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  1. #1
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    Hi, newbie here, pondering a first fat bike, comparison? advice?

    I am an avid road cyclist (7k miles per year since 2010, 59 years old and very fit) with three full carbon bikes (two fujis and a motobecane I'm trying to sell), a Diamondback Haanjo (gravel/all purpose) and a Cannondale Slate (2018 Force) I just bought the Cannondale and love it but somehow I can't stop looking at fat tire bikes. I am a 5'4" woman, my road bikes are generally 50s, my Slate is a small. I would like to do more trail riding and ride in snow here in Lancaster, PA. Having just bought my fifth, just for fun bike, I am looking for an entry level fat tire and considering the Framed Minnesota 2.0 womens ($699)and the Wolftrax alloy compact 2016 that Performance has for $750, but I'm open to other ideas, including if you think my Slate can do most of what a fat tire can do (I have 42s on it/650b)



    Any and all advice welcome! THANKS IN ADVANCE!

  2. #2
    Rocking on a Rocky
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    Not sure your Slate can do what a fat bike will do. Sell the bikes you want to sell and aim hight for your fat bike.
    It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  3. #3
    turtles make me hot
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    https://surlybikes.com/bikes/wednesday

    Costs more than the other bikes you listed but a great bike and worth looking.
    I like turtles

  4. #4
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    At 5'4" make sure you consider stand over height you will need a bike with reasonable standover height for snow riding. I have short legs and went with a 9:zero:7 due to their frame design. Take look at one of the bikes direct Boris models.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclynn View Post
    I am looking for an entry level fat tire and considering the Framed Minnesota 2.0 womens ($699)and the Wolftrax alloy compact 2016 that Performance has for $750, but I'm open to other ideas, including if you think my Slate can do most of what a fat tire can do (I have 42s on it/650b)
    Seems like you're experienced enough to know whether or not you'd be happy with entry level, but if you can swing $1900, Growler is in your (extended) backyard

    https://growlerbikes.com/collections...cts/mrbigstuff
    --------------

    [WTB] 1987 Cannondale SM800, 20", Pink with airbrushed graphics.

  6. #6
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    You should first contemplate what it would be like riding a $699 road bike. How enjoyable would your experience be riding up the hills and pounding the flats on a 30lb bike that shifts crappy and brakes even worse? It would put me off of biking after one ride.

    I'm not saying you should go full custom carbon, but at least consider something in the "decent" category. Maybe a Specialized Fatboy or Cannondale in the low-mid $1k range. Also really consider a used bike. Fat bikes don't get many miles on them so a used one shouldn't be bad. I bet you could find one near you fairly easy.

  7. #7
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    The Slate and a FB are very different animals. My impression is that you could have fun on a narrow tire bike in fresh 4”-6” snow.
    Snow, Freeze, thaw, snow, hikers, couple days sun, snow, XC skiers..... mix & repeat. This is where a FB will separate itself. You won’t be able to ride 100% of that but a significantly larger portion than a skinny tire bike.

    My son is 5’-4” and has no problems riding my small Mukluk and Bucksaw.

  8. #8
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    Thanks all! I just bought the Slate last month and that was kind of a crazy of me....I'm trying to sell the Motobecane but no takers so far...having a hard time justifying spending much on yet another bike! I appreciate all the input! Feel free to keep it coming! I guess one thing is that some of these bikes that are being offered for around $700 "list" for much more...I definitely need to learn more and do some test riding. Meanwhile, I'm wimping out on the weather here today, while researching a bike to ride in snow ?!?!?!?!!

  9. #9
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    "You should first contemplate what it would be like riding a $699 road bike. " good point, but I spent my early road days on a Kmart Huffy "mountain" bike and then a Forge CTS that cost under $400 so....maybe?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclynn View Post
    Meanwhile, I'm wimping out on the weather here today, while researching a bike to ride in snow ?!?!?!?!!
    If you’re getting serious about winter riding you should also budget for various warmth levels of kit. While you may be able to utilize much of the road cycling bits you will eventually discover specific needs that differ. (Un)fortunately that is for you figure out based on your body needs.

  11. #11
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    The Surly Wednesday is overpriced for old technology.

    She asked about $700 bikes, not $1,500+ bikes people. There is no point listing the expensive ones like a used car salesman trying to upsell and not listening to the customer.

    If you are limited to $700 for a fatbike, then I suggest Gravity. However, if you can spend a little more, there are better options, such as this one for $1,100. However, you can find decent used ones for the $1K pricepoint that are better, they're just used. Also keep in mind bike shops do not like BikesDirect bikes, so they tend to charge a premium if they work on them. I do my own work and mine has needed very little from a bike shop, just some SRAM warranty work.

    BikeIsland.com is their discounted line, and there are some options there in your price range. Option 1. Option 2. Option 3. Option 4.

    I bought my wife a Boris the Evil Brute so we can swap 5" wheels and it's been a good bike for her at $1,100. I don't see it listed anymore but it had much of the same components as my Night Train Bullet Titanium. There is one left at BikeIsland but it's too large.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nothing to see here, move along folks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclynn View Post
    "You should first contemplate what it would be like riding a $699 road bike. " good point, but I spent my early road days on a Kmart Huffy "mountain" bike and then a Forge CTS that cost under $400 so....maybe?
    I too am an avid road cyclist. I have to disagree with the price point analogy between fat and road bikes. With a fat bike intended to be ridden in the snow you can get by with an aluminum frame and middle of the road components.

    As a 5'4" female that rides as much as you do, I expect that you are slim. Unless you are riding soft, deep powder a bike with a 5" tire is probably not necessary. 4" should work. Look for a bike with 9 speeds minimum. Maybe you can find something with 10.

    If you can, look used. it will be harder to find a great deal this time of year, but you may find someone upgrading. I saved about 40% on my first fatty going used and the bike was less than a year old with only a couple hundred miles on it. I saved 60%+ on my current fatty and it is a bike I never would have dropped the coin on to buy new.

    Enjoy. I love my road bikes, but they have never put the smile on my face that my fatty does.

  13. #13
    turtles make me hot
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    I try to steer people away from bikes with cheap heavy wheels that don't go tubeless well.
    My buddy bought his wife a Bikes Direct bike and she hated it. I happened to have a pair of lightly used Marge Lite rims and Husker Dus layin' around so he bought em from me and had me lace em to hubs that fit the frame. I set them up split tubeless and she immediately liked the bike much better. The cost of the second wheels factored on top of the cost of the bike, he could have bought her a better bike.
    People who already ride bikes will realize the difference in better fat bike components. If they start off on a cheap one, they may think they all suck and not want to ride them.
    All I did was suggest looking at a Wednesday. I stand to gain nothing if she buys one.
    I like turtles

  14. #14
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    I live in Canada and Norco is making some great fatbikes with great price. One of the main positives with the Norcos is stand over clearance, we get a ton of snow here and standover is very important as your feet will sink in the snow and getting back on the bike is nice with low standover. Seems funny that standover is important but I have been fat biking for many years and this is definitely something I wont sacrifice on. I'm not sure if you have any Norco dealers in your area but may be worth a look.

  15. #15
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    Stretching the budget to $1000 gets the Framed Minnesota LTD. It gets 11 speed, Alex Bizzirk rims and studdable Wazia tires. It's a solid bike for the $$

  16. #16
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    On the "list" price at Bikesdirect. It's BS. They typically feature one component that is typically identified with a higher-priced bike (the derailleur (GXEagle!!) or fork or something), but the rest of the components are about worthy of the price you pay, in most cases. So it isn't worth anywhere near their "list" price. It's probably worth about what you pay for it.

    That said, on occasion, if you know what you're looking for, you can find a pretty good bike for a pretty good price at BD.

    Also, given that fat biking will be such a wildly different cycling experience from your road stuff, I'm not sure you NEED to spend to get a bike equivalent to your road stuff to be happy.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    I too am an avid road cyclist. I have to disagree with the price point analogy between fat and road bikes. With a fat bike intended to be ridden in the snow you can get by with an aluminum frame and middle of the road components.

    As a 5'4" female that rides as much as you do, I expect that you are slim. Unless you are riding soft, deep powder a bike with a 5" tire is probably not necessary. 4" should work. Look for a bike with 9 speeds minimum. Maybe you can find something with 10.

    If you can, look used. it will be harder to find a great deal this time of year, but you may find someone upgrading. I saved about 40% on my first fatty going used and the bike was less than a year old with only a couple hundred miles on it. I saved 60%+ on my current fatty and it is a bike I never would have dropped the coin on to buy new.

    Enjoy. I love my road bikes, but they have never put the smile on my face that my fatty does.
    Brother, Aluminum frame fat bike with middle road components (which should include wheels, not just rear derailer and shifters) is low-mid $1k. Trek, Spec, etc.

    And being a smaller person, the weight difference will make even a bigger difference compared to heavier people.

  18. #18
    turtles make me hot
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    Yep^^^^
    I like turtles

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    Brother, Aluminum frame fat bike with middle road components (which should include wheels, not just rear derailer and shifters) is low-mid $1k. Trek, Spec, etc.

    And being a smaller person, the weight difference will make even a bigger difference compared to heavier people.
    You will notice I also suggested going used. I sold a 2015 Mukluk for $700, after having bought it used in 2015.

    Weight is largely what it is in the desired price range. Aluminum frame is a given. Tires and wheels is the realistic place to save weight. 4" tires are lighter than 5" tires.
    Last edited by BlueCheesehead; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:32 PM.

  20. #20
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    Thanks all. Still reading and learning. For whoever mentioned it, I ride all year and have all the cold weather clothes, just can be wimpy sometimes. The Minnesota 2.0 is listed as a good starter for the price etc. On their site, the 2.0 women's is $700 but lists for $1600, does that matter? If you look at the specs for that one, what do you think? A lot of these components are new to me. (I don't expect to get the equivalent of my carbon, c10, Fuji with dura ace!) When I looked at some of the fat bikes suggested that cost more I saw a lot of the same componentry as the framed... FYI I have a bd bike, so I get that....

    Also my price range is kind of psychological. I bought a bike last month that was pretty much a splurge!!! 😉😂😂😂.

    Thanks all!

  21. #21
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    FYI, I have been searching high and low for a used fat bike (small) and what I'm finding is bikes that I could buy new for the same price (I mean that same bike for basically the same price) and not that many smalls. So, just sayin' I am searching the used bikes as recommended!

  22. #22
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    Forget any 'list prices', they mean nothing.

    The Minnesota 2.0 is an ok bike, but it has no redeeming features. It is solid, just very low budget. It's a good starter bike so long as you don't expect it to be more than that. I still think more can be had (better value) for similar or slightly more money.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nothing to see here, move along folks.

  23. #23
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    Thanks! I guess when I see different list prices for bikes, I assume they mean SOMETHING. I mean, right on the maker's website. Honestly, this is a whole new realm. If they were road bikes I'd understand the terminology better. I appreciate the input and the comments about the Minnesota 2.0....what would you say are the components I should try to get that are better on other bikes? Meanwhile, really, I'm just being a crazy cyclist who can't stop buying bikes !!!!

  24. #24
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    Where to start.

    While the stock wheel set is OK and workable, it is 135/170 with quick releases, which is old and outdated. Modern bikes use 150/197 and thru axles and the wheels are plentiful for them. The bearings on the 2.0 are loose ball and sealed is much better, as you know. Fatbikes see a lot of dirt and grime and it's hard for the seals to work since they're inundated constantly, never mind with the cold/hot cycling due to going in and out of doors, which drops a lot of moisture out. The Quando hubs on those are known to be not very good so they don't last. The wheels are also not tubeless compatible. For me, tubeless is a big deal on the fatbike. Still, all these issues can be solved with another wheelset.

    The bottom bracket is square taper, but is can be upgraded to something with external bearings. Not a deal breaker but something to consider.

    The 28/38 chainrings paired with 11-34 cassette is very tall gearing, which means upgrading to something nicer on the trails, like a 24-34 or even 22-32, which is what I run (along with 11-42) but we have a lot of hills. Fatbiking is not a fast sport and it can be very slow based on snow conditions.

    The shifters, derailleurs, and brakes are solid and OK, just low end. Nothing I'd worry about anytime soon.

    The tires are pretty horrible and will need upgrading. Good luck fitting a 4.8 on that bike even though it says they'll fit. A friend has one and the largest it'll fit is a solid 4.3" or so. I just gave him some 4.7" Bulldozers but they actually measure 4.1".

    Like I said, it's a good entry level bike, but not more than that. It is great for someone who has never ridden a fatbike to get into the scene and determine if they like it. Everyone I know who had one sold it later and upgraded to a better bike, but not because the bike itself failed them, they just wanted more and the bike could not deliver not matter what they did to it. Since you are an avid cyclist, this would be a stepping stone like any entry level bike, and it sounds like you know the value of a good bike.
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    Nothing to see here, move along folks.

  25. #25
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    Thanks so much! That is really helpful! Whole new world and so many different factors! I really appreciate the time you took to go through all that information!

  26. #26
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    did you ever look at the Surly Wednesday? I really think that would be a great thing for your area...you could use it all year!!

    and from Lancaster...Steelers fan?
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
    LET IT SNOW!

  27. #27
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    Well I live closer to Philly and I'm not really a football fan at all .... but most people in this area are Eagles fans. I probably looked at the Surly Wednesday already but it is all becoming a blur. I'll look again, thanks!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclynn View Post
    Thanks so much! That is really helpful! Whole new world and so many different factors! I really appreciate the time you took to go through all that information!
    I’d highly suggest you rent a fat bike first. I’m sure there are shops that rent them where you’re at. A ride or two, and you’ll figure out whether you want one or not. And if you do, how much you’d “need” to spend on one. Good luck.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclynn View Post
    Well I live closer to Philly and I'm not really a football fan at all .... but most people in this area are Eagles fans. I probably looked at the Surly Wednesday already but it is all becoming a blur. I'll look again, thanks!
    just checking...on both. I think a rigid fat is going to be much easier to deal with in the end. I have a 29+ Surly Krampus, and it is a great year 'round bike. Not a true fat bike, but the rigid front fork allows me to plow through unstable terrain better than a sus fork. I even ride it in the snow, tough here in Central Ohio we don't probably get as much as you do, but if I go down to 5-7 PSI, I do pretty well.
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
    LET IT SNOW!

  30. #30
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    Small Pugsley with upgrades
    $850 Now $775
    Georgetown, TX
    I picked this bike up last year for my wife, but she needs an extra small. The bike was originally set up SS but I swapped a 1x10 drivetrain on it (Sram x-o rear derailleur and X9 shifter With a wolf tooth chain ring). Tan wall Nate tires have less than 100 miles on them.

    The bike is in great shape with some light cable rub. Willing to ship at buyers expense via bike flights.


    Found this....don't know how to do links...thoughts?

  31. #31
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    https://www.facebook.com/groups/573286689472701/permalink/1435867849881243/?sale_post_id=1435867849881243"]http://https://www.facebook.com/groups/573286689472701/permalink/1435867849881243/?sale_post_id=1435867849881243[/URL]

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclynn View Post
    Small Pugsley with upgrades
    $850 Now $775
    Georgetown, TX
    I picked this bike up last year for my wife, but she needs an extra small. The bike was originally set up SS but I swapped a 1x10 drivetrain on it (Sram x-o rear derailleur and X9 shifter With a wolf tooth chain ring). Tan wall Nate tires have less than 100 miles on them.

    The bike is in great shape with some light cable rub. Willing to ship at buyers expense via bike flights.


    Found this....don't know how to do links...thoughts?
    Pugsleys are also great. I can't "see" the link cause I am at work right now, but the I think the price is good if not great considering that you could pay as much for a new fatbike from some companies and not even get half as good of a bike. Pug's are the original fatbike, so you really could not go wrong with it.
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
    LET IT SNOW!

  33. #33
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    My Pug rode like a tractor and not a playful fatbike, had a lot of Surly specific stuff on it, and was limited to 4” tires only.

    While it was enjoyable, I have not regretted upgrading for a single minute.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclynn View Post
    Small Pugsley with upgrades
    $850 Now $775
    Georgetown, TX
    I picked this bike up last year for my wife, but she needs an extra small. The bike was originally set up SS but I swapped a 1x10 drivetrain on it (Sram x-o rear derailleur and X9 shifter With a wolf tooth chain ring). Tan wall Nate tires have less than 100 miles on them.

    The bike is in great shape with some light cable rub. Willing to ship at buyers expense via bike flights.


    Found this....don't know how to do links...thoughts?
    I ride a Pugs now. I had a few others, but kept coming back to the Pugsley. I love the Marge Lite rims, which are not too heavy. If it comes with Rolling Darryl's, look at swapping to a lighter wheelset.

    But I really love it. I ride all over Utah and I think it handles just great. Really fun bike! Seems like a good price as well. But I'd try for slightly less. Maybe $700.

  35. #35
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    Rothrock Outfitters Rental and Demo: Bikes - Rothrock Outfitters has rentals
    Freeze Thaw in State College https://freeze-thaw-cycles.myshopify.com/ usually have demos.
    Both about 2hrs drive for you. Maybe there are other closer shops.

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