23 01 2016

Hodag action! from dRj0n on Vimeo.

Time to ride.

23 01 2016

Sloppy, slimy and slick. Thick mud and treacherous rocks. Teflon coated roots. It is winter, after all.

The hodag needed very little time to find it’s way to my heart. It rides lighter than it would seem. Feels kinda sporty-like. It replaced a chupacabra on a nextie 50mm rim so the weight gain is in the region of 360g or so. I never felt like I was struggling with the girth though. And the grip…oh the grip!

Those sipes and spaced out blocky tread make for a very secure front tyre. Granted, with a 45mm internal rim, the profile is round, but at 9psi I had bite everywhere I needed it.

The diameter is 20 mm or so less than the chupa. It *was* noticeable. The roll over a 29+ has is a boon. I missed it in some places. But the chupa struggles in mud…not so much on slick surfaces: the compound is great and offers security.

The hodag clears well and keeps coming back for more. It did not fold under and I suspect I will end up lowering the pressure a touch just to see how it feels, though it absorbed chatter and square edges with aplomb.

Yeah, like it.

Hodag, part 2.

20 01 2016

I got hold of the 46mm aluminium WTB presta valve, taped the rim with some 3M 764 and got busy with the airshot. BAM! up it went.

It held pressure with no sealant and at 25psi, the measurements are 745mm diameter, 87mm casing width and 93mm tread width. The casing appears to be around 68mm from rim edge to outer diameter, and 73mm if the knobs are included, but the accuracy of this is questionable as the vernier gauge was eyeballed. The rim is 45mm internal.

I will leave it overnight at high pressure and see how it stretches out and settles onto the rim. I am expecting the diameter to increase slightly given others’ measurements of a similar set up.

I think this is probably über plus, rather than fat.

Nextie Junglefox II build.

18 01 2016

As I mentioned previously, I am building a new wheel to facilitate the use of the Bontrager Hodag 27.5×3.8″ tyre. I chose a Nextie Junglefox II rim and decided to use DT Swiss Squorx nipples, Sapim D light spokes and lace it all to a Paul wHub. My reasoning for spoke & nipple choice was detailed in the linked post.

The build was uneventfully smooth. Notably, the nipple drilling now appears to be directional, offset 2.5mm and the Squorx nipples were excellent to use. The torx driver tool allowed me to very quickly bring the spokes up to a tension that was useful to start bringing the lateral and radial true in. I decided to go for just under 100kgf on this build. I don’t ever seem to have any issue when using this tension on the big cross section carbon rims. The balance was reasonable rather than very good: I had a couple of spokes that, seemingly inexplicably, ended up with either ~15 more or less kgf. Still much to learn, young padawan. The wheel is 2 cross – which I find works well for stiffness with the wide 82mm flange spacing of the Paul wHub.

Here are some pics.

Next step is to add the tape, a 46mm wtb aluminium presta valve and get that tyre dirty.

Snow Job.

17 01 2016

So, today I rode ‘Snow Job’, my Vertigo Cycles fat bike, in snow. I have never ridden a fat bike in snow before; plus bikes, yes, ‘normal’ tyred bikes, yes, studded tyre bikes, yes. It was fascinating how competent it was. Steep trails up, down and deep snow in tussocks of grass all cleared with ease. I even traversed a creaking, groaning ice-capped bog, though I lost my nerve after the sounds from the presumably thinning surface became more confluent.

The resistance was quite noticeable at times, particularly in deeper sections on climbs. Indeed, it took a noticeable amount of extra horse power to keep the speed up. Grip from the 45Nrth Flowbeist was inspiring and the Maxxis Mammoth on the rear surpassed my expectations.

I don’t know how long the snow will last, it seems to be wetting out and retreating generally, but I will try to get more time out shortly.