Reader’s Ride(s) – Nigel’s Customized Moonlander


Nigel from Ontario, Canada sent us yesterday’s Wallpaper Wednesday photo and we had to know more about his rig so I pinged him to get the scoop on his build. Here is the skinny!

It all started at the 2012 Toronto bike trade show. I test rode a the Surly Moonlander, and was sold in 20-seconds of riding. Influenced by my R/C scale rock crawling truck build, I concocted my custom Moonlander in a similar way…Tough Steel Rig!

This bike is the funnest bike I’ve ever had. It, and my recent re-disovering of old trail playgrounds, has made this year one of my best cycling years ever. Can’t wait for the snow to cover them… and the beach-riding, never was able to enjoy that before on my past race bikes…

Here is the build list:

  • Surly Moonlander Frame & Fork
  • Surly MWOD Cranks
  • Surly Clown-Shoe Rims
  • Surly Bud & Lou Tires
  • Ghetto Tubeless (No Foam Strip, Just The Split-Tube And Stan’s).
  • Thompson Elite Seatpost
  • Thompson Elite X4 Stem
  • Brooks Saddle
  • Hope Headseat
  • Hope Bottom Bracket
  • Hope Fatsno Front Hub
  • Hope Pro-2 Evo Rear Hub
  • Hope “Stealth” V4 Clamps / Tech Levers / Vented 203Mm Rotors
  • Hope Seat Clamp
  • Hope Space Doctor
  • Hope Caliper Mounts “G” & “B”
  • XTR Rear Derailleur W/Titanium Jockey Wheels
  • XTR Front Derailleur
  • XTR Shifters
  • XTR Cog & Chain
  • Every Fastener is Titanium (Because Parts Are Only As Good As The Bolts Holding Them Together).
  • Cages (Some Cheapies, To Match Brazed-Caged Items).
  • Handlebars (Generic Flats For Now, Hopefully Thompson Ti’s In The Future).
  • Oury Grips (Old Favourites).
  • Custom Brazed Caged Headlights, And Cargo Storage
Here is a look at the custom brazed light cage. R/C crawler building comes in handy on fat-bikes as well!
Here is a look at the custom brazed light cage. R/C crawler building comes in handy on fat-bikes as well!



Have you got a fat-bike that you’d like to see gracing the pages of this here website? Say no more and send an email, with photos, to! We’d love to see your rig!

About Greg Smith 1127 Articles
Greg Smith, known to many site visitors as Sven Hammer, founded in 2011 and the site quickly became the #1 online community for all things Fat. You can currently find Greg outfitting Everyday Cycles; a Milwaukee, WI retailer of gear for fatbikers, adventure cyclists and urban assault riders.


  1. Definitely a COOL Moonlander! How much does that bad boy tip the scale at? Gotta be 30+ lbs. Either way an awesome ride.

    On a side note, how are the Hope Rotors with the shimano brakes? Quiet or noisy?

  2. By the way, nothing ghetto about that tubeless conversion in my eyes. Personally, I think that it was an ingenious idea that somebody thought of. 🙂

    Sweet Ride!

  3. Thanx Fellas.

    -40lbs all up, and it’s momentum really helps over rooted trails.
    -Usually between Oshawa & Whitby on the beach.
    -Agreed! Ghetto tubeless is an awesome idea.

    Thanx again.

  4. Great rid Nigel, like the headlamps, also, look great! Thanks for the build list also, very helpful. Intersted in building bike – can you share the $ for this build?

  5. Hey Nigel sick rig! I am putting together a Carver O’beast with front carver suspension and almost identical set up to you there and it will post in about a month. Was hoping to get the same front grill headlight setup for it. Any thoughts? Feel free to contact me.

  6. Nigel,
    Love your bike, especially light cage. Would be VERY interested in getting one for my Pugsly. Feel free to contact me.


  7. Nigel, let me revive this thread as your bike is really sick. Maybe wanna share more info about custom brazed light cage.

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