Fat bike vs. 27.5+, pros/cons?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fat bike vs. 27.5+, pros/cons?

    I've crippled myself with indecision.

    I can't seem to choose between a fat bike or a 27.5+ (both with front suspension).

    I ride in New England (roots & rocks, up & down) for fun. I'm not looking to win any races, but I want to have year round fun on a bike. Enjoyment of ride is the most important thing to me. In winter I'll be riding trails, so although I'm in Maine, the trails shouldn't be deep powder.

    What do you see as the pros and cons between the fat bike and the 27.5+?

  2. #2
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    If you have any plans to ride snow covered trails in winter get a fat bike. You can convert to 27.5+ for the summer but you can't go the other way around. Seems like you answered your own question!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    Live in Maine also. Most versatilty=fat. Most capability=fat. One bike year round quiver
    Awesome. I've been riding an old 26er hardtail and need to get into something new, because I'm old now and riding Maine singletrack on the 26er is starting to wear on me.

  4. #4
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    I live in MT and went fat in June of 2014. So long before the snow flew. Once I went fat I couldn't stand to ride my other bikes and eventually sold all but one (which never gets ridden). I have no desire to own ride anything but fatties any more. If I was racing or something like that, I might feel differently. But I'm in it for pure joy... and riddin' fatties is king for me.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    Yes nice and boney here. 4.6" tires at 7psi really do a great job. Lower pressure for snow. Super fun. Very relaxing as well when the goin really gets rough. Can't go wrong. What part of Maine?
    Augusta, but I work in Freeport, so I ride anywhere from Bond Brook to Blackstrap. I'm still relatively new to getting back into mtb after many years of road.

  6. #6
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    Slow or Slower
    Grippy or Grippyer

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    Very cool. Nice riding options you have. I'm a coupla hours south by Mt A. Great great riding down here also. If you'd ever like a tour.....
    Yeah, I haven't ridden Apatite - only hiked. Let me get my new bike, and I'll hit you up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    Ha not that Mt A. Mt Agamenticus in York

    keep me posted
    Mt. A is apparently confusing.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    If you did want to race, fatbike class is getting quite popular. Or just say phukit and race any class. I jumped in on a cyclocross training race the other night. I was already 4+ hours into a ride and stopped in to check out a training race right from my trail ride and ripped a lap. What a workout keeping the fastest 4 guys in sight on a 30 pound fatty vs their 17 pound cross bikes. . Nice 20 minute pedal home after that interval!
    That would be fun! I call what I do on my fatty "jeeping around", so racing has little interest to me. But I would LOVE to beat some people in other disciplines on my fatty. I have a coworker who's a lot more serious about biking than me. He's ridden the Butte 100 (in Butte, MT) several times, among other fairly grueling races. When he commutes to the trail systems on the edge of town, he frequently encounters roadies who dismiss him with a smug, arrogant snort when he says "hi". So one time he whipped around and followed this caravan of six road bikers all dressed-up in their colorful gear with their colorful, blingy road bikes... and he shadowed them for a couple of miles on his full-suspension bike and never got left behind... just to send a message. I would like to do something like that on my fatty! (In my dreams anyways.)

  10. #10
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    From what my 29+ has taught me:

    A 27.5+ will ruin you on normal mountain bikes. It IS the real mountain bike for trails and established mountain biking territory.

    A fat bike will allow you to ride places you never thought would be fun to ride. Slower, more like a monster truck than the bike you had before, but insanely capable.
    Yamaguchi Cross YT Jeffsy Salsa Mukluk & Vaya Canyon Commuter

  11. #11
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    My fat bike goes anywhere, does anything, and it's any slower than any other bike.
    It's as fast as the engine is capable. The only place it's slower in theory is on pavement, if I was trying to keep up with a fast roadie, but in actual practice on pavement is as fast as I care to go.

    Summer dirt/single track - check, wet season traction - check, snow - check, sand - check, pavement - check, agility/quick handling - check (Farley 7)

    Room for a second wheel set, 29+ or 27.5+ - CHECK.

    Fat bike wins.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnee View Post
    From what my 29+ has taught me:

    A 27.5+ will ruin you on normal mountain bikes. It IS the real mountain bike for trails and established mountain biking territory.

    A fat bike will allow you to ride places you never thought would be fun to ride. Slower, more like a monster truck than the bike you had before, but insanely capable.
    Yep. I bought a salsa bucksaw FS fat bike last winter. I built it up with 27.5x 45mm rims. I run 27.5x3.8" in the winter, plus the rest of the year. It's a 1 bike, one wheel set quiver killer. The only downside for me, and this is a downside for all fat bikes, is heel rub. otherwise, I love my bike.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnee View Post
    From what my 29+ has taught me:

    A 27.5+ will ruin you on normal mountain bikes. It IS the real mountain bike for trails and established mountain biking territory.

    A fat bike will allow you to ride places you never thought would be fun to ride. Slower, more like a monster truck than the bike you had before, but insanely capable.
    Truth is I've been pretty slow on my 26er. Although I'm pretty fit, I never feel confident on the 26er (old geometry) to run through obstacles quickly and going over roots just rattles you. I'm looking forward to having more fun on my rides.

  14. #14
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    Ok, so now I need to pick a fatbike (with front suspension)

    • Framed Minnesota?
    • Framed Alaskan?
    • Motobecane Lurch?
    • Motobecane Boris
    • or I can get a Reid Hercules new at work for about $650, but then I would need to invest in a fork. Also, the tire nubs look shallow.


    Any suggestions?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit21 View Post
    My fat bike goes anywhere, does anything, and it's any slower than any other bike.
    It's as fast as the engine is capable. The only place it's slower in theory is on pavement, if I was trying to keep up with a fast roadie, but in actual practice on pavement is as fast as I care to go.

    Summer dirt/single track - check, wet season traction - check, snow - check, sand - check, pavement - check, agility/quick handling - check (Farley 7)

    Room for a second wheel set, 29+ or 27.5+ - CHECK.

    Fat bike wins.
    Yeah, dude - you're the one I see posting five, six times in a single thread to repeat the same point to give people the impression that your opinion is overwhelmingly true. That doesn't make you any more right, it just makes you one of 'those' obsessive people in a subculture that can't stand any criticism or observation that doesn't shower your personal choices in 100% praise.

    They ARE slower. The wheels are heavier. There is more rubber on the ground, which means more grip, more friction, more rolling resistance. How much slower it is depends much more on tire choice than on other bikes due to the sheer volume of rubber on the ground - larger contact means more impact - so it's more important to tune our tire choices to the riding we do. This is not hating, this is not telling people fat bikes suck, this is reality, this is demonstrable and obvious.

    I dig my fat bike, I got rid of a FS 29er because for my local terrain the fatty does the job better, I have two sets of carbon wheels - I'm invested. But above all, I'm realistic, and I'm rational. Someone coming from a 'normal' mountain bike will feel that it's slower, and riding a fatty is a different sensation, with different benefits, and shines in different terrain. Not telling them this up front is silly.
    Yamaguchi Cross YT Jeffsy Salsa Mukluk & Vaya Canyon Commuter

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoveMaine View Post
    Truth is I've been pretty slow on my 26er. Although I'm pretty fit, I never feel confident on the 26er (old geometry) to run through obstacles quickly and going over roots just rattles you. I'm looking forward to having more fun on my rides.
    I think a plus bike - or fat bike - will be great. I feel the same way, and always braced for impact every time I hit a diagonal root or off-camber rock when I was on my 29er with 2.4" tires on 29mm rims.

    Now that I ride this:



    ...with 3.0 tires on 52mm rims, I just plow right over that stuff. I can focus on where my body weight is, where the line will be, and I am riding into terrain I used to avoid.

    I'm not worried about being slow, I'm almost 50 and I know I'm slow. There are a few situations where I feel a bit more drag than my 29er but the overall ride is so much more fun I don't care. Hope that helps.
    Yamaguchi Cross YT Jeffsy Salsa Mukluk & Vaya Canyon Commuter

  17. #17
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    N+1

    Get your self a fat bike and 27.5+ bike. That's what I did.

  18. #18
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    You guys are forgetting the cool factor - and as I've been noticing since I (recently) got my fatty, if you like to scare the bejeezus out of old ladies, ride really slowly on the sidewalks...


  19. #19
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    27.5+ you mean semi-fat like 50mm 60mm?
    i just got my 26"80mm carbon rims from a chinese company GTL-BIKE who also sell 52mm, may be helpful.
    Attachment 1096768

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