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  1. #1
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    Fat Bikes on the local trails? Educate me...

    I rode the BCT yesterday and saw about 8 fat bikes hitting the trails. They looked pretty sweet!

    I know the fat bikes would be great for soft sand like the beach or in the snow.

    My question is, is it necessary on the local trails. It seems to me it might be difficult to roll all that tire up and down the hills.

    Can the folks that ride the fat bikes on the local Phoenix trails chime in as to why you chose a fat bike over a traditional bike?
    What are the pros and cons while riding the hard packed trails in the Phoenix area?

  2. #2
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    Fat Bikes on the local trails? Educate me...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyboy2992 View Post
    I rode the BCT yesterday and saw about 8 fat bikes hitting the trails. They looked pretty sweet!

    I know the fat bikes would be great for soft sand like the beach or in the snow.

    My question is, is it necessary on the local trails. It seems to me it might be difficult to roll all that tire up and down the hills.

    Can the folks that ride the fat bikes on the local Phoenix trails chime in as to why you chose a fat bike over a traditional bike?
    What are the pros and cons while riding the hard packed trails in the Phoenix area?
    Let me guess, you don't own a pair of skinny jeans either.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  3. #3
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    I do not own a fat bike, but I do have a Surly Krampus which is a 29+. Fat bike, much like all of the other bike types out there are a personal preference rather than a +- advantage choice for trails other than sand and snow. I bought my Krampus with the intent of a something different to ride every now and then. It is now my primary ride for everything short of the extremely rocky trails, being fully rigid it is too harsh for me on the chunk.

    It is definitely more work on climbs but is actually faster than my fs bike on the flats and slightly descending trails. It's like riding an oversized BMX bike. I may have to get me some skinny jeans.

    I have also taken the Krampus on bike packing trips, definitely a great choice for that type of riding. Oh, and flat pedals are mandatory on fat bikes, probably has something to do with the skinny jeans.

  4. #4
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    As for skinny jeans, not just no but hell no. No straight bill hats, monster stickers or EDM for me.
    Not sure what all that has to do with fat bikes, but ill take it with a grain of salt.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ_AlanS View Post
    a fat bikI do not owne, but I do have a Surly Krampus which is a 29+. .
    Thread hijack: Please tell me more about your Krampus. Reason being, I owned a KM for a long time and loved that bike. Prior to AZ, I rode that bike 99% of the time and loved rigid, 29 and single. Then I moved next to South mountain. A few trips down national and it started to site in my garage. Then I sold my full squish and put a Reba on the KM. Back to being my 99% bike.

    yadda yadda yadda - I loved that bike. I wanted another but for whatever reason ended with something different.

    Every so often I think about a krampus - then I remember I nearly quit riding my surly when it was rigid.

    So - any thoughts on qualit of tires out there? Do they stand up to sharp granite? How often do you wish you had a squishy front? never? Is this your only bike, or part of the stable?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyboy2992 View Post
    Not sure what all that has to do with fat bikes, but ill take it with a grain of salt.
    I think CO was trying to insinuate that people on fat bikes are hipster d-bags. That's how I read it anyways...
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    I think CO was trying to insinuate that people on fat bikes are hipster d-bags. That's how I read it anyways...
    I think he was just suggesting it's a trend .. the d-bag part would be your own projection.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pontius_Pirate View Post
    Thread hijack: Please tell me more about your Krampus. A few trips down national and it started to site in my garage. Then I sold my full squish and put a Reba on the KM. Back to being my 99% bike.

    Every so often I think about a krampus - then I remember I nearly quit riding my surly when it was rigid.

    So - any thoughts on qualit of tires out there? Do they stand up to sharp granite? How often do you wish you had a squishy front? never? Is this your only bike, or part of the stable?
    I also own a FS XC bike, dirt jumper, DH bike and a road bike. Sold my SS and AM bikes but may replace them someday.

    Tire selection is the biggest issue for 29+ right now, the Knard is the only available 3x29 tire for now and it is horrible for our desert riding. For rocky chunky trails I go for the FS bike. Don't plan on putting a suspension fork on the Krampus, that is why I have a FS bike.

  9. #9
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    If you want to go slower, choose a fat bike.

    To have any "bump absorption" you've got to take the pressure way down, it works fine on snow, but on dirt it's way too soft and you have trouble turning, steering and pedaling is like dragging a wet mattress, especially when out of the saddle. At any reasonable pressure it feels and rides like a rigid bike (because it is). This is a common misconception due to people thinking 4" tires=4" suspension.

    They do work fantastic on semi-packed and packed snow trails. Many places don't really have these and people that go out and snow-shoe/ski on the trails to pack them down, let alone snow during all of winter. At other times when it just snowed a few inches it's not really worth it to take out the fat bike, and it won't handle 12" dumps or anything either.

    Fatbikes can be fun, but you don't ride them to go fast with 20lbs of wheels and tires. Acceleration is slow and you seem to pedal a lot without going much of anywhere. Nothing works as well as a fatbike in the right snow conditions and beach-sand seems to be another area where they excel (although I've tried really loose sand and they won't do that).
    "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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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    I think CO was trying to insinuate that people on fat bikes are hipster d-bags. That's how I read it anyways...
    No, not really. I was suggesting that they are the latest fad.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  11. #11
    My other ride is your mom
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    I've ridden fatbikes a couple times. In snow it is fun. On dirt, it's fun until it's dumb.....




  12. #12
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    If you are looking for a more do-it-all kind of rig don't get a fat bike. If you can afford the novelty and like riding in snow then sure, why not. Other than that tho.......meh.

  13. #13
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    i ride mine at the beach, or when i'm drunk and want something that cant fall over. Hate it for anything but the easiest trails. ymmv.
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  14. #14
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    I ride a fat bike year round in all conditions and love it. I rode in the Prescott Monstercross last weekend, Whiskey Offroad race, the Skull Valley Loop Challenge, and so much more. It is a personal preference as with most bikes and the rider will ultimately determine the ability of the bike. The fat bike is not for everyone but I would recommend you give it a good try before writing them off.

    Fat Bikes on the local trails? Educate me...-whiskeyrace.jpg

  15. #15
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    I thought I heard someone on a fat bike was the first to finish the 71 mile Prescott Monstercrosss?

    Also, I ride with the winkster and fat and slow do not go together.

  16. #16
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    Fat Bikes on the local trails? Educate me...

    Quote Originally Posted by winkster View Post
    I ride a fat bike year round in all conditions and love it. I rode in the Prescott Monstercross last weekend, Whiskey Offroad race, the Skull Valley Loop Challenge, and so much more. It is a personal preference as with most bikes and the rider will ultimately determine the ability of the bike. The fat bike is not for everyone but I would recommend you give it a good try before writing them off.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    BS! This is defiantly Photoshopped. Where are your fake Buddy Holly glasses and Chrome messenger bag?
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyboy2992 View Post
    I rode the BCT yesterday and saw about 8 fat bikes hitting the trails. They looked pretty sweet!

    I know the fat bikes would be great for soft sand like the beach or in the snow.

    My question is, is it necessary on the local trails. It seems to me it might be difficult to roll all that tire up and down the hills.

    Can the folks that ride the fat bikes on the local Phoenix trails chime in as to why you chose a fat bike over a traditional bike?
    What are the pros and cons while riding the hard packed trails in the Phoenix area?
    I ride a half fat jones in Tucson for my main bike. it is a swapable set up that I can put a 29er front on when i feel like it. I swap back and forth as need. I love to use it out at Star Pass and on Mt Lemmon trails. It has amazing traction, so amazing, but it is a rigid bike. It doesn't feel like a suspension bike, but it feels less rigid than when the 29er tire is one. However the 29er wheel makes me realize I can manual much better and accelerate better. I dislike the fat tire on trails like fantasy island, snake desert trails with little technical and lots of turns, deceleration and accelerations points.

    The huge draw back is that they tires make Schwable tires look like a great deal, they are hard-ish to set up tubeless and they need a special tube which is huge and you have to carry with you in case you cut a side wall. Plus they are seriously heavy and the lighter models are seriously $200.

    Another thing is my Jones is designed to be a rigid AM style bike but most fat bikes are designed to be XC style or touring style bikes. Not AM bikes. I properly equipped AM style fat bike would be pretty sweet but current fat bikes are just not there yet.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by azbeersnob View Post
    I thought I heard someone on a fat bike was the first to finish the 71 mile Prescott Monstercrosss?

    Also, I ride with the winkster and fat and slow do not go together.
    Yup. We saw Steve Reynolds finish first on his rigid fat bike. And he was still grinning. Something wrong with that boy...

  19. #19
    slower than you
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    love me some fat!

    i ride my pugs as often as i ride my fs-29er, or my rigid singlespeed, or my hardtails, or my crossbike, or my fixie, or my my commuter, or my cruisers. now and then i even ride a mountain-uni around, too.

    far as i'm concerned each bike is rad in its own way.
    "May your trails be winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Ed Abbey
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  20. #20
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    Fat Bikes on the local trails? Educate me...

    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    BS! This is defiantly Photoshopped. Where are your fake Buddy Holly glasses and Chrome messenger bag?
    And notice how there's no one behind him? Because everyone is way back choking on that huge dust cloud!

    Fat bikes: the coal-rolling Cummins of MTB
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  21. #21
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    I have an XL Mukluk if you're in the market.

  22. #22
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    I have had a Salsa Mukluk for over a year now..ride it on SoMo..Javalina, BeesKnees, Gila, it is a lot of fun to ride up/down the middle of Pima Wash and drop down the small waterfalls in Pima Wash...I have taken it up and down Mormon and Natty but you do beat yourself up a lot..I have ridden it at Dynamite and Pima..fun in the old dirtbike trails that are dug up and now sand pits..Hawes...took it camping on the RIM to explore ATV trails and dirt roads..also explored ATV trails in Tonto NF that go through washes and have a lot of sand. But I would not replace my FS with it..so for me it is second bike that is different than my FS. For Phoenix where it excels at is in washes..I have keep up with people climbing BeesKnees but as soon as you hit the downhill they are gone..I also do not bring it to group rides because as soon as you hit the flat section of trail or downhills everyone starts pulling away from you (well maybe for others this is not the case like the racers above, but I guess I am not that fast ).

    Last year Chollaball had a great post about fatbike riding in the desert so I knew what I was getting into when I was looking for a fatbike. Tires are expensive, On-One Floater are ~$75 but the rest of them are way expensive. Actual wear on rear was not that bad, I got a year out of the rear tire and I ride the bike once maybe twice a week.

    So why I choose a fatbike on Phx trails, well it is fun to ride, it makes some Phx trails more challenging, I am not talking about Downhill Technical rock gardens like Goat Camp, lower Natty, but like Javalina, BeesKnees, Helipad climb..average trails they become a little more difficult a little more fun. Also riding after work on SoMo it sorta changes things up. I ride with a friend sometimes and she is not that fast so on my 29er without realizing it I would pull away but with fatbike we stay closer together and I get a good workout in and she enjoys the rides better. So if your think a fatbike is gonna make you faster on Phx trails or clear more technical sections, I would say no.

    If your looking for confirmation that it is a fad, well since I started mtn biking in middle 90s everything back then now seems like a fad, canti-brakes, v-brakes, colored CNC components, elastomer front forks, 3x7 drivetrains..no way would I buy a new bike with that stuff, so yeah fatbikes are a fad also.

  23. #23
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    Heh. I like the wet mattress comment the best.

    While I'm waiting for the 29+ FS fad to come I bought a fat bike over other options I could have afforded for one simple reason. It got me on the trails with a big stupid grin on my face. Is it the best or fastest? NO.

    Is it easy fun in a sport of discretionary spending? YES.

    I'll buy my dream bike one day. In the mean time I continue to be impressed by the simplicity of the fat and where it takes me. Especially in AZ.

    Edit: OP, do you know what a group of fat bikes is called?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by drolic View Post
    Heh. I like the wet mattress comment the best.

    While I'm waiting for the 29+ FS fad to come I bought a fat bike over other options I could have afforded for one simple reason. It got me on the trails with a big stupid grin on my face. Is it the best or fastest? NO.

    Is it easy fun in a sport of discretionary spending? YES.

    I'll buy my dream bike one day. In the mean time I continue to be impressed by the simplicity of the fat and where it takes me. Especially in AZ.

    Edit: OP, do you know what a group of fat bikes is called?
    A group of fat bikes would be called....a "fraggle of fatties"?

    Thanks for all the replies everyone. I'm not in the market but am curious as to the draw for them on the local trails.

  25. #25
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    A group of Fat Bikes is a Chub.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If you want to go slower, choose a fat bike.

    To have any "bump absorption" you've got to take the pressure way down, it works fine on snow, but on dirt it's way too soft and you have trouble turning, steering and pedaling is like dragging a wet mattress, especially when out of the saddle. At any reasonable pressure it feels and rides like a rigid bike (because it is). This is a common misconception due to people thinking 4" tires=4" suspension.

    They do work fantastic on semi-packed and packed snow trails. Many places don't really have these and people that go out and snow-shoe/ski on the trails to pack them down, let alone snow during all of winter. At other times when it just snowed a few inches it's not really worth it to take out the fat bike, and it won't handle 12" dumps or anything either.

    Fatbikes can be fun, but you don't ride them to go fast with 20lbs of wheels and tires. Acceleration is slow and you seem to pedal a lot without going much of anywhere. Nothing works as well as a fatbike in the right snow conditions and beach-sand seems to be another area where they excel (although I've tried really loose sand and they won't do that).
    I ride fat exclusively up here in Nome AK (snow, beach, tundra, no technical or chunk to speak of and precious little singletrack). For local conditions, I love it, but Jayem pretty much nails the limitations. Down in AZ, might make sense as a second or third bike for sandy washes, arroyos, etc., but there's too much other good riding to limit yourself to that.
    Veni vidi velo!

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