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Thread: 29er or FAT?

  1. #1
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    29er or FAT?

    Hey all. I've got a 26 inch Giant full suspension that I am in love with, especially for flowy singletrack, fast forest trails, rutted motorcycle two track and whatever, but I've been thinking of getting another bike for the extensive dirt roads/back roads/old logging roads that surround me in Northern New Mexico. Also hoping to try out some bike packing in similar conditions.

    Would you all recommend a 29er or FAT bike for this kind of thing? Why? How versatile are the Fatties?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    either one will roll faster than your 26er. bikepacking- fat. fun trail bike- 29er or fat. fatbikes can go places that other bikes just can't. they are super fun on singletrack too. if you can only have one bike that you want to do it all... 29er. my .02

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck80442 View Post
    Hey all. I've got a 26 inch Giant full suspension that I am in love with, especially for flowy singletrack, fast forest trails, rutted motorcycle two track and whatever, but I've been thinking of getting another bike for the extensive dirt roads/back roads/old logging roads that surround me in Northern New Mexico. Also hoping to try out some bike packing in similar conditions.

    Would you all recommend a 29er or FAT bike for this kind of thing? Why? How versatile are the Fatties?

    Thanks!
    I would recommend a combination of both; 29+

    Here is one option: http://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/in...l#post11465990

    Or you could buy a fat bike that you can run 29+ tires on 50mm rims.
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  4. #4
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    since you already have a 26fs get a a fatty.. i have a fatboy with bluto, reverb dropper seatpost and xt brakes with 203mm f and 180mm r rotors.. sold my 29er fs..

    sold this..
    29er or FAT?-dsc02173_zps2f0d789c.jpg

    to upgrade parts on this..
    29er or FAT?-img_0337_zps45886cce.jpg
    Last edited by av8or; 09-22-2014 at 12:46 PM.

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    fat for all. did a nice 3+ hour techy rainy adventure fest with 8 strong very experienced riders today. they were all on 4-5+ inch carbon 29er full sussys with dropper posts and VERY aggressive tires.

    my fully rigid cheap steel charge cooker maxi was right up at the front. everyone was remarking at how i was able to just roll over and through the chunk and of course fly up the techy climbs in a very relaxed manner. one guy said he never considered using his fatty for trail till after todays ride. i did my job

    rigid steel, steep hta, marge lites and 3.8 knards. get the fvck outta my way, fatty comin thru!

    rog

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    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    get the fvck outta my way, fatty comin thru!

    rog
    lol.. i yell "fatty on your right / left!!!..

  7. #7
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    29er or FAT?

    I'd go fat. They are surprisingly versatile. Might be worth checking around for a place that rents them nearby to see if it fits your style, but I love my Salsa Mukluk. I rode all last summer with 26x4" wheels. This summer I put 29+ wheels on, and it's a blast.

  8. #8
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    If you're talking about rigid or front-suspended fatty vs. hard tail 29er vs. fully-suspended 26er, then 3-of-a-kind, IMO. Yeah 29er will "roll over" stuff more easily than a 26er, but it also smooths over the trail enough that -over time - what trails used to be fun will be kind of "meh." The hard tail part will add to the challenge of picking lines carefully, but sometimes you just want to stomp over things.

    For pure monster-truck fun or "off-piste" adventure, I'd go for fatty and the smaller-wheeled (26 or 27.5) full-suspension bike. If you're a fan of efficiency and bike-packing through fire road only, then a 29er may suit your needs by virtue of the lower rotational mass of its wheels (vs a fatty).

  9. #9
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    Something to keep in mind. fat is heavier. If you have a lot of steep climbs, a hardtail 29er might be more enjoyable. Also a rigid fat bike is very much still a rigid bike. Sure the wheels provide some dampening but it's no substitution for actual suspension. A full suspension fatty like the Bucksaw may be something worth looking into as well.

    Like with any category of bikes, not all fat bikes are created equal. There are a variety of different geometries, weights, material, wheel/tire clearances that result in different feeling bikes.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. You'll have to try one out any decide for yourself. Obviously on the fat forum, people are going to be biased towards fatties but really the only thing people can really tell you online is that fat bikes are versatile enough not to be limited to just snow and sand.

  10. #10
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    All I can say is none of my 29ers have got much use since I got a fatbike.

    My old race 29er has been converted into a single speed roadbike with 2.35" slicks. Perfect for day tours, did a leisurely one day tour (120 miles) around the western Highlands (Scotland) on it just over a week ago.

    My super duper Ti 29er which was intended to replace the original racebike just sits neglected in my shed. I've stuck ice tyres on it, so it gets a bit of road use in winter.

    But off road, almost all fatbike now.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  11. #11
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    Fatty. Two wheel sets. Quiver killer.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck80442 View Post
    Would you all recommend a 29er or FAT bike for this kind of thing? Why? How versatile are the Fatties?

    Thanks!
    Here's my 29er on Isle Au Haut this year. About 50/50 paved/boney riding. 40 lbs of produce and gear tucked into that lobster pot. Wish I had my fatbike then but only when it was heavily loaded. My rear spokes got all frigg'd up. I think for 20lbs or less I'd have chosen the 29er again.


    Those lobsters and shore caught mussels at the camp were worth it though.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 29er or FAT?-dsc01055.jpg  


  13. #13
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    All I can say is I've ridden my 29er FS and fatbike with 29" wheels all summer long.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by rkzhao View Post
    Something to keep in mind. fat is heavier. If you have a lot of steep climbs, a hardtail 29er might be more enjoyable. Also a rigid fat bike is very much still a rigid bike. Sure the wheels provide some dampening but it's no substitution for actual suspension. A full suspension fatty like the Bucksaw may be something worth looking into as well.

    Like with any category of bikes, not all fat bikes are created equal. There are a variety of different geometries, weights, material, wheel/tire clearances that result in different feeling bikes.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. You'll have to try one out any decide for yourself. Obviously on the fat forum, people are going to be biased towards fatties but really the only thing people can really tell you online is that fat bikes are versatile enough not to be limited to just snow and sand.

    Some interesting points, as I am trying to decide which might be more suitable for me here in the Italian Alps. A full 29er or a fat bike. For the price of a good complete fat bike I could get myself a carbon full suss 29er frame. Of course I would then have to get the fork, but for all the other parts no probs as I already have all.
    N+1 = the correct equation for the number of bikes...............

  15. #15
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    I was ready to buy a 29er until Saturday morning when a fatbike rode by me on the beach. The 29er can't do much more than my old 26 bikes, especially down here in the flat lands of coastal North Carolina, but the fatbike can open up a whole new experience. I ordered a Lurch last night.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderzy View Post
    Fatty. Two wheel sets. Quiver killer.
    ++ In case this post was too subtle, fat bikes can run a regular 29" wheelset. Though personally I'm excited about putting 27.5" x 3.25" tires on mine.

  17. #17
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    29er or FAT?

    Don't buy a fatty without riding it first unless you know you will be riding in places only a fatty can do well in.

    You may hate it or you may love it. Bottom line test it out first.

    I am someone who is sensitive to wheel weight and so are you. The most important ounces on your entire bike are the tires, rims, rim tape, tons of old extra stans, then nipple, then the spokes and then all other rotating mass on the bike (including shoes) then unsrpung weight fallowed last by first sprung weight (after suspension) fallowed last by the even more sprung weight (above your arms and legs). Which is why having stuff on your bike feels heavier than on your back.

    On fatties your talking about 2x the weight in the tire and rim.

    You'll notice that as I can tell the difference between 2 sets of tires.

    But if the terrain calls for wider tires it calls for wider tires and all the weight saving in the world isn't going to matter!!!

    If your terrain calls for fat tires then that is what you need to get.

    So demo a bike on that terrain!

  18. #18
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    dood, you need to grow a pair and roll a fatty fer sure.

    rog

  19. #19
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    Not sure am I about the OP's budget, but fat carbon rims run tubeless knock off about 3 lbs of rolling weight (per pair) compared to the similarly tubed alloy fat wheel set, and make the resulting fat wheel set about as heavy as a stout alloy 29er AM wheel set (i.e. 1800 - 2000 grams). That said, the current lightest 4.0" fat tires still weigh about 500 - 600 grams (i.e. 1 pound-ish) more than chunky 2.2 - 2.4" 29er rubber.

    Quote Originally Posted by Givmedew View Post
    Don't buy a fatty without riding it first unless you know you will be riding in places only a fatty can do well in.

    You may hate it or you may love it. Bottom line test it out first.

    I am someone who is sensitive to wheel weight and so are you. The most important ounces on your entire bike are the tires, rims, rim tape, tons of old extra stans, then nipple, then the spokes and then all other rotating mass on the bike (including shoes) then unsrpung weight fallowed last by first sprung weight (after suspension) fallowed last by the even more sprung weight (above your arms and legs). Which is why having stuff on your bike feels heavier than on your back.

    On fatties your talking about 2x the weight in the tire and rim.

    You'll notice that as I can tell the difference between 2 sets of tires.

    But if the terrain calls for wider tires it calls for wider tires and all the weight saving in the world isn't going to matter!!!

    If your terrain calls for fat tires then that is what you need to get.

    So demo a bike on that terrain!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB Pilot View Post
    I would recommend a combination of both; 29+

    Here is one option: http://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/in...l#post11465990

    Or you could buy a fat bike that you can run 29+ tires on 50mm rims.

  21. #21
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    Got my first fatbike a couple years ago, my 29er went unridden for over year. I no longer have a 29er.

    Go fat. There's a reason so many people are jumping on the bandwagon.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  22. #22
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    The only things my 29er gave me over a 26er were fewer endos and making it easier to maintain speed over small bumps. Some of that was from being a 29er, some from having a longer wheelbase. They're really not that different. The 26er feels livelier, quicker, more 'point and shoot' even now.

    Most of that value came to me on rough, rutty washboard, and single track with lots of deep dips that forced me over the handlebars at speed. Both of those things are really important when you're trying to go extremely fast on technical terrain. Not sure how those two things will play out for you.

    Edit: no comment on fat bikes, just 29er vs. 26er.
    Last edited by schnee; 09-25-2014 at 07:34 AM.

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