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  1. #1
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    SNOW - 29 tubeless vs fatbike

    IMO, you can take a tubeless 29er on any groomed trail that a fatbikes use. In your opinion, at what level of terrain does it start to make a difference?

  2. #2
    Formerly of Kent
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    The difference is that you can take a fatbike on non-groomed trails.

    I.e., you can venture off the local golf course turned XC ski loops.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by srs0909 View Post
    IMO, you can take a tubeless 29er on any groomed trail that a fatbikes use. In your opinion, at what level of terrain does it start to make a difference?
    Mtbr has a fat bike section (Fat Bikes - Mtbr.com). You will get more responses there..

  4. #4
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    OK, but aren't the non-groomed trails "groomed" after enough riders go through?

  5. #5
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    I have found that the difference is when there is a crust under the snow.
    The fatties float and can go very fast - almost like they're on cement.
    If the smaller tires of whatever size create too much pressure on the crust, you are constantly breaking through. It is like work.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  6. #6
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    ^+10 lol CRUST. Dont have a fatty but ive tried to ride on crusted snow. I dont care if you like riding more than having sex, Id rather stay home where its warm and and watch my kids same cartoon 100x than try to pedal through that crap. clyde+crusted over snow=torture. Hell I think there are method of torture Id enjoy more than than riding that crap.

    Plenty of other things like deepish snow, slushy wet snow, trying to ride snowmobile ruts, tend to not be all that fun but Ill ride it on my 29er just so I can ride. BUt Im saving for a fatbike so I can truly enjoy winter riding.
    Trek Marlin 29er

    Like It, Love It, Want Some More Of It!

  7. #7
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    Ride we did in March, we had two guys on fat bikes, 5 on non-fats.

    I can usually make it up everything technical. I do not have the strength back yet, but make it a challenge, I can make it up.

    I could not make it up the stupidest little hills in the snow on my 29er.
    The only guys who made it up were the two fat bikes.


    That's enough for me to know which way to go....

  8. #8
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    If it's really hardpacked, ice and the sort, then a 29er with studs works great.

    If it's at all soft, even if much of it is packed, a skinny tire bike is frustrating, as any time you find yourself near the edges of the trail it digs into the soft snow and then slides out/spins out. This is the primary problem with skinny bikes. If it was possible to ride in the exact center of the trail all the time, it might be ok, but it's not really physically possible to do this, and slide variations/slides bring you close to the edges and soft spots, where you suddenly lose it. This doesn't happen with a fat bike.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
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    I don't have a fatbike yet, but my experience riding snowmobile trails and packed hiking trails is:
    - As mentioned, if there is any sort of crust the tires will find spots to break through. This makes it infuriating to ride. Our trails pretty much always have a crust after a couple storms since you have powder that gets packed and then frozen/thawed on top.
    - Any sort of significant hill requires perfect conditions for enough traction. If the sun is out and the top has melted at all, you're walking

  10. #10
    Professional Crastinator
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    PS - here is my snow bike. It's just a bike with old Panaracer Spike tires (26 x 2.1). It does very well on everything but crust, including hills, but the fatties are still better.

    Name:  SpikeF.jpg
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    On that day I was riding with these guys:

    Royalview-frozen tundra ride - Knobby Side Down

    Faster guys than me were slower on their 29ers with dirt tires.
    Slower guys than me on fat bikes were less slower.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  11. #11
    Nuts
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    What kind of fat thread is this without a fat bike pic.

    SAM_0121 - Edited
    And I love beer!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If it's really hardpacked, ice and the sort, then a 29er with studs works great.

    If it's at all soft, even if much of it is packed, a skinny tire bike is frustrating, as any time you find yourself near the edges of the trail it digs into the soft snow and then slides out/spins out. This is the primary problem with skinny bikes. If it was possible to ride in the exact center of the trail all the time, it might be ok, but it's not really physically possible to do this, and slide variations/slides bring you close to the edges and soft spots, where you suddenly lose it. This doesn't happen with a fat bike.
    The other thing is that 2 or 3" of snow is not a reason to use a fatbike. I'd ride through snow, some packed sections, in AZ during the winter on a normal bike. Was fun and didn't require anything special. Being in a location where snow stays on the ground all winter for the most part and stacks up, that's where it comes into it's own. Riding a fatbike in AK has been fun, but by no means is it my first experience riding mountain bikes on snow. Snow rides with just a few inches of dry cold snow are tons of fun on skinny bikes.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  13. #13
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    Crust is a wonderful experience, doesn't happen around me as much as wish,, but when it does the big tire folk have the most fun..

    hhe 3/23

  14. #14
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    Lots of people on 29ers ride the snow after it's been beaten down by fat bikers. This happens on our trail systems all winter. The fat bikers are fighting for first tracks so the trail gets "groomed" quickly. Until it snows again or turns to ice the trail is used by all sorts of bikers and runners.

    SNOW - 29 tubeless vs fatbike-p1010886.jpg

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