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How useful is a fat bike...really?

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How useful is a fat bike...really?

Old 02-25-16, 07:57 PM
  #26  
SHOFINE
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I reckon I'm gonna have to sell all my other bikes. No more uses!


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Old 02-26-16, 09:15 AM
  #27  
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I go back and forth on fat bikes too. Speaking as a fellow Twin Cities MN winter biker, this winter has so far been a laugher. Where the fat bike rules on the street is with the ice ruts from freeze/thaw cycles or when your street route takes you to places where the traffic conditions can force you to ride over rough spots. Only a few days of ice ruts so far this winter.

I ride a Conti studded 29" winter tires on a non-suspension bike, I think they are nominally 42 cm width, but that's measured at the outside of the lugs. This setup was not a problem this winter. Past winters, I was very tempted to go fat bike. My wife rides 26" 2.2 inch tires in winter (as fat as will fit her old rigid mountain bike) but gave in and bought a low-end fat bike a few weeks ago--and she says she feels much more stable on it.

One of those flexible "board" downtube fenders keeps the front wheel spray off. I'm still working on the rear tire.

Like the OP, I think there's a element of fad, and an element of "how much will I use it". I know I'd use one as my main bike many MN winters.
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Old 02-26-16, 09:46 AM
  #28  
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Pretty useful out here. And we've miles of logging roads built of 3" minus which will destroy lesser tires & rims. My take is fat bikes need better (lighter) rim & tire tech. That being said, I can air down to 2 psi and roll on sand that is difficult to walk on. Then air up to 20 psi and roll down the road/MUP to the next beach.

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Old 02-26-16, 10:47 AM
  #29  
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You can now get aluminum rims that weigh ~650 grams (the DT BR710 and HED B.A.D.) and 4 inch tires at he 1,000 gram mark (Jumbo Jims) If you want to spend the money, carbon HEDS are on the 400 gram range. I don't think you can get much lighter than that without compromising performance/durability.

And it is an amazing progress compared to the original Large Marge and Endomorph. Which were about 1,300 grams each.
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Old 02-26-16, 12:05 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
I go back and forth on fat bikes too. Speaking as a fellow Twin Cities MN winter biker, this winter has so far been a laugher. Where the fat bike rules on the street is with the ice ruts from freeze/thaw cycles or when your street route takes you to places where the traffic conditions can force you to ride over rough spots. Only a few days of ice ruts so far this winter.

I ride a Conti studded 29" winter tires on a non-suspension bike, I think they are nominally 42 cm width, but that's measured at the outside of the lugs. This setup was not a problem this winter. Past winters, I was very tempted to go fat bike. My wife rides 26" 2.2 inch tires in winter (as fat as will fit her old rigid mountain bike) but gave in and bought a low-end fat bike a few weeks ago--and she says she feels much more stable on it.

One of those flexible "board" downtube fenders keeps the front wheel spray off. I'm still working on the rear tire.

Like the OP, I think there's a element of fad, and an element of "how much will I use it". I know I'd use one as my main bike many MN winters.
How much will I use it? Well I asked that question when we got his & hers Pugs a year ago (wife wanted one, and like I'm gonna say 'no' to another bike!) At the time I had a SS 26er with studs for commuting and I didn't think I'd use the Pug a lot. I found myself making the Pug my daily commuter (except icy days), here's a link to a thread I started last year about commuting with a fatbike.

If you live in the Twin Cities and you like riding Elm Creek, Theo, Murphy, Lebanon, the river bottoms... Having a fatbike opens up months of great fun!

The truth is that the Pug is heavy and slow (but not as slow as you'd think), however, I have to say I have rarely smiled as much as I do on my Pug. If you enjoy smiling while you ride, you'll love a Pug. If you just want to get here-to-there quick/efficiently, you don't want a fatbike.

Fenders: look at SKS or/and PDW; I have the SKS on the front and PDW on the rear. Also, there is a local guy that makes full-coverage fenders, I don't know his name, but The Alt can get you in contact with him. My fenders are good, but it's still messy.

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Old 03-04-16, 11:52 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
How much will I use it? Well I asked that question when we got his & hers Pugs a year ago (wife wanted one, and like I'm gonna say 'no' to another bike!) At the time I had a SS 26er with studs for commuting and I didn't think I'd use the Pug a lot. I found myself making the Pug my daily commuter (except icy days), here's a link to a thread I started last year about commuting with a fatbike.

If you live in the Twin Cities and you like riding Elm Creek, Theo, Murphy, Lebanon, the river bottoms... Having a fatbike opens up months of great fun!

The truth is that the Pug is heavy and slow (but not as slow as you'd think), however, I have to say I have rarely smiled as much as I do on my Pug. If you enjoy smiling while you ride, you'll love a Pug. If you just want to get here-to-there quick/efficiently, you don't want a fatbike.

Fenders: look at SKS or/and PDW; I have the SKS on the front and PDW on the rear. Also, there is a local guy that makes full-coverage fenders, I don't know his name, but The Alt can get you in contact with him. My fenders are good, but it's still messy.

What's your opinion on Plus bikes?

-Ed
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Old 03-04-16, 12:13 PM
  #32  
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I bought a 40+ year old Raleigh Carlton Competition frame a year ago to build up as a snow/ice bike. It handles 37c tires easily with full fenders and handles really well on snow and ice with the 37c Contact tires. Yeah, in deep snow, the fat bikes would have the edge. But here in Portland, that would be what, once every 3 three years for a day? And the rest of the time my Competition is a very rideable road bike and sweet gravel/non-paved road bike, which is after all what it was designed to be ridden on.

I haven't weighed it but I'm guessing its about 26 pounds with a triple, fenders, Phil hubs and no effort to spend money to save weight.

Ben
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Old 03-04-16, 12:47 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by EddNog View Post
What's your opinion on Plus bikes?

-Ed
Do you mean the 29ers? I haven't tried a 27.5 or 29 inch wheel bike, so I can't say anything about them.
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Old 03-04-16, 01:02 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Do you mean the 29ers? I haven't tried a 27.5 or 29 inch wheel bike, so I can't say anything about them.
I'm pretty sure he is talking about 29+ and 27.5+, which are 29 and 27.5 running ~3 inch tires on wide (35-40mm) rims.
I haven't ridden one yet other than a quick parking lot try, but I do have friend's that have a 29+ and they like them. Supposed to be a lot of fun on a "monster truck" kind of way. They also seem to work pretty well for summer bikepacking. I don't think they are a substitute for a true fat bike on situations that call for a true fat bike. As a mountainbike replacement, maybe.

A plus sized tire, be it 27.5 or 29, will have some drawbacks compared to a 2-2.3 tire but for some people it may work. Same as using a fatbike year round, it can be fun if that's what you like. But it is a different story than riding a full suspension mountainbike with skinny (2-2.3) tires.
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Old 03-04-16, 01:04 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I bought a 40+ year old Raleigh Carlton Competition frame a year ago to build up as a snow/ice bike. It handles 37c tires easily with full fenders and handles really well on snow and ice with the 37c Contact tires. Yeah, in deep snow, the fat bikes would have the edge. But here in Portland, that would be what, once every 3 three years for a day? And the rest of the time my Competition is a very rideable road bike and sweet gravel/non-paved road bike, which is after all what it was designed to be ridden on.

I haven't weighed it but I'm guessing its about 26 pounds with a triple, fenders, Phil hubs and no effort to spend money to save weight.

Ben
I would not buy a fatbike to commute in Portland, nor would I buy a fatbike to ride gravel. But living in Anchorage, a fatbike opens a lot of riding that wouldn't happen otherwise.
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Old 03-04-16, 01:56 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by FrozenK View Post
I'm pretty sure he is talking about 29+ and 27.5+, which are 29 and 27.5 running ~3 inch tires on wide (35-40mm) rims.
I haven't ridden one yet other than a quick parking lot try, but I do have friend's that have a 29+ and they like them. Supposed to be a lot of fun on a "monster truck" kind of way. They also seem to work pretty well for summer bikepacking. I don't think they are a substitute for a true fat bike on situations that call for a true fat bike. As a mountainbike replacement, maybe.

A plus sized tire, be it 27.5 or 29, will have some drawbacks compared to a 2-2.3 tire but for some people it may work. Same as using a fatbike year round, it can be fun if that's what you like. But it is a different story than riding a full suspension mountainbike with skinny (2-2.3) tires.
I'm only aware of the Surly Krampus (29er with mid-wide tires), who else is making 29ers with fat tires? It is funny how fast the fatbike market has expanded since Surly started the first mass-produced fatbike (Pugsley) in 2005. The last couple years everybody's making fatbikes, they're popping up like mushrooms!
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Old 03-04-16, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I'm only aware of the Surly Krampus (29er with mid-wide tires), who else is making 29ers with fat tires? It is funny how fast the fatbike market has expanded since Surly started the first mass-produced fatbike (Pugsley) in 2005. The last couple years everybody's making fatbikes, they're popping up like mushrooms!
Niner has a 29+ and there are a couple others, like the Trek Stsche. Scott is pushing big with the 27.5+ this year, and I think Specialized and Cannondale have a couple too.

The fatbike evolution has been interesting. From a few crazy people welding rims together, to what we have now. When I bought my Fatback in '08 there were three production options (well, two and a half. Wildfire was semi-custom) by 2010 there were five or six. And now, I don't even know how many. Yes, we've come far from the days when people welded rims together.

Speaking of, I got to meet Mr. Ray "Remolino" Molina on the Iditarod Trail, while he was riding one of the original fatbikes with Remolinos and his Chevron tires. How cool was that? Supercool!
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Old 03-04-16, 02:55 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I'm only aware of the Surly Krampus (29er with mid-wide tires), who else is making 29ers with fat tires? It is funny how fast the fatbike market has expanded since Surly started the first mass-produced fatbike (Pugsley) in 2005. The last couple years everybody's making fatbikes, they're popping up like mushrooms!
Scott has the Genius 7XX Plus full squish and the Scale 7XX Plus hardtail (2.8" wide 27.5, Boost space hubs)
Spesh makes the Fuze and Ruze 6Fattie hardtails (3" wide 27.5, standard hubs)
Trek makes the Stache (29er of about 3" width, Boost hubs)
Cannondale has The Beast of the East (650b of about 3" width, standard hubs)

Just to name a few.

-Ed
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Old 03-04-16, 03:22 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I'm only aware of the Surly Krampus (29er with mid-wide tires), who else is making 29ers with fat tires? It is funny how fast the fatbike market has expanded since Surly started the first mass-produced fatbike (Pugsley) in 2005. The last couple years everybody's making fatbikes, they're popping up like mushrooms!
I think most bikes are going to 27.5+/29. The idea is that you can run 27.5x3.X or 29x2.X with the same frame and fork, simply by swapping wheels. I can see that flexibility being very valuable, especially for people who might want two wheelsets.

So you could have a 29x2.3 set for faster XC riding, and a 27.5x3.5 set for adverse conditions.
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Old 03-05-16, 07:15 AM
  #40  
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Last Sunday out on the trails I was having a chat with a guy who's had his full squish Fatty for over a year now.
He's a big dude, the bike fits him well, visually and properly and he is a very powerful and skilled rider, knows his stuff.
He rides that Buck Saw like a mad man !
He went on about tire pressure like this, "I find one psi this way or that makes a difference".

Another guy that rides a HT fattie said, "I like a certain pressure for the Quads, (Flat curvy fast loose over hard pack trails), and I like a different pressure for the technical stuff, and still a different pressure for fast down hills"..

Remember that first guy on the supposedly super traction full squish Fat Bike ? He washed out in a grassy wide trail at big speed mid curve, was a wide arcing curve,
we all run it very fast. he could not hook up because he said the wide tires and lesser knobs could not bite with all that tire movement,, Psi musta been off a tad..

The bike washed out so fast and hard the top tube hit his leg between the ankle and knee and rubbed a half in wide and four Inch long layer of skin off...
I was chatting to him while he lay near his bike waiting for Rescue, with a broken leg.

Fast on a fat and not In deep sand , mud or snow,,, You better have the rebound and damping set up right before you lean those heavy wheeled bikes way over like a true trail bike,, just sayin..
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Old 03-07-16, 01:19 PM
  #41  
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It's not an either/ or thing. Variety is the spice of life. 10 bikes in the quiver. Commute, touring, full sus 29er, hardtail 29er, front sus fatty etc. Works well in the snow. No end to the mt bike season. Add studded tires for fun too. Beach, yes. Do I take on my outings to the rockiest, tech trails, no. Fast flowing rolling trails, yup. Maximum traction, not clearing a steep up? Can't blame the bike. Crazy cornering traction as well. Optional lines only, crushes most everything on the trail. Plus mine is bright radioactive green. Every time I get on it I say " Hulk Smash" YRMV.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:23 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
The interwebz are seeing more posts like this as we advance from year zero of the fatbike phenomenon.

Starting to lean towards selling the pugs frame before I build it. Cut my losses before I'm in too deep.
You bought a ten year old design, and a heavy steel frame? Yikes. Look at the Trek Farley, aluminum frame, trail geometry, tubeless rims, front sus, start there,
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Old 03-07-16, 04:31 PM
  #43  
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My LBS had me test ride a Stache 7 which I didn't care for but loved the Farley 9.6!

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Old 03-11-16, 05:08 PM
  #44  
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That was Awesome
i want fattie now
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Old 03-14-16, 09:04 PM
  #45  
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My fattie (Moonlander) has been very useful for the last 3 years. It is my go to bike when riding trails winter or summer (locally). It goes good in the snow and the geometry is very comfortable, and just has this cool factor! I do however have a full suspension (Tallboy) and will take that when I know I have real rocky or technical single track. I also take the full suspension on vacation as I never no being in a new area what the terrain will be like, it is also lighter for my wife to lift when we load our bikes in and out of the car.
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Old 03-16-16, 12:30 PM
  #46  
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Useful? Well, they can be ridden like a regular MTB, so you don;t really lose anything. Yes, they are heavier, and yes, components and tires are more money, so that has to be factored into the decision. I love my Lynksey Stratus, it is an absolute blast to ride, and especially climb with, rear traction for days! I don't go downhill fast, however, so for climbing and regular XC, its great. Plus, I can ride in the snow easily, which I rarely do... but, you know, I can.
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Old 03-17-16, 08:04 PM
  #47  
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To many variables to answer. Are we talking about a 21lb carbon rigid fattie or a 35lb steel Surly? Do you live in a climate where the bike will get you outside and riding instead of sitting on the trainer? For me living in Michigan the fat bike has made what was a miserable time of the year for me (winter) and turned it into a joy. Even if I dont touch it from spring till fall it is still a worthwhile investment for me. It does not replace my regular mountain bike or any other bike. If my fat bike was the 21lb variety instead of my almost 30lb Fatboy then maybe it would be a viable year round option for me.
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Old 03-18-16, 06:13 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Wingsprint View Post
IMHO- This is a fad that will ultimatley be a very small part of the MTB catagory. At the end of the day, its a limited use bike and most people will never buy one. Lack of Market demand will take care of the rest.
Like the current craze for + size everything? Even road bikes are following the Surly fatties fit fine mantra.
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Old 03-19-16, 10:00 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
I go back and forth on fat bikes too. Speaking as a fellow Twin Cities MN winter biker, this winter has so far been a laugher.
I'm in the twin cities too and I do not own a car. I have noticed that the only other cyclists I see biking through the snowstorms are on mountain bikes or studded road bikes. Why? My assumption is that they, like me, need an efficient bike to get to work and fatbikes are just too damn slow. There was only two times this year where I thought "damn a fatbike would be nice right now" and that was when I was riding on a sidewalk after a snowplow just piled up a bunch of crud in my path. But for the most part, the only guys I see riding fatbikes are the people who already own like a thousand other bikes and just have a need to waste money on new ****. This is of course just my opinion so don't get too angry at me
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Old 03-19-16, 11:32 AM
  #50  
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Plus bikes put a big question mark over fat bikes. My friend, who works for REI, and got the Cannondale fat bike for a nice discount, said that he will likely sell his fat bike once his custom framed 27.5plus bike is completed. He doesn't think there are enough situations where a plus bike's 3-inch tires won't be rideable (for him) that a fat bike's 4-5" tires will be, and that's coming from a guy who has a stable of 11 bikes and has no reservations with just otherwise keeping the fat bike as part of the huge collection.

-Ed
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