Name? Simon Denton
Job? Company Director
Bike? Surly Pugsley
Is it factory standard or have you upgraded? If so, why the upgrade? Unusually for me, it is pretty much stock! That said, I bought the Pugs as a complete build and at that time the green model came with thumbshifters and the black finish with trigger shifters. Me being me, I wanted the black but with thumbies, so had them swapped at point of sale. Other than that it is all simple stuff like bottle cage, pedals, etc and of course a stem cap that allows a beer bottle top!
Do you obsess about tyre pressures? Like you wouldn’t believe!! I love tinkering with bikes and view myself as fully ‘psi paranoid’ now. I have both a digital pressure gauge, which travels in my pack and covers any bike, and a really nice analogue one for my workshop for getting things ‘just right’ – well, till the next ride when I want to try out a different set up that is.
Tubes or tubeless? Tubes; after a bad experience with tubeless on a MTB. Although I did suffer a spate of punctures so have recently added some Squirt Seal to the tubes and so far so good.
How many other bikes do you have? 4 others, 2 of which are road bikes. The 2 mountain bikes are both steel 29er hardtails. They weren’t both meant to stay but are used for different rides now. The first is a Cotic Solaris with quite a bling spec. The other is an end of line Surly Karate Monkey Ops, which does a lot of mile munching.
How long have you been Fatbiking? Almost exactly 2 years, although I was fatbike curious for a long time.
What got you into Fatbiking? It really was a series of events all happening around the same time. One of my brother-in-laws asked how come I didn’t own one of those big tyred bikes, like the one he’d just seen while working in Italy. This coincided with talk of cheaper fatbikes on a mountain bike forum. Then my son mentioned that a bike shop near his (then) college had a green Pugsley for hire.
All of this during the time my wife was trying to come up with a good 20th anniversary present.
A weekend hire of the Pugs had the order going in while returning the hire bike!
I also signed up the UK Fat Bike forum (username SuperSolo) and got such a great welcome and loads of friendly advice which really helped.
What do you say to people who say fatbikes are a “fad”? Firstly I’d say try one!
The bike industry is often so much about the ‘next thing’ that we miss the ‘thing’ we have now! However, I think if you really ‘get’ fatbiking rather than just looking for a new niche, then you’ll stick with it.
What do you like most about Fatbiking? The bonkers look of course! But, from an actual riding point of view, the traction. Despite the extra weight, my Fatbike has cleaned some technical climbs I have failed to do on other bikes. And gliding round corners downhill with all that grip…well…what is not to love about that!
And the inevitable follow up; what do you like least? I picked up a few punctures recently, which was a bit annoying, but other than that there isn’t much I don’t like. I guess the fact that some of my local trails need to be linked up with road sections can be a bit of drag (excuse the pun) but once offroad you soon forget about it.
The best place you’ve ever ridden a Fatbike? And why? It might sound boring but just my local trails really. Why? Because I have ridden some of them for years and it made me ride them, at times, with a different approach. It took me back to my first MTB in 1986 and the freedom it gave to just follow a path or trail and see where it leads.
What advice would you give to someone wishing to buy their first fatbike? I was told two things that really helped me. First, don’t be scared to experiment with tyre pressures. I was given some advice of starting with 1 psi for every 10kg of kitted out rider and adjust from there. It really worked for me.
Secondly, get mudguards. I was told this and thought ‘no way they are ugly’ but soon felt how much mud fat tyres can fling!
If money and time were no object, where would your number one Fatbiking destination be? Iceland. For sure. I have wanted to ride there since an early issue of MBUK carried an article about Roman Dial riding there. So Iceland, on a fatbike, catching the Northern Lights please…
Do you have any hobbies, outside Fatbiking? Other than cycling in general, I am a sports fan. I particular enjoy following NFL and NBA with my son.
Tell us some interesting facts about yourself. I do an amazingly good monkey noise. (Editor: If only this was an audio magazine)
Finally, and most importantly, what’s your favourite style of hat? I look awful in any form of headgear! But I’d have to say bobble hats are pretty cool in my book.
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