Is fat bike a solution to my arm problems- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is fat bike a solution to my arm problems

    Hi, I currently ride full suspension 2.3 tire bike tubeless mostly riding technical trials and rock gardens. I have a permanent tennis elbow condition. Can a full suspension fat bike provide a better cushion for my arms. I am not concerned with speed, just want to take care of my arms when riding on rocks and roots.
    Any opinion on comparison between full suspension 2.3 vs 4 inch or bigger tires would help.Thank you.

  2. #2
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
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    I don't have tennis elbow but I do have a poorly done surgical repair on my right forearm. Long rides on ANY bike, FS, fat, whatever, caused my right wrist to hurt badly.
    A few years ago I was introduced to Jones Loop Bars. Solved all my problems.
    Maybe a similar solution waits for you.

    I do like my fat bike though.
    I like turtles

  3. #3
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
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    Seconding the Jones suggestion, cheaper than a new bike if nothing else!

    If you don't need floatation ever, I'd suggest bumping up to some 3" tires and enjoy the plushening. Otherwise, fatties make snow and sand a blast...
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  4. #4
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    Thank you, I will look into it.

  5. #5
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    I doubt it. While my Farley EX8 is worlds better than a rigid, and even a hardtail, it is only marginally more compliant/less jarring than any other full-suspension non-fat bike. Your tennis elbow is far more likely to be about grip than jarring. I agree that different bars are going to be more likely to represent your solution than a new bike.

  6. #6
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    Another alternative. It's what I used to relieve hands going to sleep and elbow strain. Everything is much more natural with a swept bar.

    https://www.amazon.com/FSA-Metropoli...gateway&sr=8-5
    Dash Pt. State Park (Tacoma), Big Sky Montana during Snowboard Season, Duluth Mn, a couple of times of year incl. Xmas.

  7. #7
    Like a FirePlug
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    These Oddity bars have been amazing. I've got 2 herniated disks in my neck and need to be more upright and moving my hands around.

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  8. #8
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    Iíd investigate bars and grips rather than a full bike solution. Weíve had alt-bars alternative bars swept bar discussions here in the past. See if you can dig up a few.

    Briefly, Iíve had ulnar nerve issues on both hands/arms, broken thumb, wrist issue, dislocated shoulder with associated tears.

    Most stock bikes come with less than 10degrees sweep to the bars. Aftermarket bars can be found from various manufacturers between 15-45deg sweep.

    I like bars in the low 20ís with ergon grips.

  9. #9
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    The thing about big fat tires is that while they will help to absorb and cushion impacts at a certain speed/impact range, the way a "fixed" damper works such as this is that impacts outside of this range will give you the opposite effect, in other words they will be magnified and the rebound of the air in the tires will make it harder to control the bike (more bouncy). Good shock absorbers can help to control this, but I don't think you are going to find that the bike is "better" for bumps. Bikes like to pick up speed downhill and not stay in the same speed range. Another issue is that a fat-bike is going to have a lot of unsprung mass, which is far from optimal for a suspension system, you generally want as little unsprung mass as possible. Coil shocks are amazing though for traction and comfort, so I recommend a bike that can take a coil sprung shock, many air-shock bikes cannot due to the leverage curve. As suggested here, handlebars and grips may be much more pertinent to solving the problem.
    "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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  10. #10
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    fat bikes are harsh and heavy definitely not a 'go to' bike for recovery of any type. you make the ride soft then it will be a slog trying to get any speed. you want speed those fat tires at pressure kick right back at you

    yanking that fat front end up over crud ? .... IMHO better to get an XC lightweight rig your arms will suffer less.
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  11. #11
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
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    If your tennis elbow was the same concept as the bout I had last year? Horrible, not thanks, sorry to hear that's going on, BTW.

    I rode without so much as a twinge (with the band on at least) for the whole duration, YMMV....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  12. #12
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    2nd the Jones bar. I put them on my fatbike and my hybrid. Really great to change positions and got rid of wrist pain on long rides.
    2018 Motobecane Sturgis NX
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    fat bikes are harsh and heavy definitely not a 'go to' bike for recovery of any type. you make the ride soft then it will be a slog trying to get any speed. you want speed those fat tires at pressure kick right back at you

    yanking that fat front end up over crud ? .... IMHO better to get an XC lightweight rig your arms will suffer less.
    My Farley EX8 is absolutely not a harsh ride. It's as plush and compliant as I could possibly want.

    Your riding expectations are probably different than mine. I can't imagine having to yank the front end over anything...that would never be a important criteria for me in bike selection. I'm not sure that a fully suspended fat bike is the answer to tennis elbow, but it sure does solve several other upper body off-road biking issues.

  14. #14
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    Thank you all, this is great advice.
    I will try Jones Bars first, it makes a lot of sense.

  15. #15
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
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    BTW, I also use silicone foam grips. Great combination.
    I like turtles

  16. #16
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    I've been using the Salsa Bend bar Deluxe the last couple weeks and I like the 17deg sweep. My left wrist has no pain and my right hand is not cramping as much. I previously rode a low riser bar with about 5deg sweep. I'm also considering ESI chunky grips to replace my ODI Rogue grips. This bike has a sus fork. You also may want to consider the angle of your brake levers and shifters if the angle of your wrist is not inline. Perhaps that influences your elbow position and pain as well.

    I further agree that riding a fat bike with more cushin' for the pushin', is not likely to alleviate pain. I have a low riser bar on mine (rigid) and I'm thinkin' the Bend bar will migrate over this next winter. I don't find my fatbike to ride harshly at all, despite an aluminum frame, but tire pressure is a big factor. More so on fatbikes due to conditions, than any other style of bike. I also agree with most people's suggestion to look at alt bars.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkolen View Post
    I have a permanent tennis elbow condition.
    Have you had any neck issues?

    https://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/...-radiculopathy

    Cervical spine issues can manifest and incurable tennis elbow.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Have you had any neck issues?

    https://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/...-radiculopathy

    Cervical spine issues can manifest and incurable tennis elbow.
    Not really, I have overworked my arms too much in the last 20 years.

  19. #19
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Doubtful new bikes or parts I'll remedy the issue.


    Have you seen a good PT?

    I had the same thing, aggravated by riding. With agressive stretching and strengthening it went away. Tendinitis like this can often take up to a year to fully heal on the microscopic level.

  20. #20
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    My new fatback came with ergon GA3 grips. After a few rides, they are keepers. They have reduced my wrist pain. The wide part of the grip is not as wide as the typical ergon grips. I have them on both of my bikes now. May or may not impact your elbow issue; might be worth a try.

    urmb
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  21. #21
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    Is fat bike a solution to my arm problems

    I have a Foes Mutz full suspension fat bike along with an Ibis HD3. I also have permanent tennis elbow.
    Itís no better on the fat bike.
    I do wear a strap when I ride and have tried Ergons. I think the Ergon grips help with sore hands, but didnít do anything for the elbow.
    I finally broke down and tried bars with a lot of sweep. Did the trick for me.
    Iím using these Carver carbon MyTi bars. They have 29d back sweep.

    http://carverbikes.com/parts/cockpit...bon-handlebar/

  22. #22
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    This may sound like a whacko idea, but try acupuncture. Worked miracles for me. I was a total skeptic but was nagged into it by my wife and mother who are both nurses. Life changing results. That being said, the handlebars suggestions seem good too

  23. #23
    All fat, all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobine View Post
    I have a Foes Mutz full suspension fat bike along with an Ibis HD3. I also have permanent tennis elbow.
    Itís no better on the fat bike.
    I do wear a strap when I ride and have tried Ergons. I think the Ergon grips help with sore hands, but didnít do anything for the elbow.
    I finally broke down and tried bars with a lot of sweep. Did the trick for me.
    Iím using these Carver carbon MyTi bars. They have 29d back sweep.

    MyTi Carbon Handlebar - Carver Bikes
    Ooh those look nice.... Not that I need new bars, but ...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by iliketexmex View Post
    This may sound like a whacko idea, but try acupuncture. Worked miracles for me. I was a total skeptic but was nagged into it by my wife and mother who are both nurses. Life changing results. That being said, the handlebars suggestions seem good too
    Some sound advice here. IMO. Handlebars can make a difference. So did acupuncture. I still have it done here and there, just feels so good. Kinda like going to a chiropractor and having an adjustment. I recommend that too. YMMV

  25. #25
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    Good advice here.

    I had a short, but painful, bout a few years ago.

    Around that time I stopped training my shoulders at the gym as I worked around a minor shoulder issue. Eventually the elbows got better and although I canít say why I had the issue, it may have been from not training my shoulders. I read an article somewhere explaining how the fore arms can be affected by the shoulders etc. Essentially a ďeverything affects everything elseĒ theory. I eventually went back to training my shoulders with the rest of my body and havenít had a problem since. I run Enve M6, Surly Sunrise, and Jones Loop on various bikes FWIW.


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