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Utility Bike for trails/gravel (Farm work)

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Utility Bike for trails/gravel (Farm work)

Old 09-03-20, 09:46 AM
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Uspsated
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Utility Bike for trails/gravel (Farm work)

Hello There,

I do some work on some farmland. There are gravel roads and some rutted trails to get to where I work. This i no problem for a quad, but I want to start using some kind of utility bicycle. I donít need the capacity of the quad for most of my travels.

A mountain bike with very wide tires would do okay, although for this one trail I was considering a fatbike like a Surly Wednesday or Ice Cream Truck. The fatter tires would help with the mud and I think would help with the extra weight. What I would be carrying would be some hand tools and some hardware like bolts/nuts, etc. Maybe 40 to 60 pounds.

I currently have an originate front rack on my bike I ride around the neighborhood. It is a nice rack, and I was thinking of something like that on the new bike.

Either way, I was figuring to put front and rear racks on the bike. But if I put a tool box on the rack, I would really want to keep the bike upright so everything doesnít dump out, and it would be easier to work off the bike.

Can anyone direct me to some kind of pannier that has a built in kickstand, or some other option to put a stand on such a bike?

Or alternatively, is there a better solution for a utility bike gravel and dirt trails that I did not consider?

Thank you!
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Old 09-03-20, 02:04 PM
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fietsbob
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Cool

Surly big fat dummy ? https://surlybikes.com/bikes/big_fat_dummy ..

one of many QBP Dealers ..(Many have the account to order them & Save after sale shipping) to get the bike closer to home..
example https://www.modernbike.com/product-2126295578


I'd look at the whole catalog to accessorize with parts made for it...






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-03-20 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 09-03-20, 02:15 PM
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Tubus Low Rider racks https://www.tubus.com/en/products/fr...s-product/tara
have an accessory front wheel kickstand goes on the rack, not the bag..
https://www.tubus.com/en/products/ac...r-lowrider#ass
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Old 09-03-20, 02:38 PM
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If that Surly Big Fat Dummy is too much bike, maybe an REI Co-op Adv 4.2:

https://www.rei.com/product/122461/c...es-adv-42-bike

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Old 09-04-20, 02:36 PM
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I've done well with the regular Big Dummy on our farmland. Like you, there is some dirt/gravel, but mostly going to get stuff is on asphalt although not very smooth asphalt. I did change out the tired to a little more on-road/off-road (Surlty Exterrestrial) from the Schwable Big Apples. I don't have lots of mud very often, but do have standing water in a few places.
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Old 09-05-20, 07:14 PM
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I’d be inclined to get a hardtail mtn bike or other bike you like for your terrain and extrawheel or other one wheeled trailer. For not fast downhill speeds the 27.5 x 2.5+ tires on long wheelbase bikes w/o shocks are comfy enough. It pretty much gets down to what do you do 80% of the time. A purpose built bike for carrying very heavy loads will be a heavy beast unloaded. If there’s lots of bouncy rough terrain putting that weight on it’s own wheel will save a lot of wear and tear on your bike. The Bob type trailer gives you an open toolbag platform compared to pannier loaded Extrawheel.

Last edited by LeeG; 09-06-20 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 09-08-20, 06:36 AM
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Thank you!

I love the big fat dummy but it’s so huge I would need a trailer to transport it.

I do have a surly troll and it takes fat tires. Maybe a troll with those racks would work.
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Old 09-09-20, 10:59 AM
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I ordered the Tubus low rider rack to give it a shot on my existing troll. I use that for my rides and stuff now, and it has road tires on it.

I did a bit of reading up on it. I haven’t made up my mind. I love my surly troll so I’d be happy buying another one of their products.

I do like the idea of the Big Fat Dummy, but I have no idea how I would transport it beyond putting it on my 4’x’6’ trailer behind my car.

I like the idea of the Wednesday, but the Troll seems more versatile. I could put fatter 3” tires, on it, plus the troll has the built in trailer attachment points. I just have to decide if the bigger tires are worth it or not. I am not small, so maybe the fatter tires would be a help in the mud.

I have to admit, it is fun looking at those both.
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Old 09-15-20, 09:26 AM
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I think you should be looking at the Pugsley, not the Wednesday. The Wednesday is a sportier trail bike. The Pugsley is more of a workhorse and should be easier to fit racks and stuff to. I think my Pug is the most versatile bike I own, depending on the wheels and setup it can be anything I want it to be.
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Old 09-15-20, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
I think you should be looking at the Pugsley, not the Wednesday. The Wednesday is a sportier trail bike. The Pugsley is more of a workhorse and should be easier to fit racks and stuff to. I think my Pug is the most versatile bike I own, depending on the wheels and setup it can be anything I want it to be.
Excellent point.

I have had my eye on an ECR for a few years now. When I can swing it that is my "dream build". The wheel sets are the magic to the versatility. The limitation on that bike, and the Pug, is the upper tire clearance. You can't put a fatter tire on than what you can squeeze between the fork and seat/chain stays. However, you can always go smaller.

I did email back and forth with Surly on the ECR idea and the one caution they threw my way with thinner tires is the overall rolling diameter of the wheels - if it is much smaller then pedal strike becomes more possible/probable when cornering. I am not sure how much of an issue that would be, in practice. However, it is good food for thought - not just on the ECR, but any bike which you may have varying wheels for varying purposes.

The "fat bikes" might not be a good option - they are overly specialized, in my view. That is where the OP's Troll and the ECR really excel - they are far more versatile. If you build them with lots of gears and disk brakes the wheel sets are where you get a ton of flexibility.

As far as riding position and handlebars - if you are off-road in ruts and soft ground I'd say a wider straight bar might be advantageous. That having been said, don't discount the ergonomics of butterfly, bull horn, trekking, and drop style bars. The hand positions can be a blessing, same goes for posture changes. You don't want narrow road bars, though with as much off-roading as will likely be encountered by the OP.
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Old 09-16-20, 03:39 AM
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I put the Tubus lowrider on my troll. There was room for a surly eight pack rack on top. It looks cool. I almost bought the wider 24 pack rack but my current troll is set up for my street and bike trail rides, and I didn’t want that big of a front rack. The 8 pack will hold my small cooler for longer rides. The 24 pack rack would hold my tool bag well for a work bike.

I like the set up. It could hold tools and small amounts of material well.

I just need to figure out if I really need tires bigger than 3” wide. If I don’t, I’m buying another troll.
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Old 09-16-20, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Excellent point.

I have had my eye on an ECR for a few years now. When I can swing it that is my "dream build". The wheel sets are the magic to the versatility. The limitation on that bike, and the Pug, is the upper tire clearance. You can't put a fatter tire on than what you can squeeze between the fork and seat/chain stays. However, you can always go smaller.

I did email back and forth with Surly on the ECR idea and the one caution they threw my way with thinner tires is the overall rolling diameter of the wheels - if it is much smaller then pedal strike becomes more possible/probable when cornering. I am not sure how much of an issue that would be, in practice. However, it is good food for thought - not just on the ECR, but any bike which you may have varying wheels for varying purposes.

The "fat bikes" might not be a good option - they are overly specialized, in my view. That is where the OP's Troll and the ECR really excel - they are far more versatile. If you build them with lots of gears and disk brakes the wheel sets are where you get a ton of flexibility.

As far as riding position and handlebars - if you are off-road in ruts and soft ground I'd say a wider straight bar might be advantageous. That having been said, don't discount the ergonomics of butterfly, bull horn, trekking, and drop style bars. The hand positions can be a blessing, same goes for posture changes. You don't want narrow road bars, though with as much off-roading as will likely be encountered by the OP.
You can fit a wider tire in the front of the Pug than the rear. As far as different wheels go, I haven't gotten too far off with it. Right now I am running a 27.5x2.5 in the rear and a 26x4.0 in the front. That gives me a fun comfortable bike for chunky trails and overall height is about the same. The wider tire you put in the rear the more sluggish the bike is overall.
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