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School me on Fat Bikes

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Broccoli Iglesias, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. Broccoli Iglesias

    Broccoli Iglesias NES Member

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    I have a full suspension bike I take to Bear Brook, and sometimes to Kingdom Trails, but as life gets busier, I now have to choose between shooting, hiking or mountain biking.

    I decided to hike and shoot during the Spring and Summer and would like to buy a fat bike for winter riding.

    I have been reading, but don't know much about fatties.

    1. What are good brands? (I'm not looking for a $200 bike, I don't mind spending over $1K on a good bike).

    2. Do you know anywhere I could rent one for a day to see what they feel like? - preferably near a nice trail.

    3. I always had full suspension bikes. Most of the fat bikes I see are hard tails, but NE is full of rocks and roots, I can't imagine what my butt would feel like after riding all day on a hard tail.
    What are your thoughts for a fat bike?

    4. I do a little bit of everything; some downhill, uphill...think Kingdom Trails.

    5. A lot of places like Bear Brook close during winter, are there good placed to go and have fun during winter?

    6. Any additional advise...
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017

  2. northframingham

    northframingham NES Member

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  3. kman

    kman NES Member

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    I have been thinking about getting one myself, I have a full suspension Santa Cruz. I live by these guys here: http://www.likinbikin.com/ and the guy who works on my bike was telling me they only sell fat bikes now and it's the "one" bike to have and to just get an addition set of tires. They are really friendly and have a lot of stock and will build you anything you want. I would recommend stopping in if you are bored.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Broccoli Iglesias

    Broccoli Iglesias NES Member

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  5. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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  6. kelton

    kelton NES Member

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  7. northframingham

    northframingham NES Member

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    1 person likes this.
  8. wahsben

    wahsben NES Life Member NES Member

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    The tire pressure is so low that the ride is cushioned even on the ones without suspension. I would check with the bike shops in your area. They might let you take one out for a test ride. Most shops will let you take a short ride but some may actually have a test bike that you can take on a trail for an actual ride.
     
  9. EddieA

    EddieA NES Member

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    Check out MTBR.com, it's like here, but bikes.
    There's a dedicated fat bike section.
     
  10. Supermoto

    Supermoto NES Member

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    I have both a full suspension fat bike (turner king khan) and a carbon rigid fat bike (Otso Voytek). Both run 4" tires. I have sold all my 29'er FS and hardtail bikes. They are kinda of an acquired taste for how they ride. My FS fatty is like a baja truck, it bombs over everything. Huge amount of traction and will climb anything I can pedal, but not exactly a lively bike. The Otso is super light (25lbs) great traction, more lively, but harsher on rooty rock trails, but rips on anything smoother. I had a rocky mountain blizzard fat bike with 4.7" tires, noticeable slower than the 4" tires, front suspension was ok. But I prefer either rigid or FS.

    Tire pressure makes a huge difference in how they ride. 1psi is noticeable and some tires just suck

    If you are just going to ride in the winter, snow etc, get a bike with 5" tires for the extra float. Specialized fatboy, salsa beargrease or Trek Farley are good places to start. You can do a 4" tire in snow, but its now as good once you get over a 4" of new powder, on packed powder, it doesn't matter. Salsa is having a crazy good deal on their bucksaw FS fatbike. might be worth a look. I was thinking of picking up a frame, just because the deal is so good

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  11. Salyeica

    Salyeica NES Member

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    You could compromise and get a 27.5+
     
  12. ToddDubya

    ToddDubya NES Member

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    I've never wanted for front or rear suspension on my fat bike. The tires provide plenty of travel.
     
  13. Broccoli Iglesias

    Broccoli Iglesias NES Member

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    So, 4.7" - 5" for snow. 4" for regular trails.

    Are all fat bikes able to handle the extra width or is there something in particular I should look for or ask for?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  14. ToddDubya

    ToddDubya NES Member

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    The frame and wheels will determine max wheel width. I have an early Salsa Mukluk with 3.8" tires and it's fine everywhere I've ridden it. Yeah, fatter tires would be even better in snow, but most of the time if you aren't on packed trails (think snowmobile trails), you're going to sink. Bigger tires = more rotating mass = more effort to get/keep moving.

    If you ride at Kingdom Trails, I'm sure there's a place to rent a fat bike and try it out. I find it enjoyable during the summer, but if I'm trying to do anything besides just cruise around on the trails, I'd rather be on something built more for speed and obstacles. They ride like tanks, but don't tell my buddy who races on them.

    Also, no amount of tire helps on ice. I've seen people with studded tires but I don't have them yet. I can't think of the outfit but you can get screw-in studs to add to your existing tires and they run about $1 apiece so be prepared to spend some considerable dough on that.
     
  15. In God We Trust

    In God We Trust

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    Funny I clicked on this thread because I'm fat and would like to get back into bike riding.

    Are these things basically mountain bikes with fat tires? Do they have a weight limit?
     
  16. ASHDUMP

    ASHDUMP NES Member

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    These fat tire bikes look kinda gay... Just sayin'...
     
  17. enbloc

    enbloc NES Life Member NES Member

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    [video=youtube_share;VMnjF1O4eH0]http://youtu.be/VMnjF1O4eH0[/video]
     
  18. wahsben

    wahsben NES Life Member NES Member

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    Schwalbe makes studded snow tires for mountain bikes and there are probably others. As far as fat tire bikes I don't know but you can turn regular tires into studded snow tires: http://www.wikihow.com/Convert-Bicycle-Tires-Into-Studded-Snow-Tires, http://www.instructables.com/id/Studded-Bike-Tire-For-Ice/ and https://fat-bike.com/2012/12/grip-studs-customizable-traction/ and http://www.gripstuds.com/Bicycle.php and http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/?page_id=131




    - - - Updated - - -

    You probably would be fine unless you're well over 300lbs. You probably would just need to add some more air.

     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
  19. Supermoto

    Supermoto NES Member

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    Just about all of the mainstream ones will handle the wide tires until you get up to true 5" which are huge. One thing to be aware of is the huge Q factor. In order to get the chain clearance, fat bikes have very wide Qs. With a few exceptions like the Otso, its like riding a horse Some of the fat bike handle like shit (Older Salsa and Surly) newer fatboys and farleys, beargrease all handle like regular mountain bikes. There is some self steer from the tires when you run low pressure, but with the right pressure and rim width and tires, its not an issue. I use 4" tires on 65 and 70mm rims. A 4.7" tire on t65mm feels awful, no sidewall support. 4.8 tires are great on 90mm rims, 4" tires on 90mm are crap.
     
  20. mtnbiker26

    mtnbiker26 NES Member

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    All this. Rigid with 5" tires for snow. Suspension fork with 4" for the other 3 seasons or the bike is bouncy AF. Full suspension fat bikes are tanks. Mid fats don't work in the snow very well. The hoops on the entry Specialized stuff won't tubeless up easliy. Trek Farley 7 is probably the best bang for the buck and the Mulefut wheels are half decent and easy to tubeless. Dropout spacing can be different on a rigid fork vs a suspension fork so be careful if you buy a rigid bike and plan to toss on a Bluto down the road...you might end up buying a front wheel too. Farleys also fit pretty small so get on one before you decide on size. Tire PSI is around 7 so invest in a gauge or pump with a scale suited for low pressure so you can consistently get it at your ideal PSI. Bike mechanic here.
     
  21. Rotaryrocket

    Rotaryrocket NES Member

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    Bucksaw for FS. any salsa fatboke would do you good. Or a specialize fatboy


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  22. Broccoli Iglesias

    Broccoli Iglesias NES Member

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    I was reading that today, some threads sound just like NES threads. Seems they don't like guys that say the bigger tires are like having suspension on hard tails.
     
  23. arcticzr600

    arcticzr600 NES Member

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    I see a lot of fat bikes up at Vietnam in Milford. I still rock my Rockhopper on 26" wheels though


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  24. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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    so, looking up some of the"CHEAP" recommendations in this thread, they are "on sale" at $2500. [rofl]

    is there such a thing as a $500 one, stripped down but serviceable, that a guy could try out to see if he likes it, maybe get a couple seasons of riding in before he has to take out a 2nd mortgage?
     
  25. Supermoto

    Supermoto NES Member

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    The specialized, trek and salsa all start around $1400. You aren't going to get anything that will give you a good idea what fat biking is like at $500, unless you get a used bike. Anything new at the price range will be very heavy and difficult to pedal and ride terrible. A bikes direct bike used might get you down that price point. Looks around on Craigslist, great deals can be had during the summer
     
  26. mtnbiker26

    mtnbiker26 NES Member

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    Yeah, even a new $1500 bike is going to be frustrating if you actually ride it in the woods. You'll be replacing brakes and wheels (junk hubs) pretty early on.
     
  27. Supermoto

    Supermoto NES Member

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    I've had to replace rear hubs on every factory fat bike I've had. They are all junk. I've only found 2 aftermarket hubs that last. DT Swiss and onyx racing.
     
  28. colt_fan

    colt_fan NES Member

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    The market for fat bikes is fairly saturated now. Almost every major manufacturer has a bike on the market. I don't think you can go wrong with any big brand, they will all perform well. Be sure to buy a newer fat bike made in the last year. Otherwise, you'll deal with the headache of oddball bottom bracket and hub spacing. One of the newer guys to the market Otso Bikes, a bunch of their guys used to work for Borealis.

    Most of the bikes that I've seen for rental are on the lower end geared for riding on snow. A fat bike that rides well in the summer and winter is going to cost a lot more than a dedicated snow bike. Most of the rental bikes that I know of are at nordic ski touring centers or are close to nordic ski centers. So key in on those areas for a fat bike rentals.

    They are really fun to ride, you could always build up a 29r wheelset to put on your fat bike if you want to go faster. But riding with tire pressures sub 10 will be comfortable and get you over the most rugged terrain. Be sure to go tubeless as well, you can take off at least 4lbs. I have a lot of friends that have gotten rid of their other mountain bikes and are just riding their fat bikes now. You can a fat category in a lot of races and even at gravel grinders.

    Where do you live? Buy a Harvard Snowmobiling pass and you can ride in Harvard, MA on the snowmobile trails. Go early in the morning, you'll have the trails to yourself! NEMBA has a group that snowshoes Russell Mill so that they can ride their fatties at a later date. You can also check out Nordic Ski Centers, any place that rents fat bikes will let fat bikes on the trail. There is some additional etiquette with keeping your bike clean to ride on cross country ski trails as they do not want rocks/mud ruining skiers skis.
     
  29. mtnbiker26

    mtnbiker26 NES Member

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    A couple of the other dudes at work are liking the Hope Fatsno but we haven't seen enough high end fat bike hubs come through to get a sense of which ones are the most durable. The majority of the aftermarket wheels I'm seeing are the HED carbons.

    My take is that the larger wheel diameter and "monster truck" riding technique just puts way more load on the hub. If you have a longer lever (wheel radius) and you smash through everything instead of going around it then the hub just gets hammered and torqued significantly more. Like you said, anything entry or mid priced is going to wear out quickly but some of the really cheap Fatboy OEM hubs aren't even lasting a season and the manufacturer ran out of warranty replacements so they just issued a credit. That left the customers with the decision to buy a different cheap wheelset with the credit or apply the credit to a higher end wheelset. It's not a problem for someone like you who would happily take the credit and apply it to nicer wheels that you were eventually going to buy anyways but it's a headache for a casual rider who just wants a "one and done" $1500 fat bike to ride 10 times a year.
     
  30. Supermoto

    Supermoto NES Member

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    My hope lasted around 100 miles. The guy that builds my wheels said that every set of carbon HEDs he has used or built, has broken when ridden anywhere but the snow. He builds a ton on nextie rims, mine have held up very well. My rear rim had outlasted 3 different hubs
     

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