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Fat Tire Bikes

Old 02-04-20, 05:45 AM
  #1  
Cooper1991
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Fat Tire Bikes

I'm around 225lbs and want to go on a long tour. Some websites recommend fat tire bikes

eg

Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike,17-Inch High-Tensile Steel Frame, 7-Speed Shimano Drivetrain, Mechanical Disc Brakes, and 26-Inch Wheels $350 on Amazon.


Would this be a good bike for long tours? Would carrying spares be a big burden? I assume South Asia won't stock any parts?

Any other comments?

Thanks
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Old 02-04-20, 06:55 AM
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It'd suck. The 7 speed gears wouldn't have sufficient range to be able to cope with steep hills when you are loaded. If you are on a budget, find a nice quality 1990s mountain bike with good 36 spoke wheels and no suspension and kit that out instead. It'll come with a 24 gear drive train with both lower and higher gears than the Dolomite.. Change the brake pads to Koolstops. Fit a set of Schwalbe Marathon Mondials. Service the drive train. If there are no front rack mounts use clamp on ones.
If you have a bit more cash get something like a Surly Troll or Ogre, sell the Extraterrestrial tires fitted and fit some Schwalbe Moto-X ones. They are fairly wide and will easily cope with the weight of you, your gear and your bike, and still last a long time.
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Old 02-04-20, 07:00 AM
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Cooper1991
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Thanks, that's a lot to do. This will be my first bike but I imagine everything you suggest isn't rocket science. I live in Middle East so will be limited to getting stuff online.
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Old 02-04-20, 08:13 AM
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Fatbikes excel at some specific types of riding. Riding on snow and sand are good candidates for a fat bike. Being 225 pounds is not a reason to get a fat bike. I spent years being heavier than that and riding all kinds of bikes: Touring bikes, mountain bikes, little, folding bikes, hybrid bikes, etc. But not a fat bike. I'd like to have one, but we don't really have the terrain or weather that justifies it where I am.
When it comes to carrying your own weight, the important thing is strong wheels. When it comes to carrying touring gear, the important thing is having a bike that can take a rack (depending on how you want to carry your gear) and has a low enough gear range for you to pedal along with all your stuff. Lots of bikes fit that bill, and even some fat bikes, but in general you don't want a fat bike for weight reasons. You only want it if you need the extra wide tires to cover some tricky terrain.
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Old 02-04-20, 08:29 AM
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225 lbs is not a reason to choose bikes outside of established standard





Originally Posted by Cooper1991 View Post
I'm around 225lbs and want to go on a long tour. Some websites recommend fat tire bikes

eg

Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike,17-Inch High-Tensile Steel Frame, 7-Speed Shimano Drivetrain, Mechanical Disc Brakes, and 26-Inch Wheels $350 on Amazon.


Would this be a good bike for long tours? Would carrying spares be a big burden? I assume South Asia won't stock any parts?

Any other comments?

Thanks
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Old 02-04-20, 09:53 AM
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Happy Feet
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I use a fat bike but would not recommend it for standard touring. The rolling resistance is higher than other bikes and I do perhaps,1/2 the distance I can do on my road or converted mountain bike.

The Dolomite bike you list is an entry level fatbike and would need some pretty serious upgrades to make it a fair touring bike. Most decent quality fat bikes start at the $1500 range. Just a tire upgrade (the ones offered are terrible) will cost between $200-$300. Upgrade brakes, $200, better saddle and pedals, $200-$300... Tires are not your only worry overseas as well. Probably few places will have replacement rims or hubs

If you want to go that route you would be better off looking for a decent used one or, for your application, a decent used touring or mountain bike to convert. As noted, 225 is not an unusually heavy weight for a standard touring bike to handle.



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Old 02-04-20, 10:18 AM
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I have a fat bike with 5” tires for local singletrack riding, where I’m basically going nowhere. It’s more fun to ride than a roller coaster and very comfortable over gnarly terrain. Can’t imagine pushing that beast on a tour.
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Old 02-04-20, 10:21 AM
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exactly. I love my fat bike and I did take it on 2 night tours but always off road. On road it's like fingernails on a chalkboard. No way. :-)
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Old 02-04-20, 10:39 AM
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I listened to a touring podcast & the rider talked about how 26" wheels, tires & tubes were easier to find internationally (than 700c sizes) so I suppose that would apply to fatbike stuff as well

hmmm ... I wonder if one can buy a new (or used) 26er in the middle east ... can you be more specific?
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Old 02-04-20, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Cooper1991 View Post
I'm around 225lbs and want to go on a long tour. Some websites recommend fat tire bikes
.....
Would this be a good bike for long tours? Would carrying spares be a big burden? I assume South Asia won't stock any parts?
first bike, first tour. assume you'll be staying on pavement. no fatties needed.

south asia is a relatively large area. could you be more specific?

you can get bikes and parts in thailand, cambodia (expensive) and vietnam. some parts in myanmar.

you could always source your bike at your starting point. don't know about the import taxes in ME vs. SEA,
maybe find prices are comparable.

there are bike tour companies that offer unaccompanied bike rental, i think even a few in thailand that can
start in one city, drop off in another.

check out craigslist. i've seen some tour companies selling off their old stock. you might find something
usable. have seen some nice tour bikes for sale in bangkok.
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Old 02-04-20, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I listened to a touring podcast & the rider talked about how 26" wheels, tires & tubes were easier to find internationally (than 700c sizes) so I suppose that would apply to fatbike stuff as well
While fat bike tires may be 26" they are not like mtb tires. You can't fit those on a fat rim. Even in a North American bike store you may or may not find one choice of fat tires. It's a niche market.
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Old 02-04-20, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
While fat bike tires may be 26" they are not like mtb tires. You can't fit those on a fat rim. Even in a North American bike store you may or may not find one choice of fat tires. It's a niche market.
oh sorry I meant regular 26 stuff is easier to find than fatbike stuff
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Old 02-09-20, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
225 lbs is not a reason to choose bikes outside of established standard
That's right. I'm between 225 and 235 and I ride a stock 2016 26" Surly Disc Trucker which I put 2" Marathons on. I've been on three 1k+ mile trips on it without so much as a broken spoke. The last trip was through the Mojave desert (Vegas-Death Valley-Mojave NP-Joshua Tree-Prescott, AZ- Mingus Mtn, Sedona-Flagstaff). And when carrying 16 liters of water, the whole rig with me on it was at least 335 lbs. (225 rider, 40lb bike (with racks, etc), 35 lb gear and bags = 295 + 35 lbs of water = 335#).

If your budget allows, the Surly trucker is good-to-go right out f the box. And it's geared low enough already. I'd advise against trying to nickle-an-dime up front. It may cost you in some very unfortunate and expensive ways down the line. It's true that no one needs a $4k touring bike, but $1,500 is the cost of a reliable, capable tourer that won't leave you stranded or need costly repairs.

The other upside to the Surly is it's intentionally made with old technology so you can find parts anywhere in the world. Even touring through remote parts of the U.S, I had confidence knowing I could find a 26 inch tire if I needed to. There are wal-mart bikes rusting outside many people's garages for instance. I don't think "d have to knock on many doors to find parts if it came to it.
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Old 02-09-20, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Cooper1991 View Post
... I live in Middle East so will be limited to getting stuff online.
You want a good robust reliable bike that is easily repaired that uses components that are easily obtained and replaced. When you consider bikes, think about what you would be doing if something on the bike broke somewhere. And who would be fixing it and what their access to parts is.
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