Rock Fat and Steady
Aaron has a new fat bike and he won’t shut up about it. We took advantage and let him rant for a minute about his (admittedly awesome) new ride!
First thing’s first – what bike is this?
2018 Salsa Mukluk Carbon GX Eagle – but that’s a mouthful so you can just call her Rocksteady.
… the mutant rhinoceros who hates turtles?
Okay, moving forward – what drew you to this bike?
I knew I wanted a fattie from Salsa, and the Mukluks sport the 26×4.8” tire size I love, but I wasn’t totally settled on where in the Mukluk line I wanted to end up. What finally sealed the deal was the SRAM Eagle drivetrain and the HED rims. I knew I wanted one of the new 12x systems for maximum braaap, and a fat bike basically is it’s wheels, so a really reputable brand like HED makes a lot of sense.
What do you use this bike for?
A little bit of everything. It’s been on gravel rides, work commutes, grocery runs, and of course the legendary Friday Night Fat Bike Ride (which leaves at 6:30 every Friday from WoB and you should totally join in). No bikepacking yet, but that’s definitely in the cards. Basically any time I don’t want to be limited by roads or terrain, Rocksteady is coming with me. Oh, and sometimes I just plow through campus to keep the students’ heart rates up.
What aftermarket modifications have you made to this bike, and which one do you consider most valuable?
The MVP of this build is definitely the Surly Moloko bars with Ergon GC1 Biocork grips. I’m personally more comfortable with the swept back bars, and on extended rides I really value having the additional hand positions this bar offers. It also looks awesome, and the camouflage Bontrager bar tape really brings out the inherent badassery. When things get really cold I deck it out with some Cobrafist pogies from 45NRTH, and give it a little more bite with a 45NRTH Dillinger 5 studded front tire.
What’s your favorite memory (so far) of riding this bicycle?
Ooh, that’s tough. Any time spent with Rocksteady is time spent having an unreasonable amount of fun. The Friday Night Fat Bike Rides are consistently awesome, and this year’s Friday fun ride as part of the Go CR Fat Sac and Fox Enduro was particularly hilarious.
Anything else you’d like to share about your experiences with this bike?
I was super reluctant to get a carbon fat bike, because I’m still perfecting my bike handling abilities and there’s a fair amount of crashing involved. That being said, I REGRET NOTHING. It’s fat but light, it’s smooth like buttah, and it holds up great in spite of my tendency to “over-gnar”.
Wasn’t Rocksteady a Russian arms dealer before he mutated?
Whaddya work for Mueller or something? This interview is over.
Do you have trouble finding a tire size that fits you just right? Maybe you’ve found your mountain bike a bit skinny for your needs, but a four-inch tire is just too fat. Well fret no more! World of Bikes is proud to carry a selection of bikes sporting plus-sized tires that’ll fit your riding style perfectly. With more tire comes more traction and stability, but who says you have to sacrifice playfulness to get it? These bikes are both nimble and ready to take on literally any terrain you can throw at them. Come on in and take a spin on the Advocate Hayduke (a trail-crushing steel-machine), the full-squish Salsa Ponyrustler, or the playful Trek Stache.
Our mechanic, Drew Boss, is a four time veteran of Triple D and is a serious year round commuter. He has honed his winter riding kit over the years and was gracious enough to share it with us! He is riding a carbon Salsa Beargrease this year and will be using a set of fully studded 45NRTH Dillinger tires for Triple D. He likes to be safer than sorry and on the ground!
(This kit is fat-bike specific only because of the tube, it can be modified to work with any bike.)
Fat Bike Repair Kit Boss Style:
Revelate Bag – Pika
The bag holds all of my tools and some extra clothes. It also acts as a fender when things get sloppy!
Next up is my fat-bike tube, Leyzne High Volume Pump, Banjo Brothers wallet, and various things packed into a small plastic baggy. The pump is used as a backup to my CO2 should that fail. The Banjo Brothers wallet holds loose parts and keep the tube safe from metal bits.
My fast fixing flat part of my kit is one Pedro’s tire lever and one 20 gram CO2 cartridge and small elbow to deliver the CO2!
Inside of the Banjo Brothers Wallet is some more of my kit. The tubeless valve has a removable core and matches what is on my bike now. The chain tool and master link are to fix my chain in case it breaks, I need to make sure that the match the chain that is on my bike too! The pliers come in handy working on valves, cores, and to remove chain master links if needed. The allen keys can be substituted for the multitool. The hydro disc pad spacer is used when taking off the front wheel for travel. The zip ties are just in case! They can fix a lot more than it seems!
Always familiarize yourself with these tools and parts. How to use them properly is just as important as having them available!
All of these tools are available here at the shop. Stop in any time to check them out and outfit your bikes for winter and the rest of the year!
Also Triple D is one of our favorite Iowa fat-bike races. It is coming up on Sunday, January 17th, and features a 62 mile long course and a poker run during the race if you like a little more fun with your fat-bike and less racing!
The I AM FAT fat-bike enduro is also coming up at the end of this month. This is a 3-hour race for fun that you can do either solo or with a team of two others! It is located at Terry Trueblood Park on Sunday, January 31st!
With winter on the way here in Iowa City, I decided it was the year to purchase my first fat bike. Here at World of Bikes we stock seven options from three wonderful brands; Salsa, Surly, and now Trek. Salsa’s fat bike line ranges from the exploration, “take-you-anywhere” Mukluk to the super speedy Carbon Beargrease. Surly, one of the fat bike pioneers in the cycling industry, provides us with the extremely versatile, Puglsey, and the fattest of fat, the Moonlander.
As a newcomer to fat bikes I wanted something that would allow me to conquer the unbeaten path, but also double as a racing machine for both winter and mountain rides. The Trek Farley embraced both of those needs for me. Trek is a very established bicycle brand who has been engineering excellent bikes since 1976. They took their years of knowledge and understanding and created a race oriented fat bike. That background is what sets the Farley apart. The geometry of the bike with it’s shorter chainstays (right at 44cm) allow the bike to be nimble and agile. An E2 headtube and closed-convert drop-outs add stiffness to the frame, further increasing that quick handling. The frame itself is constructed out of Trek’s Alpha Platinum Aluminum. This allows the Farley to be lightweight while still maintaining optimum stiffness where it is needed. The Farley frame internally routes derailleur and dropper post cables which on a fat bike is a wonderful upgrade.
The wheels on the Farley are a smart option. The wider Holy Rolling Darryl rim paired with the 3.8″ Surly Knards offer the best use of that tread while still being a faster choice. I personally opted to upgrade the tires to a Studded Dillinger for the winter, I need all the advantages I can get in the snow and ice! The Avid DB3 hydraulic brakes are a nice upgrade from mechanical. They allow the Farley to maintain a smooth and confident braking ability, especially if you plan to race this bike on single-track. The SRAM X9 2×10 drivetrain performs well. Even when clogged with grass, mud, or snow the bike will continue to shift.
The Farley is a mid-range fat bike that compares very well to the Mukluk 2 and the Surly Smooth Operator Pugsley. It still has mounts for front and rear racks, but not nearly as many points as the Mukluk or Pugsley. The Farely is quicker and stiffer than a Mukluk or Pugsley. Overall the Farely is a race-oriented fat bike, while the Mukluk and Pugsley are not so much. I have outfitted my Farley with a Revelate Frame Bag, Thomson set-back seat post, Fizik Vesta saddle, and narrower handlebars to fit it best for me. This bike is going to double as a mountain bike in the summer months also.
The Farley has allowed me to ride more places than I have ever imagined. From the snowy trails of the Tuscobia Winter Ultra to new commutes along back alleys, I have explored slower and taken in a better view from my fat bike. I get to go on the Friday Fat Bike ride that regularly stomps around Iowa City and beyond. The friends and community that embrace the fat bikes get to ride all year and really allows me to appreciate riding that much more. The first time I took my Farley out in the snow I am sure I felt the same joy I first had when learning how to ride a bike!
Three WoB-ers, Ryan, Adam and A.J. are all heading to this fun local event equipped with Fat-Bikes and ready to take on the 100k Ultra-Bike. Wish them luck!