Surly Black Floyd First Impressions

I love my fat bike. Plain and simple. I think there is a lot of mentality that a fat bike is for snow or sand riding, and while they do provide great riding in those conditions, they are not a one trick pony. They are a blast in a lot of riding conditions. I wanted to ride my fat bike throughout summer around town as a commuter. Because of not wanting to prematurely wear out the off road tires that come on most fat bikes, and wanting a smoother roll for riding around town, I purchased a set of Surly Black Floyd tires.

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Black Floyds as described by the folks at Surly:

Sometimes a lot of tread isn’t necessary. Sometimes, even on a fat bike, you don’t want to run real low pressure in your tires. Sometimes even fat bikes want to stretch their legs and run. Enter Black Floyd. Black Floyd allows you to pump up the pressure and cruise like a ’71 El Dorado. The casing is designed to work best on 65mm rims. The tread is comprised of tightly spaced low profile “bricks”. Naturally, it’s designed for street and hardpack conditions. We expect the unicyclers will dig this one too. Your ideal pressure will vary according to what you want to ride, but in those places where less is more, Black Floyd will transform your fat bike into a road warrior. 120tpi casing, in wire or Kevlar bead.

First Impressions are that I like them. They provide a smoother and faster rolling experience than any other fat bike tire I have tried to date. They won’t make a fat bike roll like a road bike, but they will allow a platform for pretty effortless 15mph riding around town. I have put about two weeks of riding on them already and love them. I will provide a long term update that details wear and other long term aspects after more time on them.

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It Wouldn’t Be A Bicycle Blog Without Bicycles

I am fortunate to own several bicycles. I thoroughly enjoy them all for different purposes. In my adult life, I started with a 2010 Trek 6500 mountain bike. It introduced me to a new possibility of enjoyment in the form of riding single track. Little did I know the impact that summer of riding would have on me. Flash forward two years, and I was ready for an upgrade. I settled on a 2010 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Elite. This was also the time when I was introduced to Bloomington Cycle & Fitness. From my first experience in the shop through today, I can’t speak highly enough for them. The owners and employees are knowledgeable and are cyclist themselves. I heard a good friend say something that I believe sums up the experience well, Bloomington Cycle & Fitness sells cycling as a lifestyle, not bicycles. Today I am pretty happy and honored to be friends with the crew. Good people through and through. The Stumpjumper FSR was a great bike and provided me countless great memories including my first mountain bike race at Kickapoo, IL. Having a mountain bike was great but in Illinois, you can only ride at the mercy of weather and trail conditions, and in the spring, this is a bummer without a road bike. Enter my purchase of a 2011 Specialized Roubaix. Since purchasing, I have added a 2012 Sram Red group with the previous Sram Red crank set and front derailleur. I have also added a set of Renyolds Assault wheels, Specialized Romain saddle, carbon handlebar and Look pedals.

2011 Specialized Roubaix
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Around this time, the groups of people I was riding with and myself started to be a little more interested in racing mountain bikes. The Stumpjumper FSR was a fun bike, but chasing race bikes on it was a little tough. I decided to purchase a more race orientated mountain bicycle. I purchased a 2011 Stumpjumper Expert 29er. Great bicycle that still is very fast, probably more so than I am. Since purchasing the bicycle, I have added a new wheel set of DT Swiss 240 hubs and Stans Arch rims, carbon handlebar, carbon seat post, Syntace 105mm stem, and Shimano XTR pedals.

2011 Stumpjumper Expert 29er
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By this time, I was riding a lot. I rode the previous winter on the Stumpjumper FSR, but that was less than ideal in deep snow. I was following fat bikes which are made for riding in snow, sand, or anything else really. I couldn’t swing a fat bike that winter but I was hooked, I knew I had to have one. The next winter I made that happen with the purchase of a 2011 Surly Pugsley. Fat bikes resonated instantly with me. I love riding a bike with the sole purpose of enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong, I love riding a road bike and mountain bike, but most of the time, those are at great speed and focused on training for the season. With a fat bike, for me, it’s only about enjoying the moment.

Around this time, I had an accident while riding that resulted in a broken neck. Long story short, it sucked, but everything worked out. I had to take the majority of 2012 off of cycling. I now have a ti souvenir, and my wife can say that I’m screwed up :)

Going into this year’s mountain bike season, I knew I wanted to race a full suspension bike. It was a pretty easy choice to pick a Specialized Epic as I had fallen in love with them over the years demoing them. I sold my 2010 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, and purchased a 2013 S-Works Epic XTR. I have added a carbon Specialized Phenom saddle, a shorter 75mm Syntace stem, and Shimano XTR pedals.

2013 S-Works Epic XTR
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The winter after the accident, I was riding my Pugsely as often as I could. I made the decision to upgrade my fatbike and sold my Pugsely. I purchased a 2012 Salsa Mukluk Ti. Since purchasing it, I added a Thomson 90mm stem, carbon handlebar, Specialized Phenom saddle, Carver O’Beast carbon fork, and a variety of tires, most recently a set of Surly Black Floyd 120 TPI’s for summer rolling around. The bike is too fun to put up for the summer.

2012 Salsa Mukluk Ti
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And that, is my collection at the moment. Thanks for reading!

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