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  1. #1
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    The weight of the bike and rotating mass does not matter.....

    within reason, if one is not going up hills or braking. There I said it. In a troll-y way.

    I'm going to be getting my Wallbeast in a couple of days. It's heavy, with heavy wheels. But here's the thing. I will be riding it on the beach at steady speeds. To my way of thinking the problem with the weight is if one is accelerating or going uphill. Since I will be doing neither the weight shouldn't matter. The only way it will matter for me is that with heavier weight the bike will push down on the sand a little more causing more rolling resistance since a little more sand will be pushed aside.

    However, I can see how higher rotating weight might actually help! Here's how it would work.....Every time we turn the cranks the power is not applied evenly. It is actually a series of pulsating power strokes, particularly if one is not using clipless pedals. So every time this pulse is applied, the rear tire on the sand will tend to "peel out" or slip a little resulting in it digging a little deeper and adding friction. By having a larger rotating mass the power strokes will be more evened-out. The mass will absorbed the power strokes and the higher inertia will cause a smoother, more even speed, thus causing less slippage at the rear tire and more efficient power distribution.


    Yes? No? I know I am crazy so don't bother reminding me.

  2. #2
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    Rolling resistance of the tires is far more important than bike weight [within some reasonable limits] at MTB speeds. Energy suck tires slow you down every pedal stroke - even on the flats.
    Safe riding,

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  3. #3
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    I tend to agree with all of you're statements.
    You may need a lower gear to ride in loose sand on the Beast though.
    Weight will make some difference in rolling resistance on any surface. You can generally overcome this with more pressure on hard surfaces, and it all balances out.
    On soft surfaces though, more pressure will likely make you sink more, and you may want to run lower pressure with more weight.

    Oh, you could get some iron disc wheel covers, if you want to increase the flywheel effect you are talking about, just don't mount them on bearings like the spinner hub caps. it won't help at all then.

  4. #4
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    A turd by any other name is still a turd.

    Heavier is heavier.

  5. #5
    All fat, all the time.
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    Beech riding benefits from having gears...fyi.

  6. #6
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    Read this. Rivendell Reader: Pugsley!

    Grant ruminates on wheel weight and climbing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by autodoctor911 View Post
    I tend to agree with all of you're statements.
    You may need a lower gear to ride in loose sand on the Beast though.
    Weight will make some difference in rolling resistance on any surface. You can generally overcome this with more pressure on hard surfaces, and it all balances out.
    On soft surfaces though, more pressure will likely make you sink more, and you may want to run lower pressure with more weight.

    Oh, you could get some iron disc wheel covers, if you want to increase the flywheel effect you are talking about, just don't mount them on bearings like the spinner hub caps. it won't help at all then.
    I plan on putting on a larger cog.

    and adding lead weights to the rim. I'm going to use motorcycle wheel balancing weights and maybe add twenty pounds or so for the ultimate flywheel effect. Once they're moving nothing will slow them down.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaultbrad View Post
    Read this. Rivendell Reader: Pugsley!

    Grant ruminates on wheel weight and climbing.
    Hmmm interesting. One would think heavy wheels would have to slow one down on uphill climbs. Perhaps the larger tires and contact patch and steadier speed from the inertia leads to less slippage at the rear tire during the heavy pedal pumping of an steep uphill.

  9. #9
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    I was kidding about the iron discs. I hope you are kidding about the wheel weights. Those Beast tires, rims and tubes should give you more than enough flywheel effect,

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by autodoctor911 View Post
    I was kidding about the iron discs. I hope you are kidding about the wheel weights. Those Beast tires, rims and tubes should give you more than enough flywheel effect,

    Ummm yeah, I was kidding....of course......yeah kidding.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Beech riding benefits from having gears...fyi.
    Someone forgot to tell that to these bunch-o-morons and slackers. They don't appear to know anything about beach riding and fat biking.




    Or, given the spelling you chose, you might be meaning they need gears if you want to climb beech trees with their fatbike? If so, I'd concur.

  12. #12
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    candidate for triple merge here...

  13. #13
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    The power required to drive a heavy rider is going to be the same as a lightweight rider. Does not compute

  14. #14
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    In Baja my GF ride essentially the same Pugsleys [hers being a 16" vs my 18"]. In any loose sand she cruises more easily than I do due to the 60lbs differential in our weights. I'm stronger so I can keep up no problem, but she is clearly working less.

    Turning leg power into speed on a bicycle is a surprisingly complex topic.

    One variable I rarely see discussed on MTBR is frame stiffness. Bicycle Quarterly has done quite a few tests on various frames and come up with the surprising result that frame that flex in certain ways are faster for the same power input than uber stiff frames.

    I tested that hypothesis by ordering a custom randonneur bike in the skinniest thinnest walled tubing the builder and I figured I could ride. The bike is a noodle by todays carbon road bike standards. It also happens to be a rocketship making the most out of my puny leg's ability to turn the cranks - particularly on the climbs. This is no light bike as I run 42mm 650B tires, dynohub, front rack/bag and some supplies, leather saddle, etc...

    Boulder Bicycle Allroad - a set on Flickr

    Now that I am attuned to the beneficial flex from this bike I really don't enjoy riding overbuilt frames anymore as they feel dead and don't respond as well to my chicken legs.
    Safe riding,

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  15. #15
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    All sand is not equal. Lots of beaches could be ridden on a single speed road bike, lots will be a struggle with a Bud and Lou or BFL and twenty gears. The beach I ride can change significantly depending on the temp, the last storm or strong wind that shifts the sand around, if you ride near the water or dunes, or how many people/cars/horses have been out. Unlike the middle of the woods, the wind can also make one direction a walk in the park and the other direction a suffer-fest even with a light bike and gears.

  16. #16
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    OP, do you have a fat bike yet or are you just theorizing before the delivery on your walgoose?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoobytao View Post
    Someone forgot to tell that to these bunch-o-morons and slackers. They don't appear to know anything about beach riding and fat biking.




    Or, given the spelling you chose, you might be meaning they need gears if you want to climb beech trees with their fatbike? If so, I'd concur.
    I'm sure the op was planning on taking his walmart fatty to Alaska...i ride beaches for fun, and from what I've found, gears help.

    You can blame the typo from my not so smart phone.

  18. #18
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    Probably worth delving (back?) into THIS.

  19. #19
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    "Every time we turn the cranks the power is not applied evenly. It is actually a series of pulsating power strokes..."
    This is an important point missing in most arguments about wheel weight on a bike. We put out power a lot more like an old two cylinder john deere tractor than an electric motor that would apply constant power to the drive train. Like on a tractor with a big flywheel the big wheels on a fat bike act as a flywheel and are a benefit to me. Maybe if I weighed less and rode faster than an old two cylinder john deere I would have a different opinion.
    laotzucycles.blogspot.com

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachride View Post
    However, I can see how higher rotating weight might actually help! Here's how it would work.....Every time we turn the cranks the power is not applied evenly. It is actually a series of pulsating power strokes, particularly if one is not using clipless pedals. So every time this pulse is applied, the rear tire on the sand will tend to "peel out" or slip a little resulting in it digging a little deeper and adding friction. By having a larger rotating mass the power strokes will be more evened-out. The mass will absorbed the power strokes and the higher inertia will cause a smoother, more even speed, thus causing less slippage at the rear tire and more efficient power distribution.

    I disagree with the logic above.

    What you said here is true:

    the problem with the weight is if one is accelerating or going uphill.
    But what you describe as pulsating power strokes means in fact, a small acceleration and and then deceleration with each stroke. Therefore, a heavier bike takes more energy. On a smooth bike path along the beach, the pulsing effect is negligible, and it is easy to have a smooth pedal stroke that maintains constant velocity. But in the sand, the sand slows you down a bit after each stroke. Depending on how soft the sand is, which effects the amount of deceleration, it could be a significant disadvantage to have a heavier bike.

    Other problems with the paragraph above:

    -Pulsing force does not necessarily to tire slippage. In fact, it shouldn't.
    - Inertia of the entire system (mass of rider plus bike) is most important so heavy wheels don't really do much to help you keep your speed.

    After you get it, compare it with someone's nice lightweight weight beach bike, and let us know.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    - Inertia of the entire system (mass of rider plus bike) is most important so heavy wheels don't really do much to help you keep your speed.
    While I don't disagree completely, I will say the extra rotational weight going from my 26" MTB to my fatbike is very apparent to me in real world conditions. For example, the way I approach and my ability to climb the steepest of climbable accents is completely different between the two... distinct advantage to the heavier fatbike.
    Whatever floats your bike, dude

  22. #22
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    Nice, another thread that has an inviting topic just to read wally in the first couple of lines.
    Trek 9.9 Superfly SL
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  23. #23
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Longer cranks!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin Mustangs View Post
    While I don't disagree completely, I will say the extra rotational weight going from my 26" MTB to my fatbike is very apparent to me in real world conditions. For example, the way I approach and my ability to climb the steepest of climbable accents is completely different between the two... distinct advantage to the heavier fatbike.
    How would you suppose the heavy wheels help you with steep climbs? I would guess it has more to do with traction from the bigger footprint.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    How would you suppose the heavy wheels help you with steep climbs? I would guess it has more to do with traction from the bigger footprint.
    The traction from the bigger footprint is a part of it, as is the rolling diameter - similar to a 29er, less likely to be slowed down by roughness. But the flywheel effect does come into play. I recall rebuilding a very heavy bike for a friend many years ago. This thing was solid steel everywhere, frame/hubs/rims - thought it would be a horrible flog to ride it back over to it's home, but it was actually very smooth and required less effort to climb the short grades over railroad tracks and irrigation ditches. This bike had 26"/schwinn 571mm wheels and road tires, and I was comparing it to my HT 26"/559mm mtb with knobbies. I guess this may call in the "tire rolling resistance" as well.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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  26. #26
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    Having had a Walgoose for a while now, I have a feeling you're going to be in for a rude awakening when you hop on this bike and try to ride it in sand deeper that 1/2".

    That being said, I've geeked out on mine, dropped a TON of weight and have no problems in deep(ish) sand/gravel etc.

  27. #27
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    I don't know about the flywheel effect of heavier wheels/tires helping much in climbing steep hills that are more than a few bike lengths long, unless you are able to maintain a lot of speed. If you are slowing down to a crawl to make a longer steep grade, the overall weight will be hurting you more than the fairly low amount of energy those wheels have going at those speeds.

    For fairly short, not so steep climbs, where you can maintain the speed you had on the flats, then I would say yes, the inertia of the spinning wheels means less effort to keep the same speed up the short grade.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    OP, do you have a fat bike yet or are you just theorizing before the delivery on your walgoose?
    Just theorizing. It should be here any minute now. I expect to require hernia surgery from lifting the box.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I'm sure the op was planning on taking his walmart fatty to Alaska...i ride beaches for fun, and from what I've found, gears help.

    You can blame the typo from my not so smart phone.
    The wild shores of LI.

    And yes I can see how gears can help. Especially with the wind thing.

  30. #30
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    This is the worst troll post ever

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by AC/BC View Post
    This is the worst troll post ever
    pretty much
    plus+, plus+ = win:

  32. #32
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    I dunno. I think that this is an interesting topic. Regardless of the folks who immediately discount any posts pertaining to the walgoose. The idea is applicable to all bikes. Is heavier an immediate detriment to efficiency? Is lighter better all the time? I find myself agreeing with Mikesee in the link he posted. Mind you the weights we're talking about here are all fairly light in the grand scheme of things and when we say heavy we are still talking about pretty light stuff. I can feel a difference with my legs in the weight of the wheels on my light, 26" SS and my big geared Pug with RDs, heavy tubes, and Vee missions. That said I don't think the weight hurts me at all I love the planted feeling when crawling through really rocky, twisty, rooty, up and down techy stuff as well as when barreling downhill. Climbing, I'm rarely thinking "I wish my bike was lighter." I'd rather have the damping effect of the big heavy bike. I think this discussion is cool.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by AC/BC View Post
    This is the worst troll post ever
    How so?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hannoonen View Post
    Having had a Walgoose for a while now, I have a feeling you're going to be in for a rude awakening when you hop on this bike and try to ride it in sand deeper that 1/2".

    That being said, I've geeked out on mine, dropped a TON of weight and have no problems in deep(ish) sand/gravel etc.
    Do you have a larger cog/lower gearing?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachride View Post
    Do you have a larger cog/lower gearing?
    Yes. I changed the rear cog from an 18t to a 20t.The weight of the bike and rotating mass does not matter.....-beast-rocks.jpg

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hannoonen View Post
    Yes. I changed the rear cog from an 18t to a 20t.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	beast rocks.jpg 
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    Great job on the bike! I hope to put at least a 22 on the back. I expect some trial and though error.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I'm sure the op was planning on taking his walmart fatty to Alaska...i ride beaches for fun, and from what I've found, gears help.

    You can blame the typo from my not so smart phone.
    Yeah sorry, I was being a bit sarcastic. For the record, I think my phone is smarter than me - it kind of makes me worry that it is plotting against me late at night. And I prefer gears too - especially when riding up Sitka Spruce.

    But even if you have 27 speeds, we only ride in one gear combination at a time. The only question: "Is it the right one." It actually sounds like the op here has limited needs (not a lot of varying terrain -presumably just flat beach, not dunes, since he said no uphills) and low expectations that are commensurate with the low cost. He appears knowledgeable and can easily swap out the rear cog to whatever works in his neck of the woods, (or rather beach).

    The guys doing these remote expeditions chose the drivetrain they felt was most ideal, and the simplicity of a singlespeed in that particular trek on that 200+ miles of beach won out OVER other options.

    So, if the op wants to buy a Walgoose and ride on the beach for as long as it lasts and has fun. I say "Ride On!"

    And if he lives in Alaska (where there is more coastline that the rest of the US combined), he can compare the rate of rust decay with the those of us already beach riding their steel Pugsleys, Moonlanders, Evinsons, and Wildfires up here.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by autodoctor911 View Post
    I don't know about the flywheel effect of heavier wheels/tires helping much in climbing steep hills that are more than a few bike lengths long...
    IMO it definitely helps. Not from a momentum standpoint, but from a slow speed stability standpoint. Traction aside, I can climb a steeper grade on my FB than my MTB due its slow speed stability from spinning all that weight. Of course, this requires the proper gearing which pretty much makes it a moot point for the walgoose. Put that in your walmart pipe and smoke it silly goosers!

    Last edited by Dustin Mustangs; 05-06-2013 at 08:31 PM.
    Whatever floats your bike, dude

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin Mustangs View Post
    Put that in your walmart pipe and smoke it silly goosers!

    GOOSERS! I love it!

  40. #40
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    I guess I'm goint to have to do some cypherin' and show you guys that mathematically the inertia and stability from heavy wheels is insignificant, while the energy to accelerate them is very significant. (Sh1t I hope I can figure out how to do that).

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I guess I'm goint to have to do some cypherin' and show you guys that mathematically the inertia and stability from heavy wheels is insignificant, while the energy to accelerate them is very significant. (Sh1t I hope I can figure out how to do that).

    If the energy to accelerate them is significant then their inertia is significant.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachride View Post
    Do you have a larger cog/lower gearing?
    Lower gearing = more torque on the too weak hub carrier axle. See the carnage documented at;
    Mongoose Beast modifications

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    Lower gearing = more torque on the too weak hub carrier axle. See the carnage documented at;
    Mongoose Beast modifications

    Good point.

    Luckily, I'm old and weak.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    Lower gearing = more torque on the too weak hub carrier axle. See the carnage documented at;
    Mongoose Beast modifications
    Can you be more specific?
    I want to see the carnage, but I am not going to read through that whole thread.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I guess I'm goint to have to do some cypherin' and show you guys that mathematically the inertia and stability from heavy wheels is insignificant, while the energy to accelerate them is very significant. (Sh1t I hope I can figure out how to do that).
    If you're gonna bother, don't forget to factor *every* variable into that cypherin'.

  46. #46
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    I don't think that anyone would choose heavier wheels over lighter ones no matter what the application, all other things being equal(width, strength, tread/traction, rolling resistance,etc.).
    I think some people are theorizing about the possible benefits of extra rotating weight to justify having gotten a heavy combination for other reasons, whether it be cost, flotation, protection or traction.

  47. #47
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    But on a level beach weight should not matter much except in terms of rolling resistance. As that article referenced said...dropping 15 pounds from a bike man combo of 200 is only a 7.5% drop in total weight......Now, does that translate into a drop in RR by 7.5 % ?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    If you're gonna bother, don't forget to factor *every* variable into that cypherin'.
    2

    Oh yeah man, I'm going to start working on it.

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    If you want to use my bikes as an example, my mukluk rear wheel complete weighs 3900g and my mtb rear wheel complete weighs 1800. I believe the hubs and skewers are about 200g of that difference. I don't want to end your math fun before it begins, but off the top of my head I am pretty sure that means around twice the gyroscopic force in my FB wheel.
    Whatever floats your bike, dude

  50. #50
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    Oh boy, now we're talkin gyroscopic force, as well as rotational inertia.
    I have read papers and text books on engineering mechanics, which when talking about single track vehicle dynamics(motorcycles and bicycles) they state that gyroscopic forces on a bicycle contribute to self stability by helping to steer the front wheel into a turn when leaned in that direction. They call this Precession, and it is inversely proportional to speed.
    They go on to say that the rear wheel is prevented from precession because of friction with the ground, and thus the gyroscopic forces provide no resistance to tipping.

    I know everyone thinks of how a top spinning is kept from tipping over due to the gyroscopic forces that tip it back toward center. It is actually trying to turn, or tip 90 degrees from wherever it starts to lean, and then this tilts it that direction, chasing that gyroscopic force all the way around the circle. the faster it is turning, the slower this happens. You notice as the top slows down you can see the circular motion as it happens faster and faster till it can't keep up and it leans more and more.

    Since as a bicycle wheel tips over, it's gyroscopic force is at 90 degrees to the tipping direction, it just tries to turn the wheels, which in the front steers it toward the lean, and in the back just tries to twist it in the frame, and nothing happens.

    One other way to prove it is to take a wheel mounted in a fork and spin it up really fast and try to balance it upside down with the top of the steerer tube in your hand. It doesn't stay upright any easier than a non spinning wheel, and when it starts to lean it will try to spin around in your hand.

    I have read of where to prove this they constructed a bicycle with counter-rotating weights that would cancel out any gyroscopic effect, and demonstrated that it was easily kept upright while riding. The forces that keep a bike upright are generated by moving the front tires contact patch from one side to the other to counteract the leaning forces with the force of the ground against the inertia of the forward movement of the bike and rider.

    Any stability gained with fat tire bikes when climbing at slow speeds is from the wider tire itself, not the rotating weight.

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