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Considering a Fatbike

Old 05-30-19, 12:32 PM
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Just Mark
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Considering a Fatbike

I spend a lot of weekends throughout the year in Nag Head, NC, very near Jockey's Ridge State Park. I love taking morning hikes through the park especially in the off season. I also frequently take my road bike down there to ride the paved roads. I often think about getting a fat bike and riding up the dunes and then of course riding back down.

The sand can be very loose depending on how the weather has been. What would I need to consider when looking for a bike to do this? Wheel width? Bike weight? Gearing? I have seen people with fat bikes on the beach but I have never seen anyone up on the dune on one.Am I expecting too much from a fat bike?

This is the place: https://www.ncparks.gov/jockeys-ridge-state-park

Last edited by Just Mark; 05-30-19 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 05-30-19, 05:09 PM
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Tire tread, rubber, gearing and rider skills still play a role. I'd recommend one that supports 26"/4.8" or 27.5"/4.5" tires for largest contact patch.

I never rode up dunes, and dines change constantly. So hard to predict if you could master them. But a good fattie with good tires at least gives you a fighting chance. You also want lower gearing. The lower the better.
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Old 05-31-19, 02:44 AM
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I ride nothing but Florida panhandle beaches. I think the best tires for a 26" bike are the 4.8" Jumbo Jims. I got a hell of a deal on my 9.6 Farley and put on the 4.5" Barbegazis as soon as they came out. To me they roll better than the JJs especially whenever you get on packed sand. I normally run em at 8 to 10psi and definitely tubeless. My favorite park with the best dunes has been shut down since the hurricane and I can't wait for it to open back up!


You can't go wrong with a Farley. The 2019 Farley 5s come with 4.5" Gnarwhals but the 9.6s come with Barbegazis.


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Old 05-31-19, 04:33 AM
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Just Mark
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Thanks guys. I’ll let you know what I end up doing.
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Old 05-31-19, 06:59 AM
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Is it legal to ride on dunes? In NJ, the dunes are protected
I couldn't think of a better bike to have at the beach. Get lightweight tires with less knobs for the sand
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Old 06-04-19, 05:16 AM
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I'm also considering a fat bike, good to read about all the different aspects that make a difference!
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Old 06-05-19, 01:40 PM
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My bike shop just ordered me a Specialized Fatboy SE as they didn't have my size. I am really surprised at how light they are. They look like they would weigh a lot more. I am also surprised at the gearing as I'm used to road type bikes. I guess they aren't made to go anywhere fast but I'm sure that I can do some steep climbs with it. I should have it next Wednesday.

Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
Is it legal to ride on dunes? In NJ, the dunes are protected
I couldn't think of a better bike to have at the beach. Get lightweight tires with less knobs for the sand
I don't know about the legalities. People hike, fly kites and even hang glide all over the dunes. I'll keep it low key and only in the mornings before the tourists invade for the day and see how long I get away with it before a park ranger stops me. If they kick me off the dunes there is always the beach. We have lots of beach.
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Old 06-05-19, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Mark View Post
My bike shop just ordered me a Specialized Fatboy SE as they didn't have my size. I am really surprised at how light they are.
Funny mine is the lightest of all my other bikes!
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Old 06-26-19, 08:26 AM
  #9  
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Last weekend was my first go in the sand with the Fatboy. Man, I have a lot to learn about riding a fatbike and in particular, riding in the sand. Being used to a road bike, the wide stance kept throwing me off when i would take my feet off the pedals and try to put them back on. Moving on sand takes more effort than I anticipated.It will be a while before this old body gets the skill and the strength to climb 100 ft dunes.

I did put quite a few sand miles on the bike and I love it.I am teaching myself how to handle softer sand little by little. My nest outing will be Sunday morning when I get back down to the Outer Banks.
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Old 06-26-19, 10:03 PM
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One question:
How did you get the bike to stand by itself? I see no prop
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Old 06-27-19, 09:21 AM
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Just Mark
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
One question:
How did you get the bike to stand by itself? I see no prop
I dug the rear tire in enough that it would balance. I took the picture and grabbed it just before it fell over.
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Old 07-09-19, 09:01 AM
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@SHOFINE and others that ride sand.How do you mange the transition from riding paved road to riding sand and then back to paved road? Do you run the low pressures on the paved road? 6 to 8 psi seems to be the sweet spot for the sand but I'm concerned about the 1/2 mile of pavement to and from. Any thoughts? Ideas?
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Old 07-09-19, 09:35 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
Is it legal to ride on dunes? In NJ, the dunes are protected
where I am in MA, there are foot paths thru the dunes to the beaches. but of course the rest of the dunes & dune grass is off-limits. my regular MTB was fine on this trail, until I reached soft sand. that's where a fatbike would be good

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Old 07-10-19, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Mark View Post
@SHOFINE and others that ride sand.How do you mange the transition from riding paved road to riding sand and then back to paved road? Do you run the low pressures on the paved road? 6 to 8 psi seems to be the sweet spot for the sand but I'm concerned about the 1/2 mile of pavement to and from. Any thoughts? Ideas?
If I only had a 1/2 mile of pavement I wouldn't worry about it. Back when I use to live only a mile from the beach I would air up the tires a bit and adjust when I got to the beach.
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Old 07-24-19, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Mark View Post

Last weekend was my first go in the sand with the Fatboy. Man, I have a lot to learn about riding a fatbike and in particular, riding in the sand. Being used to a road bike, the wide stance kept throwing me off when i would take my feet off the pedals and try to put them back on. Moving on sand takes more effort than I anticipated.It will be a while before this old body gets the skill and the strength to climb 100 ft dunes.

I did put quite a few sand miles on the bike and I love it.I am teaching myself how to handle softer sand little by little. My nest outing will be Sunday morning when I get back down to the Outer Banks.
Awesome pic!!!
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Old 07-24-19, 05:42 AM
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I'm digging all things Farley...Started with Salsa Mukluk years ago, then a Specialized Fatboy, Followed by a Salsa Beargrease(which I still have), then the Farley...got a killer deal on a 9.6, liked it so much upgraded to a 9.8(best of the bunch)! If you can't tell, I am addicted to Fat,lol! Anyone looking for a 2018 9.6(NJ area) hit me up...
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Old 08-22-19, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Mark View Post
I spend a lot of weekends throughout the year in Nag Head, NC, very near Jockey's Ridge State Park. I love taking morning hikes through the park especially in the off season. I also frequently take my road bike down there to ride the paved roads. I often think about getting a fat bike and riding up the dunes and then of course riding back down.

The sand can be very loose depending on how the weather has been. What would I need to consider when looking for a bike to do this? Wheel width? Bike weight? Gearing? I have seen people with fat bikes on the beach but I have never seen anyone up on the dune on one.Am I expecting too much from a fat bike?

This is the place:
Ahh, where I crashed a hang glider!
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Old 09-18-19, 08:42 AM
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Great feed! Can't wait for my first fatbike!
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Old 09-23-19, 08:51 AM
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I can't say that I have mastered the dunes of Jockey's Ridge. But, I am definitely starting to tame them.On the return side of my beach ride, I crossed over to Jockey's Ridge at Kitty Hawk Kites. The sand was very soft and i couldn't make it up the first dune. But with the momentum of the down hill and probably the fact that I stopped to take pictures (rested), I made it up the second (and taller) dune. From there I made it all the way to the parking lot at the Jockey's Ridge sound side beach with my feet never leaving the pedals. there were a couple of time that i thought i was going to not make it and is seemed like i wasn't even moving fast enough to stay balanced on the bike but I made through for the first time.



Last edited by Just Mark; 09-24-19 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 09-24-19, 05:57 AM
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Good thread
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Old 09-25-19, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SHOFINE View Post
I ride nothing but Florida panhandle beaches. I think the best tires for a 26" bike are the 4.8" Jumbo Jims. I got a hell of a deal on my 9.6 Farley and put on the 4.5" Barbegazis as soon as they came out. To me they roll better than the JJs especially whenever you get on packed sand. I normally run em at 8 to 10psi and definitely tubeless. My favorite park with the best dunes has been shut down since the hurricane and I can't wait for it to open back up!


You can't go wrong with a Farley. The 2019 Farley 5s come with 4.5" Gnarwhals but the 9.6s come with Barbegazis.

I'm all in on the Farley 5. Thought the handling was better than a Beargrease around the same price point. Hoping to make that my first fat bike this year.
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Old 10-16-19, 12:43 PM
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I have ridden several different fattys and I have to say Trek nailed it! My 2017 Farley 7 is awesome. Like it so much I am thinking about a 2020. The 7 is the only bike I ride in the woods now. The thing makes you turn 12 again!
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