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  1. #1
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    Best handling fat frame?

    I've got a pugsley, love the handling, looking to possibly move to a symmetrical frame of some sort.

    So, what's the best (most mountain bike like) handling frame? Figure I've had no complaints about the Pugs' handling in snow or on trails...

    the On-one rolling frameset looks pretty good, also pretty cheap and comes with wheels, which is a good thing. I'td be nice to get lighter than what I've got now but that's really not all that important to me- wouldn't pay extra for lightness.

    any thoughts? anyone have experience on a pugsley and anything else, anyone got any good comparisons?

    Also, too lazy to use search function.

  2. #2
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    I've heard (but not overly noticed) that the 907 frames are similar to Surly in that they feel more like a "trail" mountain bike handling frame... where as the Fatback and Mukluks are a little less aggressive-mountain-bikey. Make sense?

    But I know what's REEEALY going on here... you just want something that isn't owned by QBP!!!!

    That's all I got on that.

  3. #3
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    My 907 (170mm) handles just like my Vassago. Can't compare it to any other fat bikes though, as the only fat bike I have ever seen is the one I own.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    I've heard (but not overly noticed) that the 907 frames are similar to Surly in that they feel more like a "trail" mountain bike handling frame... where as the Fatback and Mukluks are a little less aggressive-mountain-bikey. Make sense?

    But I know what's REEEALY going on here... you just want something that isn't owned by QBP!!!!

    That's all I got on that.
    Good to know!

    Honest, if Surly made a 170 frame I'd probably be all over it- the prices on their frames aren't bad and I loooooove steel frames.

  5. #5
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    Re: Best handling fat frame?

    What is there to gain by going symmetrical?

  6. #6
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Same here...can't compare to other fatties, but the 907 rails singletrack!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraspontane View Post
    What is there to gain by going symmetrical?
    I wouldn't mind being able to build non-offset wheelsets. besides, everyone else is doing it.

  8. #8
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    I just moved from a Pugsley to a steel Fatback. I rode the Pugs for singletrack, gravel rides, snowy commutes, and everything in between for nearly 3 years. I bought a used steel Fatback frame on a whim, and moved parts over from my Pugs to the Fatback. I rebuilt the wheels to symmetrical, and swapped my trusty cheap 529 hub for a Hope Fatsno.

    I have probably 30 miles on the Fatback so far and the biggest difference I've noticed is the handling. It's livelier, it rides no handed for days, and it responds to input faster. Those of us who have ridden Pugsleys for a while know that the Pugs is a great machine and is certainly no slouch, but this Fatback is a big improvement. The downsides are huge though. Pugs has better paint, better tire clearance, and is much much cheaper.

    I'm looking forward to giving the Fatback a proper thrashing on trails that I've ridden my Pugsley on. I'd be lying if I said the Pugsley wasn't still on my mind....they are simply great bikes!
    Jason
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    I just moved from a Pugsley to a steel Fatback. I rode the Pugs for singletrack, gravel rides, snowy commutes, and everything in between for nearly 3 years. I bought a used steel Fatback frame on a whim, and moved parts over from my Pugs to the Fatback. I rebuilt the wheels to symmetrical, and swapped my trusty cheap 529 hub for a Hope Fatsno.

    I have probably 30 miles on the Fatback so far and the biggest difference I've noticed is the handling. It's livelier, it rides no handed for days, and it responds to input faster. Those of us who have ridden Pugsleys for a while know that the Pugs is a great machine and is certainly no slouch, but this Fatback is a big improvement. The downsides are huge though. Pugs has better paint, better tire clearance, and is much much cheaper.

    I'm looking forward to giving the Fatback a proper thrashing on trails that I've ridden my Pugsley on. I'd be lying if I said the Pugsley wasn't still on my mind....they are simply great bikes!
    Also good to know- I've thought about holding off until the dust really settles on rear hub size, but with 190 coming out I also know that there's gonna be a ton of 170 frames on ebay soon...

  10. #10
    Nuts
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    I have a Pugs and a Fatback and they both kill it and really can't tell much difference except for the Fatback has a touch slower steering.. To say a Fatback is less mountain bike like is not true at all at least in my opinion. I think a lot of it just depends how it's set up. Actually I have both cockpits set up identical and I don't think I could tell the difference riding blindfolded but that would probably hurt a lot. Oh and I had an older 907 and rode the new 907's and I can say about the same thing very awesome and once again it depends on how you set it up. Never swung a leg over a Muk though.

    Edit: Oh and Buck you could alway come up and ride my Fatback if you are short and if uh I had wheels for it.
    p.s. the Steel Fatback I believe is made down in your neck of the woods.
    And I love beer!!

  11. #11
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    I've had my Pugs for years and it always puts a smile on my face. An aluminum or carbon frame from anyone will be stiffer and lighter than Pugs but bike weight is inversely proportional to cost. I have noticed that many "snow bike" geometries tend to morph in Pugsleyesque numbers when the company makes a racing model. I'm a Specialized dealer and have quite a bit of optimism about their ability to make a quick handling fat bike even with Moonlander sized wheels. Beyond frame and wheel stiffness, saddle setback, saddle to bar drop and stem length are all variables which greatly affect bike handling. More set-back, shorter stem and taller bar height all make for great downhill riding but can make steep climbs suffer. A little experimentation can change your bike and the way you ride. Have fun with it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommillermn View Post
    Beyond frame and wheel stiffness, saddle setback, saddle to bar drop and stem length are all variables which greatly affect bike handling. More set-back, shorter stem and taller bar height all make for great downhill riding but can make steep climbs suffer. A little experimentation can change your bike and the way you ride. Have fun with it.
    See this is what I've been trying to tell people for years!
    And I love beer!!

  13. #13
    nothing to see here
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    I'll put money on the Singular Puffin being the best handling production fat bike when it gets released next year
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    I'll put money on the Singular Puffin being the best handling production fat bike when it gets released next year
    Fur sure!!
    And I love beer!!

  15. #15
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    It just needs to happen first! Lets make it happen so I will get my frame too Now everyone go to Kickstarter and back up the project.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    I'll put money on the Singular Puffin being the best handling production fat bike when it gets released next year
    How does this seem to compare to the Zen Bicycle Fabrication ZFB1.0?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoismestas View Post
    How does this seem to compare to the Zen Bicycle Fabrication ZFB1.0?
    Well without riding either, it's difficult to say, but looking at the geometry, I'd still think the Puffin would have it, if only for the slightly steeper head angle coupled with the much larger offset (55mm v 45mm) which reduces trail and gets the front to turn in better.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    I'll put money on the Singular Puffin being the best handling production fat bike when it gets released next year
    Nice as the puffin seems, winter will be long over by the time it arrives in the states, assuming that it actually gets funded, and assuming the usual, "Well, original delivery date was March, but the boat got held up in customs and you'll get them in july" things that usually happen to small shipments of bikes... Or at least to every single other small batch of bikes I've ever seen.

  19. #19
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    Had a 1st Gen Mukluk got rid of that for a 907.

    The Mukluk was definitely more of an upright ride than the 907. The 907 feels more like a "mountain bike" than the Mukluk did. Have never ridden a Pugsley, but have heard they have more of a "mountain bike" feel to them as well.
    "Ride what you love, love what you ride"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Nice as the puffin seems, winter will be long over by the time it arrives in the states, assuming that it actually gets funded, and assuming the usual, "Well, original delivery date was March, but the boat got held up in customs and you'll get them in july" things that usually happen to small shipments of bikes... Or at least to every single other small batch of bikes I've ever seen.
    It won't bother me if it gets delayed a bit. I've already been waiting 12 months for a fat bike, another few won't kill me. Others might get upset.

    Mine would be coming to Australia, so I doubt whether it'll see any snow. It only snows in the mountains here.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommillermn View Post
    I've had my Pugs for years and it always puts a smile on my face. An aluminum or carbon frame from anyone will be stiffer and lighter than Pugs but bike weight is inversely proportional to cost. I have noticed that many "snow bike" geometries tend to morph in Pugsleyesque numbers when the company makes a racing model. I'm a Specialized dealer and have quite a bit of optimism about their ability to make a quick handling fat bike even with Moonlander sized wheels. Beyond frame and wheel stiffness, saddle setback, saddle to bar drop and stem length are all variables which greatly affect bike handling. More set-back, shorter stem and taller bar height all make for great downhill riding but can make steep climbs suffer. A little experimentation can change your bike and the way you ride. Have fun with it.
    This is the conclusion that I am coming to about slack vs 'steep' HTA's. When looking at each as a means to best handle/approach roots and ruts, they each can be reduced to just a different means to solve the same problem; ie skinning the cat a different way.

    Ruts and roots are obstacles that deflect steering. I see slacker angles using increased trail and the approach angle as the primary means through which to maintain control. I see steeper angles using more of a heads on/strong arm approach.

    Both systems are further balanced by fit/placement, bar/stem length, CSL, WB, FC etc.

    Truth be told there is no 'best' bike for...statements/opinions from anyone on the subject is rooted in their individual experiences and tastes.

    Anyone looking for an answer needs to first define and understand their own preferred style, then seek a way to skin the cat. You may find that one method addresses your personal fit better.

    My .02 cents

  22. #22
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    I shouldn't comment on this one 'cause I'm a bit biased and have not ridden them all. Also, so much new stuff coming down the pike who knows what will be the "best" next year. For "floatation" riding though, what works best may not be best for all around. An all mountain ski can ski everything, but doesn't really compare to a powder specific ski in deep powder. The folks at Fatback have been at it the longest (floatation riding I mean). They know what they're doing and they always seem to perform out amongst 'em. I sure love mine! But again, I'm a bit biased...

  23. #23
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    Same question and looking for answers that probably don't exist. Looking at a fat bike for winter commuting and single track riding in the mountains. Thus, I am pretty well set on a 190mm rear frame for the larger tires and a full 2x10 drivetrain I already have. I'd like to be able to 'summerize' this bike with a smaller wheelset, perhaps a 29er wheel/tire setup like Guitar Ted has blogged on, and maybe a front fork along with this, to create a geared hardtail 29er for single track dirt riding. I like the 907 but do have concerns about how it would handle in the summer (long chain stays), compared to say, the Spec fatboy or Borealis Yampa given their shorter chain stays and perhaps more aggressive geometry. The head tube angle on these 3 bikes is the same though so not sure how much different they would ride. I'm also not planning any bikepacking so not sure I need all the bells and whistles that 907 offers. Going with a carbon frame is also probably not practical at this point, and spec does not sell frame only. Doesn't seem like I have many options if 190mm rear desired. I also prefer a 30.9 seatpost so I can move my dropper post over for the winter, just because it sure is fun to play with. If anyone knows of a 190mm rear, 30.9 seatpost frame that is available please let me know (besides 907 that is).

  24. #24
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    Fatback 190mm has 18.1 cs length but I think it might use a 31.6 seat post.

    FATBACK ยป Aluminum Frame
    And I love beer!!

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