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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    My biggest beef and barrier for a nice fat bike is the weight. I just can't seem to get past a 30 pound rigid bike and riding uphill just sucks.
    First, just HTFU

    Second, you do realize your parents and or grandparents likely rode 50 lb Schwinns uphill both ways to school in blizzards all year, right?

    Yes, they weigh more. You seriously opposed to getting to be a stronger rider? If not, ride one regularly, and you will become stronger.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    My biggest beef and barrier of dropping $2500+ for a nice fat bike is the weight. I ride one of my buddies spare bikes on a pretty regular basis and the weight - I just can't seem to get past a 30 pound rigid bike and riding uphill just sucks.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    you do realize your parents and or grandparents likely rode 50 lb Schwinns uphill both ways to school in blizzards all year, right?
    The stingrays many of us rode were around 40!
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  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    Almost every patent ever issued is for a slight variation of another existing design that, in the designer's eye, makes the product better and marketable. You come up with a good idea, that improves upon existing means of solving a problem, you spend time and money developing that idea, then you go into business making and selling the product that utilizes that idea. Then everyone with more resources than you sees that it's a good idea, starts making it themselves, and in turn makes a lot of money off of the proportionately huge investment of time and money you put into developing it.

    *OR*

    You come up with a good idea, that improves upon existing means of solving a problem, you spend time and money developing that idea, you patent the idea, then you go into business making and selling the product that utilizes that idea. You then recoup you original expenditure and hopefully make some profit. If other companies think it's as groundbreaking as you do, they license the idea for a small commission and you actually turn a livable profit off of your hard work.

    You seem to favor the first scenario?
    Trust me, I'm all for the little guy. I'm a small business owner and we've looked into the patent process. Patents were originally designed to support the little guy, but in the real world they almost always help whoever has the most legal muscle power.

    There are four significant problems with the patent system in my view.

    1. Patents are issued for the most basic things. Large companies end up collecting masses of these patents and use them to push other players around. Example: Apple has a patent on a rectangle with rounded corners. Ridiculous!

    2. Patents are issued for way too long. 20 years is a lifetime in most industries these days. Patents should be 10 years max.

    3. You can issue a patent and do nothing with it. Large companies collect masses of patents and just sit on them.

    4. Patents cost big $ to create, file, and defend. The current system only really helps the companies with deep pockets.


    I firmly believe 170mm width should not even be eligble for a patent. It would be equivalent in my mind to issuing a patent on a top tub length or a head tube angle.

    If 170mm was a closed proprietary standard we would have even more fragmentation and we wouldn't have all the great 170mm products we have today. Would we have products like the Hope Fatsno hub, or the 170mm line from 9:zero:7, One On, etc, if 170mm was patented?

    Sorry for the rant I really respect the Fatback crew and the work they've done for the industry.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    It's wrong when a fat bike tire costs about the same as a really good car tire. On top of that, 45N/QBP was back ordered for over 3 months on getting a replacement earlier in the season. I think some alternative tire sources (Specialized, Bontrager, Schwalbe, Maxxis, etc) would be a good thing and drive the prices down.
    You don't quite understand the dynamics of 'economy of scale', I think. Let's compare how many Goodrich BF tires are made every year, as compared to fat bike tires?
    Honestly, if I were a product manager for ny major tire company, I would really think hard before dipping my toes in the water. It costs ~$100 k or so to make a tire from design to large scale production. There really isn't enough sales growth potential to justify it for most companies. Especially since most fat tires will see 90% snow, which means MOST people won't actually replace them very often.

    But if wishes were fishes, we would eat sushi for breakfast!
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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    There was a lot more to it than that, Bob. Fatback was the only one using the Fatback standard, and it was patent pending, when Salsa pulled their shl!t. The 135 offset was the main standard and it was free and available at the time.
    Huh? Maybe I'm missing something but I'm not seeing the distinction here, speaking as the guy who had been using an 18 mm offset design since the last century. Salsa bad, Surly good?

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobShort View Post
    Trust me, I'm all for the little guy. I'm a small business owner and we've looked into the patent process. Patents were originally designed to support the little guy, but in the real world they almost always help whoever has the most legal muscle power.

    There are four significant problems with the patent system in my view...
    A lot of interesting posts in this thread. I have two patents from when I was a software developer. I have the plaques that Novell gave me for the patents posted on the wall of my bike shop just for fun, after all, how many bike shops can say they have two software patents. But it seems to me that there are a lot of patents issued for things that really should not be patentable, and the whole patent system is abused by companies that have a lot of money. If you don't have the money to fight a legal case it doesn't matter because your opponent can bankrupt you in the legal process before you can possibly win the legal case.
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  8. #108
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    Just for fun, here are my patent plaques.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How Long Before The Big Boys Join The Fray?-image.jpg  

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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    There was a lot more to it than that, Bob. Fatback was the only one using the Fatback standard, and it was patent pending, when Salsa pulled their shl!t. The 135 offset was the main standard and it was free and available at the time.
    Kind of like the 170mm Wal-Mart Schwinn chopper standard, which was also free and available at the time.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    Huh? Maybe I'm missing something but I'm not seeing the distinction here, speaking as the guy who had been using an 18 mm offset design since the last century. Salsa bad, Surly good?
    The sense that I get is that, for some reason, it was OK for Surly to "steal" the offset design from you, DeSalvo, and everyone else who had used it- but it wasn't OK for Salsa to "steal" the symmetrical design from Fatback. I don't get the logic either.
    Last edited by Andy FitzGibbon; 01-13-2013 at 06:03 AM.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    and the current $100+ tires each are a joke. I've had to replace a couple of his 45N tires due to rips on rocks. It's wrong when a fat bike tire costs about the same as a really good car tire. On top of that, 45N/QBP was back ordered for over 3 months on getting a replacement earlier in the season. I think some alternative tire sources (Specialized, Bontrager, Schwalbe, Maxxis, etc) would be a good thing and drive the prices down.
    Compared to motorcycle roadracing tires, which cost +$400 a set and are only good for a race or two and maybe a couple trackdays afterwards, fatbike tires are cheap.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobShort View Post
    Trust me, I'm all for the little guy. I'm a small business owner and we've looked into the patent process. Patents were originally designed to support the little guy, but in the real world they almost always help whoever has the most legal muscle power.

    There are four significant problems with the patent system in my view.

    1. Patents are issued for the most basic things. Large companies end up collecting masses of these patents and use them to push other players around. Example: Apple has a patent on a rectangle with rounded corners. Ridiculous!

    2. Patents are issued for way too long. 20 years is a lifetime in most industries these days. Patents should be 10 years max.

    3. You can issue a patent and do nothing with it. Large companies collect masses of patents and just sit on them.

    4. Patents cost big $ to create, file, and defend. The current system only really helps the companies with deep pockets.


    I firmly believe 170mm width should not even be eligble for a patent. It would be equivalent in my mind to issuing a patent on a top tub length or a head tube angle.

    If 170mm was a closed proprietary standard we would have even more fragmentation and we wouldn't have all the great 170mm products we have today. Would we have products like the Hope Fatsno hub, or the 170mm line from 9:zero:7, One On, etc, if 170mm was patented?

    Sorry for the rant I really respect the Fatback crew and the work they've done for the industry.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy FitzGibbon View Post
    Kind of like the 170mm Wal-Mart Schwinn chopper standard, which was also free and available at the time.
    The patent was not for just the 170mm old. There were several more measurements and factors involved to make it work correctly for our application. Try running one of the schwinn 170 or Sturmey Archer 170 hubs in your fatbike and see what happens.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    Huh? Maybe I'm missing something but I'm not seeing the distinction here, speaking as the guy who had been using an 18 mm offset design since the last century. Salsa bad, Surly good?
    Mark, all due respect, but you gave me the impression that you were never actively trying to protect your design and innovations. The only thing I've given Surly credit for in this thread are their tires, which without question changed the game.

  14. #114
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    What I've learned from this thread, is the line where the "big boys" come in and ruin everything is not clearly defined, but instead dependent upon what companies, standards, and versions of history one has a preference for.

    This thread should possibly be stickied, as I think it is a seminal shark jump moment.

    I will say that I'm certainly not an OG fatbiker- I only got involved by getting one of the first '11 Pugsley completes, and after selling it last year and then starting my search last week again for another, I've been stunned this week at how many names I don't recognize in the fat bike forum. I think that's a great thing.

    I can understand the concern of the shop owners and small builders, absolutely, but those of you who just simply had a fatbike a few years before the rest of us, some of your posts make you sound like scenesters just being into fatbikes cuz nobody else had one.
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  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    Compared to motorcycle roadracing tires, which cost +$400 a set and are only good for a race or two and maybe a couple trackdays afterwards, fatbike tires are cheap.
    been here did it..

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post

    Second, you do realize your parents and or grandparents likely rode 50 lb Schwinns uphill both ways to school in blizzards all year, right?

    Yes, they weigh more. You seriously opposed to getting to be a stronger rider? If not, ride one regularly, and you will become stronger.
    At 50,
    I laugh about such things ... Growing up ... My 20" pre-BMX (those letters developed when I was about 10) weighed at least 30 lbs, and my 10 speed Schwinn was heavier than that.

    Excellent point

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiniTrail View Post
    The stingrays many of us rode were around 40!
    I stand corrected

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    Compared to motorcycle roadracing tires, which cost +$400 a set and are only good for a race or two and maybe a couple trackdays afterwards, fatbike tires are cheap.
    But they're not racing tires.
    Duro Hf246 Sport Knobby 21x7-10 Front/rear Tire-Motorcycle
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    Duro Hf246 Sport Knobby...
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    They are however, a limited supply item ... I welcome the big boys to Fat Bikes.

    Sell them at Walmart !!!

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    My biggest beef and barrier of dropping $2500+ for a nice fat bike is the weight. I ride one of my buddies spare bikes on a pretty regular basis and the weight - I just can't seem to get past a 30 pound rigid bike and riding uphill just sucks.
    I really don't see a need to have a Fat Bike be all that light to appeal to the masses. Those who already are riding lighter bikes that do what they want them to do well will probably not buy the Fat Bikes, unless they have a specialized use like snow or sand. I think the larger market will be for a fairly heavy, inexpensive Fat bikes that sell to people who just want something to ride, and like the way a Fat Bike looks, and rides, and will probably never know what it weighs.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    The patent was not for just the 170mm old. There were several more measurements and factors involved to make it work correctly for our application. Try running one of the schwinn 170 or Sturmey Archer 170 hubs in your fatbike and see what happens.
    I doubt that the 170mm standard could have been patented in the first place as it's hardly original in the truest sense of the word. Sure, Greg was the first to take a leap and have hubs made to this width, but let's be honest, the 170mm symmetrical standard is an evolutionary change to the offset 17.5mm design which achieves the same chainline.His design was proprietary (because it was only available on Fatback bikes) but anyone could have circumvented a patent by coming up with a 169mm hub width or 171mm for that matter. Competition improves the breed - the smaller players will either a) become stronger, or b) die off. Just like the marketplace for any other consumer product. More players = more choices and lower prices overall. That's a good thing in my book
    Last edited by canardian; 01-13-2013 at 10:18 AM.

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    Mark, all due respect, but you gave me the impression that you were never actively trying to protect your design and innovations. The only thing I've given Surly credit for in this thread are their tires, which without question changed the game.
    I'm not sure how that impression came across. Running a tiny operation out of a small Alaska town, I didn't have the considerable resources it would have taken to "go after" the companies that appropriated my offset frame design and trade name (Fatbike:::Fatback. Seriously). They knew that and took full advantage of it. Nobody asked permission. All I could do was complain about it and nobody really wants to hear somebody whine about something all the time.

    My point was that it seems a bit hypocritical to say the offset design was "free and available" and then grouse when the same thing happens to to your favorite brand which certainly has been no angel either.

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    The patent was not for just the 170mm old. There were several more measurements and factors involved to make it work correctly for our application. Try running one of the schwinn 170 or Sturmey Archer 170 hubs in your fatbike and see what happens.
    I would be interested to know what "measurements and factors", other than widening the crank for proper chainline, are critical to a 170mm rear end. I can't see how a Fatback drivetrain (or any 170 bike, for that matter) isn't just a standard MTB widened 35mm.


    Two of the things that patent attorneys look at are novelty and non-obviousness. The novelty of Fatback bikes is dubious- 165mm and 170mm hubs, and 100mm bottom brackets, were already established when Fatback started. Though Fatback did produce the first 170mm cassette hub, that's not grounds for a patent. Widening a hub 5mm from an existing size is not novel or non-obvious.

    This is from the US Patent Code:

    If an invention is not exactly the same as prior products or processes (which are referred to as the "prior art"), then it is considered novel. However, in order for an invention to be patentable, it must not only be novel, but it must also be a nonobvious improvement over the prior art. This determination is made by deciding whether the invention sought to be patented would have been obvious "to one of ordinary skill in the art." In other words, the invention is compared to the prior art and a determination is made whether the differences in the new invention would have been obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the type of technology used in the invention.

    Anyone who wants to put wider tires on a bike knows that they need to move the chain outward. I don't think it could be too much more obvious. Since Fatbacks don't have any special parts, other than what are in essence just standard parts that have been widened, I'm kind of confused about what they were actually trying to patent. Just because an idea involves proprietary parts does not mean it is patentable.

    I give Fatback all the credit for developing the 170mm rear end for snow bikes. But to say that Salsa "stole" the design from them is ridiculous, because it's a design that would be obvious to anyone with a basic working knowledge of bicycles and geometry.

  23. #123
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    [QUOTE=GSJ1973;10063853
    What I see a big company entering the fray offering is the ability to create a carbon fat bike/fork combo and drop substantial weight. Lighter weight rims are also needed, and the current $100+ tires each are a joke. I've had to replace a couple of his 45N tires due to rips on rocks. It's wrong when a fat bike tire costs about the same as a really good car tire. On top of that, 45N/QBP was back ordered for over 3 months on getting a replacement earlier in the season. I think some alternative tire sources (Specialized, Bontrager, Schwalbe, Maxxis, etc) would be a good thing and drive the prices down.[/QUOTE]


    You think a company like Schwalbe will drive the prices down? My 26x2.1 Nobby Nics cost $98 dollars each and my 120tpi UL Nates were $126 for a tire with twice the rubber and half the production numbers. Not to mention that if Schwalbe notices that Surly can charge $126 for one of their tires than surely people will pay $190 for a Schwalbe fat tire!

    You need to decide, do you want a Corvette ZR-1 (not comfortable, meant to rip a track, fast) or do you want a Caddy cts-V (faster than a focus, but not like the vette, however way more comfortable and smooth riding)

    P.S. you wouldn't find appropriate tires for either of those cars for the price of a fat tire
    your 29er may float over roots and rocks, but my superlight 26 just plain floats

  24. #124
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    If 1 big name tyre manufacturer came in on the fat tyres game they would probably jump on the bandwagon initially with the high pricing, what would be good to see is how QBP responds to the new kid.
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  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by autodoctor911 View Post
    I really don't see a need to have a Fat Bike be all that light to appeal to the masses. Those who already are riding lighter bikes that do what they want them to do well will probably not buy the Fat Bikes, unless they have a specialized use like snow or sand. I think the larger market will be for a fairly heavy, inexpensive Fat bikes that sell to people who just want something to ride, and like the way a Fat Bike looks, and rides, and will probably never know what it weighs.

    " I think the larger market will be for a fairly heavy, inexpensive Fat bikes that sell to people who just want something to ride, and like the way a Fat Bike looks, and rides, and will probably never know what it weighs.''

    Enter the Sun Spider AT. 40 lbs. of creeking, cracking and rubbing, I had one. Got a good price on a used one. Was just like new. Had it for a few months and sold it for what I paid for it. Im in the market for a real Fat Bike.

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