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  1. #1
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    Thoughts and opinions, help please!

    looking at a new bike. would like to have one bike, year round. snow, dirt etc. looking at fat bikes with a winter and summer wheel set up.

    26 vs 27.5 winter

    27.5+ vs 29+ summer

    what are your thoughts on the ideal set up? any input would be appreciated! thanks!

  2. #2
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    My 2 cents is 26 wheel as there are a lot more tires available to choose from. If your snow riding is in soft conditions get a bike that has at least 80mm wide wheels, if you are heavy get 100mm wheels and make sure the bike can fit 4.8-5 wide tires. That kind of clearance should also allow for 29 wheels.

  3. #3
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    IMO, 29+ rigid is much better than 29. Therefore, regardless of whether you use 27.5 or 26 for winter, buy a bike that will handle 29+ for the summer tires. Adjustable rear dropouts make this work on the Ventana el Gordo, among others - it is nice getting the short chainstay in the winter and being able to lengthen for the bigger summer wheels.

  4. #4
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    Running fat winter and plus summer involves some compromises. Bikes like the Rocky Mountain Susy Q or Otso Voytek provide a nice compromise in that they have a narrow Q factor (crank width) that is not too far off from a standard mountain bike, but they do not fit the widest of tires. Bikes that fit a full 5" tire require larger q factors that to some makes riding the bike feel like straddling a horse.

    My Otso works great for me but my winter riding is either groomed trails or fresh snow 6" deep or less.

  5. #5
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    other compromises for using a fatbike for summer riding involve clearance issues for the extra frame width. I have a Salsa Bucksaw that's my current rear-round bike and I find myself in situations on rocky trails with some regularity where the bike simply won't fit through a narrow chute between rocks. Sometimes I can take an alt line to go over the rocks rather than between, but that depends on the rocks and what the rest of the trail looks like. Often enough, I just don't have the skill for it.

    The best versatile setup for where you ride is going to depend on what your local trails look like. I ride my Bucksaw in 26 fat mode year round with 65mm rims. There's some deep snow conditions where I can't ride the bike...like the recent almost 2ft dump of wet, heavy snow I got. But given where I live (southern Appalachians), that sort of thing happens infrequently enough that it's not a big deal. That snow brought down so many trees and made the roads impassable for long enough that very few people were riding, anyway.

    So two questions:

    What are your winter conditions like?
    What do the trails you ride in the summertime look like?

  6. #6
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    Where do you live?

    What does "winter" look like? 1" of snow over frozen dirt, or feet of snow with no base?

    Likewise with summer -- trail types, how do you ride them, how often, etc...?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Where do you live?

    What does "winter" look like? 1" of snow over frozen dirt, or feet of snow with no base?

    Likewise with summer -- trail types, how do you ride them, how often, etc...?
    I live in central Mn, often it can be frozen dirt for a couple months, typically ride on groomed, packed singletrack in the winter months. Not often in deep snow. Summer is typically smooth, hard singletrack. Not a ton of rocks and not a lot of extended climbing. I did take a couple trips west this last year, Rapid City, Custer area in SD, and a few days west of Denver in the foothills and really enjoyed those trips. Would like to do more.

    Q factor has never really been an issue, I ride motocross frequently so the wider foot position doesn't really bother me.
    Right now I am looking at the framed Beartrax and the Montana. Any reason to be looking at something else? I would like to get the most bike that I can for around 2500$. I like the idea of full suspension for the summer months. I won't be hucking huge gaps, but do enjoy ripping down hills and occasionally getting the wheels off the ground.

    Thanks for all the input so far!

  8. #8
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    See if you can find a Trek Farley EX used. Ask shops if they know of people selling, check craigslist, FB, etc...

    And once you have it, have a 29+ wheelset built for the summer months. Awesome one bike solution.

  9. #9
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    Thoughts and opinions, help please!

    I second the Trek EX suggestion.
    Also, you could check out LaMere down in the TCs. JP has some pretty decent priced options that'll support multiple wheel sizes.
    Last edited by ToastR; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:38 PM. Reason: Spelling

  10. #10
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    I use my Bucksaw for all seasons. Jumbo Jims in the summer - it feels like a slightly heavy full suspension 29er to me. Studded D4's or Nates in the winter. All on 26" x 65mm wheels.

    I am spoiled, so the Bucksaw isn't my only bike, but, if I could only keep one - it would be the one. If you can get a full suspension in your price range, they are pretty awesome all season bikes.

  11. #11
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    I also live in central MN and I used a framed Minnesota 1.0 as my only mountain bike for many years. In my opinion none of the trails are nice enough to need full suspension. And a fully ridged has served me just fine on all trails, including spirt mountain. But I would love to go 29+ this summer. I would get a hard tail 26 inch fat bike that take wide tires because the trails are variable with grooming conditions and then you can get a nice fork and go 29+ in the summer.

  12. #12
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    Personally, I'd just get the second bike. A rigid fat bike for winter (relatively cheap) and whatever floats your boat for the rest of the year. Unless the issue is not having space to store the second bike, total invested isn't all that different and return on investment is no contest. If you are going to swap out wheels anyway, why not just swap out everything seasonally (bars, brakes, seat post, seat, drive train, etc.) if you want to save money?

  13. #13
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    It depends where you live, where you ride, your weight, what you enjoy......
    I do not like pedal strike, i weight 140 pounds, i live in Montreal(Quebec)
    For me what makes sense is for our winter
    - Alu fat, 26x4.8 Bud/Lou 100 gripstuds each tire
    it keeps me pedaling as many hours as possible.
    - HT 100 mm 22 pounds 29x2.3 for 8 months.
    I prefer 2 bikes for proper BB height, 1 is fast, the other floats and grips.
    Look at used it is affordable.

  14. #14
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    Why not regular 29 wheels/tires for summer use?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by letitsnow View Post
    Why not regular 29 wheels/tires for summer use?
    some prefer the plush factor.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    See if you can find a Trek Farley EX used. Ask shops if they know of people selling, check craigslist, FB, etc...

    And once you have it, have a 29+ wheelset built for the summer months. Awesome one bike solution.
    why not the framed bikes? besides longer chainstays, and a degree or so up front, is it a bad bike? seems like a pretty good price-$2500 on a carbon frame and full suspension, decent components, etc..not against the trek, just curious as to your thoughts.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroganof View Post
    IMO, 29+ rigid is much better than 29. Therefore, regardless of whether you use 27.5 or 26 for winter, buy a bike that will handle 29+ for the summer tires. Adjustable rear dropouts make this work on the Ventana el Gordo, among others - it is nice getting the short chainstay in the winter and being able to lengthen for the bigger summer wheels.
    I have been on a Ventana El Gordo with 26 x 4.8 for snow and 29 x 3 for dirt for three years now. Great bike. Great company. It fits Lou in the rear on 9mm rims tubeless with plenty of room to spare with the dropouts all the way in.

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