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Fatbike Tires for Fall riding (roads and trails)

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Fatbike Tires for Fall riding (roads and trails)

Old 10-08-23, 09:58 PM
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Fatbike Tires for Fall riding (roads and trails)

So I was in my LBS on Saturday, looking for a new pair of road shoes. They didn't have my size and color in stock, and instead I bought....

...a 2022 Salsa Beargrease (11 Deore model) on closeout.

It wasn't exactly an impulse buy - I've been thinking about shaking up my winter riding routine for some time.

But BEFORE the snow falls, should I get different tires?

The Beargrease comes with 45North Vanhelgas - good for snow and very knobby.

I expect that in October/November I'll be riding it on fairly easy trails, paved roads (I have to get to the trails), with some single track and some river bottom sand.
Do I want a set of less knobby tires that roll better for this kind of riding? If so, recommendations?

I'll post pictures soon, I hope.
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Old 10-09-23, 09:48 AM
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Jumbo Jim 4.0 when there is no snow.

However...you are also planning to ride during the shoulder season...you may also want to consider some studded tires.
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Old 10-09-23, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71
Jumbo Jim 4.0 when there is no snow.

However...you are also planning to ride during the shoulder season...you may also want to consider some studded tires.
Thanks, but I probably should have mentioned that the Beargrease has 27.5" wheels, and after looking up the Jumbo Jims, it seems that they don't come in that size.
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Old 10-09-23, 02:17 PM
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Your choices for a low profile knobby tire are going to be limited then. Most of the 27.5 that I'm aware of are geared towards snow. The tire companies didn't jump on the bandwagon when some of the bike companies thought 27.5 was the next best thing.

I would just run your Van Helgas if you don't plan to do any trail riding in the winter. The Van Helgas aren't that great for trail riding on snow anyway.
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Old 10-09-23, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71
Your choices for a low profile knobby tire are going to be limited then. Most of the 27.5 that I'm aware of are geared towards snow. The tire companies didn't jump on the bandwagon when some of the bike companies thought 27.5 was the next best thing.

I would just run your Van Helgas if you don't plan to do any trail riding in the winter. The Van Helgas aren't that great for trail riding on snow anyway.
Interesting to know. I'll see how it goes and keep my eye out for opportunities.
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Old 10-11-23, 10:40 AM
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check out the Terren Cake Eater light 27.5 x 4.0 and 4.5
Terrenetires.com

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Old 10-11-23, 08:00 PM
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According to BicycleRollingResistance.com, the VanHelga is a relatively easy-rolling tire, even with the taller lugs.

I'd just run them. They're a good all-around tire. Run them for this winter too, see what you really need for your riding - those are really good for trail riding in summer, I'll predict you'll probably go for something studded for winter and the VanHelga's for summer.

I ride Jumbo Jim's as my year-round tire, including winter single track. Yea, I don't have as much traction on ice as I would with a studded tire, but they're better in every way than the Juggernaught Sports that were on it when I bought it.
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Old 10-12-23, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich
According to BicycleRollingResistance.com, the VanHelga is a relatively easy-rolling tire, even with the taller lugs.

I'd just run them. They're a good all-around tire. Run them for this winter too, see what you really need for your riding - those are really good for trail riding in summer, I'll predict you'll probably go for something studded for winter and the VanHelga's for summer.

I ride Jumbo Jim's as my year-round tire, including winter single track. Yea, I don't have as much traction on ice as I would with a studded tire, but they're better in every way than the Juggernaught Sports that were on it when I bought it.
I'm not planning on studded tires, though I could end up changing my mind. With fat tires and low pressure, I think I'm good for most conditions except for super-icy, and I don't expect to be riding in much of the latter. Some winters, we don't get much ice - it stays cold enough that we don't get a lot of freeze/thaw and it's mostly hard packed snow. Also, riding on roads or trails that are mostly cleared, but icy, I can revert to my gravel bike with studs, as I have in previous winters.

Thanks for the insight into the VanHelgas.
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Old 10-12-23, 10:18 PM
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IMHO,I don't believe the knob size (heh heh) makes too much of a difference. With the tires at such low pressures, I figure rolling resistance is similar whether big knob or small (again, heh heh).
Now, if you're doing pavement with a slick tire then yes, but for trails, I believe one tire would suffice
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Old 10-16-23, 06:10 AM
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You could potentially put some Dillingers on for less rolling resistance but Vanhelgas but with what fat bike tires cost I wouldn’t.

I ran the Venhelga for several years and it’s a pretty fast tire, does well on pavement, dirt, and packed snow
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Old 10-16-23, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
I'm not planning on studded tires, though I could end up changing my mind. With fat tires and low pressure, I think I'm good for most conditions except for super-icy, and I don't expect to be riding in much of the latter. Some winters, we don't get much ice - it stays cold enough that we don't get a lot of freeze/thaw and it's mostly hard packed snow. Also, riding on roads or trails that are mostly cleared, but icy, I can revert to my gravel bike with studs, as I have in previous winters.

Thanks for the insight into the VanHelgas.
Even the low pressure won't work if it's only a little icy. Ask me how I know.
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Old 10-16-23, 08:51 AM
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watch out for fresh powder over glare ice. rare combo, but dangerous, even w/ studs
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Old 10-16-23, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71
Even the low pressure won't work if it's only a little icy. Ask me how I know.
"won't work" portrays a level of omniscience that you don't possess. You mean, "didn't work for me that time (those times)".

I've ridden tons of winter miles on my gravel bike with variable amounts of ice and snow. With studs in some conditions, without studs and with low tire pressure in others. The latter works for me under conditions of moderate ice.

And TBH, if you're not willing to risk going down, you should probably shouldn't be riding in winter anyway.
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Old 10-16-23, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
"won't work" portrays a level of omniscience that you don't possess. You mean, "didn't work for me that time (those times)".

I've ridden tons of winter miles on my gravel bike with variable amounts of ice and snow. With studs in some conditions, without studs and with low tire pressure in others. The latter works for me under conditions of moderate ice.

And TBH, if you're not willing to risk going down, you should probably shouldn't be riding in winter anyway.
I ride in the winter all the time...Fat bike on groomed trail systems locally and elsewhere in the state.

And no...not willing to risk going down. Being a little older...recovery time is longer and not worth the risk. Want to keep riding and not be planted on the couch with a broken something or other and not being able to ride. That's why no bike riding takes place during the shoulder season at the start of winter and end of winter when icy conditions can be present. I average 4k+ miles per year on mountain, road and fat bike so it makes it easier to pick and choose when I want to ride.
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Old 10-16-23, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71
I ride in the winter all the time...Fat bike on groomed trail systems locally and elsewhere in the state.

And no...not willing to risk going down. Being a little older...recovery time is longer and not worth the risk. Want to keep riding and not be planted on the couch with a broken something or other and not being able to ride. That's why no bike riding takes place during the shoulder season at the start of winter and end of winter when icy conditions can be present. I average 4k+ miles per year on mountain, road and fat bike so it makes it easier to pick and choose when I want to ride.
You can make your choices; they are understandable. But my point is, when you wrote "won't work", you have made clear now that your meaning was "won't work for me". You implied that you knew it wouldn't work for me- something you couldn't know.

I'm also older - I qualify for medicare. And I go down at least once or twice every winter. I've never had any kind of injury. Speeds are slower, surfaces are often not as hard when there's snow around, I'm wearing plenty of padding, and I know how to fall.

Going down at speed on a road bike in the summer? Yeah, that's something I don't want, though it has happened.
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Old 10-16-23, 02:06 PM
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I would get studs if I decided to ride over to one of the local lakes to ride, though. Like this one....

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Old 10-16-23, 03:53 PM
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What I was getting at is that low pressure doesn't make a difference on ice. If you think there will be any ice at all you should just consider using studded tires.
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Old 10-16-23, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71
What I was getting at is that low pressure doesn't make a difference on ice. If you think there will be any ice at all you should just consider using studded tires.
Have I given you any un-asked for advice? Did you read where I noted that I have extensive experience riding on ice,with and without studded tires?

You seem to be one of the many bf inhabitants who think that everybody would be better off if they just did as you do. .
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Old 10-16-23, 06:19 PM
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LOL. It's a suggestion based on my experience and experience of the people I ride with. I've been riding fat bike for 10 years now. You have 0 years on the fat bike (which is why you are HERE asking for advice) and I've seen so many people think "Oh I've got some fat tires these should be ok on a little ice if I lower the pressure" and then they crash and fall and find out they aren't. Especially when the ice is under a dusting of snow and you're not expecting it. We live about 3 hours apart and get nearly identical weather, so I'm aware of the weather conditions you ride in.

Riding on roads with your gravel bike with or without studs is not the same as trails,single track and river bottom sand. One little off camber section of trail with small amount of moderate ice...you are going down.

Last edited by prj71; 10-16-23 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 10-16-23, 06:47 PM
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Right, I get it. On a fat bike without studs, you will go down if there is any speck of ice.

Whatever dude. Enjoy your ride.
Try to find some joy without lecturing people about questions that they didn't ask.
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Old 10-19-23, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
So I was in my LBS on Saturday, looking for a new pair of road shoes. They didn't have my size and color in stock, and instead I bought....

...a 2022 Salsa Beargrease (11 Deore model) on closeout.

It wasn't exactly an impulse buy - I've been thinking about shaking up my winter riding routine for some time.

But BEFORE the snow falls, should I get different tires?

The Beargrease comes with 45North Vanhelgas - good for snow and very knobby.

I expect that in October/November I'll be riding it on fairly easy trails, paved roads (I have to get to the trails), with some single track and some river bottom sand.
Do I want a set of less knobby tires that roll better for this kind of riding? If so, recommendations?

I'll post pictures soon, I hope.
Went to get road shoes and bought a fat bike.
Perfection!

As for the tires, I wouldn't get too worked on the details yet.
the Vanhelgas are good overall tires and an excellent starting point.
Ride them for 6-12 months and see how they work for you. If it feels too slow on the hardpack, get the Jumbos.

Not sure if you need the studs. If it's icy once or twice a year, then it's not worth it, just don't ride that day.
Also, your riding style may not need them.

Start with a baseline, adjust as (or if) needed.

Congrats on the new bike!
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Old 10-20-23, 07:17 PM
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I ride my fat bike in winter and the shoulder seasons. Not much in the summer. Been on VanHelgas for a few years and like them, They are great in the shoulder season slop.

Pretty slow road tire, though.
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Old 10-28-23, 04:40 PM
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Old 10-30-23, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
oh wow that's a beauty!
What frame size?
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Old 10-31-23, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
oh wow that's a beauty!
What frame size?
It's a medium. It seems I'm between a medium and large, but I got a longer stem and it fits perfect. For some reason, the bike shop needed to swap bars when I swapped the stem. But otherwise the rest of the bike is stock (for now).
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