|The 2015 Mukluk Ti|
The Mukluk line is Salsa Cycles' core fat bike offering. Salsa Cycles introduced a titanium Mukluk first for the 2012 model year and they have consistently upgraded this bike into the super-versatile, do anything anywhere bike that it is as you see it here. Before I get into the specific things that make the Mukluk Ti unique in the Mukluk line, let's see the basic features of this model.....
- Frame: Seamless, triple butted 3/2.5 titanium alloy frame tubing.
- Fork: The new, ground breaking, game changer that is the Rock Shox Bluto. (A discussion about a suspension fork on a fat bike will follow these feature listings.)
- Alternator Drop Outs: Make for a very versatile set up. Single speed, Rohloff specific, and geared versions of this drop out are available for this frame depending upon your preferences. Plus- A longer or shorter wheel base can be selected depending upon load carrying/terrain demands.
- Wheels: Rolling Darryl rims with cutouts for weight savings and a great balance between flotation and trail performance. Surly Nate 120TPI folding bead tires for ultimate grip in all situations. Salsa Conversion hubs with the front being the "new" standard of 150mm, which will be the go to width for fat bike front hubs going forward.
- Drive Train: SRAM X1 fat bike drive train featuring an 11 speed, wide range cassette with a Type 2 rear derailleur for "slap free" and stable chain performance. No front derailleur eliminates the muck gathering component and cleans up the handle bar with one less shitfer and cable to maintain.
- Components: Premium Thomson components, WTB Pure V saddle, New SRAM Guide Brakes, and Salsa finishing kit put a worthy finishing touch on this top-shelf model.
From personal experience with my aluminum Mukluk and my titanium Mukluk, the answer to the ride question is, "Definitely yes. The difference in smoothness is very noticeable with the titanium frame." Not only that, but the titanium frame is corrosion resistant, and the aesthetics are nicer on the titanium version versus the aluminum Mukluk. The titanium details concerning the ride quality alone are worth the upgrade though.
Now for the suspension fork- The fat tires have a degree of suspension absorbing ride feel for sure, however, the tires get bouncy. There is no rebound control at all. With a suspension fork, the fork damper works in concert with the tire to provide a much more controllable ride feel along with a deeper, smoother bump absorbing performance. You will get better traction up front, plus the Mukluk Ti becomes an all year around bike, capable of going faster around corners and over bumpy terrain than many traditional 29"ers or 27.5"er hard tail mountain bikes. The bottom line is that the Bluto fork makes the Mukluk more versatile, faster, and more fun.
That said, a carbon Makwa fork from Salsa is compatible with the Mukluk Ti for those who insist on or want the rigid fork option.
Conclusion: The Mukluk Ti is Salsa Cycles most refined, all around capable fat bike. It has options galore, unlike anything else in the fat bike line up from Salsa, or other fat bike producing marques, for that matter. If you can only have one fat bike, this is the one to aspire to. The Mukluk Ti has you covered in any situation you might find yourself in. Come on down and see this beauty, or any of the other fat bikes we have on the floor at Europa Cycle & Ski soon!