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Thread: Fat in the mud

  1. #1
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    Fat in the mud

    After one ride on an endomorph-equipped bike (the Sandman Gobi), I am more excited than ever to finally get a fatbike. Rocky and rooty sections just disappeared, and the brakes saw way less action than they would have seen on my normal bike.

    The ride in question, however, had several stretches of thick, deep, pudding-like mud, often covered with wet leaves that didn't improve traction. The other riders, using "normal" bikes, dug deeply into the mud and mostly (though not always) kept riding, using their granny gears. The fatbike started a swaggering dance, throwing up leaves and mud by the bucketload, and I was forced to dismount more than I cared to.

    I do not live in a country where snow and sand are common (Belgium). Mud, however, is almost always part of a ride, so I was wondering what the tricks are for riding a fatbike in the mud.

    Does lowering the tyre pressure help? I did this, but ripped off the rear derailer half a kilometre later, denying me the chance of further testing.

    I do, however, have an unused Gazza 26x3.0 lying around. No mud is a match for that, but obviously I'd prefer to ride Endos / Larries because that's the point, isn't it?

    Give me your thoughts!

  2. #2
    Birthday Collector
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    In some mud (the type that is like "pudding" or yogurt...) the trick may actually be narrow tires. The muck won't support your weight, but the harder soil that is 4 or 5 inches down will - the narrow tire slices through the mud and gets traction on that harder soil and forward you go. A fat tire will not be able to penetrate, and you just slip along on top of the goop. That is why farming tractors have tall, narrow wheels - to get through deep mud. On firmer mud-like surfaces (peanut butter consistency, etc...) the Fat tires will be more of an advantage as they will not dig in, and press with lower force against the sticky sh!t and hopefully it won't pick up as much. For the goopy stuff you dealt with, it might be a nice set-up to have a 29'er rear wheel with a 2" or so tire. The front will stay afloat on top of the muck a bit, while the rear will dig down and get purchase and (hopefully) continue to propel you forward!
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  3. #3
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    Sconded - I have an Endo up front and a 29" rear wheel with a Bonty Mud X tyre - this works really well in the very muddy conditions we have here.

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    Thanks a lot for the information.

    Coming from the leading cyclocross country, I am quite familiar with the "narrow mud slicing tyre" setup. The thought of a 29" rear wheel appeals less to me than the full fat setup, but I will surely give it a try when conditions dictate it.

    Any other thoughts, fat veterans?

  5. #5
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    My pugsley rulez in Germany (near cologne) and there isn´t a lot of snow.
    But some kind of mud and a lot of bridle paths and my pug is the ideal solution!


  6. #6
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    Im a big fan of the controlled hydropane...






  7. #7
    Lighten up.
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    @WashedUp: Rockin' shots, man!

  8. #8
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    Best. Pics. Ever. And SS, too!

  9. #9
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    testrit sandman.mov - YouTube

    Around 0:55, that was mud!
    Nate low presure!

  10. #10
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    I've been on a few mud rides... and I just don't like it. I can barrel through, but the mud collection on my bike makes it a very difficult journey... deraileurs bind up, chains jump, etc. Not only that, the rutting of the trails can cause some serious damage.
    The fat bike excels on perma-frost areas. I will get on a muddy trail early in the day when everything is still frozen. It's a lot more fun, and will not damage the trails.
    So I guess what I am trying to say is avoid the mud and hit the trails before they melt.

  11. #11
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    Setje nates of bfls wil ook nog wel eens helpen...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacons View Post
    I've been on a few mud rides... and I just don't like it. I can barrel through, but the mud collection on my bike makes it a very difficult journey... deraileurs bind up, chains jump, etc...
    That's why many of us prefer singlespeed or hubgears.

    It's worth taking a look at the fenders threads too.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  13. #13
    don't fear the barleywine
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    Das beste werkzeug für den schlamm ist Nate. Er ist das beste werkzeug für alles, eigentlich.

  14. #14
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    I run fenders front and rear... fenders can't stop it all.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacons View Post
    I've been on a few mud rides... and I just don't like it. I can barrel through, but the mud collection on my bike makes it a very difficult journey... deraileurs bind up, chains jump, etc. Not only that, the rutting of the trails can cause some serious damage.
    The fat bike excels on perma-frost areas. I will get on a muddy trail early in the day when everything is still frozen. It's a lot more fun, and will not damage the trails.
    So I guess what I am trying to say is avoid the mud and hit the trails before they melt.
    We have no permafrost in Belgium, but lots of mud. Not riding in the mud sometimes means not riding for a very long time. And, with the fat tires the trails are damaged less than with a normal bike.

    The larry's work in slight muddy conditions, but the nate

  16. #16
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    Get rid of the Larry/Endomorph and put on a set of Nates. Problem solved.

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