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  1. #1
    Hi
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    New to fat biking

    Hey!

    I recently moved inland away from the coast. Needless to say, it looks like my riding will necessitate a fat bike.

    The more I look into this segment the more I realize the potential for fun.

    Iím looking at a trek Farley carbon with a mastodon fork with studded and non studded tires.

    Iím hoping that I can use this predominantly in the winter but I can see some higher alpine spring and summer uses.. maybe some Yukon trips too..


    Iím looking for recommendations..

    Use/ style of riding:

    -Bike-packing ( multi-day)
    -Snow / ice covered trails (shoulder season / chinook)

    Hopeful uses:

    High alpine scree slopes
    Glacial moraine ( I have a mountaineering background)
    Loose sandy areas ( glacial outwash plains)
    Steeper alpine snow slopes

    Again, Iíve never owned a fat bike but it seems like people are doing the aforementioned... what do you guys think? Whatís the limit ?

  2. #2
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    Oh, lastly any suggestions on add ons or minuses would be awesome.

    Also, do any of you who ride steeper stuff choose to slacken the bike out ? Or not worth it.

    Or asked my LBS about slackening the bike out ( for steeps) with an Angleset and basically their take ( which jived with mine). This was that the 4in tires add a whole level of unfathomed confidence and they advised me my decision not to bother was correct..

    Any other opinions ?

  3. #3
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    4" tires are not "fat" in my opinion. "Mid fat" is much more fair. Every fat bike should have 5" tires. If I wanted a bike with 4" tires, I'd probably just buy a plus bike and enjoy the benefits of 3" tires and forego all the fancy/special parts that make fat work.

    I love my Mastodon and recommend it.

    I can and do ride my 5" fat bike with a 100 mm fork in the same places I ride my 3" plus hardtail. It is capable of being used as a trail bike, so long as you're okay with the fact that it may be slightly slower. You'd be surprised, though, I have gone on hour long rides on both and found myself within a minute of my previous times. I'm unquestionably more fit this late in the year, emphasizing the tiny difference it really makes. Considering my 3" bike isn't necessarily faster (but is more plush as it has a 140 mm fork), I see little use for a 4" tire if you're buying a new bike.

    For your more aggressive riding, just make sure the head angle of your bike starts with a 6 and call it a day. I ride a Surly ICT; the newest model is even slacker and takes a 140 fork. IMO, it's the ultimate do-it-all hardtail once a dropper and Mastodon are added. I enjoy riding my plus bike, but once up to speed, the fatty is just a plus bike with even more traction and cush. Enjoy!

  4. #4
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    Whatís the limit? 😉

    I am also new to fat biking and the limit is the rider. It is always the rider. The bike just allows you to choose the best tool for the job.

    My top choices were the Rocky Mountain Suzi Q, Salasa Beargrease and the Trek Farley. And I wanted to get a fat bike so that I can ride in the winter where they no longer allow normal tires.

    I suggest you ignore the nonsense about 4in versus 5in tires. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and like with everything else in the world of bikes, they excel in some areas more than others. Think of what you will be riding most of the time and get a bike for those conditions. I think the Farley with a fork will be awesome for what you are talking about.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SS
    RM Suzi Q 90 RSL
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  5. #5
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    What is the limit? The terrain and conditions. Except for extreme wind-packed, which isn't consistent, you won't be able to ride steep alpine snow slopes except for a short period in the spring when they melt significantly in the day and hard-freeze at night. This is known as "crust riding" and is a blast, but it's a very short "season" usually for the accessible terrain. The bikes ride fine on groomed stuff when the snow has settled, one pass with a groomer right after a large snow can still be too soft to ride on a fat-bike unless it's settled or been packed further. Most trails are packed by fat-bikes, foot-traffic including snow-shoes, snowmachines, skiers, and so on. You need something to pack the trails before you ride them if there's any significant snow, the fatbike will not be rideable with more than 4-5" of new snow (some conditions can increase that amount slightly, but not significantly).

    New to fat biking-17972288_1420097124715418_160365093805523343_o.jpgNew to fat biking-17973892_1420097054715425_7170466681178609261_o.jpg
    "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.

  6. #6
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    I like my fat bike regardless of what is officially or unofficially classified as a "fat bike"... it's fat to me. I'm on 26x4" tires and I'm mounting my brand new 4" Dillinger 4's this weekend because we are supposed to get some snow next week.

    My wife, friends, and family think I'm nuts prepping for winter riding and that's ok... Bring on the Nebraska winter.

    Go Huskers...
    cederic

    2017 Salsa Beargrease
    2012 Fuji Absolute 3.0 Road Bike
    Giant Roam X-Road - Sold it
    Giant CycloCross - Sold it

  7. #7
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    the first "fat" tires didn't even measure up to today's 3.8/4 inch tires, and that size is enshrined in fatbike race rules and rules for groomed trails. So you can't just go and change it to 5 inches for the helluvit.

    Frankly, I think the terms "plus" and "fat" have outlived their usefulness for the most part. There is quite a continuum in rim and tire sizes going right now for whatever strikes your fancy.

    I have ridden in 7 inches of fresh snow (wet and heavy consistency) with 26x3.8 Surly Nates at 2psi (at room temp). Same depth of dry, old, and grainy snow was a no go because it wouldn't pack.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    4" isn't fat? I'd have to disagree with that. I have been running 4" tires on 80mm wheels since 2010. Now, granted I am not predominantly riding expedition/backcountry stuff and I am 145 lbs geared up. I mostly ride single track stuff around Anchorage with an occasional backcountry trip out of town. I see a lot of folks riding on 5" tires on the groomed trails around Anchorage but this would be overkill for the kind of riding I do. A lot depends on what/where you will be riding, how much you weigh, etc. Bigger is not always better. I would recommend investing in studded tires for winter riding. They have proved to be a very smart investment for me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fisherk View Post
    4" isn't fat? [...] I am 145 lbs geared up.
    Donít underestimate the importance of your geared up weight on floatation.

  10. #10
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    As well as appropriate tire pressure for the conditions (e.g., how much snow and type of snow). In my experience, people tend to run too much tire pressure for the conditions, especially in newer snow/soft conditions. Much like Jayem stated, I have found that around 6" to 7" of new snow will require pre-packing. We use snowshoes to pack in the single track trails. A few dedicated folks tow weighted expedition sleds on the trails to help pack them in. It is a lot of work but well worth it. Dry/loose snow will take more time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fisherk View Post
    4" isn't fat? I'd have to disagree with that. I have been running 4" tires on 80mm wheels since 2010. Now, granted I am not predominantly riding expedition/backcountry stuff and I am 145 lbs geared up. I mostly ride single track stuff around Anchorage with an occasional backcountry trip out of town. I see a lot of folks riding on 5" tires on the groomed trails around Anchorage but this would be overkill for the kind of riding I do. A lot depends on what/where you will be riding, how much you weigh, etc. Bigger is not always better. I would recommend investing in studded tires for winter riding. They have proved to be a very smart investment for me.
    I find bigger is mostly better, take right now on the trails around Anchorage, with the D5s I can air down quite a bit and get a much softer and funner ride than the D4s. I find there's more turning traction and they hook up better on the roots and stuff. Sure, you can ride the D4s and a lot of other stuff, but I've only found advantages to the D5s and no disadvantages. I have D4s, but have never found anything they are really good at. True, at some point it becomes counter-productive turning giant tires that weigh a ton, but again, I haven't found this to be an issue with the D5s, they just work well on everything and the extra volume is nice.

    I just got back from the new Hillside STA trails, but yesterday was riding throughout the Far North park on all the older trails, as well as the day before.
    "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.

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