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  1. #1
    All fat, all the time.
    Reputation: Shark's Avatar
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    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018

    Sometimes it's fun to think back to where we started (personally) with fatbiking.

    For me, it was 2011. One of the LBS owners had a purple PUGS with endo's on it. (rode it once in the parking lot, and wow! monster truck) Yes the Alaska guys have been riding the fatties for years already, but for the most part, fatbikes were pretty rare around the midwest.

    I was taking my trek EX9 (2.2" tires oh my) out in the snow. Almost every ride I was either pushing, wrecking, or breaking my bike.
    I got home & made some comment to my wife about what a tough ride it was.....
    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-1.jpg

    Her comment "Don't they make a better bike for the snow?"

    it's on.

    "Sure honey, it's called a fatbike! They have 3.8" tires"

    I did some research and ended up ordering a US made frame from 9zero7, along with the needed fatty parts, holy rolling darryls, wide E13 cranks, endo rear tire & larry front.

    Yes, there were 2 (TWO) tire choices.

    Waited a few weeks, and a large box o-parts showed up from Alaska.

    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-parts.jpg

    I rode the 907 everywhere. Rigid of course (not much other choice!)
    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-noshox.jpg

    Introduced myself to beach riding, fantastic & relaxing.
    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-24.jpg

    I was the first fatbike rider at the Brown County Breakdown (Indiana). That year I only did the 35 mile ride.
    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-2011-10-09_12-36-50_919.jpg

    2012: 2509 miles ridden (all dirt)

    Welcome to squish! The most flexy fork to barely fit a 3.8" tire, the Maverick SC-32.
    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-2012-02-22_16-06-26_916.jpg

    Months go by, and holy-cow! Word is out that some lefty-guru (MCS, Craig) made up some wide clamps to fit a lefty with a fat tire.....so sweet.
    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-dscn1732.jpg

    Yet another Brown County Breakdown.....I believe I was the first to complete the 100 mile version on a fat tire bike. Yes, the weather was miserable. Yes, I was the last person out of the park. Our group started the day with about 5 riders. One by one they dropped off, and there was only me and one friend left at 90 miles. Then the rain started (we'd already been riding in the dark for 2 hours). That was enough for him, so I did the last 10 alone, downpour, at 10pm.

    My first and only 100.

    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-img_20130929_105951_216.jpg

    2013: 1931 miles ridden (all dirt)

    Then we moved to the other side of the country in 2014. All of a sudden the 70mm lefty wasn't enough anymore, and the hardtail was beating me up!

    Rumors of a full squish fatty from Salsa had been floating around, & I e-mailed them, a lot, until finally the Bucksaw was coming out. I had a deposit down for the better part of a summer, and finally got one of two frames that the LBS got in.

    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-001.jpg

    2014: 1417 miles ridden (all dirt, ouch the climbing out west!)

    Bucksaw allowed more exploring, faster trail riding, and getting a chainsaw far into the woods.

    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-img_201503104583.jpg

    The bucksaw and I had a lot of great times in the woods, exploring, seeing animals (usually elk & moose, but also bear & a stand-off with a mt. lion! no kidding).
    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-img_20161016_121055.jpgMy fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-img_20161016_121210.jpg

    almost wilderness....
    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-10959.jpg

    So this brings up to last fall. fatbike forum member has a Lenz for sale, and a week later, it's in my garage. oh baby!
    I decided I needed a beefier bike for summer Idaho riding, so i wouldn't crack my bucksaw again.

    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-img_20170910_123644024-1503x2672.jpgMy fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-img_20171011_161712258_hdr-2672x1503.jpg

    This thing is fun. Yes it's heavier, that's OK.

    My fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-img_20180117_153634934-1503x2672.jpgMy fatbiking, from 2011 to 2018-img_20180124_203018268-1503x2672.jpg

    2017: 1434 miles ridden (all dirt)

    And of course, since swapping parts back & forth is a pain in the butt, I picked up a new fork, which caused me to learn to build my first wheel.


    So, 7 years later, the 907 is hopefully still making someone happy (sold in '14), bucksaw is the official winter bike, and the lenz is the summer fatty but usually sports B+ tires.

    many many miles of trails & gravel explored. Lots of new friends made, Lots of animals seen . Tons of fun. 1 concussion, 1 broken collar bone, 6 stitches. Too many flat tires to count.

    Pretty fantastic hobby.

  2. #2
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    Interesting story. And yes, fantastic hobby!

  3. #3
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
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    Awesome little recap there sir!

    Funny, 2011 seems so far from 2004 when the Pug first hit the market, and yet, still so long ago, itself.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  4. #4
    All fat, all the time.
    Reputation: Shark's Avatar
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    Yeah, I wish I remembered the year I got to test ride the purple pugs, it was quite a while before I finally got my first fatty.
    Time flies!

    So happy we have more than 2 tire options now

  5. #5
    Oslo, Norway
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    Nice work!
    Espen Wethe
    www.kindernay.com
    Kindernay on BikeRumor: https://goo.gl/iQtWxu

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Cool!

  7. #7
    aka bOb
    Reputation: bdundee's Avatar
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    I remember when we were pretty much the first 2 in the lower 48 to get those US made 907's.

  8. #8
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    I only became aware that fat bikes existed as such last year. Here in Arizona, you just don't see them. I happened to have coffee with a friend at a coffee shop that is directly adjacent to a nice bike shop. I had a 27.5 Giant Talon then, and despite upgrades, it really never got me excited. My friend was telling me about developments he had heard about in tubeless tech, and when he asked me to come look in the shop, upon stepping in, the first bike I spotted was a Specialized 27.5 mid-fat. I was amazed. Three weeks and a bunch of reading and researching later, I had the Diamondback. I am in love with bicycling again!
    2016 El Oso Grande
    2018 Stolen Zeke
    90's Skykomish

  9. #9
    FB&H rider
    Reputation: PhdPepper's Avatar
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    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing!
    I'm less than two years in but it's been a life changer (and wallet changer - just about to buy my third fatty)
    2016 Trek Farley 5 "Farley"
    2017 Growler MBS "Sir Fatsalot"
    2018 Kona Wozo "Adipose Rex"

  10. #10
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Yeah, I wish I remembered the year I got to test ride the purple pugs, it was quite a while before I finally got my first fatty.
    Time flies!

    So happy we have more than 2 tire options now
    Was that purple pugs Scott's bike?

  11. #11
    All fat, all the time.
    Reputation: Shark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Was that purple pugs Scott's bike?
    Sure was!

  12. #12
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
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    I was riding in snow on my 29er fully and loving it in 2009 or 2010. In 2011, I bought one of Fatback's orange ano 170mm spaced frames. As I was trying to educate myself on how I should build this bike, I heard about a fat bike specialty shop in my area that was looking for a wheelbuilder. I went up and spoke with the owner, we hit it off and I started building wheels for him.
    I went to one of his trial days and rode a Moonlander, a Pugs and his tricked out Mukluk. I was totally sold. Had to have a fat bike. Only problem was I wanted Bud and Lou on Clownshoes and that wasn't gonna work on my Fatback. I fell in love with a black ano 190mm 9 Zero 7 so I bought that frame and built it up. I then did four or five for my friends and then one of the purple sale frames from 907 for myself so I would gain thru axles and some increased stiffness.
    I gave the Fatback to my brother which also prompted my 70 year old dad to want a fatty as well.
    I enjoy fat bikes so much I only ride fat or plus now haven't ridden my 29er fully at all.
    I did a fifty mile ride on my 50th birthday on my 907 with 29+ wheels and fat wheels depending on what trail I was riding at the time.
    I like turtles

  13. #13
    mtbr member
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    This thread is full of win! Love the stories.

  14. #14
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    I got my 1st fatty the same year, a gray Pugs frame that I found online from a shop in Alaska. Fatbike fever was just catching on, and stuff was hard to find. This forum helped immensely, as there was a lot of improvising with parts to get it built up. Got the bug bad, and upgraded to a custom Ti fatty which I still ride regularly.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Steve Balogh's Avatar
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    10 years for me. Started with a Wildfire. Not many fat bikes around here in SE Michigan at that time. A few years later I went to Wisconsin to do Gomezís race at the Kettle Moraines, which Iím thinking was probably the first fat bike race in the lower 48. I believe it was 2011 when I was probably the first one to legally ride the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. The park gave me permission to ride the pedestrian section. I also attached a 9 foot safety flag so the Macwoods tours would see me. Got that idea from Ward off this board. Then tires were getting better. Added a Ti-Fatback with the new Husker Du tires. Couple years later sold that and had Scott Quiring make me a custom geo ti fat bike. 2015 Added the Triple B. Thanks to both Mikesee and Ozzybmx I use Nexties on all of my bikes. Was never fond of other tubeless rims out there. So itís been the first time since the old UST rims on 26Ē MTB wheels Iíve gone tubeless where sealant is involved.

  16. #16
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    Figuring out how to survive in the cold and have "backups/outs" was the biggest thing for me. And then there's surviving vs. enjoying the ride. I had a few rides early on about 5 years ago that were a lot closer to "just surviving". What this has allowed me to do is to go out and explore a totally different world. That's one of the amazing things here, how dramatically it all changes in the winter and how you can access stuff on a bike that was not possible just a few years before.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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