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Searching For My First Fat Bike, Where To Start??

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Searching For My First Fat Bike, Where To Start??

Old 12-29-19, 04:21 PM
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liv4mtns
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Searching For My First Fat Bike, Where To Start??

We'll be moving back to Montana sometime in the first part of 2020 ( late Spring ) We lived in Bozeman MT for 9 years from 2003 -2012. Never tried fat biking then, but now I see it as a viable option for riding throughout the winter months. Trying to wrap my head around what I need to be looking for. Do I want/need front suspension? What are the advantages/disadvantages between the two? Manufacturer's?? Dropper post or not? I just need some advice and guidance from the collective here. Been reading through some of the threads here, but haven't found any recent info that really pertains to starting out. I'm very comfortable building and working on all my full suspension bikes, but with this genre of mountain biking I am at a loss. Open to all suggestions and questions.
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Old 12-29-19, 08:08 PM
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If youíre planning to use it year-round, then I think the suspension fork and dropper post make sense.

If this is mostly a winter bike, your money is probably better spent on studded tires.

I live in Alberta and ride a Pugsley. Iíve never wished for suspension when riding on snow. Iíve occasionally thought a dropper might be useful, but it is hardly a necessity.

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Old 12-29-19, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by slo_rida
If youíre planning to use it year-round, then I think the suspension fork and dropper post make sense.

If this is mostly a winter bike, your money is probably better spent on studded tires.

I live in Alberta and ride a Pugsley.
Thanks slo_rida. Yes, this will be used for winter riding only. What are some brands of studded tires I should look at?

Kevin.
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Old 12-30-19, 01:02 AM
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I would rent one for the week end first. Suspension is good, but not a necessity.
Try one with, then without.
If money is no object then have fun
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Old 12-30-19, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT
I would rent one for the week end first. Suspension is good, but not a necessity.
Try one with, then without.
If money is no object then have fun

Thanks Marcus. Demo will be hard to find right now.

Kevin.
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Old 12-30-19, 08:54 AM
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Planning on ridding year round? 80 mm rims are good. 4" tires summer. 5" tires winter. Sus forks are helpful, think rutted icy trail. You want tubeless rims and tires. Got a budget? 1.5 -2K is a good low.
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Old 12-30-19, 01:45 PM
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Try for the lightest fat bike you can afford. Most important is to try the bike, ride it.
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Old 12-30-19, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo
Planning on ridding year round? 80 mm rims are good. 4" tires summer. 5" tires winter. Sus forks are helpful, think rutted icy trail. You want tubeless rims and tires. Got a budget? 1.5 -2K is a good low.
Leebo,
Bike will be used only in winter, powder riding, and paced or groomed trail all in Montana. I have 4 full suspension bikes that serve me well for all other riding. 80mm rims is what I've been looking at. My other bikes are run tubeless with no problems at all. I've been reading online that there are quite a few people who have problems running tubeless. Issue being they can't get the tire to seat properly. Is that an issue with fat bike tires? Budget is between $1500.00 & $2000.00 give or take. Found some great demo deals on the Borealis website that another poster on MTBR put me onto. Great deals for sure.
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Old 12-30-19, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dougiet
Try for the lightest fat bike you can afford. Most important is to try the bike, ride it.
Light is good. Not a lot of places, if any, to demo fat bikes where I am located at the moment.
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Old 01-01-20, 02:59 PM
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All I can say is try read up on as many as you can and then go to your LBS and try them out until you find one you like.
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Old 01-02-20, 10:39 AM
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You should be able to find a shop that will let you demo a fatty in MT I would think. I personally love my Farley 5 and my 7. Selling the 7 it's too big for me. I know the price on the 5 is $1799. I just bought 1 to replace my 7. The bike is really nice. It comes rigid so you may want to look into a suspension fork. It is not as necessary for snow only. The Gnarwahl tires that come on the Farley really have some teeth. You can stud them yourself or buy the studded. Also check out the Framed fattys as they are pretty nice for the money. A buddy bought one and really likes it. I like it with some mods.
Good luck in the search!
Bill
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Old 01-02-20, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by pwhite
All I can say is try read up on as many as you can and then go to your LBS and try them out until you find one you like.
Thanks. Been non-stop reading and talking to people who own fat bikes since I posted my OP. Have gained a lot of knowledge in a short time. I've narrowed my choice down to a Borealis Crestone. Carbon frame and fork. Even talked to the main man at Borealis who answered all of my questions and concerns.
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Old 01-02-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboy316
You should be able to find a shop that will let you demo a fatty in MT I would think. I personally love my Farley 5 and my 7. Selling the 7 it's too big for me. I know the price on the 5 is $1799. I just bought 1 to replace my 7. The bike is really nice. It comes rigid so you may want to look into a suspension fork. It is not as necessary for snow only. The Gnarwahl tires that come on the Farley really have some teeth. You can stud them yourself or buy the studded. Also check out the Framed fattys as they are pretty nice for the money. A buddy bought one and really likes it. I like it with some mods.
Good luck in the search!
Bill

Thanks Bill. Not in Montana yet. Should be back in the Spring. No luck with demo's around where I live now. I've made a choice on a bike and feel I've got all the right info to make a smart choice.

Kevin.
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Old 01-03-20, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by liv4mtns
Thanks Bill. Not in Montana yet. Should be back in the Spring. No luck with demo's around where I live now. I've made a choice on a bike and feel I've got all the right info to make a smart choice.

Kevin.
What did you choose?
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Old 01-03-20, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboy316
What did you choose?
Going with a Borealis Crestone custom build option. Full Sram XX1, carbon wheels.
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Old 01-07-20, 06:24 AM
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Nice. Enjoy.
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Old 01-11-20, 03:16 PM
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report back and share your feedback on this post. it would be great to hear your thoughts after riding for bit.
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Old 01-11-20, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by graystones11
report back and share your feedback on this post. it would be great to hear your thoughts after riding for bit.
Will do. Can't wait to get building.
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Old 01-13-20, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by liv4mtns
Going with a Borealis Crestone custom build option. Full Sram XX1, carbon wheels.
did you get it used? no way that's a 2k build new
Awesome bike, enjoy
only thing to add is 100mm rims for 5" tires for max floatation. Dillinger5 studded seem to be the benchmark at the moment
I've been told the 45Nrth Husker Du tire is the most popular for the Iditarod fatbike race. Currently I am using Surly Lou/Buds for winter, but with no snow, it's not being used at the moment
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Old 03-01-20, 08:15 PM
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What Iíve learned

All Iíve learned about fat bikes is that you can get away with ridiculously low PSI which makes a huge difference on soft terrain such as sand. I also highly recommend tubeless tires to cut down on rotational weight. Happy trails!
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Old 03-05-20, 08:34 PM
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From my experience, fat bikes are pretty expensive, so see if any places have gently used rentals for sale. Could save a lot of money. I bought mine last year from a bike shop that does group rides, so picked it up for about half the price

Again, from my experience, suspension and dropper post isn't needed, unless you plan on doing some really rough riding (and do you think you'll do any trails that would justify a dropper post?)

Weight isn't everything when it comes to fat bikes. 5lbs saved is nothing, especially when you're packing a lot to ride. So wouldn't put weight at the top of my list unless I'm going to save 20lbs. If money is slightly an issue, I'd put it into good tires.
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Old 11-12-20, 10:02 PM
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Finding any bike you need.

I just want to say that I buy all my bikes in the underground market. Offerup is a great resource and if you join groups on Facebook you can find good deals. Bike shops charge way too much. I just bought a State Bicycle Co. Megalith fat bike on Offerup for 200 bucks! Mine is the geared version too. It even has a Thomson seatpost!
some people are afraid to buy direct from someone but as long as you meet in a public setting during the day you should be fine!
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Old 11-14-20, 10:47 AM
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For riding in the snow, I would skip suspension. Extra weight, money, and maintenance that are not doing you much good.

A dropper makes sense year-round IMO, even in the snow.

For primarily snow riding, I would look for a bike that takes 4.8Ē tires with some clearance. Look for a frame that has 197mm rear wheel spacing (the majority have this these days). While frames with 177mm spacing can sometimes accommodate wide tires (my Surly Wednesday with 177 will take 4.6s), you can run into drivetrain clearance issues.

I would make sure the stock rims are tubeless compatible.

Put aside a decent budget (like $250) for tires, unless you feel pretty confident that the stock tires are really good keepers. Tires are the single biggest factor in how a Fat Bike performs in most adverse conditions (such as snow). And good fat tires are not cheap.

In my case, my fat bike is primarily for the late fall through early spring in Upstate NY. So snow is only part of what it handles, and it is often packed. And sometimes there is not much snow to start with. The rest is deep leaves and mud. I get away OK with aggressive (but non-studded) 4.0Ē tires OK in the snow, but if there was more of it (like where you are going) Iíd want bigger tires, and frame that clears them.

In terms of budget priorities, I would not put too much focus on the weight of the stock bike. The most meaningful gains (or losses, in this case) are going to come from tire selection and going tubeless.
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