Another Snow Bike! The Salsa Mukluk.

I’ve got a thing for snow bikes. Maybe it’s a grass is always greener thing. We don’t have snow here in Los Angeles. Up in the mountains sure, but this is the desert. A tamed desert at that. We have manicured green lawns that are fed by water from other states. So it’s hard to justify owning one of these strange bikes here. That doesn’t mean I don’t want one though. And I want one bad. I just got the chance to ride the Surly Pugsley for the first time last Thursday. It was so much fun, that I thought about just riding to the truck and speeding off. I figured we’d work it out later. It was my size, so why not right? Yesterday, to make matters worse, Salsa introduced the Mukluk. Damn! Another snow bike to consider? Wait, did I just say consider? Serbrina may be reading this. I mean lust after! I’m not considering it. I am not considering it!

Yeah, I’m considering it. Can you blame me?

The Salsa Mukluk frame is aluminum versus the steel Surly Pugsley. I don’t know how I feel about that, as all but one of my bikes are steel. Yeah, I’m kind of a bike snob, no relation. Both bikes use a steel fork, with the Salsa Enabler having braze-ons to carry racks and water bottles. The Enabler fork doesn’t have the bend that the Surly Pugsley fork has, which to me is better looking. There’s a reason though. The front is 135mm spacing, while the rear is 170mm. That means that if you want to switch the front wheel/tire to the rear, you need a spacer (which comes with the frame). This not a problem on the Surly Pugsley, because the front and rear are both 135mm spacing. The Mukluk is disc only, compared to the canti posts on the fork of the Surly Pugsley. I’m not so sure that canti’s would work that well though. That’s a huge tire to slow and I’d think that disc brakes would be the way to go.

I’d love to see one of these in person and ride one. I can think of some adventures that would be great on a bike like this. There’s a trail road in the sierras that takes up to a beautiful valley. The main problem is that there’s a lot of sand at the bottom of the climb that you’d have to ride through. I rode my KTM 990 up there a couple of years ago. I can see a Salsa Mukluk, loaded with some gear, riding here. That’s enough reason to get one right? Right?

  • I have mixed feelings. Keep in mind that I have not ridden any snow bike, so I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    Part of me says there’s no need to justify any bike. So quit trying!

    The other part of me says, if you must justify it, it’s a real stretch. How bad is the sand on that trail/road? Could it be done on the Fargo? Are there other, similar sandy spots where you’d like to ride?

    I thought it was interesting that the Salsa is aluminum, too. I also prefer steel, but for a snow bike, aluminum might be more practical, given all the salt and wetness it’s going to have be exposed to.

    • I was joking about having to justify it. We don’t have snow like Alaska, so a “snow bike” in LA just seems crazy. That makes it all the more desirable to me though. It’s just the way I am. If I had one, I’d ride it everywhere. I don’t need to get one for just a specific place. It does make me think if specific places though. Places that would be hard on any bike, maybe even tough on a snow bike.

  • jamesmallon

    Call it a ‘sand-bike’! Aluminum is fine with tires that cushy, no?

    • Yes, it is! Good point! I forgot though, I do have an aluminum bike already. I have a 97 Voodoo Bantu that is aluminum so the Mukluk would be right at home.

  • I had to enter the 2007 and 2008 Arrowhead 135 to justify my Pugsley purchase back in 2006. Even if I moved somewhere with no snow I’d still keep my Pugsley. It’s the only bike that has me smiling from the first crank of the pedals to the last.

  • keith

    I live in Phoenix and I would LOVE to have one of these! It
    would be a blast for me on any terrain I think. My only

  • keith

    My only question is how much Stan’s would it take to keep
    the tires running tubeless!!!! Great bike, hope I can afford one
    some day to go with my Jet9 and my Flash 29 SS bikes!