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  1. #1
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    Is The Fat Bike All I Need ?

    Finally decided to retire from triathlons due to back issues, so I sold my tri bike which was of course like a race car. I've been riding my KHS 1000 fat bike for the past few years with all my buddies riding their 29ers and can keep up pretty well, although I do have to work harder than they do. Question is do I get a 29er maybe even a full suspension or is the fattie all I need ?

  2. #2
    X-Ray Guy
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    In theory yes you could just have a fatbike. Slap on a suspension fork and maybe get some mid fat wheel set and run 29x2.8/3 on the same frame during the warmer months.

    Question is do you want to? I have a road bike for the road endurance days, full suspension trail bike for the warmer months and fatbike to get me through the cold winter up in Canada. Its all about your situation. Personally I like having the right weapon for the job.

  3. #3
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    If I never had to try to keep up with my friends, my Ice Cream Truck with 100mm front fork would do everything I could ever want to do on a mountain bike at this point in my riding experience. If you're keeping up with yours now on a fat bike, why change?

  4. #4
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    My rigid, no suspension, carbon fattie is what I ride 90+% of the time.

    No need for a full suspension 29er in my opinion.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNip73 View Post
    My rigid, no suspension, carbon fattie is what I ride 90+% of the time.

    No need for a full suspension 29er in my opinion.
    Basically, I am on the same page.

    It works for the trails near me.

  6. #6
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    Is The Fat Bike All I Need ?-img_3886.jpg

    I ride fat year-round for a few reasons; simplicity, not concerned with competing, and they are fun. If your back is really bad and your trails are really chattery, you my want FS plus. But fat rolls year round and all kinds of soil type I really like mine

  7. #7
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    I ride my 29er when riding with others that are fast. Fatty when solo or if others are riding fat.
    2017 Santa Cruz Tallboy C 29er
    2018 Canyon Dude fatty with Mastodon
    2018 Nashbar Sora Alloy gravel bike

  8. #8
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    Is The Fat Bike All I Need ?

    If you have to work harder to keep up with your friends, you would be better riding a similar bike as your friends. Something lighter like a Hardtail perhaps or a Cyclocross bike.
    Last edited by j102; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:17 PM.

  9. #9
    All fat, all the time.
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    Just get a + sized wheelset for summer riding. 1 bike for all.

  10. #10
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    FS fatbike for me in the summer, winter I now have a full rigid just to keep maintenance down.

  11. #11
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Fatbike pounds me to hell in the summer, I ride my FS bikes.
    "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.

  12. #12
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    Bikes are not about *need*. They are all about want. With so many nice bikes, limiting yourself to a fat bike seems silly, unless financially limited.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SS
    RM Suzi Q 90 RSL
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  13. #13
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    Good feedback overall, certainly not a need as one guy pointed out, more of a question of limitations and it seems like the biggest issue that came up was the rougher ride in the summer time which I have experienced a lot where the FS might be nice.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HB&B View Post
    Good feedback overall, certainly not a need as one guy pointed out, more of a question of limitations and it seems like the biggest issue that came up was the rougher ride in the summer time which I have experienced a lot where the FS might be nice.
    I'm not trying to be a dick, but if you did a search, you could read opinions on this for days.

  15. #15
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    Is it possible to ride fat all year? Sure, I've ridden both rigid fat bikes and a full suspension Bucksaw fat bike for several summer seasons. Is it the ideal bike for most summer riding? Probably not. Personally I've found that the new breed of plus or semi plus trail bikes (2.5"-3.0") give most of the benefits of their fatter cousins (parents?), with less of the penalties.

    Why don't you find some way to demo some different kinds of bikes for the type of riding you want to try?

  16. #16
    Your bike sucks
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    Bikes are not about *need*. They are all about want. With so many nice bikes, limiting yourself to a fat bike seems silly, unless financially limited.
    I agree with the want part. You have a vision...go for it.

    I've been the poster child for a bike for every occasion.. Over the last 30+ years, I've kept between 5-13 mountain bikes in constant rotation/quiver... but these days, I've been working on downsizing and, unexpectedly, more or less focus on one bike. It's been liberating. Simplification is another form of *want* so certainly not touting it as better in anyway but it does have benefits that are not strictly financial; my fleet takes energy, time and quite a bit of processing on refinement and even just bike selection... right now, I'm grooving on grab and go. Ultimately, serious's advice is good - go with what you want and inspires you... it'll sort itself out.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HB&B View Post
    Finally decided to retire from triathlons due to back issues, so I sold my tri bike which was of course like a race car. I've been riding my KHS 1000 fat bike for the past few years with all my buddies riding their 29ers and can keep up pretty well, although I do have to work harder than they do. Question is do I get a 29er maybe even a full suspension or is the fattie all I need ?
    I used a fat bike as my only ride for a few years. Life was complicated and I couldn't deal with one more thing to take care of. I grabbed my bike and rode when I could. It was a steel Pugsley and it didn't ask for much. On the rare occasion that I did a group ride, keeping up wasn't a big issue although I wasn't riding with avid racers.

    I got a Ti hardtail cheap and it opened my eyes to the experience I missed when I was younger and racing. Namely, covering lots of miles quickly and efficient. It was fun to push myself and get immediate gratification from a faster ride. It is a different "feel" than riding my fat bike. I still enjoy the fat bike, mainly in the winter or sometimes just for a change of pace. I think that you will "feel" something different when riding a faster bike.

  18. #18
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    It really depends on the trails you ride. My local trail is smooth, but very tight and twisty, with pine needles over sand. My rigid fat bike is faster than my FS bike because I can carry more speed in corners and brake later. The traction makes the difference. Other places I used to ride are more rocky, rooty with better dirt. My FS was faster there.

  19. #19
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    If you get a set of slick tyres, you can even do decent road mileages.

    When a hammer is your only tool, everything is a nail.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  20. #20
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    I love my Foes Mutz. I have 3 wheelsets for it.

    26x4.0 Van Helgas for winter
    27.5x3.0 High Rollers 2s for Alpine and solo
    29x2.6 Ikons for gravel and mountain rides with people

  21. #21
    viva la v-brakes!
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    Everyone else pretty much has this covered. Pretty much. Two factors to consider are local terrain and fit.

    Your profile says you are from the Twin Cities. So the local terrain is pretty similar to down here in Madison: its generally pretty mild and you don't need a FS bike (unless that back problem flairs up again!), a fat bike with 'skinnier' plus wheels/tires would work just fine in the summer months. Many, riders around here ride fat or plus all year round, including some very fast guys.

    My only word of caution is the ridiculously wide q-factor of a fat bike. If you are a big guy or it just doesn't bother you than you're fine. It does bother me.

    I guess I would say if it works for you, ride it until you're into MTBing enough that you feel you want a dedicated summer bike.
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  22. #22
    Nutrailer
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    Depending on what the trails are like you are riding and I'm assuming you're still have the 26 x 4.9 tyres fitted, how about trying lighter/narrower tyres for non-snow riding such as the Jumbo Jim 4.0? If the trails are not too knarly you could risk the Liteskin version. Lighter tires transform a fatbike IMO but YMMV.
    What a perfect waste of time

  23. #23
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    I'm very interested in this a well.

    I don't ride with other people anymore, I prefer solo peace...so I don't have to worry about other people's pace.

    My Stache had been great in the dry, warm months. My other hardtail has monster studs on it right now for the frozen trail.

    I'm really researching right now moving to a Wozo because it has the fun Stache geometry, but will accommodate 27.5x4. Given the region in which I live lacks a ton of snow fall, I'm thinking this may be my happy medium.

    The only problem is that I've already got the Stache and love it. I should instead just buy a 5.05" capable dedicated FatBike and be done with it...but the idea of the "One Bike" just makes me happy inside.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farbar View Post
    Is it possible to ride fat all year? Sure, I've ridden both rigid fat bikes and a full suspension Bucksaw fat bike for several summer seasons. Is it the ideal bike for most summer riding? Probably not. Personally I've found that the new breed of plus or semi plus trail bikes (2.5"-3.0") give most of the benefits of their fatter cousins (parents?), with less of the penalties.

    Why don't you find some way to demo some different kinds of bikes for the type of riding you want to try?
    yes.

  25. #25
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    Great feedback from everyone. I'm thinking that for trail riding the FS is probably not needed, but like the idea of a more shock absorbing ride and the articles I've read seem to indicate no loss of power by going this route. I'll probably just demo a few bikes and see if there is any advantage over my fattie...but I sure do like the sure footed feel of the big girl. Once you go fat you don't go back.

  26. #26
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    I was able to demo a Fatboy (Expert, I think) for a week. I compared it on the same trail network against my 29+ All Mountain hardtail and my older 26" All Mountain hardtail.

    By far the most fun, most capable, quickest ride was my Stache under normal trail conditions.

    If I could get a FatBike to feel similarly wearing 29+ winter shoes, yet have the ability to run 27.5x4 - 4.5 or 26x4.8 fire winter... That'd be the way to go.

    If I had to ride the Fatboy as my only bike, I'd say nope!

    But maybe an ICT or Wozo with a summer 29+ setup...maybe perfect.

    If you're anything like me, don't demo anything you can't afford. If you fall in love with it, you'll be fixated on it and how much your current ride isn't like it.

  27. #27
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    A lot of people see a fat-bike and think, 4" tires=4" of suspension travel. Undamped travel is not like riding an FS bike, unless you are going ultra-slow, it'll bounce your ass back up in the air just as hard. On a bike in the summer, with far less rolling resistance, it's very easy to pick up speed and exceed where the tires kind-of absorb stuff. IME, a rigid bike rides like a rigid bike, not an FS bike. That's an important distinction.

    The flip-side is that a fatbike works fine in the summer as a rigid bike, unlike a snowboard in the summer, which basically just "doesn't go". So it can be your one-bike, it'll just have some significant trade-offs and IME, is not a substitute for an FS bike in the summer.
    "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.

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