Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2015 Specialized Fatboy. I’m interested in slowing the steering down to have more stable handling in loose snow. I’ve ridden a Trek Farley and Pivot LES Fat and prefer how these bikes handle. I'm told that my older bike has XC handling and the Farley and LES Fat have more modern trail geometry. I really don't want to buy a new bike. If I change the original carbon fork which has an axle to crown length of 468 mm and a 47 mm offset with a fork that has an axle to crown length of 489 mm and an adjustable 42 or 51 mm offset, would this give me the handling I'm looking for, particularly if I use the 42 mm offset?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
I have a 2015 Specialized Fatboy. I’m interested in slowing the steering down to have more stable handling in loose snow. I’ve ridden a Trek Farley and Pivot LES Fat and prefer how these bikes handle. I'm told that my older bike has XC handling and the Farley and LES Fat have more modern trail geometry. I really don't want to buy a new bike. If I change the original carbon fork which has an axle to crown length of 468 mm and a 47 mm offset with a fork that has an axle to crown length of 489 mm and an adjustable 42 or 51 mm offset, would this give me the handling I'm looking for, particularly if I use the 42 mm offset?
It will also slacken seattube, raise standover, raise BB.... it sure will change things, but probably not be like a good trailbike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
You could see if Works Components has an angleset that fits your headtube to slacken it out. I put a -2.0° on my bike and love it. Installation was a cinch with an inexpensive press from Amazon.

 

·
Professional Crastinator
Joined
·
6,013 Posts
A 20mm change isn't HUGE, but you will feel something. It won't make it a Farley, though. I had a Motobecane Sturgis with a factory rigid fork, but I also have a 120mm Bluto, and a 490mm Popeye rigid fork. The diff. b/factory and Popeye is "a little". It is a little more relaxed.
When I ride the Bluto, I tend to minimize the sag (~20%), so it is even a bit slower/more relaxed. I think the Sturgis has a 70* HTA from the factory, and mine is near 68* with the Bluto.

-F
 

·
since 4/10/2009
Joined
·
30,817 Posts
I have a 2015 Specialized Fatboy. I’m interested in slowing the steering down to have more stable handling in loose snow. I’ve ridden a Trek Farley and Pivot LES Fat and prefer how these bikes handle. I'm told that my older bike has XC handling and the Farley and LES Fat have more modern trail geometry. I really don't want to buy a new bike. If I change the original carbon fork which has an axle to crown length of 468 mm and a 47 mm offset with a fork that has an axle to crown length of 489 mm and an adjustable 42 or 51 mm offset, would this give me the handling I'm looking for, particularly if I use the 42 mm offset?
Raising the front end will change many aspects of the bike's geometry. That's probably not what you want, unless it is.

Changing offset alone will change the handling but not really the rest of the geometry. Using an angleset can also change handling in a more controllable manner by ONLY changing the head angle of the bike.

But also when it comes to steering, handlebar and stem play a role in steering quickness. But changing these will also change the fit of the bike, so tread carefully.

There aren't many things you can do to tweak the handling of your bike without creating cascading effects elsewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
When I saw the title of the thread, I thought "steering damper". I'm not sure this is what you are looking for but have a look at the following:



If you want to slacken your headset angle, you can also use a crown race spacer like the following: Cane Creek +3 40mm Crown Race

Its only 3 mm, but you can find them with up 25 mm. This will have the same effect as increasing the A2C. Doesn't change the offset, but much cheaper than a new fork. Angle set or wider bars/shorter stem may still be a better solution as others pointed out earlier.
 

·
since 4/10/2009
Joined
·
30,817 Posts
Cane Creek Viscoset is a much more affordable way to add some steering damping if that's all you want.
 

·
CEO Product Failure
Joined
·
1,561 Posts
I have the 2015 Fatboy as well. IMO, changing the fork to anything other than a '15-'16 Bluto (or stock Specialized fork) is not advised.

In 2015 I rode every fat bike I could: Salsa's, Surly's, Trek's, Specializeds, etcs. In the end, I selected the Fatboy because its geometry mimicked my trail bike. I was told by Specialized the Fatboy's geometry was based on Specialized's race bikes. Which was fine with me. The Surly and Trek Farleys were more touring geometry. You really would need to swap out both the fork and frame to achieve touring geometry. Raking out the fork is Frankenstein'ing your bike.

Also, Specialized quietly discontinued the Fatboy and all fatbike components in 2020. Don't know if this plays into your decisions, but I found out too late and can no longer find my favorite fatbike tires.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
35,020 Posts
Are you going too slow for forward momentum? I ask like this because trying to ride around with 24x52 rings can be impossible in some situations, you simply aren't going fast enough to have a little bit of stability in the bike from forward motion. It's like how these people will try to do this and climb a slight grade, but they go off sideways, because it just doesn't work that slow.

In some cases it "seems" like you'd do better uphill or in soft snow in the easiest gear possible, but in my experience, it doesn't always work, if you can't maintain enough forward momentum, it doesn't matter how easy the gear is and how fast you pedal. Sometimes I have to upshift.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Not sure if you are open to a suspension fork - I too have what is probably a '15 Fatboy - Expert (black with red decals, alloy) and because I ride it year round I run it with a Bluto. At first I kept travel to 80mm per Spec recommendation but a couple years ago increased to 100mm and much prefer how the bike rides now. No it is not modern geometry but frankly the bike does very well in snow, and dirt, too, frankly, where I ride (CO mountain singletrack).

COBikeman
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Just a couple of thoughts:
  • Stem Length: IMHO, stem length seems to be the biggest way to affect how a bike steers. IME, adding 15-20mm to a stem really slows down steering. I believe a Farley may have a fairly long stem at 70-90mm depending on frame size; I'm not sure what they put on the 2015 Fat Boy, but if it is a 50mm or shorter it might make a difference. But then there is the consideration on how this could affect reach.
  • 9point8 Slack-R: This may be an option if you choose to adjust your head angle and raise your head tube. Slack-R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks to all for your input.

Comparing geometry on the attached chart, my take is that the angleset would be the way to go and change the HTA from 70.5* to 69*. Unfortunately Specialized has an odd ball IS headset and no one has an angleset to match. Good news is that 9point8 say they're hoping to have a Slack-R to fit Specialized in the spring.

The bike originally came with a 60 mm stem and 750 mm handlebar which I changed to 50 and 700. I will go back to original and see how much that helps.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,762 Posts
Tire pressure, drop it a touch and it’ll slow handling drastically.

might also consider a different tire, something a touch more aggressive.

Anglesets work, but it may not be worth the effort, it’ll raise your front end, they’re pricey, and it may not make the ride better.

That Viscoheadset works according to Mike Curiak, he’s also a fan of the steering damper.

It might also help to get more body weight forward, slide your seat forward a touch.

A stem change could help.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top