Fat curious... please help:-)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fat curious... please help:-)

    Hi guys
    Been riding mountain bikes for nearly thirty years, so bit of an old git now. Current steed is a long travel slack angled 26er that I've had for nearly ten years.
    Anyway, was out the other week and saw a fat bike going the other way and it's something I haven't managed to get out of my head since..... but I've no idea what to look for or get as I haven't kept up with the advances. I've had a bit of a read but keep ending up with more questions
    I'm not after any sort of expedition ready bike, just one to potter round the trails with for a few hours so was thinking of a relatively light carbon fibre jobbie. Nearly pulled the trigger on a trek farley but thought I should seek more wisdom first. Am also strangely drawn to owning Lauf carbonara forks too
    Many thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    A fat bike is not suspension, it rides like a rigid bike. If you are going real slow, there is some damping provided by the tires at low pressure, but it's classic no-damping riding, you go faster, and it turns into a bump-exaggerator, important to consider because most people don't ride at once speed, they go faster when the trail lets them, etc. It's important to remember that above all, in the summer especially, it rides like a rigid bike. Lauf fork is similar, will take hits in a narrow speed/impact range. These things come into their own much better in the winter, where snow absorbs impacts by compressing, speeds are limited by traction, pressure is even lower on the snow, and so on. IMO, this works much different in the winter than summer. So just beware, a 4" tire fatbike is not like 4" of travel and if you like to go faster occasionally, it could bounce you to hell. I don't need that kind of jarring, so I generally keep them off the trails in the summer and just commute on them. Then when it comes to winter...I'm riding them all over the trails on the snow and ice, where they are at home. Yes, you can ride them in the summer and many people do, but beware of the limitations. They ride up on berms because of the gyroscopic rigidity and resist line changes, they can bounce you to hell going faster, very slow to accelerate and hard to slow down with that tire mass.
    "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.

  3. #3
    rth009
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    In order to provide a recommendation, we will need to know when and where you ride? Do you have alot of snow? Intend to ride deep unconsolidated snow? Groomed snow? Ice? No snow or ice at all? Budget? Do you also need winter boots and riding gear?

    If I were recommending a general fat bike to someone who does not know what they want, my recommendation is a new Surly Wednesday. $1500 and ready to go. If necessary, money to spare for studded tires and riding gear. ;

    Carbon Farleys are a great choice, but if I were intent on carbon (and in my view, carbon is not necessary for a fat bike), I would get a Salsa Mukluk or Beargrease over the Farley because of the frame and fork mounts. If you ride in the cold and snow, you need to bring extra gear and its nice to be able to mount that on the bike.

  4. #4
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    Buy one of my fat bikes


    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2638896/


    Get starter bike!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    In order to provide a recommendation, we will need to know when and where you ride? Do you have alot of snow? Intend to ride deep unconsolidated snow? Groomed snow? Ice? No snow or ice at all? Budget? Do you also need winter boots and riding gear?

    If I were recommending a general fat bike to someone who does not know what they want, my recommendation is a new Surly Wednesday. $1500 and ready to go. If necessary, money to spare for studded tires and riding gear. ;

    Carbon Farleys are a great choice, but if I were intent on carbon (and in my view, carbon is not necessary for a fat bike), I would get a Salsa Mukluk or Beargrease over the Farley because of the frame and fork mounts. If you ride in the cold and snow, you need to bring extra gear and its nice to be able to mount that on the bike.
    Yeah, how you will use it is Important. I ride an Al Farley. I ride snow and beach so I appreciate the massive tires. I have raced this beast and Iíd go lighter and leaner if I could afford multiple fatties but I have no regrets. The Farley 5 does everything I want and it does it all really well. It excels in snow and ice. I donít ride fat in warmer seasons, I ride on the road so I canít speak to trail riding. I donít value more mounts even though I snow bike, I donít go snow bike camping. I ride a couple to a few hours. I take less with me than I do on the road bike so mounts are useless to me. I use an Osprey back pack if I need to pack stuff but I ride without even that most of the time. For me, going truly FAT has been important. Iíve been snow biking where every extra mm is appreciated where Iím pushing 1 psi to get traction. Iíve gone so low as to get a ripple in the side wall, but the bike just takes off when you get the pressure dialed in. Snow is its own unique thing. If trails are groomed for the bike, ride whatever, I donít see that. I also XC ski and if trails are groomed for XC Skiing, please stay away and donít blow up our tracks.

  6. #6
    Rippin da fAt
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    @ 1 psi, my tires have a dozen wrinkles or more and look nearly flat at the trailhead.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Salsa Carbon Bucksaw- Trek Farley 8

  8. #8
    turtles make me hot
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    In my experience, you should buy the bike you like with the best wheels you can afford. Fat tires need to be tubeless and not all rims do that well.
    I build lots of wheels for people who bought bikes with crappy wheels.

    Have a look at the Surly Wednesday. Solid bike. The Treks are also good.
    I like turtles

  9. #9
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    Look at the rocky mountain Suzi q or the otso voytec if you want a narrower q factor. This is assuming you never plan on going over a 4" wide tire.

    They ride more like a mtn bike and can support a higher cadence with out as many knee / hip issues that a wide bb creates.
    =========================================
    Minnesota Off Road Cyclists www.morcmtb.org

  10. #10
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    Another vote for Trek

    Test ride a Farley 5, I was surprised how nimble they are, but spring for the 7 if you can.
    The Mastodon, Dropper seat post and new for 2020 models... SRAM 1x12 are well worth the extra $$$ (IMHO).

    I'm 56 and not the hardcore rider I was 30 years ago, so the smooth Fat ride suits my current riding style better now.
    I bought my first fatty last year about this time for Winter, but use it all year round and actually prefer it over a regular MTB in the Summer now too.
    Two sets of tires, Studded Gnarwhal's for Winter snow/ice and a pair of Barbegazi's for Summer months (both 27.5x4.5/Tubeless)

    My GF is a brand new rider and loves it too. So nice I bought it Twice!
    2020 Trek Farley 7 Roarange
    2018 Trek Farley 7 ViperRed

  11. #11
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    Thanks so much guys, I couldn't have hoped for better answers and it's given me lots to think about.
    In reply to some questions....
    Sorry sourdz, can't buy one of your bikes as am in UK.
    Not much snow here sadly, and don't go near sand very often. Most of my riding now is gentler trails as the wife is coming out with me more now so am easing her into it and teaching her some trail craft (probably badly:-) ) which I guess gave me time to think how I could liven up the rides for myself... and the fat bike kept appearing in my little head.
    I don't really need to ride fast anymore, I think I'm after a new bike 'experience' if that makes some sense.
    And thanks again, it's all really helpful stuff

    Ps Cheers CanuckMM, it looks like we can only get the farley 5 or 9.6 over here.

  12. #12
    roots, rocks, rhythm
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    There is a fellow from the UK Coastkid71 that has been riding fat bikes for years.
    He is also on Flickr with tons of pictures.

    I love mine and I use it summer and winter.
    I prefer to use it more in the winter when it is muddy/icy/snowy because of the better traction and I am also riding slower due to conditions or temperature. As others have said if you ride it fast on trails it can become bouncy due to the 4 inch plus tires.
    I have other bikes for when I am riding XC or Black diamond runs.
    I will add that every time I ride my Fat Bike I have a awesome time and I have a smile on my face when I am on the trail.
    The bike is no the lightest or the most efficient by any stretch of the imagination but I have fun riding it when I am out on it!
    Cheers,
    Kevin
    97' Brodie Expresso
    00' Turner RFX
    08' Turner RFX
    13' Surly Troll
    15' Surly ICT

  13. #13
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    I picked up a Farley 7 last fall and couldnít be happier with it. Wasnít sure how much I would ride it, but I rode trails all winter (when weather allowed) and I ride it on gravel during the summer when rain closes the trails locally. It is like riding a monster truck, goes anywhere and over anything.

    Not sure I could go full time fat bike yet, but really have enjoyed the Farley so far!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    A fat bike is not suspension, it rides like a rigid bike. If you are going real slow, there is some damping provided by the tires at low pressure, but it's classic no-damping riding, you go faster, and it turns into a bump-exaggerator, important to consider because most people don't ride at once speed, they go faster when the trail lets them, etc. It's important to remember that above all, in the summer especially, it rides like a rigid bike...
    Here I would want to clarify practical practice vs. trying to compare apples and oranges nomenclature. While a Fat Bike is not like a suspension bike, it does provide a ride with properties that buffer impacts with road/path defects and even objects.

    Due to a "surgical mishap" a few decades ago, I have chronic chest pain that is frustratingly easily aggravated by jarring. A road bike on pavement with minor defects at 5 mph leaves me in agony. Riding over minor defects in a road/path on a suspension MTB bike, that pain is aggravated by jarring, even though my centre of mass continues onward with minimal change. On a Fat Bike with tires at a normal fat bike tire pressure, the jarring so significantly less that the pain has minor or no aggravation. This includes being able to run over branches & rocks of a reasonable size, and even curbs head-on with a tiny pull up on the bars and letting my legs handle the bike's upward movement. So while Fat Tires do not equal "suspension", there is a definite change in jarring and benefit from the buffering of such.

    As to if a Fat Bike is for you, I think you really need to test ride, not one, but a few, as each will have some varying ride properties. And not once around the block, but so you can ride where (or at least the type of paths/trails), you intend to frequent (although with fat you may find yourself expanding those). Rentals? Hopefully one or two bikes will stick out as particularly suitable for you; as in, don't blame me if you decide you want all of the bikes you try.
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  15. #15
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    Farley 5 or Surly Wednesday. Farley is a good trail bike. Fat and plus tires are awesome on trails and add new elements to riding. Both of these frames have clearance for 29 plus tires.

  16. #16
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    I agree with Skunkape69, you will be totally happy with the Surly Wednesday or the Trek Farley 5. They are great bikes and they are relatively inexpensive.
    Last edited by Sandman29; 4 Weeks Ago at 05:41 AM.

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