CULTURE BLOG

ADVENTURE BY BIKE®

Introducing: Mukluk

Within the Salsa crew we have a handful of dedicated snow bike riders. We’ve dreamed, talked, and schemed for years over just what we would create when we got the chance. This past year, we finally decided to pull the trigger.

Jason testing an Enabler-equipped El Mariachi aka Snow Bike Lite this past March

Today it is my distinct pleasure to introduce the Mukluk, Salsa’s first snow bike.



My personal experience on snow bikes goes back five years or so, but my interest in snow riding goes back much further. I first heard of the Iditasport race in Alaska in the early 90’s. In those days, the names surrounding that race included the likes of Stamstad, Reifenstuhl, Curiak, and Irwin. The bikes of that era didn’t usually have the super wide tires and rims that we have today. They were primarily stock mountain bikes equipped with 40-something millimeter rims and the widest tires that would fit in a desperate search for floatation.

Today, some of the names in the game have changed (Petervary, Basinger, Oatley, and Pramann come to mind) while others remain (Reifenstuhl and Curiak are still at it) and so have the machines they (and we) ride.

Mukluk prototype Rustflake in Alaska. Rustflake was unpainted steel to test geometry. Photo by Dan Bailey   http://www.danbaileyphoto.com

We’ve come a long way snowbaby!

It is only proper to acknowledge Salsa’s sister-brand Surly for the important role they played in the modern development of the snow bike. Their snow bike, the Pugsley, was the first to be widely available. Their tires continue to drive the category. Without the product development risks they took, who knows what the modern snow bike world would look like. But I’m thankful that they did, when they did, and I’m thankful the snow bike market has grown enough to support multiple brands.

But this post is about Mukluk, and that brings a smile to my face.

Rustflake's sister Snowflake also developed a serious case of iron oxide during testing in Minnesota

Mukluk is designed first and foremost to be a snow bike. Snowy singletrack, snowmobile trails, and snow-covered frozen lakes and rivers are its home.

A snow bike is nothing without floatation. Wide rims, and wide tires run at proper pressure for the conditions, make the difference between riding and pushing.

Floatation, floatation, floatation...

Proper frame geometry is equally important. Mukluk’s geometry is extremely effective for snow riding. It is stable with slower handling than a ‘typical’ hardtail mountain bike. Mukluk rides comfortably at slow speed without sacrificing handling at faster speeds. You learn to lean the bike a bit more and it carves a fair turn. Mukluk feels ‘normal’ to me.

These handling traits are incredibly beneficial while snow biking because the trail/surface conditions can vary dramatically and change so quickly. Snow is not just snow. It can be heavy and wet or dry and powdery and anything in-between. It can feel like concrete or corduroy, a mix of sand and brown sugar or a fragile layer of wafer-thin glass.

Rustflake floating an Alaskan beach...

No matter how good the geometry, there will always be conditions that will bring any bike (snow bike or not) to a halt. We’ve designed Mukluk with a very low standover height to aid when forced to dab, stop/start, or dismount/remount.

Mukluk has a comfort-based cockpit. The tall head tube helps riders set their bike up for slow-speed snow slogging and long distance ultra events.

Mukluk sizing works in line with our other Salsa sizing. If you ride a Medium El Mariachi, you ride a Medium Mukluk

Later this week we’ll have a post explaining other design features and why we chose them.

Mukluk came to be with the help of others beyond the Salsa crew. We developed and tested the geometry here in Minnesota, but also in Alaska. We took input from slow guys like me, fast trail rippers, and a snow bike champion. We like what we’ve come up with. It works well. It feels good.

Joe rolling the bank of the Minnesota River

So the questions are formulating in your mind, and I’ll address just a couple. How does it work on dirt?

The short answer: Fantastic. We’ve put in loads of miles on dirt, sand, cobblestone beaches, and flood debris. Fat wheels will always take a fair bit of energy to bring up to speed, but there’s a heck of a lot of momentum once they are rolling. They are really just bigger, wider, and heavier 29’er wheels.

Mukluk thunder soon drowned out the hum of the flourescent lightbulbs

There is nothing better than floatation for sand riding though and we had a perfect spring with massive flooding that left us with trails that were only rideable on a snow bike. The large contact patch and ability to run low pressure make rock gardens, debris fields, and rough surface riding easier than on a ‘regular’ mountain bike.

Rumbling through the spring flood debris of the flood plain

Can I run regular wheels on Mukluk?

The short answer: Yes, but you’ll need to build wheels for it (more on that in the follow-up post). Also keep in mind that the geometry will be different from a ‘typical’ hardtail. If the feel of the bike works for you (as it does for me), you might love it. Joe is testing his right now in this configuration and will provide his feedback in the near future.

Joe is testing this setup with Gordo 29'er rims and some 2.4" Schwalbe treads

Please use our Comments area to ask any questions you have, and we’ll do our best to answer them in a follow-up post.

Jason on the mud flats

Back in ’89, the idea of riding on snow somehow captured a special place within me, and it hasn’t let go. While I’ve taken part in Minnesota’s Arrowhead Ultra 135, I haven’t yet done the Iditarod Trail Invitational (formerly known as Iditabike/Iditasport) but the idea of that grand adventure still tugs at me.

Most of my winter riding is simply about pleasure. It is my favorite season for biking.

Whether a cold, pre-dawn ride with a headlamp gently illuminating the terrain ahead, or a moonlit roll through a surprisingly bright world. Spinning silently on a soft snow-covered trail. Changing cadence based on the surface beneath me. Focusing on where I put my wheels, while relaxing the mind enough to let the clutter evaporate. Stopping to look at the beauty all around me. Watching as the sun begins to throw its warm, golden rays. Breathing in that clean, crisp, sometimes cold, air.

This year, those rides will be aboard Mukluk. I invite you to come along for the ride.

This post filed under topics: Kid Mukluk New Product Snow Biking

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Riemer

I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.

COMMENTS (101)

captain bob | August 2nd, 2010

Very cool!

Ben | August 2nd, 2010

This is one of the most exciting new bikes I’ve seen in a long time. I look forward to hearing about more specifics, and I can’t own to ride one for myself.  Congrats gentlemen, this one’s going to be a real winner!

MG | August 2nd, 2010

Awesome… As I fully expected it’d be.  To say I want one would be an understatement.  Great work!

Ted | August 2nd, 2010

What size rear hub?

FTMN | August 2nd, 2010

In time for this winter?

Vito | August 2nd, 2010

Holy cow! That is an awesome looking bike. I am almost sad that I just built up a very cool Pugsley last winter. Will the Mukluk require an offset wheel design? When will the frame be available on the market?

I’m very excited and impressed with what you guys at Salsa have been able to come up with in the past year or so. What a fantastic line of bikes!

JohnClimber | August 2nd, 2010

How much will it be and when will it hit the stores?

Kid Riemer | August 2nd, 2010

Many of your questions have answers here:

http://salsacycles.com/bikes/mukluk/

FTMN: Yes.

We will address other questions in a follow-up post on Wednesday.

martini | August 2nd, 2010

Oh. Hell. Yes.

Soupboy | August 2nd, 2010

Any chance of ISCG tabs for deploying a Hammerschmidt?  Not sure how they fair in extreme cold but thought that could be a clean solution.

Cool, cool bike.

jp | August 2nd, 2010

Does this mean it’s adios for Salsa Scandium?

Errin | August 2nd, 2010

Awesome!  I just rode a Pugsley for the first time last week.  Owning a snow bike has been on my mind since then.  Only problem is that I live in Los Angeles.  Hmm, maybe a sand bike is what I should start calling it?  We have that, but no snow.

Rick F. | August 2nd, 2010

Very, very nice.  You had me at the wide chainstays in the photo on Friday.  Interesting decision to go aluminum instead of steel.  I was hoping the Salsa bike would be lighter than the Pugsley, but I was hoping for Tru Temper or the Cassaroll type steel.

Jerry | August 2nd, 2010

very nice.  moon shadow blue looks cool.  Prices, frame and complete?  barter for books?

JB | August 2nd, 2010

Thanks for giving us the option of using the wheels off the Pugsley.  That was my reason for not going with going with another bike company.  As most here already know wheels often cost way more than the frame.  The dual rear dropout is nothing short of genius.  And a vertical dropout at that.

Kevin | August 2nd, 2010

Can I raise a practical question at this point? Are we gonna do “Stonehenge” tomorrow and how much is it?

Tim Ek | August 2nd, 2010

So exciting!  Kid, great write up!

Guitar Ted | August 2nd, 2010

I’m impressed. Not only did you do a snow bike, but the details on it are outstanding. Right down to the reflective decals. Smart stuff there. I can see some snowmobile trail town to town riding in my future!

Elvis | August 2nd, 2010

woohoo… I see a new SAND bike for the Simpson Desert Bike Challenge!!

http://www.desertchallenge.org

jorge | August 2nd, 2010

Nice! Looks like a lot of fun.  Like something that could be used to go beach-hopping in the Caribbean.  By the way, any chance Salsa may borrow yet another page from Surly, and do a Pacer-inspired road bike?  Seems to me like the Vaya eliminates the need for a Casseroll Double.  I’d take the Casseroll Single instead, and turn it into a 1 x 9 Casseroll Nueve commuter to offer as a complete bike..

Paul | August 2nd, 2010

It’s just a Pugsley with Salsa stickers….

BL | August 2nd, 2010

Paul - You’re either trolling or have no clue what you are talking about.  In either case, why be a hater?

Dave | August 2nd, 2010

Does the frame use the same cable guides as the Pug? I imagine it does since the cables go down the down tube and you really want to run full length housing in the snow.

Jessica | August 2nd, 2010

I wonder if there will be bad toe overlap on the XS? Those huge tires and that tiny frame (it’s smaller than any of the 29er frames I’ve looked at, and smaller than the Pugsley) make me nervous. Otherwise: awesome, and thanks for thinking of us short people.

Pierre Ostor | August 2nd, 2010

You can come visit us in Homer this winter, Pat Irwin and I will take you for a spin on some Kenai snowmobile trails.

Love the new bike.

Cale W | August 3rd, 2010

this looks amazing, the Pugs may need an upgrade now that this guy is coming out. my only questionis will i be able to use my awesome Alfine IGH hub on this guy?

JohnClimber | August 3rd, 2010

What are the main differences between this and the Pug?

JB | August 3rd, 2010

From what I can see on this site this bike has several advantages over the Pug I’m currently riding

1.  It’s lighter-over a pound on the frame
2.  flexible rear dropout spacing (with adaptor)- that’s huge
3.  vertical rear dropout so you can remove your back wheel without loosening the brake.  Fideling with allen wrenches at -20 is no fun.
4.  Downtube cable routing- your winter pants don’t get snagged on the zip ties hold your cables to the top tube.
5.  5 bottle mounts including the fork-with your frame bag on you can still carry 3 bottles.
6.  Doesn’t have all the extra brake braze-ons for a cleaner look

I’m sure there’s more but that’s what I see as advantages.  Don’t get me wrong I love my Pugsley and ride it year ‘round.  It looks like they did their home work on the Mukluk though as they’ve taken all my beefs with the Pug and fixed them.

ChrisCrash | August 3rd, 2010

Wow, not the new bike I was expecting but a pleasant surprise! If I still lived in Eastern Canada I would have one on pre order.
Versatility comment. While not the same beast there was a gentleman racing the BC bike race on a similar bike, we all stared. I unlike most felt that there would be a bunch of positives and that it would be way fun to ride. Dude was very competitive and was in the group A start everyday, he even challenged Geoff Kabush to a sprint to the finish of one stage and won! Needless to say we were all in shock…

I know I will be watching for more ride reports and updates

Ward Whitmire | August 3rd, 2010

Great! Have been riding sand/snow since the days of “Snow Cat” rims. Currently have two “modern” high floatation bicycles so I can take others out for a “fat” experience. I currently run your “Whammy” bars and a slightly shorter “pro moto” stems (than on my xc bike) on both of my fat bikes. Haven’t had this set-up long enough to try ‘em on the snow but they have increased my control and performance on the sand for sure. I also run 25mm offset seat posts to get the weight back over the rear tire. I think this set-up gives me better traction too! Also think it puts me in a better position when the front wheel “falls” into a soft spot in the snow/sand (as per going over the bars). Very exited to see what the Mukluk does to/for this special cycling market. deffinatly could open the door for more cyclists to enjoy this type of riding.

captain bob | August 3rd, 2010

The Salsa Mutluk is so yesterday….  Ha! Kidding! What a reasponse this bike is getting.  I am excited about the bike too, however, I have to usubscribe from this post.  I can’t get any work done since all the responses come to my Blackberry which is causing me to stop what I am doing.  Then, all I can think about is riding so again, not getting work done.  :-)

Harri Manni | August 4th, 2010

Sweet ride!!! This made me want to go out for a ride on my fatbike! =)

JS | August 4th, 2010

Will this bike work with a regular 29er suspension fork? Just wondering how completely I could convert this to 29er hardtail format for summer use.

Ben | August 4th, 2010

The bike should work well with a suspension fork.  The Enabler fork is suspension corrected at 468mm in length.  The Mukluk has a slightly slacker headtube angle than most 29ers, so it will be a bit more stable rather than quick.  You could use a G2, (51mm offset,) suspension fork to quicken up the handling a bit in suspended 29er mode.  The bike would be a lot of fun with a Maverick SC 32 fork as well, which will clear an Endo or Larry on a 65-70 mm rim as well if you want to get really fun!

JS | August 4th, 2010

Thanks Ben. I would be using the 29er mode mostly for long high country rides in Colorado.

Right now I have a Fargo and a singlespeed 29er hardtail. I ride the SS for almost everything off-road, but sometimes gears would be nice.

I am hoping that the Mukluk could service double-duty as a snow bike and as a bike for trails where I want both gears and suspension.

Jeremiah | August 4th, 2010

I noticed on the choice of brakes (complete) you went with Avid BB7s.  I’ve had those brakes freeze up on stream crossings.  Is there a reason you went with mechanical rather than a DOT fluid hydraulic brake?

Kid Riemer | August 4th, 2010

Soupboy: ICGS tabs and Hammerschmidt is an interesting concept but as far as I know does not exist in a 100mm-width configuration. It would sure be fun to test though to see how it holds up in sub-zero use.

Jessica: You’re right. Toe overlap is no fun. My lady had it on a bike for a couple years and it repeatedly would freak her out (understandbly so). Our geometry stands the chance of minimizing it. Pedals, shoes, rider setup will influence it as well. One good thing is that for true snow bike use, I think toe-overlap situations occur less than in some other types of cycling.

Pierre: Good to hear from you. I (and others here) would love to do just that! Hope Alaska is treating you and Cheryl well.

Jeremiah: We’ve had good success with BB7’s though you are correct in that you can freeze them up. Of course, you could potentially freeze up any brake in the right (or wrong, depending on point of view) conditions. Of course pricing also affects spec choice. We believe BB7’s will serve most riders well.

JohnClimber | August 4th, 2010

When will it be available?

And how much?

Vito | August 4th, 2010

Jeremiah, I also believe the mechanical brakes are more field repairable. Maybe more so than a fluid hydraulic break. I would always go with a mechanical breaks for this type of bike. Fluid breaks are nice for racing, but for more adventure riding in cold, cold temps I think mechanical is the way to go.

Kid Riemer | August 4th, 2010

JohnClimber: Available this November.

Frameset MSRP: $599.00
Complete Bike MSRP: $1499.00

Vito | August 4th, 2010

That is one very sweet deal!

Jan | August 4th, 2010

Thank god this bike came out in the summer so I have time to save up for it. I can’t wait till winter!

CJ | August 4th, 2010

Hey….cool bike.  But what I am really interested in is the shoe covers that Dan Bailey is wearing in the picture of him riding the prototype bike in raw steel.  Those look like some sweet shoe covers taht would keep my toes nice and warm during our cold Nebraska winters!!!

Michael | August 5th, 2010

Smashing bike, and I’m so glad to see the fatbike universe expand! Leave it to Salsa.

Just one strange thing sticks out: what’s up with that rear brake cable routing? It’s a little hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like both of the Flakes had top tube cable routing for the rear brake. What design considerations led you to settle for a solution that requires a tandem-length cable and the really hinky-looking curves that show up on the final product?

Kid Riemer | August 5th, 2010

Michael: Cable routing always seems to draw a lot of different opinions, not just on a bike like the Mukluk, but on any model. Always a hot topic especially with ‘cross, East Coasters, and folks from the UK.

We wanted full-length housing. We believe it keeps more crud out.

We chose under downtube routing because it is clean, keeps the cables out of the way, and works well with frame bags.

The almost correctly-painted Mukluks you see in the post are pre-production samples. Those frames allow us to make further modifications before production. A few of the cable guides are moving slightly or having angles changed slightly as a result.

The brake cable angle is changing slightly as a result but will still have some of the lines that you see now. That is a result of trying to route the cable optimally for the BB7 brake, while still working well for other non-cable actuated brakes.

Tandem-length cable is a result of both of those decisions. One thing to note: We will provide a real number for the length of cable necessary. I found a cable at home in an Avid Straightjacket pack that worked just fine on the size Medium.

Hope that helps answer your questions.

Jan | August 6th, 2010

Kid,Why do we have to wait till November for this bike? Its been in the upper 90s all week and I was excited to get my new winter tights in the mail yesterday. Ice/snow biker veterins prepare months in advance, man. We sometimes get October storms out here. If I lived further north I’d really be pissed. Not to mention the fact that Salsa has been known to extend their release dates. You had better not be late with this one or I’l go and buy one of those titanium fat bikes from that other company.

Bottom line, I want your damn bike and I don’t want to get it AFTER the flippen snow falls.

Ok, I took a breath…Im fine now, really, I’m fine.

Outsider | August 7th, 2010

I was so satisfied with my Fargo and now you bring out this. The Mukluk is extremely tempting at the given price point. How could I justify one?

Mitch R. | August 9th, 2010

I like the price point for the complete bike!

Sean | August 12th, 2010

Kewl…I was saving to get a custom frame made, similar to this, from another small builder who did one a NAHBS but this seems to answer almost all the issues I had with the Pug.  Just one question,

Is it corect that you can run either 170mm or 135 mm hub, but 135mm hub will require the wheel to be built offset?  I already have a pair of Alfine hubs laced to Marge Marges on my Big Dummy, and was hoping to swap them over in the winter.  Looks like I’ll have to build another rear wheel then?

JohnClimber | August 17th, 2010

Kid.

Which size do I need to order a Small or a Meduim complete Mukluk build?

I’m 5’ 8” with a 31” inside leg.

I normally ride meduim frames but your chart says small or medium.

Ta

Kid Riemer | August 18th, 2010

JohnClimber: You can’t sue me if I get this wrong…I really suggest having your dealer help sort you out if at all possible.

First off, check out the Top Tube Effective lengths and compare to whichever bike you are riding now (assuming you like how that feels of course).

The Mukluk was designed to follow suit with our current MTB sizing. If you ride a Medium El Mariachi, you ride a Medium Mukluk.

I believe a more relaxed position works well for truly variable condition snow riding. When the stuff gets really soft, and maintaining traction/forward progress becomes difficult I think the relaxed position works better. The thing with a more relaxed position is that you can always bend forward and create a more aggressive position as needed.

I’m 5’-10” with a 30” pants inseam (sorry but I don’t know my inside leg length). Standover clearance is top notch on the Mukluk. Basically it is 1” better than an El Mariachi. That’s important with all the frequent stop/start/dismount/remount of snow biking.

See how those top tube lengths work out compared to what you are riding now. Look at the standover numbers. Talk to your dealer. You will always be able to make some changes based on stem length, handlebar bend, etc but those numbers should speak the most important truths to you.

I hope this somewhat vague response helps a bit.

JohnClimber | August 18th, 2010

Thanks for that Kid

You say a relaxed position work best the 3rd picture down (above) looks very relaxed doesn’t it? in fact it looks like the frame is too small for the rider.

You also said “I?m 5?-10? with a 30? pants inseam Standover clearance is top notch on the Mukluk” but you didn’t say which size frame it was on, please could you let me know.

As for my local dealer, well the UK distributor I here isn’t bringing in the complete bike so I’m looking to import one, hence these questions.

Ta

Kid Riemer | August 18th, 2010

JohnClimber: Rider in 3rd photo (from Alaska) is on a Large (equates to a 20” El Mariachi).

I am on a Medium set up with 110mm stem and 17-degree bars. I may go 11-degree bar though with a final build.

One note: A medium El Mariachi (18”) has an 18” seattube. A medium Mukluk has a 17” seattube. That’s a result of going after the extra standover clearance.

If you like to be stretched out (and standover looks adequate) I would suggest you consider Medium. If you don’t want to be stretched out, you may want to consider Small.

I’m sorry I can’t be of more help, but sizing is such a personal issue that I can’t just say ‘Ride X’.

And, of course, thanks for your interest in the Mukluk.

JohnClimber | August 18th, 2010

You’ve been more than helpful.

I’ll get a Medium Mukluk on order for import.

Will they be instore early or late Novemeber?

Ta

Mitch R. | August 18th, 2010

All of this Mukluk talk has gotten an Old School guy like me, who believes that snow should be skied on and not riden over, serious considering buying one.

Jay Atwater | August 19th, 2010

Is the rear wheel in the photo at http://salsacycles.com/files/blog/Mukluk_29er.jpg built with a 170mm hub or is it using the adapter? I am just curious how much dish exists using the adapter with a 135mm hub and dishing the wheel. This is as it would pertain to a non-offset rim such as the Gordo. Any idea the spoke lengths that were used? Thanks, I love the Mukluk thus far and hope to be riding one this Winter, but like you guys I think it could be a great all-year bike with a spare 29er wheel set.

JohnClimber | August 19th, 2010

Bloody hell Kid look what you’ve made me do…....

I’ve just gone ordered a Medium Mukluk via a good old USofA bike shop to send it over to me here in the UK and to avoid the UK importers delaying.

Thanks again, just get them out to your stores in Maine first please…

El Kay | August 21st, 2010

Really looking forward to this bike! I’m gonna get a blue Down Low Glow for it and be the electric sasquatch! Keep up the good work :)

dlr | August 22nd, 2010

could it come out a little earlier, i’m back in ak in october,  the fargo works well but the mukluk might just be the bomb.  downtube routing, spacers, change out tires, wow! send me one now

Kid Riemer | August 23rd, 2010

JohnClimber: You will enjoy this bike.

Jay Atwater: That 29’er wheel is built to use the 135 adapter. It is built with a standard Gordo 29’er Disc rim with no special offset drilled spoke holes. Rather than provide any more specifics on spoke length and the like, we’d prefer to keep riding and testing the wheel here. Once we are confident that it works well and shows promise longevity-wise we will provide more info.

JohnClimber | September 2nd, 2010

Hurry up November….....

saltyman | September 9th, 2010

superb bike, been reading up on them and decided to take the plunge and ordered one last week, looks like there wont be many in the UK, so i will no doubt gain some interest when mine arrives.

roll on november.

im sure me and john climber will get our reviews up this side of the water!

Errin | September 9th, 2010

How does the frame triangle compare to the Fargo?  I’ve got a frame bag on order for my Fargo (small) for some bikepacking, and I’m wondering if that same bag would fit the Mukluk as well?  According to the specs, if I ride a small Fargo, I’d ride a small Mukluk correct?

chris | September 10th, 2010

I live in florida and am think of getting a Fat Bike for Beach training/ Trekking.  On the soft sand do these really ride “easy”?  As I have no snow to play in I just want to make sure the purchase is worth it.

iamkeith | September 16th, 2010

Well,  I’m ALMOST sold!  (I actually tried to get my local Salsa dealer to pre-order one for me yesterday, and they said they couldn’t!  Doesn’t seem to jive with what everyone else here is saying, but that’s probably a different discussion.) 

I’ve been putting off the purchase of a snow bike for several years, waiting for some more industry standardization, the production of more use-specific components, and to find ONE bike that seems to have all the most thought-out features.  The Mukluk seems to do that, PLUS at a great price!  The high headset and direct-mount vs. e-type front derailleur option are especially nice to see. 

But I just came up with one big, nagging question:  Hub compatibility! 

Do I understand correctly that the rear dropout spacing is 170mm instead of 160mm?  Does that mean there’s only this ONE rear hub option available, instead of the several (and growing number of) superior-quality options available in 160mm tandem hubs??

Similar question regarding the front hub:  Since you can’t build the front wheel to swap to the rear, as with the Pugsley, why would you bother to make it rear-hub specific?  Paul components has a 135mm front hub, and it’s just a matter of time before others do too, as we all know.  It would sure be easier if we could use normal front disks.

Am I understanding this correctly?  It just seems convoluted - On one hand, you’ve mandated the use of a proprietary but use-specific rear hub, for which there is only one option available.  And, on the other hand, you’ve built the fork around a jerry-rigged, off-the-shelf rear hub standard, when a better use-specific solution ALREADY is being produced.

Any correction / education is welcome.  Don’t get me wrong - I’m still really excited about getting one and think you’ve got a winner.  I’m just confused.  As I said, I’ve put off this investment for a long time, precisely because I hate to buy gear with built-in obsolescence.  Like many, I’d at least like the option of using some lighter, top-shelf hubs if I can afford them.

Kid Riemer | September 17th, 2010

iamkeith - Just a quick acknowledgment that we will respond to your comments, but frankly are just too slammed at the moment. I’ll try to get back to this sometime next week but it might have to wait till post-Interbike. Thanks for your interest in the bike.

ChrisN | September 26th, 2010

Kid, thanks for all your enlightening answers. While I am about to order the Mukluk I still have a couple of questions:
a) Can you fit a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 on the Mukluk?
b) Can Mukluk be fitted with a Gates’ Belt system (Carbon Drive)

I am certainly looking at expanfing the durability of Mukluk when it comes to Sand & Salt OR Muddy conditions.

Thanks in advance
Chris

Kid Riemer | September 27th, 2010

Errin - My non-scientific (meaning I didn’t actually look) guess is that your Fargo bag will work fine. My guess is that your Fargo bag will be slightly bigger than the triangle space of the Mukluk simply based on tubing diameter. I say ‘run what you brung’. A little extra ‘slop’ won’t hurt. Worry about ordering a second bag at a later time.

iamkeith - Yes, rear hub spacing is 170mm. There are a few hub options out there and there will be more shortly we believe. 170mm spacing comes from taking a 135mm spacing with 17.5mm offset. 17.5 X 2 = 35. 35 + 135 = 170mm non-offset. Remember, if you don’t want to use a 170mm hub on the Mukluk you can still run 135 spaced hub with 17.5mm offset with our adaptor.

iamkeith - Enabler fork requires a 135mm spaced rear hub. The main reason for doing the 135mm is to allow front wheel removal without having to remove the front brake. We chose 135mm rear wheel because there are a million hubs to choose from.  Also, it is important to remember that the Enabler is not just a snowbike fork. The Enabler is a very versatile 29’er fork that allows a back up wheel for 29’er action (plus bottles, rack, lowriders). My El Mariachi is set up geared but with the Enabler I have my SS wheel up front. Should my rear derailleur become disabled, the Enabler, SS front wheel, and Alternator dropout means I can always convert to singlespeed and ride out.

ChrisN - Sorry, but no, you cannot use the Rohloff. Mukluk wasn’t designed to accept it. And no, you cannot use belt drive as the rear triangle is not split to accept the belt and also does not have an adjustable dropout to tension the belt.

iamkeith | September 28th, 2010

Kid,

Thanks for the personalized response.  170 mm does seem to be a better choice for a non-offset wheel than the 160 mm others are using, especially as tires and rims get wider.  Will keep my eye out for additional hub options. In the meantime, how do I go about ordering a Mukluk if my local Salsa / QBP dealer won’t do it?

sancho | September 30th, 2010

looks good, a couple of questions and comments. 
1) salt is by far the biggest obstacle for maintenance of my bike in the winter, are there internal hubs, fenders, Kevlar drivetrains, and the like, in the works to keep my bike easier to clean and maintain?
2) the article mentioned the ride being like a 29’er, are we going to see a 29’er fatty tire? would this be completely impossible to push?
3) I love steel framed bikes for a ride more than is probably psychologically healthy.  is the rigid and jarring sensation of riding an aluminum bike negated by those big puffy tires?

Kid Riemer | October 4th, 2010

sancho - Salsa has no plans to design an internal hub at this time. None of our bikes accept belt drive at this time either. RE: fenders. There have been several creative (and effective) fenders done do-it-yourself style here in the building. This winter we will try to do a blog showing some of the contraptions folks have come up with.

RE: will we see a 29’er fatty tire. A 26” fat bike tire like the Surly Endomorph or Larry is basically a 29’er tire. Just a touch smaller in diameter. I don’t think you’ll see a 29’er fat bike tire because of all sorts of negative complications (new rims needed that would be even heaver, tires would be even heavier, frames would become giant sized to accomodate the giant wheels and even fewer folks would fit on them.

RE: ride quality of big puffy tires. I wouldn’t equate it exactly with the feel of a steel frame, but there is definitely a lot of ‘suspension’ in the tires. Depending on the type of riding you are doing though, you really generally try to find the balance of low pressure. If on snow, you really need to mess with tire pressure to find the best pressure for the given snow conditions. If on dirt, I try to find a pressure that gives me some ‘suspension’, good hook up to the trail, but as effective rolling tire as possible. I guess the most basic way of saying it is ‘I don’t just run them rock hard or super soft - I try to find the psi that works best’. And yes, the large tire volume does provide some comfort. Hope that helps.

Kid Riemer | October 4th, 2010

iamkeith - I will have Salsa sales contact you via email to help you find a dealer that will be carrying Mukluk.

JasonL | October 5th, 2010

Does salsa have the quantity to meet the demand?
Are you guys still on track to release in November?

Kid Riemer | October 6th, 2010

JasonL - We are on track for November. It isn’t really possible to answer your first question.

Sean | October 19th, 2010

I ordered a frame and fork from my LBS who ordered 4 units but they weren’t sure what was up with the availability of the Mukluk rear hub by Formula yet.  Will it be available in November and will it include the skewer(s)?

JohnClimber | October 19th, 2010

Paging Kid and the Salsa team

Are the bikes on the water to the states as yet?

Can we track the boat anywhere?

Allen Beauchamp | October 26th, 2010

Rode the first night ride below freezing here in Colorado Springs tonight…I have Mukluk and snow cravings :-)

Rick Fuentes | October 27th, 2010

Hey Kid,
My LBS now says they can’t guarantee delivery of my 2 (yes, 2) Mukluks before December 31.  AND that I might have to wait until the 2nd shipment, which is now due in March, 2011, due to demand.  What gives?
I saw the new Pugsley is already out, but I’d like to stick with the Mukluk because of the 29” wheel versatility.  Any rumor stomping or straight poop spilling would be appreciated.  Thanks!

JohnClimber | November 12th, 2010

Dear Salsa crew

Any update on the first delivery of complete bikes to the shops please?

Ta

Alby | November 15th, 2010

Dear Salsa,

I should very much be honored to debut the awesomeness of the Mukluk during an upcoming ride the day after Thanksgiving in New England. 

Just think of all the extra publicity!! 

You know what needs to happen :)

Allen Beauchamp | November 17th, 2010

For fenders, here is the company that I like to use, Woody’s Custom Fenders.

This link is to the Surly gallery where you’ll see a few shots of the Pugsley fenders Cody has done.

My Fargo fenders are the most beautiful ones that I’ve seen before, I got the dual compound curve versions but the 26X3.7” will only do the flat.

Happy Mukluking!

rhunt | November 27th, 2010

Was wondering if a Nuvinci 360 hub would work on this thing.  Seems to me removing as many outside moving parts as possible would be a good thing given the environment it will be used in. I am not totally up to speed on the hub so it may make no sense if its range is too small for the hills, but it seems like a good idea. Of course some folks don’t live in really hilly areas but still have snow to contend with. I mean if you are going outside the box to create a bike like this why not try all the outside box thinking!  Love the concept. Can’t wait to try one!

Alan | November 30th, 2010

No matter what I do I can’t find a Canadian price for the complete Mukluk.
Pls help

Mark | December 8th, 2010

My LBS tried to order a Medium for me, back ordered until March 2011 ?? The snow will be gone by then. 

Still want one but it looks like next winter before I’ll be able to ride it in the white stuff.

mj

1z0-052 | December 13th, 2010

Those huge tires and that tiny frame (it?s smaller than any of the 29er frames I?ve looked at, and smaller than the Pugsley) make me nervous. Otherwise: awesome, and thanks for thinking of us short people.

Rick Fuentes | December 13th, 2010

Just got my small Mukluk on Friday.  Then we got hit with 17” of snow on Saturday.  So Sunday was the maiden voyage.
First report:  The Mukluk is awesome.  And I hate snow.
It handles a lot more like a mountain bike than the Pugsley.  One could even say it’s whippier.  It’s fairly easy to body english the rear end to say correct for hitting a deep, mushy snowbank and continue rolling forward.
There is a learning curve, I noticed, from riding say a 29er or 26” mtb on snow and this.  While I used to avoid car-compacted snow and ice, the Mukluk loves those tracks.  And maintaining good rear-forward balance is key, especially at first pedal, to propel the bike and maintain rear-wheel contact. 
Overall, it’s well-designed and meets all my very high expectations.
Now if I can just figure out how to get it on my roof rack…

e | December 14th, 2010

you should have seen surly’s snow bike 4 years ago! that’s exciting…....

Thomas Johnson | January 7th, 2011

I just had my frame arrive this week. I’ve built it now and have done two rides. One on my local trails last night and one to work today. I was smiling both times. Great bike.
Thanks Salsa,

Thomas Johnson
The Steelwool Bicycle Co.
Tall Tree Cycles
Ottawa Canada.

Eric Klyne | February 15th, 2011

So, I’ll be riding my Mukluk around Feb., March?
The $$$ is ~ ~ ~ ~ and I can see myself enjoying the ride right now….

Now I just have to catch up to that thought… : ) .. . ..Wow, with the snow we had in Edmonton this year so far, I thought I was going to ride through the winter but…. Mukluk would have been awesome!

So….. can’t wait!

Briant | February 18th, 2011

Any idea when new shipments will be available. I would really like to get a my hands on a medium before all the snow melts in New England.

Esa M | March 12th, 2011

Do you know if anyone 6” 7’ tall (with 35” leg inseam) would have tried Mukluk?
I have no previous experience on Salsas frame sizing but the table suggest only upto 6” 5’ tall riders. I guess that would be pretty much the limit for it. Right?

Bill "Doc" Wenmark | March 17th, 2011

What a fantastic bike.  I test rode a large frame (I am 6’1”) and decided to try a medium frame.  I purchased the Medium and it has been excellent.  My weight (175)is balanced in the center of the bike, which seems to me to be critical when riding in soft deep snow.  I also shorted the head set, which gives me a very upright balanced control of the bike.  I have been riding on snowmobile trails in Leadville CO.  I entered my first “night” snow bike competition in Leadville.  It was a hoot.  The 12 mile course had 2-3 foot snow drifts and the young “skinny” riders cut them up like a loaf of bread.  I tried riding through, which was fine, but saw a young women on a snow bike going out in the unbroken snow around the drifts.  I started to follow her and we just kept on truckin.  I ended up 16 minutes behind the leader and 1st in the 50 and over at the age of 63.  This bike will bring endless smiles to your face…it will also build awsome QUADS….and develop an excellent sense of balance.  The only thing I would like to see is paddle tire (sand tires) for more bite in the soft snow.  Thank you for the wonderful creation of the Salsa Mukluk…

Alan | March 18th, 2011

Still waiting for a Mukluk in CANADA.
This is the place for it, but can’t find one.
Shame on you Salsa for not looking after us.

ColdHunter | March 29th, 2011

We are live in coldest inhabitant place in the world- The Yakutia,Siberia. We want to use MUKLUK in winter time. In DeCecember-January usually here is about minus 50-60 Degrees Celsium. Could you guarantee good work MUKLUK in this weather conditions ? What temperature limits for this model ?

Scott | May 1st, 2011

Just got my Mukluk and love it.  I live in Orange County CA and I’ve taken it to the beaches as well as Big Bear (San Bernardino National Forest).  Sand, snow, cobblestones, it handles it all with light weight.  (Lighter than my full suspension MB).  Thank you Salsa for providing a great product with an aluminum body and symetrical framing that is well balanced.
Does Salsa make fenders for their Mukluk?
Thanks.  May have to buy another one for my girlfriend who’s a big MB’er.

Bill "Doc" Wenmark | May 2nd, 2011

Scott, I agree on the sand riding.  This winter we headed a little south from our home in Leadville to Buena Vista and Salida.  Rode a bunch of miles aroud Ruby Mountain in the soft beach sand trails of the 4-wheeler and dirt bikes…what a great WO and the bike really teaches you you spin balanced circles and center of gravity balance on the bike.  This has transfered over to my MTB.  Back in MN home now and riding my Salsa most of the time…it causes heads to turn and fun comments. For sure get one for you girlfriend.  We ordered a bike for my wife…she loved riding mine this year.  The only thing other than maybe your fender idea is to get the tire guys to make a paddel tire.  The Endomorph 3.7 is a start but they need to build up the ridges another quarter to 3/8 inch and make the rotation use the ridges ast scoops…the scoops can be about 2 inches apart with a center and lateral ridges to move over harder services.  Anyway…enjoy you Mukluk…DOC

mark lofquist | June 17th, 2011

I just ordered my Mukluk, can’t wait to ride - i’ll be looking for challenging terrain.  i’m hoping my girlfriend falls in love with it - then she can follow me on my ultramarahton runs :).

Doc Wenmark | August 20th, 2011

I want to thank all of you that I had the pleasure of knowing previously or meeeting for the first time at the 2011 LT-100. It was a great privilage to be the first person (age 64) to finish my 15th LT-100 on my “Fat Tire” Salsa Mukluk. What a great time I had with all of you on the course. Thanks also to your crews for the hoots and OMG’s. Thanks to all of you for the encouragement along the way. I was very happy to put a period at the end of the comments that “no way” is DOC going to finish on a snow bike. I like that kind of motivation, given the US Marine that I am in my heart. I was very happy to finish in 11:28 which was faster than last years finish. Congratulation to everyone who was willing to put yourself on the startline, and no matter what happened you are all champions in my mind and heart. Thank you all for giving your best. Best wishes to all of you and hope to see you all again in Leadville and in the 2012 LT-100. Semper Fi…DOC Wenmark
GO MUKLUK>>>>

raymond busch | September 11th, 2011

Come on guys, I cant believe you are just talking about winter with the mukluk!! I own this awesome bike and comute 16 miles a day with no problems. On weekends me and the beast hit very rough horse trails making the horses cry with envy!! THis beauty is way more than a snowbike. Take it from an old man, buy this bike its a blast in all seasons.

ray | August 21st, 2012

Oh yea. My Mukluk now has 2500 miles on now and not one problem, not even a tire!!! 25 mile commute daily and still hitting single tracks on the weekend. Love it still and winter is on the way!

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