Fat front...why should I...or why not...?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fat front...why should I...or why not...?

    If you've tried a fat front wheel what made you like it...or dislike it?

    I'm thinking about getting a new bike and my list is down to just a few frame/fork combos:

    - Jones diamond / truss fork / fat front
    - Canfield Nimble9 / Niner carbon fork

    My current bike is a custom rigid SS with XC geo ala Niner so I expect both the Jones and the Nimble9 to handle very different from what I have.

    I'm tempted to try a fat front. But what are the pros and cons? I'll use the bike for forest trails and on rocks. The bike will be set up 1x9 and will not be build for speed / race.

    My trails:

    http://blip.tv/file/1710499

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  3. #3
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    The benefit of a bigger front tire is more contact patch and lateral grip. In the aspect of running a rigid fork, it will provide a bit more comfort to the rider as your tires are your "suspension." The also float better in the winter over snow than narrower race tires.

    The drawback is that you will typically have a higher rolling resistance and more weight. Outside of that, there is not many drawbacks.
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  6. #6
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    Fat fronts may be a shade slower but they're a whole heap of fun to ride.

    F*ck the weight and think of the fun.

  7. #7
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    Fat fronts are great fun.
    The fat front tyre has fantastic grip and as said earlier, if you run it at low pressure it provides a level of "suspension".
    Downsides are that the Larry weighs a ton, the Surly Toob weighs a ton and the wheel I had built (Formula hub laced to Trialtech rim) also was no lightweight.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlespeedstu
    Fat fronts may be a shade slower but they're a whole heap of fun to ride.

    F*ck the weight and think of the fun.
    Yeah I was just being a turd. I actually want to try one on more than just pavement.
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  9. #9
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    fat front tire

    The earlier root's of fat front tire's came from us old motorcycle rider's IMO. When cornering at speed on an mc you adjust your attack angle with the throttle . If the front tire start's to slide you dial in more throttle and your angle is changed and the front tire bite's. It is rare to slide the front tire for very long. The take home here is throttle equall's controll. With a Mtn. bike you have no throttle in a corner so controll must be maintained by sticking the front tire and keeping it stuck. If thr front tire is larger then it generally will have more traction than the back. If a slide is hapening then it should be the back tire first, and there are other reasons like hitting big rocks with a larger front tire. In any case try reversing the set up and see what happen's.

  10. #10
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    nevegal 2.2 front SB8s 2.1 rear. I ride out fast on the straights from the the rears. Take turns with confidence from the fronts. when i was running sb8s all around to slippery for me on turns.

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    frank said almost exactly what i was going to say pertaining the rear sliding first. I ran 2.2 specialized capt. control fr+rr for a couple months. Then switched the rear to a 2.0 and I was surprised at how much faster I could rail corners. Before with the 2.2's, my tires were equal grip and my front tire would wash out at high speed corning. Now, with the 2.0 rr, I can feel when the rear starts giving, in corners, and I can control it with the front tire and balance.

  12. #12
    hispanic mechanic
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    I think the last 3 posters are missing what the OP is asking about. "Fat front" generally now means a 26X3.8" tire, which yields a similar outer diameter to a 29", but with considerably more volume.

    Los
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  13. #13
    craigsj
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    I tried fat-front once. Got it out of my system.

    If you like the feeling of riding through wet sand continuously, you'll love the sluggishness and horrendous rolling resistance that these tires offer. If you want suspension effect, suspension offers that without the nasty penalties. Fatties look cool though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj
    I tried fat-front once. Got it out of my system.

    If you like the feeling of riding through wet sand continuously, you'll love the sluggishness and horrendous rolling resistance that these tires offer. If you want suspension effect, suspension offers that without the nasty penalties. Fatties look cool though.
    Did you use an Endomorph tire the one time you did try it? I hated the way the Endomorph tracked. The Larry is a completely different tire, and it behaves more like a normal tire. I don't think it feels the way you are talking about at all.
    Last edited by Wish I Were Riding; 03-27-2011 at 10:13 AM.

  15. #15
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    Bombing along some singletrack the other day, closely following a FS Nicolai - was anything other than sluggish, I can tell you

  16. #16
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    Exactly...

    Quote Originally Posted by sslos
    I think the last 3 posters are missing what the OP is asking about. "Fat front" generally now means a 26X3.8" tire, which yields a similar outer diameter to a 29", but with considerably more volume.

    Los
    Thank you for saying it.

    PF

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding
    Did you use an Endomorph tire the one time you did try it? I hated the way the Endomorph tracked. The Larry is a completely different tire, and it behaves more like a normal tire. I don't think it feels the way you are talking about at all.
    The tire I used was a Larry. "More like a normal tire" means to me that the Endomorph is even worse.

    Sluggish understates how these tires behave. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fruitafrank
    The earlier root's of fat front tire's came from us old motorcycle rider's IMO. When cornering at speed on an mc you adjust your attack angle with the throttle . If the front tire start's to slide you dial in more throttle and your angle is changed and the front tire bite's. It is rare to slide the front tire for very long. The take home here is throttle equall's controll. With a Mtn. bike you have no throttle in a corner so controll must be maintained by sticking the front tire and keeping it stuck. If thr front tire is larger then it generally will have more traction than the back. If a slide is hapening then it should be the back tire first, and there are other reasons like hitting big rocks with a larger front tire. In any case try reversing the set up and see what happen's.
    Interesting take on running a fat front tire (assuming you are talking about the 3.8" tires). Just curious if you feel like you have to put that much more weight onto the front tire to make it stick on a MTB (and take advantage of the extra contact patch) rather than push/slide out?

  19. #19
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    I like riding with a 3" Savage Arrow on the front with a 29mm internal DH rim on the rigid with carbon forks, rides really well, doesn't drag that much but it's my training/fun bike anyways so doesn't matter.

    I'd like to go proper fat 3.8" but haven't got the money free for a wheel build + fat forks + fat tire there not cheap.

  20. #20
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    Fat front tire

    I definitely missed the OP question on running a 26x3.8, sorry. It does pay to put more weight on the front tire when cornering except in deep sand.

  21. #21
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    Your numbers are way off. The Larry weighs 1350g, not 2000g and you can use a 100g tube if you want....... Or a DH tube that weighs 350g not 1500g. Your views might have some credibility if you got your facts straight

  22. #22
    TR
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj
    The tire I used was a Larry. "More like a normal tire" means to me that the Endomorph is even worse.

    Sluggish understates how these tires behave. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
    Well here is a shock.
    You are saying that a 3.8" tyre that weighs about 2kg with a 1.5kg tube run at 9psi does not roll as fast as a 2.1" race tyre that weighs 800g???
    Amazing!!

  23. #23
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    Fat front ...

    Do - because you like to experiment and see how things work out for yourself.

    Don't - because you believe the hype.


    I say if you're REALLY curious and have the money burning a hole in your pocket you're just wasting time here typing/reading instead of buying/installing/riding.

    When you decide please update this current thread. Post pics and ride input also, since it might help others.

    Good luck.
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  24. #24
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    It works very nicely on a 29er.



    Best done with a 29er frame because the fat wheel is a much larger same diameter than a 26" wheel. It would probably make a 26" bike feel like a slug because the wheel would jack up the height at the front.

    It is particularly good on loose, or soft, or rocky technical surfaces. Low tyre pressures make all the difference.

    May be an idea to head over to the fatbike forum and have a read. Most people who try a fat front end up getting a full fatbike.
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  25. #25
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    Nice to see so many great replys - thanks.

    I know that the fat front setup will be heavy. Normally I notice the rolling resistance on the rear more than on the front. I didn't like the Ardent 2.25 on the rear but I've been running an Ardent 2.4 front for the last 8 months without problems.

    I guess two things can happen:

    A) heavy and slow = not fun
    B) a lot of fun = I dont care if it's heavy and slow

    So what's the lightest possible fat front set up? Something like:

    Larry (1350), latex 26" tube (125), 135mm front hub (200), 32 spokes/nipples (250), rim ??? (800???) = 2725 grams

    My current set up is:

    Ardent 2.4 (800), latex 26" tube (125), CK hub (170), 32 spokes/nipples (250), flow rim (525) = 1870 grams

    So approx. 855 grams more if I go fat.

    AndrewTO - you're right, I'm just wasting time here typing/reading instead of buying/installing/riding

  26. #26
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    I might be wrong but there is no way I would be trying to run a standard 26" tube in my fat front tyre.
    Proper Surly tube is 1.5kg.
    Either that or have a run at tubeless.

  27. #27
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    Yep.

    I've run the following, all successfully - 2.7" DH innertube @ 345g. 3" DH innerube @454g (this is the best as it's 1.5mm thick and doesn't puncture).

    Also a Maxiss 100g ultralight tube will work - although this is an expensive option as it can't be repaired.There are too many thorns in my area for this to be an option, as the tube stretches so thin.

    I've also used a 2.2" tube as a 'get you home' option - this was suboptimal, but it did get me home! I carry a 26" spare tube which will work for both the fat front and the 29er rear wheel. I've only had to do this once in over a year as the DH tubes hardly ever puncture.

  28. #28
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    I've run all those tubes successfully over the last year. I've never owned a surly tube - saying you have to use a 1.5kg tube is simply wrong.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    May be an idea to head over to the fatbike forum and have a read.
    Been there many times...

    What front rim are you running? And how wide is the Larry on your setup?

  30. #30
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    The bike in the photo is running 40mm rims - otherwise the tyre wouldn't fit in that fork. The tyre was 88mm wide there, whereas on a 80mm rim it's 98mm wide.

    I get my fatbike rims from Classic-cycles in Germany. I run 80mm on my fatbike.
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  31. #31
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    I use a drilled 50mm rim from Speedway - not that heavy, 500g or so.

  32. #32
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    You can run 100mm front hubs and use a Surly Pug fork. May save a little weight. I just bought that set up with 47mm rims and Larry tire tubeless.

  33. #33
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    Better off with a 135mm hub = no dish and stronger wheel.

    A short stem is a good idea too - 70mm or less = quicker steering.

  34. #34
    hispanic mechanic
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    I'll be setting up a fat front soon. 'Cause I like my Pugs, and it might be fun.

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    I'm riding a KHS Flagstaff w/Amer. Classic mtb29 wheels (only upgrade)

    I ran sb8 front/back last summer, switched to the tires that came with bike (WTB Exiwolf 2.3) over the winter and now i'm riding the exiwolf in front and sb8 in the back. I don't know if its placebo or not, but the bike feels the best of any setup I've tried. I live in the mountains of southwestern VA, and ride lots of singletrack with loads of climbing/descending and I feel more confident with this setup. Its also worth mentioning that I am the fastest I've ever been with this setup (but that may be due to lots of other things as well).
    P=DAL, P=DAL, P=DAL!

  36. #36
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    That's great - but it I don't see the relevance to runnig a FAT front.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasse1977
    If you've tried a fat front wheel what made you like it...or dislike it?

    I'm thinking about getting a new bike and my list is down to just a few frame/fork combos:

    - Jones diamond / truss fork / fat front
    - Canfield Nimble9 / Niner carbon fork

    My current bike is a custom rigid SS with XC geo ala Niner so I expect both the Jones and the Nimble9 to handle very different from what I have.

    I'm tempted to try a fat front. But what are the pros and cons? I'll use the bike for forest trails and on rocks. The bike will be set up 1x9 and will not be build for speed / race.

    My trails:

    http://blip.tv/file/1710499

    Check out Aqua:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=696625


    Great Stuff!

    PF

    EXCUSES ARE THE NAILS IN THE COFFIN OF FAILURE.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futon River Crossing
    I use a drilled 50mm rim from Speedway - not that heavy, 500g or so.
    Are they still available? Their website only lists 70 and 80mm...

    Also, do you feel your rim is strong enough? (pics of your trails might be helpfull... )

  39. #39
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    I don't know about availability Drop them an email. Strengh is good, still true after 15 months - no rocks on my trails though! Don't think it would be a problem though.

    Jeff is also making a 50mm rim.

  40. #40
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    I like the fat front set-up. This will be my 3rd summer riding a fat front bike. I gradually began to ride my full-suspension less and less, and the fat front more and more. I will say that our trails here in MN are pretty tame. If our trails were more rugged I'd still have a full-suspension bike.

    2009 - Started out with a Fisher GED. It's a 26er frame designed around a 130mm fork.
    Large Marge rim, 2.7" Nevegal tire, and a Zion 26er fork:


    Then I added a Pug fork, and an Endomorph:


    Shortly after I bought the Endo, Surly introduced Larry. Doh!
    I didn't care for the Endo all that much and ended up putting the 2.7 Nevegal back on.

    2011 - Here's my current fat front set-up. I no longer have a full-suspension bike and this is my primary trail bike.
    Salsa Fargo with Waltworks fork, Larry tire, and Large Marge rim:
    Last edited by FTMN; 03-28-2011 at 09:19 PM.

  41. #41
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasse1977
    I'm tempted to try a fat front. But what are the pros and cons? I'll use the bike for forest trails and on rocks.

    My trails:
    https://blip.tv/file/1710499
    Obviously the weight is the major con, but the pros outweigh the cons for me. I don't race, and the fat front is just plain fun.
    A fun ride for me doesn't include seeing how fast I can ride a lap.

    Personally I like the added cush, the added traction, and the fact that the fat tire breeds confidence.
    There is something reassuring about that 4" tire when you are riding over rocks, or riding a log, or a skinny...


  43. #43
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    Does anybody ride a fat front on a Yelli?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    The bike in the photo is running 40mm rims - otherwise the tyre wouldn't fit in that fork. The tyre was 88mm wide there, whereas on a 80mm rim it's 98mm wide.
    40mm - is that inside or outside? And what is the distance between the fork legs?

    The distance between the fork legs on my current 29er steel fork is 92 mm so maybe I can fit a Larry in there if I choose a narrow rim...?

    How do you like the steering with the fat front on your On-One (my bike has almost the same geo...)

  45. #45
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    That clearance should be OK with a 50mm rim.

  46. #46
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    Why not? I like mine fine enough, but full fat is far better. I don't really care how heavy the wheels end up being on these. Its not like you're ever going to build a light bike with these tires/wheels. The advantage, is that these things are do freaking capable that their positive performance overcomes everything else negative.
    Just a regular guy.

  47. #47
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    Greg at Speedway Cycles just told me that the 50 mm rims are not available at the moment - maybe next year?

    I think I'll try to get an old DH front wheel with a 30 - 40 mm wide rim from my LBS and give Larry a spin. Will post some pics when I (hopefully) get it all together...

    Martini: Yes a full on fat bike might be "better" but it's not cheap. But maybe if I like the fat front...

  48. #48
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    I've also been putting a lot of thought into trying a Fat front setup.

    To any of you who have tried fat front with a 40mm wide rim and a 50mm or larger rim. Do you have to run so much higher pressures with the 40mm rims that it takes away from the benefits of the fatty?

    Starting to think full fat with at least 47-50mm rims is the only correct way to try this.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  49. #49
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    I've used the Alex DH32 rim with an Endo on my Black Sheep Faith fork. Fit with no issues and was a blast to ride. The DX 32 is 39mm wide outside and 32 mm wide inside. Weight is 765 grams.

    I'm thinking of doing this again for kicks with the Larry.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky
    ...To any of you who have tried fat front with a 40mm wide rim and a 50mm or larger rim. Do you have to run so much higher pressures with the 40mm rims that it takes away from the benefits of the fatty?...
    I started at 15psi, but kept reducing it a few psi each ride. Ended up about 8psi which felt great.

    Best test is the pinch test at those pressures because your gauge may give a reading, but it's not necessarily accurate.

    Seriously, go into this as if you are intending to get a fatbike and make your purchases accordingly, because once you've tried it, you will get one. It will be handy if you can take your experimental bits across to a proper fatbike
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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasse1977
    If you've tried a fat front wheel what made you like it...or dislike it?

    I'm thinking about getting a new bike and my list is down to just a few frame/fork combos:

    - Jones diamond / truss fork / fat front
    - Canfield Nimble9 / Niner carbon fork

    My current bike is a custom rigid SS with XC geo ala Niner so I expect both the Jones and the Nimble9 to handle very different from what I have.

    I'm tempted to try a fat front. But what are the pros and cons? I'll use the bike for forest trails and on rocks. The bike will be set up 1x9 and will not be build for speed / race.

    My trails:

    http://blip.tv/file/1710499
    Interesting, my choices for the next bike are almost the same! I'm looking at either the Nimble 9 with the Enabler or the Jones diamond with the unicrown.
    Either way, I'll set up both a fat front and a 29" wheel.

    Los
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    Seriously, go into this as if you are intending to get a fatbike and make your purchases accordingly, because once you've tried it, you will get one. It will be handy if you can take your experimental bits across to a proper fatbike
    Well, I'm not going to say I won't ever have a full fat bike. However I'm honestly thinking for my area since there will be very little snow riding, fat front would be all that is needed. It would be used mostly on hardpack single track, rooty and rocky trails, and on some steep climbs/decents.

    I am thinking of going with an Enabler fork. Then either a 40-45mm 26" rim or going ahead with a 50-80mm rim.
    Last edited by nitrousjunky; 04-01-2011 at 11:52 AM.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky
    Well, I'm not going to say I won't ever have a full fat bike. However I'm honestly thinking for my area since there will be very little snow riding, fat front would be all that is needed. It would be used mostly on hardpack single track, rooty and rocky trails, and on some steep climbs/decents.

    I am thinking of going with an Enabler fork. Then either a 40-45mm 26" rim or going ahead with a 50-80mm rim.
    Riding my Pugs on trails, I can see the advantages of fat front. I think a portly rear, say a P35 with 2.4" Ardent, would suffice with a fat front. I'd definitely look into a 40-45mm rim if I didn't already have a LM.

    Los
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by sslos
    I'd definitely look into a 40-45mm rim if I didn't already have a LM.

    Los
    So you would prefer to have a 40-45mm rim over the 65mm rim? I could definitely get a cheaper wheel with a 40mm rim, I just don't want to go too narrow.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  55. #55
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    40-45 internal or external ??

    my 38mm external, 29mm internal isn't enough to run the 3" Savage Arrow low enough I feel, but it's pretty much spot on for the RQ2.4 which isn't much smaller.

    So if you going to run a 3.8" with thinner sidewalls even with the more semislick tread then I'd go 65mm+ personally.

    Advantage of narrower would be more of a round tire shape which would role faster, but float and grip would be less and pressure would need to be more.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky
    Well, I'm not going to say I won't ever have a full fat bike. However I'm honestly thinking for my area since there will be very little snow riding, fat front would be all that is needed. It would be used mostly on hardpack single track, rooty and rocky trails, and on some steep climbs/decents.

    I am thinking of going with an Enabler fork....
    You'll be amazed at how good a full fat bike is in any conditions. All you have to do is up the tyre pressure slightly if the trails are dry and hard and they roll quite fast. They're not just for snow - any soft trails, gravelly paths, rocky sections - all good.

    As far as the fork is concerned, I'd go for the Surly fork unless you're putting it on a 29er purely because it is shorter than the Salsa fork. The Enabler is a neater looking product though.
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    So if you going to run a 3.8" with thinner sidewalls even with the more semislick tread then I'd go 65mm+ personally.

    Advantage of narrower would be more of a round tire shape which would role faster, but float and grip would be less and pressure would need to be more.

    I was talking about 40mm external. See this is my thoughts as well!
    Especially after running the same tires on 28mm and 38mm 29er rims, I HIGHLY preferred the effect of the 38mm rims myself.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    I'd go for the Surly fork unless you're putting it on a 29er
    It is going on a 29er.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  59. #59
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    teel blue fat front

    First ride today.


  60. #60
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    Thats such a sick set up. How did it ride? One day, I'll have a Jones.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    Thats such a sick set up. How did it ride? One day, I'll have a Jones.
    I needed to add another spacer to the fork after the ride. The headset was just a touch loose. But other than that it was great. Looking forward to getting out on it again soon. It weighs 28lbs. Running it 1x9. I got a heavy 36th cassette, and I was using a 32th ring. I've got an order in with HBC for a custom 28th ring. Then I should be able to pedal most everywhere.

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    You probably know this, but the top clamp on the fork needs to be loose before you tighten the headset. Mine took the largest of the spacers provided and everything was fine.
    The blue diamond frame looks cool. The Spaceframes in any color but Black or Ti look odd IMO .

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjedoaks
    You probably know this, but the top clamp on the fork needs to be loose before you tighten the headset. Mine took the largest of the spacers provided and everything was fine.
    To be honest, I don't even know how you tighten the headset.

  64. #64
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    The bolt below your stem that is part of the fork needs to be loose before you can tighten the headset, unless you really have a gap which would require another spacer . Loosen the stem, and adjust the top headset bolt/ tighten it, but not too much. When you rock the bike back and forth with the front brake on, there should no play in the fork. Now straighten the stem and secure the stem bolts. Lastly tighten the bolt below the stem.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjedoaks
    The bolt below your stem that is part of the fork needs to be loose before you can tighten the headset, unless you really have a gap which would require another spacer . Loosen the stem, and adjust the top headset bolt/ tighten it, but not too much. When you rock the bike back and forth with the front brake on, there should no play in the fork. Now straighten the stem and secure the stem bolts. Lastly tighten the bolt below the stem.
    I didn't even install the starnut. Wasn't sure I needed it.

  66. #66
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    Quote/I didn't even install the starnut. Wasn't sure I needed it.

    Thats the problem, you need it .
    Edit/ I see now, that is the steerer tube sticking up on your bike . Either cut it or spacer it/ install the star nut.
    Last edited by rjedoaks; 04-04-2011 at 12:02 AM.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding
    First ride today.
    Where did you get that blue steel Jones? What hub / rim do you use for the fat front?

    Great looking bike by the way, enjoy.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTMN
    Obviously the weight is the major con, but the pros outweigh the cons for me. I don't race, and the fat front is just plain fun.
    A fun ride for me doesn't include seeing how fast I can ride a lap.



    Fantastic picture, and great logic too.

    I ride a heavier bike than my friends, it may knock my lap times a bit, but I am there to have fun, not to race. They might be faster, but they go around all the drops, rocks, roots and gnar.

    Big and bouncy just like my wife.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky
    So you would prefer to have a 40-45mm rim over the 65mm rim? I could definitely get a cheaper wheel with a 40mm rim, I just don't want to go too narrow.
    I think I would prefer the narrower rim on a fat front. Like I said, I already have a LM that I'll be using... Otherwise, I'd be buying a TrialTech 44mm rear rim to save cash and weight.

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  70. #70
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    Fat Fisher

    I bought my Mt Tam 29 in 2002 and have ridden the hell out of it for almost 10 years. The drivetrain finally wore out so I made it a SS using a cheap chain tensioner. Then the fork seals blew out so I replaced it with a Salsa Enabler. I had an Endomorph tire lying around and an old rear wheel so I built up a new wheel with the old hub and a 65mm Large Marge rim. I really didn't expect the front tire to perform well on singletrack but I have been very pleasantly surprised. The tire tracks great and is awesome riding over roots. This bike rips on alternating loose sandy/hard pack singletrack. I can now steer through the sandy sections. I'm really enjoying the fully rigid setup with a bit of cush provided by the tire. I'm using a standard 26" tube at 8-9 lbs. I haven't had this much fun on a bike since I rode the 29er for the first time. Several of my friends are already considering doing the same thing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fat front...why should I...or why not...?-mtbr_fat.jpg  


  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolledMeat View Post
    I bought my Mt Tam 29 in 2002 and have ridden the hell out of it for almost 10 years. The drivetrain finally wore out so I made it a SS using a cheap chain tensioner. Then the fork seals blew out so I replaced it with a Salsa Enabler. I had an Endomorph tire lying around and an old rear wheel so I built up a new wheel with the old hub and a 65mm Large Marge rim. I really didn't expect the front tire to perform well on singletrack but I have been very pleasantly surprised. The tire tracks great and is awesome riding over roots. This bike rips on alternating loose sandy/hard pack singletrack. I can now steer through the sandy sections. I'm really enjoying the fully rigid setup with a bit of cush provided by the tire. I'm using a standard 26" tube at 8-9 lbs. I haven't had this much fun on a bike since I rode the 29er for the first time. Several of my friends are already considering doing the same thing.
    I agree, you don't really feel the extra weight because it tracks so well. I've done the same climb many times, alternating between the 29er front and the 50mm Fat. I have the Fat on 90% of the time. But I'm not racing anyone and ride solo much of the time. Really a fun bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fat front...why should I...or why not...?-img_0235.jpg  


  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolledMeat View Post
    I bought my Mt Tam 29 in 2002 and have ridden the hell out of it for almost 10 years. The drivetrain finally wore out so I made it a SS using a cheap chain tensioner. Then the fork seals blew out so I replaced it with a Salsa Enabler. I had an Endomorph tire lying around and an old rear wheel so I built up a new wheel with the old hub and a 65mm Large Marge rim. I really didn't expect the front tire to perform well on singletrack but I have been very pleasantly surprised. The tire tracks great and is awesome riding over roots. This bike rips on alternating loose sandy/hard pack singletrack. I can now steer through the sandy sections. I'm really enjoying the fully rigid setup with a bit of cush provided by the tire. I'm using a standard 26" tube at 8-9 lbs. I haven't had this much fun on a bike since I rode the 29er for the first time. Several of my friends are already considering doing the same thing.
    I never got along with the Endo. But once I met Larry, as was really happy. You should try one too. It's a much more predicated tire.

  73. #73
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    Fat front is viral.

    After I tried it on my On-One Scandal 29er (pictured earlier in this thread), I bought a Pugsley frame and built up a fatbike.

    I then found I wasn't riding my 29er so I gave it to my son because I was not going to race any more. Then I changed my mind so needed another 29er.

    I bought myself a new 29er frame (Ragley TD-1 titanium), built it up, did a few rides on it and then this happened to it:


    I did a lap of the local course and it was on par with my usual time. Anything that is lost in one aspect is obviously being made up in others. I've got a 12hr race this weekend and I'm debating whether to ride it half-fat rather than 29er.
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    Nice set up, Velo. For an endurance race, I'd imagine having a cushier front would be a big benefit, so I'd go fattie.

  75. #75
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    Velo- what width is that rim the Larry is on?
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Fat front is viral.

    After I tried it on my On-One Scandal 29er (pictured earlier in this thread), I bought a Pugsley frame and built up a fatbike.

    I then found I wasn't riding my 29er so I gave it to my son because I was not going to race any more. Then I changed my mind so needed another 29er.

    I bought myself a new 29er frame (Ragley TD-1 titanium), built it up, did a few rides on it and then this happened to it:


    I did a lap of the local course and it was on par with my usual time. Anything that is lost in one aspect is obviously being made up in others. I've got a 12hr race this weekend and I'm debating whether to ride it half-fat rather than 29er.
    So...did you go fat front or 29er for the 12hr race???
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  77. #77
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    fork selection

    So based on what I've seen here the fat front gets a thumbs up.
    So what would be the fork options? Do you need a specific fatty fork
    if you run a Larry and 70mm rim, or will a standard 29er rigid fork do the job?
    And on that note, I guess the hub width becomes the next question.

    Recommendations?

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  79. #79
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    aizu1- What frame are you wanting to turn into a fat front?

    You will need a fat specific fork for a Larry on a 70mm rim.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by forgiven_nick View Post
    So...did you go fat front or 29er for the 12hr race???
    Fat front. Did the same amount of laps as I did last year on a 29er, and slightly faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky View Post
    Velo- what width is that rim the Larry is on?
    40mm - can't go wider because of the width of the fork.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolledMeat View Post
    I bought my Mt Tam 29 in 2002 and have ridden the hell out of it for almost 10 years. The drivetrain finally wore out so I made it a SS using a cheap chain tensioner. Then the fork seals blew out so I replaced it with a Salsa Enabler. I had an Endomorph tire lying around and an old rear wheel so I built up a new wheel with the old hub and a 65mm Large Marge rim. I really didn't expect the front tire to perform well on singletrack but I have been very pleasantly surprised. The tire tracks great and is awesome riding over roots. This bike rips on alternating loose sandy/hard pack singletrack. I can now steer through the sandy sections. I'm really enjoying the fully rigid setup with a bit of cush provided by the tire. I'm using a standard 26" tube at 8-9 lbs. I haven't had this much fun on a bike since I rode the 29er for the first time. Several of my friends are already considering doing the same thing.


    Nude wall endo!!! too cool! where or how did you get that?


    Thanks Ross

  82. #82
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    Still in the planning phase

    I haven't decided exactly what I will do. First I was thinking of building a carbon 29er hardtail with the option to go rigid or throw a 100mm fork on it. I have a 2nd set of 29er wheels and a fork lying around and a bunch of misc stuff to start another build project.

    Then I thought that instead of that I will go for a fully built Fatback.

    Lately I'm thinking of a combining thoughts 1 & 2 and building a half Fat. In this case I would get the chinese carbon 29er HT with the most rear tire clearance (the GOTO MTB854 w/2.4) and then have an option of swapping out forks & tires between a Fat rigid fork and 100mm RockShox. I still get the lite rigid build I originally was thinking about, along with the HalfFat snow machine that just seems like fun.

    I have multiple uses for this bike - riding to work and around town (lots of cobblestones) in all conditions, especially in the snow (I live in Austria) and doing some serious mtn rides where you climb for hours into the Alps (something lite would nice here) and trail ride over lots of roots and rocks.

    Along with the MTB854 I'm leaning towards a Fatback carbon fork, drilled out UMA70mm rim and a Larry. In the back I would have my I9/Stans Flow (now has a 2.2 Nevegal but maybe I go bigger for the winter).

    Hmmmm...What to do....

  83. #83
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    Sounds like you've done your homework and have a pretty good idea what your after.

    I would also suggest taking a look at the Salsa Enabler fork as it is 80mm Suspension correct and not a whole lot heavier. Rides nice too!
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  84. #84
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    I run a 44mm snowcat rim with a Surly Larry. As long as the PSI's are up, there isn't sidewall roll.

    As other people have stated, it is pure fun. In the street, on snow, on the trail... don't matter... fun as hell.

    The drawbacks:
    ** Weight... 2.3lb steel fork + that big tire... your bike will become front heavy.
    ** Caliper clearance... with a non-offset 100mm fork, I have to air down the tire to get it past the BB7.

    Otherwise, it is fun! My rear tire is a Geax Lobo Mas Loco 2.5
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  85. #85
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well scratch the all carbon half FAT

    Speedway won't sell me the carbon fork
    They only will sell on whole bike builds.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    40mm - can't go wider because of the width of the fork.
    Whats the distance between the fork legs on your Ragley? The width is 92 mm on my fork and I'm wondering if it's enough...?

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHaq View Post
    ...
    ** Caliper clearance... with a non-offset 100mm fork, I have to air down the tire to get it past the BB7...
    I've got a 100mm Pug fork and 47mm rim with Larry. At first, I thought I had to air down to get it out. But quickly found I can squeeze past the caliper pretty easy by tilting the wheel a bit.

  88. #88
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    here's mine

    in front (half) fatty setup:
    I've had the fork (Groovy custom) and fat wheel for awhile, but haven't put much time on it (yet)...so far it is pretty fun, but for rides with mixed surface, I tend to grab the regular 29er wheel.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fat front...why should I...or why not...?-wwfatfront.jpg  

    future nature

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    Big fan of the fat front. Never realized it would make such a difference until I tried it.

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