Uhm gears … There’s lots of options when it comes to gearing a mountain bike, from 1 to 30, just about anything’s possible. Although I’ve built, owned, ridden and enjoyed bikes with every type of gearing, the choice in this case came down to 1 x 10 or 2 x something. Both have positive attributes and it goes without saying, they both have negative ones too. Usually, I’d make a decision about something like this in the time it takes me to drink a cup of tea but not this time. I knew that if I made the wrong choice, it might taint my opinion of the bike. I also knew that this was meant to be a bike to ‘broarden my horizons’ and allow me to ride all those previously unrideable bits and it was that thought that finally swung my decision. Experience tells me that if I can’t ride something with 22 x 34 at my disposal, then I’ll probably be better served by walking, so the bike is adorned with an almost retro 9 speed set-up with 22/32 up front and a complimentary 11/34 bringing up the rear.
It’s fair to say that the build is a fairly basic one, there’s nothing exotic or expensive in there. Whatever is there found a home either because it was cheap or because I already had it languishing in the workshop, so I was a little surprised to discover that the finished article tips the scales at 30.5lb up and dressed. Okay, so that’s not exactly light for a mountain bike but when you consider the tyres alone weigh over 5.5lb I think it’s quite reasonable and obviously means there’s scope to reduce it further without things getting too out of hand.
What next? … There’s only really one answer to that question – ride it, then ride it some more. Take it to the trails I know well and see how it compares to bikes I know well. Discover whether it really can float across those tracks that have others hub deep in gloop and lets not forget what I’m told is the most important trait of a fat bike … its ability to make you smile.