with two 5mm wrenches, the freehub can be removed and replaced faster than a tube can be changed.
Start with good quality, have it winterized and you should be fine.
 

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thirstywork said:
It is very easy to carry a spare freehub body and lube. On the hubs I use, with two 5mm wrenches, the freehub can be removed and replaced faster than a tube can be changed.
How do you swap the cassette from one FH body to the other?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
FredBMOC said:
... in my humble opinion just not needed for 99% of bike expeditions.
anybody care to post up what they think would be examples of the 1% of the time when this might not apply?

the expedition i have in mind is very remote and i need the equipment to be as reliable as possible. an entire spare wheel/hub/rotor with the same spoke lengths/etc reduces the amount of additional spare parts i must carry and adds some extra insurance, at least to my piece-of-mind.
 

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mattcrandle said:
anybody care to post up what they think would be examples of the 1% of the time when this might not apply?

the expedition i have in mind is very remote and i need the equipment to be as reliable as possible. an entire spare wheel/hub/rotor with the same spoke lengths/etc reduces the amount of additional spare parts i must carry and adds some extra insurance, at least to my piece-of-mind.
You're on the right track for sure. I recommend getting comfortable (proficient) with the practice of swapping the wheels trailside when fully loaded, as well as when conditions are sub-optimal.

Swappable wheels means swappable tires too, and although Surly has made huge leaps in improving durability of the Endo/Larry casing, with a heavy load and that kind of distance you *will* wear out the sidewalls on the rear tire much sooner than the front. Swapping the wheels is much easier than removing both wheels just to swap tires.

I guess I might be getting ahead of myself and assuming you'll be running low PSI. True? Where ya headed?

Good luck,

MC
 

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if we had the isolation and terrian for a trip like this (in scotland) i would just go with a surly pugsley set up single speed or dingle speed (2 speed) and then you would also have the front wheel for back up or a different gear ratio..,pugsley has got reliability going for it framewise aswell as rack mounts..alot of adventurers seem to favour middleground bikes to high end stuff quite often..stuff thats proven...
erics lost coast expedition pug is a great example;
http://lostcoastbike.blogspot.com/
i think this is the coolest bike trip out yet..though i do like to ride the coast a bit :D
oh ..and hey eric what happened to the full film?..,would be great to see :)
 

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FatBike Fiend
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How many and what color?

We can build a custom length steel fork for you in 165 mm spacing along with rack and bottle mounts if needed. Not a problem.

mattcrandle said:
i have finally started planning my ultimate fatbiking expedition, and i need some help in figuring out how to source/assemble what i have envisioned as the perfect bike for the job.

the expedition will be over 1000 miles, nearly all snow-covered, with almost zero chance for support or assistance along the way. as such, i will need a bomb-proof setup for sure. although there are lots things to consider for every piece of gear, the bike is the major component (contains nearly all of the moving parts and is essential to forward progress).

my first decision was that the front and rear wheel need to be swappable. this will take care of several scenarios where an otherwise trip-ending problem could be solved with realtively ease. i know the Pugsley can be set up to be swappable like this, but i was hoping to use another frame. i also was hoping to have centered (dishless) wheels, which the Pugsley does not (in its swappable form) and run 100mm rims (possibly with a full cassette).

ideally, i would like to have a 150mm rear hub width and a 150mm front hub width (though 160 or 165 would work as well if they were available). is there even such a thing as a 150mm-wide fork? (i have searched high and low and have not found one). would a custom fork builder be able to build a fork like that? and how would running a rear hub (with cassette, possibly) affect the front wheel being centered with regard to the frame?

i came across lots of posts and pictures of the Moots Snoot, which i think had a custom 150mm fork. i dont need a Ti frame or fork, and definitlely dont need the ability to carry gas/fuel inside the fork or frame tubes, so i am not looking for anything that exotic. i would like to have a steel or aluminum frame and fork, but with accomodating dimensions. is that something one of the smaller fatbike builders would tackle (obviously, i would have to ask them directly i suppose). just wondering what was already out there or what other expedition-length riders have come up with. any and all ideas or thoughts are welcome.
 

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tscheezy said:
There are a lot of cassette crackers and a few mini-mini chainwhips out there. I always carry a Pamir Hyper Cracker and I also have a Stein mini cassette lock tool.

Someone was obsessive enough to catalog the choices.

Thanks P. I'm well aware of these options, I just wanted to hear what Greg's recommendation was since he brought up swapping FH bodies but wasn't clear on how to deal with the cassette.

MC
 

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Schmucker said:
Carry a high tooth count Tomicog instead and just flip the rear wheel over, shorten the chain, and go fixed. It's a much lighter and simpler solution than swappable wheels.
You mean like remove the rotor to install the tomicog? Then shorten the chain?

You've gotta be kidding.
 

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mikesee said:
Thanks P. I'm well aware of these options...
It wasn't necessarily directed at you as I bet you know every light/tiny/Ti bike-related doohickey under the sun. :) It was a general FYI to the aspiring self-sufficient out there with cassettes on the brain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wildfire said:
We can build a custom length steel fork for you in 165 mm spacing along with rack and bottle mounts if needed. Not a problem.
thanks, that is what i was wondering about and looking for. i still have lots of other preparations to do as well, but i will contact you off-list to discuss this further.

mikesee said:
Where ya headed?
south. wanna tag along? =)

actually, i was hoping to bend your ear a bit about some of the things you have learned over time from doing this. for example, i know you went through several revisions of a trailer, but now are just loaded up with panniers - any specific reasons for ditching the trailer? (i have taken my standard BOB on other long-distance off-road (but not snow) trips and found that i preferred the trailer in those situations).

and in a post from way back, you had one mechanical disc brake and one hydraulic, for comparison purposes. what were your impressions?

i would love to hear input (from anyone) on long-distance snow bike touring and their own personal advice/tips/tricks.
 
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