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What are your thoughts on 'fat bikes'?

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What are your thoughts on 'fat bikes'?

Old 08-20-17, 08:11 PM
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What are your thoughts on 'fat bikes'?

Hi Everyone,

I am a noobie here and just started looking into bikes. I was interested to get some thoughts about 'fat bikes'?

Are they a gimmick or do they serve an actual function?

Thank you all in advance! Have a great weekend!


Respectfully,
George D.
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Old 08-20-17, 08:13 PM
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My thoughts are that I want one.

That said, what are you looking to do with one? I want to ride in snow, where they are rather more practical than 23mm tires.
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Old 08-20-17, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
My thoughts are that I want one.

That said, what are you looking to do with one? I want to ride in snow, where they are rather more practical than 23mm tires.
It wasn't something I was considering but more of a curiosity.
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Old 08-20-17, 08:17 PM
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I don't need a fat bike to ride in snow. I've been doing fine with 26 x 2.0 studded tires that mount up to a vintage mountain bike.

I have little doubt that there are some riding applications where a fatbike makes a heck of a lot of sense. Plus most people seem to ride them on paved trails and the like.
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Old 08-20-17, 08:32 PM
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Fat Bikes do great on soft surfaces where regular bikes bog down.
They also do surprisingly well on stony, rocky trails by tracking straighter, smoother than bikes with narrower, higher-pressure tires.

They roll poorer on firm surfaces, and tend to fight the steering if you don't get the pressure right.
Right now it seems like the 27+ bikes are becoming more popular. They're almost as good at the soft stuff while being more versatile and faster on more normal trail conditions.

If I'd ridden a good Fat Bike a little earlier, I'd never have bought My 29er.
Whatever I could do on the 29er, I could also do with my 26".
A Fat Bike though lets me ride stuff that simply isn't rideable on 2" tires.

Last edited by dabac; 08-20-17 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 08-20-17, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by GeoGoGo
It wasn't something I was considering but more of a curiosity.
In that case, like mose bikes, they fill a niche in which they excel, and from there they are repurposed to dozens of different adequate uses!
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Old 08-20-17, 08:45 PM
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I'm sort of with jefnvk, except the value / cost ratio hasn't quite been high enough for me to part w/money. Fun bikes, for sure. Demo'd a Salsa model a couple years ago on some Marquette singletrack. As well, I have dabbled for years w/winter biking here in Munising with some studded tires on my commuter bike and mountain bike. That's fun too, but it's one thing to ride a mile or two, maybe three from my back porch, and quite another to throw a bike onto the back of my car and drive an hour to where there is groomed fat bike riding. Someday it'd be fun to have a fat-tire bike, but I guess I don't have a sense of urgency right now about getting one.
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Old 08-20-17, 08:45 PM
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Great in snow... and with a set of Vee Rubber Snowshoe tires do good on sea ice too.
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Old 08-21-17, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by GeoGoGo
Hi Everyone,

I am a noobie here and just started looking into bikes. I was interested to get some thoughts about 'fat bikes'?

Are they a gimmick or do they serve an actual function?

Thank you all in advance! Have a great weekend!


Respectfully,
George D.
Lot of info on MTBR. They are a gimmick and serve no purpose like commuting unless you commute in the snow. Just like mountainbikes. All they do is get you out in nature on snow, sand, MTB trails and other unpaved and paved trails and provide a lot of fun. So really no rational purpose at all

I very much want one and probably will buy one soon. Good complement to my hybrid (all paved and unpaved bike trails and all road duty) and hope it makes me a 4-season rider here in the salt belt.
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Old 08-21-17, 07:29 AM
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Love my Trek Farley 5 for the beach, snow and mud. Have no interest in riding it on pavement.

Especially fun at the beach -- taking it down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in October. We "bikejor" with our dogs on the beach there and it is an absolute blast -- the fatbikes are perfect for that.

Fatbikes can be rented there, too.


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Old 08-21-17, 07:31 AM
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They serve a function if you ride in snow and sand regularly. Otherwise there are other types of bikes that will serve you better. Like others have noted, it's a niche-market bike much like folders and unicycles.
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Old 08-21-17, 07:46 AM
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Good seller in most of Alaska, now including Kodiak Island..& it's USCG base.

& the trolley tracks can/will grab skinnier wheels, causing a crash, not 4 "+ fat bike wheels..

& Haul your Clam Digging gear, to stalk the tasty bivalve.. on the beach.

Hunters get mid drive retrofit kits, often, on them, to go in motor vehicle excluded roads owned by timber companies.

Electric powered fat bikes are classified as bicycles, there.




....

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-23-17 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 08-21-17, 08:06 AM
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I've had a carbon Salsa Beargrease for three years now and love it in the winter. Fun in the snow (but even fat bikes bog down in more than 5+ inches of fresh snow). I made a 29"+ wheelset for it and makes it a good trail bike (I least as good as I care to ride the single track rock & root gardens around here). Gets you out in the winter to ride and exercise when its way too cold or windy to enjoy a road bike.
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Old 08-21-17, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bikesailor
Gets you out in the winter to ride and exercise when its way too cold or windy to enjoy a road bike.
A super-important consideration, imho. We all need something to get us outside and active during winter. Doesn't matter what that something is. Doesn't even matter whether it's practical. Just that it's fun and we enjoy it and are motivated to get off the couch.
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Old 08-21-17, 08:56 AM
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I bought one, about 2 months ago and am having fun like a kid. It takes you where no other bike can. It is a specialized bike. I ride river beds and it is fun. If you do not have a specific type of course you want to ride (snow, sand, rock), then maybe it's not for you. It can ride single track well, but MTBs have the advantage there. And on the road they move like a cow, especially uphill. I can't wait for winter, but not for the snow, but for the beaches to be clear and ride it on the sand.
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Old 08-21-17, 11:42 AM
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I live very close the Blue Trail in Michigan's Island Lake Recreation Area. During winter several years ago, only a handful of bikes would brave the snow, and usually after the snowmobiles came through to pack the snow down. Most people either used their normal 29/26 inch tires, and a few using studs.
Last year, it was nothing but fat tire bikes. I don't recall seeing a normal tire in the snow. Says something about these bikes.
Now, I want one, but the wife probably is tired of me bringing home a new bike every year.
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Old 08-21-17, 11:53 AM
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Want one really bad. Can't justify buying one when I can put a good set of winter tires on my 29er and go anyplace with no issues. The need just isn't great enough to drop serous cash for such a small use.

Still want one.
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Old 08-21-17, 12:02 PM
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Super fun bikes:
1. Better on snow, though not as effortless as some pretend.
2. Surprisingly fast offroad, you can just plow through most things.
3. Great for endurance gravel rides if you run the right tires.
4. Fun to just screw around on.

The tires make all the difference. For snow and trails, I use Surly Bud/Lou.
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Old 08-21-17, 12:06 PM
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Fat bikes, IMO, are good for unpacked snow (2"+) and MTB courses with roots, rocks, and other obstacles. The benefit is that the wider tire obviously rolls over stuff better, and they can be run with lower tire pressure allowing for more float.

For winter cycling, they can have a benefit if there are trails with unpacked snow or if you want to roll in a snowstorm. I've personally found that 26" tires with studs are fine for my purposes - they work in snow of 2" or less, packed snow, and ice. I've found no need for one, since we only get about 40" of snowfall a year; if I lived in a lake effect zone, I'd be more likely to consider it!
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Old 08-21-17, 03:08 PM
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I have a quasi-fat 29x3 steel hardtail. Except for the super low gearing, which I find useful on steep, rocky old logging roads, I'd probably get rid of it in favor of the 700x38 aluminum gravel bike I just bought a few weeks ago. The latter if faster on both pavement and most off-road and almost as comfortable.

Keith
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Old 08-21-17, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
My thoughts are that I want one.

That said, what are you looking to do with one? I want to ride in snow, where they are rather more practical than 23mm tires.
I live in sunny Queensland and I see a few getting around the streets. I think it's image myself? Unless the young guys on them regularly ride grassy parks or some such. They must be good in the grass don't you think?
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Old 08-21-17, 08:58 PM
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I have never ridden one so I cannot be sure, but I imagine that the thoughts I would think while on a fast bike wouldn't be very different than the thought I think while riding on any other type of bike.
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Old 08-21-17, 09:35 PM
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What do I think of fat bikes? As much fun as you can have with your clothes on.

I wouldn't necessarily want a fat bike as my only bike but when it's below 40 here in Minnesota generally the road bike has been put in hibernation, so how else am I going to get 20 miles to the brewery and back on the trail?

What they do well
- Trails
- Snow - though they're not great when it is what we call mashed potatoes
- Get admiring looks and people asking if they can test ride
- Putting smiles on your face, growler getting

What they don't do well
- Speed
- Hills
- Pavement
- Ice (at least without studs)
- Centuries

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Old 08-21-17, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by coominya
I live in sunny Queensland and I see a few getting around the streets. I think it's image myself? Unless the young guys on them regularly ride grassy parks or some such. They must be good in the grass don't you think?
Only time I've ridden them was on a snowy demo day. Couldn't stand it on the road, but it was quite fun on icy single track (although if I were buying, I'd stick more to a 3"ish plus size)! I imagine Queensland has quite a bit of sandy beach that they would be nice on, though.
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Old 08-22-17, 03:13 AM
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I see quite a few people commuting on them where I live.
It made me wonder - we have a lot of tram lines here and maybe the fat tires don't slot into the tracks? Does anyone have any experience with this specific issue?
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