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  1. #1
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    Which fat bike should i buy?

    Let me introduce myself, my name is Tommy and last time i rode a bike was 20 years ago. I was more into sport motorcycles until i got hurt few year back. Since i don't want another motorcycle i decided to get into riding bicycles and the fat bike really caught my attention. Now since i am very new to this fat bike thing i really cannot decide which bike to buy, there is so many of them and also there are custom ones. I have around $3000 to spend and i need you professional advice as to what to get, i really want a custom bike with colors i want but if that is out of my price range i will settle for off the shelve one but i want a really good bike with good parts in it and good handling.

  2. #2
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    In the land of the fat, the 4.8s on hunjos is king.

  3. #3
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    4.8 it is. But which brand, can $3000 buy a custom built bike?

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    There are hundreds of options for fat bikes under $3000. Window shop the picture thread for your options.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    Let me introduce myself, my name is Tommy and last time i rode a bike was 20 years ago. I was more into sport motorcycles until i got hurt few year back. Since i don't want another motorcycle i decided to get into riding bicycles and the fat bike really caught my attention. Now since i am very new to this fat bike thing i really cannot decide which bike to buy, there is so many of them and also there are custom ones. I have around $3000 to spend and i need you professional advice as to what to get, i really want a custom bike with colors i want but if that is out of my price range i will settle for off the shelve one but i want a really good bike with good parts in it and good handling.
    I too come from the SBK world after injuries while amateur racing but it was a chapter in my life I would not trade for anything. 4.8's are not necessary since 3.8's can pretty much do the same sans heavy snow fall and if your plan is to trail / XC ride the 3.8's are a superior choice for such rides.
    Check the PM i sent.
    plus+, plus+ = win:

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    Did you need custom frame for sizing, or just for color/styling.
    Either way, the Carver Ti options look good for the price range you mention. It would be a shame to paint the whole frame though, at least leave some bare ti.

  7. #7
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    The custom frame is more for looks, i have my own colors and to represent my business colors as well. Also by having custom frame i think the bike will ride better than stock frame (but that just my opinion)

    How good is Carver Ti frame comparing to a 9:zero:7, surly, salsa.

    Also i have a local shop in town that can build me one and the frame they are getting is from Capitol Bicycles, have anyone of you heard of this name and how good they are. they are from Ohio as far as i know

  8. #8
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    @tomi-iv Maybe you could tell us about where you are going to be riding? Is it hilly/flat? Is it just for around town, on gravel, singletrack, on the beach, in the snow, mud etc. and a quick breakdown of how much time your going to spend on each. Otherwise advice is going to be a bit of a crapshoot.

  9. #9
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    If you haven't ridden in 20 years a custom bike is a really, really bad idea. You don't know what you don't know at this point and you have no idea what you want, and if you ask us, you're going to end up with someone elses' dream bike, not your own.

    Since yer new to fatbikes and all that, and since you've given no hint as to how you're gonna ride it, I'd suggest the humble surly pugsley. it's a great way to get into fatbikes.

    it's insanely versatile, it's cheap, it's easy to re-sell if you 1: don't end up liking fatbikes (which can happen. Fatbiking can be insanely frustrating) 2:like fatbikes so much that you want something even better (which is where you will be if you really like it).

    It's also the easiest/cheapest to upgrade- no low-production run hubs, just good ol' 135s.

    Puglsey does not run the fattest tires, but honestly, 4" tires are pretty awesome and I can tell you that the difference in "float" between the giant tires and the super giant tires isn't that great if yer over 200 pounds.

    Don't let 3k burn a hole in your pocket. Spend half that (or less if you find a used one) on a basic fatbike, ride the hell out of it this winter and discover what you really like and don't like. Then, armed with that info, buy a custom next year, sell the basic bike and get 75% of your money back. Can't lose.

    Customs can be incredibly hard to sell and if you don't like it, you'll lose a butt-load of cash.

  10. #10
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    I will be riding this bike everywhere (trails, snow, flat, sand just about anywhere)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    If you haven't ridden in 20 years a custom bike is a really, really bad idea. You don't know what you don't know at this point and you have no idea what you want, and if you ask us, you're going to end up with someone elses' dream bike, not your own.
    +1 - buy a production fatbike. Ride it. See if you actually like it. If you do like it you'll be in a much better place to spec a custom bike after a season or two of riding.

    You may find yourself completely happy with a production bike.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  12. #12
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    I would second the Pugsley option or wait until the new Specialized Fat Boy comes out. It will be around 2K and will be lighter and have big tires and rims.
    Rudy Projects look ridiculous

    visit my blog, BEATS, BIKES & LIFE

  13. #13
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    All i need from you guys is to tell me which frame and fork combo is good to go with, since there are so many. I know i can buy a production bike but even then there are more options for the price of the pugsley.

    Is pugsley better than a mukluk or origin8 crawler etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    All i need from you guys is to tell me which frame and fork combo is good to go with, since there are so many. I know i can buy a production bike but even then there are more options for the price of the pugsley.

    Is pugsley better than a mukluk or origin8 crawler etc.
    Go to your LBS and test ride. Then you'll know.

    Seriously, it's all subjective. I think my pugsley is awesome because it's the bike I have. It's also the only one that I was able to test ride before buying.

    You are overthinking this. It's just a bike and there is no wrong answer. AFAIK, other than the wall-goose, there's no such thing as a bad fat bike yet.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    All i need from you guys is to tell me which frame and fork combo is good to go with, since there are so many. I know i can buy a production bike but even then there are more options for the price of the pugsley.

    Is pugsley better than a mukluk or origin8 crawler etc.
    Is the Pugsley better than the Mukluk...well this akin to asking a guy riding a 1198s if its better than F4-RR. Usually it's an opinion with bias.

    Take some time read some reviews of various bikes. Browse the picture threads and build threads. Decide what frame material you want. Then narrow your options.

    If you want a suggestion of where to start with just a frameset then okay...but your own physical ergonomics should help you pick a bike.

    Classic do it all: Pugsley or Moonlander
    Current High End: Salsa Beargrease Carbon, 9:Zero:7 Carbon, Mukluk Ti
    Fargo Ti + Moonlander + Necro Pug + Nature Boy

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    The problem is nobody carries anything else than a pugsley or mukluk around chicago to test ride. That's what the problem is. Every store that i went to tried to sell what they have in stock, and also there was one store that went so far as to sell me a used bike as new. Maybe that's why i am overthinking.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    The problem is nobody carries anything else than a pugsley or mukluk around chicago to test ride. That's what the problem is.
    In a lot of places having 2 varieties of fatbikes to test ride would be awesome - not a problem.

    Both bikes are solid choices. Ride them and pick one. You will have a good bike in your garage.

    If you like the Muk and feel like spending cash you can order up a Ti version.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  18. #18
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    Which fat bike should i buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    The problem is nobody carries anything else than a pugsley or mukluk around chicago to test ride. That's what the problem is. Every store that i went to tried to sell what they have in stock, and also there was one store that went so far as to sell me a used bike as new. Maybe that's why i am overthinking.
    Hit up your local sub-forum and see if there are any fatbike owners in your area who might let you test ride.

    Like Vik said either one of those choices are great bikes. If you decide to upgrade you won't have a problem selling the frame on eBay...or building a second bike. Bikes are like motorcycles 1 is all you need but you'll want more...want a 2 stoke just cause, want a sbk, and maybe a BMW GS for that commute or trip from Alaska to tip of South America.
    Fargo Ti + Moonlander + Necro Pug + Nature Boy

  19. #19
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    Come up to Madison, Wi! 2 hour drive will do you some good. Erik's has pugsleys, I'm guessing that since Willy bikes went away, someone in town will pick up salsa...

    Here's something kinda cool.

    There's a little bike shop in Cambridge, WI that rents fatbikes by the hour- they've got pugsleys last time I checked. CamRockSport.com | Fresh Air, Dirty Trails, Cool Water, Tasty Food and Brew

    Drive up to cambridge, it's like 2.5 hours from chicago. It's a cute little town. Rent a fatbike and ride the cam-rock trail system- it's an amazing collection of trails that manage to be both easy and challenging- they're the prefect beginner trails.

    If you'd like, I'll even meet you there and ride with you as long as you buy me a sandwich.

  20. #20
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    But if i go surly or salsa i can't have my own colors, i have to buy what they sell. At least i want custom paint if nothing else

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Come up to Madison, Wi! 2 hour drive will do you some good. Erik's has pugsleys, I'm guessing that since Willy bikes went away, someone in town will pick up salsa...

    Here's something kinda cool.

    There's a little bike shop in Cambridge, WI that rents fatbikes by the hour- they've got pugsleys last time I checked. CamRockSport.com | Fresh Air, Dirty Trails, Cool Water, Tasty Food and Brew

    Drive up to cambridge, it's like 2.5 hours from chicago. It's a cute little town. Rent a fatbike and ride the cam-rock trail system- it's an amazing collection of trails that manage to be both easy and challenging- they're the prefect beginner trails.

    If you'd like, I'll even meet you there and ride with you as long as you buy me a sandwich.
    I was thinking after the sandwich to split a twix also.

  22. #22
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    Powdercoating a new color is about $100, don't let colors stop you. Surly even sells replacement decals.

    Ride a Pugsley. If it doesn't put a smile on your face, then fat biking is not for you.
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountsports.net

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    But if i go surly or salsa i can't have my own colors, i have to buy what they sell. At least i want custom paint if nothing else
    Here you go- custom powder coating, janesville. Guessing there's something in chicago, despite it's tiny size and total lack of bike related services.

    COONER INTERGALACTIC

    You asked for advice, don't get pissy if it's not what you wanted to hear.

  24. #24
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    Even if i won't like fat bike riding i still want to have one, just to show off. So it's gotta be nice. Like i said i have $3K to burn so i might as well buy something better than a production bike. So this being said what can i get for $3K.

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    Which fat bike should i buy?



    Stock frame, custom parts kit. I went with a solid build, but not the very high-end stuff. I'm probably in for close to $4k. However, I went the LBS route. You could get it closer to 3k with internet-shopping and slightly cheaper parts.

    I love this bike.

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    Moonlander for showing off.
    Jason
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    Moonlander for showing off.
    Thats why i want the fattest tires you can have on a bike

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    Thats why i want the fattest tires you can have on a bike
    Also, do make sure to set back at least $500 of your budget for upgrade/replacement tires.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    Thats why i want the fattest tires you can have on a bike
    DISCLAIMER: I don't want this to turn into another argument. I am NOT saying one is better or you should buy this.

    There are only a few bikes that will handle the biggest tires and rims. Moonlander for sure but it's a steel frame. The new, soon to be delivered 9-0-7, 190 mm, which is aluminum and I cant think of any others. Oh yeah, the new, not yet available Borealis carbon, but that's gonna blow your $3000. budget. Help me out guy's what other frame will hold Bud/Lou on Clownshoes?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    Even if i won't like fat bike riding i still want to have one, just to show off. So it's gotta be nice. Like i said i have $3K to burn so i might as well buy something better than a production bike. So this being said what can i get for $3K.
    you can have my Pug for a mere 2.5k and i'll pay freight up to $100.
    plus+, plus+ = win:

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcappy View Post
    DISCLAIMER: I don't want this to turn into another argument. I am NOT saying one is better or you should buy this.

    There are only a few bikes that will handle the biggest tires and rims. Moonlander for sure but it's a steel frame. The new, soon to be delivered 9-0-7, 190 mm, which is aluminum and I cant think of any others. Oh yeah, the new, not yet available Borealis carbon, but that's gonna blow your $3000. budget. Help me out guy's what other frame will hold Bud/Lou on Clownshoes?

    I don't know of others, but the 2014 Moonlander comes stock with Bud/Lou and Clownshoes, which, at the moment, is the largest available.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  32. #32
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    Are 907's or fatback bikes build better than the moonlander. They are in the same price range and all offer a frame that can take a 4.8 tires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    Even if i won't like fat bike riding i still want to have one, just to show off. So it's gotta be nice. Like i said i have $3K to burn so i might as well buy something better than a production bike. So this being said what can i get for $3K.
    You want to show off? Buy a Pug Ops, send the frame and rims out for a custom paint/powdercoat job, put a Bud 4.8 inch tire on the front for extra fatness and handling. Get some custom wood fenders from Woodys Custom Wood Bicycle Fenders. You will have a great riding fatbike within your budget.

    If you are new to riding, don't forget all the accessories you will need, such as a helmet, pedals, glasses, gloves, cycling shorts, tool bag or backpack, multi-tool, spare tube/patch kit, pump/inflator, chain lube, water bottle and cage or hydration pack, and cycling shoes if you want to use clipless pedals. These will take a chunk of your budget.

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    get a fatback ti or sandman hoggar ti and be done with it.

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    What is the importance of the custom paint?

    It sounded like you wanted the custom paint to show off.

    What specific colors, and or designs were you wanting to do?

    It must be something pretty dramatic, or unique.

    I ask, because to have a fat bike draws so much attention to the tires, who's even going to notice the paint job?

    Please tell us what your Ideas are for custom paint. It may help us know where to tell you to get a custom frame, or where to get a production frame painted. That, and I just want to know.

    If the only reason you want a custom is for the paint job, there's no need to have the frame custom built, if it will have the same geometry, and features as a production bike. Most people who get a custom get it built with a unique sizing, or geometry to suit them better than an off the shelf bike.

    As for the show off factor though, if you do have a custom frame built, you might could go with something unique in the frame design, like an X design top tube, or a double skinny downtube or top tube or both, or just look around at other weird frame designs, and pick one you would like to assimilate in a fat bike. Most deviations from the standard diamond shape will increase weight and sacrifice stiffness and strength though, but you can get more standover clearance if needed, or more compliance for a smoother ride. An elevated chainstay design would be cool for getting the fattest tires to fit while keeping the cranks from having to be as wide as a moonlander.

  36. #36
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    Paint job is one thing, but having a frame that not many people know is another. Everybody knows Salsa and Surly but not everybody knows who Capitol Bicycles Company is(this is just for example) right. So i want to be different than everybody else, i want the bike, frame and paint job to be made only for me and nobody else. And i would pay more than $3K if i have to just to get it i just wanted to stay under $3K if i could because i don't think this bikes are worth more than that. I would really like to think that they are worth what their asking price.

    I just asked a simple question and got so many replies but did not accomplish anything so far.

    Since i don't know all the brands out there and what their quality is i asked here for help do decide what brand i should spend my money on. I really want to get a quality bike not just another bike and if that's not in my budget than fine.

  37. #37
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    I get it- he doesn't care how it rides or if he'll like it, he just wants something flashy as hell. Think Hummer on 32" chrome wheels.

    If that's the case, try spooky- they do custom, they have crazy colors. Then take whatever rims you buy to the powdercoater and get them painted to match. Hell, if you look hard enough you can find someone who will recover a saddle to match.

    Or if you want more subtle flash, go with a moots Ti snowbike. Won't have much left over for parts but it will look the biz.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Or if you want more subtle flash, go with a moots Ti snowbike. Won't have much left over for parts but it will look the biz.
    The Moots snow bike is $4K for the frame only. I hope you get a fork for that kind of $$, but I'm not sure about that.

    I am starting to get a troll-esque vibe from this thread so that may not be an issue
    Last edited by vikb; 08-26-2013 at 08:19 AM.
    Safe riding,

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    Paint job is one thing, but having a frame that not many people know is another. Everybody knows Salsa and Surly but not everybody knows who Capitol Bicycles Company is(this is just for example) right. So i want to be different than everybody else, i want the bike, frame and paint job to be made only for me and nobody else. And i would pay more than $3K if i have to just to get it i just wanted to stay under $3K if i could because i don't think this bikes are worth more than that. I would really like to think that they are worth what their asking price.

    I just asked a simple question and got so many replies but did not accomplish anything so far.

    Since i don't know all the brands out there and what their quality is i asked here for help do decide what brand i should spend my money on. I really want to get a quality bike not just another bike and if that's not in my budget than fine.
    Well, it all depends on what features you want in a custom frame. what material?
    USA built aluminum and steel custom frames can be had in this price range, but it will easily go way over $3k if you are looking for high end components and custom paint, custom tubing, bending, add ons, etc. You might could also get an asian built custom titanium frame and stay in the $3k range.

    How can you tell the difference between a custom frame and an off the shelf frame by looking at it? Unless you have some nonstandard frame design in mind, the only way to tell the difference would be with a tape measure.

    If you can tell us what kind of non- standard frame design you want, we could steer you toward a particular builder. Otherwise, any of them will do for a standard diamond shaped frame. If you want something wilder looking, maybe Black sheep bicycles would be an option, but a lot more $$$.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I am starting to get a troll-esque vibe from this thread so cost that may not be an issue
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  41. #41
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    Maybe a frame like this one from 3D racing in Colorado:
    Mountain Bikes

  42. #42
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    So how about those wilder looking frame builders, are there any?

  43. #43
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    Which fat bike should i buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomi-iv View Post
    ....I just asked a simple question and got so many replies but did not accomplish anything so far.

    Since i don't know all the brands out there and what their quality is i asked here for help do decide what brand i should spend my money on. I really want to get a quality bike not just another bike and if that's not in my budget than fine.
    Your simple question was vague and general, and got good response considering the subject of this thread. A full custom bike is gonna take effort on your part to learn about fat bike specific things like hub spacing, rim/tire clearance and so on. I suggest you start looking at companies who built bikes for NAHBS this year as there were lots of fat bikes. Then contact a few and go from there.

    Here browse this link: http://fat-bike.com/2013/02/the-fat-side-of-nahbs-2013/

    Google NAHBS fat bike 2013 and there are plenty of pics and articles. Be aware custom bike builders sometimes have wait lists...some maybe 2-3 weeks others could be years.
    Fargo Ti + Moonlander + Necro Pug + Nature Boy

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    So far i like frames from Capitol Bicycles, Twenty 2 Cycles, 38 Frameworks and maybe 907 190mm.

    I am working on a parts list and will post with what i come up with.

  45. #45
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    Which fat bike should i buy?

    I'm a sucker for Ti frames...really like BlackSheep's stuff.

    Also check out http://schlickcycles.com/bikes/northpaw/ they do custom bikes and have a good gallery. I'm looking forward to their longtail or fat cargo bike.

    If you wanna go simple looking like single speed for aesthetics look into a internal gear hub like a Shimano Alfine 8 or 11. However they require a 135mm rear hub...this is why I went Surly.

    If you do decide to go off the shelf bike and a custom paint job Spectrum Powderworks in Colorado has a good rep. I went to a local shop and they did an okay job, but I didn't pay a lot.
    Fargo Ti + Moonlander + Necro Pug + Nature Boy

  46. #46
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    You even gonna ride the bike, or just show it off, might help
    us understand what you want.
    Hell, get a Pug and strip the thing and paint it whatever color you want, have stickers
    made for whatever you want it to say on the bike, can't get any simpler than that.
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  47. #47
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    If you are going to spend $3K on a custom framed bike, you are going to have to stick to the bare essentials, and end up with a pretty bland, but well fitting bike, and you don't even have a good idea what would fit well at this point. The main reason for doing this would be because an off the shelf frame doesn't fit you well.

    If you spend $3k on a stock framed build or a complete bike, you will be able to get a higher end bike, with a pretty light frame, and some nice components, and a frame that is still unique enough that you will probably never see one like it at the trails. Even the new specialized fat bike coming out soon is going to be made in pretty limited numbers, so I don't know who you are referring to when you say you want something different from everyone else in a fat bike. How many people do you know with fat bikes?

  48. #48
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    Whatever you do to a PUG would still be a PUG. When i say different i mean custom built frame from somebody that is not selling to the public, from a shop that not everybody knows, that"s why i mentioned Capitol Bicycles Company - how many of you know about this guy, but he is making pretty damn good frames. I had a chance to talk to a person that already owns one and he says that this custom bike is different in every aspect than a production bike like salsa or surly. From light frame to a carbon fork to different geometry that handles better etc, It is different. I dont really know how to explain it. Even if i won;t ride this bike i still want to have a masterpiece from somebody that will hand make this frame. I am talking quality, USA hand made frame, that i want to be proud of. Yes i will ride this bike, maybe not like some of you guys but still i will ride it but when i am done riding i want to clean it and put it on display in my garage so friends and people will be able to see it and talk about it.

  49. #49
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    Fatbikes are for riding, and having fun on, not posing,
    They get scraped, dents, scratched - its an offroad bicycle,

    Joe public who does not read up on fatbikes will not tell the differance between any make of fatbike, all they do is stare at the tyres

    If you wanna show off learn to wheelie

    You can ride the dirtiest old fatbike and will look more cool if you can wheelie or ride the wheels off it than sitting posing on a blinged out clean bike in town,
    Folk around here would just shake there heads and laugh at you posing on one
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
    http://coastkid.blogspot.com/

  50. #50
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    If you want a high quality fat bike mostly for show; I can understand, people collect all sorts of things...just to have...older cars as an example. And thank God for them; for others do get enjoyment from looking at them.

    But fat bikes do not yet fall into that category. As CK pointed out, Joe public will just see the tires, and perhaps be wowed by a fantastic finish of your choice. But that will not bring you the greatest level of satisfaction from your showmanship.

    You must decide for whom are you building this bike for; yourself or others; and just who are these others: 'elite' bicyclists or average Joe.

    Would you go for a simple but elegant look or decked out with all of the latest binged out gizmos? The former might meet with better success given the budget.

    These are things that only you can decide upon, beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say.

    You have a daunting task ahead of you, and in the end, you are left alone...

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