Thursday, September 01, 2011
Mukluks and 4.7" tires.
There has been a lot of talk lately online and in our shop about fitting the new 4.7" Big Fat Larry. The new tires will easily fit into the fork on any rim currently made. The rear presents a few challenges.
We have found a currently available solution that will allow the use of the larger tires on stock 2011 and stock 2012 Mukluks with little modification. The 2011's are a plug and play, as they come with ISIS bb's, the 2012's require the purchase of a ISIS bb and crank arm set.
There is a crank made by Origin 8 that allows the use of the larger tires on 80mm rims in the rear of a standard alloy Mukluk with some drive train modification. It's offset is almost assuredly less than the MWOD, (Mr Whirly Offset Double crank,) but is a much less expensive and the Q factor is almost an inch narrower. We have these cranks in stock now.
Interestingly enough, this crank was introduced in 2009! Guitar Ted even reviewed it! (Photo credit to Guitar Ted, 2009.)
Up front one BB spacer should be installed on the drive side of the FSA bb. On the rear one cog needs to be removed and replaced with a spacer behind the largest cog of the cassette spacing the gears slightly outside of their normal position. This results in 2-3mm of clearance between the chain and tire in the low gear position. Removing 2 gears would allow for more comfortable clearance. I have run my bike with similar clearances all year now with no issues though.Once this is done chain line in even the 22/34 stock set up, or 22/36t set us is quite good. You still retain most of the gears in the rear. We have tried this with a FSA Platinum BB, I have not yet tried with with the Truvativ BB.
I have not tried these with 100mm rims as I do not have any here. I suspect it will allow for the use of at least 6 gears in the rear, as the chain has a fair amount of clearance with 7-8 cogs installed with 80mm rims. On the 2012 Mukluks you'll of course need a ISIS splined BB, and 22t and 32t cogs if you wish.This is of course all doable with a MWOD, these are just available now, are less expensive, and will require less changes to stock Mukluks to make this work.
So to sum up, modification and some careful mechanical adjustment are required, but it'll work well once dialed.
We are also playing with the new tires on both Mukluks and Pugsleys. Curtis has been running the Black Floyd's on his Pug for several days now. Curtis's impression of them so far is that they roll very well on pavement. When leaning into corners they do tend to pull into the apex, meaning a little counter steering is required. Anyone who has ridden motorcycles will feel immediately at home with the feeling. This tendency is reduced at higher pressures, but that of course makes the ride harsher. As far as looks go these are to die for. I can't wait to see the cruiser customs that will surely sport these things. I don't see these are really having a purpose other than being really really cool. Any fat biker worth their salt will want a pair of these!
We've also installed Nate's on our 17" Mukluk demo bike and have been ripping things up with them. They really roll better than you think, and the traction is simply other worldly. It feel a bit like my old 1x1 with Large Marge's and Nokian Gazzoladdi's installed. That bike would simply plow through, over, and on top of anything you pointed them at. These tires feel like that, but are so much more.
They rumble on the road something fierce, but are quite quiet on dirt. Offroad they just grip beyond belief. I am continually trying to find stuff to push their limits, and I've not come close to finding that yet. These are a tire that truly changes things. Think Larry's on crack. It won't be a good winter tire, it's just too aggressive for that. I think for summer, early spring and wet fall these will be amazing. They will really push the limits of where we can ride now. The knobs, it's all about the knobs.
Big Fat Larry's are next on the list to test out. I'll hold specific judgement on these until I have some more time on them, but these are cool. They are bigger by far, and are much lighter than the 27tpi Larry or Endomorph tires. That's right, I said they are lighter than the 27tpi tires. Ones we've weighed have been 150-200gms lighter! That's a big weight savings for two tires of nearly a pound, while being larger. These are going to be really really cool.
All for now. I'll update as soon as possible on all of these topics.