We check in with Head Wrench, Head Engineer, Head Hand Model and total gentleman Nate St. Onge to check in on his most in-depth project yet. Nate’s Salsa Beargrease is a veritable weapon of technology and the steed is being reconfigured once again for two very different challenges to cap off the winter for Nate. First up, Nate is returning to the Downhill Dash at Crystal Mountain. After finishing middle of the pack last year on his downhill bike, Nate is working to make a huge jump up the overall with the help of a modified Beargrease. The winner in 2012 was one of the few racers on a fat bike, and even with a flat front tire, the added tire width was a massive advantage. Now, Nate expects fat bikes to be the rule rather the exception, with his being undoubtedly the best tuned and prepared.
His first move was to swap out his Husker Dus in favor of some Bud and Lous. The 45North tires are great on packed snow and for riding trails, but at speeds of close to forty miles an hour, tight corners and slalom turns, Nate is going to add an extra .8” with the Bud and Lou set-up. In addition to the width, the tires also have a deeper, more aggressive tread pattern that should be a huge help in the corners. “It’s going to give me more stability, and, in a race like the Downhill Dash, stability means speed,” he commented.
Next week, Nate turns his attention to the Queen race, if you will, of the Northern Michigan Fat Bike Series, St. Fatty’s Day at Marsh Ridge. He’ll stick with the Bud and Lous, at least for the moment, anticipating some very deep snow conditions in Gaylord. The groomed course will still be loose in spots, and the added traction gives Nate a few more line options, especially on the descents. The big addition for St. Fatty’s Day comes in the form of a Race Face crank. The stock crankset weighs in at 1175, and the 775 replacement will save Nate an entire pound right off the bat. The long climb to the start/finish is going to be that much easier with the saved weight.