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Fat Bike Newbie Needs Advice

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Fat Bike Newbie Needs Advice

Old 10-28-21, 09:04 AM
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Fat Bike Newbie Needs Advice

Hello - I would like some feedback regarding a couple of bikes i'm considering for my first Fat Bike . . .I'll try to keep this brief, but I think a little background would be helpful
I have Felt Z 85 road bike with shimano 105 and I love that bike, but was becoming a little bored with road biking in general
I am currently riding an old 1985 Rockhopper MTB that until about 2 months ago was mothballed for the past 10 years, and was ridden spretty sporadically up to that point
Two months ago I decided I wanted to give mountain biking another go
So, I bought some new tires and have been riding it 3-4 times per week on the MN river bottom trails near my house in Bloomington - I LOVE IT
I planned to keep on riding it in through the winter, but have since come to the conclusion that if I want to ride those trails during the winter, I was going to need a fat bike
I've been trying educate myself about what's out there in terms of technology and becoming familiar with groupset hierarchy and so on
My absolute max budget is 2k, but I'd like to keep it around 1500 if possible
Right now, I'm considering 2 bikes - I think both are good values for their prices
2021 KHS 4 Season 500 - $1,250
2021 Giant Yukon2 - $1,799
My thoughts are .. .
Both have Deore drive trains, so it's a wash there for me, but there are differences that have me leaning towards the Yukon
Yukon Pro's
27.5" wheels vs 26" for KHS
Thru-Axles vs QR for KHS
Composite fork vs Alloy for KHS
12 speed vs 11 for KHS
Fork Mounts for rack
I believe the rims for the yukon are tubeless ready, but whether I actually want, or need tubeless tires is another discussion altogether

The SRAM brakes on the Yukon are a bit of a sticking point for me
I had someone tell me that they think, overall, SRAM breaks are not very good and they have many of them they service under warranty repairs, as they are a SRAM authorized facility
I think that bit of advice has somewhat jaded my view of SRAM breaks.
However, a vast majority of other people I have talked to about them, do not have that same negative view of them
I have also ridden both bikes, and while both were equally comfortable. But once in awhile, while riding the KHS, my heels would, ever so slightly, clip the seat stays on the up-stroke
Talked to the dealer about that, he said you'll naturally adjust your riding style and that would not be an issue.

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Old 02-07-22, 07:07 PM
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Thread moved from Great Lakes Regional forum to Fat Bikes forum.

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Old 02-07-22, 08:26 PM
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Your list of pros for the Yukuon have me sold. There are a few more tire options for 26" but I would lean toward the larger wheels. No thru axl for the KHS would be the main deal breaker. Fork mounts is a hell yea. Opinions for tubeless vary greatly. I am of the pro tubeless camp but I ride desert and enjoy the flat protection. Welcome to the fat world where trails are just a suggestion. Post up in the pic thread.
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Old 02-07-22, 11:09 PM
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The Yukon seems to have more of what you want. Another consideration is tire replacement. I would check to see which tires, 27.5 vs 26 are more readily available
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Old 02-08-22, 09:02 AM
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I wouldn't worry about the SRAM brakes, I have them on 2 fat bikes and my full suspension mountain bike. Zero issues with any of them.

Given your location you may also want to stop in at The House in St. Paul and consider Framed Bikes.
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Old 02-08-22, 10:35 AM
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My SRAM brakes on my Norco Bigfoot have been nothing but pure awesome.

I rode around the Cabot Trail and never once even wondered if they might not slow me down from speeds of up to 70 km/h*** on the switchback downhills.

*** apparent max speed, likely due to aerodynamics even with the dropper post and my "super tuck" position. it just would *not* break the 70km/h barrier. Kenda 4" tires at 30psi for that fun...

Fatbikes forever - FTW

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Old 02-08-22, 06:05 PM
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I've had my Giant Yukon 2 for two years now and have no complaints.
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Old 02-08-22, 09:02 PM
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Do not buy any fat bike with QR axles if you have any notion at all of upgrading in the future. Better yet, just don't buy any fatbike or mtn bike with QR.
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Old 02-09-22, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Freehocey
So, I bought some new tires and have been riding it 3-4 times per week on the MN river bottom trails near my house in Bloomington - I LOVE IT
Ha! I used to ride the MN river bottom area quite often when I lived in Bloomington back in the 80s. Of course, there weren't any designated bike trails at the time, so we pretty much rode our primitive MTB bikes anywhere we could. I did some skiing down there during the winter months as well. I would imagine that it would be a great place for fat biking, too! Best of luck in your search for a fat bike!
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Old 02-10-22, 10:23 AM
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Another post from a Minnesotan.... In addition to Framed (good prices on good fatbikes); look at another local brand, Surly Wednesday.

I take my Pugsley down the River Bottoms all the time, summer and winter. Tons of fun!

Oh and like jim_pridx, I've been riding the River Bottoms since the 80s ... on a Specialized Rock Hopper (now my brother-outlaws bike).

I've got SRAM hydraulic brakes on a couple bikes (both drop-bars), never had an issue.

OH! .... and like the OP, I have a Felt Z85

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 02-14-22 at 10:09 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-12-22, 12:19 PM
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I don't like SRAM brakes just because they use DOT fluid vs. mineral oil. I think they work just fine, honestly, I just don't want to deal with that crap on my bikes, I already do with cars. Swapping brakes is easy enough though, and you might find someone who thinks the opposite or for whom it is an upgrade to offload to.

Other than that and the 27.5" wheels, everything else leans to the Yukon to me. I prefer the 26" wheels, can get more tire in there. 26" fat tires aren't going anywhere, especially for snow riding.

I've got an old bike with QR axles, and they work fine - but it is worse for rigidity, alignment, and there wouldn't be much for quality upgrades still being made for those standards. Through Axle is a key thing to look for.
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Old 02-14-22, 01:21 PM
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DOT fluid is just fine and in many ways it superior to mineral oil. Which is why it's used in cars, trucks, motorcycles etc. Fluid type is nothing to get hung up about.
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Old 02-14-22, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71
DOT fluid is just fine and in many ways it superior to mineral oil. Which is why it's used in cars, trucks, motorcycles etc. Fluid type is nothing to get hung up about.
I kinda thought the sram brake thing on fatties was because of the DOT fluid. Because they keep working when its cold.

Last edited by sloppy12; 02-14-22 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 02-16-22, 08:58 AM
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I have a KHS 500 and it's been great for 4 years now. Mines a bit different since it had a Bafang mid drive motor added in year one. Whichever bike you choose you will have a blast. I did swap out the rear brake for a cable operated BB7 on mine.
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