After a bunch of silly, but confidence-shattering crashes, I only got over the fear of going downhills when my neighbour Kev suggested I could use his old Salsa Mukluk frame.
We transferred components over from a range of old bikes we both had, and the result was this beast:
We built it with Surly Bud on Surly Clown Shoe 100mm rim in the front, and Surly Nate on Surly Rolling Darryl 80mm rim in the back. The fork was a pretty knackered Rockshox Bluto 100mm.
The saddle is a Selle SMP Plus. It looks totally silly, but I grew to like it over time.
It had a 10-speed Shimano SLX drive train. I accidentally killed the derailleur in April and upgraded it to 11-speed SLX.
On this first ride, I went down "St-brice trail tech part", and you can hear that it was good.
Apologies for the mud, but the Bluto really doesn't have enough space for a Bud plus a mudguard...
Between March and May 2020, I rode this bike almost exclusively.
It was hard on the up hills, at least in the beginning.
Downhill was a breeze, though, and the Blauen Ridge Trail became my favourite part of our rides. It is rough and rocky, and so much more fun on a fat bike!
The bike was heavy, and the tires drag, but I still did a lot of PRs in the time, up and down hill.
In mid-April, I got cocky and crashed twice, once running into a log and decompressing the tire. So Kev took his Clown Shoe tire back, and I continued riding with a Bud on Rolling Darryl in the front.
I had to decommission the bike on the 22nd of May, put all the components back on his smaller Mukluk frame, which he'll take to Sotland as a guest bike.
Changing all the components over on my own was a great test for when the componentes arrive for the Taiga I'm building.