Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 300 Posts

·
This place needs an enema
Joined
·
17,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Every few years I like to get some perspective on how (and where) people are using their fatbikes.

We had this conversation back in 2019, and it was illuminating in ways I didn't expect.

I'd like to hear a little about the bike you're riding now (not a build list, how 'bout just something like "26 x 5" tires, no/front/full sus, and i ride it on snow/sand/ice) and where and how you're riding it. Maybe even how often you're riding it.

I have two fatbikes -- one for snow and one for mank. Barring some sort of 2021 apocalypse, by year end I'll have put triple the miles on my mank bike, riding beaches, than on my snowbike riding snow.

It follows that access to mediocre quality but inexpensive tires and rims is my most enduring priority. Because you don't need bling to ride mank.

What're you riding? Where? And -- looking forward -- what do you hope that the industry continues to offer, or brings new to the table?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,268 Posts
New to the fat tire game as of last winter. Rocky Mountain Blizzard with a Manitou Mastadon Suspension fork. 26x4.8" tires. Dropper post. I ride it exclusively in the winter (so far) but that could include all sorts of snow, ice, frozen mud, machine groomed trail, snow shoe packed trail, plowing through freshies, pavement to and from trails, etc. I purchased a set of DIY screw in studs but haven’t found the conditions that would require them yet so haven’t installed them. I have ridden on sand dunes before (and I really liked it) and will probably do that again given the right conditions.

I'm actually kinda looking forward to winter for the first time ever.
 

·
Thingamejigger
Joined
·
1,278 Posts
Privileged to also have two Fatbikes, unfortunately being time poor with a growing family makes riding these harder than it once was; but when I do get out, I enjoy every second (mostly)

Firstly, a carbon 9:zero:7 lightweight machine with 4.8 Liteskin Jumbo Jims. I think this bike is my favourite bike I have ever had, the rides I have had with friends and the remote places it has taken me without skipping a beat, along the beaches of the UK, has been amazing. Light and nimble on its feet is the order of the day I made the deliberate shoice of liteskins for 4.8's. Lots of people in the UK scene seem to want the gnarliest of tyres, but as my bike rarely see's mud and is always on a beach, it is unfortunate that Schwalbe have reduced their choice for fatbike tyres; I really hope that we continue to have a lightweight, low rolling resistance type rubber available to us for the missions I choose to take it on. If this frame-set ever leaves this earth I am depending on Salsa to continue to make their carbon Mukluk, 100mm BSA bottom bracket, 69 head angle, fully rigid. The thing I would like to see more of in the market would be something to fit 4.8 meats in there with decent room a 177/low Q to make sliding through the rock gardens less hairy.

My other machine was intended as a, second, low use bike, that I keep at the in-laws cottage in Finland. We usually go there for 10 days in the winter to enjoy the snow and perhaps something similar in the summer. I used to be content XC skiing when visiting or borrowing an old beat up bike in summer, but when Salsa dropped their UK distributor a couple years back, and one of the online shops secured a whole heap of stock that they offered at ridiculous prices, I snapped up a 2017 fully rigid alloy Mukluk NX as something basic that would let me explore the forests year round when we visited. I got it shipped directly to Finland where it has remained. After one season in the deep powder trying to get by with Dillinger 5's at 'as low as they could run' pressures, I invested in studded Johhny 5's and fitted a dropper post to it and was amazed at how these two things took riding in the snow from a struggle to a pleasure. I have taken the plunge this year to also invest in a summer 29+ wheelset, there was a sale on WTB rims and DT 350's, which are waiting for me to put together when we next visit. I have a couple of remote forrest rides planned that, knowing how Finnish trails can be, will be a challenge and I look forward to every minute of it!

One good thing to come of the current world situation is I have been working remotely for the past 18 months, this has given us the opportunity to take extended visits to Finland. This past winter we were there for 10 weeks, seeing the area go from no snow on the day we arrived to -28C and a meter for snow in the back yard was fantastic. I look forward to a very extended summer break shortly to make use of the Mukluk in 29+ guise.

One of the bad things to come of the current world situation is that our once quiet beaches in Scotland have become home to, too many inconsiderate people who are littering and pitching tents in areas that they really shouldn't be. Where we used to barely meet a single sole, now have become over used and well trodden, so much so that the last couple of visits have seen me not take the 907 and we have headed for different inland rides on plus bikes or my Vaya. Hopefully the foul autumn / winter weather when I return will start to put people off and we can get our wilderness back to tolerable levels to enjoy the Jumbo Jim's on the beach!

P.S. Linky to old conversation isnt working for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
Bearclaw Towmak drop bar, 26x4 set up for bikepacking, gravel, fire roads, random single track. Crestone 26 x 4 for whatever, doesn't get rode much anymore. Yampa with the 105 nexties and grip studded bud and lou for snow and ice. Probably my favorite of the 3 but riding in the snow is my favorite kind of riding too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,281 Posts
Current version Beargrease so 27.5 x Dillinger 4s, one set rubber, one set studded.

Packed snow mostly. No grooming here. A bit of powder. Daily ride with dog on easy trail around house.
 

·
This place needs an enema
Joined
·
17,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for chiming in, all.

Apparently I didn't ask clearly enough in my OP, but there was also this:

Looking forward -- what do you hope that the industry continues to offer, or brings new to the table?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
26” rims with 4” rubber, rigid with a dropper. I use it primarily for deep packed snow but its also my sloppy conditions bike for when it gets too messy to want to ride my hardtail with a suspension fork.

I’d like to see more inexpensive metal frame only options with 5” clearance and through axle. (Love my Framed Minnesota but wish it didn’t have 9mm qr).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
I've had as many as 4 fat bikes at one time, but, then, I'm in northern Wisconsin snow country and fat bikes are a very big part of biking,up here, not just for snow riding in the winter, but also in the summer, since many of our trails run to deep sand and gravel.

Right now, I ride a Norco Ithaqua carbon fattie with Jumbo Jim 4.8s. It's really in a class of its own compared to other fat bikes I've owned. I ride it summer and winter. In summer, it's my go to trail bike after any rain. I also have another carbon fat bike on order, a Pilot 27.5. l'm keeping my fingers crossed it arrives in time for some snow riding with usually starts for us late October or early November. Like the Norco, the Pilot will see plenty of work in the summer, too.

Most of my snow biking miles with fat bikes are on hard packed roads after they've been plowed. I can get the fat bikes up to very good speeds, but when things get slick and icy as they often do, I'll run studded tires on the fat bikes when needed.

As for the future of fat biking, now that the fat bike craze is over, I'm just hoping the bike makers don't forget us fat bike folks. Yes, I can and do ride some of my plus bikes in the snow, but nothing beats a fat bike when things get soft or super slick. I also have a very nice FS 29er I ride in the summer a lot and it does a wonderful job, but it's no fat bike. Fat bikes keep me riding all through our very long winters.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
41,051 Posts
I've experimented with a few things, other hardtails, I'm still experimenting with some FS stuff, but for hardtail, I keep going back to my CS-197. It just rides so much more comfortable and dialed than the other hardtails I've tried. The two dropout positions is super nice for switching between 27.5, 26, 4,0, 4.4, 4.6 and 4.8. Really nice to be able to dial in in. I've raced the hell out of it and abused it, most recently riding wheelies all over the place for a year and it just keeps going. It works so well for me that if it breaks, I'm probably going to get another.

I'm not totally hot on the 27.5 wheels/tires. To get decent traction, I gotta move up significantly past the 4.0 sizes, but they are also noticeably heavier and harder to accelerate and keep at speed, I did a lot of testing last year trying to find the difference in different situations, to see if there was an advantage and I couldn't really find one. I will say that the largest 26" are very draggy and hard to ride in a lot of conditions, just due to sucking so much to keep them turning, but the same is true for the widest 27.5. You can kind of get yourself into situations where you can ride, but it's not nearly as much fun, since it takes so much energy to keep going, better to be out there with some snowshoes and a shovel to help pack the trails better, rather than spend 5 hours going 10 miles. In retrospect, for the ITI, I would have rather had my 27.5 D5s on there, rather than the large Cakeeaters. The CE just had too much rolling resistance and the difference between what you can/cant ride between the two tires is too narrow to justify the rolling resistance of the wider draggy tires. And lots of people were out there successfully with D5s. The rolling resistance of that tire and all-around-ness is a winning combo IME. So I'll probably settle on my 27.5 D5s and switch out to the 27.5 3.8/4" for faster races. Keep the CEs "just in case". I'll still have a 26" wheelset and may throw the J5 on for powder days and that kind of stuff.

I think the market for the real fat stuff, 5.0 and larger, is extremely limited. You get into a situation where yes, it does become the thing that allows you to keep moving forward by pedaling compared to skinnier tires, but the returns on that become negative, as it just takes so much power (watts) to move forward. There were a few days last winter where I realized after or during the ride "yes, I can, but really, I shouldn't have".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,510 Posts
2018 Carbon Specialized Fatboy. Rigid. Winter use only. 26 x 4.6" tires. Has been sitting dormant collecting dust since mid March and will make it out once the snow flies in November/December.

Have tried 27.5 fat on some friends bikes but didn't finda anything special about it that blew me away and made me think I had to have that tire size.

I'm pretty content with where things are are at now. I don't yearn for larger tires or anything else. I feel fat bikes have peaked and there isn't much more to bring to the table.
 

·
Rippin da fAt
Joined
·
11,957 Posts
Jeepin' it's all about Jeepin'!
Going into some of the places I go, trails were established by deer and elk. Loose, potting soil conditions are the rule and a fat is perfect for that. There are two versions of Mayor and a Sergeant V3 that is a "midfat" wearing 3.25's, 3.8's and sometimes 4.0's on 70mm rims for the fatter tire profile to do a job.

Would like to see more tire options, wheel options at reasonable prices that don't require a jumbo loan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
I know that sales of fat bikes dropped off, but engagement on the Fat Bike forum here is huge. Clearly there is still interest. So hopefully there will be continued product development, but gravel seems all the rage right now. As for me I have a 2019 Framed Alaskan carbon with a Lauf fork, 26x4 Terrene Wazia lights, stock wheels. I may upgrade to carbon rims next year but not sure about that. There seems to be a lot of options for tires in 26x4, certainly more than I will be able to try. There does seem to be fewer vendors carrying fat-specific parts but I’ve been able to keep the bike rolling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
26” x 4” 2014 Ti Mukluk fully rigid and ride it year round. I have a Cove Hummer that never gets touched since I got the Mukluk. The fatty does everything for me that I need it to do. I’m 100% a cross country rider so 4000 vertical climbing days are common. I’d really like to see more 26x4 tire options as it seems like the size is falling out of favor but damn it’s a great cross country big mile size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,281 Posts
Looking forward -- what do you hope that the industry continues to offer, or brings new to the table?
Tough one for me. Totally happy with the Beargrease. Turns out I love fat biking in the winter, but I don't have the "can't wait to see what's next" thing going on like regular bikes.

And I love that, too!
 

·
Stubby-legged
Joined
·
1,449 Posts
I would love to see a fatbike with a headshock and room for 4.5/4.8.
That would be pissah. ( I would even give up my beloved Moonlander for that!)
Where is the industry going?.... Our niche will continue to shrink as manufacturers "move on" to the next big thing.
It will leave us with the dedicated fat bike builders who love the fat-life and refuse to bend the knee to corporate stooges.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
I ride parts of winter in Duluth Mn, and infrequently in Big Sky Mt.. Nothing off trails or Cat Tracks, (prefer Cross Country Skiing in untracked), and using Studded Gnarwahls (thanks Mike).

Spent part of this Summer at Big Sky riding Downhill off the lifts with 27.5 x 3.8" Maxxis FBF and 26" x 4.4" Jumbo Jims rear. Great fun, but not much of a workout. It got so incredibly hot and dry in Big Sky, I just bailed.

Most Summers are Spent in Tacoma Wa, or Duluth and riding whatever challenging Singletrack I can find.

Bikes are Kona Wozos with Mastodon Ext. at 120mm. Bike does pretty much all that I ever wanted in a Bike. The weight does not bother me (36 lbs), and I'm only weighing in at 137 lbs..

So in answer to the future, I am pretty well set up as it is. The bikes and tires are just great for what I do. I have not seen a use for rear suspension, even in steep talus with the Jumbo Jims at about 5 psi.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,171 Posts
I have eight seasons on my Fatboy now, and it’s outlasted every other bike in my stable. I just built up a Blackborow cargo bike though and it’s showing me how dated my first gen Fatboy is, being stiffer and better handling. I’m a fan of the Jumbo Jim 4.4‘s and 4.8 for summer and still rocking a old pair of studded Bud and Lous for winter.

Looking to adding a new fatbike at some point in the next few years if inventory ever catches up. A little disappointed in the diminished selection, but hopefully can build a nice lightweight bike (maybe Ti) that fits at least 26x4.8
 
1 - 20 of 300 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top