Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Wide-tire bicycles with flotation are great in snow or on sand.
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Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Postby TucsonBamaEngr » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:41 pm

I received my "tennis ball" green Gravity Bullseye Monster from Bikes Direct about a week ago (Pics below). I spent some time riding, working and spending time with the family before starting this thread. Some of you might recognized my posts from the "Mongoose Dolomite" thread. I had the Dolomite for just over a month, and while some other members here have done some very nice things with the Dolo, I found that with my riding style, I needed to go a different direction. Hence, the Bullseye Monster.

On the MTBR forum, there is a very informative thread, http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/gravit ... 20263.html, and it gave me a great background on what to expect. I won't repeat everything there, but I will give I my insight.

Delivery: The bike was well packaged with no scuffs. I was lucky there were absolutely no cosmetic issues with the bike. Some customers have had issues with bent forks and bent rear derailleurs. I didn't have those issues.

Assembly: If you've assembled a big box bike, like the Mongoose Dolomite, the box and degree of setup was similar with a couple of exceptions. 1) The front and rear derailleurs needed significant adjustment. I know how to do this, but keep this in mind if you plan on ordering a BD bike. 2) Both wheels needed significant truing. BDs position is that this is a normal part of the setup, and I don't blame them. Fortunately, I have a friend who let me borrow his truing stand, so that's addressed.

Components: I found all of the components to be pretty strong except for the cassette. This is a well-documented issue on the MTBR forum. For me, gears 5-7 skipped and jumped. I believe that this is from the cogs bending under heavy load when I stand and crank. BD customer service is proving to be excellent, and I have an 8 spd Shimano 11-34T cassette on the way sent via 2-day Priority Mail. Also, when comparing the Monster to the Motobecane Boris X5, the major component differences are the crankset (22/32 for the Bullseye vs. 22/36 for the Boris), the derailleurs (SRAM X4s vs X5s (except that the Monster has a Shimano Alivio FD)), the rims and the 8 spd cassette for the Bullseye vs. a 9 speed for the X5. I'll address the rims later, but in doing some research, I didn't see a major difference between the SRAM X4 vs X5 in various customer reviews. Also, I'm not seeing a need for the 36T larger chain ring. With the 32, I still have a 11T cassette cog which gives me almost a 3:1 drive, which is plenty with the bike if you're running anything below 15 psi in the tires.

Frame: I like this frame a lot. There are good welds throughout. It's pretty light, but not ultralight. After doing some research, I didn't see a clear advantage for using a hydroformed aluminum frame. The bullseye is a standard 6061 Al frame, and it does its job well. I think the stiffness is helpful in this application with the tires absorbing a lot of the trail environments.

Tires: The bike comes with Vee Rubber Missions with 72 tpi and wire bead. These are not the best reviewed tires out there, but they're a major step up from the stock Mongoose Dolomite tires. I found that the tires are quite supple and handle sand and trail drops pretty well. Just as the reviews say, they have a lot of "self steer", but I mainly experienced self steer on the street on the way to the trail. On the trail and in the washes, I found that the self steer was virtually gone.

Rims: The wheelsets are non branded free hubs with a cassette and 50 mm rims. For my purposes, sandy washes and trails, the whole wheel setup is working very well. I've posted some pics of my wash ride with deep sand, and the bike still floats over this quite well, and I rode for about 8 miles in this wash. I haven't tried snow yet, but those of you who want to ride in snow might want a wider rim. BTW, the Dolo comes with 100 mm rims. The wider rims leave a wider tire footprint, but I've also found that the narrower rim makes the tires stand a little taller - which can be helpful on the trail. I've done some brief trail riding with some drops and climbs, and the bike is performing beautifully.

Thus far, I am very please with the purchase. I can't wait to get the new cassette and try it out.
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The Green Monster
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Re: Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Postby TucsonBamaEngr » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:24 pm

Took the Monster on the first trail ride today, and it did not disappoint. I am far more capable on this that on my 26-in '96 Giant.

Also, I have kept everything as the stock setup. Nice bike out of the box.
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Re: Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Postby BoomerBrian » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:53 pm

Good looking bike. Like the color.


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Re: Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Postby momikey » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:12 pm

Tucson, I'm glad you got the bike and that its in good shape right out of the box. I'm also glad you got a thread going on here for the Gravity brand. Hopefully a few BD customers will post in here as well as the MTBR. I like the color, and the overall specs of that rig in general. Question for you though. Can you give me a few details about how to "true" the wheels, I have heard a lot of people talk about it and I know you need a specific wrench to do it. But can you give me a general overview on how to test, and true the wheel?

Enjoy the Gravity, keep us posted.
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Re: Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Postby TucsonBamaEngr » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:19 pm

Momikey,

Here is the link that BD sent me from the Park Tool website. You need two main items: 1) spoke wrench (Size #1 worked for the Monster) and 2) access to a truing stand that accomodates a 170mm hub.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=81

Also, here is a link to a website called PinkBike.com that has instructions on how to true without a stand. Essentially, you remove the tires and re-mount the wheelset on the the bike frame and use a spoke wrench or a Sharpie. This is a 90% solution that will probably keep you from messing up anything major. With enough persistence, you will get pretty close, but not as quickly or completely as with a truing stand.

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Tech-Tuesd ... -True.html

I greatly prefer using a stand - now that I just learned how to do it. I like knowing that the wheel is round and true when dropping down rocks. :)

Boomer,

Appreciate the props. I chose the color for visibility (and I think it's cool). I already have a matte black bike.
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Re: Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Postby TucsonBamaEngr » Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:08 pm

Here are some pics from my morning ride today. Also, I got the new Shimano 8-spd cassette from BD on Monday, and rode with it today. It solved the chain skipping problem. I'm finding the BikesDirect has great customer service. Although you can't see it, there are some pretty good technical sections. I'm getting better at it, and the bike is taking everything I can dish out.
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Re: Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Postby momikey » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:36 pm

Thanks for the info, bike looks fun! I think I'll be getting a truing stand one day and see if I can use it for all the bikes!
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Re: Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Postby Lovespicyfood » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:28 pm

WOW, thanks for posting this thread! I've been wanting a FAT BIKE for quite some time now, but living in southern California, I was hesitant to commit to something that I thought might not be that practical (all things considered). I've been following the threads on the BB Mongooses and the Beast was cool, but one speed? Nah. When I heard about the Dolomite, that sounded promising...but NOW, seeing your thread, it's really got me thinking... $500 is not bad!!!
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Re: Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Postby TucsonBamaEngr » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:19 pm

Thanks Lovespicyfood. I run into a few people that ask"isn't fatbiking just for snow." I find that going fat in the desert not only helps in sand, but it makes me much more capable than on a standard 26 MTB. The bike is quite stable, and the tires provide some suspension benefits.
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Re: Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat Bike

Postby peltkore » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:06 pm

Hello all! I found this page by googling for "gravity fat bike steering" since I was trying to figure out the cause of the "self steer" issue that TucsonBamaEngr was referring to (thanks for the info, TucsonBamaEngr!) I concur that fat bikes are an improvement over the traditional mountain bike since they make trail riding just plain easier. With 2 inch wide MTB tires, you have to look around, pay attention, and be quite a bit more careful than on 4 inch tires that can roll over anything, roll up on the sides of single-track without slipping, and have about 3 times more traction in general. I think my old MTB is going to get pretty lonely now that I have a fat bike. Anywho, here's a couple of photos of my 2015 Gravity Bullseye Monster (love that green color) and a link to my blog article I wrote about it (quite a bit more pertinent info and details there).

Image
Image

Gravity Bullseye Monster Review at my personal cycling blog, where you can view larger versions of the above posted photos.

I have some friends of mine who own a few different models of Salsa Mukluk (which I've also test rode), and I would say the Gravity fat bike is pretty comparable. Except for the price of course. :-)
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