Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pugs Report 1: Slurpy conditions

If you have not ridden through a giant Slurpy, then I submit that it may be difficult to appreciate how lame it is. It sucks. Verily.

I picked up the Pugsley today. First off, thanks David Nelson for letting me borrow your amazingly dialed rig. It's always a treat to ride a bike with shifting that works so perfectly.

The last time I tried a Pugsley (which was my first time on a Pugs), the conditions were very similar to what they are now. The snow is like sno-cone ice. Or Slurpy ice: cold, large granules of wet frozen gunk. The product of a half-melted 20" of snow fall in mid-to-high 30's.

It's too deep to slice through and ride and too soft to get up and float on. In fact, I fell at least a half-dozen times today trying to navigate this stuff. And I was on the Pugsley.

There's a lot going on here I don't understand and/or I don't have experience with. The front end on this Pugsley is completely and utterly different than any other bike I own. It's super slack. It's got crazy huge tires. And David has a suspended fork on this monster. So the steering and handling is way different. In a nutshell, the Pugsley likes straight. It does not like quick inputs and mid-turn adjustments. I also think it wants some kind of man-handling that I've not quite figured out yet. And I don't know how much of this is the Slurpy conditions dictating this.

And then there's the tread pattern. What would happen today if I had 4 inches of squishy soft big-ass aggressive knobbies, instead of 4 inches of squishy soft "paddles" on the Endomorph. Again, it may be the snow conditions too -- I don't know if there's any tire that can find purchase in this nasty shit.

I've only had this bike a for a few hours and I've nerded it out with a cloroplast fender and a stinking bucket pannier.

I'm not much for praying, but I'm really hoping for some proper winter here. David is a gracious loaner of bikes and I've got until next Friday for sure to play on this bike. Maybe longer, but David wants to play too when the good snow falls. I'm thinking snowman-snow is what we're looking for: that mostly dry snow with just enough wet to hold it together. 29F?

Stay tuned for more Pugsley adventures.



mechBgon said...

The best tire I've used on deep wet snow is the (discontinued) Panaracer Spike, a narrow tire with tall tread spikes. It was intended for mud. However, it's scary on pavement, and borderline suicide on ice :) If you're curious to see one, we have some down at TWT.

Pugs Gloves said...
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