Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Can't Stop Smiling - Riding the Salsa Mukluk

This morning started in the most fun way possible - After I got the kids on the bus for their second day of school I drove down to Milltown Cycles in Faribault where I met Ben, the shop's owner, for a morning mountain bike ride on a Salsa Mukluk fat bike.

I'm not a mountain biker. I've never ridden trails and, save for riding gravel a dozen times, have only ridden on paved roads and paths. I never thought I could be a mountain biker or ride on anything but roads. But after an hour on the Mukluk I am hooked. Absolutely hooked. And I can't stop smiling.

At first I was smiling just because the Mukluk is such a funny bike - it looks kinda odd with the big tires and the feeling of riding it is so different at first it just made me laugh.

Once we hit the trails and I was faced with all sorts of stuff I've never ridden over before I was smiling because, despite my lack of experience, I was actually riding mountain bike trails with success. I never thought I could ride trails and there I was riding up and down hills and over rocks and tree roots pretty well. 

Without Ben to help me I doubt I would have taken the Mukluk over the terrain we did this morning on my own. I know I wouldn't have, actually. But with Ben guiding the way and teaching me in his easygoing, laid back way, I felt way more confident than I expected. I found myself laughing my way down steep hills and asking to do them again. 

We rode for about an hour, mostly on trails through the nearby nature center. It was a gorgeous morning for a ride - my only regret is that I didn't stop to take pictures along the way. A picture of the Mukluk back in the shop will have to do.

Salsa Mukluk in their smallest frame size and set up to fit me

I'm not qualified to actually test drive a bike and do a review but here are a few comments on my ride :

The Mukluk's big tires made the ride smooth whether we were on tar or gravel or a rocky downslope. I would call them "forgiving" - where a narrow bike tire would slip or slide on the gravel the Mukluk's tires just truck on over everything. The top tube slopes downward so it was easy to get on and off of the bike. I rode with regular tennis shoes and flat pedals. Ben put a women's specific WTB saddle on the bike - I've had a ton of trouble finding comfortable saddles and the WTB worked well for me. 

Big Tire on the Salsa Mukluk - picture taken by Milltown Cycles

All in all the Mukluk was comfortable to ride and a whole lot of fun! 

If you're looking for a bike that will keep you smiling - it's hard to beat a fat bike :)

Salsa Mukluks - another picture taken by Milltown Cycles

Thanks to Ben and Curtis from Milltown for letting me test drive the Mukluk this morning. And Ben, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to ride with me and teach me new stuff. I appreciate it!


Drew Diller said...

Funny how googling for certain equipment leads you to riders' thoughts on _really_ similar equipment. Fellow fat biker here, and I was looking for info on flat pedals.

Myrna CG Mibus said...

Google can be funny that way. Glad you stopped by my blog - and enjoy your fat bike. I sure want one...

Max said...

Welcome to the rest of your life, Myrna! So glad you joined us!

-Max Kellogg and the rest of the Fat Bike Riding Populace

Also, if you ever want to continue reading about Fat Bikes:

Chito Concepcion said...

It was such a heart warming article that I started to think of riding my Salsa Mamasita on the trails of Folsom CA once again. Like you, I never stopped smiling once I get on my Salsa Mountain Bike. Thanks!

Spud said...

Get one.

My girlfriend and I both have Mukluks and we love them! We ride them almost everyday.