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  1. #1
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    Do it all fat bike

    I am probably going to be ordering a fat bike by Monday. I am renting one from a local shop to try a snow ride this weekend -- it's a Framed Wolftrax.

    I had originally planned to get a Fatback Rhino FLT with the GX1 build, and probably add a Mastodon to it.
    Fatback Bikes - High Performance meets Affordability

    I was looking today at the Mukluk and Beargrease though, and they sound pretty awesome too...especially the Beargrease, since I can get that for the same base price as the Rhino and it's a carbon frame.

    More background: I've been riding FS for many years (Santa Cruz Heckler, 26" wheels), and that bike's about worn out. I do mostly XC style trail riding, and the trails here are on the tight and twisty side, with plenty of roots, but not really big drops or jumps. I'm in southern Ohio, so in the winter we get a bit of snow and it might be on the ground for a couple weeks each snowfall, but we don't have the super groomed trails like I've seen in Minnesota, just what gets packed down by people out riding the singletrack.

    Does anyone have experience comparing these bikes, or opinions on what would be the best for year-round riding as the proverbial "one bike quiver"? Sadly the only thing I can demo locally is the Framed, and I would rather go a bit more high end than that.

  2. #2
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    Which version of the beargrease is it... 27.5inch 2018??

    Beargrease downsides, very stiff according to my friends that ride them and can be a bumpy ride, can also only take a 4 inch tyre, so might not be as good in un-groomed snow.... upside, light and fast for the singletrack for the other 3 seasons....

    GX Eagle Mukluk... you can stick on a Mastodon fork on come spring and a set of 29+ wheels for days when you want a little less rubber.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_Scotsman View Post
    can also only take a 4 inch tyre, so might not be as good in un-groomed snow
    Not sure where you got this information from? I've owned multiple Beargreases(both carbon and aluminum) and it can handle a "4.6" tire with ease. 45NRTH Dillinger 5 or Dunderbeist. I'm sure there are some others out there...I think Terrene makes one as well.

    IMO, the Beargrease would be a great bike for Ohio or any other area that doesn't get a huge amount of snow or if you are riding groomed all of the time.

  4. #4
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    For what it's worth I was looking at the aluminum NX1 Mukluk, not the Eagle.

    Basically the base model of each one.

    I guess I should also do more research on 27.5x4 vs 26x4.8.

  5. #5
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    If I'm reading it correctly, it looks like the Mastodon doesn't work with 29+

  6. #6
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    There is much fat to consider for year round riding. The Kona Wozo has been getting some good reviews here. Also, have you considered one of the 83mm BB shell variety, Rocky Mountain SuziQ for example, as an all round option? If you are going to be riding it year round, you might like the more narrow BB. Also, if you don't have much for snow coverage you wouldn't need the wider rear ends that fit 5" tires. Other options exist, even perhaps custom, but as with everything price will be a factor.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  7. #7
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    I don't have a local Kona or Rocky Mountain dealer so I haven't really looked into either of those. I think the nearest Kona dealer is an hour away and Rocky Mountain is more like 2.5 hours drive.

  8. #8
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    I decided to check in with Salsa about it, since I'm a heavier rider (probably close to 350 in riding gear (for now)). He advised the Mukluk over the Beargrease based on my weight due to the heavier tires and bigger seatpost. Also the Mastodon will not fit on the alloy Mukluk or Beargrease, but it might fit on the Bucksaw or carbon Mukluk.

    Also he said they still have some 2016 Bucksaws in stock that I could probably get a big discount on. Somewhat tempting, but I think I'd rather stick with hardtail/rigid until I drop some pounds.

  9. #9
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    I think it would be a good idea to look at the Wozo further, being only an hour away. It is a much more "modern" fat bike as far as frame angles go, and can accommodate pretty much any plus tire and all but the largest fat tires. I am fortunate enough to have both a snow-oriented fat bike and a trail plus bike, but I could easily see how nice it would be to have one bike to replace both.
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  10. #10
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    Very happy with my Growler, can run 26, 27.5+ and 29+ on it by just swapping wheels.

  11. #11
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    With a fat bike, part of the joy for many of us is leaving it simple. The tires, while not exactly a replacement for suspension, soak up a ton of stuff. I added a Thudbuster to mine, but other than that, don't desire suspension which the tires don't afford. I love how little there is to break on my bike.
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  12. #12
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    The Wozo looks pretty good, but I'm hesitant on the Bluto -- I hear they can be pretty flexy for normal riders, and I'm a real big dude.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_Scotsman View Post
    a 4 inch tyre, so might not be as good in un-groomed snow
    southern Ohio doesn't get enough snow to really warrant anything bigger than 4 inches. Nates in central Indiana winters did everything I asked for years, and I rode just fine in conditions where people with 5" rubber gave up and went home because it was "too much work". Hell, the previous 2 winters in the area didn't drop anything that a regular mtb couldn't handle, anyway. Funny that I moved away just before another legit winter with good snow riding conditions.

    4 inch tires are gonna be fine for an all season bike.

    IME, a Bluto is fine for most xc type stuff. Most midwestern riding is exactly that fork's forte. Yes, it's a little flexy, but that didn't cause any trouble for me until I really started pushing the fork with bigger drops and hitting chunky stuff at speed on my Bucksaw. The Bluto handled everything I rode in Indiana just fine. Didn't have problems until I started riding bigger stuff in Pisgah with it.

  14. #14
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    The Mastodon will fit a 29+ tire; officially you will need the EXT version. Check out the Mastodon thread for examples.

    I have a Wozo with Mastodon and am really impressed - on dirt it doesn't feel much less capable than my FS and I've been enjoying it in the snow as well.

    The Medium and Large Wozos will easily clear a Mastodon and at $699 for the frame it's not too hard to build up a better spec'd Wozo than the complete.

    Check out the Wozo thread.

  15. #15
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    The local shop owner I've been working with actually rides 4.8 Jumbo Jims year-round. I guess it depends on personal preference too, I just haven't had the chance to see what my preference is yet.

    As far as the Bluto, it might work out, but I'm still concerned since I'm near 350lbs in riding gear, plus I do want to start branching out and hitting Brown County and Pisgah a couple times a year. I am going for bombproof since I don't want to have to replace this any time soon.

  16. #16
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    At your size, go Mastodon if you absolutely must have suspension.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by david.p View Post
    I have a Wozo with Mastodon and am really impressed - on dirt it doesn't feel much less capable than my FS and I've been enjoying it in the snow as well.

    The Medium and Large Wozos will easily clear a Mastodon and at $699 for the frame it's not too hard to build up a better spec'd Wozo than the complete.
    [/url].
    ^I'm in this camp. I've been impressed by my Wozo on regular trails; the geo is awesome IMHO. For a year rounder, I think the narrow Q of a bike like the suzie Q is compelling too - might come down to weighing geo/BB/max tire width among things like price, spec, accessibility, etc (whatever is important to you). For the record, been geeking out looking at other fat bike geo and nothing production is even tempting me vs. the Wozo.

  18. #18
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    Well, the Wozo certainly gets a lot of love, I'll give it that. I'll have to look into it more.

  19. #19
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    You could also consider the Surly Wednesday or Ice Cream Truck... those should certainly handle your weight and perhaps be at a lower pricepoint enabling immediate upgrades. I would assume your dealer would carry them as well as the Salsas... but I've been wrong before.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Tommy C View Post
    The local shop owner I've been working with actually rides 4.8 Jumbo Jims year-round. I guess it depends on personal preference too, I just haven't had the chance to see what my preference is yet.

    As far as the Bluto, it might work out, but I'm still concerned since I'm near 350lbs in riding gear, plus I do want to start branching out and hitting Brown County and Pisgah a couple times a year. I am going for bombproof since I don't want to have to replace this any time soon.
    Brown County was my local stomping ground. Bluto had no problems on anything there. That'd probably change if you were getting big air on Hobbs. Depends what you ride in Pisgah whether you'd push the Bluto too far or not. What did it for me was hauling down upper Black Mtn. Trail with repeated drops in the 2-3ft range at high speed. My boss when I lived in Indy is a bigger dude than I am, and he rode a Beargrease with a Bluto on it in Pisgah frequently for awhile. He usually rode it rigid in Brown County, too.

    While the Mastodon is definitely a more robust fork, I don't necessarily think it's a MUST HAVE unless you're the sort who's going to push the bike hard and exceed the limits of a Bluto. Your weight is a factor, but not the only one.

    As for your employer's choice in wheels/tires, that's his choice. The larger rubber will in some respects make up for suspension in a limited fashion for summer riding. But it's undamped suspension, so it's going to be very different than a suspension fork. You'll find plenty of occasions on a fatbike where the undamped suspension from the tires feels like you're riding a basketball. The bigger the tires, the larger the effect. At times, I've found it can even overpower the damping on a suspension fork. Setup becomes super critical (tire pressures as well as fork setup).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Tommy C View Post

    I guess I should also do more research on 27.5x4 vs 26x4.8.
    Some good info here on 27.5 vs 26;

    https://www.bikerumor.com/2017/12/20...up-against-26/
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  22. #22
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    Good info. I just always tend to try to get the strongest parts I can because the first two mountain bikes I had I kept breaking parts on, so I got one that was probably overkill for most of my riding and mostly stopped breaking parts.

    I might still decide to go full rigid, I'll have to think on it more.

  23. #23
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    I love my Bucksaw. I'm touching 300 pounds and I have yet to be disappointed in the bikes performance. It is an absolute blast at Alum Creek on p1 and p2. The Wozo has one of the shortest chainstays available. But people are still changing fork length and angle sets and whatever else to really claim that "modern" geometry status. The more I read on this forum, the more I see you just need to get out and ride and decide for yourself what you like for your environment.

    Also check out RSD bikes, they are built to last.

    *EDIT* Also if you're coming to the CO(Columbus) anytime soon, shoot me a pm, I'll let ya take a spin on my Bucksaw.

  24. #24
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    Loving my AL beargrease. The geo isn't that far off from the Wozo really. With the stock a2c fork it's a 68.5* HTA. With a 120mm suspension fork i suspect it's in the 67.x* range. Chainstays are a little longer as well, but not crazy long. Still one of the shorter CS fatbikes around. Thing rips!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat-in-Fundy View Post
    I'm becoming convinced a do it all fatbike should be B-fat: 27.5x4.5 for snow, 27.5x3.5-3.8 for trails.

    Throw in the the ability to run 29x3 (bikepacking, gravel) and you can truly do it all.

    Concerning FS vs hardtail I think your primary use would determine that - rough dirt trail use? FS. Snow biking, exploration, and bikepacking? HT or rigid. A little bit of everything? A HT with a Mastodon and a rigid fork to swap in when desired is pretty versatile.

  26. #26
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    Tommy C? Is it you? Are you still in Florida?
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireinMTB View Post
    Loving my AL beargrease. The geo isn't that far off from the Wozo really. With the stock a2c fork it's a 68.5* HTA. With a 120mm suspension fork i suspect it's in the 67.x* range. Chainstays are a little longer as well, but not crazy long. Still one of the shorter CS fatbikes around. Thing rips!
    I agree somewhat, altho the time I had on a Beargrease was fun and the geometry is dialed it is really nothing like the Wozo. The Wozo is just a different beast and plays like no other fat bike, well that I've been on anyways.
    Last edited by bdundee; 01-12-2018 at 08:28 PM.

  28. #28
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    Youre nearly twice my size and I found the Bluto noodly, so a beefier fork like the Mastodon is a must. I ran a Bluto briefly on a Tandem fat bike, our combined weight is ~350#, and it was so noodly I thought it was gonna fail; it is most certainly not tandem rated

    In terms of strength, at your weight Id steer clear of anything with a breakage history.

    A good steel frame or a well designed aluminum frame.

    If you have $1500, get Walt to build you a custom steel frame.

    Production frames, a Wozo is solid, Ursa looks good if you want 197mm spacing, or a Ventana El Gordo which can be had in three levels of custom.

    For the riding youre doing, Id skip 26 wheels and go straight to b fat 27.5 x 3.8 Hodags or Gnarwals.

    You clearly want a fun bike thats fatter, since you ride a 2.5 tire now, anything will seem fatter, so to keep it fun, stay 4 or less, fast rolling, < 435mm chainstays, 120mm Mastodon STD, then go rip!

    Would you consider FS if it could replace the Heckler and serve winter duty? More $$, but one bike for all things is kinda cool.

    As to your shop guy... if he thinks the epitome of fat biking is riding a JJ 4.8 year round, you may want to look elsewhere for expert advice, just saying

    Quote Originally Posted by BigTommy C View Post
    The local shop owner I've been working with actually rides 4.8 Jumbo Jims year-round. I guess it depends on personal preference too, I just haven't had the chance to see what my preference is yet.

    As far as the Bluto, it might work out, but I'm still concerned since I'm near 350lbs in riding gear, plus I do want to start branching out and hitting Brown County and Pisgah a couple times a year. I am going for bombproof since I don't want to have to replace this any time soon.

  29. #29
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    I've had my Mukluk/Bluto for a year now. I'm about 230 in winter mode and I've never noticed my Bluto flexing, I rode it hard in Sedona and Durango. It's an alright bike but, I wished I'd waited for bigger(27.5) wheels. Good luck with your search.

  30. #30
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    I've ridden both the 120mm Bluto and Mastodon now. I'm 6'4" 240# plus gear so I'm not a little guy. The Mastodon is better, period. Less flex, more clearance, more travel available, soaks up everything big and small better.

    But, I've ridden the Bluto enough to know that it's capable and I'd expect it to work just fine for many, many people. I've done plenty of trails, drops, summer, winter, jumps, endo's, etc. on the Bluto and it worked.

    But nobody can decide for you which you need. You have to know how hard you're really going to ride and how picky you are about things on the bike. If you are questioning it at all then get the Mastodon and be happy with it.

  31. #31
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    After doing a fair bit of reading through the forums on all things fatbike Ive finally begun to seriously look at purchasing one. I am a legit Clydesdale also (66 265lbs). I have been looking for some direction on fits for the longer limbed riders.

    Ive been looking at bikes like the Mukluk, ICT, and Wozo, which are all more oriented with my most common type of riding (all mountain, downhill,having fun). Each have reach and stack height/lengths on the more sizeable end of the spectrum, from what I can tell although my experience with fatbiking is still new.

    Ultimately I am looking for a do it all fat-bike, have plans to expand into bike packing but the fattie will be mostly used for single track and as a fun 4 season addition to the quiver. Any input on fatbikes to research and check out would be appreciated.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by HendryxMTB View Post
    After doing a fair bit of reading through the forums on all things fatbike Ive finally begun to seriously look at purchasing one. I am a legit Clydesdale also (66 265lbs). I have been looking for some direction on fits for the longer limbed riders.

    Ive been looking at bikes like the Mukluk, ICT, and Wozo, which are all more oriented with my most common type of riding (all mountain, downhill,having fun). Each have reach and stack height/lengths on the more sizeable end of the spectrum, from what I can tell although my experience with fatbiking is still new.

    Ultimately I am looking for a do it all fat-bike, have plans to expand into bike packing but the fattie will be mostly used for single track and as a fun 4 season addition to the quiver. Any input on fatbikes to research and check out would be appreciated.
    I am 6'5" and about 250-255 pounds. I'm riding a 907 Whiteout, my favorite bike ever. Like it so much, I parted out my 29er fully and built a 29+ bike.
    Also check out Ventana. They make an XXL if you need it.
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  33. #33
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    I'm 5'7" and weight 160LBS and ride a Trek Farley EX 9.8 FS fatty. My other bike is a Giant Anthem Advanced SX cross country/trail. I feel everything is covered with these two bikes.The Farley climbs well, bombs well, and is a joy to ride. And BTW, I live in Southern California and use it as a MB, not a snow plower.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    You could also consider the Surly Wednesday or Ice Cream Truck... those should certainly handle your weight and perhaps be at a lower pricepoint enabling immediate upgrades. I would assume your dealer would carry them as well as the Salsas... but I've been wrong before.
    Those would be my suggestion as well. ICT if you must have the biggest tires (I did) and Wednesday if it's primarily for trails.

    I have both in my garage because my GF has Wednesday and I have the ICT. We are both addicted.

    Aluminum is fine, just not for me.

  35. #35
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    Did Big Tommy C ever get his fatbike?

    As a NE Ohio native, and avid fatbiker, I recommend getting a frame that will fit 26x4.8 Bud & Lou. I have demo'd tires and ridden with people with all kinds of tires in all kinds of conditions, and nothing else provides so much capability in the sloppy, ungroomed snow we tend to have here. If it was all cold and hard and groomed and packed, I'd say pretty much anything would work - but Ohio snow is none of those things for more than maybe a week at a time. I feel like I have really enjoyed a lot of conditions where others would not even venture out - too deep, too heavy, too mushy... Often, I'm the one breaking trail (certainly not the only one). They even help me on off-camber stuff. I only give up on sheet ice - which usually means the end of the season here anyway.
    If you're going for a one-bike stable, the ability to swap wheels and tires to the extreme is very helpful.

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Did Big Tommy C ever get his fatbike?

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    I don't know about him, but I bet Tommiesea in Florida has a whole warehouse full of em.
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  37. #37
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    Re-read. MikeC and NurseBen have written extensively on the fit of 29+ and the elefant fork....

  38. #38
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    Most fatbikes will fit tall wheels and fat, some have more tire clearance for very fat tires, usually 197mm hub spacing. Its difficult to get your cake and eat it too, every wheel size gas its pros and cons, one bike to rule them all will require two or three wheelsets.

    If you are careful in your build and pay attention to maximizing fit, you could get everything you want with an XL Wozo, 29+ for bike packing and long days, B Fat for all around mountain bashing, and fat for snow. The Wozo will fit 4.8 tires, but you need to keep the rim narrower, for example 4.8 Minions on a 65mm rim and 4.5 Barbes on a 70mm rim.

    With your height, you could do an XL Wozo if you like a bigger fit, or a Large if you like things more compact, kinda depends how you like your cockpit. Either way youd have room fit for a 175mm Dropper. See the Wozo thread for a recent tall guy build. My son is 65, I built him a large Wozo running 140mm Mastodon and 29+, he loves it.

    Quote Originally Posted by HendryxMTB View Post
    After doing a fair bit of reading through the forums on all things fatbike Ive finally begun to seriously look at purchasing one. I am a legit Clydesdale also (66 265lbs). I have been looking for some direction on fits for the longer limbed riders.

    Ive been looking at bikes like the Mukluk, ICT, and Wozo, which are all more oriented with my most common type of riding (all mountain, downhill,having fun). Each have reach and stack height/lengths on the more sizeable end of the spectrum, from what I can tell although my experience with fatbiking is still new.

    Ultimately I am looking for a do it all fat-bike, have plans to expand into bike packing but the fattie will be mostly used for single track and as a fun 4 season addition to the quiver. Any input on fatbikes to research and check out would be appreciated.

  39. #39
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    Please help guys. I cannot demo salsa without driving 2.5 hours. So it's a risk. So here i am on local terrain, mostly rocky, dirt, climbing...snow will be rare, and as an all in one bike, thinking of bucksaw vs mukluk. Maybe get cheaper carbon mukluk, upgrade fork later, equals a little bit more than bucksaw gx1. Or else full sus is better based on local terrain? My LBS also sells SC, trek and giant, but not leaning towards Farleys...
    Might get the bucksaw gx1 and if needed, purchase a summer wheelset, 27.5 3s, maybe.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joephilly44 View Post
    Please help guys. I cannot demo salsa without driving 2.5 hours. So it's a risk. So here i am on local terrain, mostly rocky, dirt, climbing...snow will be rare, and as an all in one bike, thinking of bucksaw vs mukluk. Maybe get cheaper carbon mukluk, upgrade fork later, equals a little bit more than bucksaw gx1. Or else full sus is better based on local terrain? My LBS also sells SC, trek and giant, but not leaning towards Farleys...
    Might get the bucksaw gx1 and if needed, purchase a summer wheelset, 27.5 3s, maybe.
    Pretty much only you can decide what you need but at least it sounds like you could test ride a Farley to give you some idea if a fully fat bike is ideal for you. That being said a lot of us on here live where test riding bikes is not a option and buy on blind faith. Heck I would happily drive 2.5 hours or more to get a test ride in but that is usually not on option.

  41. #41
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    Agreed, the drive is worth it if only to help you make a decision that won't lead to buyer's remorse.

    That said, I ordered a Mutz sight unseen and a Fatillac (did a little demo ride on Mike's Fatillac).

    It really depends on what you want to ride, so there is a huge difference betweem full suspension and a hardtail.

    For perspective, consider that a bike, any bike, fat or non fat, is still just a bike. If you want a full suspension bike with fat tires, then pick your bike as if you were picking a non fat full suspension bike.

    The obvious picks are Bucksaw and Farley EX, personally I';d lead toward the Farley because it now comes with a Mastodon and 27.5 wheels.

    You didn't describe your local terrain, so it's hard to say what you would benefit from most, but fat tires are not a cure all, fat tires don't replace suspension, and most folks don't continue to ride fat during the summer (two wheelsets), so you shoudl ask yourself why you need a fat bike in the first place.

    For example, I used to live in WA state, rode snow 90% of the time from Nov-April, so fat tires were a way of life if you wanted to ride in the winter; I also had a plus wheelset for riding on the west side. Since moving to Carson City, I can ride dirt 95% of the winter season, so fat tires are not essential. I continue to ride fat, but have ditched the big tires and now run B Fat for mixed surfaces like mud, snow, rock, and sand.

    If you have the money and tend to go big, ie drops, all mountain rowdy stuff, I'd direct you to a longer travel FS bike or a progressive hardtail.

    Do you need fat or would plus work most of the time?

    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Pretty much only you can decide what you need but at least it sounds like you could test ride a Farley to give you some idea if a fully fat bike is ideal for you. That being said a lot of us on here live where test riding bikes is not a option and buy on blind faith. Heck I would happily drive 2.5 hours or more to get a test ride in but that is usually not on option.

  42. #42
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    Thanks Ben and bdundee!
    I'm close by Ben. In Chico. Bidwell park. I am 2 hrs north of auburn. An hour south of redding. Truckee is 2 hours? Here, I mentioned rocky terrain, some very rocky, some loose stuff, some dirt.
    Sounds like bucksaw can do all that with full sus. Trek farley 9.8 is out if budget. Trek 8 is same price as carbon bucksaw. 3400 bones. Farley 8 is heavier, is alu, don't see improvements component-wise in comparison. If I can afford it later, can try to get carbon rims w/27.5 tires for bucksaw. Someone said you can put skinnier tires on a fatbike but cant put fat tires on a regular mt bike.
    Coming from a trek hardtail, fatbike seems fun-ner. Bucksaw seems versatile. I'm still a new rider, not concerned with going fast or racing. More concerned with fun, exercise and safety. Yes I want to get better, learn to hop and manual, do some drops and jumps but have to be careful too.
    My budget is under 4000, and dont forget, i need pedals, tubeless stans setup done, possibly better seat, a dropper post (for mukluk), and other expenses. Since I won't primarily be on snow, don't see need for mukluk or beargrease. I do like the idea of bikepacking tho. We'll see.
    Salsa deadwood too pricey.
    Yes was looking at giant anthem or santa Cruz 27.5 Bronson maybe... Nomad is too much...

    I dont look forward to upgrading SRAM brakes, or Bluto fork to a mastodon or buying a second wheelset...but it's a possibility even after dropping 3400 on a bucksaw.
    I dont mind the extra rotational weight, need the exercise, am not in any groups really, or racing anyone.
    I might relocate this year but not sure if I'll try Oregon or Colorado or sac area, or even have been thinking reno but I'll have to cross that bridge when it comes.

  43. #43
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    I'm right around 299lbs and I love my 2007.5 Santa Cruz Heckler here in Kansas. I am currently jonsing really hard for a Suzi Q 70 or 90 for our sandyish trails on the river.

  44. #44
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    If I had 4K to spend and it had to be a fat bike, Id look at used bikes like the Mutz and the Farley EX. I think theres a used Fatillac about to be in the pipeline, but it may be an XL.

    Make sure its fat that you want, plus bikes are often a better all around choice. I gave a Fevinci Hendrix on loan to my brother, great bike.

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