You've seen the pleas.
You've seen the postings.
You've been annoyed.
Yep, my guitar finally sold! And you know what that means? I can buy a fat bike! So you wanna know what I did? You wanna read about what I did?
I bought a fat bike.
To catch you up, in the past year or so I have been riding, checking out, and reading about various fat bikes. I had gone from a super budget bike to an expensive one, back to a budget-ish one, and all over the place.
Finally, I had it narrowed down; I was pretty much set on the Framed Alaskan Alloy ($1400). It wasn't due until mid-November, and I was fine with that. But then the date got pushed back to sometime in December, and I got kinda sketched out, not wanting to wait for an unknown and liable-to-change release date. So I crossed it off the list.
Note here that the Alaskan is a sweet bike, (and for the money, the Minnesotas ($8-900) are too, and the dudes at The House Boardshop are really stoked on the Framed bikes, rightfully so. Also, with this being my first fat bike purchase, I decided I wanted local bike shop support. That, and the wheels on the Alaskan were a huge question mark. Either way, it's off the list, for now.
Another one on the short list was the Specialized Fatboy ($2100), which I had ridden a month or two back, and it was pretty sweet, but not $2100 sweet. Having bought my first mountain bike from Erik's Bike Shop a year and a half ago, I thought I would call and see if they could do anything on the price. So I called, asked if they could help a brother out. You know, the kind of brother that would be buying his second bike in less than two years. The dude advised that because there are only two size medium Fatboys in the entire (entire!) company, they couldn't do anything. I forgot that Specialized isn't a huge company and probably couldn't send more bikes when current stock gets depleted. That, and when I brought my bike in for a tune up, they fucked up the rear derailleur.
Then I heard some 2014 models were on closeout at a local bike shop, so I went to check them out. First I took out a 2014 Salsa Mukluk 3 $(1550), it was great, but the component spec was pretty entry level compared to the price, and the undrilled rims, however petty, were a deal-breaker. So a (large) step up, the 2014 Salsa Mukluk 2 ($2000), was there too. A great bike for a great price. Also, they had a 2015 Muk 3 ($1950), which for essentially the same price as last year's Muk 2, you get a lower spec. But that wine red color though.
Note here again, if you're choosing between any of those three, there isn't a bad choice. And the bike shop has a great reputation.
The day I rode the Mukluks, a Tuesday, I also put in a call to the other LBS and inquired about the Trek Farley that I was told was due in mid-October. At this point, I was wrestling with the 2014 Muk 2 for $2000. Note here that Heckyeahwoman gave me the go ahead no problem. It was my own inner demons and strife (Yes, Strife!) that held me up. Fast forward to Thursday, and I get a call from the LBS that one 2015 Trek Farley 6 ($1750) in each size will be available on Friday for testing.
So what did I do?
I went over Friday after work and rode it.
Then you wanna know what I did?
I bought the fuckin' thing.
Then you wanna know what I did?
I rode it furiously.
The bike is awesome. It rides (shitloads) better than my (entry level) mountain bike, a 2013 Specialized Rockhopper, which B-T-dubbs I really like. It's light and the component spec is great, especially for the price.
It's funny, they say when you ride a fat bike, the smile never leaves your face. Unfortunately, my smile is two thirds sneer and one third scowl. So while I may look like I'm pissed and don't want to be on my fat bike, know that I really do. Also of note, as stupid as it may sound, I really didn't want to go over the $2000 price point. Yeah my wife is awesome and was cool with that, but it was an asshole personal thing.
It's been almost a month and I'm still super happy. The bike shop, Riverside Bike & Skate has been fantastic. Their service has been top notch, and the guys there are almost as PUMPED as I am. Nice touch: they threw in the shitty pedals from the test ride, and when that shitty pair busted up, they threw on another pair for me in the interim while I wait for my nicer ones to ship, no charge.
Best part though, bringing the bike home and having Heckyeahwoman jump on it, and with that perfect smile, her telling me she wants one. So yep, my mountain bike is now for sale - you should start seeing those postings soon.