This is not my bike. It's just a picture of a 29er I found online, made of steel, with a suspension fork. I want something like this:
- steel frame
- 29er wheels
- the new Shimano Alfine 11 internal hub
- Titec H-bars on it
- fattest tires possible for the frame (2.5"?)
- lock-out short travel non-hydraulic fork
- mechanical brakes with big rotors
I was thinking of a snow bike, like the Surly Pugsley or the Salsa Mukluk, for an off-road and all-winter (Toronto) bike, but believe that would be overkill. Not to mention that they both use derailleurs: a good thing to get away from in the winter. I figure that very big 29er tires will give me enough float for most of the winter.
I'm a forty-one year old, 175lbs and 6'1", so I think big wheels make sense for my height, as well as to smooth out the ride. I prefer steel, but I could live with aluminum with this much tire, if someone in N.America comes out with a stock 29er with the Alfine 11. A frame with vertical sliding drops is ideal, an eccentric-bottom bracket second best, and track-ends too much trouble with disc brakes. I want the H-bars for long or overnight off-road tours.
The new Shimano Alfine 11 is rated for off-road, keeps things pretty weather-proof, and has most of the range of the Rohloff for a fraction of the price, much less having far better access to parts. It nearly has the range of a mountain-triple. It's oil-filled, not grease-filled like the old Nexus hubs, which means it will work better in the cold. You can switch the original for an even lighter oil for better cold weather riding, voiding the warranty, of course.
I want to keep the fork and the brakes mechanical to play nicely with the cold, and to be serviceable in the field. I do not need a lot of travel in the fork, as I do not plan to do big drops, and I do not have a heavy riding style, from my urban experience on my road bike and fixed gear.
This is a project for my return to Canada.