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  1. #1
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    Tire Pressure and Snow Question

    Hi, I am 65 years old and new to Fat Bike riding in the snow. I recently bought a Farley 5 and tried riding down the street after a pretty big snow storm we just had in NJ. There was about 4 inches of snow over a plowed road and I was slipping quite a bit. My tires are not tubeless and at 10lbs pressure. Would going tubeless and having lower pressure fix this problem? How does lower pressure affect riding in the snow. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    I have only had my fat bike a couple of months, but that is WAY too much pressure in the tires. I ride mine on dry trails between 6-7.5 lbs. Go down to about 5 and see what happens.

    -edit
    Mine has tubes.

  3. #3
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    When in the snow I run about3-6 psi. Helps a lot. I am tubeless. I also run my 26x4.7 tire/wheel setup. I personally like tubeless over tubes for all my setups.
    2013 Cannondale F29 1 Alloy
    2013 Cervelo S5 Rival
    2012 Trek X01 crosser
    2017 Trek Farley 7

  4. #4
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    How much do you weigh? I am 220lbs and in 4" on trails ride at 5 psi.

  5. #5
    Professional Crastinator
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    Tubeless is not a requirement for running <5psi. I have had the tire rotate on the rim and apply stress to the valve stem, though.

    But for snow, few people run more than 7psi. Fiddle with it a little, and remember that if your pressure is 8psi in a warm house, it will be <5psi out in the cold.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  6. #6
    Rippin da fAt
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    The idea of low tires for snow is to make the tire become wider and longer in terms of footprint. The larger the footprint the more surface area of treads propelling ya forward. Some peeps get scared when their tires wrinkle, some of us count the number of wrinkles to determine if we've let out enough air for the conditions present. My Bud/Lou have never been inflated enough to remove the wrinkles and still look excellent after 4 winters of daily driving. You're gonna hafta play with air pressure as your setup and weight are yours alone.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  7. #7
    Oslo, Norway
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    As others have mentioned, 10psi in a fatbike tire is rock hard.
    Take them down to 3-4psi in those conditions and marvel at the difference.
    Tubeless and you can probably go (well) below even that.

    Here is a video with closeups of my tires, riding at 0.7psi:


    Low pressure for this kind of riding (here at 0.0psi unloaded):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHEgnVaLZaE

    High pressure for this kind (7psi):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOumMRdlqHk
    Last edited by Espen W; 03-16-2017 at 10:03 AM.
    Espen Wethe
    Bicycle Engineering Consultant
    Norway
    https://fat-bike.com/2016/06/diamant...an-pennington/

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the advice. I will definitely take it.

  9. #9
    Fat Is Where It's At Moderator
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    Used to ride 4 psi front and 6 psi rear on my old bike with 4" tires and tubes, never had a flat and had plenty of traction.

    Light fluffy snow like the one that the blizzard left is hard to ride on anyway. We tried to ride on non plowed roads during the storm and was really hard, we kept sinking and sliding; let the snow compress a little a give it another try.

  10. #10
    Incredulous bastard
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    jf19451, just thought I'd offer the perspective of someone running tubes. I'm running Surly light fat tubes in Maxis 4.8 DHF/DHRs on 80mm rims. For dry, rooty and rocky trails, I'm running 7-8psi--basically enough to get rid of self-steer and give a little pinch protection. But for snow cover, I start at 4psi, and depending on conditions I'll go down to 2psi or lower if needed.

    After about 650 miles like this, I haven't gotten a pinch flat.
    __________________

  11. #11
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Some snow doesn't care, especially soft soupy wet snow. Lowering the pressure helps, but snow is extremely dynamic and dependent on the temperature and consistency. In some conditions we can ride through 8" of dry powder, in some conditions we can't ride through 3" of slop.
    "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.

  12. #12
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    Also get a good low pressure gauge. The one on your floor pump is useless at fatbike pressures.

  13. #13
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    I weigh 180lbs, ride rigid, with 4.6" Flow/Dunderbeist tires. The trail conditions here (BC) have run from smooth/groomed to bumpy, post-holed, no fresh snow to 4" of powder. I was running 7-8psi when I first tried snow riding and found the rear tire was digging down instead of floating and propelling me forward. A drop to 3psi rear and 2psi front has made a world of difference, good to go anywhere.

  14. #14
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    I know I'm good as long as I can push my thumb into the tire tread and make a good inch deep dimple. If you can't press your thumb down easily then lot air out.

  15. #15
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    We got a range of snow here in NJ, close to NYC it is slop. Out west it is better snow. Don't be afraid to run super low pressure. I know some of the guys outside the NYC slop zone were running 0 psi

  16. #16
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    You don't really need a pressure gauge to adjust air pressure. You can just air out until you can ride. After saying that ;-P I run up to 10psi but the trails are very solid for that. Usually I ride with anywhere between 4-8psi.

  17. #17
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    Good info. I run Flow/Dunder and am 200#. 6psi'ish is too much for softer stuff but great on hard pack and roads to/from trails.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  18. #18
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    27.5" / 4.5" (tubes for now) here on a farley 9.6 -> 2-4psi in from and 3-5 psi in rear has been working for me in NJ as well this winter.

    Even those warm days we had where there was no snow I upped it to 6-7 front and 7-8 max in the rear. I find it way too bouncy anything over 9-10psi

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