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Sunday, June 1, 2014
A few of the gents from Surly Bikes and NRG Enterprises were in town visiting shops yesterday. Some of the crew from Tall Tree Cycles took them out to Kanata Lakes for a ride. I got the chance to try out the new Ice Cream Truck fat bike with a Bluto fork on Outback trail.
My impressions? The new frame is a massive departure from the Pugsley. The front end is light-handling while the frame is stiff enough that the wheels go where you want it to, while still being comfortable with circa 9 psi in the tires. I took it over every drop and through the countless rock gardens of Outback and the thing cleared everything.
Is it fast? Meh. I was using two speeds with it: cruising and rock-crawl. That said, I was was not last in group and once up to speed it keeps that speed remarkably well. It isn't a snappy accelerator, but popping up the front end was remarkably easy. As for traction, the thing is just stupid, making recovery from bad line choices pretty easy. Off-camber roots and rocks in the middle of a corner? Whatever; just pedal.
Part of that traction and control comes the Bluto fork. It made riding down drops effortless, and kept the front tire from bouncing all over the place in rough stuff. Simply put, if you want to ride your fatbike year round, it is a no brainer: get one.
If my only mountain bike was an Ice Cream Truck with a Bluto, I'd be fine with that, although I would put the thing on diet with lighter weight tires and go tubeless. Really, what more praise can I give?