Thursday, October 31, 2013

Carbon Beargrease XX1

Carbon Beargrease XX1
Well, there won't be many of these out there, but here is one that passed through the shop today. It belongs to a local rider who will be on the cutting edge of fat bike technology.

The Carbon Beargrease frame is as technical as any road or mountain bike frame out there in 2014. It features molded in bearing pockets for the headset and bottom bracket. It has internally routed cables, and an XX1 drive train. The carbon frame and fork is a tour de force of carbon wizardry. The tubing profiles and the sheer scale of the frame has to be witnessed in person to be understood.

Check out the green anodized bits that.....
The wheels feature through axles front and rear for the ultimate in torsional stiffness and precise tracking. The through axles themselves are DT Swiss RWS type which are very easy to use. The wheels slip into and out of the frame easily, unlike some other through axle set ups I've seen and handled.

All that stiffness is handled through a massive carbon fiber Beargrease fork that features a 51mm offset for nimble handling. Not only that, but that fork and frame are suspension corrected. (Yes......that is a hint)

Of course, the wheels have to look good too, just check out hose fancy anodized green hubs. (They are the very same used on the Muk 2, just with different end caps.)

.....match the green graphic on the downtube.
The XX1 drive train is a game changer. It is a top of the line drive train from SRAM. Best of the Best here. The technology is really amazing. There is no front derailleur. The chain ring has alternating wide-thin-wide teeth that mate with the chain perfectly. The reason for this is for chain retention. The theme of chain retention is carried over to the rear derailleur which has a clutch mechanism in it to help keep the lower part of the cage from flopping forward on bigger hits and bumps. This keeps the chain from whipping and coming off the front ring. Not only that, but it won't clatter off the chain stay either. Nice and quiet.

Need low gears? How about a 42T rear cog? (!!!) You can swap out front rings to get lower than you'd ever need to go, and the highest gear on the cassette is a 10T. This requires a special free hub on the hub, but it works very well. Oh has eleven cogs! 

The brakes are high end Avid and come with the two piece rotors which should prove to be great stoppers and quieter than the one piece rotors are. Those brakes will be stopping the Holy Rolling Darryl rims which are mounted with 45NRTH Dillinger tires which feature stud pockets in case you would want to use 45NRTH's excellent alloy/carbide studs. Those are really easy to install too, by the way.

All this goodness comes out to be about 26.3lbs with no pedals. is expensive. We sold this one, and these will likely be non-existent for quite some time from Salsa. We do have two Beargrease Carbon x-9 bikes which have the same frame and fork with a 2 X 10 drive train instead of XX1. The price of those steeds will be just shy of $3500.00. We'll have a Large and Medium sized examples hitting the shop soon.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Fat Bikes Are Coming! (And Here!)

Salsa Cycles Mukluk 3
The fat bikes are coming! The fat bikes are coming! And...........some of them are here!

Just recently we saw a size Large Mukluk 3 come in which is stunning this year. The black with white rims is striking, and the top tube detail in blue and red, along with white decals on the down tube is a nice touch.

But what is really cool about the 2014 Mukluk 3 is that it comes with the super-light, newly designed Bearpaw aluminum fork. This saves a lot of weight over the previously spec'ed Enabler fork, which was steel. And I might be crazy, but the Bearpaw looks to have even more clearance as well. The 82mm Rolling Darryl rims could be mounted with a Surly Bud and should clear the fork with no issues.

The Mukluk 3 also comes with SRAM's new fat bike specific X-5 crank and X-7 rear derailleur controlled by 9 speed trigger shifters. Shifting performance should be top notch with the Mukluk 3. All cables are fully housed as well to protect them from the elements and to ensure that long term shifting performance stays at a high level.

Surly Nate tires grace the rims here and are a solid, all around choice for a fat bike for ultimate traction and Winter or Summer riding. However; Europa Cycle & Ski is carrying a selection of alternate rubber from Surly, 45NRTH, and Vee Rubber should you desire something a bit different than the Nates seen here. Just let us know and we'll make a swap to your preferred tires.

It should also be noted that along with this size Large Mukluk 3, which retails for $1800.00, we will also be getting a size Medium in this same color scheme along with a size large and Medium Mukluk 3 in red. We also just received and built up a Mukluk 2 in size Medium.

So, come on down and check out the selection of fat bikes at Europa Cycle & Ski for a bicycle that may allow you to enjoy the outdoors 12 months out of the year!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Salsa Mukluk 2 In!

Going, going....
Our Salsa Cycles fat bikes all should start showing up now that we have seen the first one hit the door. This time we have a Mukluk 2 in the fantastic gold metallic hue that Salsa spec'ed the bike with this year.

Salsa made a few minor spec changes for this model over last year. The biggest change is the front hub. Going forward all Salsa Cycles fat bikes will utilize a front hub with front disc brake standard mounting. This means that older Salsa hubbed front wheels will not be compatible with the Bearpaw aluminum fork without an adapter that is available from Carver Bikes.

It's a good move that will bring Salsa in line with all the other fat bike marques besides Surly in this regard. The Bearpaw fork is astounding, by the way. Far lighter than the previously used Enabler fork.

Front hubs now will be convertible to 15mm through axle with an end cap swap. Maybe for a sus fork? (Hint) And it will cross over to the Beargrease frame should you get a Muk 2 and want to upgrade in the future. Same thing for the rear hub as well, by the way.

Last year the Muk 2 used an e-13 crank, but this year Salsa specs the Surly OD crank, which in my view is a better deal from the standpoint of bottom bracket compatibilities and upgrades. The e-13 was a dead end and in my view, had its own peccadilloes in regards to reliability.

The drivetrain is SRAM X-9 which is great stuff. Brakes are the good ol' reliable BB-7's, only now in a special all black colorway. It looks "right" with everything else on the Muk 2. We've got Surly Nates in the 120TPI folding bead variety, which are excellent tires, and the Holy Rolling Darryl rims. Seat post is a Thomson set back topped with a WTB saddle.

Complete, this Size Large with heavy test pedals installed is right at 32lbs. Priced fairly at $2400.00, this is a great, turnkey set up for all around fat biking anywhere. The Salsa geometry is dialed for soft conditions, (snow, sand, or mud), to trail riding in Summer. The fork is sus corrected for the future. Parts are solid, and high performance. Plus, it looks killer! 

We should have a size Medium coming in, then we'll also be getting in both colors of Mukluk 3's. Right now we have the Muk 2 and the Origin 8 Crawler fat bikes on hand. Stop in and see these rigs or take one for a test ride. We'll have some hot coffee and some good tales to share with ya.....