Growing # of Options for Snow bikes in Fall 2010?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Growing # of Options for Snow bikes in Fall 2010?

    I am budgeting and shopping for a snow bike this winter and wondering what all of the options are and if anyone has built a comprehensive or done comparisons of the pros and cons of each when shopping for one themselves.

    I know there is this thread from March 2009 but I know designs have changed since then and more importantly more options are available. I can't afford a Ti frame so I would be looking for a Aluminum or Steel frame.

    Snow Bikes I am aware of:
    "Fatback" from Speedway Cycles in Anchorage. (Alu Frame & Fork $600, Ti Frame $1800)
    "9-ZERO-7" from Chain Reaction in Anchorage (Alu Frame $499, Ti Frame $1899)
    "Wildfire" from Wildfire in Wasilla. (Frame $995, Fork $249-$299) *CUSTOM FRAME*
    "Pugsley" from Surley Bicycles (Available at many bike shops & REI) M Frame 5.66lbs (Steel Frame $450-$600, Built Up ~38lbs?)
    "Mukluk" from Salsa being sold locally through Paramount Cycles in Anchorage. M Frame 4lb8oz (Alu Frame $? , Complete Bike $1599 (34.2lbs))
    "Thunderwing" from Vicious Cyclesworks; sold via RTR? (Alu & Ti Available - Custom Frame)

    As well does anyone know what they would recommended as a 'basic XT equivalent' buildup on these are.. the costs.. and any specific recommendations people would make as far as componentry options in general or for a specific bike?

    Thanks in advance.

    Christopher

  2. #2
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    All Good

    Chris,

    All of the above are great choices. There is another option for a cheap beach/snow bike:

    https://www.ezbeachattachments.com/products

    I have no personal knowledge of this cheapo but Billy at ArcticCycles is a listed dealer.

    As for the others, you can't go wrong with any of them. The Mukluk is the new kid on the block and has one feature I really like. The adaptor to fit either 170 rear hub or 135 hub just gives it more options. It may also work on the other bikes but I'm not sure. Reflective decals are also a nice touch but not a deal breaker.

    As for frame material I like aluminum. It's affordable and ideal for fat bikes, especially if you ride on a salt water beach. My steel frames are taking a beating here on the beach and require a lot more upkeep. My next bike will be Aluminum.

    The advantages of Ti get lost on fat tires on snow and sand where you'll be riding in my opinion. I just can't feel a difference b/w frame materials on fatbikes, so why not go with less expensive, fairly light, and easy to get.

    Aluminum is the best bang for your buck and the complete Mukluk is hard to beat, but I'm sure Fatback and 9zero7 will do their best to match it.

    And with all these aluminum fat bikes out now I'm sure you can find a screaming deal on a Pugs!

    Again, they're all good so at least you can't go wrong with whichever one you choose

    Good luck!

    Pat

  3. #3
    Fatback
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    Here is my take. To use one of my favorite quotes from Pat, they all will "ride like a bike."
    But I do have to disagree on the ride quality differences between materials, for better or worse. I won't get into it here, but I'd let you demo all the materials back to back and see what you think. It might be worth it to you, it might not. I would suggest the same thing as a comparison for handling. The bikes are similar (except for the beach one) but have different enough geometry to have their own unique ride.
    When comparing prices, compare apples to apples as much as possible. Our typical entry level Fatback is over 3lbs. lighter than the Mukluk. To save 3lbs on your current bike, it would be much more costly than the price difference between the two bikes.
    Anyway, come on by when you have time Christopher.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  4. #4
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    problem solved

    Chris,

    I think your problem has been solved just by virtue of Greg's post and involvement in this rapidly growing genre of cycling. His Fatback is a great design, comes in different flavors, and customer support is top notch. He's also local. Give him a call…

    As for frame material, at 10psi on Endos I can't tell which material the frame is made from. But if you've seen the piece of crap I ride as a snowbike you won't put much credence in my opinion anyway (it just barely 'rides like a bike' ).

    Good luck with your search

    Pat

  5. #5
    No, that's not phonetic
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    All your questions answered ---> here.

  6. #6
    Fatback
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    [QUOTE

    As for frame material, at 10psi on Endos I can't tell which material the frame is made from. But if you've seen the piece of crap I ride as a snowbike you won't put much credence in my opinion anyway (it just barely 'rides like a bike' ).

    Good luck with your search

    Pat[/QUOTE]

    Don't sell yourself short Pat-that is one of the sweeter rides anywhere!
    Mostly I can tell the difference between materials when hitting post holes from moose or horses.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  7. #7
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    Oh Yea...

    I guess most of these questions have been answered, but Cheeze didn't include 'Porky" in his shootout, so it's an incomplete comparison. Had he included my poor beast he surely would have shot it dead at first sight, so maybe it's OK in the end, but we'll just never know for sure now will we.

    So Chris, you can ruin a perfectly good frame by hacking and welding it way beyond it's intended design, or you can just get one already built. Now you have lots of info to make an informed decision. Good Luck! I'd let you test ride Porky but I don't want the liability...

    Thirsty, that's what you get for hitting holes.

    Hmm…Thirsty and Cheezy…sounds like a wine & cheese thread

    Pat

  8. #8
    is buachail foighneach me
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    The Fatback and I believe 9zero7 Ti frames can both be done custom, just as an additional piece of info to the first post. I think there's some bike shop in New England somewhere churning out singlespeed/igh snowbikes with 135 symmetrical spacing as well. Never seen one in person though.

    Maybe one of you people more well versed in metallurgy could correct me if I'm wrong, but won't salt water corrode aluminum as well, if the anodizing is worn away anywhere? I know that when I worked in a shop, we would occasionally get bikes in for repair that had been stored in the owners pool shed, and as a result, the un-painted/powdercoated/anodized parts had rotted away to almost nothing. Wheels were always the first to go. Chromo, stainless and alu. I would think this would make Ti the ultimate snow/sand bike material for it's corrosion resistance.

    I like my Aluminum Fatback though! I don't ride in enough salty conditions to worry about it.

  9. #9
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    If you live in Alaska, visit the shops and spend your money on what you think your specific needs are. One size doesn't fit all. Spend time in the Fatbike forum and try to filter the hubris.

    Another option for steel is Retrotec, no clue as to price, nice looking bike though.
    Last edited by space49; 09-20-2010 at 11:10 PM.

  10. #10
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    Yes Sean

    Yes, Salt water will corrode aluminum if left unchecked as it will just about anything. We live about 30 ft from the ocean here in Homer so the air that my steel bikes live in is salty as well. Steel just corrodes quicker. Look at boats and you'll see most are aluminum or fiberglass.

    But Chris, don't let this sway your decision. Unless you live on the ocean or ride in salt water all the time, it won't be a big issue. Go with what feels good to you, factoring in customer service after the sale as well. All of the bikes are good ones...

    Keep us posted

    Pat

  11. #11
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    delete
    Last edited by nm13; 10-03-2010 at 03:57 PM.

  12. #12
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    come on Pat, Rusty Pugsleys are total chick magnets in Homer.

  13. #13
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    There is also another Ti bike offered by...hmmm...uh...well I can't remember the name...supposedly they made a couple of early gen Fatbacks for Thirsty...There is a link posted around here somewhere...Any help? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  14. #14
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    Carver makes a Ti snowbike
    FAT since 09.
    Fatties are year round bikes!

  15. #15
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    there you go...Carver...Thanks
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  16. #16
    DLd
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    Nice informative post.
    Last edited by DLd; 11-22-2010 at 04:31 PM.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

  17. #17
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    Where in NE?

    [QUOTE=sean salach]The Fatback and I believe 9zero7 Ti frames can both be done custom, just as an additional piece of info to the first post. I think there's some bike shop in New England somewhere churning out singlespeed/igh snowbikes with 135 symmetrical spacing as well. Never seen one in person though.

    Symmetrical spacing is my interest. Where di you hear this lead?

  18. #18
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
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    Check the Fat Bike Forum and Ebay. I'm pretty sure the shop is out of New Hampshire or something. I'm not specifically recommending them, as I have no experience with them at all, but there you go. The Fatback is symmetrical as well, but spaced 170mm.

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