Monday, September 24, 2012

Mukluks Are In!

2013 Mukluk 2
We received a couple of our Mukluks while I was away at Interbike last week. I assembled both of them today.

First up we have the Mukluk 2, white and green, in a size Large. I will say I wasn't to hip on this color combo when I first saw the renderings, but in person, this thing is awesome.

The Mukluk 2 has some real cool details that I want to cover here. But first, there are a few major changes from last year's models that I will go over again here.

The Mukluk line up consists of a titanium frame, and two aluminum models, the Mukluk 3 and Mukluk 2. These comments only refer to the aluminum models.

The Muk 2 comes as a complete in the white/green shown, and has the Altenator rear drop outs now. This allows you to adjust your chain stay length, or to run the Mukluk as a single speed. Not only that, but this new frame has shorter chain stays anyway, making the bike easier to trail ride. Salsa also added a 44mm head tube, which would allow you to get a tapered steer tube fork, or to use an angle set head set. Not only this, but the head tube was shortened slightly as well. This makes the frame gusset look more normal than it used to last year. Finally, the bottom bracket height was raised 3mm from last year's Mukluk 2 and 3.

Rolling Daryls, Nate 3.8"ers, and X-9
Not quite so obvious changes included are the E-13 crank set which is exclusive to Salsa Cycles this year. It makes the drive train work in all combinations of gear choices with no chain rub on the 127TPI Nate 3.8"ers mounted on the 82mm Rolling Daryl rims, (with cut outs, mind you). Another one is the MRP bash guard on the under side of the crank set.

Other changes include the sano cable routing, fully housed front to rear, and the clamp on Salsa grips which match the color scheme.

This is a 2 X 10 drive train set up with Avid BB-7 brakes which I set up and have excellent modulation. Levers are Avid here as well. Salsa components are featured in the stem, handle bar, and seat post, and are all nicely finished. As seen here, this size large with test pedals installed weighs just a shade over 34lbs.

This is a no BS fat bike that you can ride anywhere. Versatile, reasonably light for the category, and good looking to boot.

2013 Muluk 3 in orange.
The 2013 Mukluk 3 in a Medium is next here. Same frame and fork as a Mukluk 2, but the component choices are different.

The major differences are in the wheels here. This Mukluk gets the "Un-Holy" Rolling Darryls, and 27TPI Nate 3.8"ers which are both adding some weight here. Hubs are anodized orange though, which looks fantastic on this rig.

The drive train features SRAM 9 speed, trigger shifting, and a crank set that is a dead ringer for my Origin 8 2X set up, (which is a good thing, mind you), and it also clears all gear combinations with these Nate 3.8"ers on the 82mm rims. Brakes remain Avid's excellent BB-7's but the Avid levers are one step below the Muk 2's and the grips are not lock ons, but are still Salsa branded tacky rubber ones. Good, solid fare that shouldn't let you down, its just heavier, (and less expensive), than the components on the Muk 2.

These bikes represent the cutting edge of fat bike design in their price categories. The frame refinements are big improvements over what was already a very capable fat bike. Just having the Altenator drops is a big deal, but the 44mm head tube, and the new cable routing is really icing on the cake.

We'll be getting in a Beargrease at some point soon, and that one will be the cream of the crop, light, high tech, and racy. But these two represent solid go anywher, do anything rigs that are FUN bikes to own and ride.

The Beargrease will be fantastic though. I can not wait till that one shows up. The Beargrease will definitely blow some minds when it comes to fat bikes and weight.

We'll also be getting in a Mukluk 2 frame set only in black with purple decals. So, if you already have a fat bike, but like the new Muk's feature set, you could buy that and swap over parts and have a killer, up to date fat bike.

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