A big fat ride

19 11 2011

I took the moonlander offroad for the first time today. It was decidedly entertaining and there was much bike swapping going on as everyone was keen to throw a leg over it. 

When the tyres fill up with mud, it is a like being in the centre of mortar fire when you hit a descent. The amount of crap they can throw at you is phenomenal. 

Compared to a normal 2.3 mountain bike tyre, this thing just devours sand. Stu and I hit a boggy soft sand section while descending at speed. Stu came to a complete hault and almost had to walk. I didn’t even slow down – I just bombed through it laughing my head off. 

The thumbshifters are interesting. I don’t know whether it is a setup problem, however whenever the wheels get in the air, the jolt on landing causes the thumbshifter to drop a few gears. I figured I had bumped the shifters the first few times it happened but it persisted and despite actively noting that my hands weren’t anywhere near the shifters, the problem continued. I will need to investigate and see if the amount of friction in shifter can be increased. 

There is nothing more hilarious than switching from the moonlander to a 26 inch dually. They are the twitchiest, squishiest most unroadworthy bikes in the world after the moonlander. 

10psi is a pretty good pressure to run for mixed road/ offroad riding. I put the track pump on them to add air after letting quite a bit out while beach riding and it didn’t even register on the pressure gauge and took quite a few strokes to get to 2 PSI. I was probably running no more than 2psi on the beach. 

The BFL’s have very little in the way of side knobs. If you are really leaning the bike into a corner, it isn’t long before things get interesting and two wheel drifts become de rigour. Carving big corners on long descents feels pretty natural but really laying the bike into tight corners is the BFL’s achiles heel. They really aren’t made for that style of riding. 

Riding a fat bike up hill on asphalt sucks. It just hurts. 

The redhead sand track was a breeze. The loose sand wasn’t even noticeable. The moonlander was in its element. 

I haven’t had it in chunky rocky terrain yet but I’m thinking it is going to require some finesse to ride. The ‘rebound’ on the big tyres is really quick so it is a bit like a pin ball when you hit chunky stuff. I’m guessing I’ll find out a lot more about this style of riding tomorrow when I hit up some central coast trails with B-rad. It will also be interesting to get a side by side comparison with a pugsley to see how much extra float the 100mm rims and BFL’s actually generate. 







2 responses

19 11 2011
All Seasons Cyclist

I am jealous that you have a Surly Moonlander already! I have ordered a Surly Necromancer Pug (formerly known as the Black Ops Pug), but it will not be available until the first of December (or maybe later).

19 11 2011

I just got really lucky. I have a few friends who have them on pre-order and are still waiting. I am quite enjoying poking fun at them 🙂

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