Write a Review Contest Winner: mfronk1 – Featured User Review: Salsa Mukluk 3

Fat Bike

Congrats to mfronk1, the winner of this week’s Write a Review Contest and the new proud owner of a Camelbak “The Capo” hydration pack!

Featured User Review: Salsa Cycles Mukluk 3 Fatbike XC Hardtail
by mfronk1

Price: $1600.00 at HammerHead Bikes
Overall Rating: 5 of 5
Value Rating: 5 of 5

Bike Setup:
I went with wider bars (750 raceface atlas), platform pedals, removed two small gears off the cassette to make it impervious to chain rub and drilled the rims. Everything else is stock.

Bottom Line:
If your in the market for a fat bike, use the buying power of the bike company and get a complete. The Mukluk 3 is a fantastic bike that handles well, is comfortable, quite a nice looking bike, and for the price is even that much better. I do wish it had their adjustable dropouts so I could run it single speed but that doesn’t take anything away from the bike being an amazing ride.

Not knowing what to expect, I was really surprised at how easy it was to adjust to riding a fat bike. There wasn’t any real adjustment needed, it was more of a pre-conceived notion of how a bike with 4 inch wide tires would handle and pedal that needed to be overcome. The ride position is very comfortable and felt completely natural compared to my other bikes. At first the grip shifters seemed like they would be a let down but with winter gloves on they really perform quite well. In fact, I would go with a similar shifter on a snow bike in the future having experienced them on the Salsa. Not being used to a rigid bike, I was impressed with how the frame and fork and those huge tires absorb the trail noise. I will admit that the speeds that I am riding in the snow, slush and mud right now are not that condusive to beating up a rider so a better overview of total ride quality will have to wait until the ground thaws. The price is one thing that makes this bike a definite winner. It is amazingly fun and the fact that is costs less then a downhill race fork is awesome. The powder coat is also appealing. The photos online and in magazines don’t do it justice. In person it is really cool. I compared the Mukluk 3 to a Pugsley at a shop and liked the aluminum bike and build kit better. I would even choose it over the new Moonlander because of the aluminum frame.

With tires this wide, drive train compromises sometimes have to be made. The Salsa website talks about possible chain rub issues, and while I haven’t notice them, it seems like it could be a problem with more aggressive tires (Nates) or the larger tires (BigFatLarry). One issue I do have is that the BB5 brakes rub. I like to have my brakes set up so the pull is very little before the brake engages; I’m used to moto. Anyway the BB5 outer brake pad resting position is canted in towards the rotor at the bottom while the top is away from the rotor. To adjust the brakes so the brake pad does not rub make the pull of the lever almost hit the bars before it engages. I use one finger on the brake and the lever will hit my knuckles before it engages at all. If I adjust it so the pull of the lever is correct for my liking then it rubs all the time and squeaks when the bike is pushed backwards. The first thing I will change is the brakes but then again I am very particular about brakes.

Similar Products Used:
None. Bought it cause it looked fun and couldn’t be happier.

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About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.

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