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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So now we have a dedicated thread where we can find links to the handful of fatbike frame manufacturers out there...but I have yet to see any analysis of how those frames compare. What are the characteristics of the fatbikes frames available?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Frames

Excellent post IPA Rider (I'm an IPA fan too)...let's see if I can help.

Fatbike frames, issues, and characteristics (from what I can tell from websites available):

Surly Pugsley - http://www.surlybikes.com/pugsley.html
- Cost: $575 - $600
- Frame: chromo; 5.66lbs (18")
- Fork: 2.52 lbs uncut; 135mm spacing
- Wheel issues: 135mm hub spacing front and back; funky 17.5mm offset
- BB: 100mm
- Dropouts - horizontal
- Made in:
- Warranty:
- Ride: I don't know, never been on one

Fatback from Speedway - http://speedwaycyclesak.com/pages/fatback.html
- Cost: it says $1500 for frames; custom forks starting at $400 (is that on top of the 1.5K? I'm stoopid)
- Frame: sweet Ti, custom available with lots of fork options; 3.5lbs (18")
- Fork:
- Wheel issues: 165mm rear spacing; no offset
- BB: 100mm
- Dropouts:
- Made in:
- Warranty: 3 yrs
- Ride: I don't know, never been on one

Wildfire Fatbike - http://www.wildfirecycles.com/fatbikes.html
- Cost: $995
- Frame: Chromo; 4.5lbs (19"); custom options
- Fork: 2.5lbs; spacing?
- Wheel issues: 160mm rear hub spacing; no offset
- BB:
- Dropouts:
- Made in:
- Warranty:
- Ride: I don't know, never been on one

Chain Reaction 9:Zero:7 - http://www.chainreactioncycles.us/907.html
- Cost: $1899
- Frame: Ti; 3.3lbs (17")
- Fork:
- Wheel issues: 160mm rear spacing; offset?
- BB: 100mm
- Dropouts:
- Made in: USA
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Ride: I don't know, never been on one

Jones
- Not sure…in development?

As you can see, I'm pretty worthless regarding how these things ride (and don't have that much info to share on the rest), but this is a start on comparing the options. Perhaps others will EDIT AND ADD TO this…:D
 

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here is my take on the lack of replies. most people are on their first snow bike at this time. think about it. a pugsley at 550. for a frameset is a deal. there is not much you can do on a pug that you can do better on a high end snow bike.
 

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FatBike Fiend
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Wildfire Specs

Can't speak for the other guys, but here's the missing info for Wildfire FatBikes:

Wildfire FatBike - http://www.wildfirecycles.com/fatbikes.html
- Cost: $995
- Frame: Chromo; 4.6lbs (19"); custom options.
- Fork: 2.5lbs; spacing 100 mm
- Wheel issues: 160mm rear hub spacing; no offset.
- BB: 100 mm
- Dropouts: Vertical disc.
- Made in: USA
- Warranty: 5 years
- Ride: Priceless:thumbsup:
 

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Fatback
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bighit said:
here is my take on the lack of replies. most people are on their first snow bike at this time. think about it. a pugsley at 550. for a frameset is a deal. there is not much you can do on a pug that you can do better on a high end snow bike.
Mostly the lack of reply is a show of respect to the other designers. All of us believe we have the best product, so what can you do. I can tell you why I think the Fatback is the best design, but I'm not going to do it here. Looks like most things got listed though. I will say the ride characteristics are much different on a Fatback than on a Pugs-no disrespect to the Pugs, just two different animals. Maybe that matters to you, maybe it doesn't.
 

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I think thirstywork pretty much spelled it out. There are several nice frames to choose from, and each of them reflects the designer's ideas and philosophy on snow biking. Your best bet is to do some research, ride the different bikes if you can, and decide on your own.

Here is some additional information regarding the 9:ZERO:7:

Chain Reaction 9:Zero:7 - http://www.chainreactioncycles.us/907.html
- Cost: $1899
- Frame: Ti; 3.3lbs (17")
- Fork: Built around a 450mm A-C, The Pugs 100mm fork will work. We also stock Black Sheep Ti and Desalvo forks to match.
- Wheel issues: 160mm rear spacing, non-offset
- BB: 100mm
- Dropouts: Vertical.
- Made in: USA
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Ride: Indisputably the best (This is an inside joke, so don't hammer me on this - I say it tongue in cheek).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
no bad talk...

thirstywork said:


Mostly the lack of reply is a show of respect to the other designers.
I almost made a similar speculation in the original post...and the fact that no one talks in such terms on this forum raises the posted question.

I don't want to stir things up in what seems to be a very positive group, but after reading the descriptions of the 9:zero:7 on their website, it got me thinking about how different they really ride, and what difference its features make.

It wouldn't be bad to get the design concept out there and what people think about the ride (without dissing others). Perhaps this isn't possible to do well (?)

I was looking for ride characteristics, but specs is all I could (begin to) come up with...thought they might help for folks looking to make a decision.
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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I just got the chance to spend a couple of hours on Thirstywork's own personal Fatback, and it did certainly ride quite differently than my Pugs. Then again it was fully rigid and my Pugs has a Mav SC32 fork and a Thudbuster post. My pugs probably weighs a solid 4 or 5 pounds more to boot. All this makes a real comparison difficult because the parts play a pretty dramatic role in how the bikes feel. I will say that both cruise the flats similarly, though the Fatback did accelerate and handle generally with a lighter feel. The steering was superb with absolute no-input-required tracking and neutral handling. My Pugs seems to wander a bit and the steering feels heavy. That may be a head angle issue due to the fork resulting in wheel flop. I hit the pedals on some snow chunk with the Fatback so the bb felt lower: again probably the forks. When standing to climb, the Fatback's overall light feel and superb handling stayed exactly the same while my Pugs feels like I'm doing the tango with a 200 pound octopus. This was the most obvious difference. I'll post up some pics soon.

If I find a sack of cash washed up on the beach I'll pick up a Fatback for me and Barny. :D
 

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plasma donor
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tscheezy, I appreciate the review. While I understand, and admire manufacturers/vendors showing the class to remain neutral in the conversation, it's difficult to drop as much on an unfinnished bicycle as my cousin dropped on a fully functional Kawasaki ZX6 a couple months ago, without having some real-world impressions.

I've been researching fat bikes for a little while now. The idea appeals to me alot. I've even called Sram about a Hammerschmidt with a 100mm BB compatability. They were less than enthusiastic with the idea. Shame, because a 2X system while keeping a clean chainline seems ideal.

Like others, I've dropped what I considered big money on new technologies and been disappointed. My Proflex 856 was a prime example. And it's not like I can just hop over to my LBS in Iowa to testride the newest fatbike. For some reason, fatbikes are not a regularly stocked item at my LBS. I've seen a few reviews online, but comparisons are difficult to come by.
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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Here's a short video clip I threw together of riding the Fatback on the Coastal Trail in Anchorage:


BTW- If you click on the HD button in the youtube window and watch it full screen, it looks better.
 

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Just tried out, should be on the market within 4-6 weeks:

- Cost: depending on tubing and finish between 500 & 800 $
- Weight: depending on tubing and finish choice between 4.2 and 3.75 lbs
- Frame: aluminium
- Wheel issues: 165mm rear spacing, no offset
- BB: 100mm
- Dropouts: vertical
- Made in: Belgium
- Warranty: 2 yrs
- Ride: pretty darn good, for my first try on a fatbike. Could do anything my 120mm fully can and much, much more.
- Package deals: can be sold with 70mm, 2 lbs pre-drilled rims, own 165mm Shimano type adjustable bearing rear hub with grease guard and likewise 100mm BB.

Plenty of space for wider rims and 3x9 speed. See pictures below with one of the prototypes I had the chance to try: 70mm rims, 3x9 and the usual Endomorphs. This one still had an Isis BB and a QR modified DT rear hub.
Sweet ride.





 

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bighit said:
old school skin walls. where did you get them.
Ebay of all places, if you know of any other source for those skinwalls, let me know - I want a pair for my own fat bike to be. Much nicer than the black walled version if you want my opinion.

I just ordered their top of the line anodised, hydroformed XL frame with a steel fork and with all their special hubs and BB.
I think I'll give the Maverick fork a pass, I'm pretty big and could feel the fork twist sideways when braking (Avid Code's with 180mm disks mounted). I forgot after a while but it didn't inspire too much confidence...
They promised me I would have the frame in about 4 weeks time - will keep you posted how it turns out. I'm gonna go to try to mount it with full gears but "light" as an XC and sand rig, for the moment :D
 

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Contact Info?

caminoloco said:
Ebay of all places, if you know of any other source for those skinwalls, let me know - I want a pair for my own fat bike to be. Much nicer than the black walled version if you want my opinion.

I just ordered their top of the line anodised, hydroformed XL frame with a steel fork and with all their special hubs and BB.
I think I'll give the Maverick fork a pass, I'm pretty big and could feel the fork twist sideways when braking (Avid Code's with 180mm disks mounted). I forgot after a while but it didn't inspire too much confidence...
They promised me I would have the frame in about 4 weeks time - will keep you posted how it turns out. I'm gonna go to try to mount it with full gears but "light" as an XC and sand rig, for the moment :D
That frame looks nice! Do you have contact info for the manufacturer? If so, please post. Thx.
 

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Stroganof said:
That frame looks nice! Do you have contact info for the manufacturer? If so, please post. Thx.
Will do as soon as I can and they let me, they want to come out with the finished products (choice of tubing, forks, hubs and BB) and the options (like anodising, integrated or normal headset, horizontal or vertical dropouts, 70mm rims) all at the same time.

They promised me mine (hydroformed tubing, anodised, their rigid fork, hubs and BB, vertical dropout, normal headset, gear rack attachments and two water bottle fittings) will be the first "client" one, ready in about a month. By then their website pages will be up and running, if not earlier.
They won't sell the prototypes (the medium one on the pictures was non-butted, plain tubing and painted with a spray can :eek: ). They told me once they've everything in place for production an order would be honoured in summertime within two weeks tops, in winter a bit longer because they've got too much work building other (cyclocross and track) frames.
Which reminds me, they can also do steel frames - no titanium.
I'm pretty curious to see their hubs which will have adjustable bearings, like Shimano hubs. With a kind of grease guard. In my point of view a huge advantage over industrial bearings, especially for this application (general use of this type of bike, expedition reliability...).
The BB will be a 100mm one with external bearings, haven't seen one of those either. I'll certainly post something here when I show my new stead on the pictures thread :D, or sooner when their fat bike site is up.

PS I also ordered a pair of their 70mm rims, but I'm wondering about something: are similar rims that "loose" ? Meaning the tire almost drops off when not inflated ? Once inflated they stay put, even at very low pressures. But I had one tire slowly deflate with a tiny puncture when on a car rack and after a while the wind blew the tire off the rim. I had to stop because the tube was flapping in the air.
Makes it almost too easy to change tubes, the tire keeps slipping off the rim like five times when inflating with a handpump.
Until the tube expands a bit and seats the tire against the rim sides. I think I read something about similar rims being a pain when trying to get a tire off or on ?
 

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Go for it!!!

I've been winter biking for 20 years now and I'm happy report I've finally joined the fat tire club!! I've been winter biking for a long time on SnowCats and big tires, but the new dedicated snow bike offerings have now surpassed my expectations by a mile. They just work and work well. To be clear, I have limited amounts of time on fat bikes, but all I can say is they make the marginal snow conditions a blast to ride. I would typically go XC skiing in those conditions, but the snow bike makes the riding possible if not more fun than XC skiing. I dropped some coin on a Ti frameset and it should be ready for next winter. I haven't been this excited about a new bike for a long time.

Like you, I was unwilling to get into the market early on because I recognized the technology and designs were far too fluid. I first saw a pugsly about 5-6 years ago and thought "there's an interesting idea", but was unwilling to commit give how new it was. But, standards are now being set and the bar has been set with creation the original Fatback a couple of year ago and now the new 907; 100mm BB, 160 mm rear hubs (symmetrical rear ends), 135mm front hubs (Pauls and Phil Woods), Cranks with X-type BB (Surly), 80-mm single wall rims, slacker headtube angles, longer chainstays, and compact geometries for a more up-right riding position. It's all come together this past season and it makes sense to me to jump in. Plus, AK seems to be the nexsus for this new development and I'm glad to be apart of it.

I predict the popularity curve will accelerate with a production AL fat bike version with these new standards. I hope to see as many fat bikers as skiers in the next few years here in Anchorage!!

Regards,

EndUser
 
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