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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    And made from Surly's new exclusive steel - Gaspipehinneum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_G View Post
    I was there yesterday and nothing excited me really. Trek's demo fleet consisted of about 5 9.8s. No super huge cool tires.

    The only thing I saw that interested me was an EX8 for under $2400.
    Thatís too bad, it seems like Northern Europe is the innovation leader for extra large tires.

  2. #102
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    In talking with Scott, I think he designed the Triple B with clearance for 5.6" tires so it would be good to go if they ever became available.

  3. #103
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    The quirring is a nice frame/bike, I recall checking out his site a while ago. Unfortunately for me it is outside of the price range I like to stay with.

  4. #104
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    Snow is finally here, so got in some darn nice 3-4 hours rides both Saturday and Sunday.
    A reminder of why I pretty much always pick the ''3XL'' bike instead of the 5lbs lighter carbon bike.
    Groomed trail (Snowcat type), probably groomed at least 24h prior. 6psi was a no-go.
    3psi worked, but still sinkin' in (I'm right over 130lb rider + 22lb bike). I jump on a trail groomed by a snowmobile. 3psi is no-go. Not even close. Air out. 0.9psi. What was en excercise in futility becomes a cake walk. Hovering, with less effort than with 3psi on the Snowcat trail.
    A walk in the park on the 3XL bike, but would have been hate filled/push-push for miles on end on the 4.8 bike. This on a groomed trail that wasn't even close to fresh.

    These are run of the mill conditions over here, so the next step is to invite some 4.8 bikes out and have the upcoming DJI Mavic Pro hover some 100ft above and document it all in crystal clear 4K.
    Then talk to my friends/industry colleagues at the various tire makers.
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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    Snow is finally here, so got in some darn nice 3-4 hours rides both Saturday and Sunday.
    A reminder of why I pretty much always pick the ''3XL'' bike instead of the 5lbs lighter carbon bike.
    Groomed trail (Snowcat type), probably groomed at least 24h prior. 6psi was a no-go.
    3psi worked, but still sinkin' in (I'm right over 130lb rider + 22lb bike). I jump on a trail groomed by a snowmobile. 3psi is no-go. Not even close. Air out. 0.9psi. What was en excercise in futility becomes a cake walk. Hovering, with less effort than with 3psi on the Snowcat trail.
    A walk in the park on the 3XL bike, but would have been hate filled/push-push for miles on end on the 4.8 bike. This on a groomed trail that wasn't even close to fresh.

    These are run of the mill conditions over here, so the next step is to invite some 4.8 bikes out and have the upcoming DJI Mavic Pro hover some 100ft above and document it all in crystal clear 4K.
    Then talk to my friends/industry colleagues at the various tire makers.
    Think of us poor heavier guys suffering on skinny 4.7" tires. Come on manufactures, we need a 6" true fat bike!
    The wheel is a extension of the foot

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Doom View Post
    Think of us poor heavier guys suffering on skinny 4.7" tires. Come on manufactures, we need a 6" true fat bike!
    Dude, just get a Hanebrink X1, it has 8 inch tires..... short chain stay people need not apply....

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    Snow is finally here, so got in some darn nice 3-4 hours rides both Saturday and Sunday.
    A reminder of why I pretty much always pick the ''3XL'' bike instead of the 5lbs lighter carbon bike.
    Groomed trail (Snowcat type), probably groomed at least 24h prior. 6psi was a no-go.
    3psi worked, but still sinkin' in (I'm right over 130lb rider + 22lb bike). I jump on a trail groomed by a snowmobile. 3psi is no-go. Not even close. Air out. 0.9psi. What was en excercise in futility becomes a cake walk. Hovering, with less effort than with 3psi on the Snowcat trail.
    A walk in the park on the 3XL bike, but would have been hate filled/push-push for miles on end on the 4.8 bike. This on a groomed trail that wasn't even close to fresh.

    These are run of the mill conditions over here, so the next step is to invite some 4.8 bikes out and have the upcoming DJI Mavic Pro hover some 100ft above and document it all in crystal clear 4K.
    Then talk to my friends/industry colleagues at the various tire makers.
    Yes! That would be an excellent way to show how dramatic the difference is and why things need to progress. Float is so important but unless people have the snow conditions to experience it, they have trouble relating. Currently my bike that fits 2XLís is out of service as I wait for the warranty frame to arrive so Iím back on my old bike with 4.8ís. The difference in float is significant. We got around a 12Ē of new snow then it turned to rain and things are slushy and soft as itís still above freezing. Even though I packed some trails with my snowmachine the 4.8ís are a no go. I know from experience these same trails would be rideable on my 2XLís. Your single ply 3XLís would be the perfect combination of the faster rolling 4.8 bud/Louís Iíve got but with significantly more floatation than my 2XLís. The more flexible casings in your tires would be so much better than the stiff 2XLís.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    Float is so important but unless people have the snow conditions to experience it, they have trouble relating.

    If they don't have the snow conditions to experience it -- if it has to be explained to them -- then why do they need a 3XL bike?

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    If they don't have the snow conditions to experience it -- if it has to be explained to them -- then why do they need a 3XL bike?
    Agreed. The "industry" would have a hard time selling the 1psi 3XL experience, when proper conditions for it's benefits are pretty rare in places where the industry collects the majority of its dollars.

    Not saying I don't want to see it, but I know I don't need it here in MN. I went smaller for this season!
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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    If they don't have the snow conditions to experience it -- if it has to be explained to them -- then why do they need a 3XL bike?
    Haven't you already answered your own question? If people don't have snow they wouldn't be prospective buyers in the first place.

    People thought the 1st Pugsly was overkill and didn't make any sense yet here we are. Anyone could benefit from a 3XL if they've ridden down a packed trail with as little as 6" of soft, wet or rotten snow. the majority of riders don't enjoy trenching and pushing.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    Haven't you already answered your own question? If people don't have snow they wouldn't be prospective buyers in the first place.

    People thought the 1st Pugsly was overkill and didn't make any sense yet here we are. Anyone could benefit from a 3XL if they've ridden down a packed trail with as little as 6" of soft, wet or rotten snow. the majority of riders don't enjoy trenching and pushing.

    I was paraphrasing you, but you seem to have missed it.

    The point is that not just "anyone" can benefit from a 3XL. For ~90 to 95% of the people out there riding fatbikes, even Bud/Lou or FBF/FBR are overkill for the conditions they see and ride. Maybe 1% even need the current 2XL, which leaves some fraction of 1% that need or even want 3XL.

    Do I want a 3XL? You bet. And I understand why others do too. But that's very different from claiming that "anyone could benefit from a 3XL".

  12. #112
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    Yep, anyone would benefit from the 3XL. Take a group of riders and give them a choice of what tire they want to ride on a soft, snow covered trail that has 4.8ís trenching out and sinking in and see which one they choose.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    Yep, anyone would benefit from the 3XL. Take a group of riders and give them a choice of what tire they want to ride on a soft, snow covered trail that has 4.8ís trenching out and sinking in and see which one they choose.
    I would say it's not so cut and dry. In certain situations sure, but it takes a lot to move those tires through soft conditions and anyone who's ridden in soft conditions knows that it takes a LOT of work in the first place. I can start when it's -15 and be sweating my butt off because it's so hard to make headway. More tire would help, but you are constantly using energy to "crush" and pack the snow and the front of your tire is basically like a plow, with significant resistance due to the depth of the snow, make the snow heavier and this compounds. In our Trio race last year, almost no one could ride the downhills (lots of short ups and downs) due to the trail falling apart on the 2nd and 3rd laps, but you could ride most of the flats just fine. Being able to ride down those short downs would not have been a big enough advantage to lug around *that* much tire on the entire 60 miles.

    In other situations, the snow will still not be ridable even by 3xl of course, so you have to balance out what you are willing to drag/push.

    Not saying that we don't need some wider options, just that it's not a golden bullet that will be the best for any soft condition.
    "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

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  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    ...Not saying that we don't need some wider options, just that it's not a golden bullet that will be the best for any soft condition.
    Maybe we should start with frames which give the option to fit 3XL tyres. You can always go skinnier to taste...
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    Yep, anyone would benefit from the 3XL. Take a group of riders and give them a choice of what tire they want to ride on a soft, snow covered trail that has 4.8ís trenching out and sinking in and see which one they choose.

    You missed the point. Again. You keep saying "anyone". Your word. What about those that ride bulletproof hardpack most of the time? Of what value is a 3XL to them, or anyone else that doesn't experience deep, soft snow?

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Maybe we should start with frames which give the option to fit 3XL tyres. You can always go skinnier to taste...

    While I agree with the general concept, it's not that simple. Even going from the 2XL to EVERY OTHER TIRE IN EXISTENCE you lose a good bit of bottom bracket height. The 3XL is going to make that difference even more dramatic.

    A bike that fits 3XL's is going to be a one-trick pony. Or at least one wheelset/tire combo.

  17. #117
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    Off topic but.....

    I just pulled my 4.7 Barbis and mounted my 4.8 labeled studded D5s. (5?, why bother even putting that on there?)

    I don't have a caliper large enough but they are about 10mm narrower and noticeably smaller in circumference.

    I want a 127+ mm tire, with XL studs that potrude beyond the knob by more than a whisker, roll reasonably well at 0 degrees F and cost........

    Less than $399.

    *EDIT Because 45N may read this and grant my request I should clarify...Less than $399 for a PAIR!
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

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  18. #118
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    I would love a pair of 5.reallyfat tires if and provided the frame to support em was more universal in various setups for more options with something called performance. Chainstays long enough to support the 5.6 are gonna make a maxi tire bike as Mikesee said a one trick pony on many levels.

    Do I wanna try em out? Yus! Would I like to own a 5.6 bike? Provided the budget is not absurd for the amount of use the damn thing is gonna see!
    Would it see use? You bet! The high country of Colorado offers excellent habitat for such a bike. Well, usually!

    If only Vee would break down and make the 5.05 with a softer, lighter more supple casing... :/

    Many of us have emailed Vee on this topic. I actually received a reply form em, saying it ain't gonna happen. This was a real let down.
    Perhaps they are targeting the 250#+ crowd and leaving us beanpole sub 200# riders out of the game! Fukkerz!!
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  19. #119
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    The only two real downsides of having tires/bike that is, right here in the (Norwegian) words of Terrengsykkel editor Kristoffer K, in a different universe than anything else, is that I pretty much always have to be the guy in the front and it gets dang cold waiting for guys flailing and pushing when they can't even ride the trail groomed by the sixes. Much less lead the way, of course.

    Some clips from what amounts to the dead average conditions over here with, say 4'' of fresh snow over a semi soft base.
    In fact, it is like this outside. Right now.

    Jumbo 4.8:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8WtNNRbKZk

    Bud/Lou combo gives it a fair try:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68J1Av_W2D4

    Canyon Dude with Jumbo Jim on the steep:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXzjRcnqB9U

    Jumbo Jim tries to follow the freshly groomed track: (point of the vid starts at around 1.20):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SykMQfuXpk0

    JJ getting stuck:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF03U2b2-Es

    Freeride funly stuff:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc3k7gRrJYw

    A lil' more extreme this one (JJ 4.8 content). A classic with soon to pass 1000 views:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FexsZXvjGkg

    Rolls rather well too, on the groomer (vs. JJ 4.0)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZCaYrATmDk

    So well do they roll on the hardpack that the CX guys doing uphill intervals seemingly dislike them:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOumMRdlqHk


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  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    You missed the point. Again. You keep saying "anyone". Your word. What about those that ride bulletproof hardpack most of the time? Of what value is a 3XL to them, or anyone else that doesn't experience deep, soft snow?
    What Mike says. The trails in Anchorage get packed out so fast after a snowfall you would have to get up very early to get any advantage out of super wide tires, but would suffer their disadvantages for the rest of the time. I have a wheelset with 100's and XLs and one with 85's and D4s the XLs stay in the garage 95% of the time.

    I do wish they were available just saying they are not the be all end all for everybody.
    Last edited by sryanak; 6 Days Ago at 12:53 PM.
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  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    What Mike says. The trails in Anchorage get packed out so fast after a snowfall you would have to get up very early to get any advantage out of super wide tires, but would suffer their disadvantages for the rest of the time. I have a wheelset with 100's and XLs and one with 85's and D4s the XLs stay in the garage 95% of the time.

    I do wish they were available just saying they are not the be all end all for everybody.
    Um. I don't know. A properly constructed tire like the pacestar version of the Jumbo Jim could be offered in a 3x version with pretty minimal penalty in normal conditions (at least down to about 10*F) and super benefits in the soft stuff. The big problem with the Vee tires isn't their size, its their hard rubber and thick casings.
    --Peace

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    You missed the point. Again. You keep saying "anyone". Your word. What about those that ride bulletproof hardpack most of the time? Of what value is a 3XL to them, or anyone else that doesn't experience deep, soft snow?
    Why would a person use 3XLís to tires to ride bulletproof hard pack?

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    Why would a person use 3XLís to tires to ride bulletproof hard pack?
    Or 4" tires?
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

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  24. #124
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    How soon until dubs on fatbikes?

  25. #125
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    Watching the links to the latest videos Espen posted shows the versatility of the 3XL. I donít believe in one bike or one tire to be the best choice for all conditions, that prototype 3XL looks pretty amazing everywhere, even on the plowed road. My 2XLís certainly donít roll as freely at the 3XL appears to.

    My bud/Lou are made by Innova. Maybe they will come out with a bigger tire? Iíve not received any response to my email to Vee Rubber.

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars_D View Post
    You can keep the q factor a bit lower with elevated chainstays or internal gear hubs.
    Ok....but how much lower? What is the minimum BB width needed to clear a 3XL tire?
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  27. #127
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    Yeah I don't have the motor to power the 2xls yet a pair of 3xls, or the birthing hips.

  28. #128
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    Surprised the E-bike crowd has not pushed for a 6" tire. That would be a great way to get a groomer on trails the snowmachines are too big and cumbersome for.

    If it snows here like it did last year I will be stuck snowshoeing again, there was about four feet of pow and my XC skies just got burried in it.
    The wheel is a extension of the foot

  29. #129
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    Acknowledging that casing suppleness trumps in traction over a soft rubber compound, have yet to see a report on just how beneficial VE's cream compound is over their black version. Would it be correct to assume that those that opt for the cream are doing so for the looks, and not for any real gains in traction?

    If such be the case...it befuddles my thinking why VE seems reluctant to produce a more supple version of the 2XL. Would a (stronger?) higher thread count casing help?

    Grasping at straws in the dark.
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  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_G View Post
    Off topic but.....

    I just pulled my 4.7 Barbis and mounted my 4.8 labeled studded D5s. (5?, why bother even putting that on there?)

    I don't have a caliper large enough but they are about 10mm narrower and noticeably smaller in circumference.

    I want a 127+ mm tire, with XL studs that potrude beyond the knob by more than a whisker, roll reasonably well at 0 degrees F and cost........

    Less than $399.

    *EDIT Because 45N may read this and grant my request I should clarify...Less than $399 for a PAIR!
    I was so disappointed that the D5's were only a 4.5" tire. But, I picked up the new D5's for less than $399 for a pair (with the concave 45NRTH studs) and just did the same thing with some new Wrathchilds, to include the XL studs. It just takes some extra time to install the studs. I think I paid $380 for the D5's and $385 (both including local tax) for the Wrathchilds.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nothing to see here, move along folks.

  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by SADDLE TRAMP View Post
    Acknowledging that casing suppleness trumps in traction over a soft rubber compound, have yet to see a report on just how beneficial VE's cream compound is over their black version. Would it be correct to assume that those that opt for the cream are doing so for the looks, and not for any real gains in traction?

    If such be the case...it befuddles my thinking why VE seems reluctant to produce a more supple version of the 2XL. Would a (stronger?) higher thread count casing help?

    Grasping at straws in the dark.
    Iíve got both the black and cream 2XLís. I rode the black versions a little over 1/2 of last winter and while I really liked the increased floatation I cursed their propensity to have snow stick to the tire. It was the strangest thing Iíd ever seen with a tire. I donít have a ton of time on the cream, PSC versions but they shed snow much better and seem to roll a little better. The rubber is really soft, too soft to take a grip stud which is unfortunate as I had grip studs in the black versions. Last week I rode them in fresh, dry snow and thought they spun a bit more than the black ones. I started thinking that maybe the snow sticking nature of the black ones wasnít a totally bad thing. But it could have also been my imagination. My 2XL equipped bike suffered a frame crack so itís out of commission and Iím waiting for my warranty frame to arrive. I miss my 2XLís now that we finally go snow as the floatation limitations of the Bud/Lou on my Fatboy have been a huge reminder why I went biggerlast season. I will say that in hard, set up conditions the 4.8ís are much faster and easier to pedal. All my tires use tubes as I come from a motor sports background and think the current tubeless bicycle technology is a joke and a messy one at that.

  32. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    What Mike says. The trails in Anchorage get packed out so fast after a snowfall you would have to get up very early to get any advantage out of super wide tires, but would suffer their disadvantages for the rest of the time. I have a wheelset with 100's and XLs and one with 85's and D4s the XLs stay in the garage 95% of the time.

    I do wish they were available just saying they are not the be all end all for everybody.
    As one of the guys up and snow-shoeing many times last season, often before anyone else was even awake, in an attempt to make the trails rideable:

    I'd say that generalization is not entirely accurate.

    They do get packed out reasonably fast sometimes, but when it keeps snowing, like it did last season, they don't pack down nearly as much. We struggled to get the trails packed down last season, because every few days it was another 8" or foot of snow. Beautiful, but took a lot of work skiing and snowshoeing to keep it packed down.

    One of the things that characterized the season last year was how many times we ended up "on our back" off the trail, in deep snow, like an upside-down turtle, trying to find some kind of purchase to get our body above our bike, instead of the opposite. Sooooft and lots of snow.

    We do have a lot more riders and a lot more skiers and people that will go out in parties to pack the trails, but it took a lot of work last year and there was a LOT of soft conditions riding, if it didn't constitute the majority of the riding last year.

    There were plenty of times last year where I couldn't make progress and had to turn around and wait until the trails got more packed, or go home and switch out for snowshoes. A few times I was able to pack down a certain trail in the morning and then in the evening after a few more people had stomped it out, I was just barely able to ride it. Other times I was not.

    When it snows like 2-5", yeah, get out early (I did plenty of that too) because it's inherently rideable on fatter tires. When it dumps a foot, everything tends to kind of stop for a few days while we fan out in parties to stomp down the trails.

    Plenty of people around here like to go up to some of the peninsula trails or north where there might have been an XC skier or two if you are lucky. I can think of many situations out on these trails in the last few years where something in the 3xl size may have been preferred.
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  33. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    While I agree with the general concept, it's not that simple. Even going from the 2XL to EVERY OTHER TIRE IN EXISTENCE you lose a good bit of bottom bracket height. The 3XL is going to make that difference even more dramatic.

    A bike that fits 3XL's is going to be a one-trick pony. Or at least one wheelset/tire combo.
    Good point. We'd need an adjustable frame to do what I was suggesting.

    If/when tyres get really fat frame geometry is going to be the big issue.

    Bigger Q factors than we have now are likely to start causing problems.

    The alternative is that the chainstays will have to get much longer so a more normal Q factor can be preserved (think Big Dummy lengths), and a way found to bend the drive around the tyre. Of course, that increases the inefficiencies in the drive train with a tyre which is already harder to push.

    So very much a one trick pony. I suspect it won't look like anything we are currently riding if it ever eventuates.




    BTW Any Big Fat Dummy riders care to comment on the bike's abilities in snow?
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  34. #134
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    JM, Good points but even last year it was only a day or two after each snowfall when riders could get out and ride 4" tires. We might have needed to snowshoe less if several people had 3XL's but that still doesn't make them the be all end all that some promote. Not that they wouldn't be a great addition just that are not for everyone.

    I still stand by my point especially since last season was abit of an anomly. Hopefully it wasn't as it was too cool riding, and snow shoeing, throughout the Bowl last winter.

    Lars, Also a good point on the casing and rubber issues of the XL's. A 5+ " Jumbo Jim casing with moderatly aggressive tread would be a tire I'd like to try.

    AK Rider, Your earlier posts really sounded like you wee saying that 3XL type tires were the tire for everyone all the time. That is, I think, what some objected to. Later posts seem to have redefined that stance some so I don't think we really disagree in principle.
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  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    Why would a person use 3XLís to tires to ride bulletproof hard pack?

    That's exactly my point.

  36. #136
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    I could see the 3XL being beneficial in exploration of untouched winter terrain, however that sounds exhausting all the same.


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  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    AK Rider, Your earlier posts really sounded like you wee saying that 3XL type tires were the tire for everyone all the time. That is, I think, what some objected to. Later posts seem to have redefined that stance some so I don't think we really disagree in principle.
    Interesting, I'm not sure why some would think? I used the example of a trail where 3XL's would shine and anyone would benefit from them. Espen's 3XL's look amazingly versatile as he passes studded up roadies on a plowed road. That was pretty mind blowing to me. My 2XL's are not fast tires on the plowed road sections of my commute.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    That's exactly my point.
    I haven't figured out what point you've been trying to make for the past 2 days? Playing a poor version of devil's advocate is the best I've come up with.

    Quote Originally Posted by mehlertmj View Post
    I could see the 3XL being beneficial in exploration of untouched winter terrain, however that sounds exhausting all the same.


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    They would certainly take more effort to push, but it's all relative. I recall one spring I switched from the studded Bud/Lous to some cheap Big Fatty tires I bought on sale to use for the upcoming summer. They weren't a true 4.8 but they sure rolled faster than the Bud/Lous on the hard, set up snowmachine trail I was riding on. Floatation wasn't an issue so the skinner of a tire was faster. But anytime you start sinking in and trenching, chances are wider and bigger are going to be faster. Espen's 3XL's look to perform very well over a wide variety of conditions, better than most if not all other tires from what I've seen (in the videos).

    I used to have some tall, flexy, squishy ATV tires on a 2WD four wheeler many years ago and they were the best winter tires I ever had.

    If

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by mehlertmj View Post
    I could see the 3XL being beneficial in exploration of untouched winter terrain, however that sounds exhausting all the same.
    Where I live that's basically what I get to ride. It's unusual for anyone to have ventured very far onto the trails, and there's no snowmobiles or other such grooming.

    However as our climate is wet temperate, it quickly turns to slush, or refreezes. I'm not sure which is worst.

    The snow has not lain around for long in the last few years despite us being on a latitude similar to Juneau and further north than Moscow, but it's drifting down right now, so maybe the morning will be good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post

    I haven't figured out what point you've been trying to make for the past 2 days? Playing a poor version of devil's advocate is the best I've come up with.
    I think Mike's point has been pretty cogent and rational throughout this thread. If you read it without a pre-existing attachment to your own ideas. Whether you agree with it or not, is a different issue.
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    Looks like surly released a steel framed gravel commuter...


    Mike has a unique perspective from the marketing standpoint, as he has brought a niche tire to the market on his own dime.

    I also get the point that this will not be a mainstream tire, honestly studded 4 inch tires in the anchorage bowl is about all that's needed 99.7% of the time. With that said, when my wife's classes get out today were loading up the dog and the bikes and driving as far away from anchorage as we can. 2 of the last 3 weekends 3xls would have increased my range and enjoyment of the ride.


    At this stage, I think Mike is right, no company is going to see a big enough market to bring out a product in this niche. That doesn't mean there isn't a demand of some kind. The question is, what is the market for a several hundred dollar tire that fists no current frames.... 50 pairs worldwide, maybe?

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comfisherman View Post
    Looks like surly released a steel framed gravel commuter...


    Mike has a unique perspective from the marketing standpoint, as he has brought a niche tire to the market on his own dime.

    I also get the point that this will not be a mainstream tire, honestly studded 4 inch tires in the anchorage bowl is about all that's needed 99.7% of the time. With that said, when my wife's classes get out today were loading up the dog and the bikes and driving as far away from anchorage as we can. 2 of the last 3 weekends 3xls would have increased my range and enjoyment of the ride.


    At this stage, I think Mike is right, no company is going to see a big enough market to bring out a product in this niche. That doesn't mean there isn't a demand of some kind. The question is, what is the market for a several hundred dollar tire that fists no current frames.... 50 pairs worldwide, maybe?

    I don't want to be right. I'd love to be wrong, and have 3 different 5.8 to 6" tires to choose from, with and without studs.

    The market simply isn't ready for that. Might not ever be.

  44. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comfisherman View Post
    Looks like surly released a steel framed gravel commuter..
    And there's a new market segment: gravel commuting.
    It will be the next big thing!
    Someone please tell me what size tire should I be using to gravel commute!!!!

  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    And there's a new market segment: gravel commuting.
    It will be the next big thing!
    Someone please tell me what size tire should I be using to gravel commute!!!!

    Who cares as long as it's bigger than 3.5"? It's all about having the right seatpost for gravel...

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comfisherman View Post
    Looks like surly released a steel framed gravel commuter...


    Mike has a unique perspective from the marketing standpoint, as he has brought a niche tire to the market on his own dime.

    I also get the point that this will not be a mainstream tire, honestly studded 4 inch tires in the anchorage bowl is about all that's needed 99.7% of the time. With that said, when my wife's classes get out today were loading up the dog and the bikes and driving as far away from anchorage as we can. 2 of the last 3 weekends 3xls would have increased my range and enjoyment of the ride.


    At this stage, I think Mike is right, no company is going to see a big enough market to bring out a product in this niche. That doesn't mean there isn't a demand of some kind. The question is, what is the market for a several hundred dollar tire that fists no current frames.... 50 pairs worldwide, maybe?
    I changed to my 4" tires last night and went out riding around the airstrip.

    Honestly, each time I ride the studded D4s I'm further disappointed, the D5s are so much better in terms of ride and traction, you can air them down to ride soft over the roots and hard surfaces, with gobs of traction from the casing, and they just don't slow you down anywhere. I bit the bullet 3 seasons back when I got them, and I know the "4 inch" tires are such a mainstay around here, but I have a hard time riding them in anything other than a hardpacked race, just not that much fun, much more sketchy, don't bite as well as they should, etc.

    I feel the difference is akin to how I feel about taking your normal trail bike to the ski resort for the DH action. You "can" do this, but you end up fighting the bike and not enjoying the runs and it's frustrating. I feel I "fight" the skinnier tires more when riding, vs. just enjoying everything with the wider ones.

    That doesn't mean we need 3XL tires, but often what you know is the best you've ever experienced, we do have times when wider tires are necessary (if you want to ride, vs. waiting) and I think the fat industry has progressed past those 3.8ish "fat" tires, at least for winter riding. Before though, those were all we could fit, and tires are still expensive and in my experience, these things last a LONG time being used only in the winter, so there may be a lot of riders not on the wider tires, but IME, there are definitely benefits to going wider.
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  47. #147
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    I agree on all points. The downhill analogy really fits as well.

    Trails around the airstrip got a lot of use this year when wet and its far rougher than last year, 5 inchers really help. More pronounced this last week than most of last winter, granted my winter amounted to december to march last year. Our ice ruts seem to need the cush and the diameter for the uneven surface right now. Seems like a dry cold fall, but there have still been 3 times more float would have rocked.

    I had a 12 year break in cycling, lived on a hardtail back then as 2000ish full squish was heavy and pogo like. Rode a proper modern full squish this fall, boy what an eye opener talk about not knowing what I'd been missing.

    Watching those espen videos, can't help but agree with you. We might not even know what we're missing....

  48. #148
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    I can't find the reference, but I read an article from a bike industry publication (Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, perhaps) in the last week or so that interviewed a bunch of marketing managers from various bike companies about whether fat bikes are truly dead or just resting. In the wake of this article, I'm less optimistic than I was that we'll ever see this tire.

    The consensus was that everybody that was going to buy a fat bike has already got one now, and they're using them mostly for snow/sand, not as a replacement for a hardtail or rigid mountain bike as people might have thought a couple years ago. They're saying plus tires are better on trails than full-fat.

    One point that most of the people interviewed agreed on was that once the makers converged on non-offset geometries, there was no reason for people to upgrade to a new model of fat bike every 3-4 years as there has been in MTBs or road bikes. So people buy one fat bike and that's it. I'm surprised that the Bluto fork didn't get a lot more people to upgrade from a rigid fat bike, but it sounds like not.

    So perhaps all this rumor-mongering about a 3XL tire is a last-ditch attempt to make a compelling new geometry to get people to upgrade to a new generation of fat bikes. But the fact that we haven't seen them hit the market means the makers aren't seeing enough frame builders willing to build a new model around them. After all, it's too late to get a 3XL tire into the market for this winter season.
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  49. #149
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    I agree with some points to that article and others I donít. Iíve never ridden a plus tire bike but I would agree they are better and more practical for summer use. I swap to narrower fat tires in the summer on our bikes (usually to the stock ones) because they roll more efficiently. I also got a reply to my VeeTire email saying the 3XL was only for testing purposes and they donít have plans to introduce it in Ď18.


    However, I think the fatbike industry is ready for a new breakthrough. If you want to sell people new bikes then offer them something that increases performance over the existing. The 3XL would do that and Diamant offered a bike that would fit it. It sounds like Qurring has as well.

    It was interesting to read about Anchorage. I live there in the 90ís and spent a lot of time riding in Bicentennial Park during the winter way before fat bikes were popular. I rode on 2.1Ē tires and because the traffic packed the trails down so well and things stayed cold and frozen and hard a majority of the time I understand and have seen how most have no need for anything bigger than 4Ē tires. But a big squishy tire would give a better ride and Espenís tire didnít appear to give up as much speed compared to the 2XL. I rode by 2XL equipped bike in Anchorage last March and the tires were overkill for the conditions and didnít fit in the grooves on the trail. The conditions were so hard and fast at the time that studded 2.1ís would have been the fastest set up.

    Maybe Surly will intro a new bike and tire at Frostbike in February? I donít know why youíd wait until the middle of winter but then again, I donít know why youíd release a new road bike with a basket on the front in December either?

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