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Steel frame/front suspension fat bikes

Old 12-14-17, 08:43 AM
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Steel frame/front suspension fat bikes

Anyone have any suggestions for a steel frame, front suspension fat bike?

I saw one yesterday and it has me considering making an impulse purchase.

I don't care for aluminum bikes and I never knew there were fat bike suspension forks until yesterday, and now I want to hit the trails and bomb over everything in sight.

The idea that I could have a fat bike for soft surfaces and a plus bike for everything else all in one bike is almost too tempting!!

Last edited by twodownzero; 12-14-17 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 12-15-17, 06:25 AM
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Yeah, I often tell people that a fatty with two wheelsets is all most people need. Curious, though, about your antipathy towards aluminum fatties. With higher pressure tires, I don't care for aluminum frames, but with 4-5 inches of low pressure rubber they aren't harsh at all. I love steel--my commuter/tourer is a Surly Troll--but I had two aluminum framed fatties before my current carbon, and they were great.
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Old 12-15-17, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by revcp
Yeah, I often tell people that a fatty with two wheelsets is all most people need. Curious, though, about your antipathy towards aluminum fatties. With higher pressure tires, I don't care for aluminum frames, but with 4-5 inches of low pressure rubber they aren't harsh at all. I love steel--my commuter/tourer is a Surly Troll--but I had two aluminum framed fatties before my current carbon, and they were great.
Mostly just durability. And steel is real and all. I like the look of the smaller tubes as well.

It's looking like BD or buy a Surly and swap the fork. I haven't seen any others for sale.

I'm very tempted to make an impulse purchase but my riding partner isn't so convinced! Maybe if she comes around, I'll have a bike soon enough.
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Old 12-15-17, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by twodownzero
Mostly just durability. And steel is real and all. I like the look of the smaller tubes as well.

It's looking like BD or buy a Surly and swap the fork. I haven't seen any others for sale.

I'm very tempted to make an impulse purchase but my riding partner isn't so convinced! Maybe if she comes around, I'll have a bike soon enough.
If you have winter use with snow and salt, steel is a terrible idea. Rust. but BD is a good source, they have quite a few steel bikes and likely also suspension options.

Converting a rigid bike to a suspended may be tricky since you change the geometry (suspension fork is longer). unless the bike already accounts for that. it also always is cheaper to buy the bike with what you need already on. for a new bike that $500 suspended fork may only cost you $200.

Without a budget and other requirements (5" tires? 1x?) you will get a lot of random and useless suggestions. Best you clarify what else you want or google for them first and post here the ones you came up with.

Since you gave no budget: go to a frame builder and have it done the way you want
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Old 12-15-17, 02:03 PM
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Since this is an impulse purchase, I haven't exactly put a budget on it. I saw the Motobecane Lurch FS and that's what got me to thinking about this; I have thus far found no other steel framed suspended fat bikes on the market other than conversions.

I would want the widest possible tires. I live in the desert and so while snow might be an issue in the mountains, a completely raw piece of steel tubing would literally last for centuries in the air here. I am from Illinois, so I know what you're thinking, and my response to that is that you would be shocked at how dry it is here...it's a huge wake up call going from one to the other.

I would probably prefer 1x but could live with 2x and might actually prefer it.

I haven't owned a mountain bike in probably 20+ years and I've been wanting one for a long time, just spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get into one. I considered a plus bike because all of my trails here are going to involve significant amounts of sand, but then I thought why not go all the way to a fat bike when I saw a suspended one. So here I am asking.

And I like steel!
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Old 12-15-17, 02:11 PM
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My only other comment or suggestion would be to think about suspension need. I went forth-and-back about the need of suspension on MTB trails and now I'm glad I don't have it. Really not needed unless you really crazy stuff. Low pressure tires and good technique > suspension. not sure if your desert riding involves suspension-needing parts.

but obviously your choice...
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Old 12-23-17, 11:37 AM
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Visited 10+ shops, rented a bike, rode it in all kinds of terrain, and I'm still on the fence.

GF may get a Surly Wednesday.

Then I will have to buy one!
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Old 12-28-17, 04:42 PM
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So I tried to order a Surly Ice Cream Truck through my local bike shop. In the process, I discovered that they are out of stock in my size until February, which is deeply disappointing. I've had a BD bike before and they are good, and I may still go that route, but I was really looking forward to buying a complete bike for a change (both of my other bikes, I built from frames).

I may consider buying a Motobecane Titanium NightTrain Bullet or Lurch FS if I can't get the Surly I was really hoping to find. The NightTrain has a slacker headtube angle that I think is probably more updated in terms of geometry. The Ti frame also uses a replaceable derailleur hanger, whereas the steel Lurch does not. The build kit on the Ti bike is also nicer in terms of drivetrain level and hydro brakes vs. mech on the Lurch. Lurch has QR rear/through axle front, whereas NightTrain has through-axle f/r. The Ice Cream Truck has an even slacker head tube angle and more tire clearance than the NightTrain, both of which are features I like. I'm also a bit worried about the quality of the wheels on the BD bikes, although the Internet is a place where people generally have more negative to say and there usually isn't an army of people talking about how great the product is.

If anyone has a Lurch or NightTrain, please feel free to post here or PM me and let me know about your experience. I was willing to pay the price premium to get the Surly, but they don't have one to sell me, and so I'm back to the drawing board.
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Old 12-29-17, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by twodownzero
Mostly just durability. And steel is real and all. I like the look of the smaller tubes as well.

It's looking like BD or buy a Surly and swap the fork. I haven't seen any others for sale.

I'm very tempted to make an impulse purchase but my riding partner isn't so convinced! Maybe if she comes around, I'll have a bike soon enough.
Check out some of the Framed bikes with suspension forks. Albeit, alloy or carbon only.

Last edited by gettingold; 12-29-17 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 12-29-17, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by gettingold
Check out some of the Framed bikes with suspension forks. Albeit, alloy or carbon only.
I have no interest in an aluminum bicycle of any kind.
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Old 12-29-17, 01:47 PM
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No thanks necessary.
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Old 12-29-17, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by gettingold
No thanks necessary.

Good. Onward to the next thread, then. If anyone has any input on steel frame fat bikes, please feel free to provide your input.
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Old 01-02-18, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun
If you have winter use with snow and salt, steel is a terrible idea. Rust. but BD is a good source, they have quite a few steel bikes and likely also suspension options.

Converting a rigid bike to a suspended may be tricky since you change the geometry (suspension fork is longer). unless the bike already accounts for that. it also always is cheaper to buy the bike with what you need already on. for a new bike that $500 suspended fork may only cost you $200.

Without a budget and other requirements (5" tires? 1x?) you will get a lot of random and useless suggestions. Best you clarify what else you want or google for them first and post here the ones you came up with.

Since you gave no budget: go to a frame builder and have it done the way you want
They don't salt the trails where I ride, and aluminum oxidizes as well.
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