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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has been my first winter on the new Pugsley and I am wondering about riding the Pugs as the snow begins to melt and we edge toward spring.

Where I live & ride, the trails are very susceptible to damage in the spring with soft & muddy conditions. I have to believe that a fat tire bike would be able to ride in these conditions when a normal bike would be leaving ruts & damage behind.

Am I right? Will I be able to take the Pugs out on spring days when my Stumpjumper would be damaging the trails?
 

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is buachail foighneach me
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Most of the time yes, but the fat tires are more likely to slide(skid) when braking in certain conditions because of how they spread your weight out. So, yeah, your pugs will definitely cause less damage overall, but just be careful when braking or descending.
 

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I notice that my fat tires act like a steam roller. They tend to flatten down the deep grooves caused by dirt roadies. As a bonus I get to ride right down the center of the trail not expanding the sides trying to find dry trail.

They don't cause the deep cuts, but flatten them.
And you ride in the center.
Win, win.
 

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Fat certainly causes less damage than a footprint with walking boots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks folks. You pretty much solidified what I thought was the case. There are always times when there should be no bike traffic on a trail at all. But, the fat tire bike will be able to get out there before the normal tire bike would.

The local Pugsley riders (five of us) have only partially in jest said that we should take our Fatties out on a group ride to flatten out the ruts that the kunckleheads who ride too soon cause every year. Shoot, maybe we could hire ourselves out as a trail flattening service :thumbsup:
 

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I think the trail damage will happen with any bike. I find myself looking for different rides with my fat bike and staying off the trails for fear I might damage them.

I ride shore line around our lakes.. and open fields, dry creek beds.. That is what I love about my Pug... You can invent routes.

Good luck. Have fun.
 

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Fixing trails

I've actually fixed damaged mudholes in trails with my Fatbike. If you get out say on the first day it's OK to ride any bike, there's always a couple of muddy spots that take longer to dry out. I'll use my feet to push the damaged mud back into place then ride over it a few times. The next day it dries hard, provided no one else comes along and rides in it.
 

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Perpetual n00b
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I had this conversation with members of the local mtb club on our club forum and it turned into a huge ruckus. Funny part is that it was a trail that was open and good to ride but they insisted on using me as a straw man for their arguments on trail damaging users and environmental sensitivity etc etc. I stepped down from my board position as web director of the club and now I just plan to ride sans all the petty stuff.
 

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Down South Yooper
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One argument I've heard that actually makes sense to me is that while the tire track may not be as deep as a footprint (horse, human, whatever), it creates a continuous very shallow ditch or swale that allows water to travel, gain velocity and carry soils away, basically providing an avenue for erosion.

That argument seems to hold the most water for me, at least I can see the theory. I'd agree that a fat tire is going to have less impact than a skinny tire, but the argument against erosion is more or less the same..

FWIW.

Plum
 

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One argument I've heard that actually makes sense to me is that while the tire track may not be as deep as a footprint (horse, human, whatever), it creates a continuous very shallow ditch or swale that allows water to travel, gain velocity and carry soils away, basically providing an avenue for erosion.

That argument seems to hold the most water for me, at least I can see the theory. I'd agree that a fat tire is going to have less impact than a skinny tire, but the argument against erosion is more or less the same..

FWIW.

Plum
Good call!
 

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Witty McWitterson
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I'd agree that the Nate with its agressive tread isn't a tire I'd take out in marginal conditions. A Larry or Endo are best for leaving next to no foot print. Jury's still out on the HD, but I bet it'll fall safely inbetween the Larry and Nate. That being said, the Nate is still going to be much better than any 2.x tire out there in soft conditions.
 

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is buachail foighneach me
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I think a tire gripping well and throwing mud vs a tire slipping, sliding and skidding because it has no grip is like 6 of 1 versus half a dozen of another. I would think in certain marginal conditions a Nate will cause less damage and in others an Endo or Larry will. Increased braking traction and turning traction both equal less damage, and the Nate kills the Endo and Larry on both accounts.
 

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One argument I've heard that actually makes sense to me is that while the tire track may not be as deep as a footprint (horse, human, whatever), it creates a continuous very shallow ditch or swale that allows water to travel, gain velocity and carry soils away, basically providing an avenue for erosion.

That argument seems to hold the most water for me, at least I can see the theory. I'd agree that a fat tire is going to have less impact than a skinny tire, but the argument against erosion is more or less the same..

FWIW.

Plum
The thing is I read the same thing about 2.1" tires & it does make sense for both size tires to a point.I build & maintain trails at my local state park and there is many other factor involved in trail erosion too much to get into here & its not all from bikes :p the thing is you have to know your trails & how they take the rain & wet and if its wet & muddy everyone should stay off of them,not just bikes :thumbsup:
 

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One argument I've heard that actually makes sense to me is that while the tire track may not be as deep as a footprint (horse, human, whatever), it creates a continuous very shallow ditch or swale that allows water to travel, gain velocity and carry soils away, basically providing an avenue for erosion.

That argument seems to hold the most water for me, at least I can see the theory. I'd agree that a fat tire is going to have less impact than a skinny tire, but the argument against erosion is more or less the same..

FWIW.

Plum
I see your point but that would really only apply on a poorly designed/constructed trail, and in that case the trail itself will probably act to channel water and speed erosion.
 

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I had this conversation with members of the local mtb club on our club forum and it turned into a huge ruckus. Funny part is that it was a trail that was open and good to ride but they insisted on using me as a straw man for their arguments on trail damaging users and environmental sensitivity etc etc. I stepped down from my board position as web director of the club and now I just plan to ride sans all the petty stuff.
The joy of clubs. :skep:
 

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Opinions on this topic, like lot of other things, are like .... well, you know. Ride if you want. Don't ride if you don't want to ride. Keep your opinions to yourself. And expect to have your ass kicked if you rudely confront someone bigger than you.
 
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