Snow Demo! Ti 9:Zero:7, Alu 9:Zero:7, Ti Fatback, and Wildfire compared.- Mtbr.com
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Snow Demo! Ti 9:Zero:7, Alu 9:Zero:7, Ti Fatback, and Wildfire compared.

    Introduction
    I was recently in Anchorage, Alaska on two separate trips and had a chance to go on daily rides on a selection of fatbikes. The bikes included EndoRando’s personal Ti 907, his personal Wildfire, a loaner Alu 907, and a loaner Ti Fatback. We had daylight rides and night rides in a variety of snow conditions including fast hardpack, packed powder over hardpack, and in a couple of inches of freshly fallen fluff. The trails were a mix of inter-urban greenbelt routes, groomed multiuse/ski trails, and plenty of narrow winding singletrack through the forest and muskeg. One thing I never saw was dirt. Just snow, and lots of it. The bikes had varying cockpit layouts, though most were similar enough to get comfortable when swapping bikes. Most had roughly similar wheel setups (70-80 mm rims with Endomorph tires) with the one exception being the Alu 907 that had 100mm rims and Spyder tires. What follows are my impressions of the bikes. I will spend the most time describing the bikes I rode the most; the Ti 907 and the Ti Fatback (with about 6 rides each). I had 1 ride on the Wildfire and 2 rides on the Alu 907. I spent about 12 hours total spread across the 4 bikes. I did a few solo rides when I (obviously) only took one bike out, but most rides were with EndoRando, and some other folks joined us on various outings. Rando and I are the same height, almost the exact same inseam, and both ride Time pedals so we could swap bikes instantly on the fly and do same-day, same-trail comparisons. I will break my thoughts down into a number of categories covering what I think are the most important design and performance aspects for snowbikes. I own a Pugsley set up with Large Marge rims and a Maverick SC32, and while I have a lot of miles on it on sand and snow, I probably won’t mention it much since I didn’t have it along for minute-to-minute comparisons with the other bikes. These things are best done with the experience fresh in your mind. I should also mention that the Wildfire was an older model with the 83mm BB shell, so I don’t know how directly it compares with the current offerings from Wildfire, but it was a very nice riding bike regardless of age. I also went by Speedway and begged them repeatedly for an Aluminum Fatback, but none were to be had. Alas. Anyway, on with the show...

    The bikes (this is a gif showing each frame for 3 seconds, it loops):



    Geometry/Handling
    With the quality of the ride it offered, the Fatback Ti wins this category, no contest. It offers the best acceleration, it’s the easiest to maintain speed on, and it offers neutral and balanced handling in all conditions, not to mention its great climbing and descending characteristics. When swapping between models, both Rando and I would come back to the Fatback and always feel the most at home on it, and we both remarked that “it felt like a Turner” (which is high praise coming from a pair of Homers). The Ti 907 was a real handful with the original Black Sheep fork installed, which was a real surprise given how similar the published geometry numbers were to the Fatback (Ti 907: 70.0 deg HA, Ti Fatback: 69.5 deg HA). The Ti 907 was demanding and twitchy in the steering department, and even when given close and concentrated attention it was still hard to keep on really narrow packed trails. I thought the fast handling would be a benefit on climbs or on slow dicey technical sections, but it just seemed to result in oversteering. The difference between the two bikes was immediately apparent when Rando and I swapped back and forth during a couple of rides, exchanging bikes every 15-20 minutes. Rando was already used to his Ti 907 and had it dialed in for himself, and yet he preferred the handling of the Fatback. We swapped out the stock 450 mm A-C Black Sheep fork for a taller fork on his Ti 907, and this helped the steering and front-end behavior quite a bit. It tamed the overly-fast handling and made the bike feel long and stable. It went from feeling nervous to being a pleasure to motor on the flats. It should be noted that Rando’s fork had a 135 mm front hub spacing which was different than two fellow riders who ordered their frames at the same time (they both got 100 mm spaced forks) and they did not report the same handling issues, so there may be something whack with Rando’s stock fork. Fork rake and offset will affect trail, and I don't know how these values compared. Though the handling on the Ti 907 improved a lot with the taller fork, the Fatback still had a slight edge in most categories. The Fatback still offered a more lively and spirited ride, possibly due to the shorter wheelbase and lighter weight (about 2 pounds less than the Ti 907 with our builds, see below) but it also still had more natural, neutral, and intuitive trail manners. Rando, the owner of the Ti 907, seemed to broadly agree on all these points though he wanted to find some more narrow singletrack with climbs to make a final determination. I thought the Fatback reacted better to small weight shifts to coax traction or flotation from uncooperative snow surfaces, and I found it generally made riding easier and more fun.

    The Alu 907 was a very nice handling bike. It offered a lot positive ride characteristics though it seemed to lack the refined material feel of both the Ti bikes. There may be a placebo effect working here if I think I can feel the Ti’s characteristics when floating along on 4 inch tires inflated to under 10 psi and riding over soft surfaces. Especially since the Alu 907 had very different wheels (100mm rims, Spyder tires) than the Ti bikes (70-80mm rims, Endomorph tires). The Alu 907 also had considerably less expensive components, which can affect the overall perception of the bike. We never got a chance to trade out the 100mm rims on the Alu 907 for something lighter and narrower for a more direct comparison to the other frames, but we were still plenty happy with the bike’s handling even with the hefty hoops. The Alu 907’s head angle seemed just about right (despite the published numbers matching the geo of the Ti 907 just about down to the last measurement) and overall it offered a solid, capable, fun and forgiving ride. If I were a budget-minded buyer in the market right now, among the bikes we rode I would not hesitate to grab one of these. I really liked a lot of the design aspects of the Alu 907 over my current Pugsley like the vertical rear dropouts, corrosion-proof frame material, and the nice ano finish. This one is a winner.

    The Wildfire also rode very nicely and had a similar feel to the Alu 907 and kept pace beautifully with the Ti 907 but had a slightly more neutral and stable steering manner than the Ti 907 (with the stock Black Sheep fork). With the taller fork, the Ti 907 had a longer, and more stretched out ride feeling (think ‘stable wheelbase’) than either the Alu 907 or the Wildfire but otherwise steered similarly well. Once we got the forks sorted out, there really wasn’t a bad bike in the bunch, and despite the Wildfire being one of Mark’s older creations, it did not feel at all long in the tooth and had every bit as much to offer in terms of ride quality and handling prowess as the newer brands on the scene.

    Standover
    I have never been particularly stuck on the issue of standover, but if you find yourself on a barely rideable trail of powder or punchy crust, and you end up dabbing repeatedly and having to remount every 20 or 50 feet, you will come to appreciate generous standover in a big way. We rode some trails with a packed tread area about two or three tire-widths wide, and with marginal traction. We weaved off the packed tread into the fluff over and over again necessitating unclipping, getting straightened out, and pedal-kicking to get back into the saddle. The snow just outside the trail tread was deep and soft, so when you unclipped and your foot landed off the side of the trail it sank in a couple of inches below the packed trail tread where the bike stood. In these conditions, the amount of standover available becomes painfully (pun intended) obvious.

    Standover can be helped or hurt by where the cables are routed on the top tube, with most builders opting to run them on top of the top tube. I have to admit that I fail to see the reason why this is so popular. Perhaps it is so you can carry the bike without the cables digging into your shoulder, a la a cyclocross carry, but most folks who dismount due to snow conditions tend to push their fatbikes, not carry them long distances. I also thought it may be due to interference with front triangle frame bags, but in my opinion running the cables under the top tube makes more sense even in this scenario. In any case, how the cables are routed coupled with how low the top tube sits can make all the difference in soft conditions. All the bikes with the less-than-generous standover (which was most of them) had me resting on the top tube with every stop, and I don’t exactly have short legs. The Fatback, however, was the lone bike that never was in the way, and with the cables routed under the top tube I never felt like I was being threatened with a zip-tie vasectomy (though the cable guide braze-ons on the Fatback do have some frighteningly sharp edges). The Ti Fatback appears to use a short seat tube with a long top tube in its sizing scheme, so while I normally would want a size large frame (~24” top tube), the medium Fatback with its 23.8” was perfect. Even Rando, coming off his large 907 seemed happy on the medium Fatback. The exposed length of seatpost was the only concern.

    Most of the snow bikes use pretty tall head tubes giving a nice, upright position without resorting to a million stem spacers (the older Wildfire was the exception, but it also seemed to have a taller fork axle to crown so the result was the same). To support the tall head tube most bikes weld the top tube pretty high on the head tube, which further reduces the standover clearance. The Fatback attaches well below the top of the head tube, which looks pretty weird in my opinion, but gives the bike another ~1 inch of clearance. All the models aside from the Fatback had similar to top tube heights and cable routing. If those other bikes did something to lower their top tubes and get the cables down and out of the way it sure would be nice. I think the swooping top tube on the Faback is pretty ugly, but I fully agree with the functional intent of the design. In order of standover clearance (from best to worst) were the Fatback Ti followed by the Alu 907, then the Ti 907, and last was the Wildfire. For a very rough comparison of the frame layouts, refer back to the animated gif image at the beginning of this post.

    Climbing Performance
    This was so dependent on tire pressure, gear choice, rider skill and whether the rider was feeling spunky or not, it is hard to compare bikes without taking a digital tire pressure gauge and psychiatrist along and doing repeated runs up a slope. I will say that all the bikes did very nicely in this category, but I would also say the longer chainstays on the Ti 907 did seem to keep the front end of the bike down when there was enough traction to scurry up a really steep incline. You can keep your weight on the nose of the saddle and not have spend as much energy finding that sweet spot between having the front wheel pop up or losing traction in the back. Overall, all the bikes exhibited good climbing performance though the lighter weight of the Ti Fatback may have been one of the reasons why it seemed to climb with a smidge more ease.

    As long as we are on the subject of weights, here are the complete bikes we rode and frame weights (thanks, Rando & IPA Rider):
    • FatBack 28.9 lbs (~3.5 lbs frame for 18")
    • Ti 907 30.4 lbs (~3.3 lbs for 17" frame)
    • WildFire 31.6 lbs (~4.6 lbs frame for 19")
    • Al 907 (without pedals) 35.8 lbs (~3.7 lbs frame for 19")
    • Pugsley *Not Demoed* (~5.7 lbs frame for 18")


    The 100 mm rims on the Alu 907 let us run very low pressure with scant casing deflection and the big contact patch and cushy ride made motoring over chop or up hills pretty darn nice, despite the extra weight. Again, the Alu 907 felt different than the Ti 907 despite the geometries nominally matching and the stock forks having the same A-C measurement. This may have been due to the gyroscopic effect from the Alu 907’s considerably heavier wheels. A note on the 100mm rims- at any given time, they only seemed a little slower and heavier than their lighter/narrower counterparts, but there seemed to be a cumulative effect where after a while the added weight wore the rider down. In tempo sections with quick ups and downs or with repeated accelerations like when slogging through snow that shifts under the tire tread, these rims do slowly sap your strength.

    Frame-Tire Clearance
    Both the Ti frames definitely had the advantage here, with the Ti 907 coming out on top. I am hopeful that in the future someone might offer a ~4.5” tire, and I personally would like the option of running 100 mm rims. Both the Ti 907 and Ti Fatback had ample room between the tire sidewall and the stays to accommodate the largest current common tire/rim combo (100mm/Endomorph) and possibly even have a bit of room for the tire to grow. The Alu 907 was awfully tight when shod with the 100mm rims and the Spider tires. Where the tire passed through the chainstays I could see the ano was getting polished, and while riding and watching the wheel flex there was scant daylight between the sidewall and chainstay at times. If you weren’t planning on running a 100 mm rim in back however, then this would not be a concern and the Alu 907 offers plenty of clearance with the more standard 65-80mm rims, and is certainly comparable to the Wildfire and Pugsley in terms of clearance. It’s true that 100mm rims are pretty extreme at this point, and they are heavy enough most folks would not want to run them unless the conditions really demanded them. But I would not be surprised if in the future someone came out with a heavily drilled single wall rim wider than the current 70-80 mm offerings that would open the ~100 mm rim class up to mere mortals. The Wildfire offered plenty of frame-tire clearance with the 70 mm rims mounted up and would certainly take 80’s with aplomb.

    Here are the widths in millimeters at the point where the widest part of the tire casing passes through the stays (chain stay / seat stay):
    • Ti 907: 121 / 125
    • Ti Fatback: 119 / 122
    • Alu 907: 111 / 111
    • Wildfire: 111 / 116
    • Pugsley: 112 / 115


    Drivetrain-Tire Clearance, and Chainline
    This design aspect can be just as important as the frame/tire clearance, depending on what rims you want to run. You can’t run a big tire/rim combo just because the frame allows it if the chain doesn’t also clear the tire. Some bikes address this possible chain-tire interference by running an offset rear triangle (like the Alu 907, Wildfire, and Pugsley) or use a widely spaced, symmetrical rear end (like the Ti 907 and Ti Fatback). All the offset rear triangles should be roughly similar in this regard because they all use the same offset strategy: a 135 mm hub shifted 17.5 mm to the drive side, giving a driveline that approximates a 170 mm rear axle spacing. The only bike we rode with 100 mm rims was the Alu 907, and I have to say the drivetrain clearance was really quite impressive. Even in the 22t granny/32t cassette combo (and this was with a full 9-speed cassette), there was a solid 3 mm clearance between the tire and the chain. The Alu 907 equals no drivetrain worries, though at times there was some tire-frame contact as mentioned above. The other offset bikes should theoretically offer similar chain-tire clearance, but without mounting a 100 mm rim on them I cannot state this as a fact. All the rear offset bikes (the Alu 907, Wildfire, and also the Pugsley) have very respectable chainlines with the middle chainring lining up nominally with the middle cog of the cassette. You could run into some small deviations from this depending on your choice of cranks and bottom brackets, but the offset rear triangles seem like a very good strategy for getting a desirable chainline and have the added (and not inconsiderable) bonus of allowing you to run any standard rear disc hub. Very, very nice.

    I have to say the chainline on Rando’s Ti 907 is not a very pretty sight. If someone wants a long-winded technical explanation I can post one, but suffice it to say the combination of the poorly spaced King rear hub (King’s fault) and the slightly narrow rear dropout spacing on the Ti 907 (relative to the slightly wider Fatback) results in a less than optimal chainline. I often like to climb in the middle chainring and the largest rear cog, and the cross-chaining on the Ti 907 in this gear was pretty extreme despite the fact that Rando had dropped the smallest cog on his cassette, spaced the cassette out, and so is only running 8 gears. Basically, the middle chainring lines up with the second to last (smallest) cassette cog. This misalignment would be corrected by about one cog spacing by running a Hadley 160 mm rear hub. On the Ti Fatback (with a Hadley rear hub), the middle chainring lined up exactly with the center of the cassette (which had 9 cogs). I’m not sure if Speedway’s custom Fifteen G cranks were helping out in some way, but the chainline was perfect. We did not put a 100mm rim on the Fatback so I can’t comment on how that bike’s chain would clear the tire, but I did check out a Ti 907 with 100mm rims and a full 9 speed cassette, and when I shifted it into the lowest gear the chain had to bend around the tire significantly to travel from the cassette to the chainrings (this was with a Hadley hub and RaceFace Atlas cranks). I personally feel the rear end of the Ti 907 had the most room for improvement out of all the bikes we rode.

    As a thumbnail reference, here are the drivetrain specs by the numbers:
    • Ti 907: BB width- 100 mm, rear dropout spacing- 160 mm symmetrical
    • Ti Fatback: BB width- 100 mm, rear dropout spacing- 165 mm symmetrical
    • Alu 907: BB width- 100 mm, rear dropout spacing- 135 mm with 17.5 mm driveside offset
    • Wildfire: BB width- 83 mm**, rear dropout spacing- 135 mm with 17.5 mm driveside offset
    • Pugsley: BB width- 100 mm, rear dropout spacing- 135 mm with 17.5 mm driveside offset

    ** Note that this is an older bike and the current Wildfires run the 'standard' 100 mm BBs now.

    Aesthetics
    Ok, I know this is personal and subjective, but I don’t tend to hold back on my opinions so why stop now? The Ti 907 nailed the other bikes’ nipples to the wall and stole their girlfriends in this department, no question. It is simply an incredibly beautiful bike in every way. The Ti tubing is HUGE, the welds perfect, and the proportions endlessly attractive. On the other end of the spectrum (in my opinion, anyway) was the Ti Fatback. I have to be honest here and say I think the Lynskey signature design features (curved and lowered top tube, and helical downtube) are sort of ugly and look a bit gimmicky. I don’t doubt they offer real performance benefits (actually I know the curved top tube provides a benefit by the standover clearance being nothing short of amazing) but the look just rubs me the wrong way. It looks like someone forgot it was on the roof rack when they tried to pull into the garage. 'Nuff said. Otherwise the brushed Ti on both bikes is beautiful, and both have nice welds, machining, and detail work. I am going to reserve judgment on the Alu 907 we rode since someone obviously made it as hideous as possible in order to be able to recognize it from low earth orbit. I can only assume that someone who is not colorblind building one of these would come up with nicer looking results. Anyway, the ano was durable and beautiful, I liked the gussets in key spots, the welds were uniform and thick, and overall the construction seemed top-notch. The Wildfire was a very pretty bike with a custom iridescent metal-flake purplish color and I especially liked the crazy fat fork legs that balanced nicely with big tires (though 100 mm front hub spacing needs to be banned on fatbikes- getting a big rim and tire out past the brake caliper sucks!).

    Ginormous props to EndoRando for playing trail guide, wrench, chauffeur, and all around riding bud for the demo. Also a HUGE thanks to Chain Reaction Cycles and Speedway Cycles for letting us take their babies out and beat them.

    Manufacturer websites for specs, geometry, and pricing info:


    Some more shots of each bike (thanks, Rando):

    Alu 907:





    Ti 907:





    Fatback Ti:





    Wildfire:



    Last edited by tscheezy; 01-16-2010 at 11:48 AM.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  2. #2
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    Coming next: videos and more pics.

    Alu 907:
    <object width="640" height="505"><param name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/Fwz4FwDFbKs&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/Fwz4FwDFbKs&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="505"></embed></object>

    Ti 907:
    <object width="640" height="505"><param name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/7vPTKJoIZTw&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/7vPTKJoIZTw&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="505"></embed></object>

    Ti Fatback:
    <object width="640" height="505"><param name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/F5z5paMheiM&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/F5z5paMheiM&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="505"></embed></object>

    My apologies but the only times we rode the Wildfire was in the dark, so no video of that.

    Random images from the demo:



















































    Last edited by tscheezy; 12-25-2009 at 04:48 PM.
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    this is epic. no one has done this before it deserves to be a sticky. you sir are a true pioneer.

    i agree with your assessment on the fatback geometry and handling. i was amazed that i was able to ride one handed on fresh snow while filming a vid. the Mav fork helps, but it is way stable.
    Last edited by bighit; 12-24-2009 at 05:42 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Curious question!

    Is it tough riding in the snow with a fatty?

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    props

    Really nice work, and I'm totally jealous of the chance to do the comparison riding. Throw in some more specs on each model and I think it could be a sticky.

    So how did the bare hydration tube work in the cold?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks
    Is it tough riding in the snow with a fatty?
    That depends on the snow conditions. It can range from road-bike-like to absolutely impossible. Generally I would call it a total hoot and worth any added effort if you have some semblance of a trail already established.

    Quote Originally Posted by IPA Rider
    Throw in some more specs on each model and I think it could be a sticky.

    So how did the bare hydration tube work in the cold?
    Geometry? Component list?

    I think the tube was left over from the summer and froze before the garage door was done opening.
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  7. #7
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    Bueno!

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    Specs

    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    That depends on the snow conditions. It can range from road-bike-like to absolutely impossible. Generally I would call it a total hoot and worth any added effort if you have some semblance of a trail already established.


    Geometry? Component list?

    I think the tube was left over from the summer and froze before the garage door was done opening.
    Specs and such: Geometry, weights, BB and hub spacing, fork options, materials, and prices (kind of like I tried to do here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=502625)


    I've tried the hydration bladder in winter for backcountry skiing a bunch and even with insulated sleeves and shoulder straps (and using the tip of being sure to blow into the tube to clear the water out between drinks), it still freezes up - not worth it IMO.

  9. #9
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    Put your hydration pack under at least your outer layer of clothing and blow the water back into the bladder after drinking. Most of the guys at the front of the ITI seem to run hydration packs the whole way. If they were freezing up on them constantly, I don't think they would use em.


    Great review Tscheezy. Rando's 907 is indeed a very well put together bike and looks good. I think the Fatback might look alittle better with less spacers and more rise in the stem, but that still wouldn't address your issues with it's appearance. Definitely need to get a modern wildfire in there, and the alu fatback for more comparison. Next trip in will have to be a pug, al fatback and current wildfire.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by IPA Rider
    Specs and such: Geometry, weights, BB and hub spacing, fork options, materials, and prices...
    OK, good points. I sprinkled some more info into the writeup where it seemed appropriate and then provided links if folks want more info.
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    Ts...

    What was your impression of the front gen hub / light on the ArcticCycles 907?
    -note- I run one, just wondering your thoughts...
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

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    hydration

    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    Put your hydration pack under at least your outer layer of clothing and blow the water back into the bladder after drinking.
    but that seems smart


    I can't fit my ski pack under a layer, but a minimal hydration sleeve I can do...

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    Sick thread

    I just scanned the post so far, damn good, great pics, envy, lots of envy, nice work!!!

  14. #14
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    Holy treatise, P!

    Thanks to all involved for taking the time to test, and share.

    I'm not in the market for a new phatty but I get frequent 'whaddya think' questions from many of those that are. Your detailed review mostly confirmed/clarified the way I feel about each. More importantly, instead of waxing philosophic I can just send them to this link to draw their own conclusions.

    Cheers,

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by damnitman
    What was your impression of the front gen hub / light on the ArcticCycles 907?
    I thought it was a very cool concept and worked well in many regards, though there are a few things I would want to change before committing to one myself. First, I think the hub should act as a generator to charge a battery that would act as an energy reservoir or have more capacitors to regulate the light output. This would make the amount of light output independent from the bike's speed, would allow the light to stay lit (for longer) when you stop, and would eliminate the strobe effect. At slow speeds the light could run off battery, and above a certain speed the hub would recharge the battery and power the light. A direct light-hub connection could be made in emergencies like extended very slow speed riding, I suppose. The battery would add weight and complication, but my MagicShine battery is tiny and light and hardly a burden and can power a light for many hours. My only complaints about the light were the stroboscopic effect at slow speeds and how dim the light was unless you were going a fair clip. I also don't like that you are limited to a 100mm front hub spacing. For a wilderness epic with no chance of recharging your light, it is a fantastic product. For fair weather townie riders I guess I don't see the point. I was impressed that the amount of effort required to turn the hub was basically vanishingly small.
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    Great write up Tscheezy. Having ridden 3 different 907s (1 ti, 2 alu), and 2 ti Fatbacks (including the one I own) a few Pugs and 1 Wildfire (old) I concur with Tscheezy's geo and handling assessment. Of these the 907s are my least favorite to ride due to strange handling - just a handful to keep on top of going down the trail - while the others seem more docile and natural to ride. Hopefully the handling can be improved on the alu 907s with a simple fork swap ala Endorando. That said, all fat bikes are a hoot to ride (!!) and no matter what you get you will be able to dial in the fit and get used to the handling and have lots of fun.

    As far as the helix down tube on the Fatback, it does seem to make the frame stiffer at least on the 29" bikes - the difference between the Ridgeline and Pro29 is very distinct, presumably due to the down tube since that is the main difference between the two of them. At any rate, the new Fatback's don't flex much.

    Regarding traction, the 907 seemed to wash out in corners more easily than the other bikes, but that could have been a few different things including tire pressure, but it seemed like a function of geo at the time.

    At any rate, we are lucky to have so many great options to choose from now - and you really can't go wrong with any of the choices.

    As always, if you can, ride a few different bikes before you buy, preferably side by side, and see what you like. But if you don't have that option take Tscheezy's review to heart.

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    Well done...

    This is a fair and balanced assessment from someone who really knows and understands bikes (read his reviews from Interbike), and I feel very fortunate to have received feedback. We like hearing the good stuff, but we're not afraid of hearing the constructive criticism either. You work will be thoughtfully put to good use.

    In regards to the 9:ZERO:7 Ti, we have moved the platform to a 17.5mm offset (as of the last ordered batch). In fact, we have built up four of the new bikes, and the offset addresses the issues you brought up regarding chain line, though the Hadley hub makes a huge difference in the 160mm-spaced design.
    Last edited by bflemin; 12-24-2009 at 05:46 PM.

  18. #18
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    slightly off topic, but lynskey seems to be pretty confident of their new tube sets. http://lynskeyperformance.com/morespeed/ . i have to give these guys major props for innovation. and cudos to speedway for using them as their builder. also note worthy..........i am biased against litespeed/ABC due to personal negative experiences with them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Snow Demo! Ti 9:Zero:7, Alu 9:Zero:7, Ti Fatback, and Wildfire compared.-profile.jpg  

    Last edited by ak greeff; 12-24-2009 at 06:02 PM.
    litespeed's break

  19. #19
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    Thanks, Bill. I know it can be a nerve wracking thing letting a stranger take your personal creation out and evaluate it in public with a critical eye, as we did. You guys have a totally infectious enthusiasm for the sport and it shows in all aspects of your operation. Kudos to you and your crew.
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  20. #20
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    after another 2 hours on my fatback i am amazed at how stable the rear end is. when i rode a pug i would feel something up front then a few seconds later i would feel the rear sway. i think it has a lot to do with the non-offset wheel. i also have never felt so at home so quick on a new bike ever.

    there is two classes of fat bikes emerging.

    entry level sub $1,000. framesets
    pugsly
    Alu 9 zero 7
    Alu fatback
    Alu wildfire

    Ti super bikes$1,500. and up.
    Fatback
    9 zero 7
    2013 mongoose Fat bike
    2012 Moonlander.

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  21. #21
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    Amazing looking bikes and a great write up indeed. Thanks to all who played for our knowledge and enjoyment.
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  22. #22
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    Thanks for all the hard work and great photos tscheezy. Well done. Just wanted to add that the Fatback used in the test (I was not aware of a test, as I'm sure no one else was either-it was just a loaner bike) was straight off the showroom floor with a full length steer tube-we don't cut anything off until the bike is sold, thus all the spacers.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  23. #23
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    Big thanks and credit to you too, Greg. Everyone was very generous in sharing their toys, I must say. I did not exactly intend to do a mega thread on this topic, but near the end Rando pointed out what a unique position we were in to consider doing a shootout and I guess it just snowballed from there.

    Ok, I'm off to pay more attention to the lamb and potatoes...
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  24. #24
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    I just wanted to pass along much deserved gratitude to both Greg at Speedway and Bill at Chain Reaction. Both were open to providing us with an opportunity to ride what's proving to be a couple of the most popular and best designed models of fatbikes made. Major props to both for their initiative in pursuing their design ideas and with their creativity making Anchorage an epicenter for this genre. As a result, we're riding world class machines.

    As I reflect, there was never an original intent to perform any formal premeditated head to head testing and produce any rankings. ts and I just wanted to ride examples of the offerings and garner some personal impressions, after all he was in the market for a new frame. But the situation did present itself as an opportunity, I know I was prodded to pen my thoughts by fatbike riding buds because we were in a situation unique to most. So after days of swapping back and forth on snow, taking photos and videos, and genuinely enjoying our riding more than treating our outings as having any specific purpose, we did glean a number of opinions. Those experiences deserved to be captured, and who better to record them than ts. He's a veteran of these types of write-ups from his days of saddle time at Dirt Demo Days during Interbike. He did an admirable job of crafting and articulating the above.

    In my less technical hindsight, I'd venture to say there's no loser in the bunch, they're all grin inducing and would take you anywhere. Sure there's slight differences between the model's materials, designs, geometries, clearances, and some things a person may even consider advances here and there, but there's really not a bad one in the lot. Add your favorite kit to the frame that calls out to you and use it in good health. I've ridden shoulder to shoulder with them all over the past few years and never heard a complaint about what's under the saddle. We had a ton of fun on all of them, you could too.

    Thanks again to Greg and Bill, Happy Holidays to all, may you enjoy miles of fat tired trails, Rando
    Deceleration Trauma is my middle name

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    Awesome guys!! And I agree, this should continue on as a sticky! So what about the Vicious Cycles Thunderwing? Don't hear much about that one anymore. Would love to see a comparison like this on the Oregon Dunes. tough to put together... I would certainly help organize the camping if anyone was interested. Putting cams on every rider would make for some awesome footage too! Just recieved my Tachyon Micro...haven't tested it yet but very simple, affordable and very waterproof!

    Merry Christmas everyone,
    and Happy New Year!
    see you in '10
    -Ward

  26. #26
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    Wildfire wheel questions

    Questions on the rims used on the Wildfire, can someone give me more info on those? Are those the ones I've read somewhere that can spread a Large Marge to a width similar to an 80MM rim? I'm curious to see the tire clearance if you have any pics. Also curious to know how much lighter from Large Marge rims with those drilled out as shown. Do they make the bike significantly slower/faster/no difference compared to Surly LM rims?

    Thanks!

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    great write up and pictures. really enjoyed it, THANK YOU!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Big thanks and credit to you too, Greg. Everyone was very generous in sharing their toys, I must say. I did not exactly intend to do a mega thread on this topic, but near the end Rando pointed out what a unique position we were in to consider doing a shootout and I guess it just snowballed from there.

    Ok, I'm off to pay more attention to the lamb and potatoes...
    you stepped right in to it with this thread. all i can muster for a review is, old bike bad new bike good.

    i also think i broke my hand. i fell on a stream crossing. second ride out.
    2013 mongoose Fat bike
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  29. #29
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    TS,

    Awful write up, became progressively despondent to the point of deep depression towards the end.....couldn't quite put my finger on the reason......then was hit with the realisation of a critical component that was missing....ME... ...next time you do a write up like this, bloody ring me, B%$stads.....even though I've never ridden in snow, and live at least 13000 KM away, who cares....

    PS Really enjoyed the read, well done to all of you...

    Al

  30. #30
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    Excellent write up. I appreciate all the work that went into sharing this with everyone. Cheers!

    A thought on the handling issues: Axle to crown and head angles were compared, but I think it would be a more complete comparison sometime if offsets were added to the equations. Obviously, when speaking of the differences you allude to, you are speaking about the effects of trail on the handling. (Geometric "trail", not terra firma! ) It could be that the Black Sheep fork in question had more offset, for example, which may have contributed to your sensations of twitchiness.

    I found this to be very informative and fun to read.

    Thanks again guys and everyone that was involved deserves lots of praise for this.
    Riden' an Smilin'
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  31. #31
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Axle to crown and head angles were compared, but I think it would be a more complete comparison sometime if offsets were added to the equations.
    Excellent points, and while we discussed it (verbally and via email) I didn't want to clutter the already verbose and wandering narrative too much. It does seem like there was more going on with the forks than a ~3/4" change in A-C would account for. That would get you a 1/2 degree change in head angle at best, hardly transformative. An analysis of trail would have been in order, but that's outside the scope of my job duties. I added a short sentence to hint at the issue above.

    Glad you guys liked the reviews. It was fun studying up for them.
    Last edited by tscheezy; 12-26-2009 at 12:32 PM.
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  32. #32
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    Nice work Tscheezy.
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    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Balogh
    Questions on the rims used on the Wildfire, can someone give me more info on those? Are those the ones I've read somewhere that can spread a Large Marge to a width similar to an 80MM rim? I'm curious to see the tire clearance if you have any pics. Also curious to know how much lighter from Large Marge rims with those drilled out as shown. Do they make the bike significantly slower/faster/no difference compared to Surly LM rims?
    Steve, the rims you see on the WildFire are version one of Speedway's Uma 70mm fatbike offering. There's a version two now, with a beadlock feature, and larger drilled out holes. The Large Marge rims came in at around 1050 grams, and the new Uma rims are weighing at 860.

    I have the same tires mounted on 70 and 80mm rims. You'd think that the additional 10mm rim width would equate to a similar increase in tire width, but not so by my measurements. On the 70's, at low riding pressures, an Endomorph measures right at 91mm wide. On my 80mm wide Fat Sheba's, 96mm. The Umas are definitely a lighter and wider alternative to the LM's.

    Any decrease in rotating weight will be advantageous on longer rides if you're concerned about speed. Yes, you could call it significant if you call your distances significant. Contact Greg at Speedway if these catch your eye. I've not necessarily noticed them feeling faster, but have noticed the additional tire width gained allows more riding in marginal conditions.

    Here's a couple of shots showing the WildFire clearance, but keep in mind I've had this frame almost four years now, and newer versions have changed some, most likely to offer even better clearance.



    Deceleration Trauma is my middle name

  34. #34
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    Wildfire

    Thanks Rando! My Wildfire is now two years old, and has a 100MM BB shell. If you got those to fit an 83MM, should work, however I did read about the new rim version. Waiting for the Larry tire to arrive before I do anymore with wheel selection. I manage to find some sand here in Michigan than will bog me down as expected, but most of that is from no rear traction. I know this now because I recently picked up an almost fresh set of Nokian 3.0 Gazza's, which I only use on the rear and I do not get bogged down as much. Bad thing is the weight that tire adds. If a Larry doesn't quite do what I need, then the 70MM rim I'm thinking is the best way to maximize the performance of my Fatbike.

    What sucks is the lack of snow right now, I have not been able to evaluate what the Gazza does in snow. I've been stuck riding studs the last few weeks, seen plenty of ice an thin snow.

  35. #35
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    I run both Endos and Gazzis on my 80mm Remolinos and there is really not much floatation difference on snomobile trails. The Gazzi does not wash out as much on the front but the total of two Gazzis add about 4 lbs over the Endos.
    Everybody dies, but not everyone lives

  36. #36
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    [QUOTE=EndoRando]Steve, the rims you see on the WildFire are version one of Speedway's Uma 70mm fatbike offering. There's a version two now, with a beadlock feature, and larger drilled out holes. The Large Marge rims came in at around 1050 grams, and the new Uma rims are weighing at 860.

    I have the same tires mounted on 70 and 80mm rims. You'd think that the additional 10mm rim width would equate to a similar increase in tire width, but not so by my measurements. On the 70's, at low riding pressures, an Endomorph measures right at 91mm wide. On my 80mm wide Fat Sheba's, 96mm. The Umas are definitely a lighter and wider alternative to the LM's.

    Any decrease in rotating weight will be advantageous on longer rides if you're concerned about speed. Yes, you could call it significant if you call your distances significant. Contact Greg at Speedway if these catch your eye. I've not necessarily noticed them feeling faster, but have noticed the additional tire width gained allows more riding in marginal conditions.

    Hey Endo,

    I've been getting 94 to 95mm out of all the Endo/70mm rim combos, even the old style. Bring the Wildfire by if you have a chance, I'd like to take a look. Tire sizes can vary a little, as well as weight, so maybe that's part of what's going on.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  37. #37
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    Fine job Bill....

    As an owner of a Ti 907-160, I for one hope you continue to offer the 160mm symmetrical version to those that want it. It's a superb non-offset design that uses the more common 160-mm tandem standard and the frame can accept non-dished 29'er summer wheels. This is an extremely versatile frame using common standards... this is a good, good thing.

    Having been cursed with the engineering proclivity I could site a history that is repleat with "optimum" non-standardized designs that fade into history. Until fat biking is accepted by the masses and 170-mm rear spacing is the norm (which means Chris King will make one).... I'll be happily riding this Ti 907. I've been burned too many times with second rate proprietary stuff and trying to find replacement parts.

    Also, I'd like to say thank you for bringing back the long chainstay design and all the benefits it comes with. I'm simply amazed at how supple the ride is and how well it climbs and tracks. Thank you. Builders of a generation ago knew this already but it's been lost in the race to build stiffer, lighter, and cooler looking frames.

    Onto other comments:

    Also, I'd like to add a few comments about chainline: First, I believe Randy's Ti 907 has a longer than normal Phil Wood BB axle. I don't know what his chainline is but might be out board of the 67-mm spec (Randy, you should clarify in the review). My 907's middle ring chainline using the the surly Mr Whirly is at spec. Like Randy, I'm running it as an 2x8-speed and have had no issues; and run a perfectly centered rear wheel with marginal chain-tire clearance on 82mm rims.

    As it has been mentioned, the chainline could be much improved by using the Hadley 160-mm Hub. But this being said, I'll take the CK hub over the Hadley in a New York second. Again, let's be clear.... the chainline IS acceptable as an 8-speed... it's not at all like running the chain at the extemes. The mechanical friction and lost efficiency of a non-optimized chainline is such a non-issue at the low rpm we turn our cranks at is hardly a meaningful debate.

    Handling: In the end... this is not great mystery. All I'm going to say is if you like slack.... get a 460-465 mm AC fork. If you like responsive steering then go with the 450 mm AC. It comes down to personal preference.

    In the end, I think this shoot-out is quite good (but highly subjective as they all are) and I hope it helps those who spend ridiculous amounts of money on a bike make a better choice.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    My advice and $3 will buy you nothing more than a tunafish sandwich

  38. #38
    is buachail foighneach me
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    What hubs are available in 160mm? I was under the impression that it was only a small handful, not a common industry standard...

    That, and, who is this 'we' who turn our cranks only at low RPMs?

  39. #39
    This place needs an enema
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    As an owner of a Ti 907-160...

    Regards,

    EndUser
    1) Do you feel better after that?
    2) Are you really this much of a toolbox, or is this just your on-screen persona?
    3) How much do you get paid for these constant endorsements?

    Be honest--Enquiring minds want to know.



    MC

  40. #40
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    I appreciate EndUser's weighing in and I can understand that there will be a range of opinions on this stuff. For example, I personally don't find 29ers to be my cup of tea, and I think Mike C might differ with me on that one.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    1) Do you feel better after that?
    2) Are you really this much of a toolbox, or is this just your on-screen persona?
    3) How much do you get paid for these constant endorsements?

    Be honest--Enquiring minds want to know.



    MC
    After reading this review, I took a nice two hour spin on the frozen mud flats and actually thought about what I wanted to write. I think my Ti 907 is great and I wanted Bill and Jamie to know this. I think there is room for more symmetrical choices and I hope they will continue to build these at a customers request.

    1) I do feel better.

    2) Yes, I'm a tool box. If you think your the first to accuse me of this, you better get in line. So, when you go to bed tonight why don't you slip into something comfortable like a coma. Does that work for online character??

    3) I don't get paid.... I don't need the money...

    Is this what you were looking for??

    Regards,

    EndUser
    Last edited by EndUser; 12-30-2009 at 01:00 AM.
    My advice and $3 will buy you nothing more than a tunafish sandwich

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    What hubs are available in 160mm? I was under the impression that it was only a small handful, not a common industry standard...

    That, and, who is this 'we' who turn our cranks only at low RPMs?
    Does it really matter now..... It's clear..... I'm riding an Edsel.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    My advice and $3 will buy you nothing more than a tunafish sandwich

  43. #43
    This place needs an enema
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I appreciate EndUser's weighing in and I can understand that there will be a range of opinions on this stuff.
    No doubt about it. I simply wanted to point out EU's near-addiction to role playing this odd blend of Milton from Office Space combined with the secretary at the Department of Redundancy Department.

    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    For example, I personally don't find 29ers to be my cup of tea, and I think Mike C might differ with me on that one.
    You drank it out of a cup?

    Well there's your problem...

    MC

  44. #44
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    If swingline starts making a non-offset Ti red stapler, I'm in...
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  45. #45
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    Excellent write up. Although not in production anymore it would be interesting to see how last year's Ti Fatback compares to the ones you tested, and, to this year's Ti Fatback.

  46. #46
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    In the interest of full disclosure.....

    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    Also, I'd like to add a few comments about chainline: First, I believe Randy's Ti 907 has a longer than normal Phil Wood BB axle. I don't know what his chainline is but might be out board of the 67-mm spec (Randy, you should clarify in the review).

    Yes, EndUser has a point that my Phil Wood spindle is a bit longer than standard. I requested one to give a bit more crankarm to chainstay clearance, and it protrudes 2mm more to the drive side than standard. It is outboard of the 67mm spec, but just barely at 69mm. Hardly enough to point to as the single reason for any chainline issue.

    What contributes more to any deviation from the perfect line is the combination of 160mm spacing and the configuration of my Chris King rear hub. If my view is correct, the spacing would account for a 5mm loss of the perfect line. But the hub construction probably accounts for more. Together the two create the chainline shortcoming, with the hub having more influence. Take a look at this photo of the position of the small cog, probably further away from the inside of the dropout than I've seen on any frame/hub combination.



    Chris King chose not to construct a rear hub offering designed from scratch, rather used their single speed hubshell with their tandem axle as a morphed product to fit this spacing. Hardly typical of Chris King engineering from my experience.

    The Hadley 160mm option would give some chainline relief, as it positions the cassette further outboard, and graciously Bill at Chain Reaction approached me to willingly swap out hubs. As reluctant as I am to give up a product that's been proven to me for years, in the interest of improving the overall drivetrain I'm taking him up on his offer. Kudos to him for his customer service. I have no experience with Hadley's, but haven't heard anything negative as they also seem to be a high end product.

    UPDATE: 1-30-2010

    Chris King hub swapped out for Hadley. Much improved chainline as cassette is positioned further outboard, now able to run full complement of nine cogs also vs the 8 speeds with the King. No chain to tire rub in lowest gear either, it's very close, but no contact. Check out the small cog position compared to the King hub above.



    Here's another view from the rear showing just enough chain clearance when in the smallest cog. Nice. I let a friend ride this two weekends ago and one of his comments was "you need some more gears dude" as we rolled a long descent. The 11T cog is back, and now has the additional top end gear needed.



    Thanks again to Bill for keeping a customer happy! Great customer service at Chain Reaction.
    Last edited by EndoRando; 01-30-2010 at 09:38 PM.
    Deceleration Trauma is my middle name

  47. #47
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    Great info, thanks for the clarification and pic.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  48. #48
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    This doesnít exactly fit this thread but itís in the same spirit. I was able to do a comparison of a Pugsley v. an original Ti Fatback. The Pugs was running endomorphs on Large Marges and the Fatback, Endomorphs on Fat Shebas. Both had the rear tire reversed. The Comparison was on moderately narrow trails (Roverís for those that know it) to narrow (Speedway and Brown Bear). Also some wide open trails (Gasline). On the wide open trail at speed there was little difference between the two. On twisty narrow trails the Pugs steered noticeably slower. It just didnít want to flick around tight corners like the Fatback did. This wasnít the more rounded tire washing out it felt like the geometry just took more steering input to get the Pugs to turn. I launched off the side of Brown Bear several times on the Pugs, rode it without dabbing on the Fatback. The rounder tires may have contributed to losing it on the sidehill on Brown Bear. Time on the bike would have prabably helped cure this.

    The Fatback hooked up a little better on steep up hills. This felt like a combination of shorter chainstay and the wider rims. Hard to say how much each contributed. Now if someone could compare the old and new Fatbacks.

    P.S. As in the previous posts, both bikes were way fun. You just canít go wrong with the current crop of offerings.

  49. #49
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    But I would not be surprised if in the future someone came out with a heavily drilled single wall rim wider than the current 70-80 mm offerings that would open the ~100 mm rim class up to mere mortals.
    Like this, for instance:

    Last edited by tscheezy; 01-18-2010 at 12:03 AM.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  50. #50
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    Update:
    I'm back in Anchorage for a few days and have had a chance to put some more miles on all the bikes. In general I would say that our earlier impressions of the both the Ti bikes was only reinforced on the most recent rides. Both the Ti 907 and Ti Fatback are very nice riding bikes, with the Ti 907 feeling very long in the wheelbase, stable, and generally well mannered if a bit ponderous, while the Ti Fatback was still nimble and lithe with excellent all-around traits on the trail. This time around we got our hands on an Aluminum 907 with more "normal" rims: drilled Fat Sheba 80 mm's, and as a special bonus the bike was shod with a Larry up front and an Endomorph in the rear. We liked the bike the first time we spent time on it (when it had 100 mm rims and Spider tires), but this time our experience was even better. Rando and I did a long, narrow, meandering singletrack climb, swapping back and forth between the Fatback Ti and the Alu 907. We already knew that we really liked the way the fatback went uphill, but we were both very pleasantly surprised and impressed by how well the Alu 907 did the same. The Alu 907's trail manners were truly excellent. Nimble, controlled, comfortable, excellent under power, and very natural and easy to pilot. Steering was light and precise without being too quick. Once the speeds really picked up on the way back down the trail, the bike was rock solid. The Surly fork was stout and stiff if not particularly sexy.







    We were actually very surprised at how similarly the Ti Fatback and Alu 907 rode. If someone removed the logos from all the bikes and told us that the aluminum model was from the same designer as one of the Ti frames, I think we both would have unquestioningly paired the Alu 907 frame with the Fatback, not the Ti 907. The Fatback and Alu 907 seemed like fraternal twins, not the distant cousins that the Ti 907 and Alu 907 seemed to be. The Alu 907 had much less of the long wheelbase feel compared to the Ti model, and it matched the Fatback nicely in apparent geometry, fit, and feel. Both handle tight, twisty, packed singletrack beautifully, and while they feel slightly different on technical descents, I would have a hard time putting my finger on exactly which one I thought performed better. We both really enjoyed our additional time on the Alu 907. If it had a bit more tire clearance, a lower top tube, and some under the top tube cable routing I think this could be the bike to beat, especially at the price point. The performance is excellent, it's hard to argue with the 135 mm rear hub versatility, and ride-quality-for-your-dollar value is superb. I cannot reconcile the on-trail feel similarities or differences among the bikes based on the published numbers or even our own measurements. Why the 907 bikes feel so different and the Alu 907 and Ti Fatback feel somewhat similar is an enigma.

    Here is how the wheelbase and chainstay lengths compare among the bikes we rode in inches (wheelbase / chainstay):

    • Ti 907: 44.75"** / 18.5"
    • Alu 907: 44.5" / 18.5"
    • Ti Fatback: 43.25" / 17.75"
    • Wildfire: 43" / 18.1"

    **Note that this is with the taller fork and not the original Black Sheep fork.















    Last edited by tscheezy; 01-24-2010 at 07:52 PM.

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    Different Experience. . .

    Gotta say that my experience swapping between a Fatback and an Alu 907 was a lot different than your update describes. When my buddy and I swapped back and forth between the two, both of us felt that they were dramatically different bikes. Not sure if the 907 "Demo" that you were on has updated geo from the original, but the 907 my friend borrowed was just a handful on the narrow trails whereas the Fatback just felt natural, balanced and easy to ride without thinking too hard.

  52. #52
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    Good feedback, thanks for that. Out of curiosity, what fork was on the Alu 907 you rode? I am trying to narrow down the possible sources for our generally varying experiences with all the bikes.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Good feedback, thanks for that. Out of curiosity, what fork was on the Alu 907 you rode? I am trying to narrow down the possible sources for our generally varying experiences with all the bikes.
    It had a Surly fork, non-offset as far as I know. Apparently, what seem to be a few relatively subtle design differences on paper make for surprisingly unsubtle differences on snow.

    IMO, anyone who is in the market should borrow/demo a few bikes (if possible) before making the decision about which to buy.

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    I've been dwelling on this....

    It's been a while since I last visited. I had to look at ground trail numbers......

    As advertised on the web (and measured on my own bike): In this order HTA/Offset(mm)/Ground Trail(mm)/Wheel-Flop(mm)…. This assumes running an Endomorph in the front/rear. Here are the facts:

    Ti 907 with blacksheep fork: 70/45/80/26
    Ti 907 with Fatback Fork: 69.5/35/93/31 - (35mm offset could be off slightly – but I did measure this on Rando’s bike.
    Al 907 with Pugsley Fork: 70.1/43/81/26
    Fatback with Fatback fork: 69.5/35/93/31
    Wildfire with wildfire fork: 71/45/73/22
    Pugsly with Pugsly fork: 70.5/43/78/25

    Typical 29er ground trail is between 70-85mm. The fatback has the longest ground trail by 13mm at 93mm - which is interesting in and of itself. The rest are within the window of traditional 29er trail lengths.

    So in summary: Randy’s Ti 907 and Fatback have the same trail (different geometry), yet they “handle” very different. The AL 907 has the same trail and geometry as the Ti 907, yet they "handle" differently. The AL 907 "handles" like the Ti Fatback, but they have very different trail and different geometries. The Wildfire has the lowest trail at 73mm, but "feels" steady and stable. The Ti Fatback had the highest wheel flop, but it's stable and precise and low speed. I don't know, maybe the Pugsly "feels" the best??? Why not?? I'm confused.

    In the end, set-up, frame construction, frame geometry, frame material, placebo, brainwashing, and personal preference can’t be overlooked. Trail alone, I guess, can't explain the all handling differences.

    If anything, this review should tell a potential buyer they better throw a leg over these bikes before they decide to spend.......Or not. Maybe just pick one and have the time of your life.... you can either mind phuck this all day long or you can just ride.

    I like the pictures....... it was an awesome day!!

    Regards,

    EndUser
    Last edited by EndUser; 01-29-2010 at 01:31 AM.
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  55. #55
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    Nice job determining all those numbers. Measuring that stuff can't be easy, so I appreciate the effort. Out of curiosity, how did you measure wheel flop?

    Since you have access to all those bikes, how do you think their ride characteristics compare on-trail across a variety of conditions?

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    It's been a while since I last visited. I had to look at ground trail numbers......

    As advertised on the web (and measured on my own bike): In this order HTA/Offset(mm)/Ground Trail(mm)/Wheel-Flop(mm)Ö. This assumes running an Endomorph in the front/rear. Here are the facts:

    Ti 907 with blacksheep fork: 70/45/80/26
    Ti 907 with Fatback Fork: 69.5/35/93/31 - (35mm offset could be off slightly Ė but I did measure this on Randoís bike.
    Al 907 with Pugsley Fork: 70.1/43/81/26
    Fatback with Fatback fork: 69.5/35/93/31
    Wildfire with wildfire fork: 71/45/73/22
    Pugsly with Pugsly fork: 70.5/43/78/25

    Typical 29er ground trail is between 70-85mm. The fatback has the longest ground trail by 13mm at 93mm - which is interesting in and of itself. The rest are within the window of traditional 29er trail lengths.

    So in summary: Randyís Ti 907 and Fatback have the same trail (different geometry), yet they ďhandleĒ very different. The AL 907 has the same trail and geometry as the Ti 907, yet they "handle" differently. The AL 907 "handles" like the Ti Fatback, but they have very different trail and different geometries. The Wildfire has the lowest trail at 73mm, but "feels" steady and stable. The Ti Fatback had the highest wheel flop, but it's stable and precise and low speed. I don't know, maybe the Pugsly "feels" the best??? Why not?? I'm confused.

    In the end, set-up, frame construction, frame geometry, frame material, placebo, brainwashing, and personal preference canít be overlooked. Trail alone, I guess, can't explain the all handling differences.

    If anything, this review should tell a potential buyer they better throw a leg over these bikes before they decide to spend.......Or not. Maybe just pick one and have the time of your life.... you can either mind phuck this all day long or you can just ride.

    I like the pictures....... it was an awesome day!!

    Regards,

    EndUser

    In winter, trail conditions are always changing. Certain conditions are forgiving to handling issues and others are not. With current conditions being hard as a rock and smooth, tire pressure will make the most difference in handling when considering bikes with somewhat similar geometry.
    The Fatback forks do not use 35mm of offset.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  57. #57
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    [QUOTE=tscheezy]Nice job determining all those numbers. Measuring that stuff can't be easy, so I appreciate the effort. Out of curiosity, how did you measure wheel flop?

    There are several calculaters online. I don't believe the normal rules apply to snow.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  58. #58
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    a badazz thread!

    honest question....when does a suspension fork (e.g., Mav SC32) make sense on such a bike, if at all? All these bikes anyway run rigid obviously. I have seen you tsheezaholic put the SC32 on I think it was a converted Turner snow bike...was that just "because" you had it available for frankenbiking?

  59. #59
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    A Mav SC32 would be a great addition to any of these bikes (assuming there was no serious downtube contact with the fork crown). A lot of the discussion up to now has been around handling and the SC32 would change the steering characteristics a LOT, but if you could put up with that you would probably have an incredible combo. The SC32 should clear all rims up to 80mm when mounted with an Endomorph, and a Larry would (always) be even better.

    I can see it now: FoFat.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    A Mav SC32 would be a great addition to any of these bikes (assuming there was no serious downtube contact with the fork crown). A lot of the discussion up to now has been around handling and the SC32 would change the steering characteristics a LOT, but if you could put up with that you would probably have an incredible combo. The SC32 should clear all rims up to 80mm when mounted with an Endomorph, and a Larry would (always) be even better.

    I can see it now: FoFat.
    cool...thanks. by the way, it will be called the FoPhat, not FoFat

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    it will be called the FoPhat, not FoFat
    Correction: FauxPhat

  62. #62
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    I have a Mav SC32 for the Aluminum Fatback build that I am going to be doing next week for the wife ( waiting for the wheelset to arrive from Mikesee); I took the fork and frame and checked and there is definitely a major interference so I am going to put some spacers and make it work. I hope the change in geometry from these spacers won't significantly affect the handling characteristics of the frame but we'll see how the wife likes it...
    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    A Mav SC32 would be a great addition to any of these bikes (assuming there was no serious downtube contact with the fork crown). A lot of the discussion up to now has been around handling and the SC32 would change the steering characteristics a LOT, but if you could put up with that you would probably have an incredible combo. The SC32 should clear all rims up to 80mm when mounted with an Endomorph, and a Larry would (always) be even better.

    I can see it now: FoFat.

  63. #63
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    Fred, thanks for reporting on the SC32 frame interference. That is good to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by EndoRando
    UPDATE: 1-30-2010

    Chris King hub swapped out for Hadley. Much improved chainline as cassette is positioned further outboard, now able to run full complement of nine cogs also vs the 8 speeds with the King.
    Rando, I have a question. You say the chainline improved, but it seems in your example that the chainline really has not changed. Is this right? You basically swapped the spacer you ran inside the cassette on the King for the 11t cog outside the cassette on the Hadley. The position of the middle cassette cog really has not moved, or has it?

    Think of it another way- the gap that the King hub left between the cassette and the dropout was simply filled with the 11t cog when you run the Hadley. None of the other gears moved significantly relative to the dropout (and relative to the chainline).

    Now if you stuck with the 8 speed cassette, then all the gears would have moved about one position farther outboard, but you would have still missed the 11t cog (definitely the most rarely used gear).
    Last edited by tscheezy; 02-14-2010 at 11:30 AM.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Fred, thanks for reporting on the SC32 frame interference. That is good to know.


    Rando, I have a question. You say the chainline improved, but it seems in your example that the chainline really has not changed. Is this right? You basically swapped the spacer you ran inside the cassette on the King for the 11t cog outside the cassette on the Hadley. The position of the middle cassette cog really has not moved, or has it?

    Think of it another way- the gap that the King hub left between the cassette and the dropout was simply filled with the 11t cog when you run the Hadley. None of the other gears moved significantly relative to the dropout (and relative to the chainline).

    Now if you stuck with the 8 speed cassette, then all the gears would have moved about one position farther outboard, but you would have still missed the 11t cog (definitely the most rarely used gear).

    Here is why it makes a difference: The Hadley is 165mm wide (even though that particular shell says 160, the axle was made 165 while the King is 160), so automatically you gain 2.5mm on the chainline, unless all of that went to the non drive side, which is possible but not likely. With the King being made for tandems, the freehub body sits even further inboard, and since there are no lockrings made deep enough to shim the cassette outward 2.5mm, it's not possible to achieve the same chainline.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  65. #65
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    From my perspective it has improved, but I don't have hard evidence to prove it. The bottom line is distance from inside of the dropout to largest cog and the angle the chain makes from middle ring to that innermost cog. I didn't take any distance measurements before unlacing the King (probably should have), but eyeing the curve in the chain with the Hadley from middle chainring to innermost cog looks less dramatic now than it did with the King, albeit pretty slight. Not very subjective I know with no supporting numbers, but my mental recall is that the chain angles less severely to the largest cog on the Hadley with a full complement of nine cogs than the angle was with two spacers behind the eight cog cassette on the King. Can't really prove it measurably at this point. Still not perfect, as 160mm rear spacing isn't ideal.

    I know of two 8 spd/King combos still out there, so hopefully I can get a measurement from them to compare the distance to the inner cog against mine. More to come.
    Deceleration Trauma is my middle name

  66. #66
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    Like this, for instance
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Snow Demo! Ti 9:Zero:7, Alu 9:Zero:7, Ti Fatback, and Wildfire compared.-p2050089.jpg  


  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirstywork
    Here is why it makes a difference: The Hadley is 165mm wide (even though that particular shell says 160, the axle was made 165 while the King is 160)...
    I just measured Rando's rear dropouts with the Hadley installed and they are definitely sitting at 160mm. With the Hadley, the cassette cog that lines up the "straightest" with the middle ring up front is the 3rd from last. That is where the 2nd to last cog on the 8 speed King setup was. I guess I still fail to see any significant difference in the chainlines when mounted with the King/8sp versus the Hadley/9sp, other than gaining the 11t cog when running the Hadley. Running the Hadley with 8 speeds would improve the chainline by one cog spacing.

    Fantastic rim, Kaer.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I just measured Rando's rear dropouts with the Hadley installed and they are definitely sitting at 160mm. With the Hadley, the cassette cog that lines up the "straightest" with the middle ring up front is the 3rd from last. That is where the 2nd to last cog on the 8 speed King setup was. I guess I still fail to see any significant difference in the chainlines when mounted with the King/8sp versus the Hadley/9sp, other than gaining the 11t cog when running the Hadley. Running the Hadley with 8 speeds would improve the chainline by one cog spacing.

    Fantastic rim, Kaer.

    Got it-I just made the assumption that he went to the 165 axle width.
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    Distance.....

    Quote Originally Posted by EndoRando
    I know of two 8 spd/King combos still out there, so hopefully I can get a measurement from them to compare the distance to the inner cog against mine. More to come.
    Since I know you won't insult me Randy, I'll share the distance.

    7-mm from the lock ring to the drop-out. With the Hadely, you are now only one cog - 4.34 mm - away from a perfect chainline when running 9 out back (this is the same as if you were running your King with 8 out back). If you spaced your hadley out one cog and ran 8 out back you then would have a perfect chainline.

    Since people are too busy thinking of clever ways to insult me and not actually reading what I've posted, I described this exact issue last October on my first review of my bike on akspokes (the "I don't know what I'm talking about" review).

    EDIT: I measure 39.5-mm from the low gear to the drop-out - running 8 out-back spaced out with a 5-mm spacer on my King-160.

    So be it.....

    Regards,

    EndUser
    Last edited by EndUser; 02-18-2010 at 03:01 PM.
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  70. #70
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    Thanks for that EndUser. What I'm curious about, if you could take a measurement please, is the distance from inside of dropout to largest cog. This would give me a comparison of distances between the 8 spd/King and 9 spd/Hadley configurations. I know my calipers aren't high tech, but my measurement comes in right at 39mm. If they're equal, I'm all washed up!

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  71. #71
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    Nothing wrong with vernier calipers. As far as I understand it, the only advantage to digital is reducing the likelihood of human error in misreading the verniers. I can't see how the measurement, if read correctly could be any less accurate than with digital. Maybe if you're looking for more precision between the lines, the digital will apply a number to it... For this application though, I doubt that 1/10th of a mm matters. I would think your cassette cogs would be more out of round than that.

  72. #72
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    Actually, just did some reading. Turns out digital calipers are frequently less accurate than vernier or dial calipers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliper

  73. #73
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    The Fatback Alu has landed

    Well, the last trip to Anchorage finally netted me some time on an Aluminum Fatback. What a treat. I had a chance to take it out alone one afternoon and climbed up out of the Anchorage bowl and up on the hillside into an air inversion where the temps got warmer and warmer as I climbed. The bike is incredibly solid under pedal power with the aluminum tubing and 15G cranks. It has a light feel and easy manners. The handling is a pretty close clone to the Ti version, and that is high praise. As I worked my way up onto smaller, narrower, less-traveled trails, the temps crept well above freezing and the snow got softer. I spun out on some of the steeper climbs and had to step off into deep, uncompacted snow on the trail’s shoulder. The incredible standover the frame offers was very welcome in all these situations. On the way back down the bike is just as confident as any of the others and big forks legs deliver plenty of steering precision and no twist under braking. Later that evening and again the next evening, Rando and I went out with the two Fatbacks and swapped back and forth between the Alu and Ti. The Alu’s cockpit was a solid 2” shorter than the Ti’s due to the Alu having a 20mm shorter stem and a straight post, while the Ti had a long stem and a setback post. This gave the Alu a somewhat more upright and sporty ride, but the wheelbases, head angles, and fork geometries felt very closely matched. In fact, the wheelbase on the Ti is only ľ” shorter, and the chainstays and fork A-C's were almost exactly the same. We swapped the 90 mm stem on the Alu for a 100 mm the second day, and the similarities between the bikes grew. Overall, the Alu is a very solid and inspired package. I love the fit and finish, the cable routing, and the best-in-class standover. And just like the earlier Alu Fatbacks I had seen, the orange-gold color was just mind-bendingly beautiful. The room for a tire is a bit behind the Ti 907 and Ti Fatback with the Alu Fatback offering 122mm seatstay and 116 mm chainstay clearance. Running a rangy top tube (24”) combined with a relatively short seat tube (17” C-C, 19” C-T) for generous standover seems to be the design philosophy behind the Fatback line. This bike comes in at 29.89 pounds as it's dressed:















    This bike was set up with Speedway’s new hubs that come in at a lower pricepoint than the Hadley high-end bling that otherwise would have to be used with these widely spaced rear triangles. There just aren’t a lot of choices at this hub spacing, so Speedway’s new entry in the class is very welcome, though they apparently do add a couple hundred grams over the Hadleys for the pair. The hubs rolled nicely and the bearings are very smooth when you spin them in your fingers. The freehub sports 24 engagement points, and the axles mount in the frame with a nice bolt-on system. The longevity of these new hubs is still to be determined. It’s possible that the widely spaced rear hubs do offer some performance or structural benefits, though you are committed to the specialized, wide-axle wheel system with the Fatback frames. If you are migrating from a Pugs and already have offset wheels and are upgrading piecemeal, the Alu 907 offers a very sweet ride and uses a more standard rear hub. On the other hand, if you are starting from scratch building up a snowbike, I can’t think of a better fitting or performing frame/fork/wheel system than the Alu Fatback available now at this price. It's just yummy up one side and down the other.







    As much as I love the massive rear dropouts and the tucked-away position of the rear brake caliper, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Most ISO 51 brake mounts have a deep recess between the tabs to accommodate the brake caliper body. The Fatback lacks this cutout and as a consequence my Magura Louise caliper was not even close to fitting, and the caliper body hit the frame long before the mounting bolts lined up. If you have a post-mount caliper body on a 51mm frame adapter, you will probably be fine (and most brakes are PM nowadays). Even with the PM system there is scant room and one of my [non-Magura] adapters still caused the PM caliper to hit the frame too much to work, though I did have a Magura PM adapter on hand that fit in the end. Still, a little filing may be necessary. Just be ready to be flexible on rear brake setup or ask Speedway what brakes they have confirmed will work. I can now say that a Magura Louise post mount, Avid mechanical, and Formula R1 all are fine.

    My ISO 51 Louise, no-go:



    The PM Louise, works fine:



    Random ride shots:









    And finally, the Fatback Alu on the trails:

    <object width="873" height="525"><param name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/Y_0UOfialmw&hl=en_US&fs=1&hd=1&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/Y_0UOfialmw&hl=en_US&fs=1&hd=1&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="873" height="525"></embed></object>

    <object width="873" height="525"><param name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/LKUamcHdfMk&hl=en_US&fs=1&hd=1&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/LKUamcHdfMk&hl=en_US&fs=1&hd=1&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="873" height="525"></embed></object>
    Last edited by tscheezy; 03-06-2010 at 01:58 AM.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    And finally, the Fatback Alu on the trails:
    wow...good stuff tscheezaholic! really cool and makes me want to move to an area with snow!

  75. #75
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    Very good presentation, thanks !

  76. #76
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    Wow Love it.
    I want one but I don't live anywhere it could be justified. Snow only for maybe a week a year if that, None this year and no sand. But i would love to rent one when I go to Anchorage.

  77. #77
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    Dude, you live on Puget Sound. I guarantee you there are many sections of sand and tidal mud flats all around you.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommignon
    Wow Love it.
    I want one but I don't live anywhere it could be justified. Snow only for maybe a week a year if that, None this year and no sand. But i would love to rent one when I go to Anchorage.
    Sean's right tommignon, plenty of "fat" riding op's all over our state( I'm in Yakima and I'm currently building my second, an alu fatback no less). Lot's of snow a short drive away and your barely a couple hours from the Wa. coast. I go to Ocean Shores often and regularly ride the coastline from the jetty to moclips and also from within the oyhut WRA out to Damon point. watching Grey Whales,Harbor Porpoises,seals, Otters and of coarse a host of sea birds. My last fat ride was a 14k lap around the White Pass cross country track after skiing ( OK with the management after 3:30pm, they call it "dog time"(they groom the track every morning)). We also have some inland dunes just outside of Moses Lake (going there in a week or two) and on the Columbia River at Beverly. Fattys also work well on the volcanic ash and pumice laden trails in the Mt. St Helens area. A little further (ok quite a bit further) I take mine at least once a year to the Oregon Dunes(movies on the films thread). And let's not forget,a little extra investment in a set of "quick switch" 29er wheels and you've got a hard tail 29er rig without taking along a second bike. I hope to have my fatback done in a couple months, if you want to take a spin,PM me and I'll meet you on the coast sometime.

    Take Care, Ward

  79. #79
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Snowbikes are not just for breakfast anymore.

    These things make really fun general purpose mountain bikes provided the trails are not overly chunky. The tires really only provide about 1" of undamped suspension, so it's a little like riding a volleyball down the trail, but it's pretty amazing how well they can take the place of their anorexic-tired cousins.

    I continue to be very impressed with the Fatback.

    <object width="873" height="525"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/LKUamcHdfMk&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x3a3a3a&color2=0 x999999&hd=1&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/LKUamcHdfMk&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x3a3a3a&color2=0 x999999&hd=1&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="873" height="525"></embed></object>

  80. #80
    is buachail foighneach me
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    More chest mount camera action please! The other angles were making me dizzy... Good stuff though. Those trails look super fun frozen.

  81. #81
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    I agree through experience. Having lived in upstate New York for the past 6-years. The winters are blessed with Lake Ontario's lake-affect snow, when a couple of feet of powder will fall in a 4-hour period. I ride my bike year round, rain or shine unless there's a storm advisory I'll drive, with the tube and bladder stowed under my jacket shell, I blow the water in the tube back into the bladder after drinking from it. I've never had an issue with it freezing, 4-winters and counting. I use a basic neoprene tube cover and nylon carrier, nothing "winter specific." In fact the water is usually warm throughout my 9-mile/45-minute commute to work due to body heat and starting it off luke warm from the faucet.

    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    Put your hydration pack under at least your outer layer of clothing and blow the water back into the bladder after drinking. Most of the guys at the front of the ITI seem to run hydration packs the whole way. If they were freezing up on them constantly, I don't think they would use em.


    Great review Tscheezy. Rando's 907 is indeed a very well put together bike and looks good. I think the Fatback might look alittle better with less spacers and more rise in the stem, but that still wouldn't address your issues with it's appearance. Definitely need to get a modern wildfire in there, and the alu fatback for more comparison. Next trip in will have to be a pug, al fatback and current wildfire.

  82. #82
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    I've got a XL 907 Alu that I switched out the endo to a larry on the front. This changed the handling from slow and tractor like, where it wandered around on any rut or ridge in the trail, to one of rather sharp precise steering. It's now good on the soft single track and very good on the hardpack. Steers like a mountain bike. I am not worried that it is going to self steer its way out into traffic while riding on the road.

  83. #83
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    Great thread here...any more info on the spider tires? Weight/width, manufacturer??

    Thanks

    -T
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience every time.

  84. #84
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    I have spider tire.
    its made by innova, same guys that make the Sulry tires.
    $65 from Bens cycle in MKE.
    http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...oducts_id=9418
    I would not run it the front , does run lose in dry dirt, for me I like that though.

    Cheers

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by headhunterracing
    I have spider tire.
    its made by innova, same guys that make the Sulry tires.
    $65 from Bens cycle in MKE.
    http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...oducts_id=9418
    I would not run it the front , does run lose in dry dirt, for me I like that though.

    Cheers
    Awesome, thanks. And the price is right, too....

    How is the width compared to the Endo? And profile; is it flat shouldered or rounded profile?

    -T
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience every time.

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    The width is the same. Larry is 3.8 vs 3.7 for the Endo. Put the caliper on both and the Larry is indeed about a tenth of an inch wider. The Larry is also rounder in profile with more predominent center knobs. This may be why it tracks better. The only negative is that the Larry is up to a couple of hundred grams heavier.

  87. #87
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    When at high pressure the spider tire is very round. i bought it because I actually like riding my Fatback on the road, for this is works great. lower the pressure for trail riding, not bad ether.

  88. #88
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    Thanks for the replies, last question as I don't want to hijack this thread but I'm assuming any of the three tires mentioned would bulk up in width quite a bit more on the 100mm rims that are on one of the bikes above, no?

    -T
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience every time.

  89. #89
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by biketech4051 View Post
    This is wrong.
    Say huh? Cross chaining was an issue back in the wide chain days (5 to 7 speed freewheels), but today's chains are much narrower and more flexible. Shimano says not to worry about it, anyway. Extreme cross chaining (big-big or small small) is not great, but there is no real reason why you can't run pretty much all the gears from the middle ring assuming it is centered on the cassette and you don't get f der rub. Dropping to the granny can increase chain wear and friction because all the pins go through a greater degree of rotation due to the tighter wrap of the smaller diameter chainring even with a straight chainline. Pick your poison.

    Do you go to cyclocross and downhill events and admonish all the 1x10 racers?

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by biketech4051 View Post
    I often like to climb in the middle chainring and the largest rear cog,

    This is wrong.You shouldnt be doing this.The angle the chain is at is too extreme.
    The correct gear changes are as follows :

    smallest chainring on crank can only be used with gears 1 ,2 and 3 of the rear cassette.
    middle chainring on crank can only be used with gears 3,4 and 5 of the rear cassette.
    largest chainring on crank can only be used with gears 5,6,7,8 and 9 of the rear cassette.
    This way you obtain optimal shifting.
    These are the constraints of using a rear mech / derailleur system.
    If you shift as described above you will obtain optimal shifting.
    The alternative is to use a Rohloff Speedhub where the chainline problem is no longer a problem.With 14 gears you have enough gears for every situation..
    I'm with Phillip on this one by the above logic I can't use cassette cogs 6,7,8 & 9 on my 2 by 9 set up, that would suck.

  91. #91
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    Great stuff

    This will be extremely helpful with my decision. I have it narrowed down now.

  92. #92
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    everybody has its own taste
    i love freeriding, what model will be the best for this purpose?

  93. #93
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    Great, fun for all kind of weather

    Would love to give it a try

  94. #94
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    fatties like 3" or wider looks really cool for local winter. currently I am searching for suitable frame for rebuild. and fork going to be rigid selfmade

  95. #95
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    dropouts?

    thanks for these reviews.

    hope i didn't miss this somewhere in the thread, but these frames don't seem to accommodate singlespeed or fixed (horizontal dropouts). i like to ride SS or especially fixed in the snow, in fact i'm not sure why you'd want gears in this situation (snow, sand). is the pugsley the only frame option?

  96. #96
    Fatback
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnus View Post
    thanks for these reviews.

    hope i didn't miss this somewhere in the thread, but these frames don't seem to accommodate singlespeed or fixed (horizontal dropouts). i like to ride SS or especially fixed in the snow, in fact i'm not sure why you'd want gears in this situation (snow, sand). is the pugsley the only frame option?
    It really depends on your terrain and conditions. We build ti Fatbacks with sliding drop outs, but only in limited numbers. Not many folks are willing to pay an extra $300 for something they will never use. We are working on an adjustable for the new aluminum frames as well, but realistically only a small percentage of riders set them up single. Snow conditions vary, as well as terrain, so it's not always as practical as it seems, though I'm sure the dedicated ss riders would argue. It can be way faster than you think.
    It's gears for me and my lower back.
    SS is the way to go for beach riding.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  97. #97
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Thirsty summed it up perfectly.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirstywork View Post
    Not many folks are willing to pay an extra $300 for something they will never use.
    that's how i generally feel about cassettes and derailleurs.

    i realize SS and fixed is a narrow business niche. i have 4 such bikes, and, along with commuting, i can't think of a better application for one gear than a fat bike in snow or sand.

    thanks for your response.

  99. #99
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    Holy hell this looks like a ton of work haha

  100. #100
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    What is that tire with the spider design for the tread and how is it on the snow?

  101. #101
    No, that's not phonetic
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    It's the Innova Spider. Pretty cheap, works ok as a rear tire, very round profile. The bar-like lugs provide good drive and braking traction, but no lateral hold. Not a good front tire.

    Innova also makes all the Surly tires, so the casing is very similar to the Endomorph et al.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

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