Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chewing The Fat

After lusting silently for months over different fat bikes, seeing people posting about how much fun they're having, and generally killing myself for looking at something I cannot have, I just gave up on the idea of having one. I stopped at a point where a Surly Pugsley, yellow, would have been my ideal fat bike. Utilitarian, not too flashy, and capable. Just too expensive. After all, we have $10,000 out of pocket in braces on our oldest son, cars from the 80s and 90s, and you know trouble comes in threes!
I looked at many ways to try to make my own fatty. After all, when I wanted a single speed mountain bike I just took the derailleurs off, ghetto styled the chain on the cog set, and went out riding. SS for free! Fixed bug bit me and I got a set of wheels modified at Bike World Ames (The Store That Supports The Sport) and stripped down an old road frame. Bam! Fixed Gear. Now I have about 10 frames that share that one set of wheels. That's 10 bikes for about 40 bucks in parts and labor. And I ride them all, on gravel, at all times of the day and night. Started looking at Rat Rod style bikes. Hmm, now that speaks to me. Rusty is trusty. So I started fiddling with ways to make a cruiser frame sit real low and look Gnarly. I think I succeeded there, on four frames, each with their own wheel set. Mostly free since people love to give bikes to me. I think that out of about 8 or 10 ratty bikes I may have paid $1.00 for one of them. Now a fat bike, that has some serious tripping points for a shade tree mechanic like me. Bottom bracket width, tire clearance, chainline, wide rims.....on and on. I gave up on the idea, but not without much thought. Are there really any wasted thoughts about bikes and biking? No there are not. I even left a fat bike off of my 2013 wish list! I wasted a whole year of being "nice" since Santa didn't see fit to leave me one, so what am I to do? I did get a taste of what fat biking would be like. I have some 29er tires that I ride a lot, and got to ride the river several times over the winter with these tires. They're 2.3 width and when aired down to about 35 pounds they walk over and through a lot of snow. That was fun, so I guess I can't cry too much.
So one day I went on to look at cheap suspension bikes. I am going to make a cargo bike using a swing arm triangle from a cheap bike, and needed  to look at styles and attachment points. Well what, to my shock, was on there but a Mongoose Beast fat bike. For $200.00!!!!! OMG! I immediately loved it and wanted a green one. Looking around the innerwebs I found forums that I had been reading had picked up on this bike immediately. Bashers were the loudest voices on most of what I read. But aren't the biggest mouths always on the worst people? Yes. Seems that some people cannot "get" a $200 bike from Wal Mart. Some others can. Ah, the very nature of a forum, right? I was looking for people who had started to tweak these bikes and found a few good looking mods. had drilled rims in the first few days. site owner had his unboxed and rolling in no time. Bighit had a leather saddle, stem adapter,
and flat bar before you could say "Walgoose!" Reminds me of the USCellular commercial where the guy is fiddling with about five old cell phones, taped together, and gets the skunk eye from his wife, "I'm a man honey. You married a man." But it was the author of the thread "Pet My Beast," at forums, who really nailed it. A seriously cool bike for, well, for any amount of money. Forget me trying to explain all of the views on the forums. If you're the type who has ever read a forum on bike lust, you know. This guy got it right.
So it is within reason that I might get one of these bikes. For fun. For cheap. I have piles of parts from which to draw inspiration. Pieces to make the fit work. About a hundred paint schemes I would love to try. And miles left in my legs to ride it out. One problem, they're sold out. Waaaa waaaa....Later!


MrDaveyGie said...

Once you go fat ya neva eva go back.......

Travel Gravel said...

Unless you start out with a Fatback!