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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... Full suspension fatbike, how to to go about?

    Right. I've decided to build a full suspension fatbike, finding my mini freeride fatbike a bit of a drag with its 24" x 4" wheels and weighing a literal ton! So, options. Don't have much money, so a Carver or something is out of the question, think I'm going to have to look at retrofitting an old frame to fit the tyre. I'm guesing it will have to be a 29er but I'm not sure? Anyone got any suggestions on which frame to get, that's easy to work with? Steel > Ally! Thanks

  2. #2
    turtles make me hot
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    How much do you think you'll spend doing this vs a Buzzsaw frame?
    I like turtles

  3. #3
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    A few DIY projects have already been attempted here, your best bet is finding them first and copying. Do not attempt to widen a suspension fork by welding, the alloys used were never intended for such things, only use forks you can machine completely new parts for. A Lefty is your best option by far for light weight and lower cost.
    If you are not a machinist and do not have access to a milling machine this project likely will be more than you can handle. Especially if you wish to keep the weight and cost down.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by roobydoo View Post
    A few DIY projects have already been attempted here, your best bet is finding them first and copying. Do not attempt to widen a suspension fork by welding, the alloys used were never intended for such things, only use forks you can machine completely new parts for. A Lefty is your best option by far for light weight and lower cost.
    If you are not a machinist and do not have access to a milling machine this project likely will be more than you can handle. Especially if you wish to keep the weight and cost down.
    Thanks, I've actually been looking at them, some of them are amazing! I'm trying to find the ideal frame to use/start with, as I don't know too much about frames myself, I've seen a few projects done with various frames, but I wanted some reconsiderations (if that's alright!)!

    I'm not too sure about the lefty fork, I really wanted to build a burly freeride tank (hence steel), was looking at the Mavericks and Dorados?
    And well, I want to make this happen, and so I'm going to, I'll find a machinist and fabricator/welder

    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    How much do you think you'll spend doing this vs a Buzzsaw frame?
    Well, probably about £100-£150 sourcing a decent used full sus frame on ebay, probably about £100-£200 max getting the rear triangle welded. Really need some advice as to which frame to start with...

  5. #5
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    I wish you well, if you hope to do it for that price.....
    Steel will be easier to work with/weld, I had a hard time finding someone willing to weld aluminum without heat treating after.
    The lefty is a much stronger option than a flexy maverick.
    Riding.....

  6. #6
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    Couldn't you take a reasonable alloy suspension frame and put a steel ass on it?

    Shark is right that Lefty > Maverick, the Lefty is bit spendy but capable.

    I take no pleasure in saying that I think your expectations of who will fabricate what for how much sounds off by a bit, unless you have a close friend who is a skilled welder.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Full suspension fatbike, how to to go about?

    In sure you've seen this, but its one way to do it. New swing arm and fork. The v10 is sweet anyway, fat or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
    Hell of a jump, dawg. Even though they're baggy shorts, I'm surprised that you can fit your balls into them.

  8. #8
    A Surly Maverick
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    It can (and has) been done.

    A 29er frame will mean that you will just (probably) need to cut and widen the rear end with longer pivots.

    There is an excellent 'factory' looking Gary Fisher conversion on here.

    You 'can' use a 26er (I did), but you will need to lengthen the chainstays and seatstays.

    If you get any welding done, consider using a local industrial welder especially with aluminium.

    Good luck, lots of pixs please

    Dr FG.
    A Fatback'd Lefty for who life IS a Beach

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  10. #10
    will rant for food
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Dr Feelygood ! again.
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  11. #11
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    With a lot of thought about geometry and chain line of the bike, probably best to try to copy what was factory, basic shop tools and a reasonable welding skills you can do this. I think I have about 100hrs total in doing my project which means it does not pencil out, you have to do it because you enjoy making something. You can go to my profile and there is a thread about it with pictures. You can read all the dumba$$ comments from trolls about you cannot weld that, that will not work, that needs to be heat treated and the tolerance for that is a billionth it wonít work! When for the most part they donít even know $hit about fabrication. But there is some good and helpful input on this form you just have to wade through it.
    There is some weight cost for the added fabrication my bike weighs a little over 36lbs with bud and lou tires ready to ride. You can have parts heat treated which gives them a lot of strength and less possibility of cracking which is all good, but it can get costly I did not do this.
    I have around couple thousand miles on my project bike, I ride it pretty hard I weigh about 230# and have had no failures of any kind. I run a bud and lou in the winter, built up a set of dually wheels for summer which are awesome. Still waiting for some more aggressive 29+ tires than knards. The one modification I made was to go to a 12mm through axle which make a big differences in the stiffness of the rear triangle. The frame I used had a quick release axles.

  12. #12
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    Have you considered using 3 inch Gazzaloddis instead of 4 inch tires? A lot of forks will accommodate the 3 inchers, and less welding may be required. if you use a steel frame and put fat tires on it, you may just have the most indestructible bike on earth...

  13. #13
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    Hey exp18 man I'm not the most versed in aluminum, just passing along a safety warning I've had beaten in my head repeatedly. I thought it was a cool project and you should have posted all the pics up front because it later became abundantly clear you know what the hell you were doing.
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  14. #14
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    Drew I didnít make it very clear on that post it was a work in progress sorry about that. I am a little challenged in written communication as you can tell, I did not mean to call you out about your safety concerns.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by exp18 View Post
    Drew I didnít make it very clear on that post it was a work in progress sorry about that. I am a little challenged in written communication as you can tell, I did not mean to call you out about your safety concerns.
    There where no dumba$$ trolls as you call it in that thread, just a bunch of guys with a lot of experience expressing their concerns and yes you should have posted everything up front. Everyone wanted it to work out for you but you got very defensive right away.
    And I love beer!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I wish you well, if you hope to do it for that price.....
    Steel will be easier to work with/weld, I had a hard time finding someone willing to weld aluminum without heat treating after.
    The lefty is a much stronger option than a flexy maverick.
    Thanks, I don't see why it would cost more if I'm just getting steel welded... And yeah that's what I was thinking, plus it'd be much stronger and there's that steel feel that I just can't explain! And really? I'm quite suprised by that because looking at it mechanically, that makes no sense... What I really wanted to do was to build like an indestructable freeride tank. That means I'm going to need some strong ass forks. I was looking at Dorados but I'm not sure if they'll fit? Or maybe mod some triple crowns...

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    Couldn't you take a reasonable alloy suspension frame and put a steel ass on it?

    Shark is right that Lefty > Maverick, the Lefty is bit spendy but capable.

    I take no pleasure in saying that I think your expectations of who will fabricate what for how much sounds off by a bit, unless you have a close friend who is a skilled welder.
    That's what I want to do, I'm confused on it though. I was going to look for a steel frame but I'm having no luck with that. So maybe I should just put a steel rear end on, but that would mean I would have to fabricate it from scratch. I don't really want to do that LOL. Don't think extending and ally frame would be such a good idea for an "indestructable freeride tank."
    And concerning the fork, I don't think the lefty is going to be a viable option. But if we're talking that kind of money, why not just get the bluto? I want more travel though! At least 160mm. 200mm travel with a 4" front wheel would be the ****ing ****.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdawg21892 View Post
    In sure you've seen this, but its one way to do it. New swing arm and fork. The v10 is sweet anyway, fat or not.

    The v10 is friggin sweet. That looks friggin sweet. Maybe I could find some bike hobbiests that'll help me out just for the fun of it? Doubt I'll be that lucky!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Feelygood ! View Post
    It can (and has) been done.

    A 29er frame will mean that you will just (probably) need to cut and widen the rear end with longer pivots.

    There is an excellent 'factory' looking Gary Fisher conversion on here.

    You 'can' use a 26er (I did), but you will need to lengthen the chainstays and seatstays.

    If you get any welding done, consider using a local industrial welder especially with aluminium.

    Good luck, lots of pixs please

    Dr FG.
    I know!! I was taken aback by that Trek Rumblefish and I decided, I've got to build be one. Thanks for the advice on the 29er and 26ers, I guess 29er's the way! Now I got to find a steel 29er full sus. I was looking at the 24/7 Dark Angel Dh frame, weighs a motherfrigging ton, but it felt (I had one at one point!) untouchable.
    Who else am I going to consider? Haha. I need to find one, I'm in NW London, so if anyone's got any suggestions on welders/fabricators, let me know! And sure, I'd love to share some pics with you all
    Thanks for the compilation! I'm going to go through and read them all for some experience xD

    Quote Originally Posted by exp18 View Post
    With a lot of thought about geometry and chain line of the bike, probably best to try to copy what was factory, basic shop tools and a reasonable welding skills you can do this. I think I have about 100hrs total in doing my project which means it does not pencil out, you have to do it because you enjoy making something. You can go to my profile and there is a thread about it with pictures. You can read all the dumba$$ comments from trolls about you cannot weld that, that will not work, that needs to be heat treated and the tolerance for that is a billionth it wonít work! When for the most part they donít even know $hit about fabrication. But there is some good and helpful input on this form you just have to wade through it.
    There is some weight cost for the added fabrication my bike weighs a little over 36lbs with bud and lou tires ready to ride. You can have parts heat treated which gives them a lot of strength and less possibility of cracking which is all good, but it can get costly I did not do this.
    I have around couple thousand miles on my project bike, I ride it pretty hard I weigh about 230# and have had no failures of any kind. I run a bud and lou in the winter, built up a set of dually wheels for summer which are awesome. Still waiting for some more aggressive 29+ tires than knards. The one modification I made was to go to a 12mm through axle which make a big differences in the stiffness of the rear triangle. The frame I used had a quick release axles.
    Sounds good, I'm going to try and find a 29er steel full sus frame if I can, meaning I'll just have to widen the chainstays. I don't have any welding skills nor a welder haha, I was going to try and find a fabrication shop that'll help me with that bit.. And I don't think we're going to have any problem with the fun aspect of it xD and I'll check it out (: and yeah I'm going to have to agree with bdundee, I really don't think that they were trolling you, just very concerned! It is of course annoying when people tell you that you can't do things and it won't work, so I empathise with that but we do have to be realistic (sort of!). Ahh I'm not worried about weight, I'm building a tank! And that is an excellent point concerning the stiffness of the rear end, I'll definetely try and get something stiffer than 9mm qr

    Quote Originally Posted by Prairiedownhill View Post
    Have you considered using 3 inch Gazzaloddis instead of 4 inch tires? A lot of forks will accommodate the 3 inchers, and less welding may be required. if you use a steel frame and put fat tires on it, you may just have the most indestructible bike on earth...
    I have a bike with those and it just doesn't hold a candle to that full fat feel you get. And with that last sentence, you inspired me! That is an absolutely brilliant idea. An indestructable steel, tank of a bike, with say 200mm freeride forks, double walled rims and 4.7" tyres :jawdrops: I HAVE TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

  17. #17
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    Found this: Marin Quake XLT 2006 frame (Med) plus Marzzochi 66 2008 fork | eBay

    Is there any reason why I can't just put loads of spacers on the pivots to widen up the swingarms?

    This looks good:
    Iron Horse Sunday Front Triangle For Sale
    but I'm not sure what kind of swingarm to get if anyone could shed some light on this? Thanks!

    Scrap the iron horse, found this! in Wakefield, United Kingdom - photo by poolie91 - Pinkbike 24/7 dark angel. But it doesn't look like it's too easy to widen.. and found a similair one 2011 Astrix Havoc R med £190 For Sale but I'm really confused! Can anyone advise me on which to get then I can work from there on? Thank you

  18. #18
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    It is more expensive to make a bike out of steel than aluminum alloy. But if it is a hardtail there are differences in the ride quality that make it worth it for some people. But once the bike has full suspension the ride qualities of the frame are not that noticeable, and you usually want the frame to be as stiff as possible so it doesn't flex except for what is controlled by the suspension. That means that steel full suspension bikes are pretty rare. I think the cleanest way to do this would be to find an alloy frame that you like and then just make the whole rear triangle out of steel from scratch.

    To me this seems more of project for someone who can actually fabricate things himself.

  19. #19
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    I think Salsa's Bucksaw looks pretty good for the money. Also if you are paying some one to weld it i would think its the cheaper way to go. You don't get the fun of building it or the heart break of building it which ever way it works out.

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