Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Ruby the Big Red Pony

Never Say Never
This is the bike I call Ruby. It's generically known as a fat bike, a kissing cousin of the Surly Pugsley. Designed by the folks at Chain Reaction Cycles in Anchorage, it's built to the shop's specifications by Sapa Extrusions, an aluminum fabricator in Portland, OR. Sapa also make frames for Titus, Santa Cruz and others, and the build quality is quite good.

Like the Pugsley, it accommodates the 4-inch wide Surly tires using a wider bottom bracket spindle and shell, and by offsetting the rear dropouts 17.5mm to the right. This moves the drivetrain outward and allows for a full 3x9 setup without letting the chain rub on the sidewall of the tire. The compromises are a much wider Q factor and a purpose-built rear wheel.

Ruby currently uses a steel Pugsley fork with standard 100mm front hub spacing. This makes getting the front wheel on and off more of a challenge (an inflated tire can just be squeezed between the brake caliper and the other dropout, if the wheel is angled properly.) I might eventually go to the 135mm symmetrically-spaced version that Surly introduced this year.

Here's a full build list:

CranksetBontrager Big Earl with ISIS splines, 175mm arms; bashguard/32/22
Bottom Bracket FSA Platinum DH CrMo BB, ISIS - 100 x 148mm
PedalsShimano SPD PD-M515 clipless
Front Derailleur Shimano XTR E-type bottom-pull with Problem Solvers 'Cross Clamp Pulley
Shimano Deore DX medium cage
ShiftersShimano 8-speed bar ends on Paul's Thumbies
Cassette11-28t 8 Speed
ChainKMC 8 Speed
HubsShimano Deore XT 32 hole 6-bolt disc (M755 front, M756 rear)
SpokesWheelsmith Stainless Steel 14/15
RimsSpeedway Cycles Uma II 559 x 70mm
Tires Surly Larry front, Surly Endomorph rear
BrakesHayes HFX Mag Hydraulic Disc with 160mm rotors
Brake Levers Hayes HFX Mag
HeadsetCane Creek S2
HandlebarTitec H-bar
Stem80mm Threadless alloy, 4-bolt faceplate
SaddleBrooks B.17
Seatpost Easton Havoc 30.9

This is kind of a big dorky bike, but I really like the way it rides. Considering how massive the wheels are, it's really pretty responsive.