Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Fat Bike--How Much Slower?

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Fat Bike--How Much Slower?

Old 06-27-19, 07:46 PM
  #1  
Payton1221
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Hill Country ;-)
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Fat Bike--How Much Slower?

I need a new bike like I need a hole in my head BUT I was in a bike store today and saw a fat bike that really got my attention. And while I could conceivably ride the bike on a dirt or gravel (snow too?) trail, I'm fairly sure 99+ percent of the time will be spent riding on the hilly roads that I always ride. How much slower would you anticipate the heavier fat bike with larger tires be over my regular hybrid style bikes.
Payton1221 is offline  
Old 06-27-19, 08:04 PM
  #2  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 10,982

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 925 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 32 Posts
I don't own one, but based on some friends' videos, it's a whole new magnitude of slow. So I'm curious too.
BlazingPedals is offline  
Old 06-27-19, 08:30 PM
  #3  
tyrion
Senior Member
 
tyrion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 2,345

Bikes: Breezer Radar

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1245 Post(s)
Liked 114 Times in 73 Posts
Most of them have cranks with around 30 teeth, so that tells you something right there.
tyrion is offline  
Old 06-27-19, 08:31 PM
  #4  
ColonelSanders
Senior Member
 
ColonelSanders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 3,936

Bikes: 2017 Surly Troll with XT Drive Train, 2017 Merida Big Nine XT Edition, 2016 Giant Toughroad SLR 2, 1995 Trek 830

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1268 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
I need a new bike like I need a hole in my head BUT I was in a bike store today and saw a fat bike that really got my attention. And while I could conceivably ride the bike on a dirt or gravel (snow too?) trail, I'm fairly sure 99+ percent of the time will be spent riding on the hilly roads that I always ride. How much slower would you anticipate the heavier fat bike with larger tires be over my regular hybrid style bikes.

Unfortunately it looks like they just don't make fat bike tyres with a low rolling resistance for pavement/road.


All the tyres are geared to offroading riding, so your fat bike will be a slug on the road with such tyres.


If Schwalbe offered something like their Marathon Almotions in a 4" tyre, a fat bike would appeal a lot more to me, as the ride quality would be tremendous.


Sadly Schwalbe does not have such a 4" tyre.
ColonelSanders is offline  
Old 06-27-19, 08:33 PM
  #5  
jadocs
Senior Member
 
jadocs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 815

Bikes: Litespeed T2 Disc, Fondirest P4 Carbon, Fuji Cross 2.0, Specialized Fatboy

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 337 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 62 Posts
I can get going pretty good on mine.
jadocs is offline  
Old 06-27-19, 08:36 PM
  #6  
themp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 157

Bikes: Specialized Crosstrail

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I noticed that the tire noise is very high on pavement/asphalt. Not sure I could get used to that.
themp is offline  
Old 06-27-19, 09:42 PM
  #7  
MarcusT
Senior Member
 
MarcusT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NE Italy
Posts: 626
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 287 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 13 Posts
Tire pressure changes a lot on Fat bikes. Where off trail might use 6 psi, road could be up to 22 psi.
Physics will make it slower, but not much more so than a plus tire.
The tire itself can also make it faster. (less rolling resistance)
My patented adage:
an MTB is for single track, a Fat Bike is for no track
MarcusT is offline  
Likes For MarcusT:
Old 06-27-19, 09:54 PM
  #8  
DrIsotope
Non omnino gravis
 
DrIsotope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SoCal, USA!
Posts: 6,962

Bikes: Nekobasu, Pandicorn

Mentioned: 104 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3759 Post(s)
Liked 268 Times in 192 Posts
Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Unfortunately it looks like they just don't make fat bike tyres with a low rolling resistance for pavement/road.
The Vee Apache Fattyslick. Probably not entirely practical, but really cool. According to the rolling resistance site, the Schwalbe Jumbo Jim (a 26 x 4.0) has nearly the same rolling resistance as a 700x25 Schwalbe Lugano or Michelin Power All Season. Which is crazy.
__________________
DrIsotope is online now  
Likes For DrIsotope:
Old 06-28-19, 05:41 AM
  #9  
noimagination
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 130
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 12 Posts
If you're riding a fat bike and you're worrying about speed, you're doing it wrong.
noimagination is offline  
Likes For noimagination:
Old 06-28-19, 05:57 AM
  #10  
Brocephus
Professional amateur
 
Brocephus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Ga.
Posts: 573

Bikes: Does a Big Wheel count ?

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 252 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 57 Posts
Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
I need a new bike like I need a hole in my head............I'm fairly sure 99+ percent of the time will be spent riding on the hilly roads that I always ride..
I fully understand the difference in "need" and "want", but still, these two statements here should settle the issue, on whether you should get one. You already have much better bikes for the riding you say you'll do with it, so after the honeymoon quickly wears off, it won't be one of your go-to bikes, and will start gathering dust.
Fat bikes are (IMO) largely a fad, with fairly limited and specific uses. Plus, if you're anything like me, you're looking at stocking up on some reserve tubes and tires, which is more cost, and stuff to store somewhere, and that you generally won't get your money back out of if you try to sell/trade it.
This is all JMHO, but as experience has shown, I'll probably get hammered for it.
Brocephus is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 06:20 AM
  #11  
rayooo
Senior Member
 
rayooo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Allamuchy, NJ
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
I've only ridden a fat-bike (Scott Big-Jon) a couple times, they have a fleet of 'em at a local Lodge/SPA we go to in the winter.

It was amazing fun riding them on trails and especially very rocky trails. Rolling resistance or not on pavement, I'd avoid pavement unless I was crossing a road to continue the trail.
rayooo is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 06:22 AM
  #12  
Wilfred Laurier
Señor Member
 
Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4,317
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 337 Post(s)
Liked 72 Times in 50 Posts
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
The Vee Apache Fattyslick. Probably not entirely practical, but really cool. According to the rolling resistance site, the Schwalbe Jumbo Jim (a 26 x 4.0) has nearly the same rolling resistance as a 700x25 Schwalbe Lugano or Michelin Power All Season. Which is crazy.

Cool tire.
Does their marketing dept use Google Translate for their English content? From their webpage:



A Bugatti with 1000 hp, beer in 2.5 liter bottles, a heavy metal band with 3 drummers – there are simply things that the world does not need … Or? Well, one thing these things have in common: unfortunately horny! And this illustrious circle has just grown: the Vee Tire Apache Fattyslick 4.5!
Down with the scalp!

Be the first.
Everyone who has played “Cowboy and Indians” as children knows: who is annoying, gets the scalp. No idea what the Fattyslick hired, but his hairstyle convinces: not the smallest elevation disturbs the regular appearance. Smooth as a Babypopo, it stretches over the rim and is thus an Exot among the Exotics: a washable Slick in a full 4.5 inches width.
Good for Dragster. Or FATBikes!

The Apache Fattyslick looks as if you had crossed a race bike with a sperm whale: he looks fast but looks incredibly FAT! The crisp look reminds us almost a bit of good old dragster. Let the good times roll! Without a doubt: he’s the style check!
Outside, hui, inside!

Also a little dragster look: the huge lettering.
The Apache Fattyslick is, contrary to our expectation, no real lightness. Grandma’s kitchen scales remain only at 1,230 grams, so he is significantly heavier than he looks.
The reason: unlike in the case of tunnel tires, the tread does not have pimples, which rise like a protective shield above the carcass. This is where every small piece of stone is pressed directly into the tread. Therefore, it had to be designed thicker than usual – in favor of safety. The studs were therefore not cut off but smoothly ironed.

Everything in it…
The further structure is based on Vee Tire’s well-known pattern: a lightweight 120 TPI carcass is held in shape by foldable kevlar rings. The rubber features the well-known high-quality silica blend and all the necessary features for a tubeless mounting. Its dimensions are in the standard standard: at 0.5 bar, it builds smoothly 8cm high (from the top edge of the rim flange) and 10.9cm wide
So also a “Thumbs Up!” From technical side!
Arrowhead: the Apache Fattyslick!

View from the cockpit: nice round, the thing.
But how the hell is a racing bike in the format of a grown crawl? To find out, we have strapped the Apache Fattyslick tubeless onto the 80mm wide DT Swiss rims of our Mondraker Panzer RR and inflated with 1 bar of pressure. Yes, the Apache works best under high pressure. It may also be 1.5 bar or more. But be careful: in particular, carbon rims often only have limited tire pressure. So before you get out with the air pump, check out what the rim can withstand!

The tread runs widely into the flanks.
Already when starting off the first Aha effect: although he does not feel quite as light-footed in the acceleration as many lighter tires. But Apache Fattyslick does not bend at the start. The propulsion is so incomprehensible directly as otherwise only with the road bike. One is fast very fast and keeps the speed effortless. As expected, the rolling resistance is also extremely low.

The Indian from Taiwan is by no means as quiet as one might think. The Fattyslick replaces the usual loud growling of FATBike tires with a stench, sipping sound, depending on the background. This is much quieter than before – but does not sound less threatening!
Thanks to the above-mentioned thick tread, the Apache Fattyslick also easily runs on forest and dirt roads.
Wilfred Laurier is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 06:56 AM
  #13  
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,218
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 78 Times in 54 Posts
I own a fat bike and love it for its intended purpose, but if you are riding it on the road - even dirt road or bike path / rail-to-trail - it is really a poor choice. You basically get all the drawbacks of a fat bike without being able to make use of the benefits.

The main drawback is that a 4-5” wide tire and a 80-100mm rim is freaking HEAVY. Your talking 2-3 lbs extra per wheel compared to a gravel bike running 32-38mm tires. And this is in the one place that weight hurts the most.

And for all that weight you get a bunch of floatation and the ability to run insanely low pressures. Niether of which do you any good on the road.
Kapusta is offline  
Likes For Kapusta:
Old 06-28-19, 07:19 AM
  #14  
Payton1221
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Hill Country ;-)
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks guys. Great replies all around, and for the riding that I do, it doesn't make sense.
Payton1221 is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 08:20 AM
  #15  
OneIsAllYouNeed
Long-term wear tester
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seacoast, NH
Posts: 658

Bikes: Cycles Chinook travel/gravel/family tandem, KHS CX200 road/gravel, Voodoo Agwe fixie commuter, Gunnar Sport travel/road, Motobecane Boris fatbike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
My fat bike (with Vee Mission Command 4.0" tires) is 20% slower on pavement than my cyclocross bike with touring tires.

If you want to own a fat bike and ride it on pavement, you should get a second wheelset with 29 x 1.5-2.3" tires that'd be much faster.
OneIsAllYouNeed is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 09:17 AM
  #16  
Rides4Beer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: SC
Posts: 482

Bikes: Giant Revolt Advanced | Fuji Transonic

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 271 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 44 Posts
Get a gravel bike. My Giant Revolt Advanced with the stock 40mm tubeless tires is great on the roads, can still hold good speed, but it's comfortable and I don't have to worry about rough pavement, cracks, holes, etc. I also have a second set of wheels with road tires, but last night I did a group ride on the gravel tires and it was great. There's a section of road that is really, really bad on the right side of the lane, so everyone always squeezes over to the left to avoid it, I cruised over it at 20+mph with no issues. Makes me want to just ride gravel tires all the time. They def hurt my speed some, but I'd say for most purposes, the gravel tires will work just fine.
Rides4Beer is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 09:50 AM
  #17  
xroadcharlie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Windsor Ontario, Canada
Posts: 119

Bikes: 2018 Giant Sedona

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 14 Posts
Unless you are riding on dry, Loose sand, There are WAY to many compromises with a FAT bike for my taste.

Rides4Beer's experience with his Giant Revolt Advanced is a perfect example of balancing tire width to optimise comfort and speed on a Varity of surfaces. It doesn't hurt that the Revolt is a very good bike. But these bikes aren't cheap.

For those of use with a smaller budget, Giant makes the Roam and Sedona. While not in the league as the Revolt Advanced, These bikes work well under the conditions most of us will likely encounter as recreational riders and are still capable of surprising speed for what they are. My Sedona with its 50 mm tires has no problem climbing steep hills with loose stones and Soft gravel. Even the 38mm tires on the Roam be fine for many trails.

To answer Payton's question about how slow these Fat bikes are vs a Hybrid, I would expect a Road bike that's going 25 - 27 kph might require the same power as a Hybrid for 23 - 25 kph (Some are quite fast), 20 - 22 kph for a Comfort bike with its upright seating and wide tires, 18 - 20 kph for a Mountain bike, and 16 - 18 for a fat bike.

Probably not much worse then a low end Mountain bike. But any advantages IMO aren't worth the effort.
xroadcharlie is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 10:09 AM
  #18  
Happy Feet
Senior Member
 
Happy Feet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,259
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1245 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 90 Posts
I recently bought one and really enjoy it but if you are only doing paved roads it would be a waste. You lose out to low gearing, rolling resistance and pointless wear on tires. However, my specialized fatboy, with tires pumped up, rolls almost as well downhill as my roadbike before aerodynamics take over.

Its a fun bike, not a fast bike. I like riding it on trails and such because just doing so puts a smile on my face. Instead of avoiding obstacles I now go looking for them.
Happy Feet is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 10:25 AM
  #19  
1979schwinn
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2

Bikes: 79 Schwinn & 2017 Fuji Tread 2.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
One advantage of a Fat Bike is you can take stairs and curbs head on.
1979schwinn is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 11:42 AM
  #20  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 957

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 426 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 60 Posts
A gp5000 is down to 10w a tire. So 20w total. The fastest fat bike tire on BRR is 25w each at a pretty high PSI. So 50w total.

So, 30w alone on CRR.

30w is a LOT at tempo or slower as a %. I'd assume most people cruise from 120 to 200w. So you'd be down 15 to 25% on power to the ground just on tires.

Assuming a more average fatbike tire of 35w per tire per BRR.........you're down 50w versus a road bike on gp5000's. Whoa.

So, forget fast. It's fun. You can traverse the world. Snowstorm? Go ride. Mudslide? Go ride. Tree across the trail? Bomb on.

Explore cut throughs or something to mix up your road distance on your rides. Cut over curbs/stairs or something on the way. Cross some crazy berm.
burnthesheep is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 01:25 PM
  #21  
Wilfred Laurier
Señor Member
 
Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4,317
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 337 Post(s)
Liked 72 Times in 50 Posts
Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
A gp5000 is down to 10w a tire. So 20w total. The fastest fat bike tire on BRR is 25w each at a pretty high PSI. So 50w total.

So, 30w alone on CRR.

30w is a LOT at tempo or slower as a %. I'd assume most people cruise from 120 to 200w. So you'd be down 15 to 25% on power to the ground just on tires.

Assuming a more average fatbike tire of 35w per tire per BRR.........you're down 50w versus a road bike on gp5000's. Whoa.

So, forget fast. It's fun. You can traverse the world. Snowstorm? Go ride. Mudslide? Go ride. Tree across the trail? Bomb on.

Explore cut throughs or something to mix up your road distance on your rides. Cut over curbs/stairs or something on the way. Cross some crazy berm.

There are tonnes of touring, and mtb tires with rolling resistance even higher than the fat bike one you listed.
Wilfred Laurier is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 01:37 PM
  #22  
ThermionicScott 
hungry
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 18,579

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2084 Post(s)
Liked 140 Times in 114 Posts
A friend of mine does time trials on a fat bike that has been optimized with aerobars and slick tires. It's an option when you want something a little more challenging.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 01:43 PM
  #23  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6868 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 228 Times in 186 Posts
a skinny tire bike on beach sand will be much slower than a fat tire bike on the same, soft, surface..

But, to test ... is to know..






...

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-30-19 at 09:57 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 05:36 PM
  #24  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,535

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3381 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 42 Posts
I just don't get those things. Seems to be just a hipster fad.

Unless you plan on riding really rough terrain, in snow or sand, seems a waste to me.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 06-28-19, 07:10 PM
  #25  
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,218
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 78 Times in 54 Posts
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Unless you plan on riding really rough terrain, in snow or sand, seems a waste to me.
Well that is exactly what they are made for.... challenging terrain. They excel not only in sand and snow, but also when trails are in less than stellar conditions (leaves, some mud) or when there simply it little or no trail at all.

For the above reasons, they make very good winter season mountain bikes in many areas.
Kapusta is offline  
Likes For Kapusta:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.