Author Topic: Do you ride a fat bike?  (Read 7159 times)

Guses

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Do you ride a fat bike?
« on: September 23, 2015, 09:32:57 AM »
Having attempted to install studded tires on my mountain bike to stretch the biking season (SPOILER ALERT: Studs don't do squat in 2 foot of snow!!!!), I have finally broken down and bought a fat bike.

After doing much research, I settled on the Mongoose Dolomite which is the least inexpensive of them all. Yes, it's brakes sucks and it is VERY heavy (50 lbs) but it is only 200$ USD! If I can stretch my biking season an extra 50 days, I will have paid off the bike in one season.

Being mechanically inclined, I will be able to fix the brake issue and maybe tweak the gearing also.

Now my problem: I rode the bike 2 miles to try it out, literally my first ride. I got a freaking flat! Those big wheels are like nail and screw magnets. How do you keep your precious tubes (20$ for a replacement BTW) intact?

The obvious answer is to wait until there is snow and ride on that, but I want to make sure the bike is up to it before I commit to my glacial journey.

Syonyk

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 10:03:36 AM »
I'd look at kevlar wrappers for the tires, and also slime the tubes heavily (Slime being that stuff that fills a hole and keep the tire inflated - I've taken a pretty large nail and ridden home).

Are you sure the fat tires won't just sink in snow as well?  I tried a bunch of things in Iowa, and concluded that 2' of snow just wasn't passable with a bicycle.  I ran studded tires all winter, and just took back roads to get places if there was a lot of snow.

Guses

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 10:18:49 AM »
I'd look at kevlar wrappers for the tires, and also slime the tubes heavily (Slime being that stuff that fills a hole and keep the tire inflated - I've taken a pretty large nail and ridden home).

Are you sure the fat tires won't just sink in snow as well?  I tried a bunch of things in Iowa, and concluded that 2' of snow just wasn't passable with a bicycle.  I ran studded tires all winter, and just took back roads to get places if there was a lot of snow.

There is a trail right next to our house that we snowshoe all winter long. It is also frequented by fat bikers (operators of fat bikes?). I have seen some tracks after a 1-2 foot snowfall (I was very surprised).

They recommend lowering the pressure to 5-6 PSI to really allow the tire to grab.



Syonyk

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 10:24:06 AM »
Interesting.  It'll be interesting to see how it works!  I haven't lived anywhere with serious snow in quite a while (since long before fatbikes were a thing).

kendallf

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2015, 11:37:06 AM »
I have a buddy who bought one here in FL (they also work well for sandy beaches or swamp rides).  He picked up a pinhole flat pretty quickly, and I was surprised until I looked at the knob pattern on the tire and realized they're fairly widely spaced just because the tire is so huge.  It appears a lot more flat prone than a MTB tire.

Anyway, he put two bottles of Stan's NoTube sealant in each one, they're fine now and should be good unless he gets a MAJOR puncture.

yyc-phil

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2015, 12:12:17 PM »
I don't ride a fat bike but I've tried a friend's high end fat bike, and i was amazed by its performance and agility on snowy, icy, muddy and dry trails. I thought it would be sluggish and heavy but on the contrary, it was much easier to maneuver on tough terrain than my hardtail. His is a high end bike that goes for $3000+ retail and I can't afford to spend that much on a bike, but I'd love to try a more affordable version like the Schwinn Biggity DLX that sells for $350 at a local department store to check out the differences.

Guses

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2015, 12:57:02 PM »
I don't ride a fat bike but I've tried a friend's high end fat bike, and i was amazed by its performance and agility on snowy, icy, muddy and dry trails. I thought it would be sluggish and heavy but on the contrary, it was much easier to maneuver on tough terrain than my hardtail. His is a high end bike that goes for $3000+ retail and I can't afford to spend that much on a bike, but I'd love to try a more affordable version like the Schwinn Biggity DLX that sells for $350 at a local department store to check out the differences.

The biggity is exactly the same model, but rebranded Schwinn. And I got it at the same local department store. :)

I've ridden the fat bike on a loose gravel trail after fixing the flat. I must say it was very fun!

I can't wait to see how it does in the swow.

My one concern is one particular hill that is pretty steep. Better get my squatting numbers up before the winter!

hyla

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2015, 01:18:18 PM »
No, most of our winter days are packed snow which I can handle on an xtracycle with studded tires.  There are maybe 5 - 10 days a winter where the snow is too deep for me to bike, but I can't justify buying a new bike for so few days (especially cause I don't ride department store bikes, so if I did get a fat bike it would be a Surly or similar).  It's not a big deal to walk, drive, take the bus, or cross-country ski to work those days, and put off non-critical errands for a few days until the snow gets packed down enough to ride with studded tires. 

powersuitrecall

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2015, 01:23:51 PM »
No, most of our winter days are packed snow which I can handle on an xtracycle with studded tires.  There are maybe 5 - 10 days a winter where the snow is too deep for me to bike, but I can't justify buying a new bike for so few days (especially cause I don't ride department store bikes, so if I did get a fat bike it would be a Surly or similar).  It's not a big deal to walk, drive, take the bus, or cross-country ski to work those days, and put off non-critical errands for a few days until the snow gets packed down enough to ride with studded tires.

I'm planning on using our Yuba Mundo this winter for daycare/school drop-offs.  Any suggestions for studded tires?  I got my hands on a pair of 26" schwalbe ice-spikers - hoping they'll be fine. 

Guses

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2015, 01:37:12 PM »
No, most of our winter days are packed snow which I can handle on an xtracycle with studded tires.  There are maybe 5 - 10 days a winter where the snow is too deep for me to bike, but I can't justify buying a new bike for so few days (especially cause I don't ride department store bikes, so if I did get a fat bike it would be a Surly or similar).  It's not a big deal to walk, drive, take the bus, or cross-country ski to work those days, and put off non-critical errands for a few days until the snow gets packed down enough to ride with studded tires.

I understand your sentiment about department stores bikes, but you can buy the dolomite and get new brakes, new tires, new handlebars, new stem, new gearing, new seat, paniers, fenders and still be 1000-2000$+ cheaper than a new Surly.

To be fair, I only need to ride the bike 50 days before I break even. I can tolerate a department store bike for 50 rides.

It's cool that you can cross country ski! I would love to be able to do that! :)



Guses

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2015, 01:40:16 PM »
No, most of our winter days are packed snow which I can handle on an xtracycle with studded tires.  There are maybe 5 - 10 days a winter where the snow is too deep for me to bike, but I can't justify buying a new bike for so few days (especially cause I don't ride department store bikes, so if I did get a fat bike it would be a Surly or similar).  It's not a big deal to walk, drive, take the bus, or cross-country ski to work those days, and put off non-critical errands for a few days until the snow gets packed down enough to ride with studded tires.

I understand your sentiment about department stores bikes, but you can buy the dolomite and get new brakes, new tires, new handlebars, new stem, new gearing, new seat, paniers, fenders and still be much cheaper than a new Surly.

To be fair, I only need to ride the bike 50 days before I break even. I can tolerate a department store bike for 50 rides.

It's cool that you can cross country ski! I would love to be able to do that! :)

hyla

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Re: Do you ride a fat bike?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2015, 11:55:17 AM »
No, most of our winter days are packed snow which I can handle on an xtracycle with studded tires.  There are maybe 5 - 10 days a winter where the snow is too deep for me to bike, but I can't justify buying a new bike for so few days (especially cause I don't ride department store bikes, so if I did get a fat bike it would be a Surly or similar).  It's not a big deal to walk, drive, take the bus, or cross-country ski to work those days, and put off non-critical errands for a few days until the snow gets packed down enough to ride with studded tires.

I'm planning on using our Yuba Mundo this winter for daycare/school drop-offs.  Any suggestions for studded tires?  I got my hands on a pair of 26" schwalbe ice-spikers - hoping they'll be fine.

I have 26" Schwalbe Marathon Winter HS 396 tires and have been happy with their ride quality, grippiness on ice, and durability.  I'm sure there are other good ones out there too but these are the only ones I've ridden.  The ice spikers look nice too - similar amount of studs to the Marathons but a bit more of an off road mountain bike style tread as opposed to a more city/touring type tread on the marathons.  So your tires will probably handle a bit better than mine on soft snow, but roll a bit slower on pavement. 

You should be pretty stable on a Yuba Mundo on those tires.  I wasn't sure how a longtail would do in winter but mine's been great - I don't have a kid but carried my ski gear a lot which probably weighs about the same as a small child.