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What's with all the fat bikes being ridden?

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What's with all the fat bikes being ridden?

Old 05-29-16, 07:54 AM
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I have seen riders on Fats who are incredibly strong and fast. Then again, there are a discouraging number of fast riders on MTBs and road bikes here. But I have seen some Fat riders just stand and power through steep climbs that most just sit and spin on (some fast too). Not me...I sit and spin on my snowy trails, only standing on short climbs if there is traction. I'm referring to when I see these guys on dirt. Some of them are insanely strong.
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Old 05-29-16, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd
If their popularity is due to people seeking attention. That's kind of sad.
When you wave at them ( You Do wave at each and every person you see riding any form of pedaled machine do you not?) they will be ever so slightly less Sad.
If you install a cheerful and friendly bell to "Ding" they might even cheer right up and purchase a bicycle that you will approve of.

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Old 05-29-16, 09:35 AM
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I saw a bunch of people riding them in 5 Boro bike tour a few weeks ago. 40 miles of pavement on those things? No thanks!

but having said that, I want one for riding around the country place, which has firm sandy beaches and trails you can get to by riding said beaches.
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Old 05-29-16, 09:45 AM
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It's probably a combination of trend, weather (as others mentioned), or people that use them as a MTB and also their regular daily commuter because they don't have the N+1 problem.

I don't see many on the road here in Seattle, but I've seen a few. Last summer I used to see a couple every now and again riding matching fat bikes on one of the local paved MUPs, and saw one frequently in the bike room when I worked downtown. The tires on that bike had a respectable amount of mud on them, but I never actually saw the owner to ask if they had one bike they rode for all purposes or if they had a really interesting commute.
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Old 05-29-16, 09:50 AM
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I have one. I have 850 acres of swamp in the SC Low Country with roads and trails all over it. When the weather is to dicey to get out on the road I ride my fat bike around the place. I can put in a couple of quality hours of pedaling and never be all that far from shelter if the thunderstorms I'm concerned with show up. I much prefer it to riding laps around the subdivision so I don't get half an hour away from home when the bottom drops out.

It rides great in the mud and sand I have on most of the trails. And on the better roads it's great. I even use it to get in and out of the woods during hunting season. I'm debating on getting a second one to keep at home. I live on 5 acres and use the fat bike when I'm playing around with the veggie garden or working on something that's on the other side of the yard. Makes going back to the garage much quicker for me. And since I can never remember to get everything in one trip, the bike saves quite a bit of time.

I've done a couple of charity metric centuries this year and I did see a bunch of them doing the shorter rides. None on the longer rides though. It's a nice ride on the road, but the gearing isn't distance friendly and speed isn't something you'll find much of either.
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Old 05-29-16, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
It's the new single speed. In about 2 years 75% of bikes on Craigslist will be "hardly used mint condition" fat bikes.
Best post.
Even worse than all the Venges on ebay bought by guys who can barely ride.
Fat bikes could be called slow bikes also...but fat makes their fat owners feel more at home.
Would say the vast majority are being misused...would be much more efficient to be on a different bike for the intended purpose.
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Old 05-29-16, 10:43 AM
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It's a friggin' bike. If it entices someone to buy it and ride it, I'm for it. If it doesn't have a motor, it's helping get folks on bikes. People who ride bikes are more aware of other bikes. Like yours and mine with appropriately-sized tires, riding on the roads as they cart their fatbike to the local MUP on the back of their Subaru.

I don't own one, and I've worked to talk people who wanted a mountain bike out of them, but there is nothing wrong with someone finding a bike that they enjoy, IMHO. Hell, there are people who actually like recumbets. I road past some sort of group ride for them two weeks ago - must have been 75 - 100 of them going in the other direction. Including two fatbike recumbent trikes. I waved at every one of them.

I may not get it, but I respect them for getting out there.
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Old 05-29-16, 11:26 AM
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Here come the lectures.
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Old 05-29-16, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Do you only interact with people online?
There are no stupid questions, only stupid results when you don't ask first, TS. You aren't being appropriate.
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Old 05-29-16, 11:53 AM
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If I had an unlimited budget I would build oe of those 24-pounders I just read about.

I used to ride some trails with deep sand sections where the only technique was plow forward several feet, fall, and flow forward some more. The fat bike would have been a blessing---and at five pounds lighter than my F/S Cannondale, it wouldn't have been a liability on the rest of the trials.

Right after I get a CF road bike, and a Ti road bike, and a CF F/S MTB .... and about $15 K in camera gear .... after I win the lottery, I guess ...

I rode some miles last summer with a former MTB racer who was really intrigued by fatbikes ... I wasn't, but I didn't know they could be built so light.
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Old 05-29-16, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Do you only interact with people online?
Originally Posted by Rollfast
There are no stupid questions, only stupid results when you don't ask first, TS. You aren't being appropriate.
Irony.
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Old 05-29-16, 11:59 AM
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Bikes are bikes. It's not ours to criticize the choice but instead to guide those who ask us for help. It's ours to help when we see potentially unsafe and dangerous conditions for both bikes and riders. We are here to promote the enjoyment of bicycles, in all of their forms.

It's not a lecture, it's our mission at Bike Forums.
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Old 05-29-16, 12:33 PM
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Well, they are true beach cruisers not poseurs. Decisions, decisions. Colnago or Minnesota 3.0?



As as I live next to 28 miles of Pacific Ocean beach...fat wins mostly. It's a brutal workout. Imagine rolling 2 psi rear and 1 psi front through soft sands. Hard sand means I can roll at 12 mph+ but that does take serious cardio. It's like a perpetual 1-3% grade. Then there's wind. A buddy who was a Euro domestique for several years says the fatbike on a beach is the greatest mix of cardio & leg strength training he's ever done.

I just ride and I usually have the beach to myself.
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Old 05-29-16, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jseis
Well, they are true beach cruisers not poseurs. Decisions, decisions. Colnago or Minnesota 3.0?



As as I live next to 28 miles of Pacific Ocean beach...fat wins mostly. It's a brutal workout. Imagine rolling 2 psi rear and 1 psi front through soft sands. Hard sand means I can roll at 12 mph+ but that does take serious cardio. It's like a perpetual 1-3% grade. Then there's wind. A buddy who was a Euro domestique for several years says the fatbike on a beach is the greatest mix of cardio & leg strength training he's ever done.

I just ride and I usually have the beach to myself.
Do you ride in the wet or dry sand? Do you need fenders (or get mucky) if you ride in the wet sand?
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Old 05-29-16, 12:49 PM
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Heh, my bad if I honestly offended anyone. Fat bikes have been out so long, and are so ubiquitous around here, it just struck me as weird that the OP had yet to have an IRL conversation with anyone about them. Maybe they're still new in CA or something.

They're fun and different, OP. One guy I know works them into his triathlon training for variety. Go to a shop and try one out sometime.
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Old 05-29-16, 01:05 PM
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They're fun and different, in a novelty act kind of way. An N+4 kind of bike, maybe. A hoot to ride around on, but if limited by budget/space/time/spouse/sanity/etc., not the bike to have.

A cross bike or even a 29er will check off nearly every requirement a utility cyclist has, and do it faster and better, plus have more uses in life than a fat bike.

A fatbike on pavement brings to mind sayings of lipstick on pigs, or mammaries on a bull, or whatnot.

On trails, other than the loosest surfaces, it gets smoked by mtbs of any "conventional" wheel variety.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't pondered one as a toy.
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Old 05-29-16, 01:09 PM
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I live in a beach town. Will only share my experience. Lots of fat bikes around here ridden by those that aren't particularly fit which is ok. Indignation against fat bikes from those that really understand the hobby...like those that build their bikes and have owned many different on road and off road bikes is....the vast majority around here never go near a beach. Very little beach riding in these parts. Again, I live in a beach town. They get ridden, on the sidewalk, on MUPS and around town. A more narrow tired bike is vastly more efficient for that type of riding.

Are fat tired bikes better for riding on the beach than other genres? Absolutely. But not riding on the beach, they are less efficient than more narrow tired bikes. No different than buying a road bike for riding dirt single track. There are many better bikes for the job than a road bike for that kind of riding.

A final note. Most fat bike owners I know...there maybe exceptions here or not...know nothing about them or much of anything about cycling or even fitness riding. They bought them because they think they are cool. Not unlike a newb that comes here and drops $5-8K on a Venge or a Madone with Di2 and rides it 15mph on a MUP.
Of course the outcry will come...what's wrong with that? Nothing other than using the wrong tool for the job which actually detracts more from the fun factor not to mention spending more than needed to enjoy the sport.




Originally Posted by Jseis
Well, they are true beach cruisers not poseurs. Decisions, decisions. Colnago or Minnesota 3.0?



As as I live next to 28 miles of Pacific Ocean beach...fat wins mostly. It's a brutal workout. Imagine rolling 2 psi rear and 1 psi front through soft sands. Hard sand means I can roll at 12 mph+ but that does take serious cardio. It's like a perpetual 1-3% grade. Then there's wind. A buddy who was a Euro domestique for several years says the fatbike on a beach is the greatest mix of cardio & leg strength training he's ever done.

I just ride and I usually have the beach to myself.

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Old 05-29-16, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai
They're fun and different, in a novelty act kind of way. An N+4 kind of bike, maybe. A hoot to ride around on, but if limited by budget/space/time/spouse/sanity/etc., not the bike to have.

A cross bike or even a 29er will check off nearly every requirement a utility cyclist has, and do it faster and better, plus have more uses in life than a fat bike.

A fatbike on pavement brings to mind sayings of lipstick on pigs, or mammaries on a bull, or whatnot.

On trails, other than the loosest surfaces, it gets smoked by mtbs of any "conventional" wheel variety.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't pondered one as a toy.
Agree with you other than I am not interested in one and haven't considered one. As mentioned, I live near the beach but not on the beach.
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Old 05-29-16, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83
Do you ride in the wet or dry sand? Do you need fenders (or get mucky) if you ride in the wet sand?
Yes but I currently have just the side skirt to keep sand off drive train and a front guard to keep sand off front cogs. They work pretty well. I'll add fenders when I get around to it but haven't really needed them on 3000 km (beach!). Above 10 mph I get whacked in face by occasional sand globs.
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Old 05-29-16, 01:36 PM
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Dang! If I had only know they make you cool, I would have gotten one long ago. I can always stand to be a little cooler than the rest of my crew.
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Old 05-29-16, 01:48 PM
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You know, Sheldon Brown (pbuh) was a fan of them, which is why I ever even looked at one in the first place.

Sheldon never seemed to get caught up in that many fads, so his endorsement caught my eye.
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Old 05-29-16, 02:00 PM
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I don't have any fat bikes, but I have several fat person's bikes ....
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Old 05-29-16, 02:15 PM
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1. Yeah they're new and different. People look and notice you when you go places, whereas everyone's seen a high end road bike a million times.

2. They're relaxing to ride because you don't need to keep much of an eye on the road for debris. Pothole? Stick on the ground? Rock? LOL who cares! It's a fatbike you just roll right over it. Heck you can hit a curb and be fine. On my road bike I'm always keeping an eye on the pavement. Not with a fat bike.

Also the ride is REALLY cushy. Really comfortable. It's like biking on the most comfortable couch you've ever sat on.

3. If your goal is to get exercise - the slower speed doesn't matter at all. In fact it can makes things easier - you can ride shorter trails, you can slow down and see the scenery (smell the flowers so to speak) and you're still getting a good workout. Faster than walking, but slower than a skinny tire bike.

4. It signals to people that you are definitely not one of the high end racer wannabe's. Some people like being seen as that, some people don't, but if you don't want to be seen as a racer wannabe a fatbike definitely says that you aren't.

If you just want to go for a fun ride or get exercise, a fat bike might actually be better than a skinnier tire bike. It's big drawback is if you need to get somewhere at a decent speed.
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Old 05-29-16, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai
You know, Sheldon Brown (pbuh) was a fan of them, which is why I ever even looked at one in the first place.

Sheldon never seemed to get caught up in that many fads, so his endorsement caught my eye.
do you have a link to that conjecture? The very scientifically minded bicycle guru Brown was a very keen student of the sport, and would love to hear the 'context' of his endorsement of fat tired bikes. I find it hard to believe he would like them in any sort of broad context. Of course he wasn't that much of a speed merchant by nature...or it wasn't perhaps a great priority of his based upon my readings.
But few knew more about bicycles and if anybody understood horses for courses it was he and there is nothing middle of the road about a fat bike.
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Old 05-29-16, 03:40 PM
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A pleasant surprise is the number of people who ask about the fatbike. It's a de facto ambassador to cycling because these folks would likely not stop to chat with a Lycra clad kitted out roadie. Of course when I'm on the fatbike I look like a friggin prepper. Bikes are so niche nowadays. We all need each other as opposed to talking trash. Of course, I'm riding my Minn 3.0. in the STP... Say hi.

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