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Thread: Fat Or Plus?

  1. #1
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    Fat Or Plus?

    I have been looking at fat bikes. The Alaskan w/bluto and the night train or Borris w/bluto. Been in the$1400-$2000 ish range. Stopped by a specialized dealer and saw a 27.5 plus Fuse at $1600 w/x7 1x10. Looks good! What do you guys think about 3" plus bikes? We don't get a lot of snow here in Maryland so may be OK. Also looked at the Beast of the East. Nice bike also. Just curious about your opinion.
    Thanks
    Bill
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  2. #2
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    You can always put 27.5+ on a fat bike, but you can't put fat tires on a 27.5+

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    I was eyeballing the fuse. It's more of an aggro hardtail with a longer travel fork. Would be awesome in the summer months.

    If you're riding at all in the snow, I'd do a fatbike.

    I'd glady take a fuse as a 3rd bike. 1st: trailbike, 2nd: fatbike, 3rd aggro hardtail and/or xc racer

  4. #4
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    I had a 29+ front tire on my hardtail with a really fat 2.4 on super-wide rims in the back. For all intents and purposes, it felt like the other Plus bikes I'd ridden, maybe better.

    I rode it in the snow. It was ok.

    I then got a 4" Pugsley. Well, I started on stock 3.8" Knards. So, I went from a 3.0" to a 3.8", and roughly doubled my rim size.


    Night. And. Day. A fatbike is a totally different animal. The extra width really lets you crawl uphill. With a low N/W ring, it's a tank and is a completely unique riding experience from a Plus bike.

    My point; I would not put them in the same house in your brain. They are distinct bikes, totally different, AND- the fatbike is not just for snow.
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    If you are asking this question, you need to go demo/rent/borrow both types of bike. Anonymous 14 year olds (like me) on the internet simply aren't going to be able to help. It's like asking whether vanilla or chocolate is better.

    Put your wallet back in your pocket after you patch the hole it burned and google up demo days and local places that will rent you a bike. Or get a few sixpacks together and go find some friends (or enemies) who will loan you their ride.

    -Walt

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    I did a test ride on a Scott 27.5+ (not technically 3", they equip them with 2.8's) when i was trying to decide whether to go fat or not. Awesome bike. (Some) Fat tire advantages but more agile, for me anyway. If the 27.5+ had actually be in stock for sale, I very well might've bought it. Fortunately it wasn't and the Big Jon was, and it was $300 cheaper and the rest is history. mdilthey hit it right, they are different animals, but I do think that atleast for a trail/MTB (non-snow) bike they overlap quite a bit.

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    The right fat bike can be fun in the summer and winter. I think a plus size bike is cool, but it's kinda trying to morph two bikes into one. I'd much prefer to ride a standard sized MTB bike when conditions permit, but when things go south (snow, leaves, slick) the fatty is a game changer. Why buy something in the middle that does both things decent, but neither great?
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

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    I'm not tellin' you what to do, just what I did. I bought a full on fat bike thinking I was going to ride it only in the winter in snow. How wrong I was. I ride it all year.
    I built up 29+ wheels for it so when I take it to Florida or Maine or wherever I bring it, I'm just a wheel swap away from having what I need. I usually don't have space for more than one bike for myself on these trips since I also carry bikes for my son and my wife.
    I like turtles

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    I'm building up a 29+ wheel set for my Farley, but honestly I don't know how much of the time I'll be using them. I have the right set of fat tires for 4 season use, and the bike isn't cryin out for a set of smaller tires. The Farley 7 is a great 'mountain bike', never mind snow riding. Other fat bikes like the Beargrease among others are in this category as well. Fat just feels right even in dry weather to me, and I'm completely normalized to 4.7" tires - everything else looks tiny and inappropriate!

    A fat bike with a plus wheel set is like 2 bikes in one, but know that even being fairly frugal I still spent $1000 on the 29+ wheels by the time hoops, hubs, tires, rotors, rim strips and spokes were accounted for.

    Oh and Walt is right - you have to ride.
    I've been riding mountain bikes for 26 years and wasn't expecting to hop on a fatty last year and go "I can ride this damn thing everywhere, every day" but that's exactly the experience I had.

  10. #10
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    Plus is pretty great

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauldotcom View Post
    The right fat bike can be fun in the summer and winter. I think a plus size bike is cool, but it's kinda trying to morph two bikes into one. I'd much prefer to ride a standard sized MTB bike when conditions permit, but when things go south (snow, leaves, slick) the fatty is a game changer. Why buy something in the middle that does both things decent, but neither great?
    I thought the same thing until I started really riding my plus bike a lot, and I realized that I was faster/having more fun on even non-technical dry stuff. I don't think I'll ride <3" tires offroad again anytime soon.

    Worth riding both to see what you like for sure. That said, the fattie is more versatile in that you can put a plus wheelset on it. No go the other direction.

    -Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I'm not tellin' you what to do, just what I did. I bought a full on fat bike thinking I was going to ride it only in the winter in snow. How wrong I was. I ride it all year.
    I built up 29+ wheels for it so when I take it to Florida or Maine or wherever I bring it, I'm just a wheel swap away from having what I need. I usually don't have space for more than one bike for myself on these trips since I also carry bikes for my son and my wife.

    did the exact same thing.

  12. #12
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    I have a fat bike and a 29er+. My 29+ is a monster on descents and just an all around faster trail bike. I love both, but my 29+ is the funnest bike I've ever ridden.
    “We bring Saturdays” ~ Homme

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    Thanks for the input folks. Trying to talk the lbs int letting me take a farley in the woods for a little while. Could happen. I currently ride a C-dale f29 al1 lefty and it is fast and fun. Hopefully will be able to try a fatty and see what I think. Rode 1 in the parking lot but that does not count to me.They also have the beast of the east there. Maybe can do both at the same time.
    Different subject. What do you guys think about the Bluto shock? when it locks out is it good for the sand and snow? Most of the bikes I am seeing at the LBS have rigid forks and are a bit pricey to add a $600 shock.

    Thanks again
    Bill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Anonymous 14 year olds (like me)
    Well shit. And all this time I thought you were 16.
    Last edited by matto6; 02-05-2016 at 11:07 PM.

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    go rigid. just go rigid. i'm not crazy rad. i'd ride to not get too fat, race once in a while, clear the mind. go rigid. you can learn to dig it. i rode suspension for 15 years then went fat/29+ and rigid. it's totally do-able.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishboy316 View Post
    I have been looking at fat bikes. The Alaskan w/bluto and the night train or Borris w/bluto. Been in the$1400-$2000 ish range. Stopped by a specialized dealer and saw a 27.5 plus Fuse at $1600 w/x7 1x10. Looks good! What do you guys think about 3" plus bikes? We don't get a lot of snow here in Maryland so may be OK. Also looked at the Beast of the East. Nice bike also. Just curious about your opinion.
    Thanks
    Bill
    I have been LOVING my stache I picked up a few months ago. It is just plain fun. I also ride a Stumpjumper FSR pretty often. They are quite different. All round the stache rigid will make and keep me a better rider but is plenty lite, nimble, and tons of traction.

    warning... if you demo one, then you might get the itch to get one...



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    Quote Originally Posted by Chemandy70 View Post
    go rigid. just go rigid. i'm not crazy rad. i'd ride to not get too fat, race once in a while, clear the mind. go rigid. you can learn to dig it. i rode suspension for 15 years then went fat/29+ and rigid. it's totally do-able.
    Masturbating with a cheese grater is doable. That doesn't make me want to do it any time soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    Masturbating with a cheese grater is doable. That doesn't make me want to do it any time soon.
    Just a hint, start with the finer side, then progress to the rougher side, at the outset dont go too hard and fast
    always mad and usually drunk......

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmg71 View Post
    Just a hint, start with the finer side, then progress to the rougher side, at the outset dont go too hard and fast
    I thought that was common knowledge.


    I have a 4.8" tired fat, 29+, and FS29er. I am a big guy who pushes the 29er tires to the max w/ regards to traction, and this is where a big fat tired big steps in. Man can you rail corners with a fat bike, and climbing traction is crazy. I think the concept of a fat bike being an "all in one" or "swiss army knife" of a bike is true, but only if you can withstand some of the abuse riding w/o suspension can dish out.

  20. #20
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    Fat Bike without question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauldotcom View Post
    Why buy something in the middle that does both things decent, but neither great?
    Because life is full choices and you can. I'm currently looking at a purchasing a plus bike myself, but with full suspension.

    http://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bik...5-a6e80d48a0f4

  22. #22
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    I also rode a fully for many years. A couple of years ago when I was building my fatty, a shop owner asked me if I was against riding rigid. I said I saw no point. If suspension technology is so good, why not embrace it?
    Well, built my fat bike and fully intended to put a Bluto on it. The more I rode the bike rigid, the more I like it. Now, I have no wish to get a Bluto. I may not even get a 29+ fork for it.
    Now, when I ride my fully, which isn't often, I feel like I'm cheatin'.
    I like turtles

  23. #23
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    Hi and thanks for the reply's. I took out the beast of the east today and it was awesome! More than I wanted to spend but I do love the lefty I have now and this thing handles SWEET! Still looking but this bike is in the running for sure! Still need to ride a Fatty in the woods not a parking lot.
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  24. #24
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    No crap I was giving my opinion.
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

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    Not going to lie Walt, i want to see braap in action. I feel differently about a purpose built plus bike versus a bike with plus tires slapped on it.

    I rode my fat bike rigid for the first year and thought it was ok. Now i have a bluto I'd never go back. I might go rigid again since I'm thinking of SS'n it for the summer

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishboy316 View Post
    I have been looking at fat bikes. The Alaskan w/bluto and the night train or Borris w/bluto. Been in the$1400-$2000 ish range. Stopped by a specialized dealer and saw a 27.5 plus Fuse at $1600 w/x7 1x10. Looks good! What do you guys think about 3" plus bikes? We don't get a lot of snow here in Maryland so may be OK. Also looked at the Beast of the East. Nice bike also. Just curious about your opinion.
    Thanks
    Bill
    I live someplace without much snow on the west coast. I have/had the following bikes:

    - 4" fatty rigid
    - 29+ rigid/hardtail
    - 26er & 650B FS bikes with 2.4" tires

    I sold the fatty as it was not better at anything I could ride locally and I had no snow/sand missions for it.

    The 29+ is my bikepacking rig. I have used it for trail riding and it does okay, but not better for my local conditions so it stays mostly a touring machine.

    The 26er [older winter bike] and 650B [newer summer bike] with boring old 2.4" tires and full suspension are the combo that work the best for me hence they get ridden a ton.

    My next bike will be a 140mm FS 29er that will run 2.4" tires. As much as I like 29+ for bikepacking the lower pressure tires aren't a great solution for my day-to-day trail riding needs and offer poor winter traction here due to combination of low pressure and slippery surfaces that need to be penetrated by tire knobs to get traction below the surface. This situation is better served by a aggressive knobby 2.4" tire run at a [relatively] higher pressure than a wider 3" tire run at a lower pressure.

    I know the 2.4" tire is the plain yogurt of the MTB world....boring, but at least for my local riding needs it works pretty darn well.

    If you can get in a test ride like Walt suggests that's definitely a good move.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  27. #27
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    If i"m looking at a 27.5+, I'd be eyeballing the Jamis Dragonslayer pretty hard...or if I could afford a strictly trail bike.

    I think the general consensus is that if it's not 3.8 or wider, it should stay off snowy trails.

    People talk about a regular 29er, a plus size, or a fat bike being better, but it all depends on you and where you ride. Like somebody said, go ride as many as you can.
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  28. #28
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    I just built a Salsa Bucksaw. I've got 26 fat wheels, 27.5+ and 29er wheels for it. I like it best as 27.5 plus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyriverag View Post
    I think the general consensus is that if it's not 3.8 or wider, it should stay off snowy trails.
    imho you can ride whatever you want on snowy trails, as long as they are firm enough to support the narrow tires. If you are leaving ruts and such, then I agree...time to ride somewhere else.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    imho you can ride whatever you want on snowy trails, as long as they are firm enough to support the narrow tires. If you are leaving ruts and such, then I agree...time to ride somewhere else.
    agreed completely.... i rode a local trail yesterday where a jerk on a Krampus ruined the trail by leaving a deep rut right down the center of the trail.... the snow just wasn't set up enough for anything less than a true fat tire (4" +)...

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    Quote Originally Posted by LCW View Post
    agreed completely.... i rode a local trail yesterday where a jerk on a Krampus ruined the trail by leaving a deep rut right down the center of the trail.... the snow just wasn't set up enough for anything less than a true fat tire (4" +)...
    I really hope we're not to the point where "fat bikers" are getting *****y about "regular bikers" (or in this case a mid-fat) leaving ruts in the snow. Leaving ruts in the mud is a totally different story (and maybe that was the case here???) but ride whatever the hell you want in the snow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    imho you can ride whatever you want on snowy trails, as long as they are firm enough to support the narrow tires. If you are leaving ruts and such, then I agree...time to ride somewhere else.
    So you get there, do some damage first, then leave because the conditions are not right that day?
    The groomed trails up this way are open to bikes with tires of 3.5" and larger only - for a reason. The only way one decides the conditions are not conducive to tires smaller than that is to get there, ride, and rut up the trail as indicated above.
    Thus the rule - at it makes perfect sense it seems at certain locations.

  33. #33
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    Most trail networks don't allow bikes with tires narrower than 4" (3.8) in winter. So if you want to buy a fatbike it is better to go wider, then buy a + or narrow tire wheelset for the summer.

  34. #34
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    I'm actually thinking about putting some 27.5"+ wheels on my On-One Fatty for this summer. My only issue is that no one stocks 135/170 spaced 27.5+ wheelsets. So it will have to be custom, which run $600 without even trying. Has anyone else done this? Is it worth it or would I be better off getting lighter fat bike tires and go tubeless?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialK View Post
    Is it worth it or would I be better off getting lighter fat bike tires and go tubeless?
    I would go tubeless fat no matter what you do with 27+ wheels and lighter tires once you wear out the ones you have.
    Safe riding,

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    Quote Originally Posted by c_t_smith View Post
    I really hope we're not to the point where "fat bikers" are getting *****y about "regular bikers" (or in this case a mid-fat) leaving ruts in the snow. Leaving ruts in the mud is a totally different story (and maybe that was the case here???) but ride whatever the hell you want in the snow.
    I disagree... stay home or go buy a fattie!

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    I have both a Specialized Fuse and a (couple of) fat bike. In the winter, the fuse just wouldn't cut it for anything but a few days of ideal packed/groomed snow. It just isn't in the same ballpark.

    In the summer, while they are both fun, the Fuse will feel like a faster ride on standard xc trails. The 3" tires at 12-15 psi soak up all the little rocks and roots and are super forgiving in the rock gardens, but the bike is still a narrow cranked, nimble hardtail at heart. If I lived somewhere with trails that consisted of gnarly boulders, loose sand pits and slow crawling gravel climbs, I would have just the fat bike and would simply swap tires down to 3.8 or 4 for the summer.

    But if you have more average single track like I do, with an occasional rock garden but plenty of fast drops and jumps, IMO the Fuse is going to be a more enjoyable bike for the non-snow months. I really love my fuse (came from a 29er that I did not love). If you want one bike for the whole year, and your climate includes snow - get a front sus fat bike and swap your tires and you will be perfectly happy.

    If you can afford the Fuse and a $900 used Surly just for the winter, do that and you will be even happier.

  38. #38
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    Groomed trails and no tires smaller than 3.8? Not relevant here. The OP said he is in Maryland where that stuff doesn't exist. Depending on the year, he may have a couple of days where a fat bike would be an advantage. I live a couple of hundred mile north of him, but I think our conditions are similar. Meaning just riding our normal singletrack in the winter when conditions allow. We get way too much thawing and freezing etc. to have any kind of grooming. Trails get ridden, walked on etc., and hopefully people stay off them when they are not frozen, no matter what kind of bike.

    I have settled on 27+ for my day to day trail bike, and 29+ for my less techy longer ride bike. Both rigid BTW. And like Walt, I don't see myself going with narrower tires ever again. I also have a 26 fat wheelset on the 29+ bike right now, and while it does OK in the snow, I am not loving it. I'm pretty sure it's the smaller overall diameter, I feel like I'm getting hung up and falling into holes more than with the other wheels. If I was riding perfectly groomed flat trails, maybe I would feel different, but those don't exist around here. I am also not a fan of super wide BBs, especially for year round riding.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is a Plus bike might just be perfect for him. But by all means, go ride as many bikes as you can get your hands on, including fat, hardtail, FS.

  39. #39
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    Thanks for the reply's.

    I am leaning towards a plus for now as I do like the combo of both worlds. That being said I still have not been able to ride a fat bike in the woods. The parking lot rides do not tell enough tale of the bike. Was going to try the fuse this weekend but it is going to be single digits and I don't think that is the time for an objective assessment. We only get snow a couple times a year in my area. (I know that fat is fun in the summer) Not sure I want to lug all the extra weight of fatty. There is also the N+1 school of thought. An excuse to later get another bike! Hmmmmm. I am also trying to ride a 29+ to check it out . The 27.5 is pretty cool though.

    Thanks again!
    Bill
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishboy316 View Post
    Not sure I want to lug all the extra weight of fatty.
    Bill
    Bill - give a Farley 7 or similar a serious test ride and see if it feels like you're lugging extra weight. You'll be surprised. The right fatty with the right tires - you'll forget you're on a fat bike.
    A great fat bike makes for a great mountain bike.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit21 View Post
    Bill - give a Farley 7 or similar a serious test ride and see if it feels like you're lugging extra weight. You'll be surprised. The right fatty with the right tires - you'll forget you're on a fat bike.
    A great fat bike makes for a great mountain bike.
    My farley 8 weighs less than my spec. enduro. And climbs wicked.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducman View Post
    You can always put 27.5+ on a fat bike, but you can't put fat tires on a 27.5+
    +1 on that or 29+ it's a great choice.

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    Tis true, I prefer Strawberry, and unlike old farts like Walt, I just turned thirteen

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    If you are asking this question, you need to go demo/rent/borrow both types of bike. Anonymous 14 year olds (like me) on the internet simply aren't going to be able to help. It's like asking whether vanilla or chocolate is better.

    Put your wallet back in your pocket after you patch the hole it burned and google up demo days and local places that will rent you a bike. Or get a few sixpacks together and go find some friends (or enemies) who will loan you their ride.

    -Walt

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