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  1. #1
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    Just out of curiousity...

    As I cruise through this and other forums, I continue to see 1/2 fats with just the front tire being fat.

    Having just spent several hours on my moonlander, on some very loose sand trails and hills, I would've thought that the rear wheel would've been the most important wheel to change to fat?

    The trails that I rode yesterday, I've also attempted on my regular 29'er and couldn't make it up many of the hills, because of the loose sand.

    So, I guess my question is, why the front, and not the rear? Is the goal to increase the steering?

  2. #2
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    I will attempt to answer this, butothers with more experience can surely give a better answer. I think you see a lot of fat fronts for two reasons.
    1) your bikes main source of traction comes from the front, not the back
    2) it is much easier to get a wider fork and convert a bike to a fat front, whereas a normal bike frame cant accomodate a fat wheel and tire in the rear.
    2009 MOOTS Mooto X
    2009 Salsa Fargo
    2012 Surly Pugsley
    2012 Cannondale SL4 29

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_tires_are_fun View Post
    I will attempt to answer this, butothers with more experience can surely give a better answer. I think you see a lot of fat fronts for two reasons.
    1) your bikes main source of traction comes from the front, not the back
    2) it is much easier to get a wider fork and convert a bike to a fat front, whereas a normal bike frame cant accomodate a fat wheel and tire in the rear.
    1) does not make sense. The only driven wheel is the rear. So only that wheel can provide drive traction for climbing.

    However the main reason as pointed out a fat fork and wheel can be fitted to nearly any MTB where as a fat rear requires a whole new bike.
    In addition if you can keep the front floating on soft surfaces then the rear maybe able to continue to drive. However if the front dives or washes out on soft surfaces then there is not much hope.
    Plus a fat provides some front suspension. However its probably cheaper and more effective to use a suspension fork.

    I think Ill stick to full fat.

    Craig

  4. #4
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    There have been a couple of fat-backs posted before They look silly enough that not many people have tried it out. It might be just the ticket on well-packed-but-loose snow.
    I'm covered in beer.

  5. #5
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    Really? By traction, I meant ability to hold a line....not climb. Maybe I worded it wrong, but it sure seems to me that the front decides in which direction you will go, and the rear has no choice but to follow.
    Like I said, I may very well be incorrect, but a wider tire in the front makes logical sense to me.
    Maybe the better word is control, instead of traction.
    2009 MOOTS Mooto X
    2009 Salsa Fargo
    2012 Surly Pugsley
    2012 Cannondale SL4 29

  6. #6
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    when I'm out riding with 2" tires on snow, it seems to me that I lose traction on the front first. I really don't remember having a situation where I could steer and not get any motive power from the rear

  7. #7
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    Indeed;

    The OP was not well worded, but correct nonetheless. Many many more riders can overcome a wandering tail-end than a wayward front. A rear end that dances a bit can simply be peddled through, given enough resolve. A front end that goes off course not only sends you where you might not want to go, but weirds most riders out too much to continue.

    Go all in. Half fat is a fuzzy lolipop.
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  8. #8
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    if a bike has a fat back, it can too easily be given a fat fork and fat front tire making it fat.... but, if you have a 29er and do not want to commit to a full fat bike, you can add the fat front to increase flotation for snow and sand riding.... not the best but better than no fat

  9. #9
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    unterhausen, I find climbing sand dunes to be exactly that situation. I can steer but my rear tire just spins out. Rolling with too high of pressure in the tires does this even on level ground.

  10. #10
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    Half-fat is just a gateway drug, man.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  11. #11
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    I could almost go rigid on our local trails....almost, a fat front would be so win. When I eventually run out of general bike maintenance, project bikes and keeping friends crusty old beaters running I'm going to pop my fat fork and wheel on my 26" hardtail !!!

  12. #12
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    FWIW, I have a half-fat Jones (in addition to a full-fat Carver) and find that the fat front's ability to hold a line is WAY more important than the rear's motive traction when hitting the pools of sand I encounter on our trails here in Michigan. On our weekly ride at one local park, there is very little discernible difference in performance (wrt tire setup) between the full and half fat on our mixed media trail tread.

    Full disclosure: On another local trail which is substantially (95%+) hardpack, the full fat is just not the right tool for the job, though the half-fat seems to flourish. In a way, the half-fat setup seems to be the best of all worlds setup for most trails in my part of the world. YMMV.
    Let the market decide!

    N42.58 W83.06

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