Goat’s Crust Scapegoat: No Shoes, No Problem – Morgan Taylor

Goat’s Crust Scapegoat: No Shoes, No Problem – Morgan Taylor
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

Goat’s personal Scapegoat just oozes character. Not because it’s carefully curated, like many of the bikes we feature here, but because it’s the result of over 40,000 miles of off-road touring. There are so many things on this bike that have that result-through-iteration quality. From the custom made no-shoe pedals to the homebuilt frame bag to the home-brewed tubeless sealant that I obviously couldn’t photograph.

The Crust Scapegoat is the manifestation of over a decade of Goat riding fat bikes. Back in the dark ages you may remember reading a blog called Riding the Spine? Yep, way back then, Goat was already riding fat bikes on the original Surly Endomorph tire and was definitely not wearing shoes. Over that much time, Goat worked out that he wanted a bike with a normal 73mm bottom bracket shell and 135mm hubs, that also fit fat bike tires, but without an offset rear end.

So here we have the Scapegoat. Using 135mm wheels at both ends – like the Surly Pugsley and now the Tumbleweed Prospector as well – means you can swap your wheels front to back, and use just about any old mountain bike’s rear wheel as a replacement if you get in a bind. Goat’s drivetrain is an impressive feat that we’ve all considered at some point: two wheels, two cogs each, making for four different gears with a single chainring.

Though Goat’s setup does remind us of the limitations of a 135mm rear end and big tires. With a fat bike tire, you’re pretty much limited to a single speed drivetrain or an internally geared hub like a Rohloff, and even with plus tires on 27.5 or 29” rims (it’ll clear both) you may find some tires too wide for an 11-speed drivetrain. But, those who find themselves compelled by world-wide hub compatibility are usually willing to look past this point.

Cargo carrying is obviously something Goat’s done a lot of, so while you might at first think the glass bottle of kombucha looks a bit suspect, possibly even staged, you would be wrong. On this particular trip, Goat had just ridden a thousand kilometres of the Great Divide with a kilogram of Adams peanut butter in a glass jar on the left side, and a bottle of sriracha on the right. And keep in mind he also did this with just one gear at a time, and no shoes.

The frame bag and seat pack are made from a retired kayaking dry bag. Goat took said bag on a trip he was guiding in India – on which he also brought the original Scapegoat prototype that Darren Larkin welded up – and when it was time to retire the dry bag, he cut it up to make the bags you see here. Finding someone to sew the thick material was a challenge, but he says the frame bag has remained waterproof since. The front harness is a Porcelain Rocket MCA he got from Matt at Crust, but pink didn’t go, so he spray painted it.

Goat’s handlebar of choice is the original Jones-designed H-Bar with a straight crossbar, saying he prefers the hand positions it provides over the modern Jones Loop. These have been out of production for quite some time now, but when you like something, you’re willing to go above and beyond. Over the years this has at some points meant that Goat has simply had to weld up his own H-Bar. Fortunately, he likes the simplest and arguably most easily replicated bar this side of a broomstick.

The pedals. How could we get this far without talking about those pedals? From the bottom you’ll recognize an old Shimano road pedal originally meant for a three-bolt toe clip. On the back of that is an L-bracket from the hardware store. The flip flop is mounted to the toe clip bolts, and then trimmed at the front to allow Goat’s toes to wrap around. I’m sure Goat’s lost count of how many pairs of flip flops he’s gone through over the years, but obviously he’s found that better quality flip flops last longer.

Every detail has a story, and while Goat is soft-spoken, he’ll gladly regale you with those stories and much more. To this day you’ll find him roaming dirt roads and singletrack, continuing to hone his perfect bike. His Scapegoat is a hard-won antithesis to shiny and new bikes that look good, but haven’t been tested. It’s not flashy. It just works.


Follow Morgan on Instagram and follow Goat on Instagram.

  • gutenbergler

    Good stuff here

    • Pat O’Toole


  • love the lightest seatpost heaviest saddle collab here.

    • There must always be balance in The Force.

      • Ismael Aneiros

        In Crust we trust!

  • Thomas Gehrig

    that guy is more brave for bikepacking with hayes brakes than riding barefoot…

  • FireFly

    OMG! Clip-flops!

    • AdamBike99

      I guess Goat rides “flipped-in…” 8-)

      • Chris Valente

        guys. GUYS.

      • Jordan Muller

        I bet this bike sandles really well on the descents.

  • Pat O’Toole

    redundant wheels front and back but foam pedals and no shoes…. STOOOOOOOOOPS

  • AdamBike99

    Is Goat able to swap the front wheel with BFL 4.7″ tire to the rear where the “merely svelt,” Endomorph 3.8″ fits?

    • If I recall correctly, the big tire does fit out back on an 80mm rim, but barely.

  • Chris Valente

    I get Rat and Goat insta-confused. Seems like a similar level of dangle… (sweet rig btw)

  • ol’grumpy

    I love it when Brooks get buffed out with use.

  • Francisco Alvarez

    that toe overlap tho…

  • Rick

    Yew! Yeah Goat!

  • Area45

    Damn. I forgot about Riding the Spine.

  • David

    I have no clue whats happening here.

  • Alex Boyd

    Just another mainstream touring company ripping off the BMX little guys… Can’t believe Crust would sink to this level. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53673a75cabae8ff50366048ad5a73f958776c0acb2617f1e014aebf61294f03.jpg

    • pedal.roll

      I dont know if you’re being sarcastic or not. Crust sell Barcodes……

      • Jason

        I’ve been waiting for Joe to put out the T1 sandal for, forever 🤓. Might have to rip off the goat version.

      • Rick

        And Matt has been “mentored” by Joe..

    • HAHAHA! It was Crust or Giant.

  • pedal.roll

    With bike features like this it would be cool to see a parts list + run down on that part from bikes owner. Especially this one considering the time/life invested by Goat into this machine.

  • B.A.R.27

    Is the seat collar slot front facing or double slotted? Can’t see back of collar cuz of bag. But, if its front facing, isn’t his seat collar clamp facing the wrong way? And I’m glad this bike is up here. I’m really considering a crust scapegoat, this affirms my selection. I mean, I’d have a very different build, but glad Goat has (obviously) built this up to his dream spec. #fuckthehaters #youdoyou #yolo ect.

  • Dan
  • D Ehren Russell

    I’ve got a few sets of those 3-bolt pedals – flippies look like a better solution than trying to find intact toe cages.

  • Andy-bmore

    Weird bikes for weird folks. I dig it.

  • Charlie D

    Hey man, whatever flips your flop. Me, I’m gonna have to take a pass on the barefoot adventure cycling craze.

  • dthio

    love the dingle bolt-on hub up front

  • bruce golla

    #32 missoula

  • Smithhammer

    Doesn’t he realize how much more pedaling performance he could get out of wearing a $300 rigid ballerina slipper? Jeezus, I bet he doesn’t even Strava…

  • Jonathan Raspa

    I remember meeting Goat at the UCSC Bike Co-op in…2004 and being blown away by his home-made SPD flip flops. I vaguely recall him bringing an Xtracycle around to set up; it was the first time I’d ever seen one and realized the possibilities of 100% car-free living. Gotta thank my friend Josh Frost for bringing me into that world of the co-op: good people, bikes and self reliance!

    • B.A.R.27

      +1 for UCSC bike co-op and Bicycle Church Santa Cruz. Both great organizations.

      • Saris Mercanti

        Former Bike Co-op core member reporting in. Haven’t had the pleasure of running into Goat in a few years. Was pleasantly surprised to see he’s still out there doing Goat things.

  • Scott Sackmann

    So simple….so good. Rock on, [email protected]