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  1. #1
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    Will Surly Ever Build A Symmetrical Fat Bike?

    Now that Surly has done away w/ the rear hub up front and gone with the standard 135 (front), is there any reason besides the IGH option that keeps them from making at least one of they're fat models symmetrical. They've got the means to do they're own 190.... and probably in an affordable manner. Why not a symmetrical, and venerable, steel Moon Lander? I guess SS benefits from offset too, but most (actually all) of the Moonies I've seen had gears (although one was IGH). Why not keep the pugs offset and give us a big fat 190mm steel offering?

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    Why? There is nothing wrong with offset, and hey, it was designed to fit the fattest tires on the fattest rims. The best part is, you can use cheap hubs! More money in the beer fund!

    Redesigned Surly offset forks will be back by winter. I'm purely speculating that the Pugsley move to the Moonlander fork was a quick fix to address the fork recall issue.
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  3. #3
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    Because not everyone wants to drop $250+ on a rear hub.

    The only real problem with offset build is the asymmetrical wheel builds, and honestly that's not really a problem.

    I rag on surly a lot about things, but seriously, 135 is not a problem. Those stupid dropouts on the other hand...

  4. #4
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    Why yes, yes they will in a evil plot to put Salsa out of business!

    Sorry it's the beer talking.

  5. #5
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    Not sayin' offset is a "problem", but, obviously some of us prefer sym or they'd all be offset. Just sayin' (IMO) it would be cool to have an affordable steel sym 190 option.

  6. #6
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    Can't they make a symmetrical 135 rear that caters to SS or IGHs? That would be the ultimate in swappability, and you could even use a SON 135 hub up front and swap it to the back if needed.

  7. #7
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    Asymmetrical doesn't allow the use of thin summer rims.
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  8. #8
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    Advantages of the offset 135mm OLD rear.

    1. Lighter, cheaper, stiffer hubs
    2. Hub gears fit, so no need for fragile derailleurs
    3. It messes with the heads of the internet pseudo experts
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  9. #9
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    And in carbon!!!!!!!!!

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    I think they might do it, but for a future model that will have something else special about it. Like a 29x4 or 29x5.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Advantages of the offset 135mm OLD rear.

    1. Lighter, cheaper, stiffer hubs
    2. Hub gears fit, so no need for fragile derailleurs
    3. It messes with the heads of the internet pseudo experts
    You nailed it.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  12. #12
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    This is probably not the place to put this but quite frankly the 190mm hub is the reason I would not even consider bikes like the fatboy. If there is one thing that Specialized is truly a master at it's equipping their bikes with the ****tiest wheels possible. Take a look at their current road bike line up. $5000 bikes with $200 wheelsets. It seems to me that this lastest generation of fat bikes are nothing more than mountain bikes with really fat tires. I live in Canada where winters can get effing cold, I would constantly be thinking in the back of my mind that my hub is going to fail me when I'm out in the middle of nowhere and it's -20C. The market seems to be moving faway rom fat bikes made to get you out in the wilderness and give you the best possible chance of getting you back to simply just a fat tire euipped bicycle made for your local California single track.

    Rant over, carry on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Not sayin' offset is a "problem", but, obviously some of us prefer sym or they'd all be offset. Just sayin' (IMO) it would be cool to have an affordable steel sym 190 option.
    Why Can't You Just Be Like Everybody Else?!? | Blog | Surly Bikes

    Why Can't You Just Be Like Everybody Else?!? (Part Two) | Blog | Surly Bikes


    I like the offset in the rear on my Moonlander... makes the rim easier to clean Must keep MY PRECIOUS clean. Clean clean.
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Why yes, yes they will in a evil plot to put Salsa out of business!
    +1 - Surly already does make symmetrical fat bikes. They have a Salsa sticker on them.

    In all seriousness I think Surly should keep the Pugs as is and make the ML symmetrical. That gives almost everyone what they want.

    Pugs:

    - IGH friendly
    - cheap standard hubs
    - runs BFLs on 82mm rims
    - runs 29+ rubber on Rabbit Holes for summer use
    - Salsa makes symmetrical version for those who want it

    Moonlander [symmetrical]

    - runs everything currently available
    - steel fatbike
    - hubs will be mo' 'spensive
    Safe riding,

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Not sayin' offset is a "problem", but, obviously some of us prefer sym or they'd all be offset. Just sayin' (IMO) it would be cool to have an affordable steel sym 190 option.
    190 is a new "standard" that just popped up about 3 months ago. 4 months ago, it was all 170, all the time, 170 is the future of fatbikes. Now apparently, 170 is for losers and freds who don't understand the importance of being able to run tires on 100mm rims instead of tiny, insubstantial 80mm rims. Or something.

    What I'm trying to say is, 190 is utterly unproven, unstocked and as of yet, mostly unridden.

    So what you're asking is that surly completely revamp it's bikes, bikes based on surly's frankenbike whatcha got in the parts bin philosophy, and turn them into... Salsas.

    So just buy a salsa. Or a 907. Or a fatback- you can get those in steel. Or hell, buy an On One and suffer the catcalls of those in the know as you slog around on those super skinny, utterly insubstantial 80mm rims with that oh so dated and totally out of style 170 rear hub.

  16. #16
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    Please, go AFK and go ride your bikes. Don't lament on how 20-55mm of rear end spacing is preventing you from climbing that hill or clearing that section.
    Jason
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    +1 - Surly already does make symmetrical fat bikes. They have a Salsa sticker on them.

    In all seriousness I think Surly should keep the Pugs as is and make the ML symmetrical. That gives almost everyone what they want.

    Pugs:

    - IGH friendly
    - cheap standard hubs
    - runs BFLs on 82mm rims
    - runs 29+ rubber on Rabbit Holes for summer use
    - Salsa makes symmetrical version for those who want it

    Moonlander [symmetrical]

    - runs everything currently available
    - steel fatbike
    - hubs will be mo' 'spensive


    +1 on everything else a 190 Moonie would be cool but I doubt they will ever cave. Maybe see a Steel 190 Muk hmmmm.

  18. #18
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    ward, so your desire is for a steel symmetrical bike?

    I thought Fatback have steel options. Is that no longer the case?
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  19. #19
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    I think ward wants symmetrical steel at a Surly price.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Now that Surly has done away w/ the rear hub up front and gone with the standard 135 (front)
    Umm... They didn't? The Moonlander is coming with an offset fork standard starting with this model year.

    While the current pugs has a symmetric front fork, they have also stated that future pugs will be coming with the offset fork by default again...

    I suspect the only reason the Pugsleys are coming with non-offset forks is because they don't have quantity built up of the new design due to the recall last year.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    I think ward wants symmetrical steel at a Surly price.
    THat would be the On-one. the rolling chassis deal is pretty sweet. Though it's only a pathetic 170.

  22. #22
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    On-One is aluminum. But yes, otherwise awesome.
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  23. #23
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    Got to "meet" a Fatback steel couple weeks ago... loved it! But close to the cost of Ti. I have no prob with that, it's USA made and worth every penny. Surly makes some sturdy frames/forks though and , really guy's, no offense intended towards offset and I get it better when you can use a rear hub up front... lot's of capability and options there, but I like sym for my own use... and derailleurs. Love ALU too for it's "properties" but steel has it's plus' too. Maybe Salsa will put out a steel bike or maybe I should keep quiet and wait to see what pops up.

    As far as 190 goes, folks could have offset 170's and got the same results. 190 just keeps things more symmetrical and it's true, at least I have not ridden one yet.

    Actually, the conversation came up at our NW meet while folks were checking out each others bikes so I thought I'd put it out there. Truth is, on that day and conditions anyway, the bigger "meat" did not kick the smaller meat's a$$. Every set-up had it's attributes and there were no frowns. Sometimes I just get to thinkin'...

    Whatever you've got... "ride 'em cowboy's"!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    I like the offset in the rear on my Moonlander... makes the rim easier to clean Must keep MY PRECIOUS clean. Clean clean.
    Haha so true, my front wheel is a dirty sl*t, back wheel is all angelic all the time!

  25. #25
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    You can sit your can of `Irn Bru` in a Moonlander rear rim when you pull up for a bite to eat too, reason enough to leave what works.
    If you live outside of Scotland you may have to google `Irn Bru` softs drinks to know what i am on about
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    I think ward wants symmetrical steel at a Surly price.
    Krampus frame is a good option for symetrical SS or IGH if you are OK with 29+ (3.0" wide) tire. Would have been nice if krampus rear had been built to also accomidate a 26x4" singlespeed wheel/tire too but I doubt the width will fit.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Got to "meet" a Fatback steel couple weeks ago..
    I would like to meet a steel Fatback as well.

    edit: make that a 190mm steel Fatback

  28. #28
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    My steel fatback does in fact shred singletrack.
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  29. #29
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    I like 135 offset. I started out with a pugs and then a 907 offset. I hope to get a Ti 135 offset at some point. I have never ridden a symmetrical fatbike. I have never noticed that 135 offset handles differently from how a mtb handles, but it did take me awhile to understand the concept at first. I hope 135 offset never goes away.

  30. #30
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    Re: Will Surly Ever Build A Symmetrical Fat Bike?

    The ONLY advantage to a symmetrical design is the prospect of running 29er rims. Everything else is just a negative. Fewer hubs to select from, heavier, more expensive, and no possibility of running internal gear hubs. Don't understand why people view this as a good thing.

    Not only am I trying to fix what isn't broken, I'm paying more to reduce versatility.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by be1 View Post
    I like 135 offset. I started out with a pugs and then a 907 offset. I hope to get a Ti 135 offset at some point. I have never ridden a symmetrical fatbike. I have never noticed that 135 offset handles differently from how a mtb handles, but it did take me awhile to understand the concept at first. I hope 135 offset never goes away.
    +1 happy with 135mm, still using 5 year old Hope hubs from previous MTBs, on my pugs and Moonie, now that Rabbit Holes have come along i can have one bike with two wheelsets to choose from, also ideal for a day trip or holiday away with the car,
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    +1 happy with 135mm, still using 5 year old Hope hubs from previous MTBs, on my pugs and Moonie, now that Rabbit Holes have come along i can have one bike with two wheelsets to choose from, also ideal for a day trip or holiday away with the car,
    Same can be true w/ many 170's or the new 190...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraspontane View Post
    The ONLY advantage to a symmetrical design is the prospect of running 29er rims. Everything else is just a negative. Fewer hubs to select from, heavier, more expensive, and no possibility of running internal gear hubs. Don't understand why people view this as a good thing.

    Not only am I trying to fix what isn't broken, I'm paying more to reduce versatility.
    Ease up ultrasportane! I never trashed offset! even supported it as viable! some of us like symmetrical... GET OVER IT! nothing here was meant to be "negative"...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Ease up ultrasportane! I never trashed offset! even supported it as viable! some of us like symmetrical... GET OVER IT! nothing here was meant to be "negative"...
    But, but, he's right!

    (I didn't see that as a negative or inflammatory post)

    It really comes down to whether you wish to compromise the advantages of a 135 offset for the ability to use 29er wheels in the off season, and that's a perfectly valid thing to do if you wish to run just one frame set.

    Wider tyres are changing the bikes, so I suspect we'll be seeing separate classes of fatbikes soon, rather than one size fits all.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Same can be true w/ many 170's or the new 190...
    True indeed Ward!, but what would i do with all the stuff i have bought already?, 3 frames (4 soon!) and rear 135mm hubs and 4 Large Marge offset rims -
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    Krampus frame is a good option for symetrical SS or IGH if you are OK with 29+ (3.0" wide) tire. Would have been nice if krampus rear had been built to also accomidate a 26x4" singlespeed wheel/tire too but I doubt the width will fit.
    One of the benefits of the Krampus IMO is the fact you can swap over existing 29er parts and get one rolling so easily.

    I did just that to see how I liked it before I built any special wheels for my Krampus.

    To keep that cross-compatibility Surly had to really push the limits of the frame and frankly 29+ rubber barely fits in a Krampus.

    If they had made the frame so it had more clearance they would at the very least have to have spec'd a wider than normal crank.

    It's not a matter of better or worse, but a question of what the priority was for the frame design. Surly went with 29er compatibility which makes sense to me.

    You can go 29+ with a fatbike frame and get mega clearance at the cost of needing lots of non-standard parts.

    My plan with the Krampus was try it with my existing 29er parts and if I like it keep it and build 29+ specific wheels. If I didn't like it sell the frame/fork/tires to somebody else who wanted to try it out and I check out a different 29er frame at a minimal loss.

    That made the Krampus experiment low risk - ideal if you are trying to get a new platform standard off the ground.
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  37. #37
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    I would have listed myself into the symmetrical group until this point in time. My response was...why do offset if symmetrical is available? Truth be told, it is all well...a concept just in my head.

    While I have always understood the reasons for offset, I had a cringe when Surly came out with the ML and the 28mm offset. But time has proven the amount as stable.

    If building a custom it would be a 170 with offset due to unproven new hubs and all that goes with any other distracting considerations one may bring up. Just another 'concept' in my head?

    Surly doesn't need a different hub size to accommodate the widest existing tires; but if they or someone else should go beyond 4.8, then the question should be answered. I would place my money on keeping with tradition for the sake of tradition alone.

    So would Surly go with a wider hub and less offset or just an increase in offset to accommodate a new tire width?

    In defense of Ward, it is a question I have asked myself in the past, nice/fun to see it brought out into the open. Any other 'takers' on that point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    True indeed Ward!, but what would i do with all the stuff i have bought already?, 3 frames (4 soon!) and rear 135mm hubs and 4 Large Marge offset rims -
    Good point CK, Same is true for those of us that started with sym. To switch means wheel sets won't swap. That's the one problem I have w/ 190, have to start from scratch. Of course Moonies are different offset than pugs too aren't they?

  39. #39
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    Let's be honest we live in a culture where more/newer = better. So on that basis alone 170mm, 190mm, 225mm rear ends are going to valued even if 95% of riders would be just as well off on a 135mm offset rear end fatbike.

    The same holds true for tires and rims.

    The discussion is so frequently about going as big as possible. Not about matching actual performance against a specific rider's needs.

    Not to suggest I am immune to this mindset. I increased my Pug's rim size this year and if I could do it all over again I would stick with the narrower rims and have better performance.
    Safe riding,

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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    But, but, he's right!

    (I didn't see that as a negative or inflammatory post)

    It really comes down to whether you wish to compromise the advantages of a 135 offset for the ability to use 29er wheels in the off season, and that's a perfectly valid thing to do if you wish to run just one frame set.

    Wider tyres are changing the bikes, so I suspect we'll be seeing separate classes of fatbikes soon, rather than one size fits all.
    Don't think there's a right or wrong here, just differences. And the tires don't know which type they're mounted on... neither does the ground they're rollin' on. And once your in the saddle, there's virtually no difference to the rider either (maybe a few ounces but that hasn't been a huge issue to anyone I've ridden with). Truly didn't mean to start a debate between sym and offset... obviously hard for those who started with sym to break away from it and vise/versa for offset.

    What started it was that I recently finished a KM w/ midge bars for commuting & ramblin' around and fell back in love w/ steel...

  41. #41
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    The biggest compromises are because of the limitations of derailleur gear systems. To get a wide range a considerable portion of the width of the hub has to be devoted to the the cassette, and if you want fat tyres then it's all got to be arranged so there's no tyre rub.

    Hubgears on the other hand only need one chainline. It's just a shame that none of them yet recognise the existence of fat wheels and give us a suitably spaced cog. (Rohloff, please listen )

    However, if we had to deal only with hub gears or single speed then the amount of offset required is minimal with even the fattest tyre.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    The biggest compromises are because of the limitations of derailleur gear systems. To get a wide range a considerable portion of the width of the hub has to be devoted to the the cassette, and if you want fat tyres then it's all got to be arranged so there's no tyre rub.

    Hubgears on the other hand only need one chainline. It's just a shame that none of them yet recognise the existence of fat wheels and give us a suitably spaced cog. (Rohloff, please listen )

    However, if we had to deal only with hub gears or single speed then the amount of offset required is minimal with even the fattest tyre.
    Yes Rohloff please listen...a wider hub and a gear range to favor the lower end as opposed to an unused upper end as now exists. (fat bike)

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Let's be honest we live in a culture where more/newer = better. So on that basis alone 170mm, 190mm, 225mm rear ends are going to valued even if 95% of riders would be just as well off on a 135mm offset rear end fatbike.

    The same holds true for tires and rims.

    The discussion is so frequently about going as big as possible. Not about matching actual performance against a specific rider's needs.

    Not to suggest I am immune to this mindset. I increased my Pug's rim size this year and if I could do it all over again I would stick with the narrower rims and had better performance.
    +1 We all would do well to remember this advice.

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    "Hubgears on the other hand only need one chainline. It's just a shame that none of them yet recognise the existence of fat wheels and give us a suitably spaced cog. (Rohloff, please listen )

    However, if we had to deal only with hub gears or single speed then the amount of offset required is minimal with even the fattest tyre."

    ^^This^^

    I dunno much, but it seemed to me the whole thing hangs here. The Q factor on a Moonie starts to feel pretty wide to me, versus my Pug as is, so I dunno if i for one would ever be looking seriously at the rear end of a bike built for 190mm. I think the fat segment will divide into extreme float and mid-float like others have mentioned. Anyway, the interest seems to be growing exponentially and I don't know how much interest it would take for Shimano or Rohloff to take the fat bike seriously, but if the smiles we all get from riding these things is any indicator it seems pretty likely something will budge eventually in the IGH department for the better. I'm pretty sure there's an Alfine on my horizon soon anyway. My winter commute includes lots of ****e on the road that's gonna cost me half a drivetrain per season.

    "The discussion is so frequently about going as big as possible. Not about matching actual performance against a specific rider's needs.

    Not to suggest I am immune to this mindset. I increased my Pug's rim size this year and if I could do it all over again I would stick with the narrower rims and had better performance."

    As ever, sage comments from the Vik. I was prodding you earlier Vik in your redux thread about your take on the move to the RDs, mostly because I opted for the Necro build when I couldn't quite shake the notion that a bit fatter might be better. I know now the Marges woulda served me better for 75% of the riding I do. That said, I have that Moonie fork sitting there begging for some 5" Bud lovin' and I doubt I'll be able to resist once I come across one cheap. I'm always building on a budget and the more fat bikes take off, the more take-offs I can scoop up to stay fat! Yeah!!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sand Rat View Post
    Yes Rohloff please listen...a wider hub and a gear range to favor the lower end as opposed to an unused upper end as now exists. (fat bike)
    Rohloff are not interested in doing a wider hub at this stage (I'm sure that's been mentioned on another thread, but I've forgotten)

    The only hope may be Sturmey-Archer. If we could persuade them to stick 5 gears into their 170mm hub instead of 3, that would be a start, and surely technically feasible because they use interchangeable hub shells for the 3 and 5 speeds in other sizes. And for the icing on the cake get them to use the rotary change mechanism they have introduced on some 3spds for cleaner cable runs.

    I'd simply run 2 chainrings on the front so I could get a wider range. That would involve dropping the wheel and moving the chain over by hand. I already do this on my singlespeed Pugsley depending on whether it's a bog day or a trail day.

    The beauty of a single chainline is we can run fat tyres without increasing our Q-factors with tyres up to about 5 1/2".
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    One thing I keep sing is "if someone makes a fatter tire..."

    Given how few tires there actually are at the moment, who exactly is going to be making a fatter tire?

    Given that QBP controls like 99% of the fatbike tire market, And that they do not currently have a bike that needs a tire fatter than 5", who is going to make this tire?

    There's some seriously magical thinking around fatbikes.

    Given that surly ain't gonna make a symetrical bike because they're surly, and Salsa seems to be heading further down the lighter is better trail, I don't see tires wider than 5" being an industry prerogative any time soon.

  47. #47
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    Re: Will Surly Ever Build A Symmetrical Fat Bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Given how few tires there actually are at the moment, who exactly is going to be making a fatter tire?
    I really can't figure out why you continue to stick to this delusion... there are more fat bike tires than there ever has been in the history of fat bikes. FACT.
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    I really can't figure out why you continue to stick to this delusion... there are more fat bike tires than there ever has been in the history of fat bikes. FACT.
    And there are more blue whales now than there were 50 years ago but they're still endangered as hell.

    More isn't a lot, it's just more.

    How many 5 inch tires are there, 2? Sooooooooo, 2 tires means a lot?

  49. #49
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    I still maintain that once you've gotten so fat that you're too big for technical MTB trails, you might as well go all the way to amphibious.

  50. #50
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    I count 3 5" tires from Surly alone (though that's cheating because Bud and Lou are a pair). Then there's Specialized ground control, and something coming from Vee rubber. So this is 4-5, depending on how you count them, and the first bike to take them has been out for only 2 years.

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