Are fat bikes safer?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Are fat bikes safer?

    Due to wider tires, more grip, and slower speeds, do you believe that fat bikes lessen the chance of injury due to human error or poor trail conditions?

    A while ago someone posted a thread about his wife giving him an ultimatum due to two serious injuries. Various people posted various replies, but none suggested fat bikes.

    Would fat bikes help a rider come home in one piece?

    *************
    Follow up edit:

    So some of you are saying that fat bikes may make you push your limits or, in less kinder words, do dumber things.


    But if you rode your fattie just as you ride your hardtail or FS, would safety increase or decrease?
    Last edited by AVL-MTB; 11-12-2018 at 05:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    Add in some ice and manky snow and youíve got a whole new level of fun. I crash my fat bike far more often than my summer trail bike!

  3. #3
    All fat, all the time.
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    ^^same here lol

  4. #4
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    The grip, etc., does result in more capability in some conditions, which would be safer, except that can result in some people going in harder conditions or harder places, simply doing/pushing more. Sort of like having a 4x4: it still gets stuck, just further out from the road. Some people seem to always get their 4x4 stuck, others when they misjudge on occasion, other go places they couldn't go before and never get stuck.
    And in some conditions fat allows them to go faster, and safer, but the faster part can have some predictable results.

    But going fat will slow him down some, and be safer, and he'll likely be safer. And riding fat seems to put a grin on people's faces, putting lots of fun into it, so he'll likely have fun in riding fat, hopfully without needing to push. But, with two serious injuries, was it luck-of-the-draw, insufficient skill or poor judgement, a lapse in judgement or does he like to push things. (Does he have a 4x4 driving history? Does that translate to what he does on a bike? As in, what is he like.)

    A full 26 fat will likely pass the happy-wife-factor more than a 'regular' mountain bike, or fater 27+ or 29+. More so if no rear suspension? No front suspension? He really has to assess what/where/when he rides and what he'd do in the future. Even if just to choose which 26 fat frame/tires, etc..

    A cheap bike/tire and liking hard conditions/trails can result in injuries, and long walks home. Really cheap results in down time so less riding = less exposure to injuries?
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  5. #5
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    Takes more skills than my FS bikes IMO. I have to do a lot more active pumping and front-end pulling to clear the same terrain. Not bad, but it's not necessarily a walk in the park. If you are on tame terrain, it wouldn't really matter either way. In some conditions, a fat-bike is inherently safer because, well, it's the only kind of bike that will really work, but in conditions where either bike will work, like dry/non-snow, I don't think it's necessarily safer, you could make the same argument for more travel.
    "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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  6. #6
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    I find there's less of the comedy type slow speed falls that you get in tricky terrain. The sort of thing that's usually just damage to your dignity but occasionally a wrist or shoulder blade injury.

    But of course, then there's the white slippy stuff, but you're staying vertical longer on a fatbike than a skinny bike anyway.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  7. #7
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    My nephew was disappointed when he was caught out in his first rain storm and the back end wouldn't slide around in the mud. Not even when he tracked that mud onto the wet wooden bridge on the trail.

    He was excited with the first snow, until the back end still gripped and still wouldn't slide around. He's so disappointed he's considering hanging the bike up for the winter. I told him to wait until that snow is on thoroughly frozen ground and there's ice. He's skeptical. Youth!
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  8. #8
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    Can only speak for myself of course but I notice I tend to drink more on, or during a fat bike ride, so there's that. Not every ride mind you, I'm not a dork, but for some reason stopping for a beer on a warm day or maybe pulling over for a few shots of Fireball on a cold day just seems natural. I don't think that ups my skill level, pretty sure.

  9. #9
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    If you ride dumb on a full-suspension bike, why would you not ride dumb on a fat bike? Too many Mountain Dew commercials influence too many watchers of those commercials to "send it" and do stupid things. In the end the bike type will not matter as those influenced types will do things beyond their abilities and still end up crashing hard.

  10. #10
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    Slower? You're doing it wrong.

  11. #11
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    I recall being in a honeymoon phase with my first fat bike and thinking it could do anything. Eventually I realized the "tool for the job" view is accurate. To phrase it negatively, anything is potentially unsafe in the hands of a human.

    I still run Nates during the summer because I like the traction envelope and the amount of forgiveness and re-hook-up that comes with it. However, I've found their limits and I try not to push beyond them anymore.

    Every time you give a human a new ability, the human will eventually bring that ability to its limit.

    Not long ago, I decided to apply that line of thinking by getting a bike that I had been telling myself "I no longer like this kind of bike at all". Long travel 26er with narrow 2" wide tires. Thing was a riot, when I respected how it wanted to be handled.

    I also recall the early days of fat bikes watching dudes on Pugsleys commuting during the winter, slipping on their ass because studded tires weren't around yet.

    Fat is a chassis - it is an enabler of things. I respectfully disagree on the notion that they are safer.

    At an extreme idea, fat bikes can take you deeper into wilderness territories during the winter where you could run the risk of death.

    And yet --- long live fat bikes, they're what I ride 95% of the time.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by litespeedaddict View Post
    Can only speak for myself of course but I notice I tend to drink more on, or during a fat bike ride, so there's that. Not every ride mind you, I'm not a dork, but for some reason stopping for a beer on a warm day or maybe pulling over for a few shots of Fireball on a cold day just seems natural. I don't think that ups my skill level, pretty sure.
    Same and the results help me relax more when I fall causing less injuries. Moral of the story, drink more hurt less.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    ... Every time you give a human a new ability, the human will eventually bring that ability to its limit.
    ...
    At an extreme idea, fat bikes can take you deeper into wilderness territories during the winter where you could run the risk of death...
    yup!

    Sort of like having a 4x4: it still gets stuck, just further out from the road.


    drift
    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    ...I also recall the early days of fat bikes watching dudes on Pugsleys commuting during the winter, slipping on their ass because studded tires weren't around yet.
    Here the bike couriers gave up on fat and went back to standard or narrow mountain, so the pounds per sqare inch went up. They ride on snow, ice, snow on ice, all on wet or salt-dry pavement. On some days they'll hit all of that in a five minute run. I haven't seen one using studs, which I find odd.
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  14. #14
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    Fat bikes have built in training wheels but I've still seen Drew Diller scream and tip over at 3 mph.

  15. #15
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    no lie ^^
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AshevilleMTB View Post
    ...and slower speeds
    Hmmm?

  17. #17
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    I think fat bikes allow one to push the envelope a little harder in terms of where they can be ridden and that, in my opinion, alone dispels any notion that they are "safer". Yes, there is gobs of traction available to you when riding a fat bike but that can lead to some pretty nasty wrecks when suddenly that traction is not there for whatever reason!

  18. #18
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    Fat bikes are very much safer than other bikes. This is a very good reason for purchasing a new bike. Just one of many reasons. Go ahead.

  19. #19
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    Yes you are safe to buy a Fatbike and yes , buying a Fatbike is a safe move.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  20. #20
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    So when buying a fatbike, is one buying a Comando-Version Mountain Bike or a Hamster-Version Mountain Bike?
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traktor View Post
    Fat bikes are very much safer than other bikes. This is a very good reason for purchasing a new bike. Just one of many reasons. Go ahead.
    Absolutely! For you guys looking to justify fatbike purchases to your wives, show them this post and scroll past the ones about drinking and getting lost in the wilderness.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    So when buying a fatbike, is one buying a Commando-Version Mountain Bike or a Hamster-Version Mountain Bike?
    Depends on the manufacture and model. For example, the Meriweather elevated chainstay 2XL fatbike is a "Go ahead'n'try to take me down, I dare ye." kinda ride. The Walmart Beast, despite its moniker, is clearly a weak lil hamster in comparison. There are other comparisons, but this one is mine.

    I'm sure I could have used the Ritchey Commando for comparison too.

    As far as safety is concerned... it always will depend on the rider's willingness to impress without practice.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmooveP View Post
    Absolutely! For you guys looking to justify fatbike purchases to your wives, show them this post and scroll past the ones about drinking and getting lost in the wilderness.
    Hmmm
    So what we need is some copy & pasting to create a new thread: "Are fat bikes safer? - happy-wife-version"
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    Hmmm
    So what we need is some copy & pasting to create a new thread: "Are fat bikes safer? - happy-wife-version"
    Do I make the cut??
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Are fat bikes safer?-screenshot_20181101-211007.jpg  


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Do I make the cut??
    umm
    hmmm
    umm

    Perhaps if we add "The first fat bikes they made could do that sometimes, but the ones they make nowadays can't do that."
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Do I make the cut??
    Can't see the foam pit from this angle.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    So when buying a fatbike, is one buying a Comando-Version Mountain Bike or a Hamster-Version Mountain Bike?
    Yes.

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    Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.... (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    To phrase it negatively, anything is potentially unsafe in the hands of a human.
    The warning labels on every product sold springs to mind.

  29. #29
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    Fat bikes are safer, the other day I got hit by a car on the rear tire sideways. Tire took all the impact, wheel slightly untrue. Iím still here without a scratch. On the other hand, I think I got Extremely lucky. After this incident. I will never trust a green light ever again. I was riding street cause I was riding on my VEE chicanes tan walls 26x3.5 on 100mm wheels.

  30. #30
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    Don't show them this:

  31. #31
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    ^^^ I may be a little warped cause this makes me giggle

  32. #32
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    The old "Your Last Crash, How was it?" thread was my scorecard for crashes. Since I got a fatbike, all my crashes (6, I think) were on the fatbike.
    I will admit that some of that was just me learning the bike - like how wide that bottom bracket is (off-camber pedal strike!), and how the tires distort and self-steer when you hit a diagonal feature, but 75% of it is my feeling pretty much invincible on that thing. I pretty much go looking for things to run over. The only thing that I have shyed away from is this built drop that's not even 3 ft. high. I've done it on my rigid 29er, but not on the fatbike.

    Again, mountain biking is filled with options. Some people choose better than others when deciding how to ride.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  33. #33
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    I tend to agree with the rider being the most important factor sentiment.

    For example, I upgraded my lights with the rationale that more light equals safer night riding.

    I now realize that more light just means I ride faster at night!

  34. #34
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    FS bike and Iím always competing with myself for faster and faster. Fatty is like ahhhh relax like your in a hot tub and just move the cranks....observe whatís around you and whatever time it takes is all good.

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