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  1. #1
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    How many people become disillusioned with fat bikes............

    First big snow of the year and I was anxious to ride some local trails that usually get good foot and bike traffic. We have 6 to 9'' of fresh powder without a base.

    I meet a guy in the parking lot with a brand new stumpjumper. We get to talking and I asked what kind of pressure he is going to try today. He isn't sure because his pump doesn't go down very low. "Probably around 10," I give a little squeeze (is it rude to squeeze another man's tires?) and sure enough, they feel like over inflated basketballs. He is walking before he is out of sight and I don't see his tracks after the first half mile of trail. I saw a few other fat bikes out that day and they were riding on the road! We did about 8 miles in 2.5hrs and it was like riding an ergometer cranked high nearly the entire time (downhill included).

    Anyway, I got to thinking: Aren't the shops giving these people any guidance when they buy these bikes regarding set up? I also wonder how many people get 100 yards from the truck and say F-this and give up on the sport. Just food for thought, anyone else observe the same thing?

  2. #2
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    We had a race and a ride weekend and was evident people had too much psi. I was running 7.5 and 8psi and i am mid 200s and i could have gone lower. A girl 100 lbs or more lighter than i said she was running 10 and 7..... Majority of the riders race xc or cyclocross so i get they want to be speedy but walking sucks as is sluggish tires on hard pack. Its a fine line of playing. A low psi gauge should come standard with all fatbikes.....
    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntm1973 View Post

    I meet a guy in the parking lot with a brand new stumpjumper. We get to talking and I asked what kind of pressure he is going to try today. He isn't sure because his pump doesn't go down very low. "Probably around 10," I
    Stumpjumper isn't a fat bike. Did you mean Fatboy?

    10 PSI is quite low for a non fat tire
    Mike
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  4. #4
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    My LBS is very helpful. Wonder what the online buyers are doing? Hopefully coming here and at least lurking. That is also what I did before the purchase...

  5. #5
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    I become disillusioned with people who don't bother doing any homework.

    I become disillusioned with bike shops that don't care about anything more than selling as many bikes as possible, and who don't take the time to educate their customers.

    But I don't become disillusioned with fat bikes.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  6. #6
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    A post from a month back I made on a different thread. I will say that since this post I have taken two different people out on our packed single track and they LOVE it. One is thinking of buying two fattys for him and his wife next year.

    I have a theory......Lots of used Fat bikes for sale
    Based in zero fact and created in my head while pedaling.

    I am putting a lot of miles on my bikes this year for the first time ever. Chose to keep riding/commuting into the winter. Bought a fatty for the winter but rode it about 500 miles before there was any snow.

    I am amazed at how efficient it is at 12+ psi on the road/dirt etc. Very fun. And it gets a lot of attention.

    However winter is here now and I think it's going to separate the Men from the boys. (and the Women from the girls?) This winter bike thing is not going to be everyone's cup of tea.

    People who bought these on a whim or because they are cool and not hard core bikers are going get a dose of reality.

    Why?

    - Riding in the cold takes effort, money and thought to dress properly

    - Riding the Fatty with 8 PSI in two inches of wet snow is HARD if you are trying to get somewhere. I dropped about 2 mph on my commute with the fatty on tar with aired up tires. Yesterday with 8 and snow I dropped another 3 mph.

    - Ice is scary and can come out of nowhere. I've gone down once and had two close calls. My kid crashed twice Sunday due to ice on our single track and once on the sidewalk. D5's going on my bike today.

    - Riding in snow, getting started in deep snow, steep inclines etc takes a different technique and effort if you don't want to walk alot.

    - Snotsicles

    I think there will be a lot of wimps selling their fat bikes or relegating them to summer use.

    Which is the way it should be!
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

    16' Trek 8.4 DS
    16' Farley 7
    and I'm OK admitting..
    16' Sturgis

    Minneapolis MN

  7. #7
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    Too busy biking in the snow to respond. Sorry

    Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntm1973 View Post
    (is it rude to squeeze another man's tires?)
    Nothing drives me more nuts than when someone I don't know grabs my tires.

    If we've been talking a few minutes, then okay. But if I've just barely met you, please keep your hands to yourself.

    But I'm weird like that.

  9. #9
    bigger than you.
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    I was fortunate to get my fat bike just before the bubble began to grow and as a result, I learned an awful lot by lurking and interacting here. Lately, MTBR has become an echo chamber, with every other post being about bikes direct.com bikes or another asinine question that's been asked a bazillion times before. The signal to noise ratio here is such that one needs to sift through a ton of crap to winnow out any useful information and as a result, a lot of people are doing it wrong and as a result, are disappointed with the results they get. It's a shame.

  10. #10
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    Long ago I was disillusioned with my pugsley. I had this romantic idea of just riding all over the snow covered mountains, trails or not. Well even on well packed trails it was a chore, if even possible. Very little float and grip due to round tires. Just a tiny tad better than my 29er.

    Skip to modern times and I am less disillusioned, but still not riding at will, wherever I want. I think not until we get some monster float tires can I truly be happy with fat biking. 29er x 6" maybe for a start. At least now my fat bike can take me places my 29er can't.

    But I want moar!!!!!!! More float, more grip and less weight. Yes and I won't pick just three.

  11. #11
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    Let's not jump to conclusions that people will give up that easy. Biking is very rewarding in that regard, learning what works and what doesn't.

  12. #12
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    I had my first chance to ride in the snow on Saturday. It was more than a foot deep dry powder and there was no floatation for me on the trail. Where it was packed down on the road was a blast of slipping and sliding along. It was also quite a bit harder to pedal. I took that as a challenge to get stronger.

    Too bad I had to work all day today, though. With the sun and 45-50 degree temps the snow was packing down. I bet it would have been a great day to ride.
    It's all good!

  13. #13
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    I ran into a guy this summer he was complaining about the lack of traction on his fat bike. The local shop who charged him $15 to change the tire inflated it 28 psi.
    It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  14. #14
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    Got my ICT OPS day after Xmas. Been riding it a lot and love it. Yesterday was perfect for me. Groomed smowmobile trail that run along a highway. Snow was packed but not icy. I had a blast weaving back and forth in the ditches. It felt effortless, I could see passing cars had people pointing and smiling. I am 47 but felt like I was 12 years old with a big smile on my face.

    I have ridden road bike since I was in college, this fat bike feels like I am in a plane because of the freedom it gives me to go anywhere and everywhere.

    I know my pressure is a little high but I just got a gauge in the mail today so I should be able to improve that now.

    I look forward to exploring some gravel roads this summer.

    I will still ride my road bike in the summer but no way will the ICT sit idle.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_G View Post


    - Riding the Fatty with 8 PSI in two inches of wet snow is HARD if you are trying to get somewhere. I dropped about 2 mph on my commute with the fatty on tar with aired up tires. Yesterday with 8 and snow I dropped another 3
    This!

    I road at 6psi yesterday in 3 inches of fresh! Was amazed at how smooth it was even in the hiker's holes. Amazed at the effort it takes and how great a workout it was. Definitely dropped my pace way down!

    But huge smile and great fun!

  16. #16
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    I've learned that some people don't want to ride any kind of powder after their first powder ride, they only want to hit groomed, packed trails. They say, it's too slow, they don't want to walk, or it's too hard.

    News flash, if you're gonna FatBike, you're gonna have to sometimes walk that 5-10 meter stretch where snow drifts accumulated, and its gonna be slow and tiring. Sometimes you'll have to just turn around cause what you thought might be 10 meters of deep snow is actually 5km. Oh well, still an adventure.

    People are so use to ridding flowy downhill single track that the slow crawl of powder really puts off a lot of people. They blast out of the gate pushing as if its summer, and then half-way into the ride we have to redirect cause someone is out of gas.

    Also when weather hits -5 C ~ -10 C or bellow trails empty out, and you only find the dedicated bikers/hikers/skiers. If its a warm day like 2 C to -2 C then all of a sudden there's FatBikes out the wazoo. With mainly the shorter loops packed down, while the longer, steeper loops still have some powder.

    To me FatBiking in powder vs groomed trails is kind of like 4 Wheeling vs. Rallying. Its slower, more obstacle oriented, and has easier sections followed by trying/tiring sections.

    I think there's a lot of rose tinted glasses going around when swiping the credit card. I guess most shops don't see any benefit in having that real talk moment, when there's a $2K-$4k sale on the other side.

    I've always loved ridding in snow, and FatBikes now let me do more of it, in a larger pool of places. But in reality if you don't like winter on a regular MTB you're not really gonna like it on a Fatty either.

    So I now mainly ride solo in the winter, too many complainers/negative nancy's. And I don't want to only ride super hard packed groomed trails, where a regular mountain bike would do fine.

  17. #17
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    This is my first winter riding with a fat bike.

    I never had illusions that riding through snow was easy, or that I was magically going to "float" over everything.

    I also knew it wouldn't be impossible, up to certain limits, there would be alot of trial and error involved, and even with all that it would be a hell of a lot of fun.

    but then again, I did my homework :-)

    thanks to all who post on here for "educating" me!
    "Trails? Where we're going we don't need, trails!"


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_G View Post
    Riding in snow, getting started in deep snow, steep inclines etc takes a different technique and effort if you don't want to walk alot.
    This. I did a ride last Sunday in 6 to 8 inches of fresh powder. Sometimes the only way I could get started after stopping was with a "tree assist". Also found that even if I was pedaling in the granny when I was stopped that I needed to downshift a gear or two before trying to get going again to keep from spinning and not going anywhere.
    "Trails? Where we're going we don't need, trails!"


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by l3eaudacious View Post
    People are so use to ridding flowy downhill single track that the slow crawl of powder really puts off a lot of people. They blast out of the gate pushing as if its summer, and then half-way into the ride we have to redirect cause someone is out of gas.
    I've yet to ride any groomed trails, but I have a feeling it would be boring. I like the challenge of pushing through powder and fighting for every inch. I can ride fast and flowy all summer. Going fast in the winter just creates wind chill!
    "Trails? Where we're going we don't need, trails!"


  20. #20
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    Last winter I recall a day when a group of half a dozen or more, all with fatbikes, bailed out on riding a trail due to deep snow. I saw them leaving to ride pavement. I geared up and rode all of the trails in the system, and was the first bike, even though the snow had been down a couple of days and hikers and sledders had been out in it plenty already.

    A few of them whined about the snow. I am friends with most of them and ride with them all from time to time. You better believe I ragged on them for being wimps for a good, long time.

    And my fatbike isn't even made to be a snowbike.

  21. #21
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    I decided that a 15 psi gauge is important.

    BTW:

    eager - looking forward to something
    anxious - emotionally agitated or nervous about something.

  22. #22
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    I figure the mid-atlantic snow has turned many off. Even 2xl's on 100's would be near impossible in the fresh 38" we received. Pretty much any off the shelf offering to be had would fair poorly.

    Rode with a woman before the storm who had nearly the same setup as I had except tires. She was not very fond of the ride and I tried to surmise if it was fatbiking in general or some particular aspect of her setup. I was riding Nates, she was riding Missions at a higher pressure than I. With pressure gauge in the mail she promised to look into it more once she had a basis for measurement and comparison.

  23. #23
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    I wouldn't say I'm disillusioned with fatbiking, but I am looking forward to the day I will no longer need to own one. When that day comes I don't think I'll miss it. I'll have fond memories, for sure, since there's no way I could have ridden year round in my part of Alaska since 2009 -- bogs, tussocks, mushing trails, remote beaches; very few genuine trails, actually -- without a fattie. I won't miss the weight and drag of the big rubber and heavy wheels, the constant need to adjust pressure to match ever changing conditions, dressing to battle the elements, etc. It's kept me in shape and gotten me outside through some long Alaskan winters, but it's frankly too much like work a lot of the time. I'm moving to central AZ in about eight months, and looking forward to riding real trails in shorts and a t-shirt. Also enjoying shopping around for a new two bike quiver comprised of a high end mid-travel FS trail bike and a rigid bikepacking rig with 29+ capability. To be clear, I'm not bashing fatbikes. They have their place, and in that niche they shine like nothing else. Maybe I'd feel different if I had dropped some coin on a light, tubeless, carbon fattie instead of sticking with my old school 170mm '14 Mukluk. I felt the lust for sure, but not the need for my style of fatbiking. Speaking strictly for myself, once you go fat, you can come back and for me that day can't come soon enough.
    Last edited by veloborealis; 01-26-2016 at 07:39 AM.
    Vini vidi velo!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    ...my fat bike can take me places my 29er can't.

    But I want moar!!!!!!! More float, more grip and less weight. Yes and I won't pick just three.
    That's me too.

    A fatbike in its proper environment is always going to be hard.

    But hard is better than impossible.

    We just need to take a skinny mtb out once in a while to relearn that lesson.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  25. #25
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    I purchased my first fat bike in December (ICT) and have spent the last 6-7 weeks learning how to ride. I'm a spring/summer/fall rider already, but I had no idea how much there was to learn about winter/snow trail riding on a fatty.

    1. PSI is huge

    I've had really enjoyable rides when my tires were inflated appropriately for the conditions. I've also had a ride where I had no ability to climb (spinning out), spent ~1/4 of the time walking, and completely emptied out my gas tank in about 3 miles due to a higher than necessary PSI.

    2. Learn your pace

    I started out, against the warnings of my LBS, using too high a gear and couldn't keep up my pace. After about 3 miles of snow covered trails (albeit at a faster clip), I was ready to die and ended up ending my ride after about an hour. Since that time, I use granny gears and while I have higher RPMs, I'm consistent in my cadence and my rides have been better and longer.

    3. Learn how to dress

    I've melted to the point of being drenched in sweat on a couple of rides and nearly froze on another. I've invested in winter riding gear (merino wool, gloves, boots, etc), and am now using trial and error to better understand layering and how it works in different temps. It crazy how different 10-15 degrees can make a ride!

    4. Figure out how to carry fluids that won't freeze solid

    I've tried hot tea, hot water, cold water, bottles, insulated bottles, and now a camelbak. We'll see if that works!

    Overall, it's been amazingly fun learning something new, but frustrating at the same time. By next winter, I hope to be a better rider!
    Last edited by cassa89; 01-26-2016 at 05:13 PM.

  26. #26
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    I don't get mad if I make a mistake once, I get mad if I make the same mistake over and over again.

    Some things come easy for people (knowing to adjust tire pressure, what bike to ride in the snow, etc) but other people would just soilder on...suffering, and not think twice about adjusting tire pressure or one of the many other things one can adjust on a bike to make the ride more enjoyable.

  27. #27
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    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas
    Pedal-powered tractor!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?
    Yes, they do. For one reason or another, they thought riding skinny tires in winter was completely impossible. Many people think fatbikes are a magic bullet to ride in all snow all the time.

    I see locals who are STRONGLY anti-fatbike because of those mistaken beliefs. They'll ride in 2" of snow and then go on Facebook or the local forums and post pics, grandiosely pointing out that they didn't need a fatbike to ride in the snow. Which is true, but 2" is hardly a good example of the advantages of fat in the snow.

    And for that matter, I see lots of people approach winter riding on their regular bikes and use fast summer tires. They slide all over the place and then swear off all winter riding, and this encourages the belief that a fatbike is necessary for riding in the snow, when a 2.4 with studs, or even simply an aggressive knobby is worlds better than a Conti Race King in the snow.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassa89 View Post
    2. Learn your pace

    I started out, against the warnings of my LBS, using too low a gear and couldn't keep up my pace. After about 3 miles of snow covered trails (albeit at a faster clip), I was ready to die and ended up ending my ride after about an hour. Since that time, I use granny gears and while I have higher RPMs, I'm consistent in my cadence and my rides have been better and longer.
    You mean too high a gear.

  30. #30
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    It's snow. Snow makes everything tougher, but it's such a unique substance that practice and persistance pay off with epic experiences.

    A fat bike is not a replacement for xc skis or at gear with skins. You will push. You will carry. You will curse. Hopefully you will smile

    There are enough people out there trying new things and succeeding , that I'm pretty sure we'll survive as a species; )

    I heart my fat bike!

  31. #31
    bigger than you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?
    I bought my first fat bike after riding for about 7 months, with zero winter riding experience, save riding in the winter when I was a kid in the 80's. I'd visited my family in the midwest and brought my mountain bike along- Fat bikes were everywhere and after trying one, I had to have one. By the time I made it back to Philly, I'd ordered a pugsley from my LBS and now, I'm currently on my 5th fat bike. The s/n ratio here, was lower then and I was able to glean some great info about tire pressure and setup. It took me a while to find the right frame and geometry, but the tire platform sold me right away.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccartney7499 View Post
    I've yet to ride any groomed trails, but I have a feeling it would be boring. I like the challenge of pushing through powder and fighting for every inch. I can ride fast and flowy all summer. Going fast in the winter just creates wind chill!
    I've had my fat bike for 3 winters now and have taken it on groomed single track twice. I don't find it very enjoyable/fun at all. I usually hit the frozen lakes and river bottoms and go off trail to explore for hour son end. Totally 180* from the type of riding I do in the summer (singletrack "huck anything and everything").

  33. #33
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    Riding multi-use groomed trails tends to be pretty boring in my experience - they're as wide as a road and don't usually include much interesting terrain.

    Singletrack that is groomed specifically for fat bikes, and that is done well, can be a blast.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  34. #34
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    I haven't met anyone that is disillusioned. We have a local fat bike Facebook group where people post trail conditions. It's very helpful and you can get a heads-up as to whether trails are icy, or you have to do a lot of pushing (which hasn't happened this year as we have had very little snow).

  35. #35
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    How many people become disillusioned with fat bikes............

    No one. Ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    It's snow. Snow makes everything tougher, but it's such a unique substance that practice and persistance pay off with epic experiences.

    A fat bike is not a replacement for xc skis or at gear with skins. You will push. You will carry. You will curse. Hopefully you will smile

    There are enough people out there trying new things and succeeding , that I'm pretty sure we'll survive as a species; )

    I heart my fat bike!
    +1
    I like to find out how far I can get. My fatbike has amazed me at what conditions and what lines I still deem "rideable".

    My experience so far has been great!
    (from my old non-fat snow biking thread)
    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I don't know where to put this...
    I figure there are more snow bikers in here than anywhere else, fat or not.

    Last week the local trail had absolutely perfect snow conditions for any sort of biking. With about 8+" of snow compacted to 4" or less by a number of local fatties, I went out with my 26 x 1.95 Panaracer Spikes, as I'm literally still waiting for my ship to come in (with fatbike), and positively ripped through the trail. Other people posted about how good it was and "don't even worry about a fat bike, just ride". I wish I'd stopped for pix, but I was too busy pedaling and smiling.

    This week was different.

    I had a good start...
    Attachment 962686

    BUT...
    Attachment 962683
    ^^^That's a low boardwalk about 2' wide. A fatbike rode off the right side and almost kept going. I was walking that one. I just couldn't stay in the middle and kept sliding/riding off the edge. Even walkers were having trouble staying on that one. All the bridges were like that.

    My bike looked like this a lot.
    Attachment 962684
    This trail section was pretty much a 3-1/2 mile balance beam. The center was compacted, about 3" at a time, maybe 4 times over several weeks. That's ~12" of packed snow. Problem was, the compacted snow was only about 8-10" wide, while the track was maybe 18-20" wide. The fat bikes could, for the most part, bump around between the walls of the track and not sink, but a skinnier tire going that far off center met with 12-14" of wet, unpacked snow that simply gobbled up any misplaced wheels. You can see in the pic that someone drifted right and got sucked in. I avoided it to the left. ...and got sucked in.

    So here's some snow riding advice (I know you did not ask for this):
    1) If a section is bad, it will probably get better. ...eventually. Get your mind right and pedal 'til it gets better. If you have to walk, well, you have to walk. You might help things a bit by walking your bike on one edge of the track and stepping on the opposite edge to widen it or pack it down.
    2) Be thankful for whoever went first and packed the trail. They did a LOT of work. It still might not be enough to make it easy by any means. That means it's your turn. It'll be easier the next time.
    3) Wear boots (or gaiters) that are higher than the depth of the snow. That is, unless you never, ever, ever put a foot down. Yeah, that's what I thought.
    4) ALL the bridges tried to kill me. Three of them almost succeeded. Use caution.
    5) I had trouble enjoying the Winter landscape while riding. The continuous "skinny" required a lot of concentration. Stop now and then and take a look around.
    6) Tire pressure really is really important.

    Don't be scared. Try again. Conditions can change from morning to night (and night to morning) so chances are, at some point, it might be awesome.


    -F
    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?
    I did. The reason behind it being I live in MN and we had way too much down time from winter each year and then came fat bikes. They are so useful in MN. I love riding year round the past four years. Even without past experience, I knew I'd like it. My style of recreational riding in summer translates well into long adventures in winter. Speed isn't a big thing for me.

    Many fat bikers in MN started on a fat bike first. Just make sense in a state where winter is so long. You know if you already like to ride bike and like being out in winter that you'll get a lot of use out of a fat bike, even if you've never tried winter biking before.


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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?
    Your bike magazines and online bike media being filled with fatbike content might get you to buy a fatty that's its purpose. You could run into fatbikers while out skiing, snow shoeing or hiking. You might just see one in your LBS or a buddy might buy one.
    Safe riding,

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  38. #38
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    I'm one of those that rode his regular bike up to 2" of snow with knobbies and have been wondering how riding with a fatty would be like. Long story short, yesterday received my new to me fatty. Have been talking to riding buddies that own fatties and have heard a lot about PSIs.

    My tires are at 10 PSI and I weight 200 pounds, should I go lower? Got a low pressure gauge even before the bike arrived so I can do trail head adjustments if needed. Now I wonder if I should change the gearing on the bike. It is 38/28 up front and 11-34 rear, have a 32 and 22 rings available so may change them before venturing out and having a frustrating first experience.

    Can't wait for the weekend to arrive so I can take it for a spin.

  39. #39
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    10 is high - WAY high.
    I run 5 in my Barbegazis on dry trails, nevermind snow. I'm probably just over 200 all geared up.

  40. #40
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    I usually run about 9psi on my Bucksaw (FS fat = higher tire pressures) on dry trails, and I am also around 200 all geared up. For ANY snow conditions, absolutely no way, no how.

    That said, when experimenting, it's best to start high, drop pressure until you get it where you like it, and check the pressure when you're done. I never drag my gauge out on the trails. I leave it at home. Side benefit - checking pressure at home after my ride, I can see what pressure I should set to at home, before I leave, accounting for inevitable pressure drop due to reduction in temps (my bikes are in my basement, which is the warmest place in the house in the winter), rather than trying to account for that in my head.

    38/28x11-34 is huge gearing. Buy the bike from someone who rode pavement all the time? In deep snow, I'll spend the entire ride in 28x42. I'd definitely change to 32/22 if you have those chainrings already. Do it!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL View Post
    I'm one of those that rode his regular bike up to 2" of snow with knobbies and have been wondering how riding with a fatty would be like. Long story short, yesterday received my new to me fatty. Have been talking to riding buddies that own fatties and have heard a lot about PSIs.

    My tires are at 10 PSI and I weight 200 pounds, should I go lower? Got a low pressure gauge even before the bike arrived so I can do trail head adjustments if needed. Now I wonder if I should change the gearing on the bike. It is 38/28 up front and 11-34 rear, have a 32 and 22 rings available so may change them before venturing out and having a frustrating first experience.

    Can't wait for the weekend to arrive so I can take it for a spin.
    10 PSI is too high. I'm about 190lbs and run 4 PSI. Many problems with fat biking can be resolved by letting some air out. If you have hills or mountains then the lower gears will definitely help.

    I've noticed a lot of snow roadies in my neck of the woods run Husker Du, Knard or some other low knob tire that provides zero traction at high pressure. They tend to leave a 2 to 3 inch wide concave track in the packed snow. That's a lot of wasted contact patch which reduces float and traction and likely increases rolling resistance. There's also the social aspect of it where skiers get PO'd because fat bikes are leaving strange tracks in the groomed surface.

    A lot of it comes down to expectations. If you expect to go into winter on a fat bike and ride like Aaron Gwin at the World Cup down the mountain side in 3 feet of fresh pow then you're gonna have a bad time . If you just want to putt around on some groomed tracks, follow some snowshoers at 2mph, or ride in circles on a frozen lake then you will likely ride away satisfied .

    How many people become disillusioned with fat bikes............-img_20160125_173033.jpg
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    I would also suggest switching to 32/22 even before first ride. I currently run 36/22 on 11-36 cassette and 36T up front is used only for getting to the trails for the most part.
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    Disillusioned by my relatively new fat bike experience? No, but humbled. I bought mine to get my arse outside when the weather is bad and riding on pavement just isn't practical. Truth be told I've never understood the 'big smiles' reputation of the fat bike. Frankly, I think they suck to ride unless conditions call for it in lieu of another type of bike, at which point they are far better than not riding at all. I'm not bashing them mind you, but living on the front range of CO means radically varying conditions within the span of only a day or two. Frozen ground with a few inches of powder, or a nicely rideable snowy singletrack is pretty cool. Two days later, weather is mid-50s and the ground is a stew of sloppy wet snow and soaked sandy dirt that's impossible to ride in and grinds your drivetrain to a pulp. Between those conditions packed singletrack turns to a combination of sheer ice and mud, snow gets a crust that is just thin enough that you can't float on top and just thick enough that you can't ride through...bottom line is that of a dozen or so conditions you can only ride in 3 or 4 of them, no matter what you try to do with tires, psi, etc. Call it a dose of cycling reality rather than disillusionment. Most winter days still can't be ridden in many years, at least in my neck of the woods. Outside of the winter conditions where they can be effectively ridden and other bikes cannot, I personally get no joy churning over heavy wheels and tires atop a heavy, bouncy pig that I have to straddle like a horse.

    Guess I'm not converted yet.

    EDIT: One great thing I can say about rigid fat biking is that you've got to use a ton of body English, and it never hurts to revisit those fundamentals.

  44. #44
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    I was lucky that a friend lent me his fat bike for a week. It was way to small for me and had crappy vee missions on it. But in that week I was able to get just about all the conditions needed to make a choice. First day was hero snow, warm hard packed and could climb just about anything. Second day was worst case, melted slush andnot traction. 3rd ride was 10" fresh snow...no chance but to stick to the plowed main loop(boring). 4th ride was riding skinnies the whole ride but it was a blast being alone at night not knowing how far I dare go.

    Im taking it for what I saw. Im not going to be able to ride all the time. but after the first snowfall my race bike goes away and I cant ride for 5-6 months on average. Even spring I find myself walking to check if all the snow is gone from the trails, with a fat bike I can just ride the dam thing. I figure, for 1500 bucks if I can get out once or twice a week (work is slow this time of year and im home by 2pm most days) That all I need to keep in decent shape. Not to mention I will have fun. If all goes well I can find others in the area to help snowshoe the less traveled single track that I ride in the summer and really have a blast.

    hopefully have my Sasquatch next week

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by kryten View Post
    I would also suggest switching to 32/22 even before first ride. I currently run 36/22 on 11-36 cassette and 36T up front is used only for getting to the trails for the most part.
    That was what I thought, the ride would be in the 28 so will go ahead and change the rings.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL View Post
    I'm one of those that rode his regular bike up to 2" of snow with knobbies and have been wondering how riding with a fatty would be like. Long story short, yesterday received my new to me fatty. Have been talking to riding buddies that own fatties and have heard a lot about PSIs.

    My tires are at 10 PSI and I weight 200 pounds, should I go lower? Got a low pressure gauge even before the bike arrived so I can do trail head adjustments if needed. Now I wonder if I should change the gearing on the bike. It is 38/28 up front and 11-34 rear, have a 32 and 22 rings available so may change them before venturing out and having a frustrating first experience.

    Can't wait for the weekend to arrive so I can take it for a spin.
    Personally I think we should stop telling people to get a pressure gauge and talk of PSI because it is all going to depend on the rider weight as well as the temperature outside. I find the best way and easiest way for new people to grasp onto is "the BULGE" Put your elbo/forearm down on your seat and push, if your tire doesn't bulge out at least an inch you have too much pressure. Same thing with the front. Hold the front brake lever and push down on the tire. You should always have the tires bulging out. Following this advice you never need to mess around with a gauge. If you are on harder surfaces, reduce the bulge.
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?

    Yes, me.

    The reasoning? I was tired of being in the house all winter, wanting to go outside to get some fresh air but not sure what to do. I had just re-started biking this past April (the last time I was biking was probably 15 years ago). I didn't want to stop biking once the snow came, plus I knew I could use it year-round.

    I get frustrated sometimes but for me it's a learning experience. I ride 3.5 miles on the roads to get to my local trails, so either I run higher pressures on the road, then dump air when I get to the trails OR I stick with one pressure. I learned that road pressure is too high for the trails - when on dirt, the bike bounces way too much when I ride over roots or rocks. In the snow - I just don't have enough surface area to make a nice footprint. So I'm still learning what pressure is right for me. Since I'm a curious person, this is fun for me rather than discouraging. I don't know what psi I'm running - I just give the tire a squeeze or look at how much it spreads out when I sit on the bike.

    I'm learning how to ride in the snow. Went out when it was hard-packed snow. Had the most fun ever while riding. Next time was a few inches of fluffy snow. Could not get up some inclines for the life of me, plus the back wheel would slide out on some descents. Got frustrated but didn't give up. Just something more to learn how to overcome.

    I guess I couldn't see someone buying a fat bike, trying it & giving up. My bike wasn't cheap (by my standards) so I am going to get my money's worth out of it. I don't have the funds where I can buy it & forget about it if I don't like it or sell the bike for a loss. I'm too tight that way.

    I love fat biking and will continue to.

  48. #48
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    Go low low pressure, but if you see a moving crease on the sidewall when you ride, then it is too low. Use the 15 psi gauge to see what that is, and stay above it next time.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Last winter I recall a day when a group of half a dozen or more, all with fatbikes, bailed out on riding a trail due to deep snow. I saw them leaving to ride pavement. I geared up and rode all of the trails in the system, and was the first bike, even though the snow had been down a couple of days and hikers and sledders had been out in it plenty already.

    A few of them whined about the snow. I am friends with most of them and ride with them all from time to time. You better believe I ragged on them for being wimps for a good, long time.

    And my fatbike isn't even made to be a snowbike.
    You, good sir, need new friends. Half a dozen fat bikes can blaze an awesome track in deep snow with a single pass! We do that here in Utah and take turns leading so we don't get gassed out. The ride back down the packed trail makes all the effort going up the soft stuff totally worth it.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  50. #50
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    I'm not disillusioned, but I do still need more time in the fat saddle. I've been alright in past seasons with some commuting with the 2.0 and ss. I've wanted a fat tire for years, but couldn't find the funds until this year. It's only been a couple if weeks, but I can say with certainty that I can ride more in less than ideal conditions more comfortably than before. Is it the best fatty for me out there, are my tires big enough, etc... probably not, but you wouldn't know it from the smile on my face.

    That said, Dirt Devil, what Framed did you get? I have the MN 2.2 and swapped out the 28/38 for a RF Turbine 36/22 with 11-36 rear cassette. I don't think the gearing is quite right yet though, I think I'd be happier with 24-26/34. The 22 is too granny while the 36 is still a bit big. The 28 was too low for level riding and too steep for uphill and some short technical uphills and obstacles. Oh well, more riding to do.

    If there is one thing that I could be disillusioned about, it would be that I didn't have enough cash to get a bluto.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloborealis View Post
    I wouldn't say I'm disillusioned with fatbiking, but I am looking forward to the day I will no longer need to own one. When that day comes I don't think I'll miss it. I'll have fond memories, for sure, since there's no way I could have ridden year round in my part of Alaska since 2009 -- bogs, tussocks, mushing trails, remote beaches; very few genuine trails, actually -- without a fattie. I won't miss the weight and drag of the big rubber and heavy wheels, the constant need to adjust pressure to match ever changing conditions, dressing to battle the elements, etc. It's kept me in shape and gotten me outside through some long Alaskan winters, but it's frankly too much like work a lot of the time. I'm moving to central AZ in about eight months, and looking forward to riding real trails in shorts and a t-shirt. Also enjoying shopping around for a new two bike quiver comprised of a high end mid-travel FS trail bike and a rigid bikepacking rig with 29+ capability. To be clear, I'm not bashing fatbikes. They have their place, and in that niche they shine like nothing else. Maybe I'd feel different if I had dropped some coin on a light, tubeless, carbon fattie instead of sticking with my old school 170mm '14 Mukluk. I felt the lust for sure, but not the need for my style of fatbiking. Speaking strictly for myself, once you go fat, you can come back and for me that day can't come soon enough.
    See, that's kind of why I like the fatbike. It's a challenge to ride it where it was originally designed to be ridden. I have a lightweight carbon FS bike for non-snow use, and for most of the trails around where I live, I can ride them without thinking. The fatbike requires some thought, planning, and determination to actually complete the ride. I have found not many fair weather bikers will ride their fatbikes in the snow.
    Main Ride: 2016 Jekyll Carbon 2
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    I think what might help people is if ridding in powder start with the lowest PSI you can get away with (2-3 Depending on weight? Maybe even 1-1.5 for some setups.) instead of starting high. Then pump up higher to see the difference.

    I don't know why but so many ppl are apprehensive about dropping psi. I usually let them ride my bike and they're shocked by how well it rides, then I tell them its just the lower PSI. I don't even ride that low, usually about 3.5F-5R or 5.0F-6.5R depending on the trail. Then for the summer I run 9F-10R on dry trails.

    Also learning to pace yourself is really important to have fun on the FatBike, as well as practicing a smooth pedal rotation especially for the climbs. You can't hammer like you would in the summer, be it on pace or on the climbs.

  53. #53
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    Starting rolling my first fatty (Borealis Crestone) at Christmas, and every time I've put it back in the garage there was a smile on my face.

    I ride in Central NY in an area with lots of snowmobile traffic, lots of trails, and in hills (I think ~700 ft average of valley to peak vertical). So far I've ridden in warm 50* weather on soft earth, wet slush/mud, and now loosely packed out (2 or 3 snowmobiles worth) dry snow with some occasional blue ice. Here's what I've learned:

    1) Weight is important to me -- I've since swapped out the bluto in favor of the carbon rigid forks, swapped out the wheels in favor of some Industry Nine Big Ride 845 carbons with Dillinger 5s. I dropped the bike weight down from 30.5 lbs to 25.8lbs in doing so. I'm keeping the KS LEV Integra dropper....

    2) Front suspension is not important (to me) - the trails I am riding are fairly smooth, seasonal access roads and snowmobile paths. When considering all the extra weight of the suspension, it was a no brainer to swap out for a rigid fork.

    3) a 26t vs the stock 30t front ring made a world of difference. In the first few days conditions of wet earth, slush, and mud, the bike had unbelievable traction, but I was tiring on climbs and having to hike-a-bike, which I hated! Swapping to the 26t last weekend allowed me to clear all my climbs where I don't lose traction.

    4) traction and stability are functions of tire pressure, and it's a constant game of trying to figure it out. I have a digital pressure guage, but it only gives psi in whole lbs. I have an analog 0-15 lbs meiser gauge on the way and hope to have it by the weekend. However, I really wish there was a 0-10 lbs guage. I am finding that in packed snow conditions I probably want ~4-5psi, maybe less, but there is a 25% difference between the two and my guage can't tell me where I am between the two. The 0-15 will help, but it will be most reliable ~7.5lbs and I really think I want to know when it is at 5 lbs?

    5) Going faster means getting colder - I.e. I don't need the top end gearing of the 30t front, because it gets damn cold with that much wind in your face, not to mention vision is getting blurred by tears of "joy". It also means that hammering climbs can generates a lot of heat and sweat, which can cause for a colder ride after things get wet. The smaller front sprocket also helps to manage down the effort I needed to put into climbs.

    6) Riding with low tire pressure at speed on a paved/dirt road is scary....anxiety of auto steer folding the front tire under me at 25 mph is nerve racking.

    7) It is really peaceful in the woods in winter, and the views and un-tracked surrounding snow are beautiful to look at.

    8) On packed snow, I would estimate that riding a fat bike is 25% harder than riding my 27.5 on dry earth, and probably up to 50% harder in climbs.

    9) The workout is incredible! In a 1:07 hr ride over 6.6 miles this past weekend, I managed to burn ~1000 kcals, according to my HRM.

    10) Layering with breathable, wicking, and zippered layers is key to regulating body heat. When it was ~17*F this weekend, I found having a loberster claw glove a good idea early in the ride, until my body heat and circulation increased. Once I started to get too warm, I swapped to a neoprene cold weather mountain biking glove (Troy Lee Ace Cold Weather), which worked pretty well for the rest of the ride. However, I was comforted to know that I still had my dry lobster claws to swap back too, if needed. A pack of hand warmers provided additional comfort.

    11) I need to invest in a mini bike pump--any recommendations? I started my ride with 8-9 psi and was in fear of lowering my psi too much, as I tried to find the sweet spot for traction in some of the softer climbs. This too is where I wanted to know where in between 4 - 5 lbs I was, and how much air I was letting out between measurements.

    12) Using your iPhone as your GPS/HRM device on a stem mounted holder doesn't work when its cold--the phone shuts down. This was unnerving too, because I was alone, and my wife likes to track my movements to insure I am still moving! Does anybody have any suggestions? I like to track my HR to make sure I am measuring my effort for the long haul; to estimate calorie burn so I can justify my post ride food and beer consumption; and the GPS is nice to keep track of mileage.

    13) Studded tires provide a massive confidence boost for those occasional ice patches.

    14) It's hard to stay on the packed track of a snowmobile, particularly in off-camber sections. Similarly, falling into the ski track can be a little hair raising when you're going at any kind of speed and its tricky getting out of them.

    I'm new to rolling the fatty, but I love it! I'm learning, and as I do, it gets more and more enjoyable with each ride. Riding in the winter is NOT the same experience as it is from spring to fall. It is nonetheless riding, an excuse to be outdoors in peaceful and beautiful surroundings, a fantastic workout, and a viable option for fun when the skiing is none to great.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?
    I had ridden bikes in the winter, but I'd not ridden like I am now, or where I am now, before my fat bike. I'm in ND, and I'd imagine being pretty limited in where I could go with a regular bike.

  55. #55
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    I've met maybe one or two who were disillusioned by fat bikes but mainly because of the availability of replacement or upgrade parts/components here in the Philippines. I've been mountain biking for more than ten years now and riding fat bikes is the most fun I've had in quite a while.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    I'm not disillusioned, but I do still need more time in the fat saddle. I've been alright in past seasons with some commuting with the 2.0 and ss. I've wanted a fat tire for years, but couldn't find the funds until this year. It's only been a couple if weeks, but I can say with certainty that I can ride more in less than ideal conditions more comfortably than before. Is it the best fatty for me out there, are my tires big enough, etc... probably not, but you wouldn't know it from the smile on my face.

    That said, Dirt Devil, what Framed did you get? I have the MN 2.2 and swapped out the 28/38 for a RF Turbine 36/22 with 11-36 rear cassette. I don't think the gearing is quite right yet though, I think I'd be happier with 24-26/34. The 22 is too granny while the 36 is still a bit big. The 28 was too low for level riding and too steep for uphill and some short technical uphills and obstacles. Oh well, more riding to do.

    If there is one thing that I could be disillusioned about, it would be that I didn't have enough cash to get a bluto.
    Just got a MN 2.0 and after reading your experience with the gearing you have me questioning my decision. Maybe a 32 or 34/24 will be the best with the 11-34.

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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    You, good sir, need new friends. Half a dozen fat bikes can blaze an awesome track in deep snow with a single pass! We do that here in Utah and take turns leading so we don't get gassed out. The ride back down the packed trail makes all the effort going up the soft stuff totally worth it.
    They're good peoples. If I had arrived at the same time they did, I may have been able to goad some of them into following me as I plowed tracks. A lot of them only pull the fatbike out for maybe 2 months of the year, though, and haven't put as much thought into what works and what doesn't. A lot of locals who own fatbikes, I know for sure, have tires on 'em like Husker Dus all the time (or worse, Vee Missions). It only took me one snow ride with HuDus to buy something with meatier knobs that got better traction. The XC tradition is STRONG here, and I'm sure it's leaking into winter riding on fatbikes. VERY few people ride with aggressive knobbies at any time of the year, or for any trail because the trails here (even the rockier ones) have a lot of clay in the soil, and in midsummer after they dry out and pack in, they're like concrete. Yeah, that time of year, I switch to a faster tire, too. But in less than optimal times of year, I put more aggressive knobbies on to grip in the leaf fall, snow, damp spring, etc.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?
    I imagine there are plenty of reasons. I have two. Most importantly-I wanted one. Secondly-it looked like a shitload of fun.
    It's all good!

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by L84Beer View Post
    Starting rolling my first fatty (Borealis Crestone) at Christmas, and every time I've put it back in the garage there was a smile on my face.

    I ride in Central NY in an area with lots of snowmobile traffic, lots of trails, and in hills (I think ~700 ft average of valley to peak vertical). So far I've ridden in warm 50* weather on soft earth, wet slush/mud, and now loosely packed out (2 or 3 snowmobiles worth) dry snow with some occasional blue ice. Here's what I've learned:

    1) Weight is important to me -- I've since swapped out the bluto in favor of the carbon rigid forks, swapped out the wheels in favor of some Industry Nine Big Ride 845 carbons with Dillinger 5s. I dropped the bike weight down from 30.5 lbs to 25.8lbs in doing so. I'm keeping the KS LEV Integra dropper....

    2) Front suspension is not important (to me) - the trails I am riding are fairly smooth, seasonal access roads and snowmobile paths. When considering all the extra weight of the suspension, it was a no brainer to swap out for a rigid fork.

    3) a 26t vs the stock 30t front ring made a world of difference. In the first few days conditions of wet earth, slush, and mud, the bike had unbelievable traction, but I was tiring on climbs and having to hike-a-bike, which I hated! Swapping to the 26t last weekend allowed me to clear all my climbs where I don't lose traction.

    4) traction and stability are functions of tire pressure, and it's a constant game of trying to figure it out. I have a digital pressure guage, but it only gives psi in whole lbs. I have an analog 0-15 lbs meiser gauge on the way and hope to have it by the weekend. However, I really wish there was a 0-10 lbs guage. I am finding that in packed snow conditions I probably want ~4-5psi, maybe less, but there is a 25% difference between the two and my guage can't tell me where I am between the two. The 0-15 will help, but it will be most reliable ~7.5lbs and I really think I want to know when it is at 5 lbs?

    5) Going faster means getting colder - I.e. I don't need the top end gearing of the 30t front, because it gets damn cold with that much wind in your face, not to mention vision is getting blurred by tears of "joy". It also means that hammering climbs can generates a lot of heat and sweat, which can cause for a colder ride after things get wet. The smaller front sprocket also helps to manage down the effort I needed to put into climbs.

    6) Riding with low tire pressure at speed on a paved/dirt road is scary....anxiety of auto steer folding the front tire under me at 25 mph is nerve racking.

    7) It is really peaceful in the woods in winter, and the views and un-tracked surrounding snow are beautiful to look at.

    8) On packed snow, I would estimate that riding a fat bike is 25% harder than riding my 27.5 on dry earth, and probably up to 50% harder in climbs.

    9) The workout is incredible! In a 1:07 hr ride over 6.6 miles this past weekend, I managed to burn ~1000 kcals, according to my HRM.

    10) Layering with breathable, wicking, and zippered layers is key to regulating body heat. When it was ~17*F this weekend, I found having a loberster claw glove a good idea early in the ride, until my body heat and circulation increased. Once I started to get too warm, I swapped to a neoprene cold weather mountain biking glove (Troy Lee Ace Cold Weather), which worked pretty well for the rest of the ride. However, I was comforted to know that I still had my dry lobster claws to swap back too, if needed. A pack of hand warmers provided additional comfort.

    11) I need to invest in a mini bike pump--any recommendations? I started my ride with 8-9 psi and was in fear of lowering my psi too much, as I tried to find the sweet spot for traction in some of the softer climbs. This too is where I wanted to know where in between 4 - 5 lbs I was, and how much air I was letting out between measurements.

    12) Using your iPhone as your GPS/HRM device on a stem mounted holder doesn't work when its cold--the phone shuts down. This was unnerving too, because I was alone, and my wife likes to track my movements to insure I am still moving! Does anybody have any suggestions? I like to track my HR to make sure I am measuring my effort for the long haul; to estimate calorie burn so I can justify my post ride food and beer consumption; and the GPS is nice to keep track of mileage.

    13) Studded tires provide a massive confidence boost for those occasional ice patches.

    14) It's hard to stay on the packed track of a snowmobile, particularly in off-camber sections. Similarly, falling into the ski track can be a little hair raising when you're going at any kind of speed and its tricky getting out of them.

    I'm new to rolling the fatty, but I love it! I'm learning, and as I do, it gets more and more enjoyable with each ride. Riding in the winter is NOT the same experience as it is from spring to fall. It is nonetheless riding, an excuse to be outdoors in peaceful and beautiful surroundings, a fantastic workout, and a viable option for fun when the skiing is none to great.
    Where in CNY are you, I'm in the Syracuse area.

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  60. #60
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    I bought my fat bike in march 2015, at that time I had plan only to ride it in winter. Soon I changed my mind and I had ride my fat bike a lot on any condition. This winter I had ride more than 1500 km with my fat bike and mostly in the road of Mtl on any wheather condition. Lots of fun in the snow,dirt,gravel,pavment.
    With today ride I am at 339 day in a row that I had ride a bike for at least 1 hour per day. This winter I ride 40 km per day at it took me about 3 hours per day. Lots of fun to ride fast gooing down with couple of inch of snow on the road.
    Since I had my fat bike I ride it more often than the other bike that I had.

    Soo I am not disillisuonned with my fat bike at all.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL View Post
    Where in CNY are you, I'm in the Syracuse area.

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    I spend my winter weekends at Greek Peak and I ride the seasonal access roads and snowmobile paths in the Tuller Hill State Forests mid-afternoons on Saturdays after skiing.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beicster View Post
    I imagine there are plenty of reasons. I have two. Most importantly-I wanted one. Secondly-it looked like a shitload of fun.
    I never rode a bike in winter before I bought my fatbike, but did my research though. Second season and end up riding in winter more often than in summer, granted partly because I have more free time this time of the year. It is shitload of fun...
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy b. View Post
    See, that's kind of why I like the fatbike. It's a challenge to ride it where it was originally designed to be ridden. I have a lightweight carbon FS bike for non-snow use, and for most of the trails around where I live, I can ride them without thinking. The fatbike requires some thought, planning, and determination to actually complete the ride. I have found not many fair weather bikers will ride their fatbikes in the snow.
    I hear ya, andy b., and you make some good points. I've put a lot of miles on my fatbike in the last seven years in all kinds of weather and I'm a stronger, and hopefully smarter, rider for it. But challenges of one kind or another can be found in all types of riding. I'll continue riding year round with or without a fatbike, and the variety of cycling challenges (from XC to downhill to extreme, chunky tech) out my backdoor or within a 2 hour drive of my future home in AZ is mindboggling compared to where I live now.
    Vini vidi velo!

  64. #64
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    How many people become disillusioned with fat bikes............?

    Simple answer , some will and some will not.

    It all depends on what you want and what sort of conditions you ride in.

    There is not much snow here in the UK, but (where I live) there are many beaches, soft boggy terrain and lots of mud mixed with rocks.

    When I imported my Pug from America in 2010, it had endos front and rear.........

    Even with those 'interesting' tyres it was still a revelation compared with my usual 29er 2.3" tyres.

    I actually tried riding a Gary Fisher 293 with 2.3s in the same conditions as the Pug......

    Pug won hands down.

    Since then I have become mainly fat.

    I still backslide and have tried 29ers again, but, because of the mixture of trail types that occur on a normal ride, I keep going back to fat, or at the very least 29+.

    My 29ers are clean.......

    For me, fat bike take me back to my favourite childhood bike a Raleigh Grifter (a sort of 'fat' BMX). I went everywhere on it and never worried about the trail ahead.

    That's what fat bikes do for me now, they do not restrict my choices

    Dr FG
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  65. #65
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    I would ask Who Cares is some people buy one and then don't keep riding it? That happened to plenty of mtbikes from the 90's. It's OK to not have everybody cross eyed about this. It's OK to not be something everyone wants to do. It's OK to stay a small aspect of the cycling culture. More isn't always better.

    Personally, I love the freedom my fatty gives my winter riding, but my fatty hasn't seen a dirt trail, ever..Is this OK or do I have to be a fat purest and ride fat exclusively? I've got a nice carbon Salsa, but it doesn't hold a candle to my 29erYBB for summer riding.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    That said, Dirt Devil, what Framed did you get? I have the MN 2.2 and swapped out the 28/38 for a RF Turbine 36/22 with 11-36 rear cassette. I don't think the gearing is quite right yet though, I think I'd be happier with 24-26/34. The 22 is too granny while the 36 is still a bit big. The 28 was too low for level riding and too steep for uphill and some short technical uphills and obstacles. Oh well, more riding to do.
    Considering 24/34 after your input.

  67. #67
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    I ride year-round on the beach. 22 X 11-32. Took over 2000 kms before I was acclimated to the shear grueling (initially) cardio it takes. With the exception of summer low tides where super hard sand appears, the beach is generally unforgiving as in no coasting, constant changes in drift & sand conditions and wind/tides. Best thing? I've miles to ride and there.is.no.one.else. I'll take the constant maintenance & bike wear for the serenity of knowing I've the beach to myself.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    I would ask Who Cares is some people buy one and then don't keep riding it? That happened to plenty of mtbikes from the 90's. It's OK to not have everybody cross eyed about this. It's OK to not be something everyone wants to do. It's OK to stay a small aspect of the cycling culture. More isn't always better.
    +1 - definitely. The more rationally people choose to buy/ride a fatty the more likely they'll love it and stay fat long-term. The more it's just a media/online driven hype-fest about getting K-R-A-Z-Y big tires and looking INSANE on the trail the more likely that will burn itself out right quick.

    Fatbikes have proven themselves. They are here to stay. But, we haven't reached the balance point yet where all irrational stuff is out of our collective systems.
    Safe riding,

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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL View Post
    Just got a MN 2.0 and after reading your experience with the gearing you have me questioning my decision. Maybe a 32 or 34/24 will be the best with the 11-34.

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    I realize it's all personal preference. I think a lot of people go for the 32/22 since that's typical of their other mtb. When I'm riding my 2 in wide wheels, I almost never use the granny and am using the 32 chainring the vast majority of the time. Since the wheels are bigger and confidence inspiring I think I'll be getting myself into more trouble that may require the granny. Being a SSer a good portion of the time too, I also understand spinning is inevitable, but I really don't like it in snow since it makes me feel unbalanced, I shouldn't be doing it with gears, and don't like cross chaining either. I would like to try 34/24. Smaller spread for sure, but I think I'd rather have small changes in gears ratios than have either too high or too low that wouldn't get used. I'm probably weird though.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    I realize it's all personal preference. I think a lot of people go for the 32/22 since that's typical of their other mtb. When I'm riding my 2 in wide wheels, I almost never use the granny and am using the 32 chainring the vast majority of the time. Since the wheels are bigger and confidence inspiring I think I'll be getting myself into more trouble that may require the granny. Being a SSer a good portion of the time too, I also understand spinning is inevitable, but I really don't like it in snow since it makes me feel unbalanced, I shouldn't be doing it with gears, and don't like cross chaining either. I would like to try 34/24. Smaller spread for sure, but I think I'd rather have small changes in gears ratios than have either too high or too low that wouldn't get used. I'm probably weird though.
    Good point, this is what I think will do for now. Ride on Saturday with the 38/28 and see how it goes then try it 32/22 before spending on 34 and/or 24 rings. I'm also used to riding most of the time on the 32 on my 29er with 2.1 tires.

  71. #71
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    On the tangential discussion of groomers and bike/tire setup: I find it interesting that, with the increased numbers of both fatbikers and groomed trails, a lot of riders near populated areas choose to run groomer specific setups. I think it's great that they can get away with it, but... at the same time I find it rather unimaginative. So many ride options off trail in mid winter that most of my trail rides also include swamp riding and lake riding and go anywhere types of riding. To me, you're sacrificing the magic of fatbiking for a meager increase in rolling efficiency. So not worth it.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    On the tangential discussion of groomers and bike/tire setup: I find it interesting that, with the increased numbers of both fatbikers and groomed trails, a lot of riders near populated areas choose to run groomer specific setups. I think it's great that they can get away with it, but... at the same time I find it rather unimaginative. So many ride options off trail in mid winter that most of my trail rides also include swamp riding and lake riding and go anywhere types of riding. To me, you're sacrificing the magic of fatbiking for a meager increase in rolling efficiency. So not worth it.
    Agree with 99% of this but I find the effort between packed and not waaaaay more than "meager".
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_G View Post
    Agree with 99% of this but I find the effort between packed and not waaaaay more than "meager".
    Yep, agree 100%. There is quite a difference. I'd actually say that the effort of riding well groomed singletrack is closer to regular dirt riding than the effort it takes to blaze through fresh snow. Some of these groomed trails are pretty easy on the right day.


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  74. #74
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    I'm honestly surprised at the responses here. I rode 6 miles a day to and from high school on a FS BSO (in the winter), then did some winter riding in college on a ten speed. Then did some more extreme snow stuff on my hardtail before being nudged onto a fatbike.

    Don't get me wrong; it's totally transformed the way I ride and the places I go, but I never would have guessed how awesome it was. Then again I have never really been plugged into the bike 'scene' and now get most of my info from my friend.

    Anyway, I really did not expect so many people to have picked up fatbikes without riding in snow first. Crazy!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassa89 View Post
    I purchased my first fat bike in December (ICT) and have spent the last 6-7 weeks learning how to ride. I'm a spring/summer/fall rider already, but I had no idea how much there was to learn about winter/snow trail riding on a fatty.

    1. PSI is huge

    I've had really enjoyable rides when my tires were inflated appropriately for the conditions. I've also had a ride where I had no ability to climb (spinning out), spent ~1/4 of the time walking, and completely emptied out my gas tank in about 3 miles due to a higher than necessary PSI.

    2. Learn your pace

    I started out, against the warnings of my LBS, using too high a gear and couldn't keep up my pace. After about 3 miles of snow covered trails (albeit at a faster clip), I was ready to die and ended up ending my ride after about an hour. Since that time, I use granny gears and while I have higher RPMs, I'm consistent in my cadence and my rides have been better and longer.

    3. Learn how to dress

    I've melted to the point of being drenched in sweat on a couple of rides and nearly froze on another. I've invested in winter riding gear (merino wool, gloves, boots, etc), and am now using trial and error to better understand layering and how it works in different temps. It crazy how different 10-15 degrees can make a ride!

    4. Figure out how to carry fluids that won't freeze solid

    I've tried hot tea, hot water, cold water, bottles, insulated bottles, and now a camelbak. We'll see if that works!

    Overall, it's been amazingly fun learning something new, but frustrating at the same time. By next winter, I hope to be a better rider!
    Ditch the camelbak, got a thermos? Fill with hot cocoa, or lemon ginger tea in my case. Use coozies on your water bottles inside the camelbak backpack, start there.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?
    I bought a fat bike two years ago because I haven't ridden a bike in over 55 years and this seemed like a good start for me. Slow and steady, riding woods roads and single track and having fun. Not racing and just plodding along having fun. I ride snow too.
    Northern NJ

  77. #77
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    How can you get disillusioned with this?

    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  78. #78
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    $#&% and yes. ^

    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  79. #79
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    A couple quickies I've picked up so far my first fat season (the bike not me for once):

    Fat biking on a 32.8 lb blizzard is 20-25% more difficult than riding a 25.6 lb LTc according to heart rate.

    3.8 psi rear 3.6 psi front are my magic numbers on Dillinger 5's, 200 Lb me plus gear. Lower in deep pow, more on high speed rolling hard pack. (schwalbe digital gauge) AND TUBELESS IS A MUST!

    Stans works fine, gorilla tape tubeless saves 0.9 Lbs PER WHEEL!

    The Camel back works down to -15 degrees C as long as I drink more often. Forget to sip it freezes.

    My shoulders are the coldest part of my current get up. Arms warmers cover to bicep top, vest to collar bone, nothing in between.

    The easy quick after work grinds are now committed winter epics.

    If 2 people walk on a moderate slope bottomless powder trail on MSR snowshoes, it's now DH fat bike-able.

    I love this sport.

  80. #80
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    I rode 3 hours this past Sunday in 8 inches of pretty fresh snow. Walked some but had a blast and loved every minute of it. I told anyone that wanted to join me, it would be an adventure ride and no whining. I got zero takers.

  81. #81
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    I rode all last winter on a 26" Yeti ARC with 2.3" WTB Timberwolves (awesome snow and ice tires), and later on a 29" bike with 2.4" tires. This past year I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase my first fat bike. I had been lusting after them for years.

    Now that we've had a bit of snow here in the Northeast I can compare a fat vs non-fat on snow and ice. On 1-2" of powder the non-fat can make it through, but there will be some slipping and sliding going on. 1-2" of powder on the fat bike feels like riding a summer trail. So far I've successfully ridden the fat bike through up to 6-8" of powder. On the non-fat 2-4 was the limit last year, and that was a no fun struggle. On crusty snow that's been through a melt/freeze cycle, but won't support weight the fat bike will plow through several inches just because of the sheer mass of the wheels/tires if you're committed and don't mind sucking wind just to move a couple hundred feet. The non-fat would be lucky to go 10 feet in those conditions. On snow/ice mixed trails that have been pock marked with footprints it's not even close. The fat bike either rolls right through or slides predictably and regroups (non-studded). The non-fat was like trying to balance a unicycle on top of a basketball in the same conditions.

    So am I disillusioned by fat bikes? No, just disappointed that I didn't get one sooner.

    I'm already noticing strength gains from riding the fattie through the snow too. Yeah, I still am plowing through alot in the granny while actually in the snow, but yesterday while riding I popped out on to pavement and started climbing up a hill that would normally be a granny grind in the fat bike, and it felt easy enough that I dropped 2 gears to climb and get to the next trail section.

    That's what riding fat through the winter is about for me. Maintain or build strength, build an aerobic and endurance base, lose weight, and all while having a butt ton of fun outdoors instead of sitting on a couch eating chips getting fat, or mindlessly sweating and swearing away on an indoor trainer.

    Edit: I got my fat bike last June so did some riding on it through the summer and fall. While it was fun for awhile as a novelty I don't feel like it's the best tool for the job in hardpack conditions (and not the endless smiles as someone earlier mentioned), and plan to spend most of my summer miles on the 29er this year. Maybe it would be a different story in the summer if I had a Bluto on the front, or hydraulic brakes instead of mechanical, but I chose rigid and mechanical for winter riding and I'm happy with those choices. What I really probably need is a second, "summer" fat bike :-)
    Last edited by mccartney7499; 01-28-2016 at 07:44 AM.
    "Trails? Where we're going we don't need, trails!"


  82. #82
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    Damn right!

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    I'm honestly surprised at the responses here. I rode 6 miles a day to and from high school on a FS BSO (in the winter), then did some winter riding in college on a ten speed. Then did some more extreme snow stuff on my hardtail before being nudged onto a fatbike.

    Don't get me wrong; it's totally transformed the way I ride and the places I go, but I never would have guessed how awesome it was. Then again I have never really been plugged into the bike 'scene' and now get most of my info from my friend.

    Anyway, I really did not expect so many people to have picked up fatbikes without riding in snow first. Crazy!
    I hear ya...I think a lot ofpeople fall victim to marketing and the look of these bikes. I actually enjoy my fat bike more than ever because of the fun factor, but some feel like they are just going to glide over deep snow as if it isnt there.
    Riding in the snow can be fun but it is hard work regardless of the bike.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by L84Beer View Post
    ...

    10) Layering with breathable, wicking, and zippered layers is key to regulating body heat. When it was ~17*F this weekend, I found having a loberster claw glove a good idea early in the ride, until my body heat and circulation increased. Once I started to get too warm, I swapped to a neoprene cold weather mountain biking glove (Troy Lee Ace Cold Weather), which worked pretty well for the rest of the ride. However, I was comforted to know that I still had my dry lobster claws to swap back too, if needed. A pack of hand warmers provided additional comfort.
    ...
    ^^^This sort of advice/info will keep at least a few people from getting disillusioned.

    It's not just the potential work involved with snow biking that could be discouraging.
    It amazed me how light I can dress for Winter riding - esp. in the shelter of the forest, but at the same time how fast I can get cold - like going down even just a short hill with some speed. I always have light and heavy gloves, and an extra body layer just in case.

    When it's really cold I have a nice jacket with zippered vents, and yesterday I just found some fairly lightweight boots for cheap. I should be far from disillusionment down to 0F.

    I am slightly disillusioned by our current lack of snow, though.

    -F

    PS - BTW - most of this thread should be in the Passion section.
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  85. #85
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    I see this with dual suspension bikes out on the trail, feel their tyres, @45psi and the suspension is running maybe 10%sag. Any wonder they think their bikes handle like shit. One of these bikes was a new Pivot trail 429..... pretty shitty customer service. Any wonder most shop online!!!!!

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  86. #86
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    First time on a fat bike today. I was at a demo. I was fore warned that 5.0 tires may be needed. Before I left the parking lot I was told at least three times I could let some air out. I almost turned around several times but soldiered on because I didn't want to seem like a wuss. I ended up letting so much air out the casing was folding into creases. Long story short, I ended up liking it. I know it wouldn't replace my mid travel 29ers for riding in the rocky terrain I typically visit in the summer. Because we don't have consistent snow fall here, I don't know if I can justify a purchase. I need to do more homework.


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  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    How can you get disillusioned with this?

    Green Canyon? If so, I really need to get up there.

  88. #88
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    This thread is far too serious. I bought a fat bike because they look cool and all of my friends had 'em. Nothing wrong with that.

  89. #89
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    I knew what I was getting I to going in. Ridden in snow on my 29er but found a list of reasons it sucked. Not to mention other places I couldn't ride due to soft/wet conditions. Simple fix for me was gearing lower than my 29er to start. Need low range over anything. Care less about going fast, just get to slow down and enjoy the ride.

    Low pressure is major in soft conditions but some people massively overate the changes needed all the time. I set mine by feel just enough pressure I dont tag a rim if I hit a root. That's how my tires have been all season. Frozen trails, few inches of snow, mud. Working fine. But I know there is a limit before fresh snow is too deep.

    Gear doesn't take a ton of money, takes a little time, research, and watching for deals. Got my vasque boots for $60, snow pants for $30, socks for $10. Have UA cold gear base layers ive had for a couple years now, same with my gloves, skull cap, balaclava. My gloves and boots were only "expensive" things. people spend a ton on gear to have all these layers and top end stuff that just isnt needed. But takes a bit of trial and error to sort out what you need and more specifically what temperature ranges for what and how many layers. It isnt till it hits 20F that I have more than my base layers, skull cap, soft shell gloves, UA hoodie and amazon bought Chinese soft shell pants (great pants btw).

    Oh and a set of Pogies, had $15 atv things, wife got me bar mitts for Xmas, but cheap Pogies worked great into the teens with my soft-shell gloves.


    BIGGEST THING, get on here and READ, LEARN, APPLY then tweak to your personal needs. I live in northwestern Illinois and so far except wishing I had studded tires the last week and a half, my nates have served me far better than my 29er could ever dream to this time of year.

  90. #90
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    I am so disillusioned that I am going to ride my fatty for about 4 or 5 hours tomorrow and there is no snow here. Not sure if I will ride single track or gravel roads.

  91. #91
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    I worked 72 hours this week. Pretty disillusioned that I have not been on the fat bike.
    It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_G View Post
    Agree with 99% of this but I find the effort between packed and not waaaaay more than "meager".
    Just to clarify, I was referring to the rolling efficiency of running knobbier rubber on groomers. They still roll fine there, but give you the capability to go off piste when the opportunity arises.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29ger View Post
    Green Canyon? If so, I really need to get up there.
    Actually the first two are Mueller Park and the last one is Wheeler Canyon. I haven't made the trek up to Green Canyon yet this winter. We were gonna do Antelope Island tomorrow but maybe we'll go check out Green Canyon instead.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
    Are there people who buy a fatbike without any prior winter riding experience?

    What would be the reasoning behind that?
    99% of UK Fatbikes are sold that way here as we mostly all use them as MTB`s all year round from the coast to the hills in all sizes - 3,4,5" maybe 6" soon!
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
    http://coastkid.blogspot.com/

  95. #95
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    You aren't going to get many affirmative responses posting this question in this forum. Anyone who is done with fatbikes probably doesn't look in here. In fact, there is such a lack of good threads lately I bet plenty of fatbikers don't look in here anymore!
    I apparently am one of the few that are pretty much over the fatbike for my location. Northern Rockies in Montana. After two seasons, mine is going up for sale. The reason is that fatbiking is less fun and less versatile than skiing in the winter here. The Bozeman area is consistently in all the top ski towns lists. I live 25 miles away. I have a splitboard and recently have gotten it back in service after not using it for a while, and the fatbike hasn't been out of the garage since. I also run xc skiis with the wife and dog, and our options for where to go are 1000% more places than I can go on the fatty. Here, in the mountains, there is a LOT of snow in the winter: currently 60" base at Bridger Bowl. It doesn't pack down, and you can't ride it if its not a high traffic trail, or groomed. Which means limited access options. On skiis, I don't have to worry about snow conditions or too much powder to ride in.
    Another of the big reasons is the lack of speed on the fatbike. The fun part of biking to me is the adrenaline from speed. I am an extreme sports type guy: snowboarding, skateboarding, downhilling, etc. I put a lot of miles on my mtn bike and my cross bike during the season, and going fast is why I like it. Fatbiking always feels slow to me, and boring. The trails we do have access to are almost all Forest Service roads, which are flat and slow and boring.
    My dad rides fatbikes in Maine, and the situation is way different. There, a fatbike is a no brainer for a lot of the year because of the terrain and trail conditions. I have ridden fatties there many times and it was super fun, so I am not a hater! If I lived there or in the Midwest I would be riding the heck out of it.
    I really believe one's geographic location influences bike preferences to a huge degree that isn't ever addressed in a lot of this site's forums. For me, for where I live and the way the snow is, skiing type activities are superior. And the reasons are very specific to this place. I live next to a huge wilderness area with no bikes allowed. But skis are so I have much more winter access that way. Also it doesn't really snow much in town at my house, and much of the winter I can ride my cross bike on endless dirt roads no problem which is much preferred.
    I have no hate for the fatbike. But my buddy called and we are going to hit the backcountry on skis and splitboard today. So fatty stays in the garage again.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    Actually the first two are Mueller Park and the last one is Wheeler Canyon. I haven't made the trek up to Green Canyon yet this winter. We were gonna do Antelope Island tomorrow but maybe we'll go check out Green Canyon instead.
    I see now. I was on Wheeler yesterday, and the rain and warm weather had made it so soft, I was sinking through the snowshoe track. First time for that this year. I want to try Green Canyon, but it doesn't look like anyone rode it yesterday, so I'll probably wait until I know it's rideable. The old Snowbasin road was rideable yesterday, so I'll probably just go there again today. If you go up to Green Canyon, don't forget to check out Tony Grove too.

  97. #97
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    I mounted up some studded tires for my 29er and rode 16 miles of tar bike paths with some snow and ice spots on Friday.

    It's the first time I rode it three months and I thought I would take it out and use something more efficient and zippy for the trip.

    Low smiles per mile.

    Why do I want to ride my less efficient fat bike on a mostly tar trail it's not designed for?

    Hmmm.....
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

    16' Trek 8.4 DS
    16' Farley 7
    and I'm OK admitting..
    16' Sturgis

    Minneapolis MN

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29ger View Post
    I see now. I was on Wheeler yesterday, and the rain and warm weather had made it so soft, I was sinking through the snowshoe track. First time for that this year. I want to try Green Canyon, but it doesn't look like anyone rode it yesterday, so I'll probably wait until I know it's rideable. The old Snowbasin road was rideable yesterday, so I'll probably just go there again today. If you go up to Green Canyon, don't forget to check out Tony Grove too.
    We made it up to Green Canyon today and conditions were ok. It was a nice ride but I'm not sure I'll make the hour drive to ride it again this season. There's enough fatbike-able trail between O-Town and SLC to keep me busy.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  99. #99
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    Way back when riding fatbike meant getting a Pugs frame and building a bike out of it the riding was great; nobody had one, and a stealthy rider had his choice of venues.

    Now the X-C skiwers and snowmotor people despise us with a rage bordering on insanity.

    Time was when whatever outdoor gear you owned was acceptable dress. I rode miles in blue jeans. Now riders wearing $600 in gear...

    Its still hard to find ways to bring your bike with on a trip. My fattie comes apart and rides inside the car because I wont buy ANOTHER new bike rack.

    The freedom and novelty enjoyed as few as 5 years ago is gone...

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfatbaldguy View Post
    Way back when riding fatbike meant getting a Pugs frame and building a bike out of it the riding was great; nobody had one, and a stealthy rider had his choice of venues.

    Now the X-C skiwers and snowmotor people despise us with a rage bordering on insanity.

    Time was when whatever outdoor gear you owned was acceptable dress. I rode miles in blue jeans. Now riders wearing $600 in gear...

    Its still hard to find ways to bring your bike with on a trip. My fattie comes apart and rides inside the car because I wont buy ANOTHER new bike rack.

    The freedom and novelty enjoyed as few as 5 years ago is gone...
    I haven't met much hate in the Wasatch. Maybe a few glares in Park City but those people huff their own farts their crap smells so good so I expect it up there. Most everyone else is intrigued by the idea of biking in snow.

    $600 gear? Yea I can't afford that.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

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