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Are fat bikes outselling recumbents?

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Are fat bikes outselling recumbents?

Old 12-05-17, 07:36 PM
  #26  
HerrKaLeun
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Originally Posted by ORrecumbentEZ3 View Post
Seems to me that the fat tire bikes would require more of a work out as there is much more rubber meeting he road. I'm new biking as an adult but, think I would rather stick with the traditional tire dimensions.
It isn't the amount of rubber.. it is the fact them being very knobby. If they were smooth like road tires, they would roll easier.
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Old 12-05-17, 07:43 PM
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The question is, are there more fat bikes out there than fat recumbent riders? I don't know. I don't see the draw for fat bikes, but there sure are a lot of them!
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Old 12-05-17, 11:09 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ORrecumbentEZ3 View Post
Seems to me that the fat tire bikes would require more of a work out as there is much more rubber meeting he road. I'm new biking as an adult but, think I would rather stick with the traditional tire dimensions.
I thought that for a few years, while I watched fat bikes riding around, then I tried one. I bought a fat bike the following week and smile like a kid when I ride it
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Old 12-06-17, 02:32 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Moose View Post
The shop where I've worked at for 12 years has been stocking fat tire bikes for around 6-8 years... Not a bunch of them but there's usually at least a few floating around in the system.

When I started and in recent years prior to that, we had Bike-E, Vision and Linear recumbents, all well engineered and supported by decent marketing. However, all three brands went under and there was no rush to find an alternative brand to fill the void because they were just not selling.

We know that there is a reasonably solid base for recumbent use and those sales have probably migrated to internet vendors for the most part.

Fat bikes however seem to be stocked at every bike shop and even the big box stores. Not to mention I am sure there's plenty of internet sales as well. I don't ever recall the big box folks getting into recumbents at all.

So the question is, are fat bikes currently outselling recumbents?

This is obviously a trend but I think it's hanging around alot longer than most expected.
Yes they’re outselling recumbents, but I think you’re conflating “fad” and “trend,” because trends are, by definition more durable than fads. If indeed you are, as it seems, calling fatbikes an “obvious fad,” I do not agree. The segment has been growing and developing steadily for nearly 20 years. That’s not how fads work, that’s a cycling trend.

I’ll never forget having my wig blown when I saw, and rode, my first fatbike in like ‘00 or somewhere around there. I was at the trailhead of Island Lake State Park when a guy rode up on a blue “monster bike,” a machine the likes of which I’d never seen. Really, I couldn’t believe it; I was deep into MTB and knew just about every boutique builder from Massachusetts to Vancouver, but outside of Hanebrinks ATV- wheeled creations, and never seen anything like that. Turns out it was a Wildfire Designs out of Alaska, and the rider said it made easy work of our sandy trails. He let me throw a leg over it in the parking lot, and it felt smooth, huge, and yet totally maneuverable.

I probably didn’t see another fatbike in the flesh for almost 10 years, until the Pugsley exploded, and brought pricing down to a level where acquiring one as an addition, rather than a replacement, was possible (I looked into a Wildfire, don’t you know, but it was a pricey, all custom, world back then). While I’ve never had a fatbike, the appeal isn’t lost on me, and the latest carbon fiber iterations are amazingly light.

I see fatbikes, around here, have really expanded the winter biking segment, but people campaign them in dry MTB races as well. I’m waiting for the Dutch beach racing scene to hit Michigan shores, and power the phase of fatbike popularity.
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Old 12-06-17, 06:39 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Yes they’re outselling recumbents, but I think you’re conflating “fad” and “trend,” because trends are, by definition more durable than fads. If indeed you are, as it seems, calling fatbikes an “obvious fad,” I do not agree. The segment has been growing and developing steadily for nearly 20 years. That’s not how fads work, that’s a cycling trend.

I’ll never forget having my wig blown when I saw, and rode, my first fatbike in like ‘00 or somewhere around there. I was at the trailhead of Island Lake State Park when a guy rode up on a blue “monster bike,” a machine the likes of which I’d never seen. Really, I couldn’t believe it; I was deep into MTB and knew just about every boutique builder from Massachusetts to Vancouver, but outside of Hanebrinks ATV- wheeled creations, and never seen anything like that. Turns out it was a Wildfire Designs out of Alaska, and the rider said it made easy work of our sandy trails. He let me throw a leg over it in the parking lot, and it felt smooth, huge, and yet totally maneuverable.

I probably didn’t see another fatbike in the flesh for almost 10 years, until the Pugsley exploded, and brought pricing down to a level where acquiring one as an addition, rather than a replacement, was possible (I looked into a Wildfire, don’t you know, but it was a pricey, all custom, world back then). While I’ve never had a fatbike, the appeal isn’t lost on me, and the latest carbon fiber iterations are amazingly light.

I see fatbikes, around here, have really expanded the winter biking segment, but people campaign them in dry MTB races as well. I’m waiting for the Dutch beach racing scene to hit Michigan shores, and power the phase of fatbike popularity.
You’ve misread my intentions.

I don’t think fat bikes are a fad at all. I can plainly see that they’re here to stay. The commitment on the part of the manufacturers tells me that this is not a flash in the pan.

The actual purpose of this thread is to make the point that they are every bit as much of a credible niche of the bike market as the venerable recumbent.

Your post certainly helps solidify my point, thank you!
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Old 12-06-17, 07:16 AM
  #31  
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I see Fat bikes mostly near the Beach here in FL.. They do look fun.. but wouldn't want to ride for miles and miles on one
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Old 12-06-17, 08:44 AM
  #32  
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I own a fat bike, I don't own a bent. Therefore, yes

I think it is simpler than you are making it though. Bike shops that are aligned with pretty much any big name manufacturers have easy access to fat bike distribution, and probably some expectations they carry them. I've never seen a Trek or Specialized bent, bringing in a niche bike from a new manufacturer/supply chain can't be as easy.
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Old 12-06-17, 10:29 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I've never seen a Trek or Specialized bent, bringing in a niche bike from a new manufacturer/supply chain can't be as easy.
This goes right to my point...if recumbent bikes currently had a seriously viable market, don't you think the big guys would be making them? The fact that they have committed to fat tire bikes is significant.

Sure the fat bike is similar in construction to any other diamond frame but I am sure it is no less trouble to tool your production for as opposed to a 'bent. You have to accommodate the wider tires and hubs...to a large degree the frame has to be redesigned and most of the hardware sourced specific to the fat bike's requirements. Most recumbents I have seen are at least designed around standard drivetrain components and wheelsets.
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Old 12-06-17, 10:48 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Moose View Post
This goes right to my point...if recumbent bikes currently had a seriously viable market, don't you think the big guys would be making them? The fact that they have committed to fat tire bikes is significant.

Sure the fat bike is similar in construction to any other diamond frame but I am sure it is no less trouble to tool your production for as opposed to a 'bent. You have to accommodate the wider tires and hubs...to a large degree the frame has to be redesigned and most of the hardware sourced specific to the fat bike's requirements. Most recumbents I have seen are at least designed around standard drivetrain components and wheelsets.
I feel like this is location-specific. In northern areas I think fat bikes will always sell. But the fat bike craze of 2-3 years ago has dropped off, and anecdotally I've heard that shops in less-snowy areas of the country can't give the things away. Since you work in an LBS maybe you have access to more concrete sales numbers from the industry than I do?

It's kind of like fixed-gear -- just because there was a fad for a while doesn't mean there wasn't, and isn't, a legitimate use for them.

Recumbents, on the other hand, have never been cool and therefore not subject to a fad.
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Old 12-06-17, 11:29 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Since you work in an LBS maybe you have access to more concrete sales numbers from the industry than I do?
The actual numbers at our store are kinda disappointing and probably not really out of line with most. Even though fat bikes have been around and in stock, they do not exactly fly off the rack and usually end up getting discounted deeply before they go out the door. But they are on the radar which is more than we can say for recumbents.

This doesn't really discourage my view that fat bikes are one of the more exciting and intriguing products out there. Even though they are not for everyone, they create a buzz and at least shows that there's more to biking than most folks usually consider. This lends credibility and interest in cycling overall in my opinion.
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Old 12-06-17, 12:20 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Moose View Post
The actual numbers at our store are kinda disappointing and probably not really out of line with most. Even though fat bikes have been around and in stock, they do not exactly fly off the rack and usually end up getting discounted deeply before they go out the door. But they are on the radar which is more than we can say for recumbents.

This doesn't really discourage my view that fat bikes are one of the more exciting and intriguing products out there. Even though they are not for everyone, they create a buzz and at least shows that there's more to biking than most folks usually consider. This lends credibility and interest in cycling overall in my opinion.
everyone please visit this poll on creation of a fatbike subforum.

I think fatbikes will always lag MTB sales because MTB also can be used for everyday street duty, at least easier than fatbikes. Fatbikes are more specialized to off-road. not necessarily because the size of the tires, but because they are extremely knobby. Many people have an MTB as their only bike. a fatbike is more likely a 2nd bike.

However, recumbents are a much smaller niche, so no surprise they are rare. I actually see many in summer on the paved bike paths, but never on roads. Mostly ridden by old people very slowly. honestly, i don't get the question of this thread... they are not mutually exclusive, but also don't have the same potential clientele. it is like the questions if computers outsell bread. I think the question if hybrids outsell MTB or road bikes makes more sense since one could decide on the one or the other for their use. Recumbents often are used by older people or people with bad backs... maybe comfort bikes are a comparable. I don't think many people cross-shop recumbents and fatbikes.
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Old 12-06-17, 03:37 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
everyone please visit this poll on creation of a fatbike subforum.

I think fatbikes will always lag MTB sales because MTB also can be used for everyday street duty, at least easier than fatbikes. Fatbikes are more specialized to off-road. not necessarily because the size of the tires, but because they are extremely knobby. Many people have an MTB as their only bike. a fatbike is more likely a 2nd bike.

However, recumbents are a much smaller niche, so no surprise they are rare. I actually see many in summer on the paved bike paths, but never on roads. Mostly ridden by old people very slowly. honestly, i don't get the question of this thread... they are not mutually exclusive, but also don't have the same potential clientele. it is like the questions if computers outsell bread. I think the question if hybrids outsell MTB or road bikes makes more sense since one could decide on the one or the other for their use. Recumbents often are used by older people or people with bad backs... maybe comfort bikes are a comparable. I don't think many people cross-shop recumbents and fatbikes.
Thanks for linking to the poll!

The reason I thought to use this comparison for my post is because fat bikes and recumbents are sub-niches that seem to both be struggling at the bottom of the food chain and I am curious as to which one really has less of a slice of the market.

Not so much that they are shopped by the same folks but that they both have relatively low sales compared to the primary types of bikes.

The same way someone might be curious about who owns the top of the food chain, road or mtb?
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Old 12-06-17, 03:43 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I own a fat bike, I don't own a bent. Therefore, yes

I think it is simpler than you are making it though. Bike shops that are aligned with pretty much any big name manufacturers have easy access to fat bike distribution, and probably some expectations they carry them. I've never seen a Trek or Specialized bent, bringing in a niche bike from a new manufacturer/supply chain can't be as easy.
Here ya go. There's a whole sordid history about it, and how Trek screwed up at every possible turn in the road, from mis-identifying their audience to plain-old "we-know-better-than-you" hubris; but they DID make one. So did Cannondale.

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Old 12-06-17, 03:55 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Juggy_Gales View Post
I see Fat bikes mostly near the Beach here in FL.. They do look fun.. but wouldn't want to ride for miles and miles on one
There is a fat e-bike that I encounter on the bike paths around here relatively frequently. The pairing of fat tires and electric assist makes a lot of sense to me. I haven't really explored the market for this combo, but if I were in the market for another bike, I might seriously consider looking into one.
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Old 12-06-17, 03:56 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Here ya go. There's a whole sordid history about it, and how Trek screwed up at every possible turn in the road, from mis-identifying their audience to plain-old "we-know-better-than-you" hubris; but they DID make one. So did Cannondale.
Fair enough, I stand corrected! Out of curiosity, were those on the LBS floor when they were an active model?

That said, I don't see either of them with a bent in their current lineup. In areas other than more snowy locations, I think you see fatbikes because Trek and Specialized and Co. make them and offer them to all their dealers and "encourage" their sale. I don't see a lot of Framed or Charge or 907 at shops (other than the used rack), again my belief would be they are not part of the shop's regular supply chain and few shops are going to invest in carrying them. I could even partially make that argument about Surly and Salsa fat bikes.

There is a shop near me that recently got in a pile of Trek 1120s. I don't think for a minute it is because off road adventure touring bikes with 3" tires are a huge thing in Detroit in December, rather it is Treks new offering and they want to push it.
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Old 12-06-17, 04:12 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Fair enough, I stand corrected! Out of curiosity, were those on the LBS floor when they were an active model?

That said, I don't see either of them with a bent in their current lineup. In areas other than more snowy locations, I think you see fatbikes because Trek and Specialized and Co. make them and offer them to all their dealers and "encourage" their sale. I don't see a lot of Framed or Charge or 907 at shops (other than the used rack), again my belief would be they are not part of the shop's regular supply chain and few shops are going to invest in carrying them. I could even partially make that argument about Surly and Salsa fat bikes.

There is a shop near me that recently got in a pile of Trek 1120s. I don't think for a minute it is because off road adventure touring bikes with 3" tires are a huge thing in Detroit in December, rather it is Treks new offering and they want to push it.
If I was to consider an EBike.. you are right.. Buying a Fat Ebike would def make the most sense with wheel resistance etc.. You still get exercise but also have assistance with maintaining momentum.
I think it's pretty smart.. These choices will be expensive at first.. but I am intrigued.
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Old 12-06-17, 07:30 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Fair enough, I stand corrected! Out of curiosity, were those on the LBS floor when they were an active model?
Yes they were. Every Trek dealer was required to order at least one for each year they were produced. Most dealers, though, didn't like them and didn't know how to sell them. Trek actually had to make a second production run the year they were introduced, and sales were good the second year too. Then in the third year the model was abruptly dropped. It was probably cutting in to their road bike sales numbers, although you'll never hear that as an official reason for dropping it.
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Old 12-06-17, 07:35 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Recumbents often are used by older people or people with bad backs... maybe comfort bikes are a comparable. I don't think many people cross-shop recumbents and fatbikes.
Hmm... more stereotypes. Although I agree with your final thought, it's only because recumbents by their nature tend to be road-only, and fatbikes are just the opposite. I for one am just not interested in off-road. Been there, done that, moved on...
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Old 12-06-17, 08:13 PM
  #44  
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I've been Bent for over 20 years, Also riding a fat tire bike for around a year. Each tool for it's purpose. Most likely more fat being sold.
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Old 12-06-17, 08:35 PM
  #45  
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Perhaps it varies by region, but where I have lived in Virginia and Upstate NY, it is not even close. Between on the street and on the trail, over the past decade I have seen what I would guess is at least 10 times as many fat bikes as recumbents.
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Old 12-06-17, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Yes they were. Every Trek dealer was required to order at least one for each year they were produced. Most dealers, though, didn't like them and didn't know how to sell them.
Yep, that right there feeds into my belief that you see fat bikes now because dealers have to sell them. Thats not to say that in some areas they dont sell well on their own (I had a couple bought out from under me when I wanted to think about it), but that a lot of areas you see them because the dealer had no choice but to carry them. LBS are under no edict WRT bents.
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Old 12-08-17, 09:29 AM
  #47  
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In my experience fat bikes are selling more than recumbents. In my club, I know only one guy who owns/rides a recumbent. I know at least half a dozen who bought fat bikes within the last year.
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Old 12-08-17, 12:39 PM
  #48  
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I'm probably too old for fat bikes, but I will never be old enough for a recumbent.
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Old 12-08-17, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
...hubris...
One of the classic flaws, and which has brought low many a hero.
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Old 12-08-17, 02:28 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by ORrecumbentEZ3 View Post
Seems to me that the fat tire bikes would require more of a work out as there is much more rubber meeting he road. I'm new biking as an adult but, think I would rather stick with the traditional tire dimensions.
Ummm, the fatties are not for road. Much better on sand, snow and loose conditions. Do you ride your bent off road in the snow?
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