Anyone commute about 20 miles per day on a fat bike?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    371

    Anyone commute about 20 miles per day on a fat bike?

    Still deciding which fat bike to get for those (many) days of unconsolidated snow on my bike commute route. Those days overwhelm my 2.25 Ice Spikers and it's hard or impossible to ride through those sections (about one quarter of the route).

    Leaning towards to new 2020 Bigfoot 1 with the Johnny 5 tires with studs. Will these make the commute too tough? Should I look at 4" tires instead?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    273
    Are you going rigid or suspension fork?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    371
    Rigid fork.

  4. #4
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    32,039
    The % of days where a fat-bike is needed is usually pretty small, compared to studded skinny tires, still, it's nice to have that versatility. Then, the % of days that a true 5" tire would make a difference is pretty damn small. Only you really know the answer to these questions based on where you are commuting, but I find it rare in this city near the Arctic Circle to need a fatbike for commuting in the winter, a regular bike with studded tires works 95% of the time. The few days where the snow is real soft you can take a bus, but there'll be days where the biggest fat tires don't work either, either in peanut-butter crap thrown from the snow-plows or just too much fresh unpacked snow. So while the fat-bikes get us out on the trails, it doesn't really do much for commuting, it's just one bike we can use for both.
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,309
    I commute 27 miles round trip. My return route is 1hr 5mins by hardtail, 1hr 10mins by fat bike in summer conditions but up to 2.5 hrs in wet mash potato snow.

    What is unconsolidated snow?
    --------------

    [WTB] 1987 Cannondale SM800, 20", Pink with airbrushed graphics.

  6. #6
    trail gnome
    Reputation: ray.vermette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    658
    I used to commute by fatbike in the winter. I'm switching to a dedicated commuter bike; likely a fully rigid 29er/gravel/cross bike with studded tires & rim brakes.

    Part of my commute route is an unplowed path, so the fatbike was good for that section after a fresh snowfall before walkers had a chance to compact the path.

    However, salt from the road-portion of my commute was super harsh on the bike. My hydraulic brake pistons seized and had to be replaced. Other parts rusted or seized.

    I also found the fat tires did not handle the best on slushy/snowy roads. The fat tires would "float" and squirm on slush/snow, whereas a skinnier, studded tire would likely cut through that for good contact with the pavement below.

    I also realized that I could simply alter my route to use plowed roads, or take the bus or drive, on those small handful of days when the unplowed path had too much fresh snow to be bike-able on a regular commuter bike.
    Mountain bikers are generally a rational bunch...until someone moves a rock on our favorite trail and we lose our minds - LMN

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    371
    Ok good to know. Unconsolidated = mashed potato, brown sugar, etc. I find it's a lot more than a few days per month, as the plows come through rarely on the side residential streets I ride, and that snowy mess gets churned up by cars and stays a good long time. Ironically, the MUP portion of the ride is fine, it's the street portion that is often poor.

    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    I commute 27 miles round trip. My return route is 1hr 5mins by hardtail, 1hr 10mins by fat bike in summer conditions but up to 2.5 hrs in wet mash potato snow.

    What is unconsolidated snow?

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    371
    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    I used to commute by fatbike in the winter. I'm switching to a dedicated commuter bike; likely a fully rigid 29er/gravel/cross bike with studded tires & rim brakes.

    Part of my commute route is an unplowed path, so the fatbike was good for that section after a fresh snowfall before walkers had a chance to compact the path.

    However, salt from the road-portion of my commute was super harsh on the bike. My hydraulic brake pistons seized and had to be replaced. Other parts rusted or seized.

    I also found the fat tires did not handle the best on slushy/snowy roads. The fat tires would "float" and squirm on slush/snow, whereas a skinnier, studded tire would likely cut through that for good contact with the pavement below.

    I also realized that I could simply alter my route to use plowed roads, or take the bus or drive, on those small handful of days when the unplowed path had too much fresh snow to be bike-able on a regular commuter bike.
    Interesting. I've tried the skinny tire thing, nothing to cut down to, the bike just comes to a sliding halt. Then it's tough to start peddling again as the back wheel spins the front wheel does what it likes.

    What fat tires were you using?

  9. #9
    trail gnome
    Reputation: ray.vermette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    658
    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    Interesting. I've tried the skinny tire thing, nothing to cut down to, the bike just comes to a sliding halt. Then it's tough to start peddling again as the back wheel spins the front wheel does what it likes.

    What fat tires were you using?
    I meant on a plowed road.

    On a unplowed MUP with a good accumulated and compacted base of snow, you are right, a skinny tire will not cut through. It will likely simply spin on top of the compacted snow base, whereas a fatbike tire has a large enough contact patch to grip the compacted snow base and not spin out most of the time. There were days when I fatbiked to work on the unplowed MUP just fine, and I could see the fishtailing tracks of skinnier-tired cyclists that tried and failed to ride on the same compacted snow surface.

    However, on a road that is regularly plowed with, lets say, around 2 of inches of newly fallen fresh snow/slush, sometimes the fat tires will compact and float on top of the fresh snow/slush, and then it gets squirrely, whereas a skinny-studded-tired bike might instead cut through that fresh snow/slush and find good contact with the pavement below. All depends on the type and quantity of snow.

    I was using 4.8" Bud & Lou tires on 105mm rims at less than 5 PSI.

    You seem to be keen to try fatbiking to work, so give it a go. If it works out for you, great. If it doesn't, a fatbike is still a blast to ride on trails, summer or winter. I am riding mine now on the trails while my regular full suspension bike is in the shop, and I am loving it.

    All I'm saying is I tried it, and I'm switching back to a dedicated commuter biker with skinnier, studded tires. Fatbike winter commuting didn't work out for me so well. It wasn't so much the traction issue, but the toll that salt took on the fatbike that was the deal breaker for me.

    Best of luck.
    Mountain bikers are generally a rational bunch...until someone moves a rock on our favorite trail and we lose our minds - LMN

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    552
    I haven't commuted in years, but when I did I lived in a very snowy place. Studs mattered more to me than tire width. Ice is dangerous. No matter what you ride there can be times when the snow is nearly impassible. I know I'm only reinforcing your choice already, but if you go fat, get studs. I'm personally going for Cake Eaters with studs as soon as I win the lottery or find a way to wear out my Jumbo Jims.

    If you do go for the wide Terrene tires, I'm interested to hear your impressions. I love my JJs because they roll like they have a motor in them. I'm really hoping the compounds of these things is similar even with the studs.

Similar Threads

  1. 20-20 Stache 8 or 20-20 Fuel EX?
    By CRAZY FRED in forum 26+/27.5+/29+ Plus Bikes
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-20-2019, 10:25 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-09-2014, 10:25 AM
  3. Replies: 38
    Last Post: 11-05-2011, 06:09 AM
  4. Avid weights...are these per piece or per pair?
    By KMan in forum Weight Weenies
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-01-2004, 02:39 PM

Members who have read this thread: 52

Posting Permissions

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

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.