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Considering a Fatbike - Questions?!

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Considering a Fatbike - Questions?!

Old 06-07-22, 08:09 AM
  #1  
Noonievut
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Considering a Fatbike - Questions?!

Background
- have been a roadie for 15 years, and in the last 8 have had multiple all-road (gravel/cross) bikes and really enjoy multi-surface rides
- my Surly CC with 40mm tubeless is a lot of fun on non-technical trails, and I use it in the winter when the roads are free of snow/ice
- I live in Southwest Ontario (hour outside Toronto)
- have a ridden a fat bike on trails twice, two winters ago; first ride I guess the snow was ideal and I was smiling for 2-3 hours; next ride (just days later, but a snowfall or two) was a completely different experience as the show was less than ideal

Goal: if I were to buy a fat bike, would be for both winter and summer riding. Winter as often as the snow is good, as I hate riding indoors. Summer, maybe once every 1-2 weeks (I really like my Surly on the local trails, and a weekly road ride with a friend, so the fat bike would get some time on more mtb trails here and there...if I loved it, maybe more often...who knows!

New vs. Used
- with a budget around $2k (Canadian) I've found 3-4 year old fat bike's that seem well-maintained, have upgrades like suspension fork and dropper posts (bikes where current model is $3k or so)
- new, I can get bikes like Norco Bigfoot 3, Giant Yukon 2 (Yukon 1 is $2,600 + tax...that's a stretch)

Specs
- the used one's I've seen have a suspension fork, would be nice (I assume) when riding the trails in the summer, and perhaps during the winter too
- for winter, I would assume studded tires are the best, but so far no options in new/used I can source have these on the bike...anyone use one set in the summer and another in the winter?
- forks: rigid aluminium vs. carbon, or suspension (suspension needed when using 4.5-5" tires? if right psi)
- one of the new bikes I've looked at has mech discs (not necessarily a bad thing, but for technical mtb I know hydro has worked better for me in the past)

I welcome your thoughts, suggestions on any of the above and anything I missed. Thanks!
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Old 06-07-22, 10:25 AM
  #2  
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I ride my Bigfoot year round - the OEM 4.8" Jumbo Jims (I would love studded but don't have them yet) in the winter and el-cheapo 4.0" Kenda somethingorothers from Crappy Tire ($50 bucks - last forever... right around 2000 km on mine and the look new)

I tend to use the dropper post in one of 2 ways - in the winter it's an awesome way to put my feet down for ice or when waiting for someone & in the summer if I don't have my rear rack on it's *AWESOME* for steep highway descents up to 70 km/h or so. (Yay Cabot Trail!)

I've never ridden a fatty with a suspension fork: in the winter I think it would just be extra weight as with 6 PSI in teh tires there is a lot of compliance, and in the summer when I run at 30PSI (tire max) it is still *WAY* more comfortable than any road bike I've ever ridden. I've only taken mine on a Green MTB trail once in the summer and I don't MTB enough to know what I'm missing without a suspension fork.

Too bad you're so far away... my wife has an almost never used Bigfoot 6.1 (2018 maybe) she no longer wants. It's been ridden less than a couple hours in the winter and we spent a few days touring around Grand Manan the other year. I put more time into my bike each month than she has total.

My fatty is currently my only ride so it does commuting (16km each way), fun rides, touring (Grand Manan and Cabot trail) and in August will even do a Gran Fondo - lol

Not a good choice if you're in a hurry though. I average 20 km/h. 28T chainring...
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Old 06-07-22, 01:29 PM
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CrimsonEclipse
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Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
Background
- have been a roadie for 15 years, and in the last 8 have had multiple all-road (gravel/cross) bikes and really enjoy multi-surface rides
- my Surly CC with 40mm tubeless is a lot of fun on non-technical trails, and I use it in the winter when the roads are free of snow/ice
- I live in Southwest Ontario (hour outside Toronto)
- have a ridden a fat bike on trails twice, two winters ago; first ride I guess the snow was ideal and I was smiling for 2-3 hours; next ride (just days later, but a snowfall or two) was a completely different experience as the show was less than ideal

Goal: if I were to buy a fat bike, would be for both winter and summer riding. Winter as often as the snow is good, as I hate riding indoors. Summer, maybe once every 1-2 weeks (I really like my Surly on the local trails, and a weekly road ride with a friend, so the fat bike would get some time on more mtb trails here and there...if I loved it, maybe more often...who knows!

New vs. Used
- with a budget around $2k (Canadian) I've found 3-4 year old fat bike's that seem well-maintained, have upgrades like suspension fork and dropper posts (bikes where current model is $3k or so)
- new, I can get bikes like Norco Bigfoot 3, Giant Yukon 2 (Yukon 1 is $2,600 + tax...that's a stretch)

Specs
- the used one's I've seen have a suspension fork, would be nice (I assume) when riding the trails in the summer, and perhaps during the winter too
- for winter, I would assume studded tires are the best, but so far no options in new/used I can source have these on the bike...anyone use one set in the summer and another in the winter?
- forks: rigid aluminium vs. carbon, or suspension (suspension needed when using 4.5-5" tires? if right psi)
- one of the new bikes I've looked at has mech discs (not necessarily a bad thing, but for technical mtb I know hydro has worked better for me in the past)

I welcome your thoughts, suggestions on any of the above and anything I missed. Thanks!
I run 5" tires are around 7psi on the back and 5psi up front.
I have an RST Renegade up front

The large tires soak up tree roots, and up to grapefruit sized rocks but any unexpected big bumps are absorbed by the suspension fork

I'm a BB7 person when it comes to mechanical disk brakes, with 203mm rotors.
I should eventually upgrade to hydraulic, but it's on the list.
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Old 06-08-22, 08:53 AM
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If you are going to ride MTB trails then you will want a front suspension fork. Fat tires do not replace suspension.

Studded tires are hard to find right now. If you find some they will be expensive. Expect to pay around $500 USD for studded fat bike tires.
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Old 06-08-22, 03:58 PM
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whipnet
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I can't speak on the snow factor living in Houston, but I do ride a fatty year round on MTB trails and I agree with prj71 that a front suspension is nice if you're riding on dirt and roots.
I have rigid and suspension fatties and I find I only ride the rigid on paved trails now.

You can get a Trek Farley 5 in your price range and a suspension Farley 7 for a little more than you want to spend.

*
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Old 06-14-22, 07:41 PM
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I just got my first fat bike, a kona wo. I live in upstate NY but haven't ridden it in winter yet. I took it to a local park with single and double track. Loved it! In some ways its more fun to ride than my 29er. I would agree that the fat tires cannot fully replace suspension but come pretty close. There are a lot of areas that are boggy and my 29er would sink and sometimes I'd have to hike a bike. The Wo floats right over. I'm hoping the 4.8 tires it came with can get me through most of the winter riding I'd be interested in. I originally went in to get a giant yukon but my shop couldn't get one. In the end don't wait get a fat bike now you won't regret it.
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Old 06-14-22, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris! View Post
I just got my first fat bike, a kona wo.
Congrats and welcome to fatty world.

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Old 06-15-22, 07:43 AM
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prj71
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Originally Posted by Chris! View Post
would agree that the fat tires cannot fully replace suspension but come pretty close.
Unless your bike suspension is bottom of the barrel SunTour stuff....Fat tires are not even remotely close to having good suspension.
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Old 07-26-22, 09:04 AM
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If you plan to use your bike in the city in winter, (as I do), here are some pitfalls I found.

There is no greater impediment to winter cycling than having your drivetrain wrecked by salty slush, and fat tires kick it up into your chain, drivetrain, and face by the scoopful. Fenders we’re more necessary for the fat tires than for my 37mm tire bike because of this, and fenders for fat bikes just aren’t readily available.

Additionally, the sheer volume of salty crud immobilized my cassette and rear mech in short order. I transitioned to an IGH, which can only be done on a Pugsley frame.

If trail riding is all you want to do, then a fat bike should be fine, because conditions will be “clean” enough. Here in St. Paul MN, there are road conditions that require my fat bike, and at the same time almost preclude a fat bike because of the absolute need for fenders. Just facefulls of salty glop, and having those fat tires shovel it all over the bike and drivetrain, while also navigating hard frozen ice ruts at the very same time…I can’t imagine it being possible on an external gear, fender-less fat bike.
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Old 07-28-22, 06:56 AM
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Here in Upstate NY, I find my Fatty wonderful in the winter and the mud seasons flanking it. In other words… 7 months out of the year.

But once things dry up a bit, I rarely ride it.

It is nothing even close to having suspension IMO. Unless your idea of suspension is an undamped spring. Trying to run pressure low to simulate suspension if fine for slower speeds, but when things start picking up, it just bounces me all over the place like a beach ball. Why? Because… undamped spring. I ride my tires in the 3-6 psi range in the snow and mud, but in the summer its more like 8-10, otherwise it gets hard to control at higher speeds in rough terrain. And at that point, it kind of defeats the purpose of having 4” tires…. i may as well be running 3” (plus) tires.

The only time I ride it in the summer is when I am riding with people a lot slower than me.

If I were to ride it in the summer more regularly, I would want a suspension fork, and maybe go with plus sizes tires (2.8-3.0) and wheels… but at that point I’d just get a hardtail.
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