Unconventional Bikes

I'm a big fan of unconventional bike set-ups... mismatched wheel sizes, alt handlebars, drop bar mountain bikes, fat fronts, 36ers, folders, DIY trailers and cargo bikes, etc.  If it fits the rider and fulfills the bike's purpose, I think it's cool.  Recently I decided my bike set-ups were pretty much set; there wasn't much desire for a new bike or a new set-up.  I'd replace things that need replacing, but the general set-ups would stay the same.  That plan changed Friday.

Hiawatha Cyclery currently has a Krampus demo bike on loan from Surly, so Friday afternoon I headed over on my fat front Fargo to test ride the front wheel.  I test rode the Krampus last summer and thought it was really cool, but not cool enough to justify buying one (on my budget).  I had considered modifying the Fargo to fit front and back 29+ wheels, but had given up on the idea due to the cost of the wheels/tires and the work involved in modifying the rear triangle of the Fargo.  The current plan is just a 29+ front wheel... easy to do, and much more cost effective.  

I was a little worried about tire clearance on the Waltworks fork, but the Knard/Rabbit Hole combo fit just fine.  It was a short test ride, and the bike felt pretty strange at first, but so did the Krampus I test rode last summer.  As with the Krampus, the odd feel of the bike quickly disappeared.  I really liked the Fargo with the 29+ front wheel and the "ride over anything" feel.  The days of the fat front Fargo are officially numbered.

Unfortunately I forgot to take any pics of the bike with the 29+ front wheel; it looked bad ass though.  I'm assuming I won't be able to get a tire and rim from the first run, so it'll be a while before I actually get the new front wheel.  I just hope the second run isn't too far behind the first.       

On the topic of unconventional bike builds, this is a bike that a friend of mine had modified to create a fat front set-up for his son...

It's a 24" mountain bike with a modified Mukluk fork.  The fork was shortened to an axle-to-crown length suitable for the smaller frame.  It's awesome.  You'll see him riding it in the video below.

My only real ride this week was the Mpls edition of the Global Fat Bike Ride.  I skipped out early with a couple other guys, but it was fun to see all the fat bikes and I got to ride with some friends I don't see on a regular basis.  There were between 50 and 60 fat bikes at any given time, pretty impressive.


coastkid said...

Thats a massive turn out of fat bikes! -:)

Benjovland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Benjovland said...

Hey folks at Fat Tire MN!

I'm a mechanic and media guru at Freewheel Bike, and I just wanted to shoot you some info about the 2nd Winter Bike Expo coming up this Saturday (12/8). We appreciate the write-up you did after last year's fatbike race, and we've got even more lined up for this year's event. Here's a quick teaser video that shows some of the new course features we've been building: https://vimeo.com/54714389

Arrowhead 135 champion Dave Pramann is teaching a seminar about how to survive brutally-cold snow races, and just about every fatbike under the sun will be available to demo. There's also going to be the unveiling of a custom carbon fatbike....

I know you're supporters of Hiawatha and Angry Catfish and all but we're trying to attract all walks of cycling-life here in the Twin Cities for the event, and we'd be grateful for a shout-out! You can email me at ben.hovland (at) freewheelbike.com for more info or if you have any questions. Thanks!
-Ben Hovland