Saturday, October 30, 2010

Late fall

Last week had a few nice cold days. On Wednesday the temperature stayed below freezing the entire day and it was nice and sunny. Still, the winter is probably at least one month away and the temperature has risen again, with accompanying rain and cloudy weather. The ten day forecast promises nothing better.

I went for a short ride with the Pugsley. There are some advantages to the fat tires in these conditions: The grip on wet rocks and roots is good and the tires are kinder to the trails. The grip of the Larry in the front feels notably better than that of the Endomorph in the back, which is the way it should be. I should probably also order another of Rido R2 saddle, since it is now clear that the one on the Pugsley is a lot more comfortable than my other saddles.

Lago Littoinen


Water that does drain away will not dry until the next summer. There is no significant evaporation in these temperatures.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paimio's Revenge V

Toni Lund and Jani@pyöristi arranged a larger group ride in Paimio this year as well. The night temperature was below freezing, creating occasional patches of ice here and there. Just in time for the ride it started to rain. The temperature was now a little above freezing, which meant fairly cold riding conditions. We rode for almost five hours and at the end everybody was thoroughly soaked and cold. I did not have time to eat or choose appropriate gear, since I found out that I was able to participate just in time to get there and not be much too late. The last 30 minutes were pure misery, since I ran of of energy in the middle of the ride and had nothing to eat. Preparation is the key to everything...

A few pictures follow. I used my old camera, which leaves a lot to be desired in image quality. It seems to cope with rain quite well, though.

Late fall.


A hopeless try.

The two Pugsleys in Turku.

A few more pictures.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Frame bag

I made a frame bag for the Pugsley, in order to make it ready for some overnighters. A frame bag allows putting heavy gear in the middle of the bike and with a low center of gravity, which means it does not affect the handling of the bike very much. My experiences from the Fargo are very good in this matter. It really is nice not to have a heavy rucksack (or even a lighter one) when riding.

The frame bag took me about seven hours to make, and while the craftsmanship probably is far from that on the commercial alternatives, the result seems quite good. I used 1000D Cordura, which is pretty strong. Spectra would probably be both stronger and lighter, but the finished bag still weighed only 300g, so I think the Cordura is a good alternative. As I understand Spectra is both hard to find and more difficult to use.

The design is basically the same as on the one I made for the Fargo. which has worked great. The bag is divided into two compartments by a velcro divider, which make it possible to adjust the width also in the middle of the bag. Two zippers give access to the compartments. The frame bag was loaded with some camera equipment, bike gear and a down jacket (no compression bag) to really fill it up for the test ride.

I added a map pocket to the left side panel. Might come in handy.

The Pugsley frame bag is a lot wider. On the Fargo I made the panels that go against the tubes 6 cm wide and on the Pugsley 9 cm wide. The Pugsley has a wider BB than the Fargo and the frame triangle is lower, which should allow for more width. A three hour test ride revealed no problem, but I would not go much wider. The velcro fastening system does make it possible to tighten it more, thus making it more narrow if necessary. It worked great as it was, though.

I also added bottle cages to the fork, just like the Fargo has. Thanks, Coastkid, for showing how to easily do this. Now I need to find some thermos bottles that fit into the bottle cages.

Some final things still remain to do before the Pugsley is fully ready for multiday trips. I will probably add a bottle cage to the downtube and order a rack for the front as well. The cables prevent strapping a drybag to the handlebar like on the Fargo, hence the need for a front rack.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Test ride

The first real test ride of the Pugsley took place today. Despite it being designed for soft terrain, like snow and sand beaches, it is a fun bike to ride on ordinary forest trails. The big tires give a lot of cush and the grip is phenomenal. It does not roll as well as an XC race bike and the heavy wheels take some effort to get up to speed, but it still is easier than the tank like appearance would suggest and it does not at all feel clumsy to ride. The big and soft tires are also a lot more kind to the terrain than ordinary tires, something which does have some importance to me in wet conditions.

On one occasion the rear wheel slipped in the dropout on the brake side, but hopefully that won't happen again. I tightened it a lot more this time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Finally ready

The final parts arrived by mail from England today, a pair of Surly Large Marge inner tubes. It seems the tires and inner tubes currently are out of stock from the supplier, and only available in shops that happen to have them in store, a something which changes rapidly. I did try two different DH inner tubes instead of the Surly ones, but had no success.

Anyway, the build is done. The riding position will still need some adjustment and the gear cable has to be shortened, but otherwise it is ready.

8-speed Alfine .

A fixed hub with a sprocket in the front for backup, should the rear hub break down.

Surly Larry in the front.

Surly Endomorph in the back.

During the fall, it will get some bikepacking gear: A full sized frame bag, possibly a front rack and bottle cages on the fork and possibly under the down tube.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Pugsley build is progressing. There were some problems getting the tires, but I managed to find a shop that had them on stock. Hopefully I get them next week. If all goes well I should have the bike built up a week from now.

The build consists of the following components. Some parts will be taken from my Inbred 29er, which at least for the moment I have no use for.

-Frame: Surly Pugsley 2010 XL
-Rims: Vicious Cycles Fat Sheba 80 mm offset drilled
-Front hub: Surly fixed gear, with a 20t cog
-Rear hub: Alfine 8-speed, with a 22t cog
-Front tire: Surly Larry
-Rear tire: Surly Endomorph
-Brakes: Shimano Juicy 5 185/160 mm
-Bottom bracket: FSA 100 mm downhill
-Cranks: Race Face Ride XC with a 32t chainring
-Stem: Procraft 80 mm, might be changed when adjusting the riding position
-Handlebar: Titec Hellbent 640 mm, 1" rise
-Seat post: On-One
-Saddle: TBD
-Pedals: Shimano PD-M545