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  1. #1
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    When does wider become...too wide?

    I am curious about peoples thoughts around this. It seems to me that the current fat bike was built around tires under 4 inches. As with most things that begin to gain popularity, the limits are being pushed...now it seems that tires up to 5 inches and wheels like the clownshoe are becoming more commonplace. At what point do you guys/ladies think wider becomes too wide? In other words, big fat tires have a tradeoff....mainly nimbleness and speed. What is the realistic maximum width that you think can be achieved before this tradeoff becomes to great? I am sure that 10 years ago, most would have thought that 4 inches would be too far......
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  2. #2
    will rant for food
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    Depends on what you're using it for.

    Summer? Already plenty wide. Hence 29+ tires this year which really are not fat and are named appropriately.

    Snow? They barely work in a variety of conditions. I'd like to pack fresh powder up to the pedals and not have to walk. I'm a little sour on the subject of fat bikes right now because they aren't fat enough.

    Search for "jackshaft" on this subforum and you'll find that this has been discussed already, you'll find a variety of thoughts in those threads. Theoretical limits have to do with chainstay length, the existince of chainstay yoke / tire / cranks / human legs all existing in one place at the same time. If you throw chainstay length out the window you can do crazy jackshaft stuff.

    I'm working on those drawings right now actually!

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  3. #3
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    diminishing returns rings a bell on said subject just as it does with others, that said me believes 5 is plenty for those in fresh powder or sugar sand with 3-4psi.

  4. #4
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    They're already too wide.

    They're too wide for suspension forks.
    They're too wide for your frame.
    They're too wide for your rack.
    They're too wide for your pump.
    They're too wide to shred singletrack.

    I know these things are true because I read them here.

    They're too damn wide!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmooveP View Post
    They're already too wide.

    They're too wide for suspension forks.
    They're too wide for your frame.
    They're too wide for your rack.
    They're too wide for your pump.
    They're too wide to shred singletrack.

    I know these things are true because I read them here.

    They're too damn wide!
    did you stay @ a holiday inn express lastnight??

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    did you stay @ a holiday inn express lastnight??
    Yes. Out back behind the Dumpster, as usual.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmooveP View Post
    Yes. Out back behind the Dumpster, as usual.
    thats my spot ya fuggah so get out!!

  8. #8
    Titanium junkie
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    Bunch of guys discussing width, ask any woman and 3.8 is wide enough.
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  9. #9
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    Oh no! Here we go again. I didn't pay this guy to start this thread!
    Just go with what you like and forget it. There are too many opinions here that will not agree with yours.

  10. #10
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    Every man knows all that matters is having the right (size) tool for the job...

  11. #11
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    Re: When does wider become...too wide?

    And how you wiggle it...

  12. #12
    Sup
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    yup
    I am slow therefore I am

  13. #13
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    Its kinda funny, when I was buying my 9zero the salesman was totally against the moonlander tire width. "That's overkill" he said!! What a liar. I would have loved to be able to fit bud and Lou on some clownies last winter. The wider the footprint (in snow) the better. Knard and hudu on rd in the summer is just about right IMHO.

  14. #14
    mighty sailin' man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    Snow? They barely work in a variety of conditions
    This ...

    The soft surfaces will direct growth. More options in the current sizes for sure but wider should be a choice for those that need it
    Quote Originally Posted by davidarnott
    wheelies, beyond being the best way over any sort of obstacle, both above or below, are are the steedliest expresstion of joy

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiniTrail View Post
    This ...

    The soft surfaces will direct growth. More options in the current sizes for sure but wider should be a choice for those that need it
    the question becomes how does one(or two) ascertain / quantify if a 6" on 120mm rim is superior to a 5" on 100mm in 4" of fresh powder??

  16. #16
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    Going wider than current offerings is an interesting topic. Obviously we don't know for sure if we have reached the limits of diminishing returns. The things holding us back from going wider are practical (Q-factor, chainstays etc.) instead of any proof that a 4.8" tire is the largest size that works well. Some say even a Moonlander is a bit too wide, but I beg to differ.

    The front has much more room for going wider easily. Shifting the weight forward would allow to make use of extra float in the front, and with a Lou in the rear you'd still go forward instead of slipping due to reduced weight in the back.

    The chainstays could be elevated outside of the crank radius to get more room in the rear without increasing Q-factor. I've been told this frame design is easily quite flexy, but we're not talking about a mountainbike you ride hard, but a floating snow bike that requires some finesse. Having cruised on untouched snow over some local bays, I can tell if there's one thing that kills the float, it's mashing the pedals.

    I'm happy with my Moonlander, but I'm eagerly waiting to see future offerings as well.

  17. #17
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    I like to ride over boggy ground so I have an opinion or two on this...

    I've been saying for ages that 6" would do the trick. It's probably the max we could get out of current bike design without excessively wide Q-factors. The volume increase of a 6" over a 4" tyre can be roughly estimated by the ratio of the square of the tyre cross-section radii (the circumference of the centrelines would differ), so a 4" tyre would have a cross-section radius of 2", which squared is 4sqin, and a 6" tyre similarly would be 9 sqin.

    In other words the 6" tyre would roughly (very roughly ) have over 2 times the volume of the 4".


    If we look at alternative pedal systems such as the Alenax, then 8" or more would be possible.

    Float also depends on so many different factors other than the tyre width, eg inflation pressure, width of rim, etc.

    The other factor is that once you're able to ride on ultrasoft surfaces, you need to be able to do so without stopping, because you are likely to sink up to your neck once you put a foot down.

    Maybe we won't reach the width limit until we can ride on water.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  18. #18
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    boggy ground being??

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    boggy ground being??






    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  20. #20
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    Yep, that is boggy ground!

  21. #21
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    swamp comes to mind but yes.

  22. #22
    mighty sailin' man
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    the question becomes how does one(or two) ascertain / quantify if a 6" on 120mm rim is superior to a 5" on 100mm in 4" of fresh powder??
    results from those crazy alaskan races or mikesee style adventurers. If it's found to be an advantage I'm thinking you'll see it there first

    probably as big as my size or engine can make good use of already
    Quote Originally Posted by davidarnott
    wheelies, beyond being the best way over any sort of obstacle, both above or below, are are the steedliest expresstion of joy

  23. #23
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    the wider the tires the crazier places we will find to ride I think there is no such limit as too fat, well only if you want to talk yourself into not needing to go bigger which is fine, but then you also wont be able to venture out on the most extreme terrain.

  24. #24
    Hooligan
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    i think wide tires are going to do the same thing that suspension did. just get bigger and bigger until it's overcome by limmitations, then it will downsize to wherever worked best. for suspension that was about 8" or 200mm.
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  25. #25
    This place needs an enema
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmooveP View Post
    They're already too wide.

    I know these things are true because I read them here.

    They're too damn wide!
    The sad truth is that *most* bean-counting manufacturers agree. Why build them fatter when 99% of people who've bought them in the last ~2 years are riding them on hardpacked singletrack, gravel roads, or pavement?

    Or not riding them at all?

    5" ain't wide enough, but it's a damn good start.

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