Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

Status Update on the Dolomite Fat Bike

Over the weekend, we took this cheap Mongoose
Dolomite Fat Bike into the ocean to try and surf the wake of a cruise ship. Although it
was a failure, we found out that fat bikes float really well. Either way, the bike got
exposed to a ton of corrosive saltwater. This was kind of the whole point. When I got home I submerged the Dolomite in
fresh water, and then blasted it with a hose for a good while. I could have taken the bearings
apart, or attempted to clean out the cable housings, but I wanted to leave it for a few
days to see what would happen. Although some rust spots appeared the next
day, they were easy to get rid of with just a cleaning. I rode this bike a few times this
week and I think operating all the stuff on it regularly was beneficial. In fact, the
shifter totally seized the day after the ocean. After freeing it up and using it, the bike
was shifting as normal. Of course, normal means mediocre. Based on this, we might get the illusion that
the Dolomite is reliable and resilient, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you
take a bike in the ocean, and it performs the same after you take it out, then how refined
could it have possibly been in the first place. I think about these things. Through breaking the bike down and cleaning
everything thoroughly, I found that there was a lot more rust on the inside. Still I
was able to stop the rust and prevent it from getting worse. Thanks to the grease in the
headset and bottom bracket, the bearings and races were actually not bad. Still, I’ve
definitely reduced the life expectancy of this bike. Some people have asked me whether it would
be cost effective to upgrade this bike, since it seems impressive for $200. Could it be
made into a nice fat bike for a little more? Well, maybe, but almost any way you slice
it a better fat bike would give you a lot more for your money. To make this feel like
a decent bike it would need a better freewheel, crankset, and brakes for starters. At that
point you’ll definitely want a better chain as well. The shifter is awful too, so figure
on that plus new cables. After these changes the bike would feel a lot better, but would
still be seriously hampered by the hubs. So although this may be a fun and cheap toy,
it’s debatable whether upgrading it would be cost effective. So this bike is perfect
for me as is; cheap and rideable, ready for the ocean. So that’s my update on the Dolomite. I’ll
leave you guys with some bonus footage from that day. After the ship passed we took the
bike to the other side of the rocks. We had about 4 cameras going. These fisherman started
calling towards us. They were trying to tell us that we had company. Within about a second
we realized it was only a manatee, a harmless and curious marine mammal. Only in Florida…
Thanks for riding with me today and I’ll see you next time.

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