Why Ride A Fat Bike?
There is a large spectrum of riders on here. From those who are slowing and don't mind riding even slower as long as it creates a smile, to those who only ride a fat bike because it's the best machine for snow.
I've read criticisms on here from some of the "elite" bashing those who ride fat tires around town just for the wow factor. At the beginning of the summer I asked some big time winner of a recent Alaskan bike race if he had heard anything about the new carbon Beargrease and he was a total jerk and went off on a tangent about why anyone would even care about fat bikes during the summer. I don't know, maybe their underwear is too tight. Maybe they need to wear shorts with more padding.
I ride a fat bike because I enjoy riding and when it gets really cold outside and everything is frozen for half of the year the fat bike adds that little incentive to go out and have fun.
I ride the fatty around town with those monsterly large tires because it's fun, it brings a smile to my face, and because it brings a smile to a lot of faces.
I ride the fatty during the summer because it is fun to ride.
I can be very competitive and I enjoy competing on the fat bike. I like the new Strava Fat Bike group that ozzy started. It pisses me off that because of a genetic emphysema I can't ride harder than I do. Still, you should bring your "A" game to out ride me and you better be in shape if it's longer than a few miles.
And this week I found another reason I ride the fat bike. My younger brother had a stroke this week because of high blood pressure, and watching him lay in ICU room in a Denver hospital with half of his body paralyzed is painful. Watching him use his right arm to feel for his left arm because he doesn't know where it's at, is painful. To see a younger brother need tubes and wires, breathing tubes, catheter in his brain, and a feeding tube, is painful.
The fat bike is another reason to enjoy biking everywhere and in all sorts of conditions. It is so much better to have a fat bike than to have half of one's body not functioning, swollen, and fat.
His left hand that he can't see, can't feel, and can't move:
Here's hoping for the best for your brother. I ride a fattie when I feel like it, which is often. I don't care if it's the best (or worst) tool for the trail at hand, just like I don't care what others think of my car, my clothes etc.
But for the record, I don't think the words Strava and Fat Bike should ever occur in the same sentence. I never had a MySpace account, never will have a FaceBook account, and my ride times are kept between Odin and myself.
alphazz, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. My younger brother's health isn't as good as mine, and I'm often concerned for him.
I really appreciated your post, and hearing how much you get out of your riding. This past year has been a challenge for me also. After breaking a 300-mile cross-Wisconsin record (at age 54), I slipped on ice 4 months later and broke a hip. I spent Christmas eve in the hospital getting a total hip replacement. But I'm riding again, was up to 250 miles/week this past summer. My new fat bike is part of my therapy, both physical psychological. I hope that your brother recovers from the stroke, and I hope that you keep riding. I'll be thinking and praying for both of you.
My whole body is fat; if you subscribe to the endo-ecto-mesomorph-body-type thing I'm a classic mesomorph; as we get older some of that muscle turns to lard. I ride a fat-bike a lot more in the winter than in the summer, but its partly about staving off the advance of avoirdupois-induced disease. My A1C dropped from 5.8 to 5.3 when I got a fat-bike and could ride year-round. Hopefully, I'll die of a heart attack while riding a bike, rather than suffer interminably from a slowly advancing disease.
But I suspect your thread is as much about your poor brother as it is about fat tires. I'm also a praying sort of man; I don't know whose family to pray for but I think God does.
Nice post alphazz. Riding my fatty is all about smiles per mile, and Strava doesn't measure that. I ride my bike to get away from the rat race, not to be part of it.
Positive vibes to your brother.
Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.
I almost sold mine when the weather got nice this year. I bought it in Jan 2013 and then thought it was going to be a waste of space and money sitting in the garage all summer.
I finally took it out on singletrack in August for the first ride on dirt and after playing with tire pressure settings I realized how much fun it is.
I even set a (strava) pr on one of the local trails(including rides on my 26 full squish and 29er hard tail).
Now I'm considering selling my 26 and 29er to help finance a 9zero7 Whiteout!
Last edited by jwhan; 10-19-2013 at 11:57 AM.
That was quite a moving post, alphazz. I love bikes of all sorts, from my Fargo monstercross/adventure Bike, to the traditional three-speed I built up for my mother, north road handlebars and all. Riding a bike is truly one of my favorite things, and I've thought, every so often, about how blessed I am to be able to take part in such an activity.
I don't have a fatty, but I've ordered one. I have no intention of racing anywhere on it. I just like to meander around on a bicycle, and there are some places even my Fargo won't go... So I must go fatter!
I pray he get's better and use this time to get closer to family.
I ride 'em uz they're fun until someone sees you on one; then you've got some 'splainin' to do...
Sorry to hear about your brother, that looks rough. I think for bike-people, in tough times, over, and over, even if they have strayed for awhile, they will come back to the bike to re-center and de-stress. I'm glad you have your fatty to help out.
I get the same when someone sees me a couple of hours into the single track on the cyclocross bike.
Originally Posted by Gigantic
Anyway, fat bikes are just CX bikes with thyroid problems aren't they?
+ve vibes to the bro too.
Sorry to hear about your brother. Tell him the fatbike community is pulling for him.
I've been mountain biking consistently for 25+ years. I'm an enginerd-type and a gearhead, so getting a new bike or rebuilding an old one is always good for rebooting my enthusiasm. I do lots of activities (kayaking, snowboarding, gym, etc.), but mountain biking is mostly responsible for getting my a$$ off the couch.
Got into fatties because of an extra snowy winter 3 years ago and got hooked. I'm all fat, all the time now. It's still fun, every time out.
"and he was a total jerk and went off on a tangent about why anyone would even care about fat bikes during the summer"
This thing is a bit of human nature I do not quite understand. Why do _______, it totally pisses some people off.
First, is there a good reason for being mad? Is riding fat bikes hurting someone? Are fat bikes hurting trails? Are they hurting mountain bike public image?
Ok, then. No good reason. Now, when considering performance / efficiency reasons, yeah the fat bike is not necessarily the best choice in the summer if minimum elapsed time over a distance is what you're going for. The prices are higher for equivalent components, etc etc. All this has been discussed to death, and it's relevant.
(MY reason is that existing MTB tires don't cut it for my clumsy self, I love lots of grip. The Surly Dirt Wizards are due to arrive in the not too distant future, and I am eager to try them. Sure, I'd like to shed a bit of weight during the summer as long as I can keep the GRIP.)
But why do people get so MAD sometimes? The great irony here is that I have a very short temper about many things. Just not when it comes to things I find irrelevant.
Take hipster / fixie bikes for example. I have friends that ride them. Some even ride with no front brake, which irritates me, because it displays (sometimes willful) ignorance of braking physics, and I'm concerned for their safety and that of others. But you know what? That's their bike. Not mine. I don't care. And really, their bike has merits in their environment that I can't dispute. Their location is mostly flat - they don't need gears. I wouldn't own their bike in a million years, I'll still go riding with them.
I just want mine to function the way that I want it to function. And I'm always looking for the next concept to evaluate. I'm working on a frame that has an Alfine hub jammed in the middle of the front triangle, just beyond the width of my quadricep muscles, and depends on the fact that I have skinny calves. It is going to upset some number of people on the net and hopefully in person. I do not care.
This topic is really relevant for me right now, thank you for posting it. I got another "why do I bother" the other day, and you know, why do anything?
Because you want to.
I had a guy get almost visibly angry that I ride a bamboo bike, insisting that it was going to break at any moment. I couldn't believe it! What do you care, dude?
Why does that piss people off?! Thinking about that pisses me off. Mind your business!
The only evil in fat bike advocacy is when you convince someone to buy a fat bike that they don't need and end up disliking.
I've been mired in negative folks of late, and I'm quite tired of it. Do as you please as long as it hurts no one. Do it and feel good about it.
Sorry for the RANT but I'm filled with negative energy lately.
Positive vibes toward your brother, dude. That stuff is hard. Only thing I can say, my wife's a nurse, when they are giving your brother discharge instructions for next steps to do at home, make sure he GROKS those instructions, make the nurses explain and re-explain again and again until he really really gets it. One of the worst things for a nurse is to see a patient come back. Acute health is where one needs an immediate help, long term health is one's own responsibility.
I know that doesn't make it any easier. Good luck to him.
Re: Why Ride A Fat Bike?
Sorry about your brother... best wishes for him.
The not needing a fat bike in the summer thing annoys me too. Some people I guess haven't heard of mud, sand, and just plain riding through waist high grass and other muk. Yes there are different tools for the job... but either way, all of us who have ridden a fat bike know how much fun they are no matter what you are doing with them.
It amuses me. Some people have no imagination or ability to think beyond their tiny minds.
Originally Posted by duggus
As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland
I hope we'll get to hear about things improving for your bro, soon. for now I hope some fat therapy helps you deal with it.
Fat bike does everything I need it to do. It's a Swiss army bike and the tires are mood rings. Change them to fit what I feel like riding
Originally Posted by davidarnott
I just tell people like that to kiss off! I am concentrating on ridding a fat bike now because after twenty plus years of ridding a tandem together I finally got my wife to try ridding a single bike with me. Guess what that bike was. That's right my fat bike. She now owns that bike and my new one should be here Tuesday. She does not feel confident or (safe), as she say's, on a regular skinny tired bike. If all we ever ride from now on is fat bikes I will be completely happy with that for the simple fact that I am able to ride with my wife and enjoy nature.
Alphazz; like others, am praying for your brother.
In line with the last two posters...who was it on here that was attempting to teach a fellow worker to ride with a fat bike...wonder if there has been any report back yet?
Prayers for your brother, you and your family. I hope it all works out in a good way.
I don't have a Fat bike, but I wish I did! And if I do ever be able to afford one, I promise you - it'll be ridden ALL YEAR LONG! And I live in souther CT, where summers can be a bit warm.
Good luck keep riding, and praying - try both at the same time... I do.
Really sorry to hear about your brother! Thanks for sharing. It's a good reminder to be thankful for every day that we are able to ride.
Kudos to you, for persevering in the face of your own challenges. I get your screen name now.
Sorry to hear about your brother. I jumped in on the Bikes Direct Fatbike deal and now have been riding on it for about 1.5 weeks. I ride tons of rocky trails and that alone justifies it replacing my full suspension Cannondale. Plus I dig the maintenance. Coaxing my friends into getting them too!
First of all, good luck to your brother. I hope he recovers quickly and will be with you for a long time.
I was diagnosed with high blood pressure at age 42 in large part thanks to my fat bike. I'd been training for my and my wife's annual trip to Transrockies. We ride it on our Ventana tandem and I train on my Pugsley when I ride solo because it has the traction and handling very much like our tandem. Last summer on the hottest days I'd overheat and not be able to get back up to speed until I'd cooled off for a few minutes. This trend continued through our race in Aug and I finally got to the doctor after a month of self monitoring and have been on medicine since. I feel lucky that I was active enough that I noticed a change early and I've hopefully avoided complications in the future.
There's no place to pack your ego on a bike. No matter what you ride you can get there faster with a motor, why does the width of your tires, the number of gears, or what your frame made from have anything to do with being better than anyone else? Any bike I ride, I ride because I feel lucky that I can.
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