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Thread: Fat Biking?

  1. #1
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    Fat Biking?

    I'll be moving to Mesa spring of next year and curious about the Fatty scene around the area?

    Here in Colorado Springs I ride my fatty all year long. From mountain singletrack to high-desert / prairie plains - it just works most everywhere. I have the traditional 4.8" wheelset & a 29+ set running 3" tires.

    I do have a traditional 2.3" and a road & cross bike - but the fatty has been the "go to" since I got it!





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  2. #2
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    Whats the difference between fat biking scene and the regular biking scene?

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    Here in Colorado, fat bikes can go most anywhere, snow, sand, rock, singletrack, etc - there is a big trend with them in the summer ski parks using the lifts - 2.3" not so much in the snow or sand - so we'll see rides posted specifically designed for fat bikes in these areas.

    I know there is not much snow riding there, but I can see epic treks through the desert - sunsets, night riding, etc. I'm assuming that thinner tires might have challenges in deeper sand? But just to be clear, I'm not exactly sure what the terrain is like there - I have never been to AZ.

    My wife and I will be there at the end of May for a week, a recon mission if you will. We'll be checking out Mesa and Sedona and everywhere in between.




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  4. #4
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    I see some raw canyon wash exploration in your future. I used to be based out of NE Mesa ( AKA las Sendas) ....and I would ride from my house to 4 peaks and beyond on my bike....a fatty would have helped in many of my "feral" explorations.....lots of canyons to explore.

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    I have 2013 Salsa Mukluk so it is rigid (I wish I had a Bluto on it). So I think your gonna find yourself running the 29+ 3" tires more than the 4.8" out here in the desert.

    I do not really think there is a fatbike scene at least around Phoenix, you see a couple people riding them here or there, there is one guy I see at South Mountain riding a Beargrease (I believe) with a Bluto and he rocks the Waterfall on National Trail with it, but I think he can rock any bike he is on.

    From my riding in Colorado I feel the trails out here are more rocky so you might find going through expensive fatbike rear tires kinda annoying.

    I took my Mukluk on one ride with my buddies and when the trail flattened out they where all gone so I really only ride my fatbike when I am by myself and I chose my skinny tire bikes most of the time because they are more efficient on the trails out here, at least for me.

    There does seem like some cool exploration to be done along washes in NF land near 4 Peaks like Maadjurguer was saying. I also have wanted to take the Mukluk up to Flagstaff to ride in the snow but the weather is so great to ride around Phoenix during the winter, I just never have taken the trip.

  6. #6
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    Fat Biking?

    You might want to contact the owner (Joey) at Shadetree Bikes as he's a fatbike advocate and likely knows about a scene if there's one around. Not close to Mesa per se but Phoenix Sonoran Preserve would be a good place to ride. The trails are smooth-ish and pretty flowy which would minimize the chances of a cut tire. A lot of trails in the Phx metro area are unforgiving on rubber.
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  7. #7
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    Fatbikes are new to the deserts here, but they are very capable on our Desert terrain. I love riding new lines, and finding traction where there was none before. Sand is now my friend. I stopped riding my skinny mtb. I have bluto front suspension and love riding the fatty fast in the desert. They will only get more popular!

  8. #8
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    Colorado is a weird animal to say the least. If you go west 20 minutes, you'll be in the mountains at 10 or even 12,000 feet with crushed granite as dirt (very slippery), big boulders (big as cars) trees & river rock, lakes, streams & rivers.

    Fat Biking?-img_3077.jpg

    However if you head south or east - as little as 20 minutes - it's very much a high desert with cactus, sand dried river beds, ponds, streams and a few lakes - but the works here is the broken shale!

    The slickrock fools you, and then the broken shale slices your tires like class. On the last ride we have one guy who got two blowouts on the same tire and another 29er blow his rear. We keep plenty of Park Tools Tire Boots in our bags!

    Here is a short clip of a drainage ditch that showcases the shale - listen to the tires ringing through it - sounds like broken glass

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    I like riding my fatty on the AZ trails. We do get Snow here in the Northern cities and the Flagstaff Nordic center has groomed trails that you can pay to ride on.

    PM me when you are heading this way we can ride East Mesa Az. or Payson area.

  10. #10
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    I have a '12 mukluk that i recently rebuilt the drivetrain and dropped 5lbs off it with other changes. I still do not care for it around here. Not really into wash exploration there are too many other cool trails, and you do plenty of wash riding around here anyway. I ride it extensively in Rocky Point and like it very much for that terrain. 2 weeks ago I rode Pass Mtn (quite technical) with a friend on a rigid fatty - he likes it, i rode it for a stretch and the traction can be a big boost in some terrain, but he got dropped esp in the tech descent. More people seem to find the 27.5 w. 3inch tires and maybe full sus a better all-around solution, than a 4inch fatty.

    There is an AZ fatbike group on FB, its not too active but will be a far better resources than this forum for this topic.
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