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  1. #1
    N8R
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    Fat bike for adventure touring?

    I recently have acquired the desire to do some touring on my fat bike, due to the expanded off road riding potential fat bikes offer like sand and soft terrain, which is excessively common in southern Utah. I don't like the idea of destroying my expensive knobby fat tires on long stretches of pavement that connect the off road sections, so I decided to try mounting a set of 26x2" semi slicks on the 80mm rims of my fat bike with 2.4-2.7" Qtubes. Same tubes will work for the fat tires and semi slicks so no need to carry different tubes. The Idea is to carry the tires in my pack, and then throw them on when I hit long stretches of pavement. Tires I used are Serfas Drifter's, Schwalbe Big Apples would work awesome too I suspect.

    I was skeptical of it even working, but to my surprise it is actually pretty awesome. The beads seat nice and firmly and at around 30 psi or so they roll very nice on the road, pretty fast, and super comfortable ride due to the high volume from the 80mm rim. I tried mounting them on 100 mm rims, but it won't work, bead won't seat. 80mm is about max width for a 2" tire, 65mm would work awesome too but not look as cool IMO.

    I just went on a long ride with them, and I can't ever remember having this much fun on the road with a bike. Feels like being on a supermoto without the motor.

    I should note that my frame is custom built by me with a 14" high BB running fat tires, so with these semi slicks, the BB is right at 12.5" which is normal BB height. I love the 14" BB off road so it's cool it worked out this way. A production fat bike frame would have a pretty low BB running these tires, something close to 11" so just don't pedal around fast corners.

    If anyone has a fat bike and a set of 2" or wider slicks, like Big Apples lying around, I highly recommend throwing them on and take it out for a spin. I think this could be a new type of touring/adventure riding that gives the best of both worlds. Not quite as fast as either a skinny tired mountain bike in some off road conditions but allows a greater amount of terrain to be rideable, and actually much faster and funner in soft terrain. Not as fast as a skinny tired road bike on the road, but plenty fast and efficient enough for adventure touring, with the added benefit of much better load support as far as the tires are concerned. Also makes a sweet gravel bike. For those who knees don't agree with wide BB's this might not work so great, but for those whose knees are agreeable, I think this could be a great way to go.
    ( Please excuse the ugly stem and high bars, it's a necessary evil for my comfort while riding)





    Last edited by N8R; 05-28-2015 at 06:50 PM.

  2. #2
    N8R
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    Changing fat tires is fast and much easier than most skinnier tires. No need for tire levers at all, the tires come right off and go right on by hand without any fuss or real force. The skinny tires also go easily on the fat rims by hand without any tire levers. A high volume pump would be ideal for fast inflation so I'm modifying and shortening a regular floor pump to weigh less than 500g and be easily packable.

  3. #3
    N8R
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    For anyone trying this, I found it easiest to inflate the tube enough to be as small a diameter as possible but still be round and hold it's shape, then put tube inside the slick tire first, then put both on the rim together. The tube will be a little bigger diameter than the slick tire, but just get it inside and even it out the best you can. Center the tire and tube in the middle of the rim and start pumping. It will look impossible for the tire to spread wide enough to fit the rim but just keep pumping and the tube will force the tire beads out. Watch to make sure the bead is evenly seated all the way around, if it isn't deflate and start over. Some times it takes a couple tries to get the tire to seat nice and round without any wobbles, this is true even for the fat tires.

  4. #4
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    I had to smile, looking at that stem. Thats about the length I have on mine. I've been thinking about putting Maxxis Hookworms , just for fun, on my Marge Light rims.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    I recently have acquired the desire to do some touring on my fat bike, due to the expanded off road riding potential fat bikes offer like sand and soft terrain, which is excessively common in southern Utah. I don't like the idea of destroying my expensive knobby fat tires on long stretches of pavement that connect the off road sections, so I decided to try mounting a set of 26x2" semi slicks on the 80mm rims of my fat bike with 2.4-2.7" Qtubes. Same tubes will work for the fat tires and semi slicks so no need to carry different tubes. The Idea is to carry the tires in my pack, and then throw them on when I hit long stretches of pavement. Tires I used are Serfas Drifter's, Schwalbe Big Apples would work awesome too I suspect.

    I was skeptical of it even working, but to my surprise it is actually pretty awesome. The beads seat nice and firmly and at around 30 psi or so they roll very nice on the road, pretty fast, and super comfortable ride due to the high volume from the 80mm rim. I tried mounting them on 100 mm rims, but it won't work, bead won't seat. 80mm is about max width for a 2" tire, 65mm would work awesome too but not look as cool IMO.

    I just went on a long ride with them, and I can't ever remember having this much fun on the road with a bike. Feels like being on a supermoto without the motor.

    I should note that my frame is custom built by me with a 14" high BB running fat tires, so with these semi slicks, the BB is right at 12.5" which is normal BB height. I love the 14" BB off road so it's cool it worked out this way. A production fat bike frame would have a pretty low BB running these tires, something close to 11" so just don't pedal around fast corners.

    If anyone has a fat bike and a set of 2" or wider slicks, like Big Apples lying around, I highly recommend throwing them on and take it out for a spin. I think this could be a new type of touring/adventure riding that gives the best of both worlds. Not quite as fast as either a skinny tired mountain bike in some off road conditions but allows a greater amount of terrain to be rideable, and actually much faster and funner in soft terrain. Not as fast as a skinny tired road bike on the road, but plenty fast and efficient enough for adventure touring, with the added benefit of much better load support as far as the tires are concerned. Also makes a sweet gravel bike. For those who knees don't agree with wide BB's this might not work so great, but for those whose knees are agreeable, I think this could be a great way to go.
    ( Please excuse the ugly stem and high bars, it's a necessary evil for my comfort while riding)
    Hola N8R,

    I think you should get in touch with Nicholas Carman (Gypsy By Trade) as he used to run slimmer tires on his Pugsley a few years ago:

    https://gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/2...h-the-pugsley/

    Saludos,
    Federico
    Soon to be bikepacking South America making & printing family portraits for those who've NONE. www.theironlyportrait.com

  6. #6
    N8R
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheirOnlyPortrait View Post
    Hola N8R,

    I think you should get in touch with Nicholas Carman (Gypsy By Trade) as he used to run slimmer tires on his Pugsley a few years ago:

    https://gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/2...h-the-pugsley/

    Saludos,
    Federico
    I will, thanks for the link!

  7. #7
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    2" tire on a 80 mm rim? Seems like you would have no cush or float.

  8. #8
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    I dont think the op is looking for cush and float, in fact he clearly states why he wants skinny tyres on his fatty
    always mad and usually drunk......

  9. #9
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    Hookworms are a nice fit on 65mm rims for sure, did that when I had my pug.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  10. #10
    N8R
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    2" tire on a 80 mm rim? Seems like you would have no cush or float.
    Cush/float with the slicks is nowhere near that of the 4" fat tires at low psi, but it's a lot more than the 2" slick on narrow rims. The tire height stays the same as with narrower rims, but volume doubles at least, maybe more, and the tire just gets wider. On a narrow rim the o.d. of the slicks is 26". On the 80mm rims, it's also 26". One thing to keep in consideration is that with 80mm rims, the rim edge is now way out by the tire sidewall, whereas with narrow rims it;s more toward the center of the tire. Running 30+ psi in the tires, pinch flats won't be a problem at all but if one ran 20 psi or less for a soft ride on gravel roads,etc, a little more caution would be needed for pinch flats, but still not a big deal.

    So to sum it up, the overall ride of the slicks on 80mm rims is actually better than with the same tire on a narrow rim. It's so much more stable, just feels a lot better and seems to roll just as good to me.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    I will, thanks for the link!
    Hola N8R,

    My pleasure! As far as I know, Nicholas was running Big Apples on 65mm rims... but maybe he ran them on wider rims, too

    Saludos,
    Federico
    Soon to be bikepacking South America making & printing family portraits for those who've NONE. www.theironlyportrait.com

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