Longer wheelbase in snow?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Longer wheelbase in snow?

    Do fat bikes with longer wheelbase handle better in snow? It seems so with vehicles in the snow.

  2. #2
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    Since they're basicly wide 29er's, they already have longish wheelbases. Some are longer than others. I don't mind a long front end. Helps keep you from sinking the front wheel in a soft spot on a down hill (That's a snow & sand only remark). But I prefer shorter chain stays for traction on climbs. The fact that they're 29 tall already puts the contact patch back plenty far IMO. I ride in the mountains allot though so I NEED the traction. Probably not such an issue on flatter terrain... longer might even be more stable w/ a load.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mttklmhifi1 View Post
    Do fat bikes with longer wheelbase handle better in snow? It seems so with vehicles in the snow.
    Longer relative to what?

    It's *all* relative.

  4. #4
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    I'm hoping some Tommisea owners will chime in. I'm interested too.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTMN View Post
    I'm hoping some Tommisea owners will chime in. I'm interested too.
    I have yet to try my Tommisea in the snow...nor my Fatback. It does not snow much here in VA. When it does, I will try and remember this thread and report back.

  6. #6
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    Hey;

    A longer wheelbase tends to be more stable in a straight line at speed. An optimized chassis length is the best way to deal with yaw and wander. All one needs to do is look at a Top Fuel Rail and a Funnycar going down a strip. Conversely, its a bit hard to get the rail turned at the end of the course. Same applies to a bike. Pros, cons, and compromises optimized for the task at hand.

    Back in the day, my Cruiser was ridden for farting about in between more sporting rides. When the snow fell, the 20" short bikes and skinnier tired stuff never came out of the garage, and the Cruiser became King! Bigger tires, frame, wheelbase = far superior in those conditions.

  7. #7
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    I was thinking if the handling would be different between two different sizes in the same bike model line. Would someone on a small frame find it a bit more challenging at keeping their bike straight compared to someone on an extra large bike in the snow. The wheelbase would be approx 3 inches longer on the extra large bike. I'm wondering if it is worth gonig up a size to get that slighty longer wheelbase for stability in the snow.

    About the Tommisea bike, It looks like it is purely sand bike made for flats. It has extra long chainstays. I can see it going over sand without sinking. The weight is more centered but for hills, rear wheel would spin easily. It is more like a cruiser than a mountain bike. I don't know if any Tommisea owners would do serious off roading other than on beaches.

  8. #8
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    Again;

    I'd have to guess a longer wheelbase would be optimal for serious snow riding. Balancing that with short enough stays to improve rear weight and climbing traction, and a low enough stand-over and center of gravity to be stable. Top Tube length would seem to be King, and a roomy cockpit that offered a lot of options in terms of equipment (bar, stem, post, etc), and the space to move your body around within the wheelbase to weight the chassis as needed, would seem to be the most useful. This from someone who has always been restricted by being a bigu'n in a "small world."

  9. #9
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    I live in Alamosa, Colorado, been riding the TommiSea Fat Sand Bike for 3 weeks or so now, got well over a 100 miles on it on the typical snow packed roads up in the mountains. It comes with an 8 speed nexus hub, and there have been a few hills that have gotten the better of me, but my personal impression is that the length makes for a really stable bike in this case. I will say short steep hills that aren't packed, I have spun out on , a few times, but they are snowy! I really appreciate the the stability when following packed tire tracks and sled ski tracks. You can't really ride in loose snow, so you end up following these narrow lines and the length seems to help me with the stability and balance, especially going downhill of course. I made a few modifications to the stock bike, tubeless, changed the saddle seatpost, and pedals. Put a disc brake on the front. Really simple stuff, brought the weight down almost 4 pounds because it came with a cheap seatpost and cushy saddle. Getting rid of the tubes was huge. Over all, for me, I am riding it to work and training on it most weeks and it is doing exactly what I want it to do, so I am happy.

  10. #10
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    Long wheelbase, sharp head angle, plenty trail, best way I know to ride ruts.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

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