Friday, 22 February 2019

Surly Pugsley 2.0 frame set build...


So 6 weeks after my Cancer Op and all going well and a few weeks before that a big box arrived from HQ...


The new updated Surly Pugsley 2.0 frame set!...


There was mixed views by Forum readers on this Fatbike/frame set`s release as it was not following the latest trends of making Fatbikes like Enduro Mountain bikes with slack head angles and ability to fit suspension forks and dropper posts etc...
But if you want a Fatbike to do that your in the wrong market as the new Pugsley has took the original concept of a fat tyre bike to go anywhere any country however remote and get you back and they added a few basic tweaks using 12 years of Fatbike and Surly development...
You can read Surly`s own words on this remake of the classic original production Fatbike Here...


Things i like include;
The bridge brace tube gone from the seat tube to top tube,
Ability of reversible wheels again,
Rear rack mounts centralised,
Huge front triangle allowing a 4" wide frame bag so carry any container or bottle etc...
Loads of mounts for bottles and racks etc,
Tall head tube,
Ability to fit the latest new 4.3" tyres -nearly the same ride height when 29+ wheels fitted

The last `like` was the icing on the cake for myself as the 4.3" tyres being higher than 4" tyres meant a tweak to the BB height, which then also results in only a slight increase of a half inch or so when you fit 29+ wheels, this all made for the perfect `KramPug` build,

And it also looks lovely in `Yam Orange`...



There is also a Roholf Internal Gear Hub (IGH) mount on the rear drop out if your well healed,
but i planned on a lot cheaper option (£150 compared to £1200) Shimano Alfine 8 speed IGH...

Choosing a Large rather than medium frame size also gave more cockpit room for my plan to use my Jones Loop bars...

The build was mostly used parts with a few new items and it would be a retro style build with black and polished componants with proven items i like including Cane Creek headset, VP square taper Bottom Bracket, old XT cranks, Avid BB7 cable operated brakes, Brooks C15 saddle and Ergon grips,

Basicly all the things i have come to like about riding Pugsleys for over 10 years now...


The Alfine IGH i bought several years ago for a Surly Cross-Check my brother now owns, the Surly Rabbit Holes rim i bought new when they were reduced to £60 each, they used to cost twice this, and had been under the bed waiting for a build like this...


Wheels built first and cheap HALO spokes i have used several times now and they cost around £12 for 36 spokes a pack from `Derek Cycles Online` shop via eBay, i mention this shop as they are always real quick delivery and never advertise items they don`t have in stock...


Both wheels were checked and centered in a spare offset Pugsley fork before a final tension...


A salsa `Flip Lock quick release seat clamp added as had it sitting spare and no doubt a lot of friends will want a ride of the new Pug once out on the trails
Shimano assembly grease was used as parts were fitted, the Avid brakes stripped and Copper greased as was the BB threads, brake cables silicone coated before assembly, all the usual stuff i do when i build a bike...







All new Surly stainless chainring held on with Stronglight bolts and a stainless steel KMC chain along with steel hub sprocket for a bomber drive chain...




One issue i came across was the Alfine IGH serrated axle washers with the locating tab to prevent the hub axle rotating (and possibly loosening the cup and cones) contacted the spacers that come with the frame set preventing the wheel being tightened,


I found a solution by creating an oval in some old Surly Tugnut chain tensioners i had which then allowed the hub axle to slide back and forward for chain tensioning...








Tyres were set up split tubed `Ghetto tubeless` though i did not need to wrap foam this time as the Surly Dirt Wizard tyres were a tight enough fit to inflate with the track pump, you can look at an earlier post of how i do this Here...




Built and first ride around to check all ok...




Older size Medium KramPug on left the new Large KramPug on the right...


Along with my Surly Wednesday that sports suspension forks and dropper post the new KramPug adds to my 29+ fleet and will make a great camping and exploring bike, this is to me better than the Surly ECR as wider Fatbike frame bag, loads of tyre clearance so no wheels rubbing if you smash out two spokes, and i now prefer a 100mm BB width to 73mm BB`s...

i have since added a rear rack- a cheap Edinburgh Bike Co-Operative MTB rack, and swapped out the underneath Salsa cage for a regular bottle cage...

Build film,
Song is `Hope` by Max Cooper




And first proper cycle on the bike and it rides lovely...


More soon...

Monday, 18 February 2019

Coastrider; An Unexpected Journey....

A good friend often says that `Life Is Not A Dress Rehearsal`...
A saying that is so true and the winter of 2018/19 would prove this to be the case for myself...

I was diagnosed last year with what can be described as a mild condition of MS,
Relapsing Remitting MS is the most common form of MS that many people have here in Scotland and learn to accept and live with it, with help and treatments available to continue a regular life and not have an impact on their lifestyle...
And it is a condition i admit i have tried to ignore about and to carry on with life as usual - that is to say until i have another Relapse will i worry about it, which again could not be for up to 9 years again or maybe will never happen ever again...

However something happened i could not ignore last Autumn...

One of the MRI Scans picked up something that led to another CT scan that diagnosed a kidney tumour...

Being diagnosed with a stage 1 growing cancer (as later the tumour was confirmed to be after removal) was at first devastating until i got my head around it and went on the positive to deal with the upcoming Op and recovery time.
I never thought having cancer would happen to myself and so it was a shock,
Support from NHS specialists was superb and i would soon be in for an Op to remove the tumour i referred to as my `Hitchiker` which was successful  in also saving the kidney, and i was home for Xmas, all went good..

Many people diagnosed with cancer talk about going on a journey,
Something i have now done and having been given the all clear mid February i know now what people talk about.
My partner M is someone also on that Journey having had surgery and for herself her  journey continues. My diagnosis had been given the green light 99% after a short 6 weeks with just yearly scans now for the next 5 years

So to be positive  (My cup is always half full) i could say being diagnosed with a mild condition of MS possibly saved my life - there!,  get that on a T shirt!,

Seriously though it`s easy to have a laugh about it but i did not really realise how big an operation and short but painful experience it would be,  and i cannot fault the NHS staff for their caring work in the  (only) 4 days i was in hospital,  but the stems and pipes wired into me i would not wish on anyone, or more so the removal of them and the dressings, it was painful, really painful....

Back home from Hospital and staying at my mums for a week  before finally back home to my own home and infection free everything went well, and i was soon out walking daily and after 4 weeks the Doc gave me the ok to drive again,
Being fit and healthy makes a big difference to recovery time from Major Ops,
I met the surgeon at my 6 week appointment who operated on me and he was impressed with my recovery, i nearly broke his arm shaking his hand thanking him i was so grateful!...
These folk deserve medals...

Here is a pic of the Op scar after 4 weeks, that beats a tattoo!  looks like a shark bite!


When things like this happen you find out who your real friends are, and i have been blown away by the support of some friends who have been great, along with my mum and my family and the amazing M,  i have never felt so close to someone before as M,
And M`s dog Jake! who has been great support and company as i recovered!


This winter has been really dry and settled with many days of sunshine so was great for getting out walking on the coast,  i was out daily walking 3-5 miles, often with family, friends, M, or Jake Dog for company...










I never had daytime tv on when in the house - just mind numbing dribble, I listened to Radio 6 music and read books, tided up, painted a bit, and some tinkering in the man cave,
Always positive and busy with the aim of getting healthier and fitter again and back on track...


This winters weather of many high pressure clear cold crisp days were an inspiration to get out and about on foot...




Jake, a faithful wee friend and always ready to go!


A frozen Peffer estuary,  and one of many fine days out walking on the coast...





At 6 weeks when the Doc gave me the all clear on my Op he told me to get out on my bike cycling and exercise. At first it was a bit nervous after such a big Op but confidence soon returned and i could feel the improvement in health and fitness rapidly as cycling always is a great way to gently stretch muscles in the back, waist and legs...



My first wee peddle with M on her horse Johnny and i felt alive and was buzzing despite just a mile or so!...



During recovery a frame set arrived from HQ - the new Surly Pugsley, something to plan for and spec, source a few parts then build up  and get ready for the coming summer, but will post this up in the next blog post...


More soon...