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  1. #1
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    Best route for go for tubeless

    Hey everybody!
    I currently ride a Cannondale 29er hardtail. Thinking about adding a fat bike just because I think it would be fun. Like so many other people, I don't want to spend a lot, and I want to get as much for my $$$ as I can.
    Seems like every time I start researching, my budget creeps up. I don't want to spend more than I need to, but I also don't want something that's disposable. If I decide a fatty isn't for me, I would probably want to be able to sell what I bought and recoup as much as possible.

    Anyway, enough rambling; I'll get to the point of this post.

    I'm turning 54 next month. I'm not a big, powerful guy - I'm 5' 10", about 175lbs. So I'm thinking I probably want to get something that's not real heavy. I know that being tubeless can save quite a bit, so what's roughly the price point to get something tubeless from the factory?

    I'm currently looking at bikes around the $500-$600 mark, does it make sense to go with tubes for now and upgrade later? To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of that idea.

  2. #2
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    Is there anyway you can rent a Fat Bike, or borrow from a friend to see if you like it first?

    Most "cheap" Fat bikes don't come with Tubeless compatible Tires or Wheels,
    ...and unless you get extremely lucky, it will have crap components, all steel construction and weight about 45+ pounds

    I made the mistake of not spending enough for my first fatty
    Within a couple weeks I found myself shopping for something in the $1200 range.
    ...and came home with a like new Demo 2018 Trek Farley 7 (marked down from $3100 to $1900)

    Yes it was more bike than I thought I wanted, and $700 more than I wanted to spend...but SO Worth it!
    Even with the Mastodon fork, Larger Frame, and 27.5 x 4.5 Gnarhwals ...it came in 11 Pounds lighter than my $400 Schwinn Turd.
    11 Speed SRAM is a dream, and Hydraulic brakes....what's not to Love about That! (I also added dropper post)

    Pic's from last September when I first brought it home...





    I just swapped out the Gnarwhals (that I studded for Winter) for a lighter set of Barbegazi's
    Tubeless conversion on the MuleFut wheels was very easy, and dropped another 3 pounds total.

    For what it's worth, I'm about the same age/size as you.
    I also have a Marin Hardtail 26 MTB....that I may never ride again now that I'm use to the cushy ride.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge1400 View Post
    I'm currently looking at bikes around the $500-$600 mark, does it make sense to go with tubes for now and upgrade later? To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of that idea.

    You're throwing money away at that price point.

    Find a friend that'll let you borrow their's for a day. See if you like it. If so, spend more.

  4. #4
    turtles make me hot
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    In my opinion, the best wheel for tubeless that comes on a complete fat bike is either the Surly My Other Brother Darryl or the Bontrager Jackelope.
    The MOBD comes on Surly Wednesdays and Ice Cream Trucks. I think the Wednesday is like 1500 bucks.
    I like turtles

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies!
    I live in the boonies, and I don't know anyone who has a fatty, so borrowing one isn't an option.
    A $1500 bike just isn't in the cards right now.

  6. #6
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    Then save your money till it is, or you run across a used one locally.

    Friends (even virtual, internet based ones) don't let friends waste hard earned dollars on landfill stuffing.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Then save your money till it is, or you run across a used one locally.

    Friends (even virtual, internet based ones) don't let friends waste hard earned dollars on landfill stuffing.
    What is the absolute lowest-priced fat bike you would recommend?

  8. #8
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    Anything under $1000 real world, actual retail pricing (as opposed to the ridiculous claimed MSRP on some consumer direct sites) will likely not have the rims you seek.

    Buy used if you're on a budget. Generally accepted pricing is that a bike in decent used shape is worth 50% less than purchase price. A decent used *real* bike, will be so much more pleasant to work on too when needed.

    I'd agree with NYrr496, a Surly Wednesday will be dead simple tubeless set up with it's MOBD's, and not cut the corners that actually matter, like all the consumer direct garbage does.

    Buying a cheap one will quickly result (as others have indicated) in the realization that, "crap, this thing needs X, and Y, and Z, in order for me to find it fun to ride, and suddenly, you're bolting $300 worth of stuff onto a frame hung with parts that aren't worth a bucket of spit to begin with...
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge1400 View Post
    What is the absolute lowest-priced fat bike you would recommend?
    I have 2 of very similar bikes (Boris Models) that I added Mulefut Rims to. Held up very well, no problems and others here have as well. Brakes not that great, but a very solid bike.

    Free Ship 48 Plus Save up to 60% off new MuleFut Tubeless Compatible Wheel Fat Bikes and Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Sturgis NX MuleFut Tubeless Compatible Wheel Fatbikes
    Dash Pt. State Park (Tacoma), Big Sky Montana during Snowboard Season, Duluth Mn, a couple of times of year incl. Xmas.

  10. #10
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    I sold my carbon beargrease x7 for 850. Had van helgas and a carbon patch on the chainstay, so wasnt perfect, but used is the way to go.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge1400 View Post
    What is the absolute lowest-priced fat bike you would recommend?
    As long as you do not need 5" tires, the Framed Minnesota LTD comes nicely spec'd and has tubeless ready tires and wheels. Cost is $1,000.

    https://www.the-house.com/qfrmnltd16...fat-bikes.html

  12. #12
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    Definitely look for a used fatbike. Plenty of them out there with not much use. You should be able to pick up a decent name brand bike for under $1000, Trek, Specialized, or Salsa.

  13. #13
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    I don't like to advertise for consumer-direct bike sales, but I replaced my fatbike (thru-axles, 1x12, MuleFuts, rigid fork, Minion tires) for under $1000. I would not go any lower (and that bike still needed some special attention during the build - which I was expecting). But even tubeless it will be ~32-33#. As you go cheaper, the weight goes up, tubeless compatibility goes out the window, frames get skinny, tires get skinny, gearing options go away, brakes.... yikes...
    Around here the used market is crazy. People are asking near new prices for used fatbikes. I almost did it, but .....nah.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    Definitely look for a used fatbike. Plenty of them out there with not much use. You should be able to pick up a decent name brand bike for under $1000, Trek, Specialized, or Salsa.
    I'm in rural central Nebraska, so the added travel or shipping cost pretty much makes getting a used one unreasonable.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I don't like to advertise for consumer-direct bike sales, but I replaced my fatbike (thru-axles, 1x12, MuleFuts, rigid fork, Minion tires) for under $1000. I would not go any lower (and that bike still needed some special attention during the build - which I was expecting). But even tubeless it will be ~32-33#. As you go cheaper, the weight goes up, tubeless compatibility goes out the window, frames get skinny, tires get skinny, gearing options go away, brakes.... yikes...
    Around here the used market is crazy. People are asking near new prices for used fatbikes. I almost did it, but .....nah.

    -F
    I assume you're talking about BD?

  16. #16
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    Leaning toward the Framed Minnesota LTD or the Motobecane Sturgis Eagle NX12. They seem to have pretty similar specs (unknown weight on the MB). MB brakes rotors slightly bigger.

  17. #17
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    sarge

    a cheap bike is better than no bike. Buy the 500 one, figure out what is important, get rid of the $500 one and get a better one down the road. atleast you will know if you like it or not.

    I know everyone is broke and 500 is a lot, but it is not really much money on a bike.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    sarge

    a cheap bike is better than no bike. Buy the 500 one, figure out what is important, get rid of the $500 one and get a better one down the road. atleast you will know if you like it or not.

    I know everyone is broke and 500 is a lot, but it is not really much money on a bike.
    I considered that, but the used market around here is virtually nonexistent. The reason I can't find one used is the same reason I don't want to have to try to sell one - no market.

  19. #19
    turtles make me hot
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    Could you afford to piece one together?

    RSD is selling their gen 3 alloy frames for 279 delivered. Then get some Alex Blizzerk rims which offer excellent tubeless and some Bike Hub Store hubs and you have the beginnings of an excellent bike. This works great if you can build your own wheels.
    I like turtles

  20. #20
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    After researching damn near everything in the $1000-2000 price range, the Framed Minnesota LTD is the current front-runner. For what it costs, it seems to have the best combination of features and reputation.
    Would I love to have a new Surly ICT? Hell yeah I would. But at a $2000 price point, and seemingly made of unobtanium, it's out of reach. The LTD has the the features I think I want at a much more affordable price.

    I'm going to hit the LBS tomorrow to see what they have on the floor, just for fun.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    sarge

    a cheap bike is better than no bike. Buy the 500 one, figure out what is important, get rid of the $500 one and get a better one down the road. atleast you will know if you like it or not.

    I know everyone is broke and 500 is a lot, but it is not really much money on a bike.
    This, all day long.
    I set up the famously low priced Gravity Bullseye monster tubeless using the fattystripper tubeless system (discussed a lot around here) after the stock tires wore out and I bought Kenda Juggernaut Pro tires. It made it feel like a new bike. That being said, there are some shortcomings to the GBM. The handlebars are comically narrow and 1" (which means I bought a new stem too). The head tube is not tapered. The fork is a 135 quick release, so Fork upgrade options are limited. But I had a lot of fun on the bike. After almost 3 years and a few thousand miles, I finally replaced it with a Framed Alaskan which is blow-my-mind awesome. I would never have known how much I loved fat biking if I hadn't received the cheap one as a Christmas gift from my wife.

  22. #22
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    ^^ Very nice. And the Blizzerks that come on it offer up good tubeless.
    I like turtles

  23. #23
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    I had a pair of Bud and Lou that were kinda heavy with those huge knobs, so I drilled some cutouts in the tires to cut some weight. Hey, it works for rims, right? Now the tires don't set up tubeless so easy.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  24. #24
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    After much deliberation, research, and discussion with my wonderful wife who told me yesterday that she wanted to get me a fat bike for my birthday, I think it's going to be a Framed Wolftrax.

    Now I need to decide between alloy or carbon.

    My concern is damage; how much more risk is there with carbon?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge1400 View Post
    After much deliberation, research, and discussion with my wonderful wife who told me yesterday that she wanted to get me a fat bike for my birthday, I think it's going to be a Framed Wolftrax.

    Now I need to decide between alloy or carbon.

    My concern is damage; how much more risk is there with carbon?
    Iíve had my Wolftrax (carbon) since January and am pleased. Itís my first fat bike so I have nothing to compare it to but itís very light, rides well, and I had a blast riding in the snow. Went tubeless right when I received it (after taping the rims).


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  26. #26
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    Still researching........

    How does everyone feel about 27.5 vs 26" rim's?
    Specifically, 27.5 w/4" tires vs 26 w/4.8" tires.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge1400 View Post
    Still researching........

    How does everyone feel about 27.5 vs 26" rim's?
    Specifically, 27.5 w/4" tires vs 26 w/4.8" tires.

    Everyone that's ridden them has some opinion on them for sure. Each has pluses and minuses depending on region and use. Either might work for you, but you haven't given any info from which to share experience or push you in one direction vs. the other.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Everyone that's ridden them has some opinion on them for sure. Each has pluses and minuses depending on region and use. Either might work for you, but you haven't given any info from which to share experience or push you in one direction vs. the other.
    Fair question, and I don't really have a good answer. For now, probably just the local hilly gravel and dirt roads. Eventually I'd like to hit some trails if I can find any that aren't too far away.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge1400 View Post
    Fair question, and I don't really have a good answer. For now, probably just the local hilly gravel and dirt roads. Eventually I'd like to hit some trails if I can find any that aren't too far away.

    Gotcha. Nothing you've described requires nor necessarily benefits from fat tires. Buy whatever's cheapest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Gotcha. Nothing you've described requires nor necessarily benefits from fat tires. Buy whatever's cheapest.
    Yeah I get ya. Mostly wondering about the diameter.

    The bike with the 26" setup costs a little more than the other one, but it also has a carbon fork and (what I think is) better geometry with a little slacker HT angle.

  31. #31
    turtles make me hot
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    A 4.5" fat tire that fits on a 26" rim will have a similar outer diameter to a 4.5" tire that fits on a similar width 27.5" rim.
    Same way a 29"x3" tire on a 29" rim is a similar height to fat wheels.

    If you aren't riding in soft sand, snow or rocky gnar, 27.5 fat is PROBABLY the way to go. Again, no way to really know without trying. I've sampled all sorts of different fat wheel and tire combos and I like 26" with 5" tires the best but I'm big and heavy and we have a lot of sandy trails here.
    I like turtles

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    A 4.5" fat tire that fits on a 26" rim will have a similar outer diameter to a 4.5" tire that fits on a similar width 27.5" rim.
    Same way a 29"x3" tire on a 29" rim is a similar height to fat wheels.
    I think there are some typos in there. Did you mean a 26x4.5 will have similar height to 27.5x3.8? I can buy that.

    My 29x2.8 is a good bit taller than 26x4.

  33. #33
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    For central Nebraska, which gets less snow than southeast Wisconsin, I would think you would be fine with 4" wide tires. I weigh 200+ lbs and ride 4" tires, but never in real deep snow.

    One benefit of 26" is a much wider selection of tires. 27.5 is getting there, but still more 26 offerings.

  34. #34
    turtles make me hot
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    I think there are some typos in there. Did you mean a 26x4.5 will have similar height to 27.5x3.8? I can buy that.

    My 29x2.8 is a good bit taller than 26x4.
    26x4 is a very small tire. I would compare that to a 27.5x3.
    I like turtles

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    26x4 is a very small tire. I would compare that to a 27.5x3.
    I ride a 4" for the width, not the rolling circumference. It gets done what I need it to.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    I ride a 4" for the width, not the rolling circumference. It gets done what I need it to.
    Of course it does. I was only trying to demonstrate that 27.5 fat and 26 fat are similarly sized. People seem to think 27.5 fat won't fit in their bikes.
    Kinda like the difference between a Tahoe with 17" rims and one with 20" rims. The OD of the tire is the exact same size. They take the increased rim height out of the tire's sidewall. My 907 takes em all.
    I like turtles

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