I've heard some women buy handbags to match their shoes (I'm not sure if this is true, or else my wife would have a huge collection of black leather handbags with chunky heels), but us menfolk like our shoes to coordinate as well. For instance, my everyday shoes:

possibly inspired my latest frame purchase:

Or maybe not. But when I happened across this Mukluk frameset for a very reasonable price (and by "happened", I mean I searched Craigslist nationwide and found it in Montana), I picked it up to replace my Gravity fatbike and to be my 29+ steed. The Muk has a lot of things going for it, starting with the basic profile: a tall headtube and a short seat tube will always look good to be me. I can have the bars at saddle height with only a few spacers, and still have good standover clearance.

But the Mukluk isn't just a pretty face. The Alternator dropouts allow me to have relatively short chainstays (down to 445mm), while still clearing a 29+ tire, and I don't have the horrible experience of using track ends with discs:

The frame came with a direct mount chainring--new tech for me--and a tiny 27 tooth chainring:

I put on a smaller 18t rear cog to match my typical 32/20 gearing on a 29er. I actually originally built the frame up as a 1x9, until I realized I would have a horrible time dropping my chain. Not wanting a repeat of my first Krampus ride, I rebuilt the Muk as a single speed before my first real ride.

I really need a Salsa saddle to go with my Salsa seatpost, seat clamp, and stem:

I ran into one semi-major snag in building up the frame. The Beargrease fork that came with the frame is spaced for a 135mm rear disc hub. My Gravity is spaced for a 135mm front disc hub. Rear disc spacing puts the rotors about 5mm closer to the hub centerline than front disc spacing. You can make a rear disc spaced hub work on a front disc spaced fork, but not vice versa.  And unfortunately, every semi-budget set of wheels I can find online is also front spaced these days. Things I didn't know about fat bikes... as an interim step while I search for some wheels, I built up the front wheel with the rear Blunt 29er wheel I had:

The rear rim is the 170mm spaced Fattie Slims wheel. The 24mm rim on that wheel is a bit narrow for a 29+ tire, but it's doing OK so far.

Last Sunday, I took the big Salsa out for a shakedown ride with a few work buddies. Chris and Peter were out for their first ride of the year:

I also ended up parking next to my buddy Marc, who had escaped family duties for a few hours on the trail. We traded bikes, and I rode a bit on Marc's old school Stumpjumper:

Somehow, I enjoyed the butt up/head down/no brakes/narrow bar feel.... in 1995. These days, I like my high handlebars and fat tires!

Aside from a loose headset, the Mukluk rode well, even though my spring fitness isn't the ideal for single speeding. My immediate plans for it are to get a narrow wide cog so I can run some gears, and then some more appropriate wheels. But until then, it works pretty well just the way it is:


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