Cathy and I got out tonight for a little bit of fun on the fat bikes (Charge Cooker Maxi). We picked up a little snow yesterday and then a bunch of rain. Today though the temperature dropped and it all froze up. What we were left with was about an inch of crusty snow. Doesn't sound like much but in all honesty, it was pretty sloggy going out there.
I slapped new tires on the bikes before the ride. We migrated from the Vee Rubber 8 tires, which are a small tightly spaced block tread that is great for hardpack and sand but gave up traction in loose, wet, muddy or snowy conditions, to a more open and aggressive pattern of the Vee Rubber Mission. Why stick with Vee tires, not exactly the best known name out there? Simple. The price to weight is just plain unbeatable. They are a respectable sub 1400gm each and retail for $100 for the folding 120tpi tubeless model of the Mission. For and extra $50 or so I could get a tire that is maybe 100gm lighter but that is a tough sell.
I've also done a couple other upgrades to the bikes. The obvious are bars, stems, posts and saddles but I also put new, higher quality Avid hydraulic disc brakes on the bikes. In addition, I upgraded the SRAM X-5 drivetrain to an X-9 rear derailleur and X-7 shifters on mine with sweet XX GripShifters on Cathy's (thanks Chris). They are so sweet and work so nicely, particularly with mitten/lobsters on. I may have to switch to some as well, if I can find them.
Now we are pretty much ready for the snow. Good thing as it looks like this year we may actually get some. Hopefully we will get some time in between to pack it down, so we can actually ride. If not though, we can use the new Salomon XC skate skis we got last year and never used at all.