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Which is the most versatile Fatbike?

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Which is the most versatile Fatbike?

Old 01-21-21, 01:07 AM
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TourDeHood
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Which is the most versatile Fatbike?

Id like a bike that I can tool around the city with and absorb curbs and potholes. Runs to the bar or coffee shops. Short commutes. And occasional trails and snow fun.

Ive been looking at Surly Wednesday thinking Id have some flex in swapping out wheels and/or tires when winter rolls around for true Fatfun.

Is that the right direction?
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Old 01-21-21, 10:34 AM
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You are definitely the poster boy for Surly.
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Old 01-21-21, 03:59 PM
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Not sure how I am supposed to interpret that...

Are saying that a Surly bike of any type, would be the best fit, or was that an attempt a a snide comment.
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Old 01-22-21, 06:21 AM
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I think prj71 was being genuine. With their steel frames and forks, Surly bikes are usually comfortable to ride and can fill many roles. They have tons of mounting points for all sorts of racks or bottle cages or other accessories. I have a 2014 Pugsley and it's a pretty interesting bike (with its offset hub design). A Wednesday is a more conventional fat bike. If you have a Midnight Special, you're probably already aware of how Surly bikes tend to ride.

If you're strictly talking about swapping wheels, I think most fat bikes are pretty versatile here. As long as you build another set of wheels around whatever hub standard the bike uses, you should be able to swap wheels easily. The Wednesday uses a 177mm rear hub whereas the Ice Cream Truck uses a 197mm rear hub. More tires fit the wider hub and I understand 197mm may be replacing 177mm in common usage (though this usually takes time).
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Old 01-22-21, 08:36 AM
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Frame material is pretty much meaningless for comfort on a fatbike. This isn't a road bike with 21mm tires. A well designed carbon fork and slacker head angle will do much more for comfort than a steel fork on a steep head angle bike. Every good or bad property is based on geometry.

197mm rear hub is pretty much standard for fatbikes nowadays. Some old designs, or FS fatbikes use 177mm (or worse, the QR 170mm version)

Most important part of a good ride besides geometry are tires. Good tires will give you a price shock first at $120 a piece, but they are worth it.
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Old 01-22-21, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by TourDeHood View Post

Are saying that a Surly bike of any type, would be the best fit, or was that an attempt a a snide comment.
A little of both. Surly is known for marketing the "cool hipster" wearing flannel that likes to ride their bikes around the city to the coffee shop and brew pub with a side of elitism thrown in.

Aside from their goofy hipster marketing , there is nothing special about them at all that they bring to the table. They make a good quality steel bike (if that's your thang) at a reasonable price.

Last edited by prj71; 01-22-21 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 01-22-21, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Frame material is pretty much meaningless for comfort on a fatbike.
This statement couldn't be more wrong. In one day I've jumped from riding my carbon fat bike, to a friends an aluminum fat bike, to a friends steel fat bike.

The carbon bike was a way more comfortable ride.
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Old 01-22-21, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
A little of both. Surly is known for marketing the "cool hipster" wearing flannel that likes to ride their bikes around the city to the coffee shop and brew pub with a side of elitism thrown in.

Aside from their goofy hipster marketing , there is nothing special about them at all that they bring to the table. They make a good quality steel bike (if that's your thang) at a reasonable price.
Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
This statement couldn't be more wrong. In one day I've jumped from riding my carbon fat bike, to a friends an aluminum fat bike, to a friends steel fat bike.

The carbon bike was a way more comfortable ride.
Ha ha ha... As a cool old hipster who wears flannel and visits coffee bars, it's nice to know we are being noticed It must be infuriating that all of us posers are clogging up the trails for the "real" riders. You calling anyone else elitist is a hoot!

When considering comfort one can't just look at frame material. A $4K CF fatbike should ride better than a $1500 Al or St bike or else someone got took. More expensive bikes usually have more expensive components overall. Maybe a slightly better tweaked geometry for the genre, better wheelsets, better tires. Take three identical frames of different materials - heck make it four by adding Ti, all near the same weight, with the same components.. and with the cushion fat tires provide, the ride will probably be about the same. Any flex or stiffness will be masked by the tires and can be mitigated by inflation/deflation.

Originally Posted by TourDeHood View Post
I’d like a bike that I can tool around the city with and absorb curbs and potholes. Runs to the bar or coffee shops. Short commutes. And occasional trails and snow fun.

I’ve been looking at Surly Wednesday thinking I’d have some flex in swapping out wheels and/or tires when winter rolls around for true Fatfun.

Is that the right direction?
In these discussions it's always good to remember what the stated purpose is, as to the degree of bike needed. What you describe are some pretty basic daily uses, with no need for an expensive specialized platform. In fact, more basic might also be better because in those conditions you also have to consider bike theft. That is something most mtb'rs don't consider because they usually take the bike out of the garage, drive to the trail, ride, and drive back to the garage. With more of a commuter you don't want something so expensive looking that it becomes a target (a fat bike by nature will automatically be that though).

Another thing about newer fat bikes is the trend towards wider tires. It used to be 4" was fat! I have 4.6" and now they are making 5+". Great for dedicated snow or sand but overkill for daily commuter use. You'll wind up wanting two sets of tires or wheelsets and that can become expensive for what is described as just a fun kick around commuter. Even though I have 4.6 my next tires will be 4" (saving the 4.6 for snow/sand) as those are too much for basic trails.

As some others have said, the most versatile bike is going to be a basic platform with a common hub spacing. Avoid anything that is overly proprietary. Surly may be a good choice because there is a long term dedicated following that has worked out most of the kinks in replacing, retrofitting the platform.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 01-22-21 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 01-22-21, 12:18 PM
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Yes, I didn't mean to imply that Surly bikes have a pleasant ride and composure due only to their frame material. There are, of course, many factors that go into that. And even with a given frame material (steel, aluminum, or anything else), wall thicknesses and butting and joint types can all play a part in compliance.
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Old 01-22-21, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Ha ha ha... As a cool old hipster who wears flannel and visits coffee bars, it's nice to know we are being noticed It must be infuriating that all of us posers are clogging up the trails for the "real" riders. You calling anyone else elitist is a hoot!
Clogging up the trails or the clogging up the coffee bars and breweries?

Those artisin beard cozies don't knit themselves you know!!! Their website makes them out to be a bunch of throwback hippies.

Now go get your skinny jeans on, hop on that Surly and go get some coffee!!!
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Old 01-24-21, 11:15 PM
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I have the fat bike, flannel shirts and the beard....now, just trying to figure out how to get into the skinny jeans.
It's one pair jeans per leg, right?
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Old 01-25-21, 08:19 AM
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Someone who says they rode an Al, Steel and Cf fatbike back to back and could tell the difference.... ignores the fact that those also were 3 DIFFERENT BIKES WITH DIFFERENT GEOMETRIES AND TIRES.

You could build 3 different Al bikes with different geometries and tires and those will ride very differently.
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Old 01-25-21, 09:25 AM
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The ride quality of carbon is way better and has nothing to do with geometry. It's more comfortable over bumps and rough areas while simultaneously being stiff enough in key areas for efficient pedaling.

FYI...The three bikes I rode back to back were all equipped with 45nrth flowbeist/dunderbeist tires all running at the approximate same pressure.
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Old 02-06-21, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
The ride quality of carbon is way better and has nothing to do with geometry. It's more comfortable over bumps and rough areas while simultaneously being stiff enough in key areas for efficient pedaling.
Well, I could perhaps grant that the carbon frame is stiffer and more responsive to the pedal stroke than a steel frame, although that really would be a laboratory stiffness. As for it being more comfortable over bumps and rough areas, that might be true if you have your tires at 50psi. If you're at the more typical 5-8, I really have to call BS.
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Old 02-08-21, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by revcp View Post
. As for it being more comfortable over bumps and rough areas, that might be true if you have your tires at 50psi. If you're at the more typical 5-8, I really have to call BS.
If you are going to make a statement like that, then you should be knowledgeable on fat tires first.

1.) Depending on the tire manufacture most fat bike tires have a max psi printed on the side of them somewhere between 20psi and 30psi...so I hope nobody would have their fat tires at 50psi.

2.) 5-8 psi would be typical pressures for riding snow groomed trails. Not for making coffee shop and bar runs on paved roads. There would be too much self steer and it wears the tires down quicker. Paved roads and gravel roads 20-25 psi is typical pressure .
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Old 02-08-21, 10:53 AM
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Sigh

Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
If you are going to make a statement like that, then you should be knowledgeable on fat tires first.

1.) Depending on the tire manufacture most fat bike tires have a max psi printed on the side of them somewhere between 20psi and 30psi...so I hope nobody would have their fat tires at 50psi.

2.) 5-8 psi would be typical pressures for riding snow groomed trails. Not for making coffee shop and bar runs on paved roads. There would be too much self steer and it wears the tires down quicker. Paved roads and gravel roads 20-25 psi is typical pressure .
I'm on my fifth fat bike, three aluminum and two carbon. Of the few other dozen bikes I've owned and ridden, there have been numerous steel bikes among them. No, fat tires are not inflated to 50psi. That was hyperbole. No, also, to being able to feel difference in frame material at 20-25psi for a latte run. I could feel the difference between between my 1985 steel Trek 720 running 35mm at 80psi and my carbon Orbea Orca running 25mm at 100 psi, but if the pressure is dropped the feel equalizes with respect to road chatter and bumps.
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