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All In – My FatXC Bike

This past summer I wrote about committing to riding a fatbike as my mountain bike. Back then, I was riding a prototype Salsa Beargrease set up fully rigid. Then while in Utah in July, I rode my friend and coworkers Salsa Mukluk with a custom, modified Cannondale Lefty. I wrote about it here, it was a game changer for me. It is the second most popular post I’ve written on this blog. Ever since then, I’ve been working on putting together my own Mukluk with a Lefty. I finally have finished it and have begun to break it in. Today, I’ll share a few details.

My full on fatXC – Salsa Mukluk Ti with custom Lefty

At first glance, one might notice a few things that are different than the last Mukluks I’ve been riding for the past 2 years. This summer fatXC bike is smaller than the Mukluk I ride in the winter. Why is that? Well…In the winter, I ride a large Mukluk with a shorter stem as it gives me more frame bag space. For my summer fatXC, I chose a smaller size with a longer stem. I like the extra slope of the top tube. I also like having more weight on the front of the bike due to the longer stem.

Component highlights include a mostly Shimano XT 10 speed driveline, E-13 cranks in a 22-34-guard, Marge lite rims, Salsa 170mm cassette hub, Project 321 front Lefty hub, a prototype Surly Knard front tire and a 45N Husker Du rear tire. It’s a pretty special bike. It is crazy though, when you look at it how much the fat wheels and Lefty dominate the appearance of this bike. I love it so much and besides a few small tweaks and possibly changing to Shimano XT brakes, I don’t want to change a thing.

Lefty – Thank you Mendon CycleSmith

Where’s righty?

Slide these back a bit and I’ll be able to test Surly’s new 29+ tires.

Some will also likely ask why I did not mount this on a new Salsa Beargrease frame as it would be even lighter as a full on fatXC bike? Well…Two reason. I like titanium. It is just so sweet looking, durable and it rides just right. Also, I plan to try some 29+ wheels and tires in this rig once they are available. With the Mukluks sporting Alternator drop outs slid backwards from the position shown above, they should fit. The geometry may not be optimized, but I am looking forward to trying it anyway.

Anyway, that’s my summer fatXC set up. I am all in.

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17 replies »

  1. Reblogged this on ridingagainstthegrain and commented:
    Here’s Gnat’s new Lefty fatbike. It is oh, so delicious. Titanium (instead of aluminum, like the one I rode). As I said a month or so ago (and as Gnat said further back yet)…the fatbike + front suspension is a game changer.

  2. Sweet looking bike! I love ti too, gotta say….

    Thanks for the plug. So happy you guys seem to be enjoying them, cause yeah, they really do turn it up to 11 =:)

  3. Hi there,
    awesome build! and nice selection of parts. Looking to do the same on my sandman Ti. I am also looking to use the Marge lite rims on a lefty conversion. Do you reach a reasonable amount of dish with a standard lefty front-hub? How much clearance you have more or less with these tires?

    Whats the weight of the bike in this config?

    • Hi there. Sorry I missed this one.

      I use a standard lefty hub and there is quite a bit of reverse dish on it. There is not a huge amount of clearance between the tire and the lefty leg. I don’t have a measurement and it is not installed currently so I can’t measure. I only know for certain there is a mud clump on the leg so I know clearance isn’t huge.

      Lastly, I don’t weigh my stuff so I don’t know what it weighs and again, it is currently taken apart while working on another project so I can’t weigh it.

      Good luck. I hope you love it as much as I do/did.

    • Hey there, it’s actually really easy. Get it set up, making sure your wheel has sufficient dish to clear the fork as desired with tire mounted.

      Remove the preload cap for the headset.

      Leave the stem tight, but loosen the fork clamps, stand in front of the bike.

      Hold wheel between knees, and stare down through the hole that the preload bolt goes in.

      Twist the bars, and you’ll see the wheel moving side to side, relative to the centerline of the bike. Using the bolt hole as a sight, center the tire in it, snug the fork clamps, straighten the bars, and ride!

      Want to run narrower or fatter set ups down the road, just repeat the process =:)

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