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Fast Fatbike

Old 09-30-19, 09:36 AM
  #1  
Hypno Toad
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Fast Fatbike

I hear lots of people complain that fatbikes are "slow" ... they are slow in some conditions; but they can hold their own in other conditions.

I'm half stroking my ego and half starting a thread to talk about getting fast with a fatbike.

I finished The Heck of the North on Saturday in 7 hours 6 minutes on my drop-bar Pugsley (average moving 15.8 mph & total average 15.2 mph). This 108-mile course is a mix of gravel, ATV/snowmobile trails, and some paved highways. The bike is mostly stock, expect the Salsa Woodchipper bars, Gevenalle shifters, and Fat-B-Nimble tires.



This isn't the first time this bike has been fast - on the 2017 Filthy 50 we had perfect conditions and I finished that 52-mile gravel course in 2 hours 57 minutes (averaging 17.6 mph - moving & total)

Do you go fast on your fatbike? Let's hear about fast days and modifications you made to make the fattie a little faster.

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 10-01-19 at 06:14 AM. Reason: added total and moving average speed
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Old 09-30-19, 10:13 PM
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It's rare when I go fast. I don't take trails, I blaze my way across beaches, river beds and forests.
For those with fatties, it's not a criticism it's a fact of life. Big, wide tires with low psi are slower.. Of course it's a trade off to be able to go any where. You don't need to convince us on this forum.
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Old 10-01-19, 06:37 AM
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Hypno Toad
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IMHO - the fatbike is a more diverse bike than the average person understands. It'll never compete with a road bike on pavement, but doesn't need to be labeled "slow" either.

To be clear, I do love blazing trails too. Well truth is, there is supposed to be a trail here, but 4 months under flood waters wiped most signs of a trail away. I spent a couple hours following a line on my Garmin, saying 'the trail goes there, really ?!?!'



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Old 10-01-19, 08:41 AM
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What I am finding is that it is a good cross over bike between a downhill mtb that sucks to ride any distance and a road oriented bike that bogs in loose or gnarly terrain. With the tires pumped up it's a pretty fast off road machine.



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Old 10-01-19, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I finished The Heck of the North on Saturday in 7 hours 6 minutes on my drop-bar Pugsley (average moving 15.8 mph & total average 15.2 mph). This 108-mile course is a mix of gravel, ATV/snowmobile trails, and some paved highways. The bike is mostly stock, expect the Salsa Woodchipper bars, Gevenalle shifters, and Fat-B-Nimble tires.
you're a beast! & I mean that in the best possible way
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Old 10-01-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post


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Old 10-01-19, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
you're a beast! & I mean that in the best possible way
Thanks!

I had a lot of things working for me on this ride: great weather for me (cold & clear), got into strong/large groups, and I've been able to focus of my training leading up to this ride. The stars were aligned!
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Old 10-01-19, 12:26 PM
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I get passed by fast fat bikes on the local MUP all the time - of course these are e-fat bikes. They've become a real common thing around here.
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Old 10-01-19, 01:08 PM
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50 miles at 17.5mph seems crazy fast. congrats!

you juicin?
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Old 10-01-19, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Chicago View Post
50 miles at 17.5mph seems crazy fast. congrats!

you juicin?
Wind doping.

Just like The Heck of the North, we had perfect conditions on 2017 Filthy 50. Light headwinds on the start of the course when we were in big groups and fresh. By the time we got to the back half of the course, the wind had picked up and gave us a great push to the finish. I recall drafting a tandem (great for drafting ) but they were able to ride away from me cause I was spinning out on flat roads at 25 mph (I need a bigger chainring). The first place rider set a course record at 2:20 - nearly 22 mph over 50+ miles of gravel roads
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Old 10-01-19, 05:02 PM
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I rode a 600k earlier this season with a woman who finished on a fatbike. I thought it was pretty impressive.
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Old 10-02-19, 09:33 AM
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It's not the bike...It's the rider(motor)
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Old 10-02-19, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
It's not the bike...It's the rider(motor)
Thank you! [/blushing]
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Old 10-02-19, 10:46 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I rode a 600k earlier this season with a woman who finished on a fatbike. I thought it was pretty impressive.
It's all about comfort and having the ambition to take a 600k ride. It may well be a Fat-bike is the best choice for her in that regard.

I love my comfort bike and ride it an hour or two 2 - 3 times a week. It is so comfortable I feel I could ride it 600k or 6,000. I just have no ambition to do so. It won't be fast, But the first 50 - 100 km might be fun. After that I'd rather spend the time gardening, Washing the car, Or socializing with friends or family.

Speed wise, Look at about 17 - 18 kph average for a recreational cyclist on a stock 3.5" Fat bike with moderate effort. The same rider with the same effort might do 23+ kph on a flat bar road/Hybrid bike like Giant's Fastroad.

That said a lot of us ride comfort or hard tail mountain bikes that might only average 19 - 21 kph, So I don't think a Fat bike is terribly slow. I think if you are riding in soft sand, Mud, or snow, Then a Fat bike would make sense. Otherwise there are better options. Also, if a fat bike motivates a person who wouldn't otherwise take up biking, I think it's a great idea. There is so much more to biking then speed, Especially if it is comfortable, Which those 3.5" tires should provide.
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Old 10-02-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
It's all about comfort and having the ambition to take a 600k ride. It may well be a Fat-bike is the best choice for her in that regard.

I love my comfort bike and ride it an hour or two 2 - 3 times a week. It is so comfortable I feel I could ride it 600k or 6,000. I just have no ambition to do so. It won't be fast, But the first 50 - 100 km might be fun. After that I'd rather spend the time gardening, Washing the car, Or socializing with friends or family.

Speed wise, Look at about 17 - 18 kph average for a recreational cyclist on a stock 3.5" Fat bike with moderate effort. The same rider with the same effort might do 23+ kph on a flat bar road/Hybrid bike like Giant's Fastroad.

That said a lot of us ride comfort or hard tail mountain bikes that might only average 19 - 21 kph, So I don't think a Fat bike is terribly slow. I think if you are riding in soft sand, Mud, or snow, Then a Fat bike would make sense. Otherwise there are better options. Also, if a fat bike motivates a person who wouldn't otherwise take up biking, I think it's a great idea. There is so much more to biking then speed, Especially if it is comfortable, Which those 3.5" tires should provide.
She is an experienced randonneur who completed the series on a fatbike because it was hard, not because it was the best choice. I'd say your estimate of 17-18 kph is pretty close what she was doing, and she's normally in the 23-25 kph moving average on her road bike.
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Old 10-03-19, 02:00 PM
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Hypno Toad is giving us old geisers some hope to be fast some day
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Old 10-03-19, 05:24 PM
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My fat bike doesn’t even go fast down hill. If I want to go fast (for me), I ride my road bike with 700x23s.
I view my Mukluk as a tractor and my road bike as a race car.
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Old 10-04-19, 06:43 AM
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I looked for something like that in Switzerland - couldn't find anything!
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Old 10-07-19, 02:08 PM
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Fast Fat

Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I hear lots of people complain that fatbikes are "slow" ... they are slow in some conditions; but they can hold their own in other conditions.

I'm half stroking my ego and half starting a thread to talk about getting fast with a fatbike.

I finished The Heck of the North on Saturday in 7 hours 6 minutes on my drop-bar Pugsley (average moving 15.8 mph & total average 15.2 mph). This 108-mile course is a mix of gravel, ATV/snowmobile trails, and some paved highways. The bike is mostly stock, expect the Salsa Woodchipper bars, Gevenalle shifters, and Fat-B-Nimble tires.



This isn't the first time this bike has been fast - on the 2017 Filthy 50 we had perfect conditions and I finished that 52-mile gravel course in 2 hours 57 minutes (averaging 17.6 mph - moving & total)

Do you go fast on your fatbike? Let's hear about fast days and modifications you made to make the fattie a little faster.
As the other poster has said, you're a beast, in the best possible way. How wide, in real life do the fat b nimble tires run? I've seen some say that they tend to run smaller than the stated 3.8" I'm still trying to wear out my my 120 tpi Nates during the non-studded season before I buy another set of tires for my pugs.
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Old 10-07-19, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Craptacular8 View Post
As the other poster has said, you're a beast, in the best possible way. How wide, in real life do the fat b nimble tires run? I've seen some say that they tend to run smaller than the stated 3.8" I'm still trying to wear out my my 120 tpi Nates during the non-studded season before I buy another set of tires for my pugs.
My FBN are labelled 26x4 and are roughly 3.8". The Nates are great for mud and soft conditions, but are slow rolling and heavy. I just replaced the stock Nates on Lisa's Pug, she can stop raving about her new Jumbo Jim tires.

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Old 10-07-19, 02:33 PM
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Hmm. I do some single track on my Pug...needless to say, I don't skid out on it, lol. I switch to Dillingers once it gets some ice build up, but would the Jumbo Jim's work for snow, etc prior to needing studs? I've heard they are a fast fat tire, though in real world weights, maybe very similar to what you are running.
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Old 10-08-19, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Craptacular8 View Post
Hmm. I do some single track on my Pug...needless to say, I don't skid out on it, lol. I switch to Dillingers once it gets some ice build up, but would the Jumbo Jim's work for snow, etc prior to needing studs? I've heard they are a fast fat tire, though in real world weights, maybe very similar to what you are running.
I'm not sure about Jumbo Jim's, they haven't been on snow yet* ... but the FBN, they are terrible on snow. I like Dillingers for winter too, studs for the ice and very good in the snow.

* might get to try them on snow this weekend, Minneapolis has snow in the forecast .... in October.
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