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Thread: Fat tires. Why?

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    Fat tires. Why?

    I have seen several hugely fat tired bikes, like the Surley Moonlander, lately in stores. What are they for? They look like the answer to a question nobody has asked.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Snow, sand, mud and other soft surfaces. They also work well on pot hole riddled roads.

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    Senior Member Koobazaur's Avatar
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    Yup. I dont have fat tires but that is the reason i went with a hybrid over a roadie - the road quality in my neighborhood can be pretty atrocious. I also imagine fat tires are much better off roading in extreme terrain or snow conditions when friction, shock absorption and durability are more important than speed

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    I've wondered about this too- I mean, bikes like the Surly Pugsley sure look cool- but I'd imagine riding on snow and sand must still be quite difficult, and I wonder how many people actually spend enough time riding on such surfaces to justify having such bikes? I'd hazard a guess, that like with many other things, in most cases, what is being sold is looks/image and bike manufacturers trying to create new fads to sell more bikes. Much as I love the look of those fat-tired bikes....I'd never buy one.

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    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    If I lived anywhere on the coast or a place with a lot of snow throughout the winter --- there is no doubt in my mind I'd own a Surly Moonlander. These Cromoly steeds have a very specific purpose - and if you are in need of that - a fattired steed is the best choice. Fatbikes are not fun imo to ride around on the street. Saw a guy a few weeks ago riding a MUP on a Moonlander and we talked about it for awhile, he thinks its fun on the street, ymmv.



    Last edited by agent pombero; 04-18-13 at 10:46 AM.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Because snow happens.



    Because you can't ride here on normal tyres...





    Because it is like when you were 5 years old and first learned how to ride a bike... and discovered that this much fun is illegal in some places.

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    Think of it like this: Snowshoes are big and dumb looking, but there's no better way to walk on the snow. Fatbikes are a similar concept.
    馬好き

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawed View Post
    I have seen several hugely fat tired bikes, like the Surley Moonlander, lately in stores. What are they for? They look like the answer to a question nobody has asked.
    Ever try riding a mtn bike across a sandy beach?
    I made it about 20' when I tried it with 2.5" tires.

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    SW Florida. If I lived near the beach I'd probably have one. I don't so I don't.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I don't have one, but I absolutely "get it". Those big tyres at the low pressures they run (about 10psi?) will make bumps disappear as effectively as suspension, without the weight and maintenance involved in suspension forks. Plus the snow/sand/mud/deep gravel traction they afford. If I lived out-of-town in a snowy climate I'd definitely have one of these as my winter bike. Must be terrific fun, too.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    I don't have one, but I absolutely "get it". Those big tyres at the low pressures they run (about 10psi?) will make bumps disappear as effectively as suspension, without the weight and maintenance involved in suspension forks. Plus the snow/sand/mud/deep gravel traction they afford. If I lived out-of-town in a snowy climate I'd definitely have one of these as my winter bike. Must be terrific fun, too.
    But you forget about the physical dificulty of turning those big tires and wheels; and on soft surfaces, no less, which further decrease the rolling resistance. IMO, when ya start to need tires of that size, you also need a motor .

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    The fat tires really smooth out the ride on rough surfaces. I've never had a bike with suspension so I can't compare the two. They are also very stable at low speed, which is practical in some situations and a desirable feature for people who prefer a leisurely pace. I don't see them being a fad, a niche yes, but they are here to stay.

    They take a lot of the drama out of riding rough terrain increasing accessibility for people without super fast reflexes.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalPedaler View Post
    But you forget about the physical dificulty of turning those big tires and wheels; and on soft surfaces, no less, which further decrease the rolling resistance. IMO, when ya start to need tires of that size, you also need a motor .
    I like gears, personally.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalPedaler View Post
    But you forget about the physical dificulty of turning those big tires and wheels; and on soft surfaces, no less, which further decrease the rolling resistance. IMO, when ya start to need tires of that size, you also need a motor .
    They aren't tha difficult to turn, after all the tires are filled with air. I am a petite female, live in Nebraska(so flat as hell!)and I ride my pugs all over the place and plan on riding mine on a 150 mile gravel grinder in late August. Pavement, sand, water, mud, rocks, dirt, whatever, it is a bike. People always ask me "what is that thing good for?" Well, it's a bike, so it is good for riding! Pretty sure MTB ers got the same stink eye from roadies back in the beginnings of knobby fat tires. Sure, an MTB is harder to pedal than a road bike, but look at all the places you didn't get to ride before. Can you still ride pavement with one though? You betcha! Still fun, just not as fast.
    image.jpg

    Fat, why? Fat, why not!
    Last edited by Nakedbabytoes; 04-18-13 at 01:00 PM.

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    Pardon the pun but i am Jonesing for one of these. As a touring bike.
    http://www.jonesbikes.com/?option=co...2692&Itemid=58

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    Looks like the Troll

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    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konasutra View Post
    Pardon the pun but i am Jonesing for one of these. As a touring bike.
    http://www.jonesbikes.com/?option=co...2692&Itemid=58
    That is pretty cool:

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    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

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    Wonder if the beard does some southern tickling.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalPedaler View Post
    But you forget about the physical dificulty of turning those big tires and wheels; and on soft surfaces, no less, which further decrease the rolling resistance. IMO, when ya start to need tires of that size, you also need a motor .
    The rolling resistance of the tyres themselves is very low, the contact pressure is such that you can roll over surfaces where other bicycles may have sunk in a few inches and barely leave a track.

    The wheels are weighty so take a little more energy to get rolling but once you are rolling you just keep pedalling and the bike will roll through, over, up. and down pretty much everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakedbabytoes View Post
    They aren't tha difficult to turn, after all the tires are filled with air. I am a petite female, live in Nebraska(so flat as hell!)and I ride my pugs all over the place and plan on riding mine on a 150 mile gravel grinder in late August. Pavement, sand, water, mud, rocks, dirt, whatever, it is a bike. People always ask me "what is that thing good for?" Well, it's a bike, so it is good for riding! Pretty sure MTB ers got the same stink eye from roadies back in the beginnings of knobby fat tires. Sure, an MTB is harder to pedal than a road bike, but look at all the places you didn't get to ride before. Can you still ride pavement with one though? You betcha! Still fun, just not as fast.
    image.jpg

    Fat, why? Fat, why not!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    The rolling resistance of the tyres themselves is very low, the contact pressure is such that you can roll over surfaces where other bicycles may have sunk in a few inches and barely leave a track.

    The wheels are weighty so take a little more energy to get rolling but once you are rolling you just keep pedalling and the bike will roll through, over, up. and down pretty much everything.
    Interesting....

    150 miles, NBT? Yikes! They look like they'd be hard to pedal for a mile! (Then again, I'm pretty weak and lazy...and live where there are lots of hills...)

    What do do those Pugs weigh?

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    Senior Member Nakedbabytoes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalPedaler View Post
    Interesting....

    150 miles, NBT? Yikes! They look like they'd be hard to pedal for a mile! (Then again, I'm pretty weak and lazy...and live where there are lots of hills...)

    What do do those Pugs weigh?
    1/3 of what I do? 40lbs(I think stock was 37?), I dunno, I haven't ever weighed it. I don't have issues pedaling it though, but then I am a runner also so maybe that helps? Fun as hell though, you look for stuff to run over and just see how stupid you can get with those big bouncy tires. I'm not saying it rides as fast and crisp as a road machine would, think of a fattie as being more like a Cadillac. You just roll with cush and enjoy every second doing it with a big old grin on your face. You don't ride to win, you ride just to ride.

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