Some men buy sports cars to nurse them through mid-life crises; others take up with younger women. I apparently buy strange specialized bikes...
I'll be adding a Salsa Mukluk to the stable here shortly. The bike was more happenstance than a calculated search-and-acquire effort, and a small measure of luck helped to make this happen.
Thanks to my genetics and early propensity for coffee, I require no more than an extra small Mukluk frame. I suspect that Salsa only makes a few token XS frames per year to say that they offer them, because as the entire bike industry knows, everybody in the f'ing world rides a 56 cm frame, right? Right?*
There is an awful lot more that I have to say on this topic, but in the interest of brevity I will save it for a late-night rant at some future point.
With Mukluks being "hot" right now, finding a built bike in XS is a little like finding the needle in the haystack. The shops that have them tend to have small, medium and large frames (if anything). Building up a frame is an option, but even finding an XS frame is still a problem, and then there is the added expense of a build. Going with a build kit can keep the price more manageable. Nevertheless, I was reluctant to go this route.
Fortunately, an XS Mukluk 2 turned up kind of out of the blue and I got a phone call about it. After 24 hours of debate with myself, I committed to the bike. It was delivered on Thursday and is being assembled now; it should be ready for pick up in the near future - maybe as soon as tomorrow.
An added benefit to this bike is that the frame can be set up as a 29er with a simple wheel swap. Therefore I can mount my 29er wheels that are currently on the Rawland and use this as an (overbuilt) 29er mountain bike (or perhaps leave the big wheel in front and run a 29er in back).
On that note, I am half tempted to mount some 650b wheels and see how the Mukluk does with those, now that I think about it...
That's totally counting chickens before they are hatched, however. I still need to pick up this beast and get it dialed in for a maiden voyage.
The forecast tonight calls for 3 inches of slush, so this might be a just-in-time deliver.