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Thread: Is fat dead?

  1. #1
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    Is fat dead?

    I got the fatbike bug in 2015. If you had told me then that 75% of my riding would be on the fat I’d have said you’re crazy. I have a nice fs, but on anything other than perfect trail, the combo of mega grip and right now power transfer make the fatty the clear choice.

    I’m not concerned with what other riders spend their money on, but three years ago, the industry was unable to keep up with demand for all things fat. Lately I see very little product development going on and am starting to wonder if fatbikes will even maintain what market share they currently have.

    So so what say you, mtbr Illuminati? Fat bikes; evolutionary dead end or cycling’s best kept secret?

  2. #2
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    Not at all in my area. They just keep getting more and more popular.

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    Same here , seems like every year there are a few more. I think eventually it will die out or be hipster only in some areas , but other places (especially where it snows and/or freezes up) I believe they are here to stay.

    Edit : It really comes down to what one wants to do with it. I have a great full sus bike for when I wanna go for a fast rip or long summer epic rides. But for EVERYTHING else (bikepacking , winter riding, beaches , beer runs / pub crawls , grocery runs , neighborhood jaunts , a loaner bike , etc) that's when the fat bikes comes out to play.
    Last edited by AK Prototype; 10-08-2018 at 01:22 PM.
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    I thoroughly enjoy my fs during the warmer months, but the snowy months are all about the fattie. So that means late November to probably middle to late April. Fat is not dead here.
    Many people like the fatter tires because of the amount of sand we have here too.
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  5. #5
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    The bubble burst is all. I think there was a moment in time where everybody felt they needed one and the options increased and the standards were debated in sales numbers. Now, perhaps, we all have one and have either decided we don't need more or it wasn't the quiver killer it was talked up to be. That said, I agree with the 2 previous posters that the fatties aren't goin anywhere, but the options have streamlined for new since there was such an influx of product of few years ago. There will always be fat bikes in MN, maybe not so much in Arizona...
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  6. #6
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    I’ve been riding fatbikes since 2010 (back when 3.8" was “fat”), and now am on my fifth or sixth fatbike. Still haven’t ridden one in the snow, but I’m pretty sure they’re totally kickass for snow riding. For me, they’re not dead yet. If I had more money to spend on bikes I’d build up a 27.5+ bike, but for now the fatbike is here to stay.
    goodbye cruel world. I am leaving you today.

  7. #7
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    I sold my fat bike in 2016 when I moved from AK to AZ. Don't miss it one bit. I always viewed my fatty as a snow/sand bike. I could find a use for one here in AZ, but really wouldnt use it that much. If I moved north again, I would buy another one in a heartbeat and sell my FS.
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    I think the boom in fat bike sales is over. I've heard that one of the things that made manufacturers de-emphasize fat bikes is that the tech won't improve significantly because it doesn't need complicated solutions like suspension. In other words, fat bikes aren't as prone to planned obsolescence as FS MTB's, for instance. That means people buy one fat bike and don't get trapped on the upgrade cycles of a new bike every 2-3 years.

    I love my fat bike, and ride it as often on the road as I do on trails or in the snow. But it still doesn't get the miles that my road bike gets, and it still is definitely #3 in the quiver after the road bike and the FS MTB.

    I think the economics of fat bikes are daunting, particularly due to the cost of the tires. Getting a replacement set of Jumbo Jim's is a LOT of cash -- more for a set of everyday fat bike tires than for super-premium road bike tires. And don't even get me started on studded snow tires, which cost more than the top-of-the-line Michelins I put on my Suburban. I suspect that this is more of a factor in the thinking of marginal (i.e., non-fanatical) fat bike prospective buyers than those of us who are enthusiasts will admit.
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    Believe they will go back to smaller brand status. Back to their roots, if you will.

    Fat bikes are all about the tires, IMO. And in the past 2 years new tires to market by the big names have vanished. We're just getting variations of sizes and studability. Nothing new from Maxxis (they been showing the Moosetrax for how long?) Schwalbe, 1 tread in 3 widths........come on? Kenda has put out some kids 20 & 24 tires I think. Continental still nothing. WTB?

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    Not dead....but sales are waning ( this is across the industry as a whole)
    Most of the big names have thinned out their fat offerings...and Salsa and Trek have dropped their FS fatties (Trek still sells a frameset...I bet it will be gone in 2020)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bme107 View Post
    Believe they will go back to smaller brand status. Back to their roots, if you will.
    That'd be what I expect. They're a niche, either because it's the perfect tool for a job most people don't have, or like single speeds, just a preference most people don't share. Plus bikes have also stolen marketshare for those on the edge who might have bought one to complement their 2.3" bike.

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    In Europe Cube have dropped 2 of the 3 Nutrail variants, but have kept the e version.
    I've also noticed the various UK online stores have dropped a lot of the fat tyre options.

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    You're seeing refinement happen. And it's good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KidCharlemagne View Post
    In other words, fat bikes aren't as prone to planned obsolescence as FS MTB's, for instance.
    No but believe me , they will find ways to make them obsolete.
    There is already : 135, 170 , 177 , 190 , 197 , QR , TA just for the rear axle.
    You bike WILL be obsolete in 3/4 years.

    But the nice part is that you don't HAVE to drink that KoolAid and you can keep your bike and buy parts that will fit your bike.
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  15. #15
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    Limited use where I live and super hyped IMO.

    I took note of them but knew that a fat bike would not be ridden very often.

    A buddy of mine built a very cool (an expensive) one a few years ago. It mostly gathers dust now because he can't keep on multi-hour rides with us rolling more "traditional" 2.6/2.4/2.25" knobby tires.
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    Dead? Dying? No idea what’s going on globally but it’s booming where I live. We started fat biking on snow at the end of September so there could be a 7+ month snow bike season here this year. I saw at least a dozen fat bikers yesterday. But I live in a niche market full of freaks so that might not be enough to drive global market trends for big bike brands...

  17. #17
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    Yep, a bubble for sure. They are a staple up here in the North and they won't ever be gone from this locale, but in the summer I see little point to it except it makes a decent commuter and I have put the hurt on a few guys during a gravel grinder race or two (but the aero kills me when I can't draft). Several things work against them in the summer, rotating mass, undamped travel, rolling resistance, etc. In the winter, you need some decent packed trails to really take advantage. I've been out riding in the snow before and an inch or two can be done on almost any kind of mountain bike, although the fatty does make it funner, but if you are in a place where all you get is an occasional inch or two, you are buying a bike for a few days of riding/year. Fat bikes have absolutely exploded the winter riding in the Northern and alpine locations where previously a few people got out on studded tires when conditions were really hardpack. Now we can ride nearly all winter in all sorts of conditions, with all users helping to contribute to the state of the trails (skiers, runners, bikers, snow-machiners, etc.). Now the bikes AND supporting gear is "dialed" to allow us to go out and ride all day (or night) in subfreezing temps. Bikes are only a part of this, but probably the most important part.

    As soon as the snow on the trails can no longer support the fatbike, I take the winter-tires off, throw on some commuting fat-tires and then use it as my commuting/ride in the rain when the trails are wet/brewery-bike. As soon as we get snow, I mount up the winter tires on my wheelsets and head off into the boreal forest.

    A little off topic, I've been DHing since the late 90s. In the 2000s, there was definitely a DH and freeride "bubble". We had 3.0" tires for a while from several manufacturers, 2.8 from another, and lots and lots of 2.7s. Things have settled down and it's rare that someone runs more than a 2.5 these days for straight DH stuff. The bigger tires simply slowed you down more. I see the same thing with my riding in general on my XC and AM bikes, there's a tire size that seems pretty optimal for me, otherwise I'm carrying around too much weight or not able to hold my lines. Lots of people say "well, the bigger tires can give you more traction!", but more traction for what? I can make much more gnarly climbs on my FS "skinny-tire" bikes than my fatbike and climbing is more than just traction, it's momentum to clear obstacles. Then there's turns, I also experienced on my 29er "enduro" bike that when the mass gets too heavy or too far from the axle, you can't turn as fast at speed, so you might have "traction", but it doesn't help when centrifugal force drags your bike sideways through the turn, it overcomes the "traction".

    To me, there's a huge difference how a fatbike rides and feels on dirt vs. snow. I can't properly evaluate one on dirt if my purpose is to ride it on snow (and yep, the tires also make a huge difference). Many of the "bad things" don't carry over to the winter riding, because your speed is capped much lower, snow absorbs impact in addition to the tires, the tires don't self-steer, you can get away with even lower pressure in the soft conditions, and so on...
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  18. #18
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    You can tell it peaked by comment sections on Fatbike web-sites. Few short years ago, a new fattie or a thru axle fattie or a carbon one would generate 40 replies. Now a high end ti fat bike article hardly gets a single comment.

  19. #19
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    I think what fatbikes did was show people that fat tyres are better, but the optimum size for most of the year is around 3", ie fatbikes have prepared the ground for the plus bike.

    In fatbike season, there's nothing to match it, or if you ride beaches, bogs, or deserts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    No but believe me , they will find ways to make them obsolete.
    There is already : 135, 170 , 177 , 190 , 197 , QR , TA just for the rear axle.
    You bike WILL be obsolete in 3/4 years.

    But the nice part is that you don't HAVE to drink that KoolAid and you can keep your bike and buy parts that will fit your bike.
    Most if not all quality fatbikes these days are 197mm TA. The older standards you reference are budget/lower tier bikes and offered less and less. Yes, if you buy a new bike with an old standards it will be obsolete soon. But the 197mm TA probably wills tick around for a while. I don't think the 217mm will gain much traction (there is a limit how wide a tire actually makes sense)
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    And bubbles will be bubbles. There was a DH and freeride bubble. A 29er bubble. A 27.5 bubble. We have an enduro bubble right now. When these are valid and more than just marketing crap, things tend to settle down and well-sorted-out options are usually available. Honestly, during the bubble it can be the worst, with everyone throwing sh*t on the wall to see what sticks. You get all kinds of craziness mixed in with the good stuff...
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    I see Salsa’s kill of Bucksaw and Trek’s kill of the Farley EX sooo short sighted. Someone will capitalize for sure, evidentially not those two manufacturers. Trail fat bikes, aka 4-season design and FS is the path to the masses. Sales will be slow at first but give it time and I would guess fat FS will be the largest market out there.

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    My guess: fat may be in torpor just now but will rise again when the plus hype dies.

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    Not dead, there's just not a vast enough difference between one fat bike and the next to stimulate more frequent purchases.

    Fat biking interests my biking friends just enough that they might consider buying one to ride in the winter months. Their lack of enthusiasm troubles me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    No but believe me , they will find ways to make them obsolete.
    There is already : 135, 170 , 177 , 190 , 197 , QR , TA just for the rear axle.
    You bike WILL be obsolete in 3/4 years.

    But the nice part is that you don't HAVE to drink that KoolAid and you can keep your bike and buy parts that will fit your bike.
    If you look at what is being offered these days, there is definitely a trend to a common hub standard. I think human biomechanics is a limiting factor. If things get too wide it is uncomfortable to ride for a long time. There are a lot fewer “dials to turn” from a design perspective. It is probably hard to differentiate as a bike manufacturer when the biggest impact to ride quality is the tire. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...htmlview#gid=0

    There are still a lot of bikes out there. This list models which wasn’t even close to including everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
    Most if not all quality fatbikes these days are 197mm TA. The older standards you reference are budget/lower tier bikes and offered less and less. Yes, if you buy a new bike with an old standards it will be obsolete soon. But the 197mm TA probably wills tick around for a while. I don't think the 217mm will gain much traction (there is a limit how wide a tire actually makes sense)
    LeMere and Otso both make frames for 177 rear hubs. The Suzi Q is 177. You would be hard pressed to find better quality frames. 197 only serves to fit the widest of 5" tires. TA is probably the better indicator of quality of new frames.

  27. #27
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    We're just turning the corner into Fall here. The fatties will be coming back out to help folks deal with slick leaves and softening conditions. Once the snow flies, we'll be full-on.
    Maybe not a lot of new fatties this year, but still a lot 'em out there.

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  28. #28
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    Fads exist in all things. They come and go. I don't participate in the fad circus.

    I like the large tire bicycle design. I didn't buy a "fat bike" because fat bikes were cool. I bought one because I like bicycles with largish tires that give a comfortable ride, good handling, and excellent braking without needing the complexity and weight of suspension. I don't ride off road much at all, so that factor and traction on sand and snow were not at all in my mind. I also don't feel the need to ride fast all the time either, so speed was not an issue either.

    I like a comfortable machine that I can ride every day, to do whatever errands or play I want to do, and that is simple and easy to maintain. The carbon fat bike provides that along with the light weight that I like in any bicycle.

    One downside of the fat tire bike for me is that it's not particularly compatible with most public transit bicycle racks, limiting where I can take the bicycle with bus and tram. yeah, I can hang it off the back of my car, but then I have to manage two vehicles rather than just one. And I refuse to buy a truck simply to carry a bicycle somewhere ... either I'm going to ride it, or use public transit to tranport it to where I want to ride. For that reason, I'm considering a second bicycle with thinner tires that will work for transit purposes, probably a 2.5" max width tire.

  29. #29
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    Demand isn't going away, just not increasing as much. At first manufacturers didn't have enough models, now many have fat bikes. That is how the market works, if there is a demand it will be met. without having actual sales numbers the whole discussion is moot.

    3" plus bikes also may steal some sales, especially from FS fatbikes.

    Someone who buys a fatbike (or any bike) for fashion reasons is a fool. A fatbike is expensive and inefficient on pavement etc. But the same could be said about all the uncomfortable road bikes people bought to ride at 12 mph around their neighborhood just because they watched the TdF.

    Above arguments about unsuspended bikes having less development also makes them more a keeper. Less to wear out and the "new" model fatbike is not that much different as we see for FS bikes. So it is a better value proposition for keeping long term.
    FS bikes wear out, and there is great improvement in suspension and geometry every few years, so good reason to buy new FS bikes. not so for fatbikes. I see that as a good thing.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
    Most if not all quality fatbikes these days are 197mm TA.
    I have a recent Ventana El-Gordo with 170 QR rear end.
    I don't think it's a "Cheap frame".

    If it's not your 197 TA that will be obsolete in 4 years , it's gonna be something else.
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  31. #31
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    It just got moderately popular. Nothing wrong with that. The neighborhood kids shout "I like your bike" instead of shouting "what the heck is that?" when I ride to the trail so I think it's good. I've seen a few of those same kids on department store fat bikes, and yeah maybe they're not exactly using the bike for the intended purpose, BUT, if the appearance of the bike is a large motivational factor of why they get out the house, that is good.

    Heck, the existence of fat bikes as a known quantity gives me some newfound leeway and freedom of thought in terms of what kind of products are acceptable. Ideas that used to draw confused glances are now met with nods of understanding.

    I just hope that the following knowledge becomes common: if you're actually going to ride year round in sub-freezing temps, the clothing might cost more than your bike if you ride every day, depending on your preference for technical clothing vs traditional clothing. Some items from normal winter wear transfer well to winter cycling, while other items do not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    The neighborhood kids shout "I like your bike" instead of shouting "what the heck is that?" when I ride to the trail so I think it's good. I've seen a few of those same kids on department store fat bikes, and yeah maybe they're not exactly using the bike for the intended purpose, BUT, if the appearance of the bike is a large motivational factor of why they get out the house, that is good.
    Bingo... and as the new crop of kids grow up with fat bikes as normal, many of them will want one as their "regular" trail bike IMO. My son exclusively rides a fatty now and a lot of his friends are considering one now as well.

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    Somebody said it already, the bubble burst.
    My only mtb currently is a fat bike, and I only use the fat wheels for snow. I run a set of 29” wheels the rest of the time, but it’s a good one bike solution to my current off-road needs. (I may buy another squish at some point)

  34. #34
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    Not anywhere where the major land owners realize that if they're already allowing snow shoes... then fat bikes can co-exist. Here in the Canada's capital region...where we really only have two seasons...winter and construction... the largest land owner of crown park lands and forests, the National Capital Commission has fully embraced fat bikes in the Gatineau park and along the Ottawa River and Aviation parkways. They even added fat bike racing as an event during the annual Gatineau Loppet weekend.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatineau_Loppet

    The South March Highlands convervation forest (owned by the City of Ottawa) has been home to winter trail biking for more than a decade.

    Last year, Forët Larose Forest 30 mins drive east of Ottawa developed new mountain bike trails which are officially fat bike / snow shoes in the winter.

    Most folks I know locally who own ONLY a single mountain bike, own a fat bike. A lot of them are folks who come from an MX background, or who used to be skiers but injuries (usually knees) have put them in the position that its time to stop hurtling across snow on planks of wood/fiberglass/composites/etc. Much better to be on something with brakes.
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    I will continue to believe that fatbikes are the best thing that ever happened to the bike industry. I'm riding with people I've never ridden with before and in Northern Minnesota it's becoming the all season bike. Out here in the Seattle/Tacoma area it's definitely a boutique thing, but I'm seeing more every year (still not a lot, but more).

    I like the fatness going down a trail, squishing through the mud, bouncing off the rocks and roots without tearing the bars out of my hands, the look of a front tire so massive that it dares anything and everything to challenge it. Narrow spaces between rocks and roots are no longer a concern, just ride through them. Lots of traction going through scree, and sand and leaves, and maybe not as fast, but a lot more

    If it wasn't for fat, I wouldn't be riding. I'll continue to spread the gospel. Full squish sitting in the shed collecting dust because it just wasn't as fun.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    It just got moderately popular. Nothing wrong with that. The neighborhood kids shout "I like your bike" instead of shouting "what the heck is that?" when I ride to the trail so I think it's good. I've seen a few of those same kids on department store fat bikes, and yeah maybe they're not exactly using the bike for the intended purpose, BUT, if the appearance of the bike is a large motivational factor of why they get out the house, that is good.
    In the winter time, the little kids doing the XC after-school ski-programs go nuts when they see a pack of us fat-bikers go by on the wide trails. To them it's the coolest thing ever. That doesn't happen in the summer time, but it's the whole being able to ride a bike on the snow thing that just fascinates them. It's pretty cool to see the reactions.
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    https://ancillotti.com/images/fry-sx-big.jpg

    Sorry...link was intended to be at the bottom of post...and it does not come up. Go to the Ancillotti web site?

    Fat bikes dead?

    No...just wounded by their own frozen design parameters.

    As an early charter member of the baby boomer generation, my body does not welcome the long in long, low, and slack, that has become the present norm.

    Baby boomers represent a swelling in the population growth that is being passed over in favor of our grandkids, when it comes to design. IMO. Reguardless...everyone grows old...if given time.

    Less reach and more stack if you please. True...going one size down helps...sometimes. Can't help but believe that a frame forced to adapt to a purpose not intended, will prove to be less enjoyable than one designed correctly from the outset.

    Then there is the 'low' element. For beach riding, give me a high BB for stream crossings...perhaps zero drop? While snow does not hold my interest...some on here like deep powder; reduce the point of drag?

    A frame with a very high BB presents a design challenge when it comes to mounting and dismounting...I have seen a frame design that when used with a dropper post should work out well? (See link)

    Outside of Geoff Apps; has anyone else explored the high BB benefits?
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by SADDLE TRAMP View Post
    https://ancillotti.com/images/fry-sx-big.jpg

    Sorry...link was intended to be at the bottom of post...and it does not come up. Go to the Ancillotti web site?

    Fat bikes dead?

    No...just wounded by their own frozen design parameters.

    As an early charter member of the baby boomer generation, my body does not welcome the long in long, low, and slack, that has become the present norm.

    Baby boomers represent a swelling in the population growth that is being passed over in favor of our grandkids, when it comes to design. IMO. Reguardless...everyone grows old...if given time.

    Less reach and more stack if you please. True...going one size down helps...sometimes. Can't help but believe that a frame forced to adapt to a purpose not intended, will prove to be less enjoyable than one designed correctly from the outset.

    Then there is the 'low' element. For beach riding, give me a high BB for stream crossings...perhaps zero drop? While snow does not hold my interest...some on here like deep powder; reduce the point of drag?

    A frame with a very high BB presents a design challenge when it comes to mounting and dismounting...I have seen a frame design that when used with a dropper post should work out well? (See link)

    Outside of Geoff Apps; has anyone else explored the high BB benefits?
    .....I have a mental image of a fat recumbent bike

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by SADDLE TRAMP View Post

    A frame with a very high BB presents a design challenge when it comes to mounting and dismounting...I have seen a frame design that when used with a dropper post should work out well? (See link)

    Outside of Geoff Apps; has anyone else explored the high BB benefits?
    It's not just getting on the saddle, it's getting your leg swung over the frame, and with a high BB, everything else is going to be higher unless some radical ($$$) design is used. Getting on and off in soft conditions on a fat-bike is MUCH harder than on a normal bike because YOU, the rider, sink down in the conditions, while the bike stays high, so factors are compounded. That's why 9:zero:7 and other serious fatbikes already have a significant drop to the top-tube. Having experienced this many times in soft conditions, it's an important feature of a fatbike IMO. Fatbikes are intended to be ridden in soft conditions. Also, the tires are meant to compress down a lot more than a normal bike, so the "static" height will be even greater, once again requiring a low top tube/bike.

    The only low-bb issue I have is on my enduro bike, I occasionally clip a pedal when I'm not watching and let it sink down to the 6-o-clock position. With modern enduro BB heights, this means lots of pedal strikes, a lot more than before. Even when leaning the bike over on smooth ground this still tends to happen. I can live with it, but it's definitely at a point where there are serious issues going lower. This isn't the state of my fatbike or XC bike.
    "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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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Bingo... and as the new crop of kids grow up with fat bikes as normal, many of them will want one as their "regular" trail bike IMO. My son exclusively rides a fatty now and a lot of his friends are considering one now as well.
    I actually get a lot of questions from older people....seniors, who express an interest because they correctly assume that it might be an all-around safer ride than a conventional bicycle.

    Probably the most frequent question is what the cost would be for getting a similar bike. I usually encourage them to consider it a good investment for staying active.

  41. #41
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    From my vantage point, it seems like this is a very regional issue. In areas that fatbikes didn't make a tonne of sense, then ya, the popularity is waning as the market got saturated pretty quickly from people who "just had to have one".

    In areas that have snow for 4 or 5 months straight and have the trails to support the riding, then I see the genre keep expanding with new users.

    I happen to live in one of those areas that have snow for 5 months, and there is no way the bubble is busting anytime soon. We are in a boom still up here! It has become my favourite part of the cycling season.

  42. #42
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    Nah, we are all packrafting now.
    ptarmigan hardcore

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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    Nah, we are all packrafting now.
    That's been on my "Things to try" list for years.
    Saying that you "hate" or are an "unapologetic critic" of a bike company doesn't make you insightful or interesting.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    Nah, we are all packrafting now.

    Totally jumped the shark. Sups are the new black.

  45. #45
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    Larose forest just released their summer time riding promotional video... notice all the SANDY Loamy type soil that makes up the ground in the trails...notice the 3rd bike in the video is a fat bike... that's a typically sight there in the non-snow months. They actually have a min tire width there of 1.9 for summer and 3.7 for winter (cyclo crossers should stay away, though monster cross / fat gravel tire bikes probably would do okay).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VKtC1tUgSI
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    I jumped into fatbikes with the first Salsa Mukluk. It was definitely a fad then, but most people here in Ottawa Canada who have bought one have kept it and many have updated to newer models.

    I'm still riding my 2014 Ti Mukluk. I converted it to 177 TA rear with a dropout switch, picked up bike packing bags, added a Bluto and a dropper post. Building up a second set of 27.5+ wheels now for bike packing use. It's truly a 4 season bike here in Canada.

    My winter project is to assemble a DIY packraft from a kit. It adds a whole new dimension of fun in the summer! Bike up river to the pub, float back downstream to the trailhead!

    I lead the project to advocate to get fat biking introduced to Gatineau Park (Gatineau QC) and have helped organize the Gatineau Loppet fatbike race for the past 3 years.

  47. #47
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    I got into fatbikes with the 2nd year Mukluk (the red and black Mukluk 2), which I got in October 2011. I live in Montana and it totally changed winter for me as I hardly ever Nordic ski any more. While I prefer to ride a regular trail bike if there's no snow on the trails, we have a hoot of a time riding as far as the bootpack/fatbike track will allow us. There was a big jump in the number of fatbikes out there around winter of 2014/15. The numbers are no longer increasing, but I dont think many have quit fat bikes. We actually have groomed trails here in Missoula, but they are out of town a bit, limited in scope, and i my view, less fun than our ordinarily trails with a good boot/tire pack. All hail Bud and Lou!

  48. #48
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    Fatty for me is buy and keep a long period of time bike; as mentioned at the beginning of the thread. I do believe there is some innovation left. Not much but minute tweaks and if someone could get a FS to weight a lot less (thinking Farley EX beast!) they could be in business.

    I think Trek saw it as a waste and turned the emphasis to the Stashe FS and just might be onto the right compromise for everything BUT snow/sand. Interesting to see if others follow. Sad part of it is that means few changes to Farley and less (maybe none) R&D.
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  49. #49
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    I have a buddy who won't spend $300+ on studded fat bike tires. He won't ride when it's icy because it is dangerous. He just spent over $700 on china carbon wheels for his gravel bike. They will make no real difference, but he doesn't bat an eye at throwing $$$ away on stuff like that. Won't expand his riding days by 'wasting' any on studded tires haha.

    For many of us - fat bikes make it possible to ride whenever we want. A lot of people don't want that though, they just want to buy shiny parts and bitch about the weather...

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by letitsnow View Post
    I have a buddy who won't spend $300+ on studded fat bike tires. He won't ride when it's icy because it is dangerous. He just spent over $700 on china carbon wheels for his gravel bike. They will make no real difference, but he doesn't bat an eye at throwing $$$ away on stuff like that. Won't expand his riding days by 'wasting' any on studded tires haha.

    For many of us - fat bikes make it possible to ride whenever we want. A lot of people don't want that though, they just want to buy shiny parts and bitch about the weather...
    I just had the opposite experience, buddy at work has watched me ride in during winter, borrowed my bike for a few days, put down the money and has a sweet rig coming. Came and told he got studded D4s on it, I said, naw, you want D5s, there's no downside and you have to get them now because they'll get hard to get in a few weeks. It's one of the few parts that I can justify every penny I paid. He changed the D4s for D5s (what I run). He's going to love it and is super stoked. He went out and test rode a bunch of different ones over the last few weeks and didn't really use me for any input except before that. He ended up with a 9:zero:7 alloy ride with a nice build.
    "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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  51. #51
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    I'm with the bubble has burst. And they arent for everyone. But if you live where fat tires mean the difference between riding and not for part of the year you find ALOT of them.

    For me the versatitly of the frame design is really nice. I have my full fat and I built 29er+ wheel set with more pavement friendly tires during warm months. Likely be down to one bike, my fat bike here soon (start saving/acquiring parts to finally go FS bike in b+ flavor). It wont get replaced until the frame finally fails or I decide I want a newer fat bike.

    And fat bikes are EVERYWHERE here. Had probably the largest single fat bike group outside of Alaska years before the bubble began. One of their old bikes, 2011 mukluk became my fat bike.

    That's the big thing about a fat bike too, simplicity. No suspension so just properly service drivetrain and it lasts practically forever.

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  52. #52
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    One thing I tell people that come up here that want to get a bike and are at least semi-curious is the fact that a fatbike will work on trails in the summer and winter.

    A snowboard just doesn't go downhill well in the summer on the slope, no matter how hard you try. Fatbike may not be optimal for other summer terrain, but it will still work just fine. Skis work like crap on the roots.
    "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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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by SADDLE TRAMP View Post
    https://ancillotti.com/images/fry-sx-big.jpg

    Sorry...link was intended to be at the bottom of post...and it does not come up. Go to the Ancillotti web site?

    Fat bikes dead?

    No...just wounded by their own frozen design parameters.

    As an early charter member of the baby boomer generation, my body does not welcome the long in long, low, and slack, that has become the present norm.

    Baby boomers represent a swelling in the population growth that is being passed over in favor of our grandkids, when it comes to design. IMO. Reguardless...everyone grows old...if given time.

    Less reach and more stack if you please. True...going one size down helps...sometimes. Can't help but believe that a frame forced to adapt to a purpose not intended, will prove to be less enjoyable than one designed correctly from the outset.
    Try one of the Northrock or Momentum branded frames made by Giant then as they're shorter top tube / more stack height than other brands.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    One thing I tell people that come up here that want to get a bike and are at least semi-curious is the fact that a fatbike will work on trails in the summer and winter.

    A snowboard just doesn't go downhill well in the summer on the slope, no matter how hard you try. Fatbike may not be optimal for other summer terrain, but it will still work just fine. Skis work like crap on the roots.
    This guy doesn’t think so...

    https://youtu.be/FMqADdsVmwQ

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    This guy doesn’t think so...

    https://youtu.be/FMqADdsVmwQ
    Yeah, I'd like to see anyone try that themselves
    "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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  56. #56
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    Just got my MBS Growler this summer- have yet to find a reason to go back. It's at work with me now and already been test ridden and admired by many- some want to buy one.

  57. #57
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    The Fat is dead.
    The Fat will never die.
    Manufacturers and retailers grab $$.
    In some areas the novelty will wear off.
    Up north there is a need so here it is safe.

  58. #58
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    This thread is killing me as I wait for my new 2018 Trek Farley Ex 8 to get out of the shop. Wednesday can not get here fast enough! I am abusing my son's GBMC and I don;t think he appreciates me jumping it, lol.

  59. #59
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    Bubble, but it’s all season the preseason lull.

    I’d still be riding one if I hadn’t moved south.
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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by SADDLE TRAMP View Post
    ...Can't help but believe that a frame forced to adapt to a purpose not intended, will prove to be less enjoyable than one designed correctly from the outset...
    I think that hits the nail on the head.

    A lot of the new fatbikes have made a feature of having "modern" geometry, which basically means slack HAs. I can see the advantages of this for telescopic forks and downhill riding,and no doubt this makes them great good weather trail bikes.

    However I am really dubious about it having any benefit when you're on snow or soft going, or trying to climb in those conditions. The previous generations of fatbikes had steep head angles and seemed to me to be more suited to fatbike riding conditions where the advantages of a geometry that works well in slow outweighs all other considerations.

    One of the worthwhile "new" features may be the ability to take a dropper post. Getting started again when bogged down can get quite tricky, so a low seat height could be an advantage. Alternatively, why not drop the top tube altogether and just have a big beam from headtube to BB like a woman's bike for easy mounting in soft conditions? (I'd miss a top tube because I use it for control in some instances, but I'm sure I'd adapt).

    I would be interested to read a comparison between a modern suspended slack HA fatbike and an old school one in proper fatbike conditions. Just need to have the same wheel dimensions. Sounds like a job for Mikesee.
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  61. #61
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    Every time i read "Fatbikes are dead", I go out to the garage and look at the four fatty's and smile, smile, smile......

  62. #62
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    Fat is certainly not dead on Long Island. I see plenty of em.
    One of my friends just built his first fatty, another is building his second, there are four at my house, I'm building two more, one for a friend and one loaner.
    As soon as the temperature starts dropping other people will start getting excited about them again.
    I like turtles

  63. #63
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    The idea of having a fat bike for everyday riding is probably dead. That was a brief fad that came and went. Fat biking will continue to be popular where it snows, plain and simple.
    Where I live it snows a ton so almost half the year is prime for fat biking. Plenty of trails around here are grooming for fat biking so I can't see fat biking becoming less popular here.
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

  64. #64
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    Let it die a little. I’d like to see the prices on tires and such go down a little.


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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    The idea of having a fat bike for everyday riding is probably dead. That was a brief fad that came and went. Fat biking will continue to be popular where it snows, plain and simple.
    Where I live it snows a ton so almost half the year is prime for fat biking. Plenty of trails around here are grooming for fat biking so I can't see fat biking becoming less popular here.

    LOL.

    Different strokes though. Recently just went back to fat as my full-time MTB. Went Fat > Rigid 29er > Added a fork to the 29er > now back to Fat. I do live in WI, so the fat bike will see action in the winter too.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by mehlertmj View Post
    Let it die a little. I’d like to see the prices on tires and such go down a little.
    If there is less demand, the fatties become more niche and prices will go up, not the other way around. Sure, in the short term if supply is high and demand low then retailers will discount the stock to clear the shelves. However, the next time the shop/retailer places an order those goods will be in smaller supply, will have cost more to manufacture, and that will translate to a higher cost for the consumer.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1spd1way View Post
    Every time i read "Fatbikes are dead", I go out to the garage and look at the four fatty's and smile, smile, smile, smile......
    Fify
    What a perfect waste of time

  68. #68
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    Nice! I need more buddies like that.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Pitted View Post
    I got the fatbike bug in 2015.
    2015? You held out for a good long time!

    Bicycles are tools. Hype and media frenzy aside people gravitate to the tools that make the most sense for what and how they ride. Fatbikes are amazing at some bike missions and work amazing for some people. They are not the ULTIMATE SOLUTION to every biking situation.

    Now that the hype machine has moved onto uber slack 29ers with low offset forks fatbiking is settling into a healthy steady state. Nothing wrong with that even if they are not on the cover of every magazine and every website all the time.

    I don't have a fatbike anymore [kept my 29+] because I moved to a place where it's not the best tool for the job. But, from the outside it looks like there are plenty of great options for folks that want to roll a fatty.

    Personally I enjoy the pre-hype and post-frenzy periods in whatever bike niche I participate in more than the peak-freakout phase. The good news is that that peak-freakout never lasts more than a year or two and usually there are some sweet clearance sales on the backside of it.
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  70. #70
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    I have been fat most of my life and riding fat for the last 5 years. I still love the fat bike - it lives in June Lake where it can explore and ride in the snow. I ride a 29+ for fun and zig zagging around Southern CA. The Pugs (who still uses 135 hubs) will be around for many years and as long as there are fat tires - it will roll on.. When the last Bud is made - I will put a pair of whatever wheels are in stock and ride it some more.

    It just keeps rolling (over anything with the 22X41 low gear it has!).
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

  71. #71
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    I was late to the game and only got back to riding a year and a half ago. Bought FS and then shortly after a fat for beach and snow. Fat is definitely more fun and Strava suggests I'm just as quick on it when I try.

    I'll grab the FS 29er when riding with others not knowing what trails I'll ride that day, but when riding alone I always take the fat because I think it is just more fun. I've added a dropper and Mastodon to enjoy it even more year round.

    If forced to go to one bike, I'd keep the fat bike for New England.
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeepRage View Post
    ...If forced to go to one bike, I'd keep the fat bike for New England.
    +eleventy billion

  73. #73
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    I currently have two fat bikes and a Surly Krampus. My son has a fat bike currently sporting 29+ wheels and my wife has a newly acquired fat bike that my son outgrew. The only skinny tire bike in my home at the moment is my wife's Salsa Spearfish and that is gathering dust.
    I like turtles

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeepRage View Post
    If forced to go to one bike, I'd keep the fat bike for New England.
    I've said the same in the past, though I'm loving my "uber slack 29er with low offset fork" these days. It would be hard to live without here in northern New England.
    I will always have a fatbike in the quiver. I'm on my second one- rigid, dropper, studs. It'll get some good use in the years to come, but probably won't get replaced for a good long time.
    -Chris

  75. #75
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    Fat bikes are not dead, but have undergone a "market correction". Not everyone needs one, and the super-sizing of tires and rims only appeals to certain riders. Plus-size tires work for much of what fat bikes can do with fewer penalties. But I still am looking forward to my 7th winter on my Pugs.
    "Wait- I am confused" - SDMTB'er

  76. #76
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    Just mounted my D5s....can't wait for snow!
    "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.

  77. #77
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    I am a firm believer in the fatbike but they aren't for everyone. I wish that mine wasn't already obsolete (salsa beargrease alloy with QRs), but I ride the sh*t out of it everywhere. As long as enough people buy them though, they don't go away.

  78. #78
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    Can’t remember the last time I saw a fat bike, on a trail or in a shop, but then we don’t get snow for that stays around for longer than a day or so

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Just mounted my D5s....can't wait for snow!
    Wow , really? The snow isn't even down the mountains yet. Or maybe I'm just not excited enough!
    Saying that you "hate" or are an "unapologetic critic" of a bike company doesn't make you insightful or interesting.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Prototype View Post
    Wow , really? The snow isn't even down the mountains yet. Or maybe I'm just not excited enough!
    extra wheelset
    "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.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    extra wheelset
    Ah , ok. Well played sir!

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Prototype View Post
    Ah , ok. Well played sir!
    Then when the snow hits, I just have to dump some sealant in and put the wheels in the bike and head out!

    I'm really waiting on Fyxation to send me some Johnny 5s, but I have doubts whether that will happen before the first snow.
    "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.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post

    One of the worthwhile "new" features may be the ability to take a dropper post. Getting started again when bogged down can get quite tricky, so a low seat height could be an advantage. Alternatively, why not drop the top tube altogether and just have a big beam from headtube to BB like a woman's bike for easy mounting in soft conditions?
    Another try...www.ancillotti.com

    Works this time!

    Check out the FRY and DHY models...they have a double down tube and lack a proper top tube with the seat tube rising off the upper down tube and not off the BB directly.

    Does anyone confuse this with a women's bike...even in full rigid form?
    "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway" John Wayne

  84. #84
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    Fat is not dead in Alaska, but the bubble has burst. I think the average person thinks it would be fun to ride bikes in the middle of winter. And then reality sets in. I haven't seen as many bikes out on the trails over past two winters. That's just my observation, as I do not have any data to back that up. I'm not complaining, the double wide/single track trails around Anchorage in the winter are awesome.

  85. #85
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    I think Fat is alive and still slowly growing here in Ontario Canada. I went to a local bike fall clearance expo and I was not the only one leaving with a new fatbike. I got some multipurpose ski stuff and I am looking forward to hitting the snow. It's a blast on trails so far. I think it came out way to fast and furious to start and people weren't educated which led to a lot of disappoint and fast resales. I know I'm in for slow and fun times ahead

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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by fisherk View Post
    Fat is not dead in Alaska, but the bubble has burst. I think the average person thinks it would be fun to ride bikes in the middle of winter. And then reality sets in. I haven't seen as many bikes out on the trails over past two winters. That's just my observation, as I do not have any data to back that up. I'm not complaining, the double wide/single track trails around Anchorage in the winter are awesome.
    Where are you riding? The trails out to the glaciers were like paved freeways from so many riders last winter.
    Latitude 61

  87. #87
    Oslo, Norway
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    You're seeing refinement happen. And it's good.
    Hmm... refinement to the current point of essentially no new development, though...

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    Hmm... refinement to the current point of essentially no new development, though...
    Workin' on it.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    Workin' on it.
    Nice!
    I'm likely getting back into the (complete) bike design side of the bike biz again, so I'll see what I can do . If involved with a major brand, that could have some real impact vs. for example tire makers.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloborealis View Post
    I sold my fat bike in 2016 when I moved from AK to AZ. Don't miss it one bit. I always viewed my fatty as a snow/sand bike. I could find a use for one here in AZ, but really wouldnt use it that much. If I moved north again, I would buy another one in a heartbeat and sell my FS.
    I bought mine for all trail use here in AZ and never looked back. It's amazing in sand, but I enjoy it so much more than any other bike I've owned (26 ht, 26 fs, 27.5 ht) that it is my go-to bike for anything off-road now.
    2016 El Oso Grande
    2018 Stolen Zeke
    90's Skykomish

  91. #91
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    I hope fat isn't dead I just bought my first fat bike last week. I've been eyeing them for a while and have test rode a bunch but never pulled the trigger on one. I found a great deal on a bike and couldn't pass it up. It's too early for me to say if I'll give up my other bikes and ride fat year round, but I don't see that happening. Like everything they will have their place. The hype may have slipped away but for people who want them and use them they will stick around.

    ...But I also ride my 26 inch wheel bike more than anything else so don't listen to me. I just ride what I like and have fun on.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    Where are you riding? The trails out to the glaciers were like paved freeways from so many riders last winter.
    I spend most of my time in North Bicentennial Park, but also ride Kincaid and Hillside STA, Middlefork, stuff around Anchorage. Out of town I'll ride Resurrection and portions of the Iditarod trail, and Talkeetna when conditions are good. When the crust sets up in the early spring I'll try to get out to Skookum, Portage, Knik, and Spencer glaciers. Also Turnagain Pass for crust rides.

    Yeah, the word got out about the crust riding, that I will agree with. I helped a few riders find their way out to Skookum last winter. It was their first crust ride. But in general, other than the hard core riders, I don't think there are as many recreational riders out as compared to say 3-4 years ago when I saw an explosion in those numbers. Like I said, just my observation, and thus why I think the fat bubble has burst.

  93. #93
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    I think the lack of fork options also limits the growth of fat bikes as a one-bike solution. Imagine Fox 34 legs pressed into a crown that would accommodate a fat tire. It seems like it would be simple to do, but until then we only have the Bluto, Wren and Mastodon as compromises.
    "Wait- I am confused" - SDMTB'er

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Pitted View Post
    I got the fatbike bug in 2015. If you had told me then that 75% of my riding would be on the fat I’d have said you’re crazy. I have a nice fs, but on anything other than perfect trail, the combo of mega grip and right now power transfer make the fatty the clear choice.

    I’m not concerned with what other riders spend their money on, but three years ago, the industry was unable to keep up with demand for all things fat. Lately I see very little product development going on and am starting to wonder if fatbikes will even maintain what market share they currently have.

    So so what say you, mtbr Illuminati? Fat bikes; evolutionary dead end or cycling’s best kept secret?
    No doubt sales and demand will follow the ebb or flow but I think at the very least, they are the right tool for the job in many cases. Where one lives and rides and what season etc....
    People liked the look of my bike when I first got it because plus wasn't big in my area and I truly think many just liked the look of the bike. I think a big part of that happened with fat as well. Many of those buyers were struck by a cool and different look but maybe didn't stay on a fat for the long term or maybe it wasn't justified as the right tool for them.

    In your case, it may not matter because;

    "I got the fatbike bug in 2015. If you had told me then that 75% of my riding would be on the fat I’d have said you’re crazy. I have a nice fs, but on anything other than perfect trail, the combo of mega grip and right now power transfer make the fatty the clear choice.

    I’m not concerned with what other riders spend their money on
    "

    I think fat will be around in reasonable selection for a long (enough) time.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  95. #95
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    Fat bikes were road riding in the Monday Night Football Halftime show intro of course they are still alive and kicking!
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  96. #96
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    Is fat dead?

    No , it just smells funny



    With 6 months on snow on the ground , Fat is far from dead around here.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  97. #97
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    No fat is not dead,

    but I miss progression in geometry and frame design!

    I would buy a new fat bike if there would be something available with more modern Geometry. I'm 6'3"/190cm tall and there are only two longer Fat bikes in existence than my Canyon Dude in Large (except custom Bikes)

    The Pole Taiga and the Kona Wozo.

    For me on the Pole the BB is too wide and 450 CS would be long enough. On the Kona the CS are too short in my opinion and the BB is too wide for its rear axle.

    This rear axle / BB thing is a real mess too. Ideally there would be only the following two combinations:

    100mm BB (or PF 121 if need be) & 197mm Axle (as is on my Dude)
    83mm BB & 177mm Axle (Otso Voytek & RM Suzi Q)

    Combo one would be the more snow and sand oriented bike. Combination two could be the more trail oriented flavour with the option to run 29x3" in the summer. Slacker head angles would not hurt there either.

    If my Dude breaks I would by a Wozo or Taiga, but there is no bike I would like to upgrade to and this is the real problem of the "Fat Bike Industry" right now.

  98. #98
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    I would also like to see some other 83mm BB offerings, but the issue is chainline which maxes out the tire size at 4 and no more really. I would like to see an alu or steel Otso but that's also doubtful to happen.

    Someday Walt, someday...
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by firevsh2o View Post
    ...Combo one would be the more snow and sand oriented bike. Combination two could be the more trail oriented flavour with the option to run 29x3" in the summer. Slacker head angles would not hurt there either...
    Can you define what advantage you see a slacker head angle giving you on a snow or sand bike?
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Can you define what advantage you see a slacker head angle giving you on a snow or sand bike?

    Yep, sure can...

    But then I think you knew that, and weren't asking me...

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