Soooo.......I took the cheap plunge and last week the Dolomite came double boxed in the mail.......I put it together and took it out for a ride......Wow! This thing is really cool! A coupla/few/many observations....... 1) The geometry is unlike the Mongoose Beast. It does not feel like a cruiser but more like my fixed 29'er. It has steeper angles albeit a longer wheelbase/effective top tube. 2) I have to get a low pressure ti(y)re gauge. I put this on my regular pump and it barely registered. It read like it was close to 5psi but I know it was not. On the ride I had to lower the psi on two different occasions. Before it "felt" right. 3) One observation on my psi, I was riding through poor snow. Probably the worst for this set-up. The snow was between 3"-8" being wet, thick and slushy. The ti(y)res on here appear as if they would ride well over most anything but that. In this type of deep snow, the ti(y)res will slip and once done, it's hard to keep contact. Even with the psi lowered, they still slipped some. The ti(y)res will/would do quite well on singletrack/gravel/sand and whatnot. This confirmed the fact that I will for sure put Surly Nates on it as the major upgrade, as I will pretty much only be using this bike in the various snow(s). 4) Otherwise, darn thing rolls over anything. 5) It is definitely heavy. It most definitely does not ride heavy and rode fairly smooth. It was rather impressive. 6) On that note, the gearing, I feel, is just a hair too tall for what I'm using it for. It works fine actually but I'm almost running out of gear. I may drop the front down and/or put a 14-32/34 on the back. On flat or light/rolling grade dry(ish) singletrack it should do quite well. It has a 36 ring up front and a 14-28 out back for reference. 7) I was surprised that the saddle was pretty comfortable. 8) This bike is probably worth more than the $245 (w/tax & delivery) I spent on it. 9) The rims/crank/stem/disc brakes are aluminum. Everything else is steel including the hubs. 10) So you understand some of the geometry, I'm 4'18" and the seatpin sits 20cm (to the rails of the saddle) above the top of the seat tube. I run the height of the saddle on all my bikes 72cm from the center of the crank spindle to the top of the saddle. I thought I would have to drop it 5mm because I assumed the crank arms were 175mm. They are not. They are 170mm. But what's good for you taller folks is the reach. The effective top tube is is just a hair too long for me. I will fix that with some swept back risers. Some/Not all Measurements..... Seat tube CTT 17"
Effective TT 61cm
Front dropouts 135mm
Rear dropouts 190mm
From what I understand the angles are exactly the same as the smallest Surly Pug with the head tube at 70 degrees and the seat tube at 73 degrees. 11) Because I'm so vertically challenged I though the Q-factor would bother me. Albeit it's wide, it worked well and did not feel out of place. We'll see how it feels on a long(er) ride. 12) The parts are low quality but they work. Brakes/discs needed to be tweaked. 13) BB shell is 100mm and the darn spindle sticks out a good 23mm on each side to the backside of the crank arm. Running it clipless. 14) Shimano Tourney rear derailleur with a twist/grip shifter. Needed to be adjusted and my hanger was ever so slightly bent. Easy fix. 15) On the website it says the frameset is aluminum/steel. It is steel. 16) The paint and finish on this thing is superb. Soooo......the plan. I was going to strip it and repaint it to something I like but the paint is kinda nice. Undecided. But that's secondary. The real work will be with the parts. My bins are full and I will replace the crank, rear cluster (7-speed freewheel) to a larger set, saddle, seatpin, stem, bars, levers, and replace the ti(y)res with some Surly Nates. Not sure about the disc brakes yet as I don't have anything in my bin to swap those out with. I am going to most definitely drill out the rims and replace the tubes with 26x2.5er's or go tubeless. That should make it lighter and more enjoyable to ride. But it's looking good so far. For anyone else out there lookin' for an inexpensive introduction into the Fat Bike experience, this might be the bike for you. Definitely worth it, even more so since it has the exact same geometry as a Pug. The steel is not double butted, but straight gauge, which at this price point doesn't matter. The welds are excellent. I would think as long as it's not dropped off of big jumps, the bike should hold up well. I know the BB spindle was a problem on the Beast. Not sure yet if that is the case here albeit mine is just flat trail riding. Thanks. Ride well.
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