Surly Pugsley – about being fat and ugly

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Moving places brought a welcome change in surroundings, climate, landscapes… basically everything. Gone are the hilly tarmac roads, moist seaside air and vast, barren moorlands. All replaced by flat as a table terrain, dry yet increasingly violent continental spring climate and seemingly endless forests guarded only by sandpits. It happened that I was longing for some proper thunder storms and I was quite prepared  for sand pits.
Last weeks were spent roaming around local forest trails on the Pugs. Finally I had a chance to fully test and appreciate the advantages of fat wheels.
So what’s it like riding those fatties? Are you slower? Do you pedal harder? Sweat more? The answer to all those questions  is probably yes, for the weight of a fatbike cannot be neglected. Pedaling on tarmac sometimes seems more a of ride down a tarpit, with one exception – the tires hum like they’re some kind of revolving hornets’ nests.

Part bike, part monster.

Yet when the wheels get to feel proper dirt underneath, even better the trail gets sandy or disappears completely the Pugsley shines bright. Not bothered by the worst sandpit, were walking is a challenge, or the overgrown meadow found by following the ever deteriorating trail.

Does it get wet under the wheels and water reaches past the bottom bracket? There you go, but after that you won’t like the sounds your drivetrain makes…

Following a forest trail and feel adventurous? Why not head straight into the forest? No problem. As long as there aren’t any huge logs lying aroung and handlebars fit between trees it’s all good to ride with a steady but limited tempo without shedding extra sweat drops.

The Pugsley definitely broadens the definition of “trail”
It’s hard to describe the difference between riding a Pugsley and a normal bike. It’s neither a fullsus nor does it feel like a rigid bike… It’s not even something in between. On roots it will make your jaw shake but it will flatten all those smaller bits and pieces as if they wouldn’t exist. It’s a bit like riding a roadroller, somewhat a tractor, tidbit a trekking bike and a tad MTB. One thing is sure, riding nonexisting trails makes the smile turn a full circle on ones face.

But all those things are not the best thing about fatbikes. What’s really awesome is that now I can take my parents for a ride down the local paths without presenting them with an arduous sandpit struggle. Just put them on the Pugs and they will fly over even the worst terrain. My nephew puts his gadgets on the side and wants to go for a ride without me asking. The miss doesn’t mind a muddy mark running down her back… Sand, mud, overgrown trails all have stopped being an issue for those close to me.
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