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My Fatbike build....The Surly Moonlander

I am sure most of you know earlier in the year while I was training for RAAM I was mentioning doing the divide race and would have to build a fat bike for training and eventually using it for racing the divide race or something similar.

Well I finally got it all together over the last couple days and got this epic roller slapped together.

The 2013 frame came in a metallic flake Black with a gloss coat, I figured I would run this through the winter training locally and see how it fairs to some good miles and weather every day.




The reason I chose the moonlander over the puglsey or other fatbike choices is because surly was the only one that offered a 4.7 inch tire and wheel that what made for it. The tire choices are pretty simple, mild, wild or studded and of course I bought all three tire choices. When the tire has around 20 psi it measures pretty close to 5 inches wide. When at a normal snow psi of 6-10 psi it flattens out to more than five inches.



The new clown shoe wheels are significantly wider and more engineered than the prior choices from surly. They have speed hole on the hoops to shave weight. The rim strip actually bulges out when you have some pressure in the tube but it doesn't affect anything. The wheels are laced three cross on a 36 hole hub but they are off centered in order to make room for the brakes and drivetrain.




So far the only drawback I have found is that I have to buy another wheel truing stand in order to fit these massive meats. In this photo I have the wheel truing adapter for the off center wheels on the left in red. Nothing will fit even close into a typical park shop stand.



Hre is a shot of the fork before trimming and mounting. I stuck it in the stand with the steerer plumb straight up and downs you can see the crazy sweeps and bends it has in order to line up the wheel.





The bottom bracket on this thing is like a Toyota axle. I can only imagine the noise this thing will make after a 1000 mile race. It came with a pretty decent bash ring on it and surly branded crank arms that look and feel like hussies.





There is about a half top three quarters of an inch in between the tire and chain stays as well as chain clearance. It will be a little less when I add the aggressive tires.





You can really see the bending and twisting of the frame and forks to see the contortion in order to get the off center aligned on the wheels and agent everything tracking in a straight line.

I all I went with a very plain Jane build since this is going to a true endurance race bike. I put on tried and true parts that the others racers say are the only option for longevity, ease and simplicity in order to get you across the 110 mile days.





The whole build came out to 35 pounds. It doesn't seem like it when you consider the purpose of the bike and the gearing it has.





The bike mobs!!

I love it, I wish I had a fat bike years ago. I can mob a curb straight on with out worrying about a thing. It floats on sand and snow like a dream. In fact it makes a groomed cross country trail feel like asphalt. I took this pic next to my truck so you can compare it to the trucks tire size.


 
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SloMoJo

Monkey
Dec 17, 2002
379
0
New England
Stupid question alert.

Why a bike like this for something as awesome as the divide? What's the advantage?
I sat one on at REI, and thought this would be fun in the snow, but did not think it was for the long dry rides.
Not to deter from the coolness ..just curious.
 
Stupid question alert.

Why a bike like this for something as awesome as the divide? What's the advantage?
I sat one on at REI, and thought this would be fun in the snow, but did not think it was for the long dry rides.
Not to deter from the coolness ..just curious.

Starting in band there will be many feet of snow in all forms off degradation, everything from fresh powder to slush, groomed trails to two tracks made by vehicles on mountain road and even game trails. That will last clear into the northern states. Then it will turn to sloppy woodsy mud and tons of down trees and snow melted bogs of grass and moss. It will then turn drier the further south you go and will eventually be nothing but freak flash flood type mud and sand from Utah down to Mexico. The mud will cake so hard a standard tire will have to be carried and the sand gets to moist and loose you won't be able to roll downhill.

True story bro
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,726
545
Groton, MA
Why does the fork need to be bent like that? Why couldn't they just make the hub wider, and keep straight fork legs? I'm confused.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
38,955
5,640
Sleazattle
Why does the fork need to be bent like that? Why couldn't they just make the hub wider, and keep straight fork legs? I'm confused.
I believe the front and rear wheels are interchangeable. In case you taco a rear wheel you can replace it with the front and ride a wheelie out.
 
My understanding is the horizontal dropouts and the offset is so you can run geared, single speed, derailuered or internally geared thus is why they made the bottom bracket a tad wider to get rid of the big ring and moved the middle and small chainring more outboard to take more advantage of the 2x9 ratio that suits the bike better.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
61,696
8,273
media blackout
Don't be jealous your bike doesn't take you smile anymore
With all the wedding planning I barely was able to find riding time. Note that that's over, back in the saddle.

I consider fat bikes much higher up the scale than 29ers.

The closest thing I have to a fat bike is an old beater with 2.8" dh tires on it that I usr for snow riding.
 
With all the wedding planning I barely was able to find riding time. Note that that's over, back in the saddle.

I consider fat bikes much higher up the scale than 29ers.

The closest thing I have to a fat bike is an old beater with 2.8" dh tires on it that I usr for snow riding.
I was a little apprehensive about the purchase at first until I actually rode it in powder. true believer now

ride 365 is easy now
 
That Salsa look tits!
I really liked the beargrease as well, I may end up getting one down the road just for shorter races since it is made for just that. I opted for the tank though to start with

other than the weight aspect and tire width the only other major difference is the Beargrease doesn't have all the mounts and attachment points for racks, panniers and other schlock. it just has a spot for a bottle cage
 
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mandown

Poopdeck Repost
Jun 1, 2004
14,772
2,199
Transylvania 90210
GFF, I may need to chat with you about your training and experience. I'm thinking I'd like to do the CA AIDS ride in the next year or two. I'm not sure what my crippled side would do on such a long ride, so I'm not as fired up about it as I could be.
 
GFF, I may need to chat with you about your training and experience. I'm thinking I'd like to do the CA AIDS ride in the next year or two. I'm not sure what my crippled side would do on such a long ride, so I'm not as fired up about it as I could be.

from what I have found is it take several months to get the muscles rolling into a comfortable happy medium. it took my left side at least two months more to catch up with my right side and feel comfortable keeping up on the long duration without screaming like my leg was going limp and going to fall off. lots of climbing was the key and then a happy paced distance ride every week day
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
6,077
3,446
I'm not sure that place is necessarily attempting to race the tour divide route though. Unless you leave in the middle of winter.

Personally my rigid 29er with 2.1 Nanoraptors were just fine for the trail conditions.
 
Got my meaty tires in today for the fatbike. The came rolled in a box the size of a cooler.



These were the more aggressive snow tires for riding off groomed stuff and a bit more off path orientated. These were listed as 4.8 inches wide versus the stock 4.7 tire surly sends on their clownshoe wheels. In actual size it is more than a half inch wider with 20 psi in them but seem to have a footprint over 7 inches when running 6-10 psi.

This is the stock rear vs. the new rear




The rim strip is pretty durable and is adhesive on the back side so it won't move around or peel up when changing tubes or tires





The tire clearance now is pretty much maxed out without rubbing or scrubbing when taking a hit, here is the rear



Here is the front clearance





When you get to speed on the asphalt and the tires have some decent pressure in them it sounds like a lifted pickup with swampers rolling down the highway. It is pretty hard to judge the size of these meats by just the single images thus far so I put it next to a large 29er with 2 inch Kendas.




Everyone who has ridden this bike has come back looking like a kid who got to ride in a monster truck. I am really stoked on the possibilities and potential this ride will have through the winter.


Next up, fenders, frame packs, pedals, new bars and cold weather gear
 
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