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Fat tire bike for a multi-day event

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Fat tire bike for a multi-day event

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Old 05-24-18, 08:45 AM
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bikemig 
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Fat tire bike for a multi-day event

I'll be doing a 7 day organized trip in around two weeks. The route is not too hilly and the days are not too long (right around 50 miles a day). Truth be told I'm not in riding shape. I've always taken road bikes on trips like this but I'm seriously thinking of taking an old school fat tire bike--my 1993 bridgestone MB 1--on this trip. I've never ridden a flat bar/fat tire bike on a long multi day trip but if you're going slow--and I will because I'm not in riding shape--there's a lot to be said for fat tires and comfortable walking shoes.

So am I just asking for headwinds if I take this bike? Will the cycling fashion police have something negative to say if I'm not clipped in and not wearing a racing jersey?

Or should I just be slow and comfortable and make it in to camp in time for a cold beer? Is there anything I should so to mod this bike to make if better for long distance riding (new grips?). The tires are fine for road riding (26 x 2.0 schwalbe marathon touring tires that weigh in at around 440 grams). In fact the entire bike weighs a righteous 25 lbs which isn't bad for an old steel mountain bike.

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Old 05-24-18, 09:31 AM
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If you are not in riding shape then bike choice is really academic.

The lightest and most aero bike in the world is only going to help so much. The same goes for wide, comfortable tires, platform pedals, etc.

People come on Bike Forums all the time stating that they have only ridden x miles and asking if riding 10x or some grand tour is possible. The answer is yes, but the risk of injury increases significantly.

My advice is to make sure the bike is in top shape, leave pride at the start line and forget what others think, take it slow, hydrate well, stop often, take lots of photos and have a plan for rescue in case things don't go as planned.


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Old 05-24-18, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
If you are not in riding shape then bike choice is really academic.

The lightest and most aero bike in the world is only going to help so much. The same goes for wide, comfortable tires, platform pedals, etc.

People come on Bike Forums all the time stating that they have only ridden x miles and asking if riding 10x or some grand tour is possible. The answer is yes, but the risk of injury increases significantly.

My advice is to make sure the bike is in top shape, leave pride at the start line and forget what others think, take it slow, hydrate well, stop often, take lots of photos and have a plan for rescue in case things don't go as planned.


-Tim-
That's what I'm thinking. I'm in good shape--I keep active--but I haven't been doing a lot of riding. The cool thing about fat tires is that they are comfy if you are not going fast. I find it less comfortable on skinny tires if going slow. That bike is in excellent mechanical shape; I just wish I were in as good a shape!
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Old 05-24-18, 10:21 AM
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The good thing about using a 1993 Bridgestone is that you've had plenty of time to get the fit dialed in. The aero-ness of your riding position doesn't matter as much at 10 - 12 mph. You don't know if the wind is going to blow or not. You can pretty well count, however, on spending 5 hours or so in the saddle. The more comfortable you are, the more enjoyable the ride is going to be.
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Old 05-24-18, 12:54 PM
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Looks like fum to me. I use my 37 lbs Trek 29'er with 2.4" tires for road cycling for 80 mile rides. You will work harder but its like driving an old Cadillac. I average about 3 mph less than on a road bike.
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Old 05-24-18, 01:55 PM
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You'll have to balance comfort while in the saddle against time in the saddle. If your average speed is 12 mph on the MTB vs. 15 mph on a road bike, you'll spend an extra hour (4 hours @ 12mph vs. 3.3 hours @15 mph) on the bike every day to hit 50 miles for the day. Either is acceptable for "all day" riding.

If the wind does kick up, bend your elbows and lean forward.
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Old 05-24-18, 02:31 PM
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If you're going to be out of shape, don't make things worse by using a bike that takes more energy getting down the road. Been there, done that, never again. But hey, you aren't me.
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Old 05-24-18, 03:40 PM
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If you haven't been out riding much, I'd encourage you to plan a 2-day weekend. 50 miles per day.

One day ride the road bike
The other day, ride the MTB.

Then make the decision. It usually takes at least a few days of long rides to break in your butt which I'd encourage doing before your tour.

For one reason or another, I've put in a lot of miles on a hybrid conversion and a cross bike this spring.

I dug out the old road bike yesterday, and it sure felt sweet to ride. Some extra handlebar buzz, and some tweaking to do, but wow, the bike felt nice. 7 Strava PR's, and a tie for 7th.

It isn't that I haven't taken almost every bike I own on a long ride, but I choose the bike based on the requirements for the ride.
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Old 05-24-18, 07:44 PM
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A friend and I decided to do the Michigan 24 Hour Challenge on mountain bikes with smooth tires. I had done this ride twice before on road bikes and always broke 200 miles by 2am. The mountain bikes were just simply slower and more work and mileage suffered because of it. I'd take the road bike or change the tires to 1.25 or 1.5 inch tires for sure.
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Old 05-25-18, 07:45 AM
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Interesting. I would have thought that there were more people in the fifty plus group who occasionally used upright bikes for multi-day events. I don't think upright bars/fat tires are uncommon for example for people who do adventure touring. Agreed that the biggest downside is loss of speed (and 2-3 mph makes a big difference on a 50 mile ride). My guess is that the loss is due more to air resistance though than tire width or revolving weight (at 440 grams the schwalbe marathon touring tires aren't lightweight but they're not porkers either). I think the advantage of the fat tire/upright position is that it is a reminder to take it easy and enjoy the ride. The biggest problem in a multi day ride is recovery and that is compounded when you are starting out in less than optimal condition. I figure I can use this as a training ride if I ride smart and that ain't easy to to because I'm likely to push myself.
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Old 05-25-18, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Or should I just be slow and comfortable and make it in to camp in time for a cold beer? Is there anything I should so to mod this bike to make if better for long distance riding (new grips?). The tires are fine for road riding (26 x 2.0 schwalbe marathon touring tires that weigh in at around 440 grams). In fact the entire bike weighs a righteous 25 lbs which isn't bad for an old steel mountain bike.
I would have no qualms taking it as is.

I am planning to take mine on a bikepacking trip at the end of June myself. With fatter tires (2.35 big apples).

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Old 05-25-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Interesting. I would have thought that there were more people in the fifty plus group who occasionally used upright bikes for multi-day events. I don't think upright bars/fat tires are uncommon for example for people who do adventure touring.
I've ridden drop bars since... well... about 8 or 9 years old. I'm too old to change now, and put drops on anything I ride

Dad put upright bars on his road bike around age 50, and really liked them.

My brother now has Dad's bike with the upright bars, but hardly rides anymore, so it is really hard to know what he likes.

Anyway, the config is up to the person.

I really don't think drop bars reduce the enjoyment of the ride, and certainly don't race everywhere I go.

I put about 2000 miles on a hybrid converted to drop bars this spring. But, dug out my road bike a few days ago for some hill climbs, and some road riding... and the bike just feels right.
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Old 05-25-18, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
I would have no qualms taking it as is.

I am planning to take mine on a bikepacking trip at the end of June myself. With fatter tires (2.35 big apples).


The top dog Bridgestone mountainbikes are sweet. That's a fine looking machine,
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Old 05-27-18, 07:43 PM
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Do a drop bar conversion and I'll give you two thumbs up
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Old 06-02-18, 09:07 PM
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Ride what you want. I've done RAGBRAI twice, the Erie Canal twice, the Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) four times and others and have seen folding, hybrid, mountain, road and beach cruiser bikes On RAGBRAI I've also seen unicycles and even a guy riding a hybrid with a seat post but no saddle. No one cared what others were riding. Whatever you're comfortable riding works. Multi day rides are rides, not races. Have a great time.
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Old 06-05-18, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Agreed that the biggest downside is loss of speed (and 2-3 mph makes a big difference on a 50 mile ride). My guess is that the loss is due more to air resistance though than tire width or revolving weight (at 440 grams the schwalbe marathon touring tires aren't lightweight but they're not porkers either).
I usually think of bikes in terms of which is faster or slower. But it's not that simple. Sure there's loss of speed with a fat tire bike. But the other side of the SAME coin is that it's more work getting down the road at ANY speed.
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Old 06-21-18, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
I would have no qualms taking it as is.

I am planning to take mine on a bikepacking trip at the end of June myself. With fatter tires (2.35 big apples).

HardyWeinberg dude is too cool....Bridgestone! My first road bike was a Bridgestone, from the late 80's. I road my lighter bike last weekend, on hills, and was glad I sacrificed gearing for weight savings, all said and done. Any bike will do going slower IF the saddle time can be tolerated.
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