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  1. #1
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    27.5 - The New Standard Size?

    I'm looking at buying a fat bike. Both my local bike shops have 2018 models left for me to purchase.

    I'm stuck deciding between a Trek Farley 5 and Specialized Fatboy.

    The Farley 5 is $1950 and has subpar components in my mind, but I liked the geo better and I question the size of the tires being more future proof. MSRP CDN $2150

    The Fatboy is well equipped for my use. With a better NX 11sp drivetrain and better brakes for $1700. MSRP CDN $2650

    I rode both and found they were both OK, but I'm new to fat biking so I don't have much to compare to.

    My questions is. Should I be looking at the Trek because it has a newer 27.5x4.5 tire size? Is this more future proof? Is buying the specialized going to be comparable to owning a 26" mountain bike in a few years?

  2. #2
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    Tough question. In regards to the Farley , a comfortable bike is priceless and components can always be upgraded down the road. But for the Fatboy 11 speed and better brakes FTW , plus I don't think 26" fat is going anywhere soon. If all it took to make the Fatboy as comfy was things as simple as a bar/stem combo and a saddle that's probably the route I'd go. Plus its $250 less , so there's extra money for your winter tires right there (if you were planning on winter tires that is).

    Edit :If it is possible , I saw that while you did ride both of them already , but maybe consider trying to demo both on the same day and ride them the same place. This would probably give you the best comparison.
    Saying that you "hate" or are an "unapologetic critic" of a bike company doesn't make you insightful or interesting.

  3. #3
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    It's hard to say if the 27.5 fat will replace the 26 fat. Trek is a big company and so is Specialized so I would bet that you should have a few years of either size. At this moment, there are more tires and rims for 26 fat than 27.5 but who know about the future. Most other fat manufacturers are 26. There is also debate about hub size, 170/177 vs 190/197, and the general consensus is the narrower hubs will suit those looking for a trail fatbike and run narrower tires while the wider hub will accommodate those going into the deeper stuff off path. In other words, horses for courses... or bikes for ride preference. I haven't ridden the 27.5 but there are those who really prefer it for their style of riding. Same goes for the those who want to ride with 2XL tires.
    Regardless of the tire size, choose the bike you want to ride. I would choose geo over wheel and tire sizes personally. If both of these choices are simply ok, perhaps keep looking.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  4. #4
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    A geo that fits you and allows you to ride comfy for long periods of time trumps 26x27.5 argument IMHO

  5. #5
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    I think the jumbo jim tire is a good bell weather on 27.5. Until its made in 27.5, 26" will remain the standard

  6. #6
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    i know that is what I am waiting on, stone cold afraid of buying any other fat tire,but I am a no snow rider for now.

  7. #7
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    Sounds like buy the farley, sell the deore new and buy nx eagle for a bike you like better and will be cheaper than the specialized.




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  8. #8
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    At the time when I got my Farley I was thinking of new 26" wheels. After riding 4.8" JJs and the 27.5" Barbs back to back I haven't looked back!

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  9. #9
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    It depends on you, where you live, and how you're going to ride this bike.

  10. #10
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    I would not buy a 27.5 fat bike. Fat is 26x5, 27.5x4 is mid fat at best.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I would not buy a 27.5 fat bike. Fat is 26x5, 27.5x4 is mid fat at best.

    Sounds like someone that hasn't ridden 27.5 x 4.5" yet...

  12. #12
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    Don't get stuck in"which to buy mode."
    BUY one! Ride it every where.
    Don't miss out because there are too many choices.

    Oh, ya go to your Surly dealer and order an Ice Cream Truck.....

  13. #13
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    If you will be riding a lot of snow, 26 x 4.8 is King.

  14. #14
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    Barbegazi

    Quote Originally Posted by shoots View Post
    My questions is. Should I be looking at the Trek because it has a newer 27.5x4.5 tire size? Is this more future proof? Is buying the specialized going to be comparable to owning a 26" mountain bike in a few years?
    Hi Shoots,

    So I think I can answer your question and be very honest as I have a fleet of Fat Bikes and all of them being Farley's.

    2014 Farley Blue 27.5+ w/ 3.8 Fat B Nibles

    2016 Farley 9.6 Carbon w/ 26 x 85 Rims w/ 26 x 4.0 Jumbo Jims

    2016 Farley 5 Aluminum w/ 27.5 x 80 Rims ? w/ 27.5 x 4.5 Barbegazi

    Each Bike has it's purpose and this summer I rode the 27.5 x 4.5 Barbegazi the most. Not only did I trail ride with it I used it as my rode bike. The Trek Fat bike is in my opinion one of the best designed fat bikes as they are just as good if not better then my actual trail bike. So much so that I haven't ridden that bike in years.

    My suggestion is to buy the Farley as you not only get a Fat bike you get a trail bike as well. You will also notice when you ride the Farley that the bottom bracket is much higher then other fat bikes which means far less pedal strikes. My buddy sold his 9Zero7 because he was tired of the pedal strikes and has fallen in love with the Farley. So much so that he bought my 14 Black Farley and made it a dedicated 27.5+ bike.

    You can't go wrong with the Farley and honestly I have been riding for years and I used to buy the best of the best drive-trains but I found out the lighter they get the more finicky they are and so in recent years I have switched to the GX drive-train and Love it. I can build the bike on the stand and never touch again. Not so with XX or XO drivetrains. Also, the last thing you want in the winter is a bike that doesn't shift.
    Last edited by Way2ManyBikes; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:02 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Way2ManyBikes View Post
    You will also notice when you ride the Farley that the bottom bracket is much higher then other fat bikes which means far less pedal strikes.
    Current fat BB heights are all kinda the same - too low!

    Farley: 315mm
    Fatboy: 316mm
    LesFat: 311mm
    Mayor: 320mm
    WO: 310mm

    10mm doesn't make much difference.

  16. #16
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    Agreed 100 %

    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank View Post
    Current fat BB heights are all kinda the same - too low!

    Farley: 315mm
    Fatboy: 316mm
    LesFat: 311mm
    Mayor: 320mm
    WO: 310mm

    10mm doesn't make much difference.
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  17. #17
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    Hope not ......


    But my guess is it will eventually , just to make us buy other stuff.


    But before 650 becomes standard , they'll wait that we all have 26ers.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  18. #18
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    I know you said you have ridden both, so that was the advice I was going to give - ride them both and whichever one "feels" better - that's the one for you.

    I don't know whether the 27.5" is the future or not. I do have two fat bikes - a Framed Alaskan Alloy (26") and a Trek Farley 9.6 (27.5"). Which is my favorite? The Trek - by a WIDE margin. I can't really explain it other than it feels better to me. I do think the Framed might have a little quicker acceleration but overall I prefer the ride of the Farley. As a matter of fact, I haven't ridden the Framed for over a year - have thought about selling it on several occasions.


    If I was going to buy a new fat bike, I would go with the 27.5", based on my own experience. Your experience may be different.

  19. #19
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    I have had a Farley 7 with 26' wheels and now a Farley 9.6 with 27.5 x 4.5.

    I much prefer the 27.5 x 4.5 and other manufacturers are building them now too (Kona, Pivot, Rocky Mountain etc).
    Mike
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  20. #20
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    Farley with a 27.5 tire vote from me too!

    I went to the LBS for a cheaper Fat Bike, (~$1K)
    But walked out with a lightly used Demo,
    2018 Viper Red Farley 7 ($3099 MSRP) marked down to $1900

    I never intended to spend that much but it was Mint!
    Full Warranty, 11 Speed, Hydraulic Brakes and those 27.5x4.5 Gnarwhals are AWESOME! ...and a Manitou Mastodon?!? SOLD!

    I put a Bontrager 125mm dropper on it the following week
    and have a tire stud kit coming next.

  21. #21
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    The two fatbike companies in Alaska are starting to embrace 27.5 fat. I think 26"x4" will be dead or dying soon is my opinion...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrcRS View Post
    The two fatbike companies in Alaska are starting to embrace 27.5 fat. I think 26"x4" will be dead or dying soon is my opinion...
    Are they embracing it??? I cant see where they make a 27.5 fat. Maybe its still in the works...???

    And 26x4 , maybe. But 26x4.8 I think will be around for a good long while.
    Saying that you "hate" or are an "unapologetic critic" of a bike company doesn't make you insightful or interesting.

  23. #23
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It depends on you, where you live, and how you're going to ride this bike.
    mikesee, could you elaborate on this?

    I ask because I recently moved from Arizona to Wisconsin, where winter riding and fatbikes are very popular. Still trying to figure out just what is available up here (Madison) for trails for bikes in the winter...

    Good portion of my riding would actually probably be a 2-mile commute to and from work on occasionally snowy, compacted-snow type of streets.

    I have ridden 26x3.8 in Arizona w/ a Bluto, but not sure any of that experience is beneficial in regards to snow riding in temps of 20 degrees and lower...

    Rode a Norco Sasquatch 1 Suspension (26x4.8) last week...seemed nice...heavy maybe.
    2018 Specialized Diverge Expert
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDTransplant View Post
    mikesee, could you elaborate on this?

    I ask because I recently moved from Arizona to Wisconsin, where winter riding and fatbikes are very popular.

    You sort of answered it yourself: A fatbike ridden in AZ has different requirements than one ridden in WI, or AK, or NH.

    26 x 5" a low pressure might be needed for one, where 27.5 x 3.8" with studs is better in another. You have to drill down to what makes the most sense for where you live.

    If I were you, commuting in WI, I'd be leaning toward studs.

  25. #25
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    Yes, Ive kind of wondered about studs myself.

    Thank you for your input on this!
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  26. #26
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    Meh, I'm too invested in my 26" 2014 Mukluk Ti. I have multiple wheelsets and a quiver of tires for 26".

    Just picked up 27.5" 50mm wheelset with 3" tires for bikepacking and those days when the trails are hard as rock race track conditions.

    I'm not moving to 27.5" fatbike wheels until I can't get 26" rubber anymore

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDTransplant View Post
    Yes, Ive kind of wondered about studs myself.
    Dear God are these expensive.

    Terrene Cake Eater 27.5x4.0 Light Folding

    Terrene Cake Eater 27.5x4.0 Light Folding - Studded

    https://www.fyxation.com/products/te...BoCdzAQAvD_BwE
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  28. #28
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    This may be narrow minded, but IMO so long as Surly is using 26 I dont think 27.5 is standard.

  29. #29
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    I find it funny how for regular mountain bikes when 27.5" wheel arrived people were dismissing it (and still are) that those bikes felt no different than 26ers. Suddenly for fat bikes that difference is HUUGE. It sounds like in fat 27.5 vs 26 is the same as in regular mtb 29 vs 26. And it is only 3.8%. I wonder when are we going to see 29 fat bikes?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kk2 View Post
    I find it funny how for regular mountain bikes when 27.5" wheel arrived people were dismissing it (and still are) that those bikes felt no different than 26ers. Suddenly for fat bikes that difference is HUUGE. It sounds like in fat 27.5 vs 26 is the same as in regular mtb 29 vs 26. And it is only 3.8%. I wonder when are we going to see 29 fat bikes?
    Funny I thought the same thing.

    Im not saying the 27.5 fat is better. However, I can say my 27,5 mid fat is the funnest bike I own.


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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I test rode both and they didnt feel hugely different to me. Maybe this is because of riding in loose snow makes everything feel uncontrollable. I just want to make sure I'm not buying something that's going to be outdated in a year.

    It almost seems to me that 26" fat wheels are comparable to 27.5" regular wheels and 27.5" fat wheels are comparable to 29" non fats. Would this be a fair comparison?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by kk2 View Post
    I wonder when are we going to see 29 fat bikes?
    The outer diameter of a 26" fat bike tire is more or less the equivalent of a 29er mountain bike tire. So in essence, it already is a 29 fat bike.


    Guitar Ted Productions: Your Fat Bike Is Really A 29"er (Or Bigger!)

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    The outer diameter of a 26" fat bike tire is more or less the equivalent of a 29er mountain bike tire. So in essence, it already is a 29 fat bike.


    Guitar Ted Productions: Your Fat Bike Is Really A 29"er (Or Bigger!)
    Tell that to the people trying to get me to give up my 26x4.8 for a 27.5 x something less

    No thanks!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    Tell that to the people trying to get me to give up my 26x4.8 for a 27.5 x something less

    No thanks!
    My post is in regards to 27.5 x 4.5. Do you think the difference between 4.5 and 4.8 is that drastic? Have you ridden both before being so set on 26"?

  35. #35
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    Whatever size you decide to buy, make sure to get yourself a good low pressure gauge and use it! The gauge on your floor pump is useless at fatbike pressures(<10 psi).

  36. #36
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    IDK...Maybe it's just me and I don't know what I'm missing... But I think hairs are being split between 26 fat and 27.5 fat. I doubt the differences are tangible. Research indicates there isn't much difference in the diameter anyway.

    27.5 - The New Standard Size?-april-wheel-600x99.jpg

    https://fat-bike.com/2018/04/26-27-5...el-comparison/

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    27.5 - The New Standard Size?-20181119_153902.jpg
    Gnarwhal on the left, Lou on the right.

    I demoed a Farley yesterday. It had 27.5x4.5 Gnarwhals on 80mm mulefut rims. I compared it to my well used 26x4.8 Lou on a 90mm Nextie rim. The Lou measured 116mm wide at the outer lugs, and 30.2" tall. The Gnarwhal measured 108mm wide at the outer lugs, and 30.75" tall.

    The gnarwhal is a super rad tire if you want ultimate traction, it will go anywhere. It hooked up everywhere I tried it, snow, sand, dirt, leaves. It also was noticeably bigger, heavier, and slower rolling than my normal Lou's. It's worth noting the Gnarwhal still had the factory tubes in it, and I'm sure setting it up tubeless would help.27.5 - The New Standard Size?-20181119_140834.jpg27.5 - The New Standard Size?-20181119_141019.jpg

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    I have a lot of time on both Bud/Lou on 80mm rims and studded Gnarwhal 27.5 x 4.5's on Jackalopes(all set up tubeless). There is a 1/2" difference in diameter but it is noticeable. I find the the Surly's to be very comparable to the Gnarwhals in every way with the exception of ice traction and deep snow. Obviously the Gnars being better on ice with studs and Bud/Lou having the edge in deep snow. It is a toss up and perhaps the new Terrene Johnny 5 will be taking home the award for best winter tire with it's slightly larger size and the fact that it can be studded. Good times for fat bikes!!!

  39. #39
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    I Totally Love my 27.5 x 4.5 Gnarwhals (80mm mulefut wheels)
    and was planning to add a Stud Kit for extra Winter traction.

    But because my Farley 7 was a Demo before I got it, there was a little too much grit/sand in the stud pockets that I couldn't be bothered to clean out.

    So I ordered a new pair when they were marked down 20% for Black Friday
    ...and so were the Bontrager 225 pc stud kits. I saved $100

    I paid ~$390 CAD (~$295 USD) for two tires and two boxes of studs.

    I'll keep the original pair for next Spring/Summer/Fall.
    I need to remove them anyway to go Tubeless

    I found this old article that pretty much sold me on the upgrade
    https://fat-bike.com/2017/01/bontrager-gnarwhal-tlr-27-5-x-4-5-studded-tire/





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    27.5 - The New Standard Size?-mountain_bike_wheel_size.jpg
    Last edited by CanuckMountainMan; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:50 PM.

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    Like allready written...
    If you will be riding a lot of snow, 26 x 4.8 is King.
    My FatBoy Bud/Lou has everything to ride often.
    I simply screw 100 quality studs on each.
    The 27 higher tires are not compatible with small frames, the studs hit the toes.
    This is a bad size, the 26 IS the standard.
    If you can adjust the fatboy to fit you i suggest you get it.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckMountainMan View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mountain_bike_wheel_size.jpg 
Views:	48 
Size:	256.9 KB 
ID:	1225861
    Except that a 28.5x3.8 is basically the same diameter as a 26x4.8. Your image is completely based on the tire being "larger," but in this case, the tire is not larger. It just uses a different size rim.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33red View Post
    Like allready written...
    If you will be riding a lot of snow, 26 x 4.8 is King.
    My FatBoy Bud/Lou has everything to ride often.
    I simply screw 100 quality studs on each.
    The 27 higher tires are not compatible with small frames, the studs hit the toes.
    This is a bad size, the 26 IS the standard.
    If you can adjust the fatboy to fit you i suggest you get it.
    I went with the Farley. The geometry was a lot more familiar feeling to me. The Fatboy felt like a cross country bike, while the Farley felt like a trail bike. I got them down a bit on price and I'm upgrading the brakes.

    So far I'm loving it. I also had them swap the rear tire to a barbegazi.

    I get a very cult like vibe from the fatbike community. Like they believe 26" tires are the only tire worth riding. I recommend trying out 27.5" if you haven't. 27.5x4.5" is a beast of a tire.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    Except that a 28.5x3.8 is basically the same diameter as a 26x4.8. Your image is completely based on the tire being "larger," but in this case, the tire is not larger. It just uses a different size rim.
    That's because wider tires tend to also run taller, the laws of physics dictates that.


    It's not my image I just found it online,
    and it makes no reference to tire width, only diameter.
    I guess its more for standard MTB's, not as relevant to Fat Bike sizing.

    If you compared apples to apples, tire width being equal,
    a 27.5"x4.5" tire "should" have a larger diameter than a 26"x4.5" tire.

    ...and I don't think anyone is making a 29"x4.5" Fat Bike (yet)
    Last edited by CanuckMountainMan; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:28 AM.

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    Also worth noting that giants fatbikes will be coming with 27.5x4.5. So big bike brands are definitely embracing this size. I'm not saying 26" will die, but they are definitely going to coexist for a while

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoots View Post
    I went with the Farley. The geometry was a lot more familiar feeling to me. The Fatboy felt like a cross country bike, while the Farley felt like a trail bike. I got them down a bit on price and I'm upgrading the brakes.

    So far I'm loving it. I also had them swap the rear tire to a barbegazi.

    I get a very cult like vibe from the fatbike community. Like they believe 26" tires are the only tire worth riding. I recommend trying out 27.5" if you haven't. 27.5x4.5" is a beast of a tire.
    X2!

    I'm probably going to retire my old trail bike (26" Marin Hardtail)

    When I first saw the Farely 7 at the LBS, I thought the 19.5" Farley was WAY Too Big for me,
    But the Test ride was awesome, and after I put the Farley next to my old Marin at home,
    I realized the stand-over height was just about the same.
    27.5 - The New Standard Size?-marin_1.jpg27.5 - The New Standard Size?-marin_3.jpg27.5 - The New Standard Size?-marin_2.jpg

    ...and yes, I prefer to keep my expensive toys in my basement man-cave instead of the garage
    Last edited by CanuckMountainMan; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:37 PM.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoots View Post
    I went with the Farley...
    I get a very cult like vibe from the fatbike community. Like they believe 26" tires are the only tire worth riding. I recommend trying out 27.5" if you haven't. 27.5x4.5" is a beast of a tire.
    Farley is a great bike. Enjoy. I think you selected wisely. Don't let the wheelsize debate get you down - it seems to happen in every discipline. Fat bike community has ton of variance - from riding styles to types of conditions one enjoys or what exists in your local area... If you follow here long enough, you'll see there's no consensus on anything 'cept fat bikes are fun.

    To wade into the size debate, my bike was spec'd with 26''. Rode em. Put on 27.5 Rode em. 90% of my riding is better w/ 27.5 but I just prepped my 26 big ones for a fun swap in the winter; that's just what works for me - maybe you'll find something similar. Just go out and have fun.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoots View Post
    Also worth noting that giants fatbikes will be coming with 27.5x4.5. So big bike brands are definitely embracing this size. I'm not saying 26" will die, but they are definitely going to coexist for a while
    Where is this info? I know they are getting maxxis to build them a tire and has been some delays.


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    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    Where is this info? I know they are getting maxxis to build them a tire and has been some delays.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My local giant dealer has a book of this year's bikes and it has the two new fat bikes in it. They're very competitively priced. Both come with 27.5 maxxis tires if I recall correctly. They're being delayed until next year though.
    Last edited by shoots; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:24 PM.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckMountainMan View Post

    ...and I don't think anyone is making a 29"x4.5" Fat Bike (yet)
    Give it a couple more years and we will look back at this post and say 29" tire are so small as we roll out in out 32 x 4.5's
    MJ
    14 Farley,Bluto,i9-27.5FatBNimbles
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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Way2ManyBikes View Post
    Give it a couple more years and we will look back at this post and say 29" tire are so small as we roll out in out 32 x 4.5's

    My Gnarwhals measure ~31" tall x 4.5" wide
    ...not sure why its referred to as a 27.5"

    Excuse my n00bness, but I'm totally new to Fat Bikes...
    My old Marin Mountain Bike has 26 x 2.0 stamped on the side of the tire...and that's the actual measurement.

    What part of my tire is supposed to measure 27.5"
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by CanuckMountainMan; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:04 AM.

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    I'm kind of curious if 29" fat wheels are in the works. Like 29"x3.8"

    From all i read the 27.5 are a bit better on non-snow and non-sand. I'm sure this also depends on the specific tire. As in most cases, larger wheels roll easier over obstacles.

    I have 26"x4.8" and I'm slow anyway, so it doesn't' matter for me and i take the tiny bit better snow performance of my wheels (obviously really good 27.5" tires could leave me in the dust). All no reason to upgrade the bike or wheels.

    With that said, if I would buy an all new bike today, I would seriously look at 27.5". Depends on your budget, cheaper bikes will have 26"for a long time. but if you already plan on spending Trek/Specialized money, you may as well go with the newer standard.
    2018 Motobecane Sturgis NX
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  53. #53
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    I think the advantage of the 27.5 format is the lower profile that prevents that annoying bounce and turning squirm. You dont feel that much on fresh snow, but on packed snow or no snow, it can be a handlful. The nonsense about contact patch and easier rollover is laughable when you realize that the diameter of both wheel sizes are virtually the same.

    As for 26 4.8 being king on snow, when you now have 27.5 4.5, is more nonsense. There isnt a single person in the world that can convince me that 0.3 inches will seriously affect float. 99% would not even feel the difference in a blind test.

    Finally there are some situations where wider is definitely not an advantage. Yesterday I rode on a few inches of frozen and re-frozen snow. Nobody can float on that so you have to break through it. The fatter the tire the hard it gets, no doubt.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SS
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    I think the advantage of the 27.5 format is the lower profile that prevents that annoying bounce and turning squirm. You dont feel that much on fresh snow, but on packed snow or no snow, it can be a handlful. The nonsense about contact patch and easier rollover is laughable when you realize that the diameter of both wheel sizes are virtually the same.

    As for 26 4.8 being king on snow, when you now have 27.5 4.5, is more nonsense. There isnt a single person in the world that can convince me that 0.3 inches will seriously affect float. 99% would not even feel the difference in a blind test.

    Finally there are some situations where wider is definitely not an advantage. Yesterday I rode on a few inches of frozen and re-frozen snow. Nobody can float on that so you have to break through it. The fatter the tire the hard it gets, no doubt.
    There is 1 real advantage for the 27.5. There is allmost nothing used available.
    Manufacturers wins.
    Retailers win.
    Riders loose.
    The big 27.5 tire studs eat the toes on a small frame.
    There is 1 reason the 26 is THE standard.
    Bud/Lou is yet unbeaten for ride as often as possible!
    Just stud them like many in Quebec do.
    The new standard is secret.
    It will be released when it helps manufacturers and retailers.
    I will buy your used Bud/Lou for the next 30 years.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckMountainMan View Post
    That's because wider tires tend to also run taller, the laws of physics dictates that.


    It's not my image I just found it online,
    and it makes no reference to tire width, only diameter.
    I guess its more for standard MTB's, not as relevant to Fat Bike sizing.

    If you compared apples to apples, tire width being equal,
    a 27.5"x4.5" tire "should" have a larger diameter than a 26"x4.5" tire.

    ...and I don't think anyone is making a 29"x4.5" Fat Bike (yet)
    That's actually not true, either. Have you ever seen low profile tires on a car? With bicycles, there's a relationship between tire width and height that seems to be relatively consistent in that wider tires are taller even for the same rim diameter, but there is no reason the bike companies couldn't design a tire that both used a larger rim diameter and was the same height as say, the next size down. I fail to see the benefit of what reducing the volume of a tire of a given size would be though, more sidewall is generally a good thing for us so that the tires can conform to the rough surfaces we ride on.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    I think the advantage of the 27.5 format is the lower profile...

    The nonsense about contact patch and easier rollover is laughable when you realize that the diameter of both wheel sizes are virtually the same.

    I think if you were to think critically about it for a moment you might realize that your above 2 statements contradict each other.



    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    As for 26 4.8 being king on snow, when you now have 27.5 4.5, is more nonsense. There isnt a single person in the world that can convince me that 0.3 inches will seriously affect float. 99% would not even feel the difference in a blind test.

    I can tell a difference between those two in many snow conditions.

    If you bump up to 26 x 5.2", 27.5 x 4.5" can't hold a candle to them in overall float, not to mention control when the snow is unconsolidated and/or wind affected.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    That's actually not true, either. Have you ever seen low profile tires on a car?
    LOL @ Have I seen a low profile tire on a car?

    How about one of my 27.5" x 12" Drag Radials (295/45R17) in the same photo I posted above next to my 27.5" Gnarwhal?



    Mountain Bike tires are rounded because we often have to lean them to corner at speed, but still maintain traction.
    Low Profile Car/Truck tires are designed with stiffer sidewalls and wider foot print to stay perpendicular to the road surface while cornering.

    I ask again,
    What part of a 27.5" x 4.5" Tire actually measures 27.5"? Mine is just under 31" tall.

    When I go shopping for wheels, the 26"/27.5" options make no mention of the wheels physical diameter on many sites.
    It looks to me like my 26" wheels are ~22" diameter and the 27.5" wheels are ~23" diameter.

    Why do wheels for a bike fall under a "tire size" for the different categories,
    When the tires you mount to them measure no where near 26"/27.5"

    IMHO...its because they are probably based on an old MTB standard with a much narrower tire (~2")

    22" wheel + 2" side walls x 2 = 26"

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckMountainMan View Post
    LOL @ Have I seen a low profile tire on a car?

    How about one of my 27.5" x 12" Drag Radials (295/45R17) in the same photo I posted above next to my 27.5" Gnarwhal?



    Mountain Bike tires are rounded because we often have to lean them to corner at speed, but still maintain traction.
    Low Profile Car/Truck tires are designed with stiffer sidewalls and wider foot print to stay perpendicular to the road surface while cornering.

    I ask again,
    What part of a 27.5" x 4.5" Tire actually measures 27.5"? Mine is just under 31" tall.

    When I go shopping for wheels, the 26"/27.5" options make no mention of the wheels physical diameter on many sites.
    It looks to me like my 26" wheels are ~22" diameter and the 27.5" wheels are ~23" diameter.

    Why do wheels for a bike fall under a "tire size" for the different categories,
    When the tires you mount to them measure no where near 26"/27.5"

    IMHO...its because they are probably based on an old MTB standard with a much narrower tire (~2")

    22" wheel + 2" side walls x 2 = 26"
    For many answers just look at the bible, https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html

  59. #59
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    There are lower profile motorcycle tires as well. They have round tread profiles and shorter sidewalls. It can be done, it just isn't because we have the luxury of a wider range of wheel sizes on bicycles so there's no reason to. I suspect the sidewall construction necessary to make that work would also be weight and cost prohibitive. Btw, a 45 series tire isn't really that low profile; there are tires 2+" shorter in the same width and rim diameter you posted. Which is the whole point I'm talking about. There are also tires much taller in the same rim diameter, e.g, the tires on my pickup truck, which are at least 6 inches taller than the ones you've posted but similar in width.

    Comparing bicycle rim sizes, it's probably better to just compare by bead seat diameter. What we call 26"=559, 27.5/650b=584, 29/700c=622. It depends on precisely which size we're talking about where the expressed name for the size came from. It may have something to do with the original size tire that was designed for that bead seat diameter. The numbers we use to describe them are just so everyone knows what you're talking about; any technical meaning or rationalization is long lost!

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    Btw, a 45 series tire isn't really that low profile; there are tires 2+" shorter in the same width and rim diameter you posted. Which is the whole point I'm talking about. There are also tires much taller in the same rim diameter, e.g, the tires on my pickup truck, which are at least 6 inches taller than the ones you've posted but similar in width.
    Well those are not Car tires,
    Those are my Drag Radials for my lowered 4x4 truck I run at the local drag strip.
    (11 second 600WHP Supercharged Hemi Ram) Street tires are 305/50R20's (33"x12.5")

    27.5 - The New Standard Size?-castrolraceway.jpg 27.5 - The New Standard Size?-castrol-race-day.jpg

    I did put some low profiles on wifey's Aston Martin
    (245/40R19 Front 285/35R19 Rear) does that count?
    27.5 - The New Standard Size?-astonram2.jpg27.5 - The New Standard Size?-astonram3.jpg

    I have several motorcycles (Moto-X, Sport and a Cruiser)
    and built several lifted Jeeps with 38" tall tires while I was a Jamboree TrailGuide for 10 years.
    ...So yes, I know a little bit about tires sizes and aspect ratios after 40+ years of motor sports experience.

    27.5 - The New Standard Size?-tj-01.jpg
    Tall tires with taller sidewalls, aired down to single digits are preferred for most off roading, just like Fat Bikes.
    Last edited by CanuckMountainMan; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:24 AM.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I think if you were to think critically about it for a moment you might realize that your above 2 statements contradict each other.

    I can tell a difference between those two in many snow conditions.

    If you bump up to 26 x 5.2", 27.5 x 4.5" can't hold a candle to them in overall float, not to mention control when the snow is unconsolidated and/or wind affected.
    Mike, I have seen plenty of comparisons between the two wheel sizes where the lower profile 27.5 tires bring both format to similar diameters. What exactly is contradictory?

    As for you being able to distinguish between tires that are only 0.3 inches different in width, seems a little far fetched. I maintain that 99% wont have a clue.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SS
    RM Suzi Q 90 RSL
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  62. #62
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    27.5 - The New Standard Size?

    Im a big fan of 27.5x4.5 seems to not self steer as much, goes thru fresh and drifts well... rolls fast.

    27.5x3.8 i dont think is a replacement for 26x4.7 at all. Seen many lighter friends on it cut ruts on places 26x4.6-8 didnt.

    It makes fat feel like more of a mtb, for lots they dont really need the massive float.

    I feel like its like mtbs. Some stuffed 27.5 plus into 29 boost frames to get on board. Wasnt ideal... same people are stuffing 3.8x27.5 into frames cause 4.5 wont fit and its a bandaid.

    If my bike could only fit 3.8x27.5 it would be my speedy set for fall and spring and i would look to find 26 wheels to fit wrathchilds for winter.

    Downside to 27.5x4.5 and 26x5 is long ass chain stays... i prefer my farley with the axel slammed forward but cant with the gnarwhals.

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  63. #63
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    27.5 - The New Standard Size?

    Quote Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
    I'm kind of curious if 29" fat wheels are in the works. Like 29"x3.8"

    From all i read the 27.5 are a bit better on non-snow and non-sand. I'm sure this also depends on the specific tire. As in most cases, larger wheels roll easier over obstacles.

    I have 26"x4.8" and I'm slow anyway, so it doesn't' matter for me and i take the tiny bit better snow performance of my wheels (obviously really good 27.5" tires could leave me in the dust). All no reason to upgrade the bike or wheels.

    With that said, if I would buy an all new bike today, I would seriously look at 27.5". Depends on your budget, cheaper bikes will have 26"for a long time. but if you already plan on spending Trek/Specialized money, you may as well go with the newer standard.
    29x3.8 what chain stay lengths would be needed for it? 460mm? Gross

    I so would tho! But i doubt they would fit the farley

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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank View Post
    Current fat BB heights are all kinda the same - too low!

    Farley: 315mm
    Fatboy: 316mm
    LesFat: 311mm
    Mayor: 320mm
    WO: 310mm

    10mm doesn't make much difference.
    2019 kona wozo 319mm (27.5 wheels and 120mm Mastadon) would be a bit more with a 26 4.8 front wheel JJ.
    Dash Pt. State Park (Tacoma), Big Sky Montana during Snowboard Season, Duluth Mn, a couple of times of year incl. Xmas.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumpyride View Post
    2019 kona wozo 319mm (27.5 wheels and 120mm Mastadon) would be a bit more with a 26 4.8 front wheel JJ.
    Accurate, but IMO, 3mm (319mm vs 316mm) is basically the same. You also have to take fork dive into account, which effectively makes the BB even lower!

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank View Post
    Accurate, but IMO, 3mm (319mm vs 316mm) is basically the same. You also have to take fork dive into account, which effectively makes the BB even lower!
    No argument about not seeming like very much difference.

    I have a 2017 wozo, and I replaced the rear with a 27.5 x 3.8 FBR, kept the 26 x 4.8 JJ front and the pedal strikes through the roots and rocks decreased by about 75%. I'm about to lengthen the Bluto to a 120mm instead of 100mm which should help even more. Hitting a rock and a pedal strike can happen if it's 3, or 2 or 1mm too high for the pedal. Every little bit helps.
    Dash Pt. State Park (Tacoma), Big Sky Montana during Snowboard Season, Duluth Mn, a couple of times of year incl. Xmas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shoots View Post
    Also worth noting that giants fatbikes will be coming with 27.5x4.5. So big bike brands are definitely embracing this size. I'm not saying 26" will die, but they are definitely going to coexist for a while
    Giant makes a fat bike? When did that happen?

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    ...Downside to 27.5x4.5 and 26x5 is long ass chain stays... i prefer my farley with the axel slammed forward but cant with the gnarwhals. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'm running a 2017 Mukluk Alloy with 27.5 Gnars studded with adjustable chainstays at 445mm. this allows for 3/8" minimum clearance from seat tube. Plenty of clearance at Seat Stay and Chain stay junction with BB.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDTransplant View Post
    mikesee, could you elaborate on this?

    I ask because I recently moved from Arizona to Wisconsin, where winter riding and fatbikes are very popular. Still trying to figure out just what is available up here (Madison) for trails for bikes in the winter...

    Good portion of my riding would actually probably be a 2-mile commute to and from work on occasionally snowy, compacted-snow type of streets.

    I have ridden 26x3.8 in Arizona w/ a Bluto, but not sure any of that experience is beneficial in regards to snow riding in temps of 20 degrees and lower...

    Rode a Norco Sasquatch 1 Suspension (26x4.8) last week...seemed nice...heavy maybe.
    Welcome to the Cheesehead state. I am closer to Milwaukee myself. West of Madison are some nice hilly trails. The ones around Bluemound State Park are pretty technical, but I have not ridden them. Cam-Rock is a popular park a half hour east of Madison.

    The Fat-Bike Birkie is a great, fast, fat bike race. It is more like a road race on snow than a MTB event as the trails are very wide and groomed. The Cable/Hayward area has one of the better trail systems in the State, but it is a hike. Check out http://www.cambatrails.org

    You can also check out https://www.mtbproject.com/directory/8011045/madison

    The John Muir/Emma Carlin trails in the south Kettle Moraine are popular MTB trails as well, but 1+ hours from you.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by calzonical View Post
    I'm running a 2017 Mukluk Alloy with 27.5 Gnars...
    now with Jackalopes...

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