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.
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.