Thursday, June 25, 2015

What We Ride: Dan Ward - Salsa Mukluk 2

Dan Ward is our Bicycle Fit Specialist at the Century Cycles store in Rocky River.

Dan has been enjoying his 2014 Salsa Mukluk 2 snow bike for year-round adventures and commuting since he bought it that year.

Q. Why did you choose the Salsa Mukluk 2?

A. I was sick of not being able to ride as much in the winter. The race and event ride season starts early in the spring, and it's hard to quickly get back that fitness that you lose all winter. A snow bike was the obvious choice, and there are a lot of options out there now, but I really fell in love with the color of the '14 Salsa Mukluk 2.

Q. What additions have you made to the bike?

A. I've added Crank Brothers clipless pedals, Portland Design Works fenders, and a headlight and taillight.

Q. Do you have any other upgrades planned?

A. I'm working on adapting the bike to fit 5-inch wide tires. It's possible, even though it was designed for 4-inch tires, but there are some challenges making some adjustments to the drive train to avoid having the chain rub on the tire. But, I figure if 4 inches wide is good, then 5 inches wide is that much better! Part of that project might involve converting from a 2x10 to a 1x10 drive train, which would also make the bike lighter and simpler to maintain. Next year, I may try out some studded tires and convert to tubeless.

Q. Where do you like to ride the bike?

A. I commute to work on it almost every day. I've taken it on the All-Purpose Trail in the Cleveland Metroparks, as well as the Bedford and Royalview mountain bike trails. I have always enjoyed mountain biking, including at night, which makes for a different experience. Riding the Royalview Trail after a full snowfall was another totally different experience. You have a narrow track of packed snow, so it's more of a challenge than usual to stay on track. If you have to stop and put a foot down to catch yourself, then you sink down in a foot of the unpacked snow!

Q. Any final thoughts on the bike?

A. It's a gas! The winters in Cleveland can be long, dark, cold, and depressing. The Salsa Mukluk has re-energized not only my winter activity, but has revived my excitement about cycling overall. The bike opens up new horizons for me.

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