Friday, October 26, 2012

Old Man Mountain Sherpa meets the Salsa Mukluk

In previous posts I have discussed different methods of hauling stuff.  Stuff is another word for junk.  Of course I have used backpacks, messenger bags, a B.O.B. Trailer, Porcelain Rocket seat bag and handlebar bag (not frame bag).  These have all been effective methods some carry more than others and there are so many variables. 

The trailer was great but cumbersome and challenging to park.  If you want take everything inside out of the weather, cumbersome and time consuming but the dry bag is huge and works well.

Porcelain Rocket is great, may be a bit on the pricey side, but there are few companies that do what Scott does.  I guess that falls into supply and demand.  Well made and highly functional.  How much thought can you put into a seat bag....he has though of it all, there is even a rigid plastic sheet in the bottom so gravity doesn't pull your stuff out when you open it.  I also like the minimalistic approach.  I can carry boots and uniform and towel to work in a compact streamlined fashion.  Only drawback is it is not water fast, though the front bag is designed to hold a 10L dry bag. 

Now that winter is fast approaching I have decided it is time for another way to carry junk.  Technical winter clothing works great if used properly.  The right synthetic fleece and jacket can keep you comfy and dry.  Put on a backpack......the wet and cold sets in with the sweaty back and the stuff takes a long time to dry.   In order to ensure I have ample space to carry extra dry clothing and my work attire I have decided to go with a set of Ortlieb waterproof panniers and an Old Man Mountain Sherpa rack for the Muk (The Salsa Mukluk will hithertoforthen be referred to "The Panzer" (the German word for Armor, as in a German Tank or the Panzernashorn).

I typically do a lot of research before buying something.  After all, that is part of the fun.  What I found was that racks for bikes, even those made by companies that manufacture and sell fat bikes, require "manipulation" to fit on a fat bike.  The one exception that I found (there may be others) is the Old Man Mountain Sherpa.  They have specific models for the Salsa Mukluk and Pugsly.  I spoke with John and he was pleasant and quick to respond to questions sent by e-mail.    

It was simple to install with no manipulation required.

The fit kit (aluminum pieces on the left and right side are perfectly spaced.  I put a small washer between the frame and fit kit.  The rack was shipped with the fit kit pieces on the inside of the rack but this would require manipulation, which I was told it could handle.  However, with a hex wrench and a few turns of a 10mm open ended wrench I moved them to the outside.  Perfect. 

The guys at OMM recommended connecting the stabilizers to the seat stays just below the rim with the supplied rubber coated clamps.  I ride and XL and it does not appear that there is a big distance between the anchor point on the rack and eyelets.  I should probably pull our a tape and measure to see if there is a big difference.  After leveling and tightening I put some big dumb animal strength and tried to shift it laterally.  I didn't move so I think I will continue to use the eyelets vs going to the seat stay.  

The Orlieb Panniers with  dry bag construction and roll top will be here next week.  All I can say is that it better snow this year!

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