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Talk to me about Fat Bikes

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Talk to me about Fat Bikes

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Old 05-07-18, 06:46 AM
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JA TREK
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Talk to me about Fat Bikes

Hey all,

I went out on the trails yesterday for the first time with my Trek Hybrid (will post pics in hybrid section). I had only been road riding prior to. I have to say, being on the trail was a totally different experience! I enjoyed the beautiful scenery, and it was nice to ride without worrying about getting hit. Admittedly, my hybrid with zero suspension was a little rough, but not horrible by any means. I live in NY where we get long winters, so I have been thinking about a fat bike for some time now.

​​​​l want to ride trails every season, and I feel torn between a mtb or a fat bike? Is the fat bike considerably harder to maneuver due to its size? I'm not looking to go all out as fast as I can, but want to be able to get up and down hills.

Also I'm considering frames. Steel, aluminum, carbon? Obviously steel is heavier. I'm looking at the Trek Farley 5, but also have access to Specialized, Cannondale, Fuji, and Scott fat bikes at my LBS (s). I realize I just have to go try them to see what I'm most comfortable on. Would love to hear opinions and learn what others are riding.
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Old 05-07-18, 10:11 PM
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For me, riding a fat bike was like riding a bike for the first time; smiles and looking for adventure. It is not for everyone. If you can borrow or rent one for a day, that should help you decide. As far as which one?. All depends how much you want to spend
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Old 05-09-18, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
For me, riding a fat bike was like riding a bike for the first time; smiles and looking for adventure. It is not for everyone. If you can borrow or rent one for a day, that should help you decide. As far as which one?. All depends how much you want to spend
I can't wait to try one! I came home today from work all ready to take my hybrid out, and the front wheel was completely flat! Off to the LBS, and ten mins later I was ready to ride again. However, I was told that my bike is much more a road bike and to stay off the trails after they pulled a thorn from my tire.

Needless to say I was pretty bummed about not being able to do some trail riding this evening. But, I did end up doing a nice 10 mile road ride around town.

Now I really, really want a MTB or Fatty- like yesterday. I guess I'll be trying them out sooner then later!
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Old 05-09-18, 07:46 PM
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If you only ride trail (what trails???) an MTB hardtail may be better, maybe a plus-tire. fatbikes are also capable for trail, but more optimized for snow, sand etc. I use mine on construction sites (look like moon craters when being developed), which may be hard with thinner tires. but for trails an MTB may be enough.

As for your flat, you should learn to fix it. what if you have a flat in the middle of nowhere? Even if you are tubeless, good to know how to.
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Old 05-10-18, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
If you only ride trail (what trails???) an MTB hardtail may be better, maybe a plus-tire. fatbikes are also capable for trail, but more optimized for snow, sand etc. I use mine on construction sites (look like moon craters when being developed), which may be hard with thinner tires. but for trails an MTB may be enough.

As for your flat, you should learn to fix it. what if you have a flat in the middle of nowhere? Even if you are tubeless, good to know how to.
Here's the thing... I started out in March only riding roads. Then, I was made aware of all sorts of beautiful trails around my home. The one I really like has some gravel, some areas with dirt/tree roots, etc. Parts are hilly but nothing extreme by any means. After riding it just one time I realized I think I like being on the trail more then the roads, but I want to do both. I will keep my hybrid for roads for sure.

The main reason I was thinking of a fat bike, is because we get long winters here in Upstate NY, and I would love to keep riding year round.

I know I definitely need to learn how to change flats. They replaced my tube yesterday.
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Old 05-10-18, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JA TREK View Post
Here's the thing... I started out in March only riding roads. Then, I was made aware of all sorts of beautiful trails around my home. The one I really like has some gravel, some areas with dirt/tree roots, etc. Parts are hilly but nothing extreme by any means. After riding it just one time I realized I think I like being on the trail more then the roads, but I want to do both. I will keep my hybrid for roads for sure.

The main reason I was thinking of a fat bike, is because we get long winters here in Upstate NY, and I would love to keep riding year round.

I know I definitely need to learn how to change flats. They replaced my tube yesterday.
Seems you left the most important information out of your OP.
Well, yeah, fatbike would work best then.
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Old 05-10-18, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Seems you left the most important information out of your OP.
Well, yeah, fatbike would work best then.
Good point. I will continue to research as well, but I guess the most important factor is just going to the LBS and trying different bikes out.
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Old 05-11-18, 07:38 PM
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I love my fatbike 4 months a year when the snow is flying. I don't think fatbikes are the best for trail riding compared to a traditional mtb though. While a fatbike can go through anything it is also sluggish and heavy.
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Old 05-11-18, 07:54 PM
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I put quite a few miles on a Fatbike that I had access to for a couple of years, even going through several miles of 6+ deep snow with little problem. It can be a serviceable trail bike, but I prefer my FS MTB for that. Recently, I put a 2.35" tire on the front and a 2.5" on the rear (the widest my frame and fork will accept without mods) and now I use it on roads, trails, and even the beach. I lost a couple of MPH on the road compared to the 2.1" tires I had originally, but the tradeoff is well worth to me.
Good luck with whichever way you go. You might want to look into the PLUS bikes before you pull the trigger.
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Old 05-11-18, 10:06 PM
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I love my fat bike. No snow here but it is a beast off road. It’s my go to bike when I want to ride for fun like to the mailbox or to raid my neighbors beer out of their outdoor refrigerator. I have regular platform pedals so I don’t need my cycling shoes or get decked out to go for a spin. Like everyone says you will be grinning.
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Old 05-15-18, 01:54 AM
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I have a technically 'better' bike than my fattie. However, I only ever seem to sit on and ride the fattie. The smiles-per-mile is the clincher for me. I ride for physical fitness and mental health (endorphins). There's no snow or sand here but the fatbike ticks every box for me on every ride on the urban streets in my neighbourhood: physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, more calories burned per ride compared to my hybrid, feel-good factor, kinder road users who don't harass me on the streets, thumbs up from so many people whilst out cycling. What's not to like?

And like a previous poster, I use flat pedals and just my regular gym shoes so no special footwear or clothing is required.
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Old 05-15-18, 12:33 PM
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Awesome to hear guys!! Thanks for all of the reviews.

I took my hybrid out yesterday on what I thought was a paved, wider bike trail. It ended up being loose stone/gravel. While I loved the trail (tons of wildlife), it was such a rough ride. I think I'm going to go get my "mountain" bike sooner than later.
​​​​​​
I'm looking at the Roscoe 7 or 8 (women's version). Not a fat bike, but a plus bike with thick tires. I was told I could get studded snows that would work well in winter, if I really end up wanting to do outdoor stuff. Otherwise I'll always have my indoor trainer to use with my hybrid.
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Old 06-25-18, 04:08 AM
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I think in some ways fat bikes are more maneuverable than standard mtbs as the tyres have a lot more grip. I find riding my fatty to be much more confidence inspiring going round corners than my not so fat bikes due to the amount of grip available. The amount of grip makes climbing a lot easier too - it just monsters up climbs. As for doing downhill, the one drawback I notice is that the weight makes it slightly harder to tuck the rear end up underneath me when getting airborne, but then the big tyres make landing much more comfortable than a hard tail with skinny tyres.

The go anywhere nature of the bikes makes them ideally suited to a bit of chilled out exploration, or bimbling. Yes, they are not as out-and-out fast as a standard mtb, but they are pretty close if that's what you want to do. But ultimately, the thing that makes them better is that they are fun all of the time.
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Old 06-25-18, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by FrontFive View Post
I think in some ways fat bikes are more maneuverable than standard mtbs as the tyres have a lot more grip. I find riding my fatty to be much more confidence inspiring going round corners than my not so fat bikes due to the amount of grip available. The amount of grip makes climbing a lot easier too - it just monsters up climbs. As for doing downhill, the one drawback I notice is that the weight makes it slightly harder to tuck the rear end up underneath me when getting airborne, but then the big tyres make landing much more comfortable than a hard tail with skinny tyres.

The go anywhere nature of the bikes makes them ideally suited to a bit of chilled out exploration, or bimbling. Yes, they are not as out-and-out fast as a standard mtb, but they are pretty close if that's what you want to do. But ultimately, the thing that makes them better is that they are fun all of the time.
I'm not good in MTB riding, so the fatbike (slower and lot of grip) give me more confidence. Also like it doesn't matter where the trail is, there trail is where the fatbike is.
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