Barbegazis, Gnarwhals, Mulefuts and Jackalopes - Opinions of which with what?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Dec 2005

    Barbegazis, Gnarwhals, Mulefuts and Jackalopes - Opinions of which with what?

    Greetings from a 1st time Fat Bike Forum poster from snowy Copper Mountain, Colorado (9,600').
    First, thank you to those who contribute to this forum; the shared knowledge and experience here is amazing! I'm writing to ask your advice on which tires to run with which rims.
    I recently got a 2017 Farley 9.6, which came with Barbegazis on 27.5" Mulefut80s. After riding in 8" of fresh snow on a firm base this week, I realized I'll need something with some more bite for those conditions, so after reading many pages of your Fat Bike Forum, and after listening to a great 57-minute podcast with Trek engineers and Travis Brown (, I got 4.5" Gnarwhals. I plan to stud them as others on this forum have described (leaving the two center rows of the rear tire un-studded), and plan to use them both for days when I expect to encounter ~3+ inches of powder and for icy conditions. I plan to use the Barbegazis for days when I'd like a little less rolling resistance - like when I ride many hours of snowmobile-packed trail. At this point, I plan on riding the Farley just in the winter.
    I have some used 27.5" wheels with Jackalope rims (75mm inner bead width) on the way and was thinking of mounting the Barbegazis on them, tubeless; and putting the Gnarwhals on the Mulefuts (74mm inner bead width), also tubeless. My rationale is that the Gnarwhals are likely to see lower pressures than the Barbegazis, and for what I've read, the Jackalopes seem a bit more fragile than the Mulefuts. Being 155 pounds with winter gear, I'll be surprised if I bend either of them, so long as I have at least ~5PSI in the tires. I expect that the Gnarwhals will often see much lower pressure than that (in deep snow), but the Barbegazis shouldn't.
    BTW, I'm not a Trek fanboy - other than some Bontrager bars I had a long time ago, this is my first Trek experience. Getting 27.5" stuff in my price range, that's just what I ended up with.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Barbegazis, Gnarwhals, Mulefuts and Jackalopes - Opinions of which with what?-2018.11.07-my-farley-snowy-bridge2.jpg  

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: solarplex's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    For your weight, i wouldnt worry about bending the jackalopes but most do jumping.

    I would probably have the lighter rim on the gnarwhal as its a heavier tire.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BlueCheesehead's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    When running low pressure you will be on soft surfaces so less chance for a rim strike. That said, when snowy weight is less of a concern to me than when dry and moving faster.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    I have a similar setup to you, and kept the Barbegazi setup lighter for faster conditions.

    When conditions warrant the chunkier Gnarwhal setup, Iím already going slow, so the extra wheel weight doesnít seem so bad.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: Teton29er's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    I'd put the Gnarlwhal on the jackalops. I bet the difference in most snow for rolling resistance is microscopic between Gnarlwhal and Barbagazi and you know which one will give you traction. If the snow is truly very hard or icey, Studded Gnarlwarls still win, as you can run higher pressure and roll faster.

    Then put the Barbs on the mulefuts for when there is no snow.

  6. #6
    fat guy on a little bike
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Teton29er View Post
    I'd put the Gnarlwhal on the jackalops.
    Then put the Barbs on the mulefuts for when there is no snow.
    what he said!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    I've got Gnarwhals on Jackalopes on my Surly ICT and it is an awesome combination in loose and unconsolidated snow! I weigh approx 170 lbs and haven't had any issues with damaged rims while riding as low as 2-3 psi in snow. With that being said, I haven't used them in the summer because of the Jackalope's rumored frailty.

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