Note: If you're thinking "Who needs a fat bike in the UK? blah, blah, blah!" My response is this:
1) They're fun
2) About half way down this list: http://www.alaskaultrasport.com/race_roster.html
I picked up my Singular Puffin fat bike yesterday, and went straight into two test rides with a nominal amount of work in-between.
First impressions are that it has a very lively ride: easy to manual and throw about. Geometry also works well for climbing, but it's not exactly a rocket up the hills. That said, the dusty loose bits of Swinley can now be approached with a "Straight up the middle" rather than a "Desperately seeking grip" approach. I've currently got On One tubes weighing in at 700g each, so it'll probably climb better without 2kg of rubber around each wheel(!).
The top tube is pretty dropped which is great for the aforementioned throwing about and also for snow. A common Iditarod scenario is failing to float on some mushy snow; having to put a foot down; said foot going straight through the snow; and balls getting whacked on the top tube. The Puffin allows a bit more space before you get whacked.
The cornering performance is great, encouraging you to get over the front and aggressive in the turns. As with any fat bike, there is some initial resistance as the tyres push against the turn, but you have frame geometry in your favour. Pretty soon the Puffin has you cornering hard and wondering if there is any limit to the grip offered by those massive tyres.
I still need to mess around with tyre pressures a bit more as tiny changes make a big difference when the tyres are so big. Can't wait to go bash it into some rocks in Wales next week!
The build is:
- Singular Puffin prototype frame
- Surly Clown Shoe 100mm rims with Hope Fatsno hubs (built by Just Riding Along)
- Surly Larry front / 45 North Husker Du rear tyres
- On One fat tubes
- Surly Mr Whirly cranks
- USE Atom carbon bars
- USE Race stem
- USE Sumo Carbon seatpost
- Avid BB7 brakes
More pictures on Facebook: https://t.co/NoBp5J1cNp
Sam's going to be doing pre-orders for the production version, so contact Singular if you want in on the action!