Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mutant Winter III Mutated into Mutant Winter IV!

Congratulate me, the father of a new mutant! Some might think you get used to spawning a new mutant after the first few, but let me tell you, they are so wrong! Every mutation is special in its own way. Some may recall that I put together yet another bike for this winter, Mutant Winter III.

When I wrote that post, this weird thing happened where somebody commented and I responded; it was cool:

Well, John's concerns about "the balance" proved to be more than warranted on this bike. Like I said in my reply, I thought it would be OK, but I was wrong. I don't know if it was related to frame being much lighter (alu instead of steel) or frame geometry or 700c wheels or what, but where the tub used to only lightly affect balance before, on this bike it made the ass end totally whippy and weird. Whippy and weird is not cool when you're riding on ice and snow. The 2nd best tub in town (sniff) had to go.

I got a rear rack for the bike and am using my Ortliebs with it. The rack I bought had no "deck", so I had to come up with a way to avoid the dreaded dirty stripe up the backside. Normal fenders are prone to snow and ice buildup between the tire and the fender, which I hate. The wacked out fender/rack setup I ended up with (zip ties, back duct tape and junkpile fender piece) leaves loads of room for gunk to fly or fall away:

And it shall be called the "rafender"!

I have ridden in lots of slushy snowy goop in the last little while, and the fender stays nice and clear while blocking spray very well. I was surprised that the panniers did not collect any appreciable amount of spooge either. This bike is really working out well so far.

I hope to get a little snow riding video processed soon. It'll be boring, but pretty. Like me.

Yer Pal,


Mighk said...

Re: the tub: The extra weight is in the worst possible location; both too high and behind the rear hub. For the best stability use low-rider racks on the mount fork.

christopheru said...

I find my (cheaper) axiom dry bag panniers get all slimy on the outside - particularly on the side facing the wheels - but never leak. I have been using them for years in all conditions, and don't worry much about them or what goes in them.

I like your fender. Reminds me of my own frankenfenders :) I am doing a mental rethink of my rear fender since it seems to jam up with snow a bit. Once I get it done up properly, I will post what I come up with :)


John said...

Sorry, didn't mean to jinx the rig, I was kinda hopeful your tub worked out as it's about 1/4 the weight and 5 times the size. I'm thinking of a frame bag/box, mounted in forward triangle and making it out of left over-corroplast election signs. =)

Carolyn said...

Cool idea about the fender! I agree, snow gets trapped between fender and wheel.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I think John is onto something with the corroplast. I love that stuff and have some that is black in color. Easy to punch holes in and fasten with cable ties for a semi-pro look. I think boxing in the rear rack with corroplast would make a good gunk-deflector to keep the spooge off the panniers. Maybe even doing away with the need for the rear fender. Anyway cool post Rantwick! Winter riding is rife with challenges and it's interesting to see how riders deal with the many issues.

christopheru said...

What else works, that I have tried, is vinegar jugs cut in half. The make great rack liners and do a great job of uglifying the bike up something awful :)

RANTWICK said...

Mighk - I know, I know. That setup, however, left things acceptably unstable on previous bikes, but downright poor on this one.

Chris - Your frankenfender post prompted me to write this one. I like your frankenfender.

John - You didn't jinx nuthin'

RCT - Corrosplast? Never! I don't know why not, but I say Never! Gotta keep the corroplast lobby angry if I can.

Chris - Uglify away; good idea there. No corroplast in that idea.

Doohickie said...

I got out of the seat to accelerate with the bike loaded like this and almost laid it down in a busy intersection. Bike loading can be tricky.

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