Please help a brother choose a bulletproof bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Please help a brother choose a bulletproof bike

    So I bought a Gravity Deadeye Monster (singlespeed bikesdirect fatbike) a while back. I've had problems. I am now learning I really want gears so I can ride a lot faster. And the wheels on this thing go flat way too easily. I've already gotten 3 flats. The first time I went on a trail I got a flat. The first time! This never happened on my old Specialized built in the late 90s after riding for years with it.. and the brakes on it leave a lot to be desired.

    What are your guys suggestions on a bike that will be my one and only bike. One that laughs at the idea of flats. Is extremely well made. And super reliable for long distance riding on and off road, through all seasons?

    I cheaped out on this one and have learned my lesson. The Fatboy and Farley caught my eye. But I'm not sure if they would do any better with flats.

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    First rule to preventing flats:
    Don't run over crap that causes flats.

    You can't diagnose a flat problem without knowing why you got the flat in the first place. Was it a puncture? Was it a pinch? Was it a burr on the rim and/or a crappy rim strip? Too many people don't pay attention to what they ride over.

    The first thing I ever did that made a huge difference in how frequently I got flats was to buy decent tires. Don't buy the cheapest rubber you can find, because it won't have much puncture protection. Better quality tires have better puncture protection AND they're lighter AND they use grippier rubber compounds AND they're more compliant. On a fatbike, that's an expensive proposition. But that's the fat tax for you.

    A handful of factors do make fat tires a bit more prone to puncturing despite all the other things you might do to prevent it. And that reason is a big reason why so many folks go through so much work to set up their fatbikes tubeless, even when they don't have tubeless ready rims and tires. I got tubeless ready rims on my fatbike from day one, and after about 19mo of riding it almost 1200mi, I haven't had to repair a flat once. My tire has punctured several times from sticks almost the size of my little finger down to thorns and cactus spines. I took my fatbike for a week of riding in the NV and UT deserts, and had zero flats, despite the fact that both of my tires had at least a dozen cactus spines embedded in them. It's been a damn reliable setup, for sure.

    As for the other things, that's far too subjective. Go find some bikes to ride. Pick the one you like and isn't the cheapest you can find. Spend some time reading and learning about the various components that might come on the bikes you're looking at to get a feeling for their strengths and weaknesses.

  3. #3
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
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    Surly Wednesday would get you tubeless wheels, and a cheap, functional drivetrain, and decent, albeit, basic brakes.

    Also has 27 TPI tires which are fairly burly casings.

    Good platform to jump on the over time upgrade train with.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  4. #4
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    If I were looking for a bullet proof bike, i'd look for a '14+ Mukluk with 27 tpi Nate tires. Add a scoop of stans to each tube and ride it.

  5. #5
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    Harold is right. There is almost zero correlation with flats to price of bike or length of time of ownership. In fact, some extremely expensive bicycles are actually more prone to flats due to their super light weight tires.

    One of my first bicycles when I was but about 12 was not more than $99 and I never got a flat. Ever. Seriously. I rode that bike every day and twice on the weekends. Jumped curbs and ran it everywhere. No flats. For 5 years at least.

    On my road bikes, I run tubular tires. Sew ups some old timers call them. Super light, Super thin and super flat prone. But, I watch where I ride and brush the tires off every time the group stops. It's been 10 years - no flats.

    As Harold pointed out, it's best to diagnose the source of the flats.

    As far as an alternative fat bike with gears, I would suggest the $449 Gravity Bullseye Fat bike or $499 Gravity Bullseye Monster Fat bike. The Monster steps you up to higher grade VeeRubber Tires and 26x4 inch fatbike tires.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I took all your ideas into consideration. I'm really thinking now it is the tire that is problem. Just not puncture resistant enough. I could just replace that with something better and go tubeless as well if needed. Time for more research.

  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    I've never had a wheel go completely flat. A little out of round after some unique impacts.
    "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.

  8. #8
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    I just got a 2017 Farley7 and the first ride I flatted. Couldn't wait until I had taken preventative measures!LOL! As Harold said it is more what we run over. I also have an Origin8 Amarok XLT and have never flatted. Prevention is key. I run Mr Tuffy's in the Amarok and never had a problem between 3lbs to 15lbs of pressure. Am going the tubless route on the Farley. looking to lighten up a bit. BTW: AWESOME bike! Just saying. Go out and get as many rides as you can before buying.
    2013 Cannondale F29 1 Alloy
    2013 Cervelo S5 Rival
    2012 Trek X01 crosser
    2017 Trek Farley 7
    2017Trek Domane SLR 6

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishboy316 View Post
    BTW: AWESOME bike! Just saying. Go out and get as many rides as you can before buying.
    Yeah on many rides. My wife and I delayed the gratification but ended up very happy and I really appreciated trying lots of competitive products. Also yeah on the Farleys being awesome. We ended up with a newer one having had a model 8.

    As far as direct purchases, the Vinson and Argus from Mongoose have quite a few I know happy. Their staff also does a lot of trail work near their headquarters where I see they really do a lot to have a decent bike and customer service at low cost. The next Argus is out there in photos - black - and looks nice. Current ones have been at low prices on web.

    Get one of these:

    Bicycle Gauges | Accu-Gage by G.H. Meiser

    If you search Amazon and eBay a shop named "Trail This" will always or nearly always have them. They happen to be a local shop too. They're credible people who contribute to the MTB community in their back yard. That gauge lets you know exactly what your pressure is and tune tire setup fast.

    I have associates who do tubeless or tubes with slime who still get flats and I believe they don't have enough air for circumstances or really have air pressure where they think it is.

    One thing I do to help guess the right pressure for non-snow riding is watch the tire and rim when I press it into a curb and 2x4. I think "Will this give me a pinch flat or hit the rim?".

  10. #10
    since 4/10/2009
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    Yes to the accu-gage. Cheapest way to ensure that you start your ride with good air pressure.

    I use the 30psi version for all of the mtb's in my stable, though the 15psi one gives you a bit more precision if you're only doing fatties.

  11. #11
    Human Test Subject
    Reputation: Volsung's Avatar
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    To get truly bulletproof you're gonna want to spend at least more on your bike than I spent on my rear Onyx hub.

  12. #12
    Professional Crastinator
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    I think frame-wise, a lot of the lower- to mid-range frames are overbuilt, whether aluminum or steel. Surly probably slightly overbuilds their frames as well. In your case, though, $$ spent on a tubeless set-up is probably going to give you the best ROI.

    btw - when someone describes a bike as "bullet proof" I take that to mean a completely over-built bike using mostly heavy/strong components prioritizing durability with little regard for weight savings. If you just want gears, better brakes, and no flats, just buy the next bike up and find out how to set it up tubeless.

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

  13. #13
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
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    How has no one mentioned going tubeless in this thread? (mendon sorta did).

    Since going tubeless in like 2010, I think I've had one flat and that was because I had way too little pressure in my rear tire and pulled it off the rim on a berm.
    I've NEVER had a flat on a fat tire in over three years.
    I like turtles

  14. #14
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    If you really want Bullet Proof, you're gonna be building. Steel frames get a lot of love because they're the real thing. I'd build wheels using King hubs, XT ders, XT or BB7 Brakes. Spend some money on a good Bottom bracket too. Tubeless is great, but you'll need to learn them.

  15. #15
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    Love all the posts guys. The more ideas the better, for the future.

    Update: so I tuned my bike, brakes aligned, tires pumped perfectly. In short.... I love this bike. I was just being a whiner earlier. It's the really the best bike I've ever rode. Big tires and single speed are so sweet. Really, this bike is a killer value and a great performer when tuned.

    The one thing that is true is the stock Vee Mission tires are thin. I could see why tiny punctures through the tire and tube happened easily. It's a great tire for rode use. I'll stick to roads for a while and soon try some slime in my tubes and go off road (never used slime before).

    Eventually will swap the tires for something thicker/stronger/puncture-resistant.

    Thanks again everyone. This is an awesome forum.

  16. #16
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
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    And go tubeless... Sheesh.
    I like turtles

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