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-   -   Recommend me a cheap winter fattie please (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1154044)

salcedo 08-29-18 05:05 PM

Recommend me a cheap winter fattie please
 
Hey. Where I live they do a terrible job at plowing the roads during winter and they don't plow the sidewalks or bike paths at all. My regular commuter with 28mm or 32mm tires (can't remember) is enough most days. But when the snow is particularly bad, I'm stuck home. I figured out if I had a fat bike I could ride on the sidewalks or bike paths even if the roads are full of snow. But I have never ridden a fat bike. I know nothing about fat bikes. So, please, help me with some recommendations or advice.

I only want the bike to be able to get to work and back on snowy days. I would probably only use it a few days a year, maybe 6-20 depending on how fun it is. So, I don't want to break the bank. Also, I would rather a bike that requires less maintenance.

My town is relatively flat, and my commute is about 4-8 miles long depending on the route. On snowy days I would rather take the longer route because it is all bike paths and I don't have to deal with bad drivers on the snow.

Thanks!

DrIsotope 08-29-18 05:20 PM

The genuine fat bike guys will tell you you're not going to get anything really good for less than $1,500. And they're most likely right. But you could roll the dice on something from Bikesdirect.com for $300-500 and give it a whirl. Something like the Deadeye Monster @ 400 bucks might be worth a try. Singlespeed, mech disc brakes, and 4" wide knobbies. Like riding a giant BMX bike.

RickShelton31 08-29-18 08:07 PM

Take a look at Framed bicycles. They start at around $550 and go up from there.

prj71 09-06-18 12:23 PM

The above suggestions are good for what you want to use the bike for.

Being that you plan to ride it in winter and assuming that they salt the roads and sidewalks during the winter where you live...You are going to be looking at more maintenance, not less no matter how much you spend on the bike. The chain, chainring, cassette and derailleur are going to require the most maintenance in those conditions.

Go with cheapy bikes direct or framed bike for your purchase.

Hondo Gravel 09-06-18 10:55 PM

I bought a Motobecane Boris considered cheap by many but for me it’s great. It is fun bike to ride and can run over everything :D . No snow here but I plane on cruising the beach near Corpus Christi while fishing the surf. You can always upgrade the bike if you find that you like it.

IvyGodivy 09-07-18 06:55 AM

You get what you pay for. But if cheap is you primary focus then just walk into a chain place: Target, Walmart, Dicks etc.

The good stuff will be a lot more and worth it whether it's a FB, Gravel, Road, etc.

revcp 09-08-18 03:00 PM


Originally Posted by DrIsotope (Post 20535681)
The genuine fat bike guys will tell you you're not going to get anything really good for less than $1,500. And they're most likely right. But you could roll the dice on something from Bikesdirect.com for $300-500 and give it a whirl. Something like the Deadeye Monster @ 400 bucks might be worth a try. Singlespeed, mech disc brakes, and 4" wide knobbies. Like riding a giant BMX bike.

I've never spent $1,500 on a fat bike, and I'm presently riding a $2,700 Borealis Yampa. Buy used. There are so many people who buy the latest and greatest and then get upgrade fever, or they ride it twice, get cold and put it in the basement.

buffalo4life 09-12-18 01:15 PM

I spent $500 on the bd Bullseye Monster. 2 x 8 is good enough and mechanical discs kinda suck but this will be my 3rd winter and it keeps Rollin and I keep smilin.

MarcusT 09-13-18 10:14 PM

If you're using it solely for winter commuting, don't worry about a high price bike. You want the fat tires to get you over the snow and that's it. Go cheap, but not too cheap. You don't want it rusting in your first week

prj71 09-14-18 07:07 AM


Originally Posted by MarcusT (Post 20564927)
If you're using it solely for winter commuting, don't worry about a high price bike. You want the fat tires to get you over the snow and that's it. Go cheap, but not too cheap. You don't want it rusting in your first week

The price isn't going to change the fact that components will rust and corrode. A $4k bike will rust just as fast as a $500 bike.

MarcusT 09-15-18 10:26 AM


Originally Posted by prj71 (Post 20565263)
The price isn't going to change the fact that components will rust and corrode. A $4k bike will rust just as fast as a $500 bike.

I was talking about $200 bikes. I take it you've never owned one? Yes, the rims, spokes and hubs rust quickly, especially with road salt

rumrunn6 09-21-18 09:48 AM


Originally Posted by buffalo4life (Post 20561692)
I spent $500 on the bd Bullseye Monster. 2 x 8 is good enough and mechanical discs kinda suck but this will be my 3rd winter and it keeps Rollin and I keep smilin.

don't have a fatbike but just got a used MTB w mechanical disc brakes. can you shed more light on how they suck. are they bad in general or mostly bad in the winter? worse that rim brakes? thanks

HerrKaLeun 09-22-18 04:06 PM


Originally Posted by rumrunn6 (Post 20578379)
don't have a fatbike but just got a used MTB w mechanical disc brakes. can you shed more light on how they suck. are they bad in general or mostly bad in the winter? worse that rim brakes? thanks

opening can or worms....
mechanical brakes generally have a bit less power and modulation. also need adjustment more often for pad wear. there are different qualities of course.
Larger rotors can help to make them work better.

Cable also has the risk of water from snow in the cable and freezing.

If the bike comes with mechanical brakes, just try out, upgrade rotors if needed and then go to hydraulic if needed. Or be happy with them the way they are. Don't sweat it, they are an easy upgrade if needed.

rumrunn6 09-22-18 07:03 PM


Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun (Post 20580400)
opening can or worms.....

no, thanks for the summary. I'm a little behind the times & usually buy stuff well past their introduction to the market

Hondo Gravel 10-09-18 12:05 AM


Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun (Post 20580400)
opening can or worms....
mechanical brakes generally have a bit less power and modulation. also need adjustment more often for pad wear. there are different qualities of course.
Larger rotors can help to make them work better.

Cable also has the risk of water from snow in the cable and freezing.

If the bike comes with mechanical brakes, just try out, upgrade rotors if needed and then go to hydraulic if needed. Or be happy with them the way they are. Don't sweat it, they are an easy upgrade if needed.

I have the Avid BB5 mechanical brake on my fatboy, zero problems braking is adequate for the style of riding I ride :lol: hydraulic brakes are better I have Avid hydros on my MTB no experience in snow Iím maybe not the best source but for hilly rocky hills I might be some help.

Rajflyboy 10-29-18 08:33 PM

Redline Grizz

cheap and not bad

baj2 10-30-18 12:25 AM

I second Bikes Direct, I have 3 bikes from there (including a fatty) and am very happy with all of them. Framed also makes some nice affordable bikes, but from the shopping I've done are often a little more $ than comparable BD bikes. This can vary of course, so I recommend doing your own comparison shopping. Also check FB or Craigslist for used fatties, although depending on where you live the selection currently up for sale may not be all that great.

If you are looking for something to ride in deeper snow, don't go single-speed. You will need gears. Also, the fatter the tires, the better you will handle the snow. The Boris X5 on BD might be a good fit at $599.

Good luck!

baj2 10-30-18 12:31 AM

Also, a word of caution on the Target/Walmart/whatever $200-300 models - they tend to be VERY heavy with really cheap components and tires.

A friend bought a Mongoose (53lbs, $250) just for grins and I tried it - the mechanical disc brakes were horrible (they certainly make better, but apparently not on a $250 fatty), the shifting was annoyingly sluggish, and the extra weight was very noticeable.

He busted the chain on his first off-road ride. He also said the tires weren't that great in the snow (I rode it in Summer). You want it for riding in the snow, and tires can make a huge difference, so that's one more thing to look for when shopping. But also keep in mind that tires are an easy upgrade, I've seen pairs of decent 4.5"x26 tires on ebay for under $100.

wipekitty 10-30-18 11:59 AM


Originally Posted by baj2 (Post 20639903)

A friend bought a Mongoose (53lbs, $250) just for grins and I tried it - the mechanical disc brakes were horrible (they certainly make better, but apparently not on a $250 fatty), the shifting was annoyingly sluggish, and the extra weight was very noticeable.

53 LBS? Dude, I'd need a back brace just to get that thing in and out of my house!

On that note, does anybody know how much the BD fat bikes weigh? The Framed Minnesota 2.0 claims to weigh just over 34lbs, and I believe the Blue Philly (which looked nice, but I can no longer find) was about the same.

I doubt I'll get the green light from the SO to buy a fat bike, but as a dirty roadie, weight is somewhat important, as is keeping the cost down since I'd only use it a few months out of the year :)

baj2 10-30-18 05:18 PM


Originally Posted by wipekitty (Post 20640601)
53 LBS? Dude, I'd need a back brace just to get that thing in and out of my house!

On that note, does anybody know how much the BD fat bikes weigh? The Framed Minnesota 2.0 claims to weigh just over 34lbs, and I believe the Blue Philly (which looked nice, but I can no longer find) was about the same.

I doubt I'll get the green light from the SO to buy a fat bike, but as a dirty roadie, weight is somewhat important, as is keeping the cost down since I'd only use it a few months out of the year :)

In my engineering work circles there's a familiar cube-poster (hard-copy meme?) that goes like this:

Pick Two:
-Good
-Fast
-Cheap

Put "Light" in place of "Fast" and I think the same applies to bikes and components.

My 19" (large) Motobecane Sturgis Bullet with Aluminum frame, Bluto suspension fork, 80mm wheels and 4.5" tires was almost 35lbs. I weighed a tube when I was swapping tires, came in at 1.3lbs, so going tubeless would help that. A steel frame will weigh a little more, but if you go with a rigid fork that would probably more than offset the Bluto. I was surprised how well this bike "carried" it's weight when riding, but still heavy. After a couple of close calls trying to hang it from the wheels in the garage I bought one of those rope bike hoists.

From what I've seen the BD bikes aren't really any heavier than other brands with similar components.

On the crazy side, a friend built an all-carbon fatbike (frame, fork, wheels, bars, stem, seat post - pretty much everything he could find) from scratch with top-of-the-line drive train and brake components, 4.5" tires and 1x11 for about $3000 and it was only 23lbs. The ride is pretty amazing, I was impressed. But yeah, convincing the wife that I need to sink $3k into a new fatty would be a significant challenge.

baj2 10-30-18 05:31 PM


Originally Posted by wipekitty (Post 20640601)
but as a dirty roadie, weight is somewhat important, as is keeping the cost down since I'd only use it a few months out of the year :)

It doesn't have to be a Winter-only bike. If you ride any single track it could easily be a year-round bike. A lot of folks in MN sold their 29ers and spent more on their fatties and ride them 12mo a year. I ride mine in the Summer when I ride paved trails and roads with family or friends who don't ride very often as it makes it more of a workout for me. :-)

My fatty is also a lot of fun on dirt (single track), you can pretty-much lean as much as you have the cahunas to do in the corners (except maybe on sand) and a 4+" tire is almost like having suspension over smaller rocks and roots. I love my 29er and it's still super light and therefore a little faster than my fatty, but it's getting old. If it was newer and had more value I would consider selling it and upgrading my fatty.

baj2 11-01-18 12:42 AM


Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun (Post 20580400)
opening can or worms....
mechanical brakes generally have a bit less power and modulation. also need adjustment more often for pad wear. there are different qualities of course.
Larger rotors can help to make them work better.

Cable also has the risk of water from snow in the cable and freezing.

If the bike comes with mechanical brakes, just try out, upgrade rotors if needed and then go to hydraulic if needed. Or be happy with them the way they are. Don't sweat it, they are an easy upgrade if needed.

Disagree on the mechanical vs hydraulic disc braking power, although the quality of the type of brake certainly makes a difference. I have Avid BB7's (mechanical) on my 2003 Giant Rainier (really nice brakes for a cheaper bike) and they have no less stopping power than the hydraulic Avid Elixir CRs on my 29er (2010) or the hydraulic Tektro Dracos (2016) on my fatty. I will agree with the less modulation comment, but it's something I think you get use to and it becomes less of an issue, at least for the riding I do. The Rainier has been my Winter bike for the last 8 years, I added fenders and studded tires. I ride it a lot less now that I have my fatty, but I have never had any issues with the disc brake cables freezing up, they've always worked like a champ.

HerrKaLeun 11-01-18 05:21 AM


Originally Posted by baj2 (Post 20642944)
Disagree on the mechanical vs hydraulic disc braking power, although the quality of the type of brake certainly makes a difference. I have Avid BB7's (mechanical) on my 2003 Giant Rainier (really nice brakes for a cheaper bike) and they have no less stopping power than the hydraulic Avid Elixir CRs on my 29er (2010) or the hydraulic Tektro Dracos (2016) on my fatty. I will agree with the less modulation comment, but it's something I think you get use to and it becomes less of an issue, at least for the riding I do. The Rainier has been my Winter bike for the last 8 years, I added fenders and studded tires. I ride it a lot less now that I have my fatty, but I have never had any issues with the disc brake cables freezing up, they've always worked like a champ.

Too subjective to compare brakes on different bikes and setups. The different brakes you had had different pads (friction factor!), levers etc. I upgraded a bike from cable to Deore brakes and it was much better. With cable I had to use the full hand to still not stop well, with hydraulic i could 1-finger brake.
I know, the original brake likely wasn't a great mechanical brake...

Hydraulic has at least one inherent advantage, it doesn't have cable stretch, which is wasted force. the mechanical advantage on hydraulic and mechanical brakes could be the same depending on the specific design.

I also see many hydraulic levers set up wrong, or in the way of the mechanic levers. With hydraulic you can brake with your index finger only. Consequently the lever should be located so the index finger is at the very end (longest lever).

All my experience is not a scientific setup or proof. but i think there is a reason why almost every new bike comes with hydros. Cars and motorbikes got rid of cable brakes a long time ago because of the inherent advantage of hydros. i don't know anyone riding a lot who got rid of the stock hydraulic brakes to gain the advantage of cable brakes..... If you are right, the entire industry must be wrong :innocent:

rumrunn6 11-01-18 06:48 AM

do you even need brakes on a fat bike? I mean, if you stop pedaling don't you just slow down due to all the friction? I would think reliability is foul weather would be a bigger concern that strength of braking

prj71 11-02-18 02:20 PM


Originally Posted by rumrunn6 (Post 20643103)
do you even need brakes on a fat bike? I mean, if you stop pedaling don't you just slow down due to all the friction? I would think reliability is foul weather would be a bigger concern that strength of braking

Lol. Yes you need brakes on fat bike.

The bottom line is that hydraulic disc brakes will be better than cable disc brakes. Cable brakes run the chance of the cable freezing due to moisture in the housing.


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