Custom Moonlander Build

Al Dixon, one of our long time part time shop guys, just finished building up a gorgeous Moonlander FatBike with the help of shop mechanic Liam and shared some pics and some of his rationale / specs with us.  It’s a sweet ride and worth a post…

Al’s goal on this project was simply to build up an expedition-worthy ride with a bit of a custom touch that features a collection of reliable, time-tested components that are suitable to his type of riding.  He knows that any Surly bike is far from being a factory lightweight at the best of times so he wasn’t always concerned with having the absolute lightest set up.  As we all know, when building any bike from the ground up the three concepts you hope to achieve are lightweight, reliable and inexpensive, but in reality you only get two out of the three at most, or possibly a balance (and a maybe a bit of compromise) on all three if you’re lucky.

All reached a good balance, though he probably compromised most on cost.   That’s okay because he hopes to make this project his weapon of choice as he attacks the Arrowhead for his third attempt later in January 2014.  Hopefully we’ll get a race report, including the performance of his new steed.

Here’s the spec:

– 2014 Surly Moonlander custom powder coated by Villain Ride Co.  Colour is Starburst Orange Copper with matching Parka Pull Tab bottle mount created by Pete McAdams of Winnipeg.

– Drivetrain is a two by ten set up featuring Shimano XT 11-34 on the rear, Race Face 36 x 22 cogs on the front.

– Shifters are Shimano 10 speed bar end – type mounted on Paul Components Thumbies mated to an XT front and Shimano Ultegra long-cage rear derailleur (the Ultegra set up works better with the ten speed thumb shifters than with a mountain rear derailleur such as an XTR, XT or Deore).

– Brakes are Avid BB7 cable activated disks (more reliable in the cold than some hydraulics) controlled by Paul Components Two and a Half levers.  Handlebar is a Salsa Two-Bend model with 17 degrees of sweep (very comfortable on the wrists).  Grips are Ergon BioKork (cork provides better insulation than than the rubber versions).  Race Face stem, 120 mm length.

– Race Face carbon fat bike specific cranks. (Editor’s note: I ride these too, as does Liam, the dude who put this bike together, and they are as sweet as you think they are)

– Brooks B-17 leather saddle on Paul Components Tall and Handsome seatpost (Al’s note: I’m hoping the Brooks saddle works out, but if it doesn’t, I’ll be switching it.  The issue for me is always whether or not I can get enough setback for comfort and the Paul Component post is said to be the one that provides enough of said setback, so I’ll see how it goes.  Also, leather is a lot warmer and I have a fat ass, so the extra width helps too.  As we all know, Brooks saddles are quite heavy but when the finished bike is bound to be north of 32 pounds. I’m not sure a few grams less in this department outweighs the comfort factor).

– White Bros Snowpack carbon fork with Moonlander specific steerer tube.

– Wheels are in-house custom build (by Liam, natch!) featuring a Paul Components WHUB on the front (this hub is the most compatible model for the Snowpack fork) and Chris King on the rear.

– Tires are Surly “Lou’s”, both front and rear.

– Rims are polished silver Surly Clown Shoes drilled to accept Schrader tubes.

– Headset is standard 1 and 1/8 Chris King AheadSet and seat post collar is a Salsa Grip-Lock (both in matching silver, just for some co-ordinating bling).

– Pedals are 45NRTH Helva’s (if the Wolvehammer boots work out, I’ll be trying to go clipless instead).