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Looking at getting a fat tire mountain bike. Any feedback?

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Looking at getting a fat tire mountain bike. Any feedback?

Old 09-27-19, 03:57 PM
  #1  
capman
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Looking at getting a fat tire mountain bike. Any feedback?

Any fat tire mountain bike owners want to give me their opinions about weather its worth getting a fat bike over regular mountain bike.
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Old 09-27-19, 04:24 PM
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wolfchild
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Do some research on the pros and cons of fat bikes and then decide for yourself if it's worth it...For me personally I prefer a regular mountain bike that has enough clearance to run anything from 2.35 inch to 2.8 inch tires, that's as much rubber as I will ever need.to get me over most terrains and trails.
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Old 09-27-19, 07:15 PM
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groverdill
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Coincidentally, earlier today I took my fatbike to the local mountain bike trail for the first time. I only rode a short distance (just a few miles) , but upon my return I said to myself, “I need a dedicated mountain bike for this.” FWIW the only suspension my fatbike has is the fat air in my fat tires which sit under my fat a**.

Mike
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Old 09-27-19, 07:49 PM
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Fat bikes are great for loose and soft terrain. Sand, snow, mud, that sort of thing. But they are far less efficient than normal MTBs on harder packed surfaces.
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Old 10-01-19, 07:07 PM
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Have a Specialized Fuse, it is great for our local dirt roads, ATV trails, logging paths and cow paths. Have not actually taken it "mountain biking", no doubt it would work well on the Kingdon Trails south of me.
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Old 10-01-19, 07:34 PM
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Just to give you more options, we now have 27.5 plus, which are 2.8-3" wide. So a skinny fat or fat skinny.

I bought one, a Trek Roscoe 6. So far I'm enjoying it.
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Old 10-01-19, 09:10 PM
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Clem von Jones
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You'll pay a penalty for heavier tires and wheels during climbs, and it's greater than you might expect if you intend to ride steep trails. If you live in flatland, ride on sandy trails in a place like Florida, or intend to load the bike up with camping gear then maybe you can justify fatter tires but if you live in the mountains and have to ride uphill mile after mile you'll notice every extra gram. Also consider your fitness & energy level, age, and whether you intend to have a suspension. You sort of have to justify any unnecessary weight on the bike. Generally lighter is better. There are a lot of flavor-of-the-month marketing fads in the bicycle market and if you haven't had much experience with cycling you might not know what you want. There are loads of unused mountain bikes cluttering up garages probably because people underestimated how difficult it is to ride up steep hills on a heavy bike designed with downhill-not-climbing frame geometry. Sure you can do it once or twice, maybe a few times if you're really determined, but will you enjoy that?

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 10-01-19 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 10-01-19, 10:03 PM
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MarcusT
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Might get better replies from the Fat Bike forum.
My patented adage:
Mtb is good for single track, fat bike is good for no track.
Though I use it for almost anything
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Old 10-02-19, 08:44 AM
  #9  
rumrunn6
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personal choices ... personally, I road a long, unpaved, rugged, rail trail last year. read reviews that regular road bikes could manage it just fine, met a cpl guys on the trail who swore the trail could only be ridden on fat bikes. I managed OK doing it with a hybrid with larger than normal tires but really enjoyed in on a regular 29er style MTB. I've read where ppl think fat bikes (4"+ tires) are hard to pedal & slow. so far, I can manage the trails near me with 2.25 tires so I stopped considering a "fat bike". they still look intriguing & I'd love to do a favorite 2-10 mile beach hike w/ a fat bike instead, to see if it's better than walking that far
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Old 10-02-19, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by capman View Post
Any fat tire mountain bike owners want to give me their opinions about weather its worth getting a fat bike over regular mountain bike.
Depends on what you want to do with it.

If you are just downhilling, a full squish mtb will be better.
If you are just riding groomed gravel, an all roads adventure bike will be better.
If you are just doing hard pack trails, a hardtail or rigid mtb will be better.
If you want to flex between all three, and add soft surfaces and are not focused on speed, a fat bike can be a good all rounder and fun.
If the soft surfaces are not too extreme a good compromise would be a plus size 3" 27.5 or 29r.

I like my fat bike because it can go from this




to this




to this in the same trip





Or, from this




to this




to this on another

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Old 10-03-19, 06:08 AM
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burnthesheep
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That post adequately highlights exactly what a fatbike is good for.
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Old 10-03-19, 10:00 AM
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TBH, only the last picture is fatbike territory - all of the others (from what is depicted) can be done on 38mm tires easily.
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Old 10-03-19, 10:43 AM
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TiHabanero
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Capman, this is a good question, and one I asked two winters ago. Was riding an Anthem 29 1 full sus bike and really, really liked it. Came from a hardtail and found the Anthem design was perfect for my style riding. Well, I got a fat bike and proceeded to test it against the Anthem. In every situation except one, the Anthem was the better bike. Easier to pedal making it faster, more rough trail compliance, more big hit compliance, and more fun overall.

To let you know, I am a roadie, and spin the rings, not slug fest them. The fat bike was slow. Period. Just slow. I like to get places at a reasonable pace, but the fat bike did not do that. It is not in its genes. One type of terrain it did show an advantage was snow. Not deep snow, as it required too much effort, but 6 inches or so. The 29er tracked poorly in that stuff, but the fat bike tracked very well. The reason for this should be obvious. It was still slow, but easier to control.

Went to a fat bike race that winter before I bought the fat bike, and realized that a fat bike race is better to participate in than watch. 10mph going by you has a certain lack of excitement!

Overall, if I was limited to one bike, it would be a 29er running 2.3 to 3 inch tires.
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Old 10-03-19, 10:48 AM
  #14  
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I have one for fun, no other reason. Be advised good fatbike tires can cost as much or more than an actual car tire.
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Old 10-03-19, 11:16 AM
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Ran into to two people on a RailsToTrails path that were on electric fat tire bicycles. They loved them because they could go twice as far in a day than a normal rider. They both had jobs that only let them ride on the weekends. They passed me multiple times going quite fast. They would stop and look at the scenery, I would pass them and then they would catch up to me again.
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Old 10-03-19, 11:45 AM
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I have both a nice 5" fatbike and a good trail mountain bike I run 2.3s on. IMO:
- the rolling resistance on smoother surfaces is higher than a regular mountain bike but not as high as some above make it out to be, especially with good tires. A fatbike with good tires can roll along pretty easily.
- a fatbike can absolutely fly offroad. Bombing a fairly technical descent on a fatbike is very easy. They are not much slower climbing, if at all, and they can make it up almost any slope. The idea that fatbikes are slow offroad is easily disproven by riding one offroad.
- a fatbike in only as good as its tires. Good fatbike tires cost a fortune, especially if you want studs. Having said that, good tires are worth every penny and you really get what you pay for. Cheap fatbike tires suck in every way (I'm looking at you, Vee tires).
- a fatbike is good in the snow, but not the super-powered monster truck some make it out to be. Better than most anything else but not worlds better.
- fatbike rear hubs suck unless you get a very expensive one. A good 197 rear hub can easily run $250-$500. Plan on destroying your rear hub surprisingly quickly.
- don't believe people who say suspension is completely unnecessary on a fatbike. Riding a post-holed snowy trail on a rigid fatbike is just as bone-jarring as doing so on a rigid mountain bike.
- tubeless makes a huge difference on a fatbike, a bigger difference than on any other type of bike, IMO.
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Old 10-03-19, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
TBH, only the last picture is fatbike territory - all of the others (from what is depicted) can be done on 38mm tires easily.
No not really.. but in any case, are you carrying two bikes on your rides?

The point was that I enjoy having a style of bike that allows for a wide variety of off road conditions. Any "one" condition can have a more specialized option.

I originally started thinking of a fat bike after exploring the great sand hills in Saskatchewan with a 26" 1.75 wheel and not being able to make any progress. I had a good road touring bike and wanted a second tour bike that could handle a wide range of off road conditions. The fat bike, or a plus 29r fits that description.
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Old 10-03-19, 01:49 PM
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Fat bikes are great for loose and soft terrain. Sand, SNOW, mud, that sort of thing. But they are far less efficient than normal MTBs on harder packed surfaces.
They "say" they are good in snow. Realistically it has to be groomed snow.
  • If there is any accumulation of fresh snow, I'm on a mountain bike or tire that can slice through the snow
  • If there is ice or any freeze/thaw cycle, I'm on studded tires (Try pricing those out for a fat bike, lol).
  • They are fun on groomed MTB trails, or simply following a snowmobile track.
  • I can't ride in deep snow with them, but can on 2" or skinnier tires that cut through the snow.
  • Some snow can't be ridden on much anything other than a fat bike - like old snow that has been walked on or driven on. I tend to avoid that stuff.
I agree, with good tires I can easily do 15mph on a fatbike. I love the way fat knobbies tend to part the seas when riding in an area with pedestrians. They tend to have super long wheelbases, which makes MTB trail riding a little different if its at all tight.
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Old 10-03-19, 07:05 PM
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I would agree that a good fat bike weight and tire quality wise vs a cheap one makes a world of difference. Before I got a good deal on my fat bike I was eyeing a 29" x 3" ECR which I think would be even a little better than a dedicated fat bike but the cost was a little to high for me at the time.

My thinking in the last couple of years has been to find a combination that covers the wide spectrum of riding conditions I want to take on. Fast road tours to off road exploration. We often talk about the "one bike to rule them all" but I don't think that's really possible. The difference in posture between aggressive trail riding and fast road riding dictates two very different geometries if one wants to be even a little close to optimal.

The conditions I like to ride/tour in are:

Road
Gravel
Trails
Singletrack
No track
Mixed terrain

So I decided to go with two bikes to cover that spectrum.

My first is an endurance road frame that runs 700c x 28mm or 32mm slicks but can also fit 35mm treaded tires. This covers the gambit of road and gravel grinding.

My second is a fat bike that can take either 26" x 4.6" or 29" x 3" with a second wheelset. This covers rough gravel, trails, singletrack, no track and mixed terrain like bog, sand and snow. With a suspension fork it would also do technical downhill mtb but that's not really touring territory and the suspension fork would take away from touring I think.

By using a modular bag system that fits both bikes I can add or subtract bags to scale up or down depending on duration of trip and how much stuff I want to bring. I can do day long centuries or trail riding or multi week tours with each.

By good fortune both seat posts are 27.2 so I can invest in a decent dropper post and swap that between bikes too if I want, allowing for an aggressive gravel grinder or better up and down trail bike.





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Old 10-03-19, 07:59 PM
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I'd just get the fatbike. There doesn't seem to be any other type of bike that people police as heavily as a fatbike, it's really quite remarkable just how many rules people try to impose on those riding them.

"Look man, I don't mean to burst your bubble or anything, but you know that if you ride that fatbike on anything aside from snow or sand, you may create a paradox that will result in the heat death of the universe, right? I mean, you wouldn't want to destroy everything we know and hold dear by taking that bike on summertime singletrack, or, God forbid, pavement of any type, would you?"

I'd just not worry about what other people tell you, I'd get one and ride it like mad. They look like fun.
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Old 10-03-19, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
TBH, only the last picture is fatbike territory - all of the others (from what is depicted) can be done on 38mm tires easily.
So, be sure to bring enough bikes with you.
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Old 10-03-19, 10:41 PM
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The bike you choose should open up the path of possibility and allow you the freedom to go where you want to go.
All I can say is so far this bike has delivered on that potential.



























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Old 10-04-19, 08:36 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by capman View Post
Any fat tire mountain bike owners want to give me their opinions about weather its worth getting a fat bike over regular mountain bike.
Without knowing more about how/where/why you ride, you are not going to get very much useful info.

I have a rigid fatbike with 4 tires and a FS MTB with 2.3s. I love that the fattie lets me keep trail riding once things get mucky/snowy/slippery/leaf choked from November through April around here. However, once the trails dry/thaw, my fattie seldom leaves the garage. The 140mm FS with 2.3s is a far more capable, fun, fast, thrashing bike once conditions are not pure $h!t.
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Old 10-04-19, 08:57 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
Fat bikes are great for loose and soft terrain. Sand, snow, mud, that sort of thing. But they are far less efficient than normal MTBs on harder packed surfaces.
Would disagree on the less efficient part. My hardtail fatty weighs less than my full sus. Try some 80 mm tubeless rims with 80 mm summer tires. Superb traction with monster truck capabilities. Great for all around mt biking. Not my first choice for really tech, chunky trail though. Do not underestimate the fun factor. A great addition to the stable, imho.
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Old 10-04-19, 09:09 AM
  #25  
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A normal 26", 650b or 29'er MTB with, 2" or 50mm wide tubeless summer tires would still be far more efficient than the 80mm rubber you're running. Less unsprung weight and less rotating mass.
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