SOLD: Salsa Mukluk for sale

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My 2014 Salsa Mukluk 3 is for sale in Anchorage, AK.  The 19″ (L) bike is mostly stock, with some unique customizations including 1 1/2″ drilled rims and tubeless Surly Nate tires, a combination which saves over one pound per wheel.  The bike has been ridden for five months and maintained by a professional mechanic.  The sale also includes a custom Porcelain Rocket framebag, Revelate Designs Gas Tank, Redline Monster pedals, and about 150 Grip Studs for winter riding.  The steerer tube is uncut to fit a variety of riders.  $1500 for the bike, studs, and framebag.

Contact me if interested.

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Does it work?

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Update: Check out my updated Tubeless Fatbike Guide for information on the non-split tube tubeless method.  The method used here is still relevant, and may be more reliable in situations where bead retention is of greatest concern, such as on rough rocky trails.  The non-split tube method described in the guide mentioned above is a little lighter.  For the most reliable tubeless system, consider adhering the split-tube to the tire bead to create an airtight unit, much like a tubular tire. (2/16/2014)

Does our home-brew tubeless fatbike system work, as on this tubeless Moonlander? These are goatheads.  These are tubeless fatbike tires: 4.7″ Surly Big Fat Larry tires to 100mm Clownshoe rims.  These two wheels are entirely cluttered with spiny goathead thorns– perhaps 500 in total.  This is no match for a tubeless system and some Stan’s liquid sealant.  Ride on.

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Thanks to Two Wheel Drive for the demo Moonlander for the weekend.  Live near ABQ and want to ride a fatbike?  Come find me at TWD on Tuesdays.

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A half-gallon


Five and a third cans of Coke, a carton of milk, a growler of beer, or two and a half bottles of wine each make a half-gallon. This is also the liquid capacity of the typical touring bike carrying three plastic water bottles in three aluminum bottle cages. Years ago, in search of more water I ordered a 34 oz Zefal plastic bottle– the threads were poorly fit and the top leaked. I have used MSR Dromedary water bladders, but they can be cumbersome in use and can result in a high center of mass depending upon where they are carried. When using a framebag, a water bladder can be smartly stored inside the pack. Now, I prefer stainless steel Klean Kanteen bottles as they resist odors and flavors. There’s a new bottle in town and it leaves water tasting like water.



Leave Tang, or chocolate milk or malt liquor in a plastic bottle through an afternoon in Arizona heat and even with a few rinses, you’ll have a moldy bottle in no time. I now carry 40 oz. Klean Kanteen bottles in Profile Design Kages, whose plastic winged shape expands to fit the shape of larger bottles, including 1L glass bottles of Pellegrino and High Life, or a bottle of wine and baguette. It’s a bit of a stretch to fit the 40 oz. bottle, but with some use and a Kanteen full of hot water to mold the plastic to shape, the Kage complies.

A recent discovery: The Salsa Anything Cage fits the 64 oz. Klean Kanteen nicely, even with an insulating wrap in cold temperatures. It is designed to be a versatile cradle, to which various cylindrical or soft goods can be stowed.

In addition to safe drinking water, I can heat water in the Kanteen for tea, when my cookpot is indisposed, say, when I am eating oatmeal from it. Similarly, one can defrost a bottle over the stove, frozen by a cold night. Just don’t leave a full bottle out in the cold with it’s cap on. Unscrew the cap to prevent an explosive event.

The new 64 oz. Kleen Kanteen can replace or augment any touring system. For the bikepacking set, avoid storing water on the fork legs where it may affect handling. Replace the water capacity lost with the use of a framebag. An additional 2L bladder in the framebag and a 64 oz. Kanteen under the downtube– 4 liters total– is enough water for a full day’s ride, or for a dry camp overnight. Surely, extra bladders could be carried without penalty of weight or space. MSR Bladders are rugged, but the Nalgene-style top is bulky. Platypus bladders in 0.5, 1 and 2L sizes are cheap and fold into the corners of a pannier or framebag for later deployment.

Clean water stored in the capacious 64 oz Klean Kanteen is no heavier than “lightweight” plastic bottles. Consider the following:

The typical touring bike carries three plastic water bottles, each 24 oz.:

Salsa Nickless water bottle cage: 50 g x 3= 150g

Specialized 24 oz. water bottle: 85 g x 3=255g

M5 mounting bolts: 3 g x 6=18g

72 oz water: 2129 g

Total weight: 2552 g= 35.44g/oz.

A single stainless steel 64 oz. Klean Kanteen bottle with a Salsa anything cage:

Salsa Anything cage: 120 g with straps

Klean Kanteen 64 oz.: 11.625 ounces, 330 g

M5 mounting bolts (x3): 9 g

64 oz. water:1893 g

Total weight: 2352= 36.75 g/oz

Of course, if light weight is of great importance, a 2L soda bottle would suffice and is easily replacable at no cost. This is the approach many lightweight thru-hikers take, and it would lower the weight/volume ratio below that of multiple plastic bike bottles.

Klean Kanteen also makes bottles in 12, 18, 27, and 40 oz. capacities. The 40 or 64 oz bottles are certainly the way to go to reduce hardware weight and/or to carry fewer bottles. If only someone would make a dedicated bottle cage for the 40 oz bottle.


Small frames such as Lael’s LHT do not accept large bottles under the downtube, and are further limited by tire and fender dimensions.

The width of the Anything Cage may interfere with chainrings when mounted low on the underside of the downtube. It is generally narrow enough to avoid the crank arms. It can be mounted at various heights using the three mounting holes, or using hose clamps.

The cage should be mounted flush against the frame, if possible. Mounting to one mounting bolt and using several hose clamps has the potential to create undue stresses on the cage. The ideal mount would be like those found on Salsa touring frames, designed for the three bolt pattern of the Anything Cage. All three holes are 64mm apart, designed to match the distance between normal bottle mounts. If using two bottle mounts and a single hose clamp, I suspect that spacing the cage away from the frame to meet the height of the frame braze-ons would reduce the chance of failure. Torsional forces endured while attached the fork of a bicycle are more likely to lead to failure. Forces under the downtube are almost exclusively in the vertical plane, and are less likely to force cages away from their mounts. In sum, beware when bolting or clamping items to the fork; both fatigue and snagging are possible.


About framebags


(Since receiving responses from Eric, Scott, Sarah, Beth and Jeremy, I have edited some content regarding product details and ordering.)

St. Valentine’s Day– not the occasion for me to dine in an expensive restaurant or support the trade of imported flowers. Rather, Lael wins the prize of a Revelate Viscacha seatpack packed with 5 lbs. of oranges and a bunch of bananas. Like a Carradice bag it sits below the saddle, although is suspended from the seatrails and is strapped around the seatpost with a rugged Velcro-backed webbing and the base of the bag is stiffened by a Rhinotec exterior. (Edit: I mistakenly identified this material as Hypalon, another synthetic textured rubber.  Eric, of Revelate, says that Rhinotec holds up better in use). The bag claims a 14L capacity, like my smaller Carradice Lowsaddle Longflap, and minimizes in size like a rolltop drybag when even smaller loads are carried so that the contents are never tossed about and the bag rides securely over uneven terrain. The bag is mainly constructed of a rigid laminated sailcloth– the Dimension Polyant X-Pac series– which is a composition of familiar materials designed to maximize abrasion and UV resistance, water resistance, and rigidity. This fabric is becoming common in high performance outdoor equipment and was originally designed for use in sails.

The Dimension Polyant X-Pac VX series (numbered 7, 21, and 42) is comprised of multiple layers of fibers, laminated for maximal benefit. Outer nylon fibers resist abrasion while the X-pattern ripstop prevents the proliferation of tears and resists stretching; a layer of polyester fabric lends seam strength and UV resistance. PET waterproof coating is sandwiched between the layers to limit the passage of water, and is less vulnerable to puncture and abrasion than externally coated or impregnated fabrics such as urethane coated nylon or silicone impregnated nylon. The sum of these features is a lightweight, durable, all-weather material which resists sagging and stretching, and lends rigidity without stiffeners or hardware. A great source for DIY outdoor fabric– Rockywoods— supplies X-Pac VX series fabrics under the name “X-Pac laminated ripstop” and also supplies Dyneema, Cordura, silnylon, illuminite reflective nylon, waterproof zippers and other materials to the adventurous home stitcher.

Given multiplicitous frame dimensions and shapes, custom frame bags are almost always required for a good fit. As a result, homemade framebags are becoming quite popular and the confidence to stitch a bag can be found in a few hours trolling the internet. With a standard home sewing machine, some material ordered from the internet or scavenged from alternative sources (used backpacks or tents, etc.), and a few hours or more, one could be on their way to “bikepacking”.

Bikepacking, for the uninitiated, is the practice of bike touring with the mentality of lightweight backpacking which allows a hybrid or mountain bike to explore more rugged terrain, more easily. It’s a sub-genre of a sub-culture, and there’s a website. is a place that’ll recommend you sleep on a car windshield sunshade; cook over a beer can, or not at all; and travel fast, light, and happy over hill and dale. Here’s a neat video that summarizes the process of stitching a framebag:

A list of custom and semi-custom frame bag manufacturers for rackless or rack-lite touring:

Porcelain Rocket– Scott Felter offers full custom framebags, handlebars systems, seatbags, accessory bags, a new Anything bag for the Salsa Anything cage and Big Dummy-specific bags. He seems to have found his stride in recent years and is open to new projects. This summer, a friend had a zipper malfunction on a PR framebag– likely the result of trail dust and mud– Scott replaced the bag in good faith for a bag with a more rugged zipper, shipping to a remote location. Greg, Cass and Nancy adorned their Surly Trolls with Porcelain Rocket bags this summer; all smiles and good words about Scott. Quality is superb, wait-times are reasonable and the products are constantly evolving. Top-notch customer service. –Victoria, B.C., CA

Revelate Designs– Eric Parsons offers a full line of framebags, Viscacha and Pika seatbags, handlebar systems, gas tanks, and mountain feed bags. Bringing Alaskan ruggedness and custom-quality bags to the masses, Revelate is now supplying bags to QBP to fit Pugsley and Mukluk frames. Speedway Cycles also stocks bags to fit the full range of Fatback bikes.  As a result, expect to see a lot more Revelate bags out on the road and trail.  While framebags are custom made to frame dimensions, any bike shop with a QBP account can now order the Viscacha seat bag, a top tube bag, or a mountain feed bag, which are likely to fit every bike in your stable. Rumors suggest that bags may be available on a production basis for other touring oriented models from Surly and Salsa, such as the Fargo and the Troll. Quality is excellent and customer-service is excellent.  (Edit: Eric responded quickly to my e-mail, and has verified that these rumors are true.  More Salsa and Surly bikes with framebags, coming soon.  He says, “And I’m working on a bunch of new stuff for this spring that is going to kick ass.)  No custom option. –Anchorage, AK, USA

Hamilton Threadworks– Sarah Hamilton began stitching custom bags this past year and one of her first bags rested between Jay Petervary’s spinning legs over the course of his record-setting Great Divide ITT this fall. A zipper failed the second day out, but a safety pin held things together for the remaining 15 days, 9 hours. These days her zippers are holding together and she’s developed some new features. Elastic panels allow versatility when packing odd sized objects, and lessens stress on the zippers. Sarah’s clients include other bike elite in the Teton/Jackson region and currently, the purchase of a snowbike from Fitzgerald’s Bicycles in Victor, ID includes a free Hamilton Threadworks custom bag. Keep your eye on her work. –Victor, ID, USA

Carousel Design Works– Jeff Boatman offers the full range of framebags, seatpacks, and accessory bags. Most products are available from a list of current offerings listed in a pdf file published every few months. It’s hard to ignore the numerous complaints of poor communication and long wait times. Inspiring bags; uninspiring service. Quality appears to be excellent, if you can get a hold of it. –Sonora, CA, USA

Cleaveland Mountaineering– Jeremy Cleaveland has only recently begun selling custom bags for bike adventures, but has been exploring the mountains and making his own gear for ten years. Currently earning a second bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in Grand Junction, CO, his work looks promising and his approach is novel: make bags, ride bikes, make better bags, ride bikes, etc. He is his own critic and seems to be evolving the product at a rapid pace, all while attending school. Jeremy’s mantra, “better suffering through engineering” is dark praise for the physical challenges that we engage, or endure, for recreation and pleasure, but it may be more truth than many of us realize. Prices are good. –Grand Junction, CO

Wildcat Gear– Beth Barrington began this Wales-based company this past year to serve the burgeoning UK bikepacking and adventure racing scene, offering handlebar systems and framebags, with other products due out soon. Looks nice, and a good option for those on the islands.  The associated blog from Ian Barrington, “Middle Ring All the Way”, serves some superlight bike adventures (e.g. 34lb Welsh Divide adventure race bike, with sleep system, food and water). –Wales

Phantom Pack Systems– Nicely made framebags, handlebar systems, accessory bags, and seatbags with built in fenders. –Canada

Carradice saddlebags offer an alternative to the modern seatbag and are best mounted to saddles with bag loops, such as most leather saddles have. Simple and ruggedly constructed for over 75 years, the cotton duck construction is ideal for carrying soft goods such as clothing, sleeping gear, tent, or food. Models range from less than 10L to 24L, while “longflap” models offer flexibility when overpacking with extra food or when removing layers. No custom options. Quality is good and materials are rugged. –Nelson, Lancashire, England

Seattle Fabrics also supplies outdoor fabrics; consider Dyneema, a ripstop nylon, and Cordura, an ultra-abrasion resistant nylon for bags and packs.

Check out Justin’s framebag project and Scotty’s bag.20120223-000430.jpg