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  1. #1
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    Maintenance Tips on Fat Bike

    What does everybody do for maintenance on their fatbike? I am curious since our conditions that most of us ride in are not ideal for bike components. I have noticed a little bit of rust on the disc brake, and chain and a slight squeak coming from the rear axle at the beginning of each ride probably due to moisture from the previous ride. Looking forward to reading what everybody does. Thanks.
    '11 Specialized Crux Pink SS
    '15 Trek Farley 6 Fat Bike
    '15 Specialized Fatboy
    '12 Specialized Crux Skittles

  2. #2
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    Nothing different than any other bike.

    Don't ride when mud cakes all over the bike.
    Clean off dirt/mud after a messy ride.
    Lube what needs lubing.
    Periodically degrease/scrub down drivetrain throughout the year.
    Replace worn bearings when needed.
    Service suspension every year or two.

  3. #3
    All fat, all the time.
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    I try to pull the cranks & fork at least once/year to ensure bearings are OK and not too much crud built up inside.

    Keep chain well-lubed (oil preferred, wax doesn't last long enough) & wipe it down before/after each ride.

    The big tires chew through sealant pretty quickly so don't forget to freshen that up if you are tubeless.

  4. #4
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    Brush the snow off the frame.
    Brush the snow off the rims.
    Brush the snow off the drivetrain.
    Lube the drivetrain.

  5. #5
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    Not sure if this is good, or not, but I leave my fat bike in an unheated building (in Wisconsin) in the winter. After a ride in the cold, I figure it's better to keep the bike at that temperature to avoid condensation from warming it up. Does that make sense?
    I brush off the snow, lube the chain once every couple of rides, and call it a day.

  6. #6
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    Cold garage is good.

  7. #7
    bigger than you.
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    I clean and lube my drive train regularly and every now and then, I wipe down the frame. I change the chain about twice a year and the cassette, once a year. Brake pads every 2000 miles.

  8. #8
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    Fat bikes need maintenance like any other bike. The only big difference is the amount of moisture you routinely deal with. I pull the seat post and re-grease it if I have been in a lot of wet weather. I also turn the bike upside down and let the frame drain.

    The only other special fat biking maintenance advice I have is to use chainsaw bar and chain oil for lube. Cycle it through the gears after applying to the inside of the chain and you will add a little rustproofing to your cassette too. It is sticky enough that I never have drivetrain rust even when I can't tend to the chain immediately after a ride. The only downside is that it makes the frame a little sticky if you over-do it.

  9. #9
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    If my ride takes me thru any road salt, I rinse the bike down with Salt Away.

  10. #10
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    I am yet to build up my fatbike [the frame has arrived but ] but I planned to continue to follow my standard bicycle service regime.



    Andrew

  11. #11
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    I just got a little hand held garden sprayer. I leave it in the house with some warm water in it for after the ride. Using a nice fine mist the built up ice, salt and snow just dissolves and drips off.
    Then lube the chain if needed and maybe wipe the girl down.

  12. #12
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    Don't do anything OP. Ride your bike, and store it in a location with temps similar to riding conditions. If you go on a really wet ride, you might want to lube the derailleur, but otherwise too much lube will attract dirt and debris, which is bad.

  13. #13
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    The Salt Away seems to be working really well. After a ride involving streets/salt/WI winter roads, I rinse the bike off with a bucket of water, spray the silvery bits with SA, and bring in the house to dry off.

    Depends, but I'll usually go about 7 or so rides on any road/salt, and then I'll bring it in the basement and clean the drivetrain/gears, wipe it down. I put some dishsoap in a spray bottle and use a brush to clean the chain, cogs, casettee, cranks. Let dry, then lube.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenbaybiker View Post
    Not sure if this is good, or not, but I leave my fat bike in an unheated building (in Wisconsin) in the winter. After a ride in the cold, I figure it's better to keep the bike at that temperature to avoid condensation from warming it up. Does that make sense?
    I brush off the snow, lube the chain once every couple of rides, and call it a day.
    ^^^This works for me.

    I always make sure my bike is good and cold before I get it into the snow. The snow doesn't stick to it (as much), and I don't get water anywhere (which would later freeze).
    Besides, warm temperatures accelerate the reaction of salt with metals. At low temps, the reaction is much slower.

    I do wipe off the salt if I get any.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aushiker View Post
    I am yet to build up my fatbike [the frame has arrived but ] but I planned to continue to follow my standard bicycle service regime.



    Andrew
    mukluk with pugs-ley parts!
    ptarmigan hardcore

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADKMTNBIKER View Post
    I just got a little hand held garden sprayer. I leave it in the house with some warm water in it for after the ride. Using a nice fine mist the built up ice, salt and snow just dissolves and drips off.
    Then lube the chain if needed and maybe wipe the girl down.
    I do this too after a spray with Pedro's....then rinse again and wipe if I've got salt. I lube the drivetrain and I chose to spray Boeshield into the frame at most access points on my Pug...I'm new to this too but so far my Pug is running solid.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoothie7 View Post
    What does everybody do for maintenance on their fatbike? I am curious since our conditions that most of us ride in are not ideal for bike components. I have noticed a little bit of rust on the disc brake, and chain and a slight squeak coming from the rear axle at the beginning of each ride probably due to moisture from the previous ride. Looking forward to reading what everybody does. Thanks.
    All of the good tips above. Also look over three other items - the shifter cable guide under the bottom bracket (If routed this way) for shifter cable fraying, the rear derailleur hanger bracket for bending and last, the clearance of the upper sprocket (B adjustment, jockey pulley) under the cogs. OEM der hanger brackets are cheap/soft and break under normal use as my Salsa Muk3 did. Took the chain with it. The B adjuster screw "walks" on at least Sram X5 and 7 series Ders, weirdly into the der body instead of out. That increases the clearance of the jockey pulley, decreases chain wrap around the cogs and causes skipping in the smaller cogs. Sheldon Brown's fabulous website has an explanation at Derailer Adjustment I set my jockey pulleys about 6 -7 mm below the cog above it, others may vary! Fat bikes are a bit harder on drive train components, they are heavier, run in sand, mud, salt, and often have worse chainline angles. But damn they're fun!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADKMTNBIKER View Post
    I just got a little hand held garden sprayer. I leave it in the house with some warm water in it for after the ride. Using a nice fine mist the built up ice, salt and snow just dissolves and drips off.
    Then lube the chain if needed and maybe wipe the girl down.
    I thought this was my original idea!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunyak View Post
    I thought this was my original idea!
    I just bought a hand-pump garden sprayer after talking to my LBS. I have limited hose bibs around my house. It works PERFECTLY and uses not much water combined with my Simple Green spray bottle, a sponge and a couple of brushes.


    - Tim

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntm1973 View Post
    Fat bikes need maintenance like any other bike. The only big difference is the amount of moisture you routinely deal with. I pull the seat post and re-grease it if I have been in a lot of wet weather. I also turn the bike upside down and let the frame drain.

    The only other special fat biking maintenance advice I have is to use chainsaw bar and chain oil for lube. Cycle it through the gears after applying to the inside of the chain and you will add a little rustproofing to your cassette too. It is sticky enough that I never have drivetrain rust even when I can't tend to the chain immediately after a ride. The only downside is that it makes the frame a little sticky if you over-do it.
    Good one, been cycling all my life but haven't been fat biking for even a year. I plan to experiment with the bar oil soon.
    '14 Specialized Fatboy
    '04 Cannondale System Six
    '03 Cannondale F300

  21. #21
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    Sometimes I raise the pressure. Sometimes I lower it.
    "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.

  22. #22
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    Cleaning the dog shit off fat tires is a *****. I assume most of it is dog.
    It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  23. #23
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    Air tires when needed and lube the chain when needed. If you need a drivetrain clean then yer using too much lube or not lubing correctly. If bike comes home wet, i let it drip dry. No point in spraying it with more water unless you have a bunch of salt on it. In that case it's best to use a watering can. Using any kind of spray isn't such a good idea as it can cause water to get into places where you don't want it. I replace chains, not cassettes or rings. Get a park chain wear tool and live by it. I haven't bought a cassette in years.

  24. #24
    Rippin da fAt
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    My trials bike gets a new chain once a season. Trials bikes kill chains like no other. A cheap chain will get one a big dental bill along wilt an ER visit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    I clean and lube my drive train regularly and every now and then, I wipe down the frame. I change the chain about twice a year and the cassette, once a year. Brake pads every 2000 miles.
    Hygiene is the same as any bike. Visual inspection and lubrication are similar too. Wet lubricant is not recommended for off road period, lest you desire to attract loads of dirt and grime into the drivetrain. Ask for a good chain lube at the LBS. Make adjustments as needed.

    Your bike will thank you for it!
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  25. #25
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    I'll wipe the bike down with a silicone spray lube every now and then, it does a decent job of keeping wet snow and mud from sticking so much, you just have to be careful not to get it near the brakes but everything else is fair game.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyJo1 View Post
    Cleaning the dog shit off fat tires is a *****. I assume most of it is dog.
    in the fall, cross-country runners will stop and crap on our trails. IT's much worse than dog or horsesh¡t!

  27. #27
    Rippin da fAt
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    Carry a paintball gun and pop 'em in the cheek. They won't do it again.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  28. #28
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    Given the snow this weekend here in Chicago, time to start thinking about winter maintenance again.

    My tips here:
    1. Boeshield on the drivetrain. It forms a layer of protective wax that doesn't wash away and keeps the chain quiet. It will last for several weeks even in bad conditions. Good stuff.
    2. Pledge on the frame. A little Pledge on the frame makes it look nice, protects the finish and makes the frame less sticky to snow. Particularly good on matte finishes. Don't get it on your rotors.
    3. Run front and rear fenders. Seems obvious but the majority of fat bikers I see don't have fenders on. This is probably the easiest way to reduce maintenance on a bike. Full fenders are best (if difficult to find) but clip-on downtube/seatpost ones work pretty well.
    4. WD-40 for stem bolts, shifters and brake levers if they get wet. Watch the overspray.
    5. Park makes a narrow conical stiff-bristled brush that's perfect for quickly knocking packed snow out of the nooks and crannies.

    Tips mentioned above I like and use:
    1. The garden sprayer. Perfect for a quick rinse after a ride. Keep it warm in the house as mentioned above.
    2. Leave the bike in a cold garage, hanging upside down is best IMO.
    3. I've found sealant takes longer to evaporate in the winter but make sure it's topped off.
    4. Repack the BB and headset bearings after the winter ends.

  29. #29
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    I have a Hudson sprayer I fill with 2/3 washer fluid, 1/3 water and some simple green. Spray the bike after salty rides.

    I wipe my chain really well after every ride.

    This year the only place I have to store my bike is in a heated garage so I may use my leaf blower to dry it off after spraying it.
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

    16' Trek 8.4 DS
    16' Farley 7
    and I'm OK admitting..
    16' Sturgis

    Minneapolis MN

  30. #30
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    if i ride any salt/roads, i rinse it off with a 10 gallon bucket of water, spray Salt Away on the shiny bits, bring it inside to dry, and then i clean the drive train every week or two, depending how often i ride in unsavory stuff.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyjo1 View Post
    cleaning the dog shit off fat tires is a *****. I assume most of it is dog.
    lots of goose poop around here

  32. #32
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    I found a stud in the ceiling of my shower and installed a Blue Hawk Black Steel Utility Hook from Lowes. After riding where the bike has been exposed to road salt, I bring the bike in, hang in from that hook, spray it with simple green and then use my shower hose to rinse it off. I let it hang for a few hours to dry it off. I then re-lube chain. I also will spray fogging oil inside the frame a few times throughout the season.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Nothing different than any other bike.

    Don't ride when mud cakes all over the bike.
    Clean off dirt/mud after a messy ride.
    Lube what needs lubing.
    Periodically degrease/scrub down drivetrain throughout the year.
    Replace worn bearings when needed.
    Service suspension every year or two.
    don't ride when mud cakes on the bike???? really? i guess in the northwest we shouldn't ride 80% of the year

  34. #34
    All fat, all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenwood72 View Post
    don't ride when mud cakes on the bike???? really? i guess in the northwest we shouldn't ride 80% of the year
    Indiana trails are very sensitive to wet conditions, and honestly, it sticks so bad to the tires it's not even fun.
    Definitely not the same type of"dirt" as we have our west.
    (I moved from IN to ID)

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