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  1. #1
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    Touring With A Fat Bike-Impressions

    Just back from a short tour in the driftless area of Wisconsin with my fat bike. Three days, two nights camping, 185 miles. I started north of Wilton near the headwaters of the Kickapoo River, followed the Kickapoo all the way to its confluence with the Wisconsin River, then to my home in southeastern Iowa county. I rode pavement, gravel roads and a little two track and trail. The idea was to try the fat bike on a tour in preparation for a tour across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I would normally ride my Fargo, but thought the fat bike was worth a try. This is my setup:
    A Short Bike Tour In The Driftless Area | www.thedriftlessproject.com

    Overall the fat bike was a very worthy touring bike. If you can accept the slower, unhurried pace and the extra effort required to move the bike through a challenging landscape, the Mukluk exceeded my expectations in almost every way. The nature of the bike inspired exploration, not just the covering of miles from Point A to Point B. My riding position was upright, making it easy to experience the landscape, and the Jones loop bars worked very well. The bike is very comfortable to ride and when you're tired at the end of the day it offered stability and security on all surfaces. Two unexpected benefits were the ability to ride the gravel shoulder or ditch on two short sections of busy road I was on and the connection with people along the way. People who were not interested in biking would go out of their way to ask about the bike, especially the tires! All in all a success, and I will definitely use the fat bike again for touring. Please feel free to ask me questions about my setup.




    A Short Bike Tour In The Driftless Area | www.thedriftlessproject.com

  2. #2
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing, looks like a smooth comfortable ride. I know you can tour on anything but I do have the following questions, of course, all about your tires.

    1) What air pressure do you run?
    2) Do they kick up more mud then regular tires?
    3) If you do get a flat, are they harder to remove from the rim?
    4) How available are tube replacements should you get to a point you have to buy a new tube?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
    Thanks for sharing, looks like a smooth comfortable ride. I know you can tour on anything but I do have the following questions, of course, all about your tires.

    1) What air pressure do you run?
    2) Do they kick up more mud then regular tires?
    3) If you do get a flat, are they harder to remove from the rim?
    4) How available are tube replacements should you get to a point you have to buy a new tube?
    1) 15-18psi on the road, can go down to 10psi off road (some ride much lower tire pressures than this, especially if riding snow/sand)
    2) Yes, more mud but fenders are available for fat bikes
    3) Actually the tires are easier to remove than a smaller tire
    4) Tubes not as readily available now, but will get easier to find as the bikes get more popular

    Thank you for the interest.

  4. #4
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Thanks for the answers. I did see one fat tire bike when I rode the GAP in May in front of the Meyersdale visitor center (old train station) but never got a chance to meet the rider. Looking through your blog now.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Thanks for the post and the link to your blog. Gorgeous pictures!

    That is some beautiful country. I have biked some in southwestern Wisconsin, and it's one of my favorite places in the world.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjl33 View Post
    Just back from a short tour in the driftless area of Wisconsin with my fat bike. Three days, two nights camping, 185 miles. I started north of Wilton near the headwaters of the Kickapoo River, followed the Kickapoo all the way to its confluence with the Wisconsin River, then to my home in southeastern Iowa county. I rode pavement, gravel roads and a little two track and trail. The idea was to try the fat bike on a tour in preparation for a tour across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I would normally ride my Fargo, but thought the fat bike was worth a try. This is my setup:
    A Short Bike Tour In The Driftless Area | www.thedriftlessproject.com

    Overall the fat bike was a very worthy touring bike. If you can accept the slower, unhurried pace and the extra effort required to move the bike through a challenging landscape, the Mukluk exceeded my expectations in almost every way. The nature of the bike inspired exploration, not just the covering of miles from Point A to Point B. My riding position was upright, making it easy to experience the landscape, and the Jones loop bars worked very well. The bike is very comfortable to ride and when you're tired at the end of the day it offered stability and security on all surfaces. Two unexpected benefits were the ability to ride the gravel shoulder or ditch on two short sections of busy road I was on and the connection with people along the way. People who were not interested in biking would go out of their way to ask about the bike, especially the tires! All in all a success, and I will definitely use the fat bike again for touring. Please feel free to ask me questions about my setup.




    A Short Bike Tour In The Driftless Area | www.thedriftlessproject.com
    Any more pictures of the bike?
    Ultralight Gear Lists and Reviews... MAXTHECYCLIST.COM

  7. #7
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    I just tour up and around the Great Lakes on my LHT (2" Supremes on rear, 1.6" front). I rode pavement, gravel roads, rail trail, and other mix trails. My rigging did well on most surfaces except very sandy or muddy portions, when a real fat-bike like yours would be the way to go.


    Great job on your photography!
    Last edited by BigAura; 07-23-15 at 06:35 AM.
    bikegpx.us for free touring map routes & gpx files

  8. #8
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    Thank you for the nice comments on my work. I will get some more pictures up in the next few days. Next week I am planning an overnight to try not using the small Ortlieb panniers. I will use a large Carradice bag on the back and a small backpack as necessary. I am trying to lessen the load I bring along, although I suspect I will never qualify as an ultralight bike packer.

    Southwestern Wisconsin is very beautiful and offers excellent riding, paved or gravel. The off road riding is limited but the number of miles of quiet, lightly traveled roads is endless. Hills, valleys, Spring creeks and trout fishing! I am born and raised in the driftless area, and do think that it is one of the beautiful places in the world, and often over looked which is fine by me.

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