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  1. #1
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    Fat bike for soft/wet fine beach sand and sea wash?

    Hi,

    I am looking for a fat bike that is best suited for beach riding (both soft sand and wet/hard sand + sea wash). The bike should be able to operate in super fine sand - which is found on the beaches I plan to use it on, so I would like to ensure the breaks, gears, bearings and other parts do not get gritted up. I also want to be able to use the bike for mountain/terrain riding and basic road riding. I would like to mount a rear rack, front and rear mud flaps, a front lights down rear light, bell, and the ability to have a quick mount child seat attach to the back of the bike.

    What model/make bikes would you recommend?

    What is the price range of the above?

    Where can I buy these? (I am in Sydney’s - Australia) online purchases are ok too.


    PS:

    I am looking at the following at the moment..

    The Norco Bigfoot 2 as it is sold by a close by bike shop. I have been asking them for advice but they don’t stock many fat bike options (true for most shops here in Aus)

    https://www.abcbikes.com.au/19-norco-bigfoot-2

    However, I just saw a sale on these bikes from wheeler

    https://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/2016 ... otpoReview

    https://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/2016 ... GP312MA-19


    I don’t know much about the brands. How do they compare? How do the bike models compare with n regards to parts and quality? (Sorry I am new to this)



  2. #2
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    This is US centric, but here is a list of fat bikes: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...bKU/edit#gid=0

    The only thing I will say is that titanium and carbon are the most resistant frame materials to salt, but bearings, chains, cassettes, spokes, etc. are all susceptible, so wash your bike. I am lucky that my beach riding is on a freshwater lake. It is a lot of fun. My wife started fat biking the beach too.

  3. #3
    turtles make me hot
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    I ride my aluminum 907 on saltwater beaches here on Long Island every winter and I trail ride it year round and in snow. I've found the best money spent on fat bikes is in the wheels and tires.

    Are you against building the bike? RSD is selling their third gen alloy frames cheap. Grab one of those, a Surly Ice Cream Truck fork, Alex Blizzerk rims in 90mm, Hope hubs, Raceface Aeffect crankset, 11 speed drivetrain and Shimano SLX brakes. Maybe a Surly Bud front tire and a 4.8 Knard for the rear.
    I like the SLX brakes better for ugly conditions than a mechanical since there's no cable to get stuck.
    Not sure how shipping and tariffs work to Australia but I could probably build this bike for less than what the bikes you listed sell for. My way, you gain dependable tubeless.
    I've found 4.8" tires on 80+mm rims works better on sand.

    BTW, have you seen the Surly Ice Cream Truck? Can you get it down there?
    I like turtles

  4. #4
    All fat, all the time.
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    Go with the widest tires you can find for soft fine sand.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Go with the widest tires you can find for soft fine sand.
    Good advice.

    That is the most important part of the bike for that sort of use, so if the bike cannot take the widest tyre available, don't consider it. Widest rims too.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  6. #6
    Thingamejigger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Good advice.

    That is the most important part of the bike for that sort of use, so if the bike cannot take the widest tyre available, don't consider it....
    Yip... 4.8 tyres minimum, you don’t need super nobbly tyres either, Jumbo Jim’s for example, are a great beach tyre...

    Next tip: make sure you use squirt lube on your chain.

  7. #7
    Rocking on a Rocky
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    Right in your own backyard.

    Salted Bikes| FATbikes| Australia
    It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  8. #8
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    I’ve been using a Walmart Mongoose Beast on the beach for over 4 years now. It has 100mm rims with 4 inch tires and does great on the sand. I use a Ibert seat for the 2 year old mounted up front.

    If you want to ride in the dunes or soft sand you have to air down to around 4-5 psi. I have to ride on paved roads to get to the beach so I run 15 psi usually and that still does well on the hard packed sand.

    I read through the entire Beast thread and built it with different bearings, cog, chain, tires, etc and the components have held up well over the years. I ended up with 32 front and 22 rear.

    Since it has no derailer, shift cables, or brake cables it requires less maintenance. I just hose it down and use squirt wax lube on the chain.

  9. #9
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    Regarding chain lubes, in my experience, wet lubes will turn your chain into a fat gray fuzzy caterpillar thing that makes horrible noises as the sand eats metal parts. I've had very good results with Teflon or wax-based lubes, especially Finish Line Ceramic chain lube that once or twice applied, does not attract and hang onto blowing sand (which is inescapable on the beach) and can withstand the post-ride rinsing with fresh water. I recently rode 165 miles on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, 80% of it on the beach. I never had to reapply lube and never heard squeaking or scraping from the chain.

  10. #10
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    I found in general that I rarely ride too much in the fine loose dry sand, it's too much work. In reality I ride on the firmer damp sand below the high tide mark. Doing that a 4" tire is sufficient and no need to air down too much. Less time adjusting pressure as you transition from loose to firmer going etc.

  11. #11
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    Thank you for all the great advice everyone. Much appreciated. Please keep it coming.

    I wish I could build a bike, but I am starting out and don't have much experience. I was also leaning to the ABC bike shop (Norco Bigfoot 2) option as they are 15m drive from my place, so advise and service should be convenient.

    Is the Bigfoot 2 able to take 100mm rims and 2XL tyres? Would the stock 80mm rims and 4.8' tyres be sufficient? (I am also planing to use the bike for general casual riding in parks and on road etc...

    I have also asked the shop to come up with a bike rack + fender + baby seat option. I have received no answer so far, but perhaps the members of this awesome community can help with what would work best

    So far I was looking at the Topeak rack? - but I am not sure what fenders and baby seat (quick remove) would work with this? Perhaps there is a better system out there?

    https://www.pushys.com.au/topeak-uni...ck-black.html?



    Quote Originally Posted by iliketexmex View Post
    This is US centric, but here is a list of fat bikes: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...bKU/edit#gid=0

    Is there any way I can download and edit/create a pivot table from this sheet?
    Last edited by l2oBiN; 4 Weeks Ago at 01:24 PM.

  12. #12
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    The Bigfoot will do just fine. The only shortcoming that will matter is getting the rims to setup tubeless. There's always split tube method if they won't behave.

  13. #13
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    Think about DIY Chinese Carbon Fatty. Great learning experience and way more fun than just plopping down cash at the LBS. My beloved 26 lb 907 recently got stolen with a cable lock in a locked room. I just finished my 25 lb CCF. Happy I DIY'ed. So far I am very impressed by the new 4 piston M8020 Shimano brakes. I am not impressed by Sram... they have zero customer service and you can only contact a reseller where you bought the parts who then contacts Sram with questions. If there was a do-over I would use a Raceface crank instead of Sram. I have the 12 speed cassette and there is very little room (~4mm) between the chain and the 4.8 tire. I may try an XXL shaved down for dune use.

    Ditto on the Squirt chain lube. I have tried most everything. I used to buy White Lightening by the gallon(literally) before they invented Squirt This was before there were even fatbikes and I rode my MTB on the beach shoreline. WL and the other wax based lubes use a solvent to thin the wax and you need to shake it up before using. Somehow Squirt used a water based system. I still clean and boil a new chain in paraffin prior to its first use. If you search the web you may come across the testing that proved wax is the lowest friction chain lubricant of everything tested.

  14. #14
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    Today the local bike shop (where I planned to purchase the Norco Bigfoot 2) advised me that they could not find/source the following components from their suppliers that would be compatible with the Norco Bigfoot 2 bike;
    - bike rack (corrosion resistant - aluminium?) with side bags, quick connect baby seat and mud guards/fenders.

    So I am seeking for your help in suggesting /sourcing these. Would you please be able to help with identifying these along with where they could be purchased online?

    (Perhaps the above needs to be separated into another thread...)




    Second to this, in relation to...

    Quote Originally Posted by k.b. View Post
    Think about DIY Chinese Carbon Fatty. Great learning experience and way more fun than just plopping down cash at the LBS. My beloved 26 lb 907 recently got stolen with a cable lock in a locked room. I just finished my 25 lb CCF. Happy I DIY'ed....
    Ok so just thinking out loud here.. If I was going to build a bike from scratch....

    Budget is $1500 AUD (about the same in CAD).

    All parts/retailers need to be deliverable to Australia. I am ok to purchase online.
    PS: Importing into AUS attracts a 10% tax.

    I would like to have it up and running by Dec 15th 2018.

    I have very little to no experience in building a bike. I am 185cm tall so a Large frame would suit best(?)

    I have basic tools only (pliers, socks set, a couple of adjustable wrenches)

    The bike needs to be designed for breach/saltwater/fine sand use but will also be used for general cruising around parks and at times commuting to shops/train station. I may take it off-road but don’t plan to be be flying around mountain sides with it.

    I need a strong non corroding back rack compatible with Quick fix side bags and quick fix child seat and a set of mud guards/fenders

    I would love it to be a belt driven system (but chain drive ok also) with s/steel or non corroding hardware and fully sealed bearings (to prevent corrosion from salt and fine sand)

    I like the simplistic idea of having just a set of gears at the back (no need for front)

    I am also unsure which wheel / rim sizes would work best? 80mm rims? 100mm rims? 26” size?bigger?

    5”tyres (?) tubeless setup?

    —————————

    Some of the things going through my mind...

    Where do I start?

    Which tools would I need?

    Which parts would I need and where do I buy them?

    How can I ensure compatibility of all parts?

    How can I tell if a part is of high quality or rubbish?

    How long will the process take?

    What does building it myself mean for the warranty?

    It would be great to have a list or several lists of components for the various builds.

    It would also be great to have a mentor help me with the build.

    (Again, thinking maybe I should open another thread specific to building a bike.. appologies if that is the case.. will advise within this thread )

  15. #15
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    How much past cycling experience do you have as they may help answer some of your questions about building a bike. I wouldn't recommend just jumping into building a bike if you are not very familiar with maintaining bikes and have some experience there. What I'm referring to is have you adjusted derailleurs, replaced cassettes, dialed in hydraulic brakes, removed headsets and bottom brackets? If all of that is foreign to you, do not take on building a bike right now, gain some maintenance experience first from a bike that was built by someone who knew what they were doing.
    There are many aluminum parts where threads can easily be stripped because of over-tightening on modern bikes that re not cheap. A good bike torque wrench will be required if you don't have the prior experience.

  16. #16
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    Given your level of experience and location you will never be able to make all the myriad decisions required to source all the parts required to build a bike and then get them to you by December 15. I think your best bet would be to buy the Norco. The rack issues it has will be the same for any fat bike. There are racks that fit fat bikes. Spend your time searching for them not trying to build a complete bike. Not that building a bike isn't a great experience you just don't really have time. No bike will be immune to fine sand, even sealed bearings won't last forever under really harsh conditions. Get the bike you can get and then replace whatever wears out with better things. And no wet chain lubes. Good Luck
    Latitude 61

  17. #17
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    Used Surly Moonlander, with 4.8" Swalbe Jumbo Jims on the 100m clown shoe rims,
    148mm offset rear end with bendy tubes for a 135mm rear hub may look weird to the human eye but is a great set up as gives a 5" tyre on 100m rim set up with a real good chain alinement, and a real narrow rear end for rock crawling out of the saddle riding with no heel contact as you let the bike move side to side.
    The Moonie has standard 26" MTB rack mounts, but you need a rack that a 5" tyre will clear, an Old Man Mountain rack can do that,

    The whole steel/erosion thing is a myth if you ignore the visual cosmetics thing, There are 10 year old fatbike frames now with thousands of salt air exposure to them that are still solid, i have several...
    Get SKF brand bearings and peel off the seals and repack them with Marine grease for thousands of miles of bearing life through harsh saltwater conditions,
    Here is a link to Salt water Fatbike preparation you may find helpful;

    coastrider: Fatbike Preperation for beach riding
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
    http://coastkid.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
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    Here are some racks that might work.

    Rear Racks for Fat Bikes, List and Guide - BIKEPACKING.com

    And listen to Coastkid, he has been riding beaches for longer than anyone on this forum.
    Latitude 61

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Sloth View Post
    How much past cycling experience do you have as they may help answer some of your questions about building a bike. I wouldn't recommend just jumping into building a bike if you are not very familiar with maintaining bikes and have some experience there. What I'm referring to is have you adjusted derailleurs, replaced cassettes, dialed in hydraulic brakes, removed headsets and bottom brackets? If all of that is foreign to you, do not take on building a bike right now, gain some maintenance experience first from a bike that was built by someone who knew what they were doing.
    There are many aluminum parts where threads can easily be stripped because of over-tightening on modern bikes that re not cheap. A good bike torque wrench will be required if you don't have the prior experience.
    Some common Torque specs YMMV
    3mm hex — 2-3nm 18 -30 in lbs
    4mm hex — 4-5nm 35 -43 in lbs
    5mm hex — 6-8nm 52 -69 in lbs
    M8 195~212 in lbs
    Bottom bracket 300 in lbs
    Caliper mounting bolt 52 -69 in lbs
    Disc mounting(6 M5 bolts) 18-35 in lbs
    Crank bolts 107~124 in lbs
    Pedal shaft into crank arm 276 in lbs
    Rear derailleur mounting bolt 85-110 in lbs
    Rear derailleur cable pinch 35~45 in lbs
    Seat rail clamp M6 53~63 in lbs
    M8 195~212 in lbs
    Water bottle bolt 20-25 lb*in
    4 bolt handlebar clamp 55 in lbs
    Brake lever clamp 53-69 in lbs
    Stem (fork col bolts)5nm 45 - 70 in lbs

  20. #20
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    In my experience I have no problem riding dry soft sand along the shore on 4" tires. Climbing soft dunes is still a pushing affair though, I don't know if 5" tires will help much. Air pressure is a critical key, don't be afraid to air down. Just like on soft snow, I air down to the point where the sidewalls start to wrinkle with my full weight on the bike, then add 1/2 to 1 psi or until they don't wrinkle anymore. They are a lot of work once you hit the pavement again though. Knobs seem to make little to no difference on sand, unlike snow or dirt. I read a lot about the best lube for sand and went with Squirtlube, and followed the directions to a T. The chain would still occasionally collect sand, but it didn't stick and seemed to shed right off. Riding through several inches of shallow saltwater from sandbar to sandbar washed most of the lube off, but it wasn't nearly as bad as using a wet lube where the sand stuck to the chain like glue and stayed there, grinding everything with a horrible crunching cacophany. I put cheap plastic pedals on so I didn't destroy a good pair.
    To appreciate the flowers you must also walk among s**t to know the difference

  21. #21
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    iBert baby seat

  22. #22
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    expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by masterofnone View Post
    In my experience I have no problem riding dry soft sand along the shore on 4" tires. Climbing soft dunes is still a pushing affair though, I don't know if 5" tires will help much. Air pressure is a critical key, don't be afraid to air down.
    Going from 4 to 4.5 and finally 5 in front was useful for daily rides on a beach with rock groins. Airing down created too much resistance for me to carry momentum on soft ascents and contributed to a pinch flat. A Lauf Carbonara helps control when maintaining speed in e.g. trampled sand with 5-7 psi.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by l2oBiN View Post
    ... so I would like to ensure the breaks, gears, bearings and other parts do not get gritted up...
    This depends on your maintenance and prep. Even high end stuff is going to get destroyed by salt water. Some bearings might last longer than others, but the lifespan is still going to be short if you get salt water into any of it.

    That coastrider link posted above has great information, but is a little daunting with all of the disassembly needed to prep everything.

    I recently purchased a fatbike for use on the beach. I decided to go cheap, knowing that the bike will have a reduced lifespan due to the salt water. I would have gone used, but there are few fatbikes for sale where I live. I have some time before I go to the beach with it, prepping it a little at a time.

    It is amazing how quickly things decay at the beach.

  24. #24
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    sand blasted fat

    Sand accumulates near the bottom bracket, so going 1x, eliminating front derailleur, is best. Anything steel will rust, and contacts among different metals, e.g. stainless spoke nipples and alloy rims, will corrode.
    Compressed air and brushing are IMO better than water for removing sand.
    A bobbed fender between rear stays usefully slows sand accumulation.
    Replace chain and rear cassette after ~ 1000 miles of sand
    to maintain crisp shifting, even with regular Squirt lube application.
    My square taper bottom bracket looks nasty after 2 years but continues to work fine;
    it was overstuffed with marine grease when new.
    Stainless skewers are worthwhile upgrades for quick release axles,
    as are stainless cables for shifter and brakes.

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