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  1. #1
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    Non Fat Bike - Fat Fork - Real Life

    There are plenty examples of builds of say a Karate Monkey/Ogre/etc with Pugsley/Enabler/etc forks and fat wheels up front.

    In the real world, how does a 4" wheel up front work with say a 2-2.35" tire in back? I would think having all that traction in the rear where power is coming from and flotation over a large portion of body weight would be more useful in back than front and just one wheel sinking down into the muck/sand/snow isn't that much more desireable than both wheels sinking in.

    In practice, does a fat tire just in front give you many more additional options and/or allow you to go places you wouldn't otherwise be able to go with two "skinny" 2-2.5" tires?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I had a KM built up with pug fork and fat sheba rim on front... had a large marge with a 2.4 tire on the back. didn't perform very well in the snow unless really packed down. didn't ride sand or mud. so can't speak to that. didn't keep it that way after a year.. now ride full fat, enjoy it much more. time to sell the KM, which is back to a SS ...

  3. #3
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    I rode a half fat Motobecane that was on CL before I bought my pugs. It did work well enough to ride well on grass and semi soft surfaces but once I tried to ride though playground pea gravel/sand, as soon as the rear Schwalbe Big Apple tire(2.5) hit the sand, it stopped me like a rock! The guy said he took it to the big lake in Western Nebraska that has sand beaches and it would ride by the shoreline were the sand was packed reasonably well but anything halfway loose and you sink and spin.

    I decided against it's purchase as I wanted the full benefit of float with both wheels. I don't regret it. But half fat is still fun!

  4. #4
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    Mathematically, a half fat can only be half as much fun as a full fat.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    When you ride half fat, you can feel the benefit immediately the front hits an obstacle or soft stuff, a micro second later your skinny back wheel follows and you then realise that you don't want a skinny rear wheel.
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  7. #7
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    I don't have any experience with a "half-fat" bike, but I have run a larger tire in front(specialized 2,5" front, Onza 2.1" rear) for better traction when turning, and a little bit of shock absorption on an old rigid cross country bike. I definitely liked having the extra traction up front from that setup. The rear tire doesn't see as much angle from vertical when turning, so traction with a skinny tire with a square profile is adequate, while a wide, rounder profile front tire is needed to get the same grip when cornering hard on a bicycle, since you pretty much can not apply power when cornering that hard, since the pedals would hit the ground, and the head tube angle creates more lean on the front tire.

    that's just my unsubstantiated theory on it though.

    I think the main reason for "half-fat" though is that it is easier/cheaper to find a fork and front wheel than a frame that will take a fat tire.

  8. #8
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    I have a Karate Monkey with stock fork running a Rabbit Hole/Knard upfront, and a Rabbit Hole/2.35 Nobby Nic in the back. I also have a Necro Pugs to directly compare it to.

    The "half fat" Karate Monkey feels like a much faster, more aggressive bike. I built the wheelset in the spring, so I've only had in ~1" of snow, but it worked surprising great for that too. In "summer season" type conditions, 2.35 Nobby Nic on a 50mm rim has more traction than an endo on a 80mm Holy Rolling Darryl, imo.

  9. #9
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    I've been running my pugsley 1/2 fat in order to better keep pace with my buddies on non-fat bikes. It's much faster, accelerates better and handles pretty well. The downside is that the ride is quite a bit rougher in rocky technical sections. I tried following through a technical dh section at the same pace that i would have full-fat and needed to have my rear rim trued afterwards.
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  10. #10
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    Because of the accident, i try front fat too.
    And it 's exactly the same feeling.
    Soft front, but hard rear wheel.

    My old GT ti with moonlander surly fork (450mm) offer good vibes.
    But since i taste "full fat", front fat isn't enought.

    Note it's a 26Fat front / 26" classic rear.
    NOT 26"fat front / 29"


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  11. #11
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    If you do a fat front, you will eventually upgrade to full fat. I ran a GF Rig with an enabler fork, and while it was cool, it just wasn't enough. Long story short I ride a Pugsley now.

    That said, the Honzo above is amazing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat Again??? View Post
    In "summer season" type conditions, 2.35 Nobby Nic on a 50mm rim has more traction than an endo on a 80mm Holy Rolling Darryl, imo.
    I've found almost everything has more grip than an endo on anything LOL.
    They are great for floating across sand though
    Riding.....

  13. #13
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    i don't understand.
    Fat rear wheel is just too large for standart mountain frame.
    it 's easty to change the fork and front wheel, but for the rear side, it's impossible.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I've found almost everything has more grip than an endo on anything LOL.
    They are great for floating across sand though
    I think the endo is fine for mild single track. I put it on my Pugs in favor of the Nate I ran all winter. The Nate has the opposite problem: too much bloody perspective*.

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    *By which I mean traction/rolling resistance.

  15. #15
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    I dig that Honzo, too.

    I took the opposite route to most of the other folks posting here by getting a Pugsley first and then converting a 29'er to a fat-front. While a full fat bike definitely has more cushion than a 29'er rear tire, I find a good 2.4" wide 29er tire (Purgatory, Ardent) has comparable traction to a fat rear but it weighs a lot less and rolls a lot faster.

    I also find it easier to get across most rock gardens with a 2.4" tire than a 4" tire. It's almost like the gaps are made for narrow tires and I'm more likely to get hung up with the fat tire.

    I ride my Pugsley in the wet, muddy winter months and then hang it up and ride my fat-front 29er in the summer months. For me at least, full fat isn't always where it's at.

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