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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    New question here. Some questions before purchasing first fat bike

    Looking at buying my first fat bike. Won't be racing, just be using it as my only bike. I have a FS Stumpjumper that I am trying to sell to help fund the fat bike. Budget is about $2,000. Will be towing the kids in the Burley in the summer, hit singletrack maybe twice a summer and want to ride some in the winter. Live in MN, so lots of winter riding to be had.

    Should I just go with 190mm rear? I like the bigger 4.8" tires, so was thinking to just go with 190 to start with. Or do I just get a nice used rig that is a 1-3 years old as some "racers" buy some hot new carbon rides this fall and try and pick up a good deal on a nice older rig.

    Hydro or cable disc brakes? I like the Specialized bike, but also the 907 offerings. 907 has no hydro brake options. Not sure what peoples thoughts are on this.

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    170 or 190mm rear that is known to be able to take 29+ knards. 190 is a bit better, depends on if you can live with 1x drivetrain or need two front gears. Remember you won't necessarily be riding this at mach 5 anyway. Get 190 if you can swing it.

    I'm not a fan of cable discs, you have to replace the cables when they get gunky, adjust them for wear often, I've had the pad adjusters back out on rough descents (ultra scary), pads glaze over due to inability to deal with heat, pad adjuster knob fly off, and to top it off the pad life was just poor, just a couple months. Avid knows how to make grippy pads, so they use these, but they create the problem of heat dissipation. A decent hydro (and something other than avid preferably) is miles ahead in my experience. I live in the state that can see temps at -80, but if it's getting severely in the negatives I won't go out and I'll have a multitude of problems besides my hydraulic fluid being very slow.

    I worked in a shop and I did see some broken steel brake/shift cables, even though it was rare. I don't think it's any more likely to repair this on the trail than it is a broke hydraulic line, but both of those are such rare events it's not worth worrying about and using for the decision criteria.

    And if avid cable brakes is all you got the money for, don't worry, get them, they'll work fine, lots better than v-brakes in the mud and gunk and so on. Thing is that the price on hydros has dropped so far that in many cases this isn't even the way it is anymore. If you've got v-brake levers lying around and you're all set up otherwise, the BB7s can be cost efficient. If not, shimano LX, SLX, even simple deore, etc.
    "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.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sattvic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    I think that some of the hard core tourers prefer cable brakes to hydraulic due to the fact that it is "easier" to repair on the trail. Personally I would not go near them, but I am not a tourer I just ride trails and shred sh#t ;-)

    Personally I just ordered a new Fatbike and am waiting to take delivery. If I had a 2k budget and Fatties were readily available used in Australia, I would probably try to go that route.
    Age is a state of mind

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: fat_tires_are_fun's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    I purchased a lightly used Pugsley a couple months ago. Great bike, and a great choice. I saved around 35% buying it used, and it is a great intro to fat bikes. The wheels are way wider than any bike I have had before, so no complaint on that.
    I am sure, when I buy a new bike, I will like thennew wider wheels aven better, but in the meantime this was a good deal.
    - MOOTS Mooto X
    - Salsa Fargo
    - Niner RLT9

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thanks for the replies and helpful info. I am looking at a used one that is a size too small, but has all the components I want. Thinking of getting it, selling the frame and buying a larger frame. Not sure if it is worth the hassle though.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by wrightcs77 View Post
    ...I am looking at a used one that is a size too small, but has all the components I want...
    I deliberately bought a size down to get a greater standover height.

    If you ever venture into bog or crusted snow there will be times when you get stopped and need to put a foot down. Your foot breaks through the surface and goes deep - at which point you appreciate greater SO height.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: E6roller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    wrightcs77................ I quote you here:..."...Will be towing the kids in the Burley in the summer, hit singletrack maybe twice a summer and want to ride some in the winter. Live in MN, so lots of winter riding to be had...".

    1.First, get a frame that you can be comfortable on for all your goals

    2.Next, determine tire width and rim width you want....For snow and non-racing....4.8" rubber and 90-100mm rims are good. How did you come to like 4.8" rubber or Spec. or 9ZERO7? Use that preference to help you choose....but, keep the thought may want a 190mm rear end for 4.8's, and finding a used 190mm Spec. or 9Zero7 is unlikely.....and you won't find one for $2K..

    3.Hydro/Mechanical brakes.........mechanicals are fine. Do not be afraid of them, but be aware of the issues such as Jayem mentioned. Hydros can be better, but don't pass up a good deal because the bike has mechanical disk brakes. some muddy/silty conditions I have experienced, mechanicals are faster to adjust and are capable of adjustments that will allow you to continue where hydro's cannot. I have been in this situation. I hope and choose never to be again

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