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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
True or false? I have ridden with some friends with f/s bikes and they have been shocked that my fat hardtail (Canyon Dude) climbs faster than their more expensive MTBs. I am slower descending (mostly due to my fear and lack of ability) but this bike climbs so well! I am on Jumbo Jims, so maybe that helps?
 

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I can almost keep up with my son when I'm on my hardtail (4.0 Jumbo Jim's on 65's), not a chance when I'm on my full suspension (running 3.0's on i35's) - climbing, that is. An on level XC'y type stuff. Once it turns downhill, different story.
 

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When you ride a fat bike the increased rolling resistance and weight actually makes the bike go faster.

The only reason pros don’t race them in XC is because of a great conspiracy by the non fat bike manufacturers to keep them out and the fact that it would give the fat bike rider an unfair advantage over the field.
 

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So this really depends on the rider and the bikes. Also the type of F/S bikes your friends are on. If they are on some long travel enduro bikes and not so fit, I would agree that a Canyon Dude will climb faster/better. If they are some F/S 100mm XC race bikes and in decent shape... no way. Either they are in poorer shape, or you were on beach sand/snow. I race a bit of XC, and my F/S climbs most things better than my hardtail except for pretty smooth fireroads or pavement.
 

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True, I won the Leadville 100 and Tour de France on one.
Dammit. Here we go again. Not all fat bikes are slow...faster than other bikes in certain scenarios, but marginally slower overall.

The difference the OP is observing is likely a difference in skillset vs your friends more than the bikes your riding.

My fat bike is faster than my XC FS on many surfaces...mostly soft, loose, or surfaces of a certain roughness (think 1-3" bumps).
 

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When you ride a fat bike the increased rolling resistance and weight actually makes the bike go faster.

The only reason pros don't race them in XC is because of a great conspiracy by the non fat bike manufacturers to keep them out and the fact that it would give the fat bike rider an unfair advantage over the field.
Dammit, you were not supposed to expose this. Consider yourself warned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As one data point, I recently did a nice local ride. 18 miles and 2600 ft of climbing. I had done this route 3-4x before on my steel gravel bike (with 40mm tires, weighing a good 6-8 lbs less than the fat bike). It's all fire roads with a bit of pavement -very little technical but some bumpy stuff. I was very surprised afterwards to see that on most segments I was faster on the fat bike than the gravel bike (and in some cases significantly faster)! And the fat bike was definitely more fun!
 

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I certainly climb faster, and even ride faster, on most trails on my Canyon Dude than my FS Tallboy 3.

I love this bike and even after 4 years, nothing tempting me to replace with. I am still considering 29*3" wheelset for summer though.

Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
 

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depends on the climb. They're pretty capable on a lot of the traction lacking climbs. My fat bike is a very "sit and spin an easy gear" bike compared to my other full suspension bikes that often times require a bit more finesse and power output to grind up a techy climb
 

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It baffles me how much people attribute to the bike versus the rider.
Or that people don't consider different conditions could mean different experiences for other people. I split my time 50/50 on my bikes, and much more frequently set PRs on my fat bike.

Maybe it is attributed to the conditions I ride in the North East, or maybe the way I ride (sit and spin).

Overall I've gotten much faster and better the last few years and continue to see improvements on both bikes. I think the fat is more engaging and challenging, but also more rewarding. Starting to reach limits and upping psi more and more though.
 

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So yeah, silliness, not unusual coming from fat bike rider
Eeeeehhhhhhh, not all of our silliness is the same... :)

With me being the control in the experiment I can say that in 4 inch mode my fat bike climbed way better than the skinny 2.1 inch wheeled ancient hardtail it replaced. I am even faster still on the lighter and taller 29+ wheels. There are certain tech sections where I ride that would really benefit from a rear suspension to keep traction, which would increase my climbing speed further.

That said, fat = fun. Fast is only useful to purchase fun. Otherwise I just don't care. I like to climb, I like to push myself. I don't measure any of it with any other unit other than fun.
 
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