Monday, August 26, 2013

End of an era--for me.

This is the most purpose-built soft-surface expedition bicycle that I'm aware of:

And by 'aware of' I mean ever, anywhere.  I've not heard of anything even approaching it.

In imagining and building it we (Brad Bingham and I) took inspiration from those that came before.  But Brad also blew the doors wide open on what could be done in fabrication, and I'd like to think I opened a few minds on where, and in what manner, a bicycle could take a man.  

It took us several tries to get here--largely because the target kept moving.  First the rims went from 65 to 100mm, then we realized we needed more fuel capacity, and then when we got that sorted tires went from 3.8 to 4.7".  

No doubt in the future other dreamers will improve upon this one.

I've owned this bike for a handful of years.  Ridden it across parts of Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Utah, and Arizona.  And yes, all the way across Alaska on the Iditarod several times.  

The original inspiration to build and own this bike was so that I could ride from Ross Island on the Antarctic coastline, following the Overland Traverse all the way up to the South Pole.

I spent literal years of my life following this dream--getting the body, bike, mind, and all attendant parts ready. For many, many reasons, I have since decided to move onto other, more engaging projects.

So I'm selling the Snoots, exactly as pictured here.  

It is closest in size to a typical Moots 17 or 18" frame.  So to say, it fits a 5'10"ish man best, but can be easily adapted to fit someone as much as ~2" taller or shorter.

It has a full 2 x 10 drivetrain, and hydraulic disc brakes with 6" rotors.  These brakes (not a similar model--I mean this *exact* set) have been up the Iditarod to Nome thrice and to McGrath 5 times.  

Every little trick I've learned in 20+ years of riding snow has been employed on this bike--from little things like heat shrink tubing on the cable housings to bigger design features like lower bottom bracket height and good-in-deep-snow standover.

Full front and rear racks are set to accept normal touring panniers as well as racktop bags.  4 Ortlieb (heavily massaged for winter use) panniers are included, as are the frame bag and top tube bag.  Racktop bags are not included.

3 bottle cages are included--these are designed to hold the ever-popular ~.8 or .9 liter thermoses, or a regular ~20+ oz bike bottle.

Geometry, ride quality, and cargo capacity aside, the thing that sets this bike apart are the fuel cells.  Each fork leg holds 17oz, the frame holds roughly 70oz.  There are input portals (the caps for which are removable without tools, and with gloves) atop both fork legs and just behind the head tube.  Outflow valves (also usable when gloved) are made of brass and are located at the bottom of each fork leg and near the bottom bracket shell.

The volume of fuel this chassis stores was not chosen at random--I calculated the number of days I'd need to travel to The Pole, figured the rough quantity of snow I'd need to melt over that duration (both for drinking water and to rehydrate meals), factored in the volume of the fuel bottle that'd always be attached to the stove, then threw in a teeny bit extra 'in case'.  In short, I figured I'd need ~4 liters of fuel to get from coastal Antarctica up to the Polar Plateau and then down to the South Pole Station without resupply.

I proved this theory out by riding the entire 1000+ miles of the Iditarod Trail over 21 days in 2010, entirely without resupply.  I finished with 6+ days of fuel in reserve.

I will include spares for the input/outflow valve parts, although these are common parts at any hardware store.

Brad designed and built this chassis to haul a load, and to last--check the links above to see it in action.  Tubing thicknesses were massaged to blend durability and comfort.  I've ridden this bike 1000+ miles with a 100+ pound load on it, as well as my ~180# self, and if anything it feels a bit better (more compliant) when loaded than when not.

Hopey steering damper included.  The theory is that it damps out unwanted movement from plowing across wind drifts and snowmachine ruts.  In practice it works incredibly well--I swear by them for snow (and only snow) use.  Also in practice?  They aren't very reliable, and the owner of the company wouldn't know good customer service if it bit him on the balls and gave him herpes.  

New style Moots post.

Rear rack detail.

Both racks are easily removable using a 5mm hex key and a 10mm open ended wrench.  

Without writing a book here, I decided that for me the ideal expedition wheel setup would include DT Swiss 440 FR hubs, DT Swiss butted spokes and DT Swiss Prolock alloy nipples, laced to Surly Rolling Darryl 80mm rims, a Surly Bud tire up front (tubeless) and a Surly BFL tire (tubed) out back.  There are endless reasons for and against this setup--I get that.  I've photographed it this way because this is the way I most often rode it.  If you'd like a different width of rim and/or different tread of tire, well sure--say so and I'm happy to oblige.

Or if you'd like to have your cake and eat it too--in other words have *two* wheelsets for this bike--that can also be arranged.  Inquire if serious.

Yes, the wheels are swappable front to rear and rear to front.

Brad spent years as a fabricator and production manager at Moots.  He now wears those hats over at Kent Ericksen cycles.  So to say, he's been around this block a few times, and his opinion is professional, educated, and respected.  He estimates that the total cost of the frame, fork, and racks, including materials, design, and fabrication, was upwards of $9500.

I'm selling this complete bike, exactly as pictured above, for $10,700.  

That price includes shipping and insurance to the Lower 48 states.  Canada or Alaska?  Maybe--but be prepared to spend hundreds more for shipping, and/or customs.

I will not ship outside of North America, sorry.  If you live elsewhere and want this bike, contact me ASAP and then look into buying a ticket into my local airport (code = GJT).  It'll be much cheaper for you to fly here and take it back on the plane than to have it shipped.

I may opt to skip the hassle of unbuilding, boxing, and shipping if the buyer lives within a reasonable ~day-ish drive of Grand Junction, Colorado.

If I've omitted a critical detail, please let me know and I'll correct the omission ASAP.

If you look *very* closely you can see that there is a spare single cog on the freehub body of the front wheel.  That is *not* included--sorry.

Yes, the price is firm.  Please do not waste your time with lowball offers--I'll simply delete them.