A few weeks ago my brother and I demo-ed a Salsa Mukluk fat bike from a local bike shop. I thought that these snow bikes were gimmicky and really a niche-type bike. I also thought they looked really heavy and clunky. I was wrong on all accounts! Riding that bike was more fun than I have had in a long time. Fat bikes are not just for snow. They are excellent bikes for any off-road riding.
To make a long story short, my brother pulled some connections, did some trading, and surprised me with a new Surly Pugsley. I was surprised to say the least. It has been great fun riding this bike the past week. I can’t wait to try it in the snow. Who needs suspension when you have 4″ wide tires that run somewhere between 4 and 10 lbs of pressure. They make for a really plush ride. The traction is amazing, and I have so much more confidence on the downhills. The bike is heavier than a standard mountain bike and I do feel it climbing, but the trade-offs are well worth it. These fat bikes are also well equipped for long distance riding as well with rack mounts, and multiple mounts on the front fork for racks, bottle cages, and so on. I love the old school look and feel of the Pugsley as well. It has thumb shifters just like my Stumpjumper, circa 1989.
I think my Stumpjumper I mentioned in my last post really has ridden off into the sunset and has a worthy replacement.