It lives!

10 12 2008
First ride...

First ride...

It took a while to put everything together, but I managed to get Minnesota, my Pugsley, out for a ride yesterday.  It rides like tractor – slow and purposeful – disregarding anything in its path.  I had the tires inflated pretty hard, but still had loads of traction on the packed snow roads and in 3″-5″ of loose snow at the park.  I assumed I’d get stuck in the deep loose snow, but as long as I pedaled it kept moving.  The gear range feels pretty good.  As I was just getting used to how it handled I didn’t try and high speed snow biking.  I’ll save that hospital visit for a later date!

The only time I had any issues was when I tried out my disc brakes on a sheet of ice.  Reading owner reviews I know the Pugsley is a snow bike – not an ice bike!  I felt more confident riding on ice with 3.7″ tires [even with fairly high pressure] than on my Tikit’s 37mm tires, but unless you’ve got a bunch of carbide studs in your rubber even fat tires only have so much traction.

Nice clean Alfine drivetrain

Nice clean Alfine drivetrain

It looks like my chain became pretty slack on the ride.  I’m new to horizontal dropouts so I probably didn’t tighten the Alfine’s axle nuts enough.  I’ve since remedied that situation. The Alfine shifts so smoothly and so fast it’s in the next gear before you know it.  I’m using an Alfine trigger shifter right now, but I’ll eventually switch to a Nexus 8 twist shifter for ease of use with bulky winter gloves.

I’m going to throw some lights on Minnesota so I can take her out in the evenings this week [it gets dark at 4pm!] and see what she can do with less air in the Endomorphs.


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12 responses

10 12 2008
Doug

Fun, fun, fun!!!

10 12 2008
Jeremy

Looks great Vik! I’ve been going out for little rides the past few nights (a dog is a great excuse to go for a 1/2 ride – they need the exercise ya know) and I’m missing my Endomorphs. I’ll be living vicariously with fatties via your blog for a while. The bike looks great. Don’t you just want to head out for a day in the mountains with it? Cheers.

10 12 2008
Joe

Surly sells a device called the Tuggnut which can keep your axle pulled back in the fork ends (not drop outs technically).

10 12 2008
thelazyrando

Joe I thought of getting a Tugnut, but I didn’t think it would work with the Alfine’s non-turn washer. It looks like the Tugnut would block access to the groove in the dropout the right non-turn washer uses to keep the hub from rotating.

If they are compatible I’d definitely grab one – makes a lot of sense.

10 12 2008
thelazyrando

“I’m missing my Endomorphs. I’ll be living vicariously with fatties via your blog for a while.”

For a while?…Is there something you want to tell me Jeremy?…=-)

I’m planing on taking Minnesota up to the mtns and exploring some of the roads in the park/Canmore area that are not cleared in the winter.

10 12 2008
Tamia Nelson

That is one tough bike, Vik, and you’ve got me thinking it’s just the ticket (haha) for northern Adirondack riding in winter. Is it possible to get studded tires? I’m surprised the drivetrain is so clean. My mtb’s drivetrain ends up plastered with a slurry of salt, sand, and snow that freezes on stopping, setting up like concrete. Way to go, Pugsley!

10 12 2008
thelazyrando

Tamia the bike is new so that’s why it looks so clean – it won’t last…=-(

Having said that an IGH is pretty much immune to a dirty drivetrain as the chain doesn’t have to shift gears – all that happens inside the sealed hub.

10 12 2008
Duncan Watson

That chain line is beautiful. I am really considering the benefits of IGH for myself.

10 12 2008
thelazyrando

Duncan if you can live with a ~340% gear range [going off memory here] the Alfine/Nexus8 or SRAM IGHs are not expensive, are low maintenance and give you a very strong dishless wheel.

11 12 2008
Antoine

Keep those tyre pressures nice and low Vik. Single figures (7-9psi) is good for sand or snow and no more than 15psi for trail riding. Much more than that off-road and as well as losing grip the front wheel will bounce-off stuff like a moonhopper full of helium.

That hub sure sounds good – like a singlespeed with gears.

11 12 2008
thelazyrando

Antoine thanks for the tip….Doug gave me similar advice. The problem is I don’t have a pressure gauge that reads accurately that low. I checked mine and it starts at 20 psi!

So I’m just dropping the pressure a bit every ride and seeing what I think.

I’ll eventually get a pressure gauge that reads lower so I can set my tires up more accurately.

12 12 2008
Joe

I can see that the Tuggnut might not fit. You could look at the MKS version, which might work better (lower profile; possibly reversible). They are sold at Campione FWIW.

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