Friday, 26 August 2016

Catch up... And a wee look at my 29er evolution to 29+ bike as it has gone full circle!!!...


The weather had halted the harvest this week with heavy showers 3 nights in a row...
Guess it allows the farmers to get on with grubbing and sowing the fields already harvested wth Oil Seed Rape and collecting bales while they wait for things to dry out..
Not much else has been happening. I`ve been bogged down mowing at work with blunt machines and back to losing a fighting battle and just pushing heaps of cuttings about. Really lost interest in the place now, so glad of a long weekend off and to get away from it all...

In the meantime while we wait for the harvest main event, i collected together an album of the big wheel 29er then 29+ bikes, and off road drop bar bikes, that have come and gone during the time i have been blogging and i`ve done this as were back at the beginning with the original frame set!.
This Blog started after i purchased my Surly Pugsley.  Picked it up on Halloween 2008...

First 29er...
While reading away on MTBR forums about the Pugsley in those early days i also fancied getting a 29er for trail duties and bought a red Surly Karate Monkey frame set and built a fun bike i did a lot of miles on...
Here it is after i fitted a cheap Suntour fork...

29er with wide rims...
While enjoying this bike i read about Eric Parsons (of Revelate Frame bags)  and his green KM which had 44mm Alaskan made Snow cat rims and how it allowed lower pressures and so gave more grip and  riding comfort.
An email to Greg at Speedway Cycles in Anchorage Alaska to enquire about  the cost for a pair posted to the UK, returned a reply that the rims were light and not ideally suited for hard trail riding and i may want to have a look at some 47mm wide Kris Holm Uni cycle rims.  Dual wall and 36 spoke these rims seemed indestructible, these were available here in the UK and a pair were soon ordered!...

These required some 36 hole hubs so some Hope Pro 2 hubs were bought and a strong wheel set was built and things were sweet in the world again and i was impressed at the lower tyre pressure, comfort and grip...


Drop bar 29er-Salsa Fargo...
Two years later i read about the new Salsa Fargo and had another itch to scratch, and at the time thought it a good idea to sell the red KM and build a Fargo so sold the bike and using the original Halo 29er wheels bought a new frame set...

This bike should have been great to ride and if i had/could have afforded a complete bike then it would have rode better. But not having the Salsa Woodchipper bars, stupid bar end shifters (always hitting them off road with your knees!) and stiff unforgiving wheels gave a real rough ride, combined with MTB gears and road shifting and hours tweaking the front mech made me end up hating the bike and i split it and sold the frame and the build went onto another (Black) Karate Monkey frame set...



Step in 29+, The Krampus!
Meanwhile the internet was full folks singing the praises of a new platform called 29+ by Surly, called the Krampus it featured single wall 50mm wide rims on 29 x 3" tyres and aggressive geometry that promised a fun ride...

I should have got an overdraft and pre ordered one at the time but did not.  When friend Richie bought one of the first in the UK i had a go and it was indeed a fun bike!...



New Year 2013... The old Pug turned up again!!!...
Moving on and then one day my original Pugsley frame set i sold to friend Mike who sold on again for a larger size large after he re cracked it at the seat tube where i cracked it removing a seized seat post  turned up for sale with the crack repaired by Kinetic bikes in Glasgow.  For £140 i got my original Pugsley frame set back and was real happy!-should never have sold patient zero...


Drop bar Karate Monkey; 
Here is the ISON Distribution ex demo Black Karate Monkey frame set i bout to replace the Fargo as knew it wasa more flext frame set and would give for myself onlocal trails without bike packing gear a more comfortable ride. I fitted an off set headset which slowed the steering and improved the bike on trails..

After running it as a rigid MTB with riser bar i put the build to same as previously on the Salsa Fargo.
I did a lot of riding on this bike, riding it with 3x9 geared and as a single speed and the regular drop bars would be swapped out for some Salsa Woodchipper bars which were a big improvement, though i still struggled with STI drop bar shifters and that front MTB mech!...



A Present from Surly...
After the  inaugural Forth Fat Fatbike Gathering which was attended by Eric and Tyler from Surly Bikes i was given Tyler's Rabbit Hole 29+ (offset for Pugsleys) wheel set as a thank you-how cool was that!


The `KramPug` is born...
With the old original Pugsley frame set sitting i got it powder coated black and adding the wheels and i had a single speed `KramPug`  (my name idea)  rolling for the hottest summer in years and rode the bike daily to work, then down to the nursing home most days to see my late father, then detour home from work and enjoyed the good weather and good times. That was the last summer with dad and a real special time for us...


 After a few months single speed it grew gears...



And in winter i tried regular 29 x 2.25 MTB mud tyres as the 29+ `Knard` tyres were fast rolling dry weather tyres and not much good in mud...

Despite the Surly Pugsley`s bottom bracket height being raised an inch by 29+ wheels (half inch with 29x 2.25 tyres) and the affected handling esp on tight berm ed trails (non of them locally) i really liked this concept and it had the reversible `Get out of jail free` option wheels and loads of mud clearance, along with a large size frame bag with the non drop top tube, and the 100mm wide BB gave a 4" wide frame bag-what width are stoves and cylinders and bottles?...
One thing i did think about that would be a better spec was that a Shimano Alfine 8 speed internal hub gear (IGH) would have been better to have bought than the derailleur gears for summertime long grass,  harvest straw, and winter mud...

Should have stopped there...
No need to spend any more money of a 29" tyre bike when the Pugsley does it all but you know what it`s like,  you get an itch...

700c Drop bar...
The whole gravel bike/CX bikes/drop bar 700c disc brake itch led to an impulse 0% finance purchase over a year on a Genesis CDF in a lovely blue...

I did some fun days riding old roads and have to admit although faster on tarmac i much preferred the drop bar 29er Karate Monkey for more comfort, grip and trail handling...


Around the same time my big bro gave me a single speed/fixie drop bar bike which had a small frame set so i sold the frame set to but a used Surly Cross-Check in a 56cm and i again messed around with that with road and off road gearing and rode it fixed and flipping the wheel with the free hub...


With 29+ wheels and a drop bar 29er the appeal of these bikes were short lived and both saw little use before selling on. the CC just last week...


KramPug 29+ handlebar experiments...
That Autumn i briefly tried the KramPug 29+ with drop bars, and later Jones 710mm Loop bars...

And i did like the Loop bars on it...


A 3rd 29er Karate Monkey frame set!
I had by now stripped and sold the black Surly Karate Monkey frame set as was mostly riding the KramPug 29+, then with a pile of bike parts and wheels a chance offering of an unbuilt grey KM frame set turned up! Monkey No 3!...

So i bought it and built it  up. same time a pair of Surly Krampus wheels-50mm (Rabbit hole rims) turned up on the Forum for a good price so i bought them for this KM.  WHY?,  Well because you could not get the new Surly Dirt Wizard tyres and the 29+ Knard tyres were not much cope in winter i opted for a 2.5" 29er Maxxis Minnion tyre rig, although i soon discovered a 2.5" tyre rubbed when riding hard so had to fit a 2.4 in the back...


Another Pugsley frame set turns up...
Friend Gary B`s ex Pugsley turned up for sale and i thought "hang on why ride a KM with limited tyre clearance when i could ride a KramPug and also have fat wheel option if i want?".
And yep that frame was soon sold!, and i off set the wheels myself-start of me building my own wheels and another 29+ bike came to life after i fitted some new out Maxxis `Chronicle` 29+ tyres...



29+ specific Surly Krampus and ECR frame set...
The bike above then was sold to a workmate along with my Surly Moonlander to pay to keep the car on the road, as a 4" Fatbike.
Money saved up again i then by and keeping the 29+ wheels re laced them in line and first using the Salsa Woodchipper drop bars and then the 710mm Jones Loop bars and other parts i bought and built up a Surly ECR frame set and rode this at the inaugural Capital Trail event last year...



Single again!, retail therapy needed!...
And after being dumped and feeling the need for some retail therapy to cheer me up i bought a new Krampus frame set!!!...



The 29+ specific bikes are perfect, then along comes a trouble maker....
And her name is Wednesday!

The Surly Wednesday Frame set  and Halo wheel set i got from Pat and ISON have proved to be an amazing bike to ride, i love it. and that's the thing, i don`t need the Krampus now as the Wednesday is dam near the same geometry, and i hope to add a Bluto fork and Halo 27.5+  wheels to it`s package in the future.

Rounding up the ideal rides for myself..
The Wednesday...

As mentioned above once i have got a Bluto suspension fork and  a pair of 27.5+ wheels it will be a perfect bike for ripping about on keeping in my `Two bikes in one` concept with + and Fat wheels...

And back to the ECR i prefer the old KramPug concept to the ECR as  it`s a bigger frame bag, loads of tyre clearance and a fat wheel option for the coast, so i sold the frame set and put the build onto a Large size Pugsley i bought recently and had powder coated...


I did not plan to sell this bike but needing money for other stuff and to be honest i already have 3 other bikes so seemed daft to have loads of bikes, and with little spare money always bike service parts to buy every month,
I want the pie chart in my life where bikes are concerned to be reduced and to do other outdoor things as well than just cycling.

And an old  Pugsley frame set like my original is still proving to be the most adaptable frame set yet for my needs. does everything a Karate Monkey does and all sizes of 29" tyres fit,

I doubt i will own another bike with drop or semi drop bars for off road riding. Jones Loop bars are a better choice,  i find the control off road better than drop bars, plus climbing and headwinds are a good position for digging deep and pushing hard when you have too.

All i need;


Surly Wednesday


New Pugsley, 2x9 gears and rear 29+ wheel  (front is shared with old Pug)


And the old Pugsley with Alfine IGH, 29+ `KramPug` mode most of the time for daily use, spare Na te tyre fat wheels for winter....


Along with the Dawes Ultra Galaxy and 1980`s Muddy Fox Courier  rat/pub bike that`s me finally sorted!, i`m a cured man!, can go spend my spare money on other stuff now, some less interesting like DIY, and a new friedge freezer!, but needed non the less...

Full circle then and the result?...
Loads of money has been spent, hours spent spannering, zillions of cable ties used swapping builds but it all proves one thing...

The original production fatbike still rocks!

Long live the Pugsley!...



Sunday, 21 August 2016

Surly Cross-Check for sale... £250 SOLD already!


Yep!, sold 2 hours after posting up for sale!

56cm Cross-Check Frame set,
single speed flip flop rear wheel,
38mm Crossroads tyres, tubes also juiced for thorns,
Avid Canti brakes,
Flat bars and ergon grips fitted.  drop bars with levers and tape included in sale,
Mudguards and rear rack, ready for winter commuting,
TIME pedals on for test ride, buyer will need to source own pedals,


£250 no offers, swaps etc...




Thursday, 18 August 2016

The fine weather continues...



Been an amazing week weather wise...
This morning dawned with a harr drifting in on the onshore wind and it felt cool as i cycled to work taking the more fun off road route...


The old original Surly Pugsley now has the Jones Loop bars fitted after a longer 90mm stem arrived in the post yesterday,  there is enough room on the 18" medium frame for me on the bike , and i`m happy to report the Orange/Yellow Pugsley was sold today to Feargus who i`m sure will enjoy the bike for many years...
I also sold the Surly Krampus at the weekend and it has been posted...
So the old Pugsley has now become the Alfine hub KramPug  29+ day to day go to bike for commuting and long days out...

I wonder how long this frame set is going to last,  it`s 9 years old soon and has over 12,000 miles clocked up now...



Looks like the bales will be out the fields around Whitekirk soon so thought i better get out for a wee cycle again this evening before they get grubbed up...


And what an evening to be out!, with sunset now at  20.40pm i prefer it being dark by 10pm, i sleep better when it`s not so late light and early morning, if i wake and its light its hard to get back to sleep...  years of early starts as a Greenkeeper!.
Also means i can get in a midweek cycle with hopefully a sunset without being up half the night!,

I only rode to Whitekirk this evening and through 4 fields but seen so many different angles of the usual far away views of the county...




Better view here than at 6.45am this morning on the commute!...


As the sun set i rode home as a big full moon rose...


Sadly i have never had a camera good enough to get a big pic of the Moon, but tonight you can see the craters etc...



So instead here is a Pugsley up in the sky!...


I shot some film, not much,  but long enough to use a little Boards of Canada track from the `Music Has the Right to Children`  UK LP Track 17; `One Very Important Thought`....


Surly KramPug; Harvest sunset cycle; 18th August 16 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.


More soon...