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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I rode several singletrack trails on a Framed Wolftrax carbon 27.5 with 4 in Cakeeaters. These are trails that I’ve ridden many times on my Transition Scout carbon 27.5 with 2.4 in Nobby Nics. Much to my surprise I was able to climb sections of both trails more efficiently with fewer rest stops due to fatigue. This comes as a complete surprise to me as these bikes are in different classes with the Scout trouncing the Wolftrax on paper.

How is this possible? I’m now questioning whether I need the Scout and instead considering adding a Mastodon to the Wolftrax for summer riding.




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This place needs an enema
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The more chunk, technical, difficult the trail, the more fat tires can eat it up with little input from the rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok. My only complaint with the ride was the lack of suspension on the descents. Any suggestions for a replacement fork with suspension? I’ve heard good things about the Mastodon Pro - any others I should consider?

I’ll also be riding in the MT winter but may simply swap back to my carbon fork if necessary.

Finally, if I swap to a fork with suspension will I lose the climbing ability that I observed (and want) the other day?



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Ok. My only complaint with the ride was the lack of suspension on the descents. Any suggestions for a replacement fork with suspension? I've heard good things about the Mastodon Pro - any others I should consider?

I'll also be riding in the MT winter but may simply swap back to my carbon fork if necessary.

Finally, if I swap to a fork with suspension will I lose the climbing ability that I observed (and want) the other day?

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I have the Mastodon Comp Extended and my experience is better climbing over rocky and rooted trails. Never really thought about it on smoother climbs. I also thought that I'd probably go to 27.5 tires, but have decided to stick with the 26 x 4.8 tires for float and taller wheels. (3.8 tires on 27.5 x 65mm rims are shorter than the 26 x 80mm with 4.8 tires). I get far less peddle strikes with the 120 Mastodon Ext. than the 100 Bluto which should be pretty obvious.
 

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How is this possible?
A few reasons, but mostly being real slow to start with. Fat-bikes are slower climbing. If you make the wheels and tires real light, you can set it up so you aren't at too big of a disadvantage and if you have very good fitness, you can "overpower" the competition a bit, but you'd be that much faster (given that fitness and skill) on a regular skinny bike. Power transfer of a hardtail helps, but things like friction and aerodrag are significantly more on a fatbike. I recently did a gravel grinder and did well, by mostly drafting, but the disadvantages of a fat-bike are clear. When I'm climbing fast, the traction of a FS bike is better at putting down the power than low PSI 5" tires. Trails are not smooth and bouncing tires don't hook up as well as ones sucked to the ground with proper damping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have the Mastodon Comp Extended and my experience is better climbing over rocky and rooted trails. Never really thought about it on smoother climbs. I also thought that I'd probably go to 27.5 tires, but have decided to stick with the 26 x 4.8 tires for float and taller wheels. (3.8 tires on 27.5 x 65mm rims are shorter than the 26 x 80mm with 4.8 tires). I get far less peddle strikes with the 120 Mastodon Ext. than the 100 Bluto which should be pretty obvious.
Good to know, thank you.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A few reasons, but mostly being real slow to start with. Fat-bikes are slower climbing. If you make the wheels and tires real light, you can set it up so you aren't at too big of a disadvantage and if you have very good fitness, you can "overpower" the competition a bit, but you'd be that much faster (given that fitness and skill) on a regular skinny bike. Power transfer of a hardtail helps, but things like friction and aerodrag are significantly more on a fatbike. I recently did a gravel grinder and did well, by mostly drafting, but the disadvantages of a fat-bike are clear. When I'm climbing fast, the traction of a FS bike is better at putting down the power than low PSI 5" tires. Trails are not smooth and bouncing tires don't hook up as well as ones sucked to the ground with proper damping.
Initially, I thought I would be slower but with fewer stops to rest it may be a wash at the top of the climb.

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