One of the reasons I really wanted to get a big dummy is that it is an off road capable singletrack hauling machine. There is a nice trail through pueblo canyon between my house and downtown.
Probably 2.5 miles of single track and double track with some nice views.
The bike handles pretty well off road. The rear wheel is underweighted on climbs so it spins a bit without careful climbing style. But unlike a normal mtb you don't have to worry about accidental wheelies. Similarly it is hard to properly weight the front wheel when you hit a little dip or a loose turn due to the large wheel base. I am also running slick tires. But overall it handles pretty well through the local off road conditions. Including singletrack. As long as I am cognizant of how long the bike really is and whether the freeloaders are stuffed or not, it is not too hard to ride single track here. Additionally, you can ride down some stupid steep things and through some technical things that are easier on the dummy than a regular MTB. As long as you have traction. The big dummy does suck on anything you could high center on. Logs and some curbs and dropoffs are bad. Constant vigilance...
I usually ride down town, load up with whatever I am buying and then ride the roads back home with the load. Like this full load of groceries and coffee grounds for composting.
I have had some issues with the long wheel base. Mostly clanking hops up onto curbs at speed. It is much harder to unweight the rear wheel than on a normal bike. I have hit the rear wheel pretty hard before, but actually pinchflatted today. When I went to fix the flat I noticed this:
I lost part of one of the freeloaders strap a riding home with it unbuckled a couple of weeks ago. I had not idea where it went or when it happened, but I did not think too much of it at the time. When I went to change the tire today I found the remains wrapped between the disc brake and the spoke. One of the Big Dummy's hazards is getting stuff caught in the rear wheel and having no idea it is there until it is too late. With the snap deck and the free loader bags you can't really see the rear hub at all while riding or otherwise. Additionally the long chain and wheel base degrades the "feel" of the rear wheel, and deck and bags muffle sound pretty well. This is the third thing that got up in there. One plastic bag, one tumbleweed like thing and this strap. The first two had to be repaired to get rolling, the plastic bag actually locked the cogs to the spokes and created a disconcerting psuedo fixed wheel with a huge delay due to the long chain, all while giving Elena a ride to a friends house. This one was unnoticeable until this week when it started clanking around back there a little bit. Not too big a deal but it is something to be aware of.
It is also kind of hard to check if your rear tire is well inflated and inflate the rear tire while it is on the bike. Again, something to force myself to be aware of.
Overall I have been riding the big dummy almost exclusively this month including about 25% off road. I also have an offroad route on the way to work that is pretty fun on the BD. It is great when I am not going to go for a really long ride on the way in or home. Probably 6-15 miles a day so far this month, I loves you big dummy.
My next plan is to get some fatter slicks. Probably a 2.5" hookworm up front and a 2.35 road apple on the back. In retrospect, I wish I set my bike up with large marge rims (and a rohloff...) like this one: here, here and here. Maybe next time I build wheels for it. I don't think I am going to fit fenders on it. It runs pretty dry for the rider due to the virtual fender of the snapdeck/freeloaders and I think I would rather have really fat tires...
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