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Has anyone had issues with "Q-factor" of fatbikes?

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Has anyone had issues with "Q-factor" of fatbikes?

Old 02-23-21, 09:11 AM
  #1  
cubewheels
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Has anyone had issues with "Q-factor" of fatbikes?

Thinking of buying a fatbike soon as the better quality cheap models (fully rigid 1x9 setup) are finally appearing in LBS.

Problem is the Q-factor of fatbikes that are much bigger than road bike. I don't have a friend with fat bike where I can borrow to have a feel of the wide q-factor of the pedals.

But I do have a cheapo trainer with Q-factor that is a little bit wider than in fatbikes and I'm not at all comfortable with the widely space pedals. I feel a strain in my knees and hamstrings.

Is there a way around it? Adapting period? Pedaling style? Because I really want to have a fully rigid fatbike to use as adventure bike for gravel and offroad adventures.
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Old 02-23-21, 09:55 AM
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I jump from road, to mountain to fat bike all the time. Q-factor isn't even noticeable to me at all.

If you think it's going to be a problem, try to make sure whatever fat bike you choose has 100mm BB width. There are a few out there that have 120mm BB width.
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Old 02-23-21, 11:14 AM
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Q factor is one of those things that is unique to each individual due to your physic. It's more like fitting shoes. You will have to try one. They can be rented. I know many ski resorts rent them.
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Old 02-23-21, 12:15 PM
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I noticed some discomfort in my knees and hips when I first started riding this winter but my body has adapted and I don't notice it at all anymore.
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Old 02-23-21, 01:12 PM
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I'll second D-Fuzz - If I take some time off riding my fatbike, I feel it in my inner knee and some in my hips and it does feel just a little odd. However, IME the body adjusts to the wider stance with no ill-effect. If you ride with clipless pedals, adjust your cleats to the outside - putting your shoe/boot as close as you can to the crank arm (without rubbing while pedaling).

For reference, I've done 140-mile rides with my drop-bar Pugsley and I'm planning to ride The DAMn in August with this bike (240-miles in one day)
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Old 02-23-21, 01:26 PM
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Probably less a problem for tall riders. You need to do some extended riding to find out if it bothers you. So a parking lot demo with an LBS won't tell the whole story.

if you are OK with a "skinny" fatbike that "only" can have 27.5"x4" tires, you can build an RSD Sergeant that has an 83mm BB (and 157mm rear hub, which doesn't matter for your knees, but for hitting rocks). But if you want a full-size fatbike (4.5" + tires), you need the 100mm BB.
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Old 02-23-21, 01:51 PM
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Yeah, it's a real thing

When switching to the fat bike, I would have a few weeks of soreness in hip muscles. I would eventually adapt, but it required a lot of riding. If you think it might be an issue, look at the Otso Voytek or 170mm rear hub Salsa Beargrease. Also, the Rocky Mountain Suzi Q (-30, -50, -70 or -90), unfortunately no longer being manufactured, but occasionally pop up on the used market.
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Old 02-23-21, 01:54 PM
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No. Those Q-factors are so far beyond anything my knees should ever see that I just leave fatbikes in the showroom.
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Old 02-23-21, 01:59 PM
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Salsa Beargrease has a 197mm rear hub. Unless you are talking about an older model.
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Old 02-23-21, 02:04 PM
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I can notice the difference but it isn’t an issue. And my knees are pretty wrecked.
But I rarely get the chance to ride it. I only ever take it out when it’s snowing pretty good.
So that may be a factor.
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Old 02-23-21, 02:39 PM
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The way I am put together the huge Q factor on the 120mm BB is a god send. My knees no longer hurt.
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Old 02-23-21, 02:54 PM
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For the tall/short rider comment, this Toad is rough 6ft tall ... but Frau Toad is around 5'2" and doesn't have an issue with the Pugsley Q. She's riding platform pedals, offer a little more flexibility on food placement, but it's still fatbike Q. So the fatbike Q doesn't have to be an issue just because you're short.
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Old 02-23-21, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I'll second D-Fuzz - If I take some time off riding my fatbike, I feel it in my inner knee and some in my hips and it does feel just a little odd. However, IME the body adjusts to the wider stance with no ill-effect. If you ride with clipless pedals, adjust your cleats to the outside - putting your shoe/boot as close as you can to the crank arm (without rubbing while pedaling).

For reference, I've done 140-mile rides with my drop-bar Pugsley and I'm planning to ride The DAMn in August with this bike (240-miles in one day)
That's exactly where I feel it in the inner knee and in my thighs just below the glutes.

Glad you could adapt and it's only temporary. Thanks everyone for sharing your experience!
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Old 02-24-21, 08:43 AM
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Realistically the difference in width between a fat bike and road bike is only 32mm. Divide that by 2 and you foot is only shifted out about 5/8" further per side on a fat bike.

Blindfold a person and put them on each bike...I doubt anyone could tell the difference.
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Old 02-24-21, 05:02 PM
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I hate it. I already occasionally graze the toptube of my vintage steel road bike
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Old 02-25-21, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Salsa Beargrease has a 197mm rear hub. Unless you are talking about an older model.
Yep, why I specified the 170mm version, although on both the 2018+ BG and Muk the Q-Factor is not as wide as most 197mm hubbed fatties.
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Old 02-25-21, 06:02 PM
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Mine is a 197 hub and a 120 bottom bracket. I am running flat platform pedals which have aggressive grip pins that bite into the soles of what ever I am wearing for boots.

I have no issues with the q factor. I am 6'3" with 34 inseam. I have had 3 knee surgeries. Your fit will be different
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Old 02-26-21, 09:46 AM
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I bought my Otso Voytek specifically because the wide Q-factor of my old Mukluk was starting to cause issues with my hips and hamstrings. It has an 83mm bottom bracket and it's a lot more comfortable for me. https://otsocycles.com/collections/voytek-bikes
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Old 02-27-21, 06:48 AM
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I have very short legs. I don’t notice a thing going from Road to MTB to Fat. I use flats on my Fattie, maybe that has something to do with it.

I find riding on a trainer/stationary bike does not feel the same as riding in the real world.

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Old 02-27-21, 07:50 AM
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Maybe it's common knowledge, but it wasn't for me at first, fat bikes come in different widths. I made sure to get a bike that fit a full 5 inch tire for winter riding. A lot of the fat bikes my LBS had at the time only fit a four inch tire. It's an obscenely wide frame. The BB is at least a 120mm. The crank bolts are a full 8" apart.

I ride with platform pedals just on this bike. And to be honest, riding a fatbike in snow is so completely weird, I don't specifically notice the physiology of the wide Q factor. What I do notice, though, is that the uphill pedal hits the ground on off-camber sections of trail with remarkable frequency. The outside edge of the Race Face Chester pedal is more than nine inches out from the center line of the frame.

All that said, I'm rarely on the fat bike for more than a couple hours, a couple times a week which I don't think is enough to experience and accumulative effect or riding adjustment.
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