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  1. #1
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    I think I "need" a fatbike... but which one?

    So, I already have a great AM/enduro bike (Ibis Mojo HDR). But my wife and I just moved to the coast, and am expecting the first kid in October, so I want another bike to ride around town, pick up groceries when the traffic's bad, on the coast trails, put a kid seat on, and ride with the kid on easy trails when he gets his own first MTB. Being used to having such a great main bike (the Ibis), I really don't want to buy some $400 junker with garbo components, even if it is for around town. I feel like a relatively simple fatbike would be just the ticket. But which one?

    Here's what I'm thinking I am looking for:
    * no suspension - don't need it
    * mount points for racks
    * ideally compatible with any parts I take off my Ibis as I upgrade
    * ideally 1x10 or 1x11, disc brakes (pref. Shimano hydr.), thru-axles (vs. QR)
    * close to $1k

    Does such a dream bike exist? I'd rather spend a bit more up front if necessary if it means not getting stuck with some really crappy components that will cost quite a bit to replace eventually (i.e. wheels, brakes, RD).

  2. #2
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    Buy used in the off-season! I have a local bike classified group on Facebook, and there are a ton of people unloading barely used fat bikes that they bought this past winter. Might be unique to my area (Minneapolis), but I'm seeing Salsa Mukluks, Pugsleys, etc. with only a handful or rides on them all going cheap.
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  3. #3
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    If your want new for most of that, you're looking at bikes direct or framed.

    It sounds like a good to go would be to look for a used bike. Maybe there's a trek Farley 5 out there you could snatch up.

    There could also be a surly in decent condition that I think could suit your needs.

  4. #4
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    Trek Farley with tubeless Hodags.

    you will crap yourself how good a ride Trek built into the Farley hardtail

  5. #5
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    Thanks for suggestions. Any other particular brands/models to keep an eye open for? I guess I'll just have to periodically check CL for a while, because there's jack for options in the Bay Area right now in size med (searching "fatbike" gives a Farley 8 and Mukluk both in size L).

  6. #6
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    Norco has some good prices as well, not sure on the rack mounts though. Oh and I 2nd the Trek.

  7. #7
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    I'm also looking for my first Fat Bike. Can find Trek Farley 5 / Norco Bigfoot 6.1 for about the same price (1600$ CAD)... also considering Fatboy, Spherik SF-4 or SF-6, Rocky Mountain Blizzard... So many choices!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andeh View Post
    Thanks for suggestions. Any other particular brands/models to keep an eye open for? I guess I'll just have to periodically check CL for a while, because there's jack for options in the Bay Area right now in size med (searching "fatbike" gives a Farley 8 and Mukluk both in size L).
    https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/5641904603.html

    Very entry level, but would leave you with some $ for upgrades.

    Or if you want to up the budget:

    https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/bik/5643070377.html
    DB Release 3
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  9. #9
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    Get this:

    On Sale Framed Alaskan Alloy w/ Alloy Fork Fat Bike up to 40% off framed-alloy-alloy-build

    I got mine and I love it! I had to call Framed directly because I wanted the Maxxis Minions 4.8. Also, DO NOT get BB7 brakes. Get the SRAM Guide R. This bike can be punished like an enduro bike.
    2015 Specialized Rockhopper
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  10. #10
    since 4/10/2009
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    Your area is not going to get you a lot of used fatbikes. You'll either need to cast a wider net and assume you'll need to pay shipping, or buy a new bike.

    There is still a "fat premium" so you'll have to pay a little more for a fatbike than for a comparably equipped non-fat bike.

    Toss out the parts compatibility criteria. Fatbikes, by definition, have wider hubs and bb. Some things you can, but some you cannot. Whatever you choose, just deal with whatever scenario you get.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DETarch View Post
    Buy used in the off-season! I have a local bike classified group on Facebook, and there are a ton of people unloading barely used fat bikes that they bought this past winter. Might be unique to my area (Minneapolis), but I'm seeing Salsa Mukluks, Pugsleys, etc. with only a handful or rides on them all going cheap.
    THIS. It's the 'Fat Bike Trader' and I see all sorts of discounted bikes roll through there.

    Swoop in and get a killer deal.

  12. #12
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    you may luck out

    I got my Farley off craggies and it only had three rides on it

  13. #13
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    If you go Framed, the bikes that have the rack mounts will be the MN series. I'm pretty sure the Alaskan does not have rack mounts on the frame while the Wolftrax has eyelets on the fork but not the rear triangle. You may have to get familiar with the p-clamp or seat post rear rack, both of which will have a weight limit below ideal for groceries. I would look for a used Pugsley, rack mounts and eyelets galore. You could also consider a Surly, or other manufacturer's frame, that fits plus since you may not see much snow, unless you are interested in beach riding. Perhaps the Soma Sandworm, 907, Fatback, etc if you aren't afraid to build. I can't find the link, perhaps they've sold out, but there was a pro deal for a complete 907 that was a reasonable build.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  14. #14
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    fwiw, when I was searching for child carriers, I couldn't find anything that would fit around the fat tires, so I ended up getting a trailer and couldn't be happier. So is she, when she's wake.
    I think I "need" a fatbike... but which one?-dsc00597.jpg
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  15. #15
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJEVO View Post
    fwiw, when I was searching for child carriers, I couldn't find anything that would fit around the fat tires, so I ended up getting a trailer and couldn't be happier. So is she, when she's wake.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's a good point. Trailers are always mo' betta

  16. #16
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    Those Framed ones look like a good bargain, especially from that "the-house.com" site.

    What's up with most fatbikes having mech discs - just to save costs? Same question about QR rear hubs... - or is it a weight thing?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andeh View Post
    Those Framed ones look like a good bargain, especially from that "the-house.com" site.

    What's up with most fatbikes having mech discs - just to save costs? Same question about QR rear hubs... - or is it a weight thing?
    Most hydros get stiff in the winter as the seals get cold and hard. Mechs "feel" the same, unless they get encased in a block of ice, which can happen.

    As for QR vs. thru-axle, QR's appeared first, before thru axles had really achieved solid penetration on regular mtb's. Now, the presence of a QR is more of a cost cutting measure because inexpensive hubs use a QR. They are definitely a less good solution. The extra width of fatbike hubs makes that even more apparent than it is on bikes with narrower hub spacing.

  18. #18
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    Framed Wolftrax with a BOB trailer?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rentalrider View Post
    Framed Wolftrax with a BOB trailer?
    Or perhaps the Alaskan with the Wolftrax fork? That's the nice thing about the House, they are willing to put together the bike you want from a list of possibilities...

    Or Burly?
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  20. #20
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    By coincidence, I just bought a new Scott Big Jon (my first fatty!) for $1k +tax. I saw it on eBay and it turned out to be a store close to me. You should check out the Big Jon, because it fulfills all of your requirements, though it's a 2x 10. It's possible you will be able to find it at less than MSRP, as I did, when the 2017 are announced in July/Aug.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    As for QR vs. thru-axle, QR's appeared first, before thru axles had really achieved solid penetration on regular mtb's. Now, the presence of a QR is more of a cost cutting measure because inexpensive hubs use a QR. They are definitely a less good solution. The extra width of fatbike hubs makes that even more apparent than it is on bikes with narrower hub spacing.
    A quality skewer can solve some QR deficiencies. Thru axle is really nice for keeping the brakes aligned. But aren't quick releases compatible with more types of adjustable drop outs?

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