I’ve been wanting one for a while now. A snowbike. A fatbike. Whatever you wanna call it. Reading about the Arrowhead 135 race, and all these peeps rocking these rigs in AK and MN had me jonsin’. Really bad. I’m relatively new to this scene, and I’ve already been dreaming about one of these bikes for two years. I’ve been slowly scraping together all my nickles and dimes, and instead of going to Chuck E Cheese’s, I finally got enough loot to get the next best thing- A mountain bike with some burly wheels and moon cruising tires that can slay the xc ski groomers and snowmobile trails that are so bountiful around these here parts (Mammoth Lakes, CA). I’m definitely not retiring my indoor trainer and Sufferfest videos for winter torture. But being able to train OUTSIDE in the winter is sweet (without going down to Bishop), and is surely welcome in my winter training quiver. Bonus: it allows me to take in the majestic scenery around here in yet another way. The Eastern Sierra never ceases to blow my mind 🙂
About the Bike
The “Fatbiking” trend has been growing very fast all over the country. Lots of websites popping up, and more and more brands entering the market. There are even carbon frames and full-suspension units now. The tires keep getting fatter, frames lighter, etc. With so many options on the market, it was a tough decision. I did tons of research, and settled on the Salsa Mukluk. Many factors contributed to this decision, and here are a few of the main reasons:
- Cost – The price of the Mukluk frameset (frame and fork) was significantly cheaper than the competing frames.
- Singlespeed – Of course, I needed something that was singlespeed compatible. The Salsa alternator dropouts allow for singlespeed or geared (right now I’m SS, but love having the option to throw on a cassette and be 1×9 super simps).
- Weight – Although it’s not the “lightest” out there (the Salsa Beargrease, and offerings from Fatback, 9 Zero 7, etc are lighter) when factoring in #1 and 2, this bike pretty dang light for the buck. The Beargrease is a sweet rig, but not SS compatible, and the other bikes that do have SS compatibility were just too much money for me. Complete with pedals and all, my Mukluk weighs exactly 29lbs. Sub-30lbs. = light for a fatbike.
- Bling Factor – Salsa decided to offer the black and purple Mukluk as a frameset only, not as a complete bike. This means you won’t see as many of them out there as they have to be built custom. I dig the color combo, and knew I was gonna be building it with my component spec, so it was the perfect choice.
After a month of gathering parts, everything finally showed up. If you’re thinking of building a bike like this, or are a techy bike geek, you should definitely check out all the specs and full photo gallery on my MUKLUK BUILD PAGE.
Anyhoo… a few more notes: I purchased the frameset at Milltown Cycles in Minnesota because it was so hard to track down. They keep a very large inventory, have top-notch knowledge about anything fat, and are super nice to boot. Then the gang at Footloose Sports here in Mammoth handled the rest. Greg ordered all the goodies on my list and Glenn built her up while I was out of town working. He even got inspired and added purple nipples as his little “touch”. I finally saw the beast (that’s what my wife calls it) yesterday. He got inspired, and added purple nipples as his little “touch”. This bike looks AWESOME!!
I got a chance to ride it today up in the Lakes Basin… but that blog will have to wait til next time… HOOT