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Why are there no low/mid trail MTB or fatbikes with drop bars?

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Why are there no low/mid trail MTB or fatbikes with drop bars?

Old 11-30-17, 07:47 PM
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Why are there no low/mid trail MTB or fatbikes with drop bars?

Hey guys, I have a 29er Surly Karate Monkey with 70mm trail (while using 2" tires). I do NOT use this bike for mountain biking, rather it is my winter commuter during blizzards up here in MN.

The thing I hate about it is when I lean the bike the front wheel turns significantly in the direction of my lean. I think this is known as wheel flop. I hate fighting this wheel flop while sprinting on pavement. I want the bike to steer like my road bike which has 54mm of trail. I could do this by swapping out the headset for an angle-headset to steepen my headtube but is there a reason why I shouldn't do this? No other big tired bikes have such a low trail number. All the new gravel bikes and monster bikes have trails in the high 60's and 70's (even some in the 80's).

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.
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I haven't been able to find any frames that have ~55 trail and fit 2" studded tires with fenders. The sold out Rawland Ulv can fit 3" tires and has a trail of ~40mm. Awesome! But this trail is too low for me since I sometimes pull a bike trailer (and low trail doesn't do well with rear loads). There are new bikes like the OPEN UP or the On One Space Chicken which appear to have road geometry and can ALMOST fit the studded tires I use but there just isn't enough room. Other bikes like the Salsa Fargo could fit the tires I need but they handle like cruise boats. If I missed any bike or frameset let me know!

Last edited by Refreshing; 11-30-17 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 12-01-17, 09:30 AM
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Old 12-01-17, 01:55 PM
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That's not low trail. Haanjo varies from 66mm to 86mm depending on which size you get.
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Old 12-01-17, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Refreshing
Hey guys, I have a 29er Surly Karate Monkey with 70mm trail (while using 2" tires). I do NOT use this bike for mountain biking, rather it is my winter commuter during blizzards up here in MN.

The thing I hate about it is when I lean the bike the front wheel turns significantly in the direction of my lean. I think this is known as wheel flop. I hate fighting this wheel flop while sprinting on pavement. I want the bike to steer like my road bike which has 54mm of trail. I could do this by swapping out the headset for an angle-headset to steepen my headtube but is there a reason why I shouldn't do this? No other big tired bikes have such a low trail number. All the new gravel bikes and monster bikes have trails in the high 60's and 70's (even some in the 80's).

.
.
.

I haven't been able to find any frames that have ~55 trail and fit 2" studded tires with fenders. The sold out Rawland Ulv can fit 3" tires and has a trail of ~40mm. Awesome! But this trail is too low for me since I sometimes pull a bike trailer (and low trail doesn't do well with rear loads). There are new bikes like the OPEN UP or the On One Space Chicken which appear to have road geometry and can ALMOST fit the studded tires I use but there just isn't enough room. Other bikes like the Salsa Fargo could fit the tires I need but they handle like cruise boats. If I missed any bike or frameset let me know!
I have two options for you:

Breezer Radar Pro Breezer Bikes - RADAR PRO - Bike Overview - Mine has 700x45 tires, love that bike. I just got it in August, so no snow experience yet.

Drop-bar conversion on a fat-bike: I put Salsa Woodchippers and Gevenalle shifters on my Pugsley ... LOVE IT!!
IMG_20160514_084233522_HDR.jpg

Tire-steering doesn't have to be an issue, I have some tires that will do it, and some that don't. The best I've found for my Pugsley is the Dillinger 4 tires. A winter specific tire should offer less tire-steering since they should be designed to run at low pressures.

Remind me next week to come back to this, I'm tight on time and just making a quick post so I don't forget.
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Old 12-09-17, 10:15 PM
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Old 12-11-17, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Refreshing
Hey guys, I have a 29er Surly Karate Monkey with 70mm trail (while using 2" tires). I do NOT use this bike for mountain biking, rather it is my winter commuter during blizzards up here in MN.

The thing I hate about it is when I lean the bike the front wheel turns significantly in the direction of my lean. I think this is known as wheel flop. I hate fighting this wheel flop while sprinting on pavement. I want the bike to steer like my road bike which has 54mm of trail. I could do this by swapping out the headset for an angle-headset to steepen my headtube but is there a reason why I shouldn't do this? No other big tired bikes have such a low trail number. All the new gravel bikes and monster bikes have trails in the high 60's and 70's (even some in the 80's).

.
.
.

I haven't been able to find any frames that have ~55 trail and fit 2" studded tires with fenders. The sold out Rawland Ulv can fit 3" tires and has a trail of ~40mm. Awesome! But this trail is too low for me since I sometimes pull a bike trailer (and low trail doesn't do well with rear loads). There are new bikes like the OPEN UP or the On One Space Chicken which appear to have road geometry and can ALMOST fit the studded tires I use but there just isn't enough room. Other bikes like the Salsa Fargo could fit the tires I need but they handle like cruise boats. If I missed any bike or frameset let me know!
You are focused on bike geometry, however, I think the issue is related to tires. Soft, wide tires can cause tire steering... I think that's what you're talking about. What tires do you have on your Karate Monkey?

For reference, I lean my drop-bar Pugsley into turns on pavement, gravel, and single-tracks; and it feels better than any road bike (4" tires have tons of grip). However, I have to be on the right tires and the right pressure for those tires and conditions. For reference, here are the tires I have used on my Pugsley (all are rated 4"):

Surly Nate: great for trails and loose surface, not great on paved surfaces. For snow and soft surfaces, ride them at 4 to 6 psi, but if you get on paved surfaces at those pressures, the bike is very hard to steer; and they roll so slow you'd think your brakes are dragging.

Panaracer Fat B Nimble: Great for gravel and paced surfaces, and good on pavement (TERRIBLE on snow). I typically ride these at 12 to 15 psi, at low pressures they suffer bad tire steering. When riding at 14 to 15 psi on paved surfaces, it's a ton of fun to lay into corners.

45NRTH Dillinger: Shockingly good on all surfaces, I only use them for winter since I have the studded version. My favorite story about these tires: weeks after getting them, I decided to ride Lake Minnetonka from Grays Bay to Excelsior Bay. There was fresh, drifted snow and bare ice; I ended up dumping air on the lake to get float on the drifts. I decided to take a rail-trail home (too tired from cutting trail across the lake), and I didn't have a pump, so I rode the pressure I had on the lake. I was blown away to find how well they handled on paved roads, including a kinda fast descent. I had no issues with tire steer on the way home. I checked the pressure when I got home... I had 4.5 PSI in the front!
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Old 12-14-17, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
I have two options for you:

Breezer Radar Pro Breezer Bikes - RADAR PRO - Bike Overview - Mine has 700x45 tires, love that bike. I just got it in August, so no snow experience yet.

Drop-bar conversion on a fat-bike: I put Salsa Woodchippers and Gevenalle shifters on my Pugsley ... LOVE IT!!
Attachment 590898

Tire-steering doesn't have to be an issue, I have some tires that will do it, and some that don't. The best I've found for my Pugsley is the Dillinger 4 tires. A winter specific tire should offer less tire-steering since they should be designed to run at low pressures.

Remind me next week to come back to this, I'm tight on time and just making a quick post so I don't forget.
This conversion is fascinating to me. The reach issues with flat-bar designed frames make for difficulties (I've done this with a 29er before). I didn't do this to my Pugsley because I'll never have any need to get "aero" on a Pugs, and I never really ride it long distances, so the multiple positions aren't needed.

Insofar as tire-steering, I run Black Floyds in the summer, and those things self steer like CRAZY. Once you start the turn, the tire will pull into it, almost accelerating. Once you, say, start a right-hand turn, you then lean into the right handlebar to prevent the tire from digging in further.

I suppose if I ran them at high enough PSI it might not be as bad, but then it's like riding basketballs...a problem with any fatbike tire at higher pressures.
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Old 12-14-17, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Banzai
This conversion is fascinating to me. The reach issues with flat-bar designed frames make for difficulties (I've done this with a 29er before). I didn't do this to my Pugsley because I'll never have any need to get "aero" on a Pugs, and I never really ride it long distances, so the multiple positions aren't needed.

Insofar as tire-steering, I run Black Floyds in the summer, and those things self steer like CRAZY. Once you start the turn, the tire will pull into it, almost accelerating. Once you, say, start a right-hand turn, you then lean into the right handlebar to prevent the tire from digging in further.

I suppose if I ran them at high enough PSI it might not be as bad, but then it's like riding basketballs...a problem with any fatbike tire at higher pressures.
Drop-bars are (admittedly) silly in a fatbike. I did it specifically for the conditions on the Almanzo 100, it's overkill but works for me. The last two years have been windy and I've been so happy to get lower (& have multiple hand positions).

I needed to swap the stem for a much short option. But otherwise it was a fairly straight forward upgrade.

And I still ride single-track trails with this setup, never been the fastest mountain biker, so the less-than-optimal bars haven't hurt me.
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Old 12-14-17, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
Drop-bars are (admittedly) silly in a fatbike. I did it specifically for the conditions on the Almanzo 100, it's overkill but works for me. The last two years have been windy and I've been so happy to get lower (& have multiple hand positions).

I needed to swap the stem for a much short option. But otherwise it was a fairly straight forward upgrade.

And I still ride single-track trails with this setup, never been the fastest mountain biker, so the less-than-optimal bars haven't hurt me.
Yeah, when I did this with a 29er, I had to run a ridiculous 40mm "gravity" stem, and even then the reach was just a tiny bit longer than I liked.
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Old 01-01-18, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai
Yeah, when I did this with a 29er, I had to run a ridiculous 40mm "gravity" stem, and even then the reach was just a tiny bit longer than I liked.

Yup, on my karate monkey I am using a 50mm stem on top of 60mm of spacers which, due to the angle of the headtube, brings the stem back another about 10mm and gives me the exact same reach as my prior roadbike setup.




Thanks for the discussion of "tire steering". I have never heard this term before and I am going to investigate it further.
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Old 01-01-18, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
I have two options for you:

Breezer Radar Pro Breezer Bikes - RADAR PRO - Bike Overview - Mine has 700x45 tires, love that bike. I just got it in August, so no snow experience yet.

Drop-bar conversion on a fat-bike: I put Salsa Woodchippers and Gevenalle shifters on my Pugsley ... LOVE IT!!
Attachment 590898

Tire-steering doesn't have to be an issue, I have some tires that will do it, and some that don't. The best I've found for my Pugsley is the Dillinger 4 tires. A winter specific tire should offer less tire-steering since they should be designed to run at low pressures.

Remind me next week to come back to this, I'm tight on time and just making a quick post so I don't forget.
That is a neat looking ride you have there.
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Old 01-02-18, 02:03 PM
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You want your mt bike or fat bike to handle like your road bike? Hmmm. Does your fat bike handle like your road bike? Not. So much goes into bike handling beside trail. Tire psi, head tube and seat tube angle, as well as overall frame dimensions, plus fit are factors. With drop bars? That's funny. Use them for tecky trails? Nice. Custom might be the answer.
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Old 02-12-18, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
Drop-bars are (admittedly) silly in a fatbike. I did it specifically for the conditions on the Almanzo 100, it's overkill but works for me. The last two years have been windy and I've been so happy to get lower (& have multiple hand positions).

I needed to swap the stem for a much short option. But otherwise it was a fairly straight forward upgrade.

And I still ride single-track trails with this setup, never been the fastest mountain biker, so the less-than-optimal bars haven't hurt me.
I meant to ask, what was your speed on the Almanzo 100 on that rig?
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Old 02-12-18, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Banzai
I meant to ask, what was your speed on the Almanzo 100 on that rig?
2017 Almanzo 100 was 8:10 in terrible conditions - rain, temps just above freezing, strong winds (12.3 mph)

2106 Almanzo 100 was 7:35 in sunny, but windy conditions (13.1 mph)

2017 Filthy Fifty was great conditions for racing, sunny, mild temps, winds that were mild headwind to start and a strong tail wind to the finish - just under 3 hours (17.6 mph)

I'm disappointed I can't go to the Almanzo this year, my daughter's wedding is the same weekend. But I'm excited to bring the Pug back for 2019 for the Royal!
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Old 02-12-18, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
2017 Almanzo 100 was 8:10 in terrible conditions - rain, temps just above freezing, strong winds (12.3 mph)

2106 Almanzo 100 was 7:35 in sunny, but windy conditions (13.1 mph)

2017 Filthy Fifty was great conditions for racing, sunny, mild temps, winds that were mild headwind to start and a strong tail wind to the finish - just under 3 hours (17.6 mph)

I'm disappointed I can't go to the Almanzo this year, my daughter's wedding is the same weekend. But I'm excited to bring the Pug back for 2019 for the Royal!
Those speeds seem really good for a fatbike! Especially that 17.6 mph mark. Very nice!
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Old 02-12-18, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai
Those speeds seem really good for a fatbike! Especially that 17.6 mph mark. Very nice!
Thanks!
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Old 03-03-18, 03:19 PM
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Just wanted to add that I would only consider purchasing a fat bike with drop bars, fairly steep geometry, low head tube and shorter top tube.
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Old 03-03-18, 03:31 PM
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The Elephant National Forest Explorer is low or mid trail.

stock
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