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  1. #1
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    Talk me into/out of a fat bike

    Hi all,

    I currently have a cross bike and am looking to get a fat bike. It rarely snows where I live so 90% of the time I would end up riding trails with it, but it seems like it would be so much fun. Am I going to hate it on the climbs? Will I be able to keep up with my buddies on their 650b trail bikes?

  2. #2
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    Stopped riding my full-suspension 29er once I went fat. What more do you need to know?


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honda Guy View Post
    Will I be able to keep up with my buddies on their 650b trail bikes?
    What are you riding with them now and are you keeping up?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  4. #4
    Flying Sasquatch
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    If you are a big guy, you'll love the fattie and wish you had tried it sooner.
    I don't ride snow or mud, just dry trails and I love it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    What are you riding with them now and are you keeping up?
    26" 140mm fs bike. I am slower all around, more from lack of skill than fitness.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honda Guy View Post
    26" 140mm fs bike. I am slower all around.
    So keep in mind there are all sorts of fatbikes. If you are slower than your friends and want to go faster you need to shop with that in mind.

    What is the terrain you ride like?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  7. #7
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    Rolling, nontechnical. Wide open instead of tight. Loose over hard. I don't use nearly all of my 140mm of travel.

  8. #8
    turtles make me hot
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    Buy or build as light as you can afford to. My friends and I all ride fat or plus and for a bunch of fifty year olds, we're not the slowest guys out there. Tires and rims are key.
    One of the fastest fat bikes I have ever ridden was a Salsa Mukluk with Marge Lites and 3.8 Knards.
    My bike lumbers along on 4.8" tires but can go anywhere.
    I like turtles

  9. #9
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I don't really ride my fatbike much in the summer, except for commuting or the occasional training ride on bike paths (because I don't own a road bike). For rec riding and racing, it's just too slow and sluggish. They also get into a situation around here on smoother surfaces, like paths and hardpacked trails, when there is just a bit of moisture on the ground. They slide and slip much easier than narrower-tire bikes due to not putting enough pressure on the ground, I've seen plenty of people go down due to this. Mostly though, they are just slower, resistant to turning at speed, will ride up and out of berms when you want to keep carving, etc. It always kind of feels like I'm "drunk" when I hop on the fat bike right after riding my other bikes, in that the bike kind of goes where it wants to and requires a lot more input to go in any direction.
    "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

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  10. #10
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    I'm going all in on the fat bike. It's my single bike now. Had most types of bikes other than 29, and was ready for something different.

  11. #11
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    I tried a fat bike for a couple of weeks. LOVED the way it rolled over almost everything. BUT... it was slow. That rolling resistance is real. I switched to 29 plus and haven't looked back. Not as fast as my 29er, but close. And it does seem to "steamroll" over MOST obstacles (roots, rocks, etc.). If you don't plan to ride in the snow - and speed is a concern - I'd look into the plus bikes. Oh, and... the one thing that the fat tire (4.5" wide) bike did better than anything else I've ever ridden is inspire confidence in jumps. It feels like you are planted every landing. Very nice...

  12. #12
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    They are fun and can be more difficult on the climbs, sometimes. Doesn't sound like you need fat or even FS for the terrain. Can't assess what your body needs to feel good though (back, arms etc.). I would not need a fat bike to ride what you are describing, but would I do it? Probably.

    The bike is not going to be the limiting factor. If you find another in your price range with better components then go for that.

  13. #13
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    I am a former competitive powerlifter, so heavy is fine with me, and slow can be fun. I reserve speed requirements for the motorcycle.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    I am a former competitive powerlifter, so heavy is fine with me, and slow can be fun. I reserve speed requirements for the motorcycle.
    If you don't mind me asking... how much do you weigh?

  15. #15
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    Currently, 220.

  16. #16
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    Fat bikes are awesome for heavier riders!

  17. #17
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    Tires make a big difference on how a fat bike rides. 4" are great summer tires and jumbo jims roll very well, better than some 29" tires.

    I test rode some nice 27+ bikes. They didn't roll any better than my FS fat bike

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bme107 View Post
    They are fun and can be more difficult on the climbs, sometimes. Doesn't sound like you need fat or even FS for the terrain. Can't assess what your body needs to feel good though (back, arms etc.). I would not need a fat bike to ride what you are describing, but would I do it? Probably.

    The bike is not going to be the limiting factor. If you find another in your price range with better components then go for that.
    Difficult on the climbs would be a motor issue. Mine rocks traction all day.

  19. #19
    Flying Sasquatch
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    As mentioned, tire choice and tire pressure are huge factors in whether or not your bike feels "sluggish" or "slow". Some 3.8's running 20 psi rolls great but then you feel all the bumps like you would on a skinny bike. Running 8 psi sure feels silky smooth, but man that adds a lot of drag. I run in the 13-15psi range on my 3.8-4.0 tires (I'm also 265lbs with gear).
    But when I'm on skinny tires I never feel confident or safe, so even if there is a little more drag its worth it for me. With the bigger tires I can throw my bike into corners like I've never been able to do with skinny tired bikes and bomb over rock sections that I would have to tip toe through on skinny tires.

  20. #20
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    ^^^ my experience mimics this exactly. Fat bike is certainly confidence inspiring. And I'm about the same weight.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon Fat View Post
    I test rode some nice 27+ bikes. They didn't roll any better than my FS fat bike
    That's the reason I went 27.5+ , yet I do understand it's the eye of the beholder and I'm 5'10" at 175# . Not much in snow riding needs.

    I'd have thought 2.8 to 3.0 wide would be ideal for trails, maneuverability and all around riding (works for me) if not going specific for snow and sand float. I'm happy to see all the love for fat on trails though... that's great.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  22. #22
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    The big Diamondback may weigh a few pounds more than the Giant 27.5, and yes, the Giant had front suspension, but I haven't been this in love with a bicycle since I purchased a yellow Mongoose frame and Tange forks new in 1980 or so.
    Talk me into/out of a fat bike-img_20170907_175317986.jpg

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTMNealio View Post
    As mentioned, tire choice and tire pressure are huge factors in whether or not your bike feels "sluggish" or "slow". Some 3.8's running 20 psi rolls great but then you feel all the bumps like you would on a skinny bike. Running 8 psi sure feels silky smooth, but man that adds a lot of drag. I run in the 13-15psi range on my 3.8-4.0 tires (I'm also 265lbs with gear).
    But when I'm on skinny tires I never feel confident or safe, so even if there is a little more drag its worth it for me. With the bigger tires I can throw my bike into corners like I've never been able to do with skinny tired bikes and bomb over rock sections that I would have to tip toe through on skinny tires.
    This is me to a "T". Got fat, 29er got parked.

    Fat kind of sucks if you do a lot of climbing though.

    Got a b+ bike and riding it is better than riding the wife. A bit faster rolling than my fat bike (tires make the difference on both bikes, cant compare without getting tires that somewhat match), has a suspension fork, and faster on the long climbs (well less cumbersome). Faster in the corners here as well. But thats as much geo as anything.

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  24. #24
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    Flatlands here. I am commuting to work on 4,7" bulldozers. This is 20kms of pavement on daily basis.

    Fatbike is by far the best bike i have ever owned.

  25. #25
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    I don't know if you will be able to keep up with your buddies, but you will be having more fun.

  26. #26
    passed out in your garden
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    if you want to be talked into it, stay here in Fatbikes
    if you want to be talked out of it, head over to the CX/Weight Weenies Forums
    always mad and usually drunk......

  27. #27
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    So, stay here-and get fat.

  28. #28
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    I love my Fatbike, I'm looking for a workout and not to beat any speed records on my trails. So overall it's a genius bike, thick tires make for a softer ride, roll over a lot of obstacles and grips nicely. Also, it's great over sand and snow. But for some of the riding I wish I would have less of a rolling resistance and even less weight (aka 29+). So I'd say it's really location and usage dependent. Quick trails on solid surfaces would point me away from fat bikes, sandy and bumpy trails bring me back to the Fatbike camp.

  29. #29
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    I love the feel of those massive tires on every surface. Can't wait to take it out to San Tan Regional and then the Desert Classic.

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