Help needed to build an apocalypse-proof fat-bike (for fat bike touring)-
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Idea! Help needed to build an apocalypse-proof fat-bike (for fat bike touring)

    Hi everybody!

    I'm new to this forum.
    I'm from belgium, Brussels

    Help needed to build an apocalypse-proof fat-bike (for fat bike touring).

    I need your advices for the setup. Thank you in advance for your help!
    I will build the bike, but I’m a newbie… Here under a draft
    Which fat bike for dirt touring? All-day long-term sustainability (fully-loaded trek).
    What would be my first choices among bikes and tires for 12 months of off tarmac adventures fat-packing (dirt roads, gravel and trail)? Spare parts would be available worldwide.
    Great divide, Australia, Chili, Bolivia, Baja divide, Canning Stock Route? Tasmanian trail etc.

    FAT Bike (steel)

    1. Surly Wednesday? (max 3,8") Shimano crank is not compatible to the BSA100 bottom bracket?! A triple chain ring is not possible in the front?

    A Shimano crank is not compatible to the BSA100 bottom bracket
    A triple chainring is not possible in the front, only 2 chainrings

    1. Surly Pugsley? (Switching wheels if there is a derailleur problem) go-to machine?

    1. Ice cream truck? ONLY Surly O.D., 22/36t?
    2. Moonlander?

    -No troll (only 3")
    -Salasa Mukluk aluminium? Rockshox?

    Geometry? (My size is 173cm)
    Bottle bosses on the down tube for a regular cage or a Salsa Anything.
    Carrying water and gear.

    26″ tires (in most countries)
    3,8" surly or 4" scwhalbe ?

    Cranks & K7
    -175 mm crancks
    -triple ring at the front ? Shimano XT to find parts everywhere ?
    -No rohloff (oil to change & not waterproof + eavy)

    FRAME: 18" medium (173cm)
    REAR HUB: a complete DTSwiss parts kit with a DTSwiss hub?
    My Other Brother Darryl (black) - 64 dual spoke on 80mm rims
    FRONT HUB: a complete DTSwiss parts kit with a DTSwiss hub?
    Hope Pro2 Evo FatSno 135mm front hub?
    TIRES: ?
    Surly Knard / Nate 3,8” or 45North Husker Du 26 x 4″ 120tpi folding tyre orschwalbe Jumbo Jim 4”–
    TUBEless (airless tires)
    SPOKES: DT Swiss?
    CRANKSET: Shimano Deore LX (oldschool and bulletproof)? Surly O.D., 22/36t?
    Raceface Ride 32 tooth narrow/wide? Raceface Turbine Cinch 30t?
    RING: ? in steel for longevity
    Casette: Shimano XT M8000?
    CHAIN: Wippermann 808 ? KMC X11? Shimano HG700?
    BOTTOM BRACKET: Shimano XT crankset (44/32/22) + K7 only 8 speeds to get a stronger chain?
    BRAKES: Avid BB7 montains / Rotor avid G2 160 or 180 ? HS rotors 180/160 ? FR-5 levers
    Magura? TRP Spyke mechanical?
    HEADSET: Cane Creek, 40 series? ZS44/EC44? Chris King?
    HANDLEBAR: Jones Loop H-Bar Carbon 710 + Ergon GR1 BioCork grips / Ergon GX1? Salsa Salt Flat 2?
    Counter: Cateye Enduro8 cycle computer
    STEM: Easton EA70? Specialized 90mm, 6 deg rise? Thomson X4
    SADDLE: Brooks England B17 Ti saddle – brown or SMP Trk Man GEL black?
    SEATPOST: Raceface Deus seatpost 30.9x400mm?
    PEDALS: ?
    FRONT RACK: Tubus?
    REAR RACK: Tubus?

    Thank you in advance for your help
    Kind regards,
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    It's probably worthwhile to provide more details on your trip.

    First, how long will you be out on the bike at any one stretch? You mention some places that are pretty far apart. Are you going to be traveling between them by plane/car/train? Or are you going to be on the bike to travel between places? Some of those places will be REALLY DIFFICULT to source fatbike-specific parts. Things like tires, spare tubes, maybe bb, maybe hubs/hub bearings. Some of the parts you mention have uncommon proprietary parts/interfaces, too.

    But most importantly, you're diving in with too many questions all at once. Settle down and figure out the frame of the bike first. That will settle some of your questions (like headset standards).

    Hitting the frame question. Is there a particular reason you've decided on doing this on a fatbike and not a more basic mtb platform that uses fewer uncommon parts? First and foremost, choosing a fatbike puts you into tires that will be hard to find in places. Even in developed, civilized areas, you might not be able to find fatbike tires in stock at any shops anywhere if you need to find them. Same goes for fatbike tubes, but to a lesser extent because you can make a smaller one work if you have to in a pinch.

    A regular 26" or 29" mtb is going to put you into a much better situation for sourcing tires/tubes if you get in trouble somewhere around the world. WAY more shops keep SOMETHING in stock. Though the 26" options you find in shops in the US tend to be cheap anymore. Not sure how (or if) the wheel size changes in the industry affect tire availability in less developed parts of the world.

    Also related to the frame, things like bb and hubs are additional challenges with fatbikes. Yet more parts with limited availability around the world. With a threaded bb, there are at least some options that are width-agnostic if you choose the right setup. But for hubs, things get iffy on fatbikes. Long-term reliability/durability of a lot of fatbike hubs can be a problem. The extra width makes for more flex, and a fair number of people destroy hubs and bearings. I'd be looking for something that's easy to deal with as far as service goes. That puts me back towards standard mtb stuff (probably even pre-boost) with QR axles and quality cup-and-cone hubs. A Pugsley with 135mm hubs would address the hub concerns, but not the tire availability issues of a fatbike. Fatbike tires are also big and heavy, so there would be a penalty for carrying spares.

    I work at a shop that's on a fairly major cross-USA pavement touring route, and we get a decent number of visits from such riders, especially in the spring and early summer. Tires and tubes are the most frequent purchases by these riders, outside of food. Tubeless is an option, which might reduce the fuss of SOME tire/tube changes. But getting tires seated on most fatbikes is a job that takes a compressor because the tire is so big and floppy.

    I'll be honest, the only times I'd be preferring fatbikes for any sort of touring (and I own a fatbike that I love) would be if I was riding terrain that really required a fatbike, or the trip was short enough that I wouldn't need to worry too much about parts that are more difficult to source. Sandy deserts, snow, really unpredictable stuff. It sounds to me like you're thinking of doing much more established routes. For what you're planning, a fatbike would NOT be my preference.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Harold nails the salient points. Figure out what kind of riding you'll be doing and then build around that. In addition to my road bike have a Troll and Mukluk, both of which I've built from the frame. I've toyed with the idea of selling the Troll and getting a 29er wheelset for the Muk, but I'm concerned with putting a triple on it. The Muk, being aluminum, is about the same frame weight, maybe even a little lighter, than the Troll, but I love them both. For snow and spongey offroad it's the Muk, of course. But for on road and hard packed single track, the Troll. For anything but touring in snow and fire roads I would choose the Troll. So, yeah, decide what kind of riding you'll be doing, then choose a frame and build. For the Troll I saved money of the drive train by going all Deore. With a steel frame there's no reason to go lighter, and I personally don't think a more expensive group is actually "better". I spent money on the bottom bracket (Phil Wood), saddle (Brooks), handlebars (Jones Loop H) and pedals (Shimano Saint) for bombproof durability and comfort. I have a "bike fairy", so I was able also to save a lot on a HED Belgium+ wheelset.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Thank you for your replies :-)

    "Settle down and figure out the frame of the bike first"

    I am decided to go towards a fat steel frame (even if I have to put 3 "tires ...)

    Routes and tracks inspiration is also things like this for example:

    Bikepacking Tasmania - Fat Bike Route -
    Bikerafting Alaska's Lost Coast -

    "Why do it on a Pugsley?

    Having read several blogs about riding the GDMBR, it appears that people choose to use all different types of bikes for it. Full-suspension mountain bikes seem to be popular, as do hardtails. But the majority of the route is on gravel roads; it is not technical at all. There are three main obstacles: snow and mud when the weather is wet; sand when it’s dry, especially in New Mexico; and washboards — miles and miles of ’em, until you want to just stop and scream.

    Now let’s think about this. For snow, mud, and sand, the bigger your contact patch the better off you are. No question there. What about washboards?

    Suspensions don’t do you a whole lot of good on washboards because (a) they don’t really react quickly enough to smooth them, and (b) washboards cause a hell of a lot of wear and tear on them. For washboards, the bigger the wheels, the better. A 29er is a must; a fatbike is even better.

    But won’t a fatbike be slower? Not really. First of all, if you’re in snow/mud/sand, you will find it easier going than on a “skinny” (e.g., 2.25″) tire bike. It might even make the difference between riding and pushing."

    The surly pugsley appears systematically during my google searches ... will it be better than the Surly wednesday for fat touring?

    Ok. Then a Surly Pugsley (Wednesday)...

    ...or maybe a Troll with 3'' (mid-FAT), but will it work in sand?

    Thank you!

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    3" tires are going to be even more difficult to find on the aftermarket if you're looking for ease of sourcing parts.

    "will it work in sand" is the wrong question. What's the condition of the sand? Loose dunes and beach sand above the wave line? Anything, even a fatbike, is going to be hard going. Even on most of the "sandy" dirt roads I've been on, the sand has been relatively well consolidated, so the need for massive fatbike tires is probably overstated.

    So, how big of a priority is sourcing replacement parts on your trip? You didn't answer that question for me. How frequently will you be in a city, and how willing are you to wait a few days to a week or so for a tire (or some other part that has low availability in shops)? If your trips "out there" are going to be relatively short and you'll be back in civilization somewhat frequently, with the flexibility in your itinerary to wait for parts, then go for building whatever you want for this trip. But if you won't have those things, STRONGLY consider abandoning your idea for hauling a fatbike around the world for a yearlong tour, and pick something with parts that will be easier to get and lighter/less bulky to carry more spares.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Thanks for the answers.

    I'll be +- 1 month (max 2) without big city.
    But ok to wait 1 week for tires/parts.

    Maybee, I'll plan that a "special bag" with tools & tires follow-me (in big cities)


  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: baltobrewer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Just some quick thoughts. Not sure why you're so against a Rohloff. They are about as bombproof as you get if durability is your thing. Plus, you can use a single speed chain (try getting a new 11 speed chain in the Bolivian Altiplano). The tradeoff is weight and slight hub drag. My opinion only, but Tumbleweed makes what I consider to be a very good remote-bikepacking rig in their Prospector. Designed around a Rohloff hub but can use a der or go SS, can use fat or plus tires (or I guess standard 26's), eccentric BB with standard MTB spacing so no fat-specific cranks, upright riding position, braze ons and bag space galore, rear hub spacing in the front. No affiliation, but if I were to buy a bike to do what you say you want to do, I'd probably start there.

    Bikes ? Tumbleweed Bicycle Co.

  8. #8
    sluice box
    Reputation: Co-opski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    OP your build seems ok but not full apocalypse. Maybe try a Soma Sandworm Gates Belt Drive Rohloff 170 rear hub, Schmidt Son Dynamo front hub, Sram bb7 brakes, bikepacking bags and go travel. BTW Jumbo Jims would be the last tire I would want. Maxxis Mammoth 26x4.0 EXO is way better against flats and longevity.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  9. #9
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    OP your build seems ok but not full apocalypse. Maybe try a Soma Sandworm Gates Belt Drive Rohloff 170 rear hub, Schmidt Son Dynamo front hub

    Potentially the most difficult bike on the planet to find parts for if something does go sideways. Doubly so if time is of the essence.

    Pick your poison and all that.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    I would talk to Walt and have him build you up a steel hardtail that could take wheel sizes from 27.5 plus to 29 to 29 plus to perhaps a 3.8 fatty. You could spec all the braze on's you want. A fat bike on the Tour divide wouldn't be that much fun in my opinion.
    My brain went from "you probably shouldn't say that" to WTF!

Similar Threads

  1. Bike advice needed to build an absolute killer bike
    By JBHD in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 03-02-2015, 04:40 AM
  2. What stem for my touring bike build???
    By sc10pc in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-30-2014, 01:22 PM
  3. Which bike and build choices - HELP NEEDED
    By echarlie in forum Vintage, Retro, Classic
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-25-2013, 05:10 PM
  4. It's the Zombie Apocalypse, *what bike do you grab?
    By Call_me_Tom in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 106
    Last Post: 04-27-2012, 06:15 AM
  5. Snow Bike Build - Suggestions Needed
    By JJ Mars in forum Oregon
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-30-2012, 05:29 PM

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts




© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.