Discuss: BikeMag Fatbike Ignorance?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Discuss: BikeMag Fatbike Ignorance?

    Bike Magazine just released their annual bible of bikes test and thus has been rolling out their discussion-based youtube videos for each bike. BikeMag clearly has a certain slant, and they like the same sh*t for every kind of bike: long, slack, low, short chainstays, SRAM 1x drivetrain. But still, at least these guys and gals are getting out there and systematically riding the latest and greatest for everyone's benefit.

    On this occasion, I think they took their own personal biases too far, though. One of the bikes on review this year was the Pony Rustler. For the dialogue in question forward to 7:00 in the video below.



    How can a guy who has "ridden fatbikes a handful of times on snow" be the local expert on fatbikes? Remember: this is a professional publication about mountain bikes. The most amazing part is that his colleagues buy it when he declares that 27.5+ bikes will be the death of the fatbike. Clearly this guy has no idea what he is talking about if his idea of fatbiking can be accomplished on a regular 2.3 tire.

    I am curious what other people think about this issue and the issue of mainstream bicycle publications reviewing fatbikes when those most qualified to do so are probably far away from a computer, regularly riding extremely challenging conditions not typically considered appropriate for a bicycle.

  2. #2
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    I'm pretty sure I just heard him say quiver killer, not death of the fat bike. I may be mistaken. I think it is pretty bad though when you have someone who has ridden only a handful of times in the snow on a fat bike and thinks you can just as easily ride a normal bike in the snow. This guy needs to get out more.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  3. #3
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    He says that he has a "tough time not imagining these bikes as the harbinger of fatbike obsolescence."

  4. #4
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    I just buy what jonshonda cannot destroy.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  5. #5
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    Let's lobby to send johnshonda to the 2017 Bible of Bikes test.

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    He said both that it was a quiver killer, but also a harbinger for fatbikes. Which I don't agree with.

    Certainly, if he felt "fine" with 2.3's in whatever snow he's ridden them in, he's not riding in situations where a fatbike would be the clear winner. And also certainly, a 3" tire on 40-50mm rims is going to offer more float than that 2.3 on 25-30mm rims. But it still won't offer as much float as even a 4" tire on 65's, and absolutely not nearly as much as a 5.05" tire on 100's.

    What we're looking at is a graduated spectrum of bikes that each have their place. There are a lot of situations where many different bikes will work fine for a given situation. I think there's half an inch of snow on the ground right now where I live. I could go out and ride anything out there in that stuff and it would work. Beyond that, it's all about personalities and preferences.

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for clarifying.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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    Meh, just one guy's opinion wouldn't sway my mind. If 100 people say its true I would reconsider but since I already have a fatbike and like it, this guy's opinion is irrelevant to me.

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    A good fat and an extra + size wheelset, that is a quiver killer!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttakata73 View Post
    Meh, just one guy's opinion wouldn't sway my mind. If 100 people say its true I would reconsider but since I already have a fatbike and like it, this guy's opinion is irrelevant to me.
    I agree, but the reason why I brought it up is because these guys have a pretty major voice in the industry. A lot of people read bikemag and swallow what they are fed.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by new8812 View Post
    A good fat and an extra + size wheelset, that is a quiver killer!
    That is what I thought about my beargrease carbon with 29+. I love the 29+ for the summer, but I don't have a suspension fork, so it isn't the end all be all. I could see a 29+ with front suspension on a fatbike or even a bucksaw with two wheelsets. My normal 29er is a spearfish, which I absolutely love. The bucksaw is basically a fatass spearfish.

  12. #12
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    A "magazine"? What is that? Is it like a "clip" that goes in my 45?
    "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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    The PR is a super fun bike.

    That said, this video just reminded me of why I stopped paying attention to what Bike thinks about anything a long time ago.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

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    People will try to ride their plus tires in the snow, when they get tired of walking and they have to stand aside as a fat bike rides down the trail, they'll get it.

    Annual Best Bikes pubs are generally garbage, really nothing more than an advertising tool.

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    Thanks for the tip, guy I don't know! I'll give medium sized tires and suspension a shot in Minneapolis when it's below 0.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  16. #16
    um... yeah
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    Everyone here, including Bike, is trying to make a very objective argument about a very subjective topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by that guy again View Post
    Everyone here, including Bike, is trying to make a very objective argument about a very subjective topic.
    And the internet was born

  18. #18
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    27.5+ is pretty amazing and for 3/4 of the year, perhaps better than a lot of platforms, including fat, but it's not great in the snow, so it's not going to kill fat bikes anytime soon. It has a better chance of killing 29ers as a trail/all mountain platform, though.

  19. #19
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    Those guys are pretty damn hardcore, I can see why they would not see fat bikes clearly. The tallest dud with the long-ish hair talks about nailing 20 foot gaps, and I can't speak for anyone else, but I have never done anything close to that. Now that I'm old, I will never do it either.

    Fat bikes, to me anyway, are more about finding much lower-key enjoyment in more difficult terrain at much lower velocities. The closest thing they probably do that's similar is attempting to clean an extremely slow tech climb, but they never go into detail when talking about climbing in their reviews. They seem to view it as a means to the actual end - descending - where they wax poetic.

  20. #20
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    Every year, the bike industry creeps a little more toward the wider rims and bigger tires. A few years ago, my Pacenti Tl28 rims were considered "wide" xc rims, now they are on the narrow side. Even road rims and tires have crept up in size.

    Who are these guys and why does their opinion matter more than anyone else's? I stopped reading all of the "bike mags" 15 years ago when I found mtbr.com. The opinions that matter to me most are here: from people who are not sponsored, who deal with customer service and warranty staff, who ride before and after work and spend their money on these toys.

    Clearly the industry thinks the fatbike is no where obsolescence; every year it seems another major brand dumps a bunch of R&D into bringing them to the market.

    I really think "fat bikers" should stop giving a $hit what the 6+" travel crew think. I personally am very bored of that segment, truthfully bigger tires are the most exciting thing that's happened to bike industry in recent years

    I don't own any full suspension bikes. My main bike is a single speed....talk about "obsolete".
    Formerly known as iceaxe

  21. #21
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    Its obvious that they hate fat bikes from this video and others, the guy at the end of the table crosses his fingers and shakes his hand in joy like making a wish that fat bikes come to an end.

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    I have seen the same thing happen in French MTB magazines. They are generally ignoring fatbikes altogether or restricting it to snow conditions. Quite a few heated debates in the news posts comments.

    I guess this bias comes from several factors:
    - big brands marketing talk pushing their high suspension bikes,
    - roadbike mentality where you KOM is the only comparison unit,
    - testing 6000$ complex new-technology bikes does not put you in a mind state where you would accept simplicity and good in all conditions as an acceptable differentating factor.

    I am quite fed up with test of XC bikes like everyone rides like Julien Absalon. 27.5+ are compared as being grippy but sluggish. I am sure that once Specialized pushes forward 27.5+ even more you will have news magazines that it's the best thing invented since sliced bread.

    We even had one issue of a magazine where one article was commenting that Trek was one of the few brands to still believe in fatbikes and that the fatbike trend was dead seeing how few new models were pushed forward this year compared to previous. A few pages later another article (by a different journalist) was commenting riding a Trek Farley 9 at the Roc d'Azur (a summer event in the south of France) and saying he had to relearn how to ride and that it was a great fun experience without the performance downsides he expected. So much consistency...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    I just buy what jonshonda cannot destroy.
    haha!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogdude222 View Post
    Let's lobby to send jonshonda to the 2017 Bible of Bikes test.
    I say send the bike test to me!

  24. #24
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    Think this is bad? Try reading a bicycling.com editorial!
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dEOS View Post
    I have seen the same thing happen in French MTB magazines. They are generally ignoring fatbikes altogether or restricting it to snow conditions. Quite a few heated debates in the news posts comments.

    I guess this bias comes from several factors:
    - big brands marketing talk pushing their high suspension bikes,
    - roadbike mentality where you KOM is the only comparison unit,
    - testing 6000$ complex new-technology bikes does not put you in a mind state where you would accept simplicity and good in all conditions as an acceptable differentating factor.

    I am quite fed up with test of XC bikes like everyone rides like Julien Absalon. 27.5+ are compared as being grippy but sluggish. I am sure that once Specialized pushes forward 27.5+ even more you will have news magazines that it's the best thing invented since sliced bread.

    We even had one issue of a magazine where one article was commenting that Trek was one of the few brands to still believe in fatbikes and that the fatbike trend was dead seeing how few new models were pushed forward this year compared to previous. A few pages later another article (by a different journalist) was commenting riding a Trek Farley 9 at the Roc d'Azur (a summer event in the south of France) and saying he had to relearn how to ride and that it was a great fun experience without the performance downsides he expected. So much consistency...
    BikeMag and many of the other american periodicals write from a downhill perspective, as if that is the ultimate expression of the sport. FWIW, fat bikes have more in common with XC bikes, at least in terms of the terrain that most of us ride regularly, excepting snow and sand. Basically, we're at a bizarre intersection of XC, Bikepacking and ultra-endurance riding and guys who mostly ride at bike parks and only coast downhill and rarely ever pedal up, don't get it. The editorial staff at BikeMag, rad bruhs who live to shred the gnar, definitely don't get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by tyriverag View Post
    Think this is bad? Try reading a bicycling.com editorial!
    Selene Yeager, aka Fit Chick, is a fat biker. I've seen more positive fat content there than any of the other print rags.

  26. #26
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    I read that magazine cover to cover and was way more impressed with the write ups of East Burke and the trails.
    Couldn't really get into the bike reviews.
    I like turtles

  27. #27
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    BikeMag writers live in California, bomb rocky trails, never see snow, shred gnar and can't see anything else. There's also a hefty does of pose here: on-tail footage consists solely of shots of people clearing Rampage-style gaps, beers are always carefully clutched in hand, radicalness is assumed. Suburban Midwestern dads like me who just want to ride in snow, hit a few trails on Saturday morning and have fun with our friends are not part of this thinking. We're, like, totally lame.

    This same myopia is present on the road side where mags often assume everyone is racing in the TdF, needs a 6" saddle to bar drop, skinsuits for riding with weekend warriors, ultra-stiff and twitchy frames, $3K deep section carbon wheels and 53-39 chainrings.

    As a result of these types of biases, you get people being offered and riding bikes that are likely not what they need. Fashion trumps function, pose trumps fun. Nothing new here.

  28. #28
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    Probably got paid to say that, or he really is a close minded ****.

    Also there should be a FB magazine, like NOW. I would subscribe to that shit hard. It could seriously be the most epic thing ever, anyone want to go in on it with me?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
    Probably got paid to say that, or he really is a close minded ****.

    Also there should be a FB magazine, like NOW. I would subscribe to that shit hard. It could seriously be the most epic thing ever, anyone want to go in on it with me?
    I keep thinking the same thing.
    I like turtles

  30. #30
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    Would be nice to have a fat bike shootout or Bible but not going to happen with these fools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiro11 View Post
    BikeMag writers live in California, bomb rocky trails, never see snow, shred gnar and can't see anything else. There's also a hefty does of pose here: on-tail footage consists solely of shots of people clearing Rampage-style gaps, beers are always carefully clutched in hand, radicalness is assumed. Suburban Midwestern dads like me who just want to ride in snow, hit a few trails on Saturday morning and have fun with our friends are not part of this thinking. We're, like, totally lame.

    This same myopia is present on the road side where mags often assume everyone is racing in the TdF, needs a 6" saddle to bar drop, skinsuits for riding with weekend warriors, ultra-stiff and twitchy frames, $3K deep section carbon wheels and 53-39 chainrings.

    As a result of these types of biases, you get people being offered and riding bikes that are likely not what they need. Fashion trumps function, pose trumps fun. Nothing new here.
    So true. I have dealt with Moto "journalists" before and they are amazingly full of themselves. Their little world and the silly image games they play to sell magazines is all that exists to them. That and all the free stuff they get in exchange for product coverage and "testing".......

    Then again, they are barely paid minimum wage if you add up the hours they put in. Despite having their names, pictures and bylines in a nationwide monthly magazine......

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
    Also there should be a FB magazine, like NOW. I would subscribe to that shit hard.
    No need, they are giving it away for free. https://fat-bike.com/

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windigo View Post
    Would be nice to have a fat bike shootout or Bible but not going to happen with these fools.
    MTBR just sort of did this with bikes and riding locations, unfortunately it was pretty lame too.
    Latitude 61

  34. #34
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    I think they're just catering to their audience (which is not me). People who buy those magazines typically fall into the flat brim hat / Red Bull chugging / bike-hucking millennial adrenaline crowd. Seems to me that a good majority of people who enjoy riding fat bikes (like me) fall into the more chill have fun / get out and ride / non-strava junkie crowd. Stories like that don't tend to sell magazines, or make for super rad in-air bike huckage shots. Magazines are "supposed" to be unbiased, but I think we all know that marketing dictates otherwise. Risk-averse 45 year olds like me are not their target audience. Probably why I don't buy bike mags.

  35. #35
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    Selene Yeager, aka Fit Chick, is a fat biker. I've seen more positive fat content there than any of the other print rags.[/QUOTE]

    Yah, they are relatively fat-friendlier than many pubs.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiro11 View Post
    BikeMag writers live in California, bomb rocky trails, never see snow, shred gnar and can't see anything else. There's also a hefty does of pose here: on-tail footage consists solely of shots of people clearing Rampage-style gaps, beers are always carefully clutched in hand, radicalness is assumed. Suburban Midwestern dads like me who just want to ride in snow, hit a few trails on Saturday morning and have fun with our friends are not part of this thinking. We're, like, totally lame.

    This same myopia is present on the road side where mags often assume everyone is racing in the TdF, needs a 6" saddle to bar drop, skinsuits for riding with weekend warriors, ultra-stiff and twitchy frames, $3K deep section carbon wheels and 53-39 chainrings.

    As a result of these types of biases, you get people being offered and riding bikes that are likely not what they need. Fashion trumps function, pose trumps fun. Nothing new here.
    True words - great post.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windigo View Post
    Would be nice to have a fat bike shootout or Bible but not going to happen with these fools.
    It would be a pointless exercise I think no matter who attempted it.
    Too many different types of riders/biases, too many different types of trails and conditions, too many tires...too many variables. It's easier to do with dirtbikes because if for instance an engine has no mid-range - well then it has no mid-range. Not much open for interpretation there.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiro11 View Post
    ...As a result of these types of biases, you get people being offered and riding bikes that are likely not what they need. Fashion trumps function, pose trumps fun. Nothing new here.
    Add to that most of these folks won't even put down their Red Bull for a bike that costs less than $5k.

    And then the industry scratches their collective head and wonders why bikes sales have been shrinking for years.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  39. #39
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    Here you go again, complainin bout someone what don't agree wit ya.
    I'm jus gonna git on my Krampus an ride da ski trails now while it's soft. Maybe dem big tires can reach down to da dirt an git sum reel traction..../just kidding, but is that what they think tires need to cut through the snow to get traction?
    I actually like Bike mag editorials but they sure don't represent me in their philosophy. It is all All-Mountain, or Enduro based these days.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    People will try to ride their plus tires in the snow, when they get tired of walking and they have to stand aside as a fat bike rides down the trail, they'll get it.

    Annual Best Bikes pubs are generally garbage, really nothing more than an advertising tool.
    This is a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think? People have ridden regular mtbs in the snow for years, and still do. I love my fatbike, but I feel like their snow capabilities are vastly oversold for those who don't live in areas where snow sticks around for long periods of time each winter. I've ridden with people on snow covered trails, on powder days, where skinny mtb tires beat out fatbike tires. Of course, I've ridden my fatbike in conditions where skinny tires would flounder, too, but it was by no means easy, and those days are few and far between where I live.

    People seem to be a bit insecure about their fatbikes for some reason. Like they constantly have to justify them to everyone. My fatbike is far from practical. Even in snow, the snow has to be just right for a fatbike to be the more practical choice. The reason I still own and ride one is because it's fun. Hell, I ride mine in the summer on singletrack.

  41. #41
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    If "regular" mountain bikes or plus sized bikes do just fine in all snow conditions then why are folks clamoring for bigger than 4.8s? Because there are places and conditions that make them useful. Does everyone who owns a fat bike encounter these conditions regularly? No, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. If BIKE magazine can't acknowledge this they're idiots.

    The relationship I've seen is that a given tire width will do OK in snow depths double that width. 2" tires are OK in 4" of snow (but a fat bike is way more fun and confidence inspiring), 4" tires might be OK in 8" of snow(but 5's would work alot better). I've never ridden a plus bike, but I'll bet it would be OK up to 6" of snow (but any fat bike would be better and more fun).
    "Trails? Where we're going we don't need, trails!"


  42. #42
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    People often seem to have an inability to extrapolate beyond their own situation and local conditions. Therefore, if one lives in a place that doesn't get much snow, they feel qualified to make blanket statements like, "you don't really need a fat bike."

    I don't see many people "constantly having to justify their fat bike," and certainly not where I live. I don't really think that most people who have chosen to ride a fat bike care what others think. But there are most definitely places where fat bikes are extremely useful, if not necessary, if you want to do anything other than commute on hard-packed roads in the winter. To deny such is to demonstrate one's own limited imagination, if not outright ignorance.

    I would love to expect more than the above from people who review bikes for a national magazine. Except I've worked for a variety of magazines in the past, and so I'm not surprised at all.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccartney7499 View Post
    If "regular" mountain bikes or plus sized bikes do just fine in all snow conditions then why are folks clamoring for bigger than 4.8s?
    I've got two words for you: Penís Envy. Same reason dudes have monster trucks and Corvettes as daily drivers, they're trying to compensate for something they lack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    I've got two words for you: Penís Envy. Same reason dudes have monster trucks and Corvettes as daily drivers, they're trying to compensate for something they lack.


    I am not so sure about that: my di&k is enormous and I still like fat tires on my truck and on my bike.......

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodlandHills View Post
    I am not so sure about that: my di&k is enormous and I still like fat tires on my truck and on my bike.......
    sure... That's what they all say.

  46. #46
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    Its no good to have riders, who have little experience on fat bikes, reviewing such bikes. That's pretty black and white.

    What is not so black and white are where these Bike Mag reviewers are coming from. I too originally thought they were only about the sterotypical "big air, huckin' crowd". As I've read their stuff more in recent years, seems to me they have a good feel for core trail riding. Looking at their personal picks for favorite bikes over the last few years, a suprising number of those bikes fall into the trailbike category.

    Point is, I think these guys are more in touch with trail riding than you guys are giving them credit for.

    Also, its important to get a feel on what spectrum of performance a given mag caters too. A mountain bike review in Bike Mag comes from the perspective of what appears to be really hard charging riders with speed and performance in mind. Seems like these guys, eat, breath, and sleep bikes. That has to be factored into what you hear them saying. A more moderate perspective review on a mountain bike would likely come from something like "Bicycling". Riders and the bike industry, in general, have not yet accepted "fat and plus" bikes as hard chargind, high performance, speedy rigs. Understanding this might explain Bike Mag's less than glowing take on chubby wheels.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodlandHills View Post
    I am not so sure about that: my di&k is enormous and I still like fat tires on my truck and on my bike.......

    Pics or you're lying!
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Its no good to have riders, who have little experience on fat bikes, reviewing such bikes. That's pretty black and white.
    True... I met a guy up in Maine last summer that couldn't believe how fast I was riding on my fat bike and how well it handled the trails.
    He told me he had ridden one once and didn't like it all. Who knows what bike he rode, what tires were on it and what conditions. I tried a few and settled in on 100mm rims and 4.8" tires. Works well for me.
    My stepson had an opportunity to try an XL Beargrease with Marge and HUdus. He didn't like it. We swapped bikes and he knew he likes the bigger tires but mine are too big. He'll be on Darryls with Knards, probably.
    Ya gotta ride a few before you dismiss them.
    I like turtles

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by baltobrewer View Post
    I think they're just catering to their audience (which is not me). People who buy those magazines typically fall into the flat brim hat / Red Bull chugging / bike-hucking millennial adrenaline crowd. Seems to me that a good majority of people who enjoy riding fat bikes (like me) fall into the more chill have fun / get out and ride / non-strava junkie crowd. Stories like that don't tend to sell magazines, or make for super rad in-air bike huckage shots. Magazines are "supposed" to be unbiased, but I think we all know that marketing dictates otherwise. Risk-averse 45 year olds like me are not their target audience. Probably why I don't buy bike mags.
    PERFECT!! Me too.... well, I'm 51, but still!!!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiro11 View Post
    BikeMag writers live in California, bomb rocky trails, never see snow, shred gnar and can't see anything else. There's also a hefty does of pose here: on-tail footage consists solely of shots of people clearing Rampage-style gaps, beers are always carefully clutched in hand, radicalness is assumed. Suburban Midwestern dads like me who just want to ride in snow, hit a few trails on Saturday morning and have fun with our friends are not part of this thinking. We're, like, totally lame.

    This same myopia is present on the road side where mags often assume everyone is racing in the TdF, needs a 6" saddle to bar drop, skinsuits for riding with weekend warriors, ultra-stiff and twitchy frames, $3K deep section carbon wheels and 53-39 chainrings.

    As a result of these types of biases, you get people being offered and riding bikes that are likely not what they need. Fashion trumps function, pose trumps fun. Nothing new here.
    I subscribe to Bike mag, Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times. When Bike mag reviews a bike, how can they not list the wheel size? Boggles the mind. I get the whole overall impression and skipping some of the details, but please. I consider it very important.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by baltobrewer View Post
    I think they're just catering to their audience (which is not me). People who buy those magazines typically fall into the flat brim hat / Red Bull chugging / bike-hucking millennial adrenaline crowd. Seems to me that a good majority of people who enjoy riding fat bikes (like me) fall into the more chill have fun / get out and ride / non-strava junkie crowd. Stories like that don't tend to sell magazines, or make for super rad in-air bike huckage shots. Magazines are "supposed" to be unbiased, but I think we all know that marketing dictates otherwise.
    Risk-averse 45 year olds like me are not their target audience. Probably why I don't buy bike mags.
    You couldn't be more right but still just off the mark - all the key info is there.

    The magazine is trying to appeal to what they perceive as who their target audience thinks is cool - the people who spend money on magazine subscriptions are never the guys at the pointy end of sport progression, or even the ones out there just enjoying it constantly: it's the older, fatter, gainfully employed type who wish they were in the former group that spend money on subscriptions and buy the sorts of bikes advertisers of the publication make enough money on to advertise.

    So, the editorial staff of the publication wants to feel like they're staying relevant, and the direction they go is trying to do the raddest stuff they can (which probably means taking 6" travel enduro race bikes on trails that Yoann Barelli could take a rigid 24" bike on - but that says more about what a phenom Yoann is), padding every single image/status buffer possible, and doing their best to extrapolate on long term performance and how an entire line of bikes work by sampling one frame/build kit/size variant of a bike. That's really hard to do.

    I'm glad they do what they do, and that approach is probably the only way they can stay solvent. Most of what passes for journalism is too incompetent to even meet those levels - TEN Media actually has enough good editors across fields that they're at least consistently relevant multimedia settings, and even somewhat mundane review and press release rehash material is interesting... but I know I'm in an extreme minority of media consumers in that I can process the technical minutae, but also understand wider industry/enterprise context - magazines aren't written for me, but I understand that. For somebody who wants to snag a new bike every few years, and is stuck flipping pages due to other time constraints that keep them from riding, what BikeMag and the Bible of Bike tests offer is a great alternative in 5-minute bites.

    It's still a useful meta-analysis tool to look at what general aspects of bikes they like. Considering how much they adore the Horsetheif, and could at least get on with the Pony Rustler, I already know they're going to be slam dunk fans of the Hightower 29/27+ bike. There's a break-point somewhere with regard to the rim/tire widths and how much super-lightweight carbon is required to make a plus bike seem like a low-compromise proposition, and that appears to be a $4500 carbon bike or spendier. There are six inch travel 27.5 bikes with different personalities, but spending over $3500 leaves no excuse for any of them to be bad at climbing, or in any way lacking when descending. 1x drivetrains and dropper posts are really nice, and will eventually be ubiquitous - although that was obvious from two editions of BoBT ago, it's nice to see some intelligent value oriented commentary about that.

    I think Ferretino was right, although for a myriad of either un-discussed or reasons he wasn't immediately thinking of. The component groupsets and direct value stream model is going to make $3000 bikes really good. There is a herd of mid-range cost components that will make plus sized wheelsets extra-attractive [Easton AR40 rims, SRAM NX Drivetrains, RS Yari/Fox 34 Performance/X-Fusion Trace RC-HLR Forks] that will mean solid OEM builds of 27+ bikes will cost only hundreds of USD more than a comparable fat bike, but come with every conceivable bell and whistle -- all this means is that buyers who need a fat bike will get a fat bike, but those who previously just wanted one will find themselves price comparison shopping against something that is going to look like a far better value proposition to anybody residing south of the 42nd parallel.

    They have a solid group of trail bike riders, and honestly that's probably the best make-up for a publication of that type. The older DH bike reviews were basically irrelevant, but did demonstrate the marketing importance of having a gravity bike to each brand - because those bands wanted their bikes reviewed. At this point, events like the EWS/Megavalanche have created a new gravity racing type, except that the bikes are actually fairly accessible, and either the full-on enduro race bike, or a slightly more spritely doppelganger can actually be sold to be public, which is a huge marketing boon all around -- so the AllMountain/Enduro/Pedalable mini-DH class of bike now fills that niche, but does a better job because the bike companies can actually make money selling that model.

    Within the limitations of their own geography, and limited time with each bike (I'm guessing it's rare to find the tire pressure sweet spot on a 4" or 5" tire bike within the first hour or two of riding), their understanding is quite reasonable, and their bias is to view a fatbike more as a tool for conditions they don't experience -- but they've also seen plenty of fat bikes sold to people who live nearby, and can see the writing on the wall that with good plus bikes coming, those buyers aren't going to ride a heavier and less sophisticated bike... and the economics of scale start to matter because fatbikes will return to a niche (although a much more advanced) product that makes sense on sand dunes and snow, but won't command nearly the market share they have over the last couple of years because 27x3" tires can suffice for riders who can only justify a fat bike if they've already got a few bikes... the compatibility with 29x2.3" tires means those guys can start to justify a stupid large sticker price bike because 'it replaces at least two bikes'... and those are precisely the sort of purchase decisions that fuels their advertising revenue.

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    New question here.

    J
    Well sad, sir!! I am. A 63. Yr old cyclist 'who just happens to love fat biking year round. I get extremely agitated at the glossy mags that stubbornly hold o.to the following lies about fat bikes
    1. Fat bikes are. Fad
    2.fat bikes are just for winter.
    3. Fat bikes are heavy and hard to ride. (Lol)
    these are just a sample of things you read in the glossy mags that only seem to cover big Buck bikes.
    I dthe koolaid aid back in '14 and haven't quit smiling yet. Fat-Bike. Com has a wonderful internet radio show called Fat-Bike. Radio every Friday afternoon. So go over and enjoy both things.
    By Theo.ly print may I would suggest is Dirt Rag. Oldbear -

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post

    I don't see many people "constantly having to justify their fat bike," and certainly not where I live. I don't really think that most people who have chosen to ride a fat bike care what others think. But there are most definitely places where fat bikes are extremely useful, if not necessary, if you want to do anything other than commute on hard-packed roads in the winter. To deny such is to demonstrate one's own limited imagination, if not outright ignorance.
    That's what this thread is about. I can link to numerous other threads that are also mainly people whining that someone said they didn't like fatbikes or whatever. It happens a lot on this forum. It's been happening for years.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraspontane View Post
    That's what this thread is about. I can link to numerous other threads that are also mainly people whining that someone said they didn't like fatbikes or whatever. It happens a lot on this forum. It's been happening for years.
    I don't need you to provide me with any other links. I'm aware of what you're referring to.

    But I don't think that responding to ignorance and unnecessary bias always equates to "whining and needing to justify a fat bike." Some of it certainly could be described as such. But then some of it is simply a reasonable response that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for a stupid review in the first place.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by tehllama View Post
    The magazine is trying to appeal to what they perceive as who their target audience thinks is cool - the people who spend money on magazine subscriptions are never the guys at the pointy end of sport progression, or even the ones out there just enjoying it constantly: it's the older, fatter, gainfully employed type who wish they were in the former group that spend money on subscriptions and buy the sorts of bikes advertisers of the publication make enough money on to advertise.
    This is very true. After all, your average 23 year old flat brim cap wearer is not going to be buying ~$5K bikes. Your average guy (likely a guy, anyway) who can afford these bikes has a 9 am conference call and college funds for two kids to worry about and isn't likely going to be jumping 20' gaps. So it's a mutually accepted pose: the buyers of the magazine fantasize that they're going to ride a $5K bike as shown in magazine videos while the editors pretend that the buyers of the magazine are both capable of riding as shown and capable of swinging the price tag . Maybe the best way to watch these videos is to watch them as you watch Top Gear videos: you're unlikely to be carving a Koenigsegg around Monza but it's fun to watch someone else do it and pretend that, given the right set of circumstance, you could.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post

    But I don't think that responding to ignorance and unnecessary bias always equates to "whining and needing to justify a fat bike." Some of it certainly could be described as such. But then some of it is simply a reasonable response that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for a stupid review in the first place.
    Exactly.
    Acknowledging something and correcting it does not necessarily equate to either "whining" nor being overly attached to the initial remarks in question.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by bme107 View Post
    No need, they are giving it away for free. https://fat-bike.com/
    Yes been there seen that. IMHO: The good thing about physical media is the lack of distracting ads, which really make for a more organized experience as the web is so fluid and web like. Additionally with the constant introduction of new everything it would be nice to have it come out on a regular interval instead of constantly trolling the web for information waiting for the next best thing to pop out witch is a huge waist of thyme. Along with the added benefit of easier to read
    on the crapper. There are probably more benefits but I don't have time to think of them all cause I have to get back to wasting time on the web.

  58. #58
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    meh.. who cares what they say.. i just go ride what i want.. my fatbike.. the wifey.. the usual...

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiro11 View Post
    Maybe the best way to watch these videos is to watch them as you watch Top Gear videos: you're unlikely to be carving a Koenigsegg around Monza but it's fun to watch someone else do it and pretend that, given the right set of circumstance, you could.
    Very true. One of the reasons I like Top Gear though was that if it was a turd they'd call it one. They review econoboxes for your mum to take to church and market as well as limited edition supercars the likes of which the manufacturer calls their customers and asks if they could be privileged enough to sell a car to them with their usual custom fitments or if they'd prefer a new arrangement. Also, for the most part, if they wanted to test something in a ludicrous way they had the ability (connections and non industry backed $$) to circumvent the manufacturer and "FU we did it anyway" here are the results.

    How about a cycling article where 3 writers were given $150 to go on craigslist, procure a bike and show up at head quarters for a week long series of tests, rides, races, and adventures where all they have at their disposal is a mini-pump, box of patches, multitool and some chain lube.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
    Yes been there seen that. IMHO: The good thing about physical media is the lack of distracting ads, which really make for a more organized experience as the web is so fluid and web like. Additionally with the constant introduction of new everything it would be nice to have it come out on a regular interval instead of constantly trolling the web for information waiting for the next best thing to pop out witch is a huge waist of thyme. Along with the added benefit of easier to read
    on the crapper. There are probably more benefits but I don't have time to think of them all cause I have to get back to wasting time on the web.
    Physical media and the lack of distracting ads? Does not compute. I let my paid subscription lapse for a couple of them since a significant portion of the publication was ads. I'd pay 2x the "cover price" if there were no ads. Excluding the table of contents, which nobody reads anyway, you can go 8 if not 12 pages deep into any one of the mags before you get to the first bit of writing content and that's usually letters to the editor (someone else's content) or the editor giving a 1/2 page blurb about what a fantastic job his staff did this month and that he hope you enjoy it 10% as must as they enjoyed riding ... er, writing it.

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    Somehow it seems that even being a 40+ full-time job employee with a family, I know more about fatbikes than some journalists that are supposedly passionate about cycling.

    I agree with what has been said in previous posts about readers & writers vision & expectations. The press does not seem to have a good vision of what composes their readers population. Or maybe it's the journalists early age that brings so many articles about gravity and other bone breaking activities that would make the majority of expensive bikes buyers cringe.

    I read articles about fatbikes being for snow and at the same time, I see facebook posts in Fatbike communities throughout the world enjoying their bikes in tropical weather.

    French magazines do have a sociological writing bias where you must be close to nature & close to people. However with their bike trips all around the world, they only go for their own ride enjoyment, they don't go and meet riders from other countries.

  61. #61
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    Ironically because there are so many fat bikes around my area, the riding spots are getting packed down to the point where a skinny tired bike can ride just fine. Then I hear from my non-fat bike friends who say "see you don't need a fat bike to ride in winter".

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    Yes to that point fatbikes could be the bane of their own existence. I just had to say that for obvious reasons.

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