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Looking for my first fatbike but have some questions.

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Looking for my first fatbike but have some questions.

Old 06-27-18, 07:14 AM
  #1  
RJM
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Looking for my first fatbike but have some questions.

I've got the bug to get a fatbike which I will be riding throughout all the seasons mostly on regular mountain bike single track, gravel roads and hopefully snow trails when I visit my family in the Chicago area. I started doing some research but got a little confused when people started mentioning "modern standards" for fattys. What exactly are the modern standards for fat bikes nowadays? I'm assuming it means thru axle hubs in a certain width. Is there a fatbike geometry that is considered "modern" like there currently is in the mountain bike world?

What would you prioritize when buying your first fatbike?

Some bikes I've been looking at - Trek Farley carbon frame (out of stock but the local bike shop is a dealer so they can get me one when they come back in stock)
Chumba Ursa Major. - steel frame is on sale which I could build up into something cool I would think.
Salsa Mukluk - carbon frame, seems to be solid
Surly ICT - my friend recommends but he is in love with all Surlys.
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Old 06-27-18, 10:17 PM
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MarcusT
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Not sure what "modern" means, possibly the hub and bottom bracket widths.
One of your choices is the Chumbra steel frame and build up form there. Be careful because fat bike components are expensive. I tried pricing a refit of my bike and it cost much more than a whole bike
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Old 06-29-18, 06:26 PM
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rangie
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You want your fatbike to be fun and ride lighter than it is on the trails and still be able to fit the big tires for the snow and sand. That means a rear center as short as possible, a longish reach and slack head angle to go with a short stem and room for 4.8" tires.

The bikes you listed are all good choices. The Chumba and Surly are both heavier than they need to be and lack routing for a stealth dropper. The Farley runs a 177 crank with a 197 rear for a little narrower q factor if that matters to you.

Other good choices for a trail worthy year round bike would be

Kona Wozo
Pivot les fat
Norco Sasquatch
Rocky mountain blizzard
??
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Old 07-06-18, 06:14 AM
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If your single track trails are rocky and rooty the fat bike will beat you up.

Modern more or less means thru axles and 150mm front hub spacing and 190/197 rear hub spacing and 1x drivetrain. Some fat bikes have also gone to 68 degree head tube angle making them a little more "trail" friendly.

Surly is just a fad that has come and gone. They are being outgunned by other bike manufactures. I wouldn't even consider one.
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Old 07-08-18, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
If your single track trails are rocky and rooty the fat bike will beat you up.

Modern more or less means thru axles and 150mm front hub spacing and 190/197 rear hub spacing and 1x drivetrain. Some fat bikes have also gone to 68 degree head tube angle making them a little more "trail" friendly.

Surly is just a fad that has come and gone. They are being outgunned by other bike manufactures. I wouldn't even consider one.
I agree about the standards. Not too sure on the Surly part. Like a lot of categories Surly invented them or at least brought them to mainstream.
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Old 07-08-18, 05:44 PM
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I purchase 2017 Salsa Mukluk Carbon X1 in January of 2017. I just turned 5,000 miles on her last Friday. Love the bike & use it primarily as a backcountry wandering tool - lots of jeep trails, some single track, gravel roads, irrigation ditch tracks & desert washes. Limited bikepacking (plan on more) but mostly day rides of 20 to 70 miles. Most of the miles are with a set of 27.5 x 3" Rocket Rons set up tubeless. The bike is light enough to easily lift over gates, fences, & washouts. If the hike-a-bike section gets rough & I need to carry her for a while, she slings over the shoulder easily. Currently, my other bike is a Salsa Cutthroat. The Cutthroat covers miles quicker as long as the surface is relatively firm, but nothing beats the Mukluk when I decide to turn down a wash and see where it goes.

I'd buy the same bike & run the same tires in a minute. In fact, this January I bought my wife the same bike & she's rediscovered wandering by pedal.

Howard Snell
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Old 07-09-18, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cs1 View Post

I agree about the standards. Not too sure on the Surly part. Like a lot of categories Surly invented them or at least brought them to mainstream.
Yes Surly started it all, now they've fallen way behind. Surly bikes more or less ceased to exist on any trails in my area these days.
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Old 07-16-18, 07:56 PM
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Picked up used Kona Wo, with studded winter tires. Looking forward to winter.
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Old 07-17-18, 05:20 AM
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There are so many good fatties out there,

Surly included. I've had two aluminum (Framed, Mukluk), and I'm now riding a carbon Borealis Yampa. They've all been a lot of fun.

If you're intending to bomb rocky and rooty singletrack then, yes, I agree a fat bike might not be the best choice (unless you can afford something like a Bucksaw). But if your intention is to get out in the woods and explore, a fatty will be excellent.
​​​​​​
The bikes you list are different animals. For example, the carbon Muk and the Surly ICT. The former is more trail oriented, the latter more XC and Bikepacking. Decide what you want and go from there. Personally, I would not consider the Farley. Trek is one of the 800 pound gorillas bent on ruining the industry.
​​​​​​
Lastly, consider looking used. I started cheap on sale (a barely used bike that was returned because it didn't fit the buyer) to see what I liked, upgraded in a good deal (frameset only that had been owned by a shop employee and was insanely cheap) then sold that Muk for more than I bought the Borealis for. There are SO many people buying fatties on a whim that the used deals can be excellent. You have to know bikes, of course, or know someone who does whose advice you can trust
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Old 08-23-18, 04:20 PM
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Hi, I've got a 2011 muckluk, I'm not sure if that counts as modern.. It's awesome though. Why not look for a used fatbike on Craigslist and make sure if it's for you and figure out modern vs non modern without it costing you a lot. I know mine is modern enough that I'll be bike packing the azt on it in the spring. All 750 miles of it.
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Old 08-23-18, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by revcp View Post
...Trek is one of the 800 pound gorillas bent on ruining the industry...
I am not getting defensive just curious why there is so much hate towards Treks? I love my two Treks and giving consideration to a third.
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Old 08-24-18, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by IvyGodivy View Post


I am not getting defensive just curious why there is so much hate towards Treks? I love my two Treks and giving consideration to a third.
I love Trek bikes. My first racing bike was a 660. I also had a 2100. A few weeks ago I acquired a 1985 720. I believe it's the best riding bike I've ever thrown a leg over. The Trek company, however, wants to be a monopoly. It wants shops to carry only Trek and Bontrager. Larger shops shrug that off. Smaller ones often have to acquiesce.
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