Thursday, January 27, 2011

Riding in the Snow

No, I didn't buy another bike. I borrowed a Surly Pugsley from Corner Cycle. We've been riding mountain bikes almost every Tuesday night since late October, but with snow on the ground since before Christmas, the riding lately has been difficult. Last week Geo built up three snow bikes, so now we are able to ride all winter. This past Tuesday night we rode the snow bikes at Otis for an hour and a half, conditions were perfect, a couple inches of fresh snow on top of three or four inches of hard packed snow and ice. I was surprised how well the bikes climbed in the snow, and the downhills felt like you were skiing. We received more snow last night, so tonight I rode by myself on some local trails near my house. All I can say is it's the most fun I've had on a bike in a long time.

The Pugsley is cool for sure, but the other two bikes, Fatbacks from Alaska, seem to have the snow bike thing really figured out. The Fatbacks are made of aluminum, so I suppose they are lighter and less prone to rust over the years, but the real cool thing is they have a 170mm rear hub (the Pugs has an offset 135mm), which allows for a symmetrical wheelset. If I were to build one up I'd probably make it a 1 x 9, I don't really see a need for a triple, save some weight, and less places for snow to collect (see pic above). Either way, riding in the snow is a hoot for sure, it extends the winter mountain biking season, and beats the hell out of riding on a trainer or rollers.

Listening to: Art Blakey- "A Night at Birdland, Vol. 1"

Monday, January 10, 2011

So Long Juice, Hello Sawyer

I recently traded my Soma Fabrications Juice for one of Trek's new retro-inspired Sawyers. A bit of a downgrade in components I know, but the Juice never felt quite right to me. I wasn't digging the short top tube, and it was more bike than I needed for my intended purposes (camping bike/winter commuter/bar bike/kid chaser). The Sawyer is one cool bike, fun as hell to ride, and I like the fact you can run it as a single speed, or even with a belt drive (could be the perfect commuter?), thanks to the trick sliding rear dropouts. I swapped out the 2.25" tires for some small block 1.9" tires, and will probably upgrade the shifters and brakes at some point. Thinking about a small front rack, maybe.

Listening to: Lou Reed- "Out of the Underground"