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Old 01-05-15, 01:33 PM
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bruised
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: WI
Posts: 370

Bikes: Salsa Beargrease Carbon, Sette Razzo Carbon 29er

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I have a Fat Bike and a GT Karakoram Hardtail 29er. Both are fairly new bikes acquired only a couple weeks apart, so I don't choose one over the other based on any novelty/newness factor.

We've had little snow here in WI so far, so the trails have mostly been accessible to ride on either bike. The decision for me is split like this:

1 - If I want to take a road ride to the closest trail (about 10 miles each way) then 9 times out of 10 I'll take the 29er
2 - If I plan on loading the car and driving to one of 3 local trails, then 10 times out of 10 I take the Fat Bike.

I mostly load the car and take the Fat Bike, probably 90% of my riding since late October has been car-to-trail.

The Fat Bike is a harder ride in terms of pedaling effort, but it is way more enjoyable. The trails I ride are a good mix of surface, mostly with rocks and roots, mud/dirt/gravel and even now in January - dead leaves. The fattie soaks it all up without fuss and I never get that feeling of 'Oh crap, I'm going too fast here and I'm going to come a cropper...'.

It just bounces its way over/through everything, pretty much.

It's not suited to all conditions, however. It snowed on Saturday night, about 3-4" of fresh fluffy stuff. The wind was blowing so there was some drifting on the trails of 6" depth or more. I struggled through it. I saw two other fat tire tracks that had gone before me, both got around a mile into the 10 mile loop and turned off the trail. I managed the full 10 miles at an average speed of only 5mph. It was a tough ride and I got a good workout. I think I could've ridden it faster on the 29er, but with large patches of ice under the fresh snow, it would've been pretty dangerous. With studs, it would've been an easier/faster ride than with the fat bike.

I'm thinking hard about selling the 29er in the spring, buying a new fat bike and a spare set of 29er wheels and using the fattie for everything. That would include road/trail bikepacking and 3 or 4 organized century rides. I may not do it this way, but it's a possibility. If I could only own one bike I wouldn't need to think twice - Fat Bike.

I think for intermediate riders such as myself, where speed is less an issue than safety/fun, and fitness is an important factor (you burn a lot of calories riding fat bikes) then it's an easy decision.

Last edited by bruised; 01-05-15 at 01:37 PM.
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