Fat Biking The Tasmanian Trail

I just got back from a week Fat Biking the Tasmanian Trail. Here is a selection of photos. I didn't take a dedicated camera so these shots are from my Galaxy Note 4.

Waiting to board the overnight ferry from Melbourne to Devonport

The Tasmanian Trail

Surly Pugsley loaded up with Revelate handlebar and aeatbags and a Bike Bag Dude custom framebag.

Access to some nice trails

Trail markers not always this easy to spot.

Entering the Cluan Tiers

In the Gog Ranges. Not sure how this car got up here.

Caves Track leading up to the Central Plateau

The lakes on the Central Plateau

Cycling the Central Plateau

Camping by Bronte Lagoon - Bronte Park

Gravel Grinding to the town of Ouse.

River crossing on the way to Ellendale.

Heading up Jeffereys Track and over the Wellington Range.

Wheres the pot of gold. The seaside town of Dover and the finish.

Done ~500kms 6 days

Pugsley 1 x 10 Conversion

I rarely leave a bike stock after purchase. Whether it's as simple as replacing the seat, or upgrading the cheap components which manufacturers consistently seem to sneak in with off the shelf bikes. 

I recently purchased a second hand Surly Pugsley which was a sweet deal given that it had almost never been ridden. I have always loved the utility and style of Surly bikes, but never found the excuse to add one to my stable. The deal was to good to refuse and the temptation of finally owning a fat bike to much to resist!

The stock running gear on the Pugsley is of reasonable quantity so I didn't feel the need to upgrade anything in that respect. It does come with a 3 x 10 drivetrain and Microshifters. I like simplicity in my bikes and have always had a disliking for front derailluers. My Niner MCR hardtail has a 1 x 10 setup and many of my other bikes are single speed. I don't really plan on riding the Pugsley in snow, so there was no need for the Microshift SL-T10 shifters which are alpine glove friendly. Time for a new 1 x 10 setup!

I love the recent innovation in the drop stop front chainrings, which means you don't have to run a chain guide. Nothing looks nicer on a bike than a clean drivetrain so I purchased a Wolf Tooth Components Drop-Stop Chainring.  The Pugsley came with Shimano running gear. I favour SRAM for my mountain bikes so I took the opportunity to switch over to an X9 derailluer and a 11 x 36 chainring. Even though weight loss was not my main driver I thought it would be an interesting exercise to do a weight comparison as a part of the change over.

Stock triple chainring with bolts - 342 grams

Shimano Deore 9 speed Derailluer - 306 grams

Shimano 9 speed HG-61 cassette - 346 grams

SRAM PC-1071 Chain - 314 grams

Microshift SL-T10 Shifters (Front and Rear) - 166 grams

Shimano SLX Front Derailluer - 208 grams

Wolf Tooth Components 104 BCD 32T Chainring with Truvativ bolts - 64g

SRAM X9 10 speed derailluer - 252 grams

SRAM 10 speed PG-1070 Cassette - 368 grams

SRAM PC-1091 Chain - 266 grams

SRAM X0 10 Speed Rear Trigger Shifter - 114 grams

Stock Part (3x9) Weight Replacement Part (1x10) Weight
Stock triple chainring with bolts 342g Wolf Tooth Components 104 BCD 32T Chainring with Truvativ bolts 64g
Shimano Deore 9 speed Derailluer 306g SRAM X9 10 speed Derailluer 252g
Shimano 9 speed HG-61 cassette 346g SRAM 10 speed PG-1070 Cassette 368g
SRAM PC-1071 Chain 314g SRAM PC-1091 Chain 266g
Microshift SL-T10 Shifters (Front and Rear) 166g SRAM X0 10 Speed Rear Trigger Shifter 114g
Shimano SLX Front Derailluer 208g None -
Total 1682g Total 1064g

New SRAM 1x10 Drivetrain with Wolf Tooth Components Drop-Stop Chain Ring

The Everyday Bike

My criteria for a commuting bike is simple.

1. Low Maintenance - as it is generally the bike you ride everyday.

2. Fun to ride - as it is generally the bike you ride everyday.

3. Not too fancy - you don't want something that is going to tempt the thieves.

I have been using the same bike for commuting to and from work for the last 15 years, so I thought it was high time for a change!

My current Cannondale F700 commuter

The classic Headshock suspension system.

My Cannondale F700 is still looking good and a great fun bike to commute on everyday. It has been though a number of incarnations from the original 8 speed grip shift mountain bike to it's current single speed with slicks variation.

Amazingly the original headshock suspension system is still going strong with almost zero maintenance over the last 15 years.

Late one night while nursing my daughter with an ear ache I was browsing bikeexchange.com.au and could not pass up a 2013 Kona Unit on sale.

After some modifications it is now ready to take over the reigns as my day to day commuter.

The naked paintwork of the Kona Unit is very low key and designed to not attract too much attention.

Singlespeed simplicity is perfect for the daily commute. I converted the original 32x18 gearing to a 32x14 as my commute is generally flat.

Flat pedals and toe straps provides options for footwear.

Some recycled Racing Ralph tyres provide a faster tread pattern than the original Maxxis Ikons.

The rear back guard is the only thing retained from the F700. A must for keep your back dry during the wet winter months.

Some other future improvements include some tubeless rims as the stock hoops are just way too heavy. 


Iceland has been on my list of top cycling destinations for the longest time. Here's a nice video which should show you why! As a bonus it also has some great skateboarding at the start.