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Well I finally succumbed to fatbike envy and bought a Mukluk, or Muckle-uk if you prefer. ;) I’d made a few enquiries about a 9:zero:7, but in the end went the pre-built route as I managed to find a really good price on the 2014 model.

After a false start due to Parcelforce messing about, I got my hands on it last Thursday. I spent that evening prepping the frame and took it out on Friday, Tentsmuir beach seemed like an ideal location as I could try riding on the sand and give it a run through the forest singletrack too.

I have to say, I don’t think I’ll be riding much sand on it, it’s hard work and not especially exciting. I can imagine it might be nice on a summer’s day or on the odd occasion when the mood takes me. A bit of experimentation with tyre pressure revealed the true nature of fatbiking – a supremely comfortable ride, bumpy forest trails smoothed out for a magic carpet ride. Having never actually ridden a fatbike before, this was a revelation, but even more surprising is how easy it is to pedal. Even with ridiculously heavy and aggressive Nate tyres, I find it no more difficult to pedal than my other bikes. In fact, off-road, I think it might be easier, or maybe just less fatiguing – in spite of the factory fitted saddle – designed by someone with a square arse I think.

Yesterday and today have been spent riding my usual trails, where I know every bump and root. I have to say fatbikes on forest singletrack are glorious! The Mukluk handles well, I’m not sure how the 2014 geometry changes have affected the ride exactly, but it feels good to me. I need some slightly wider bars with decent rise, so I can eliminate at least half of the stem spacers. The BB7 brakes, once adjusted correctly, work well. Good one finger braking, even at 98kg, although I think I’ll stick a larger rotor up front to keep me out of trouble.

I probably haven’t yet found optimal tyre pressures, I don’t know what I’m running as my pump seems to have accuracy issues. But like my other bikes, I’m running more pressure at the rear, with the front ‘quite squidgy’.

Picking the bike up is best avoided. On the bathroom scales it weighs 34.6lb/15.6kg. Dropping that by around 1.5kg is easily achievable, 1kg through sticking some Hüsker Dü 120s on – not exactly cheap though. In truth, I don’t really notice the weight when pedalling, only when lifting it over fallen trees or onto the car.

I’m not sure if/when I’ll get a chance to ride some snow, I was riding around in my base layer this week. In December! Double digit temperatures are crap at this time of year. Frankly I’d settle for a heavy frost at the moment. :(

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