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Fatbike Riding Position/Fit/Sizing

1084 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  jonshonda
Hi everyone, I'm relatively new to the fatbiking scene and I have a question about sizing and fit. For my aggressive trail bike I like to run a pretty long reach of 480mm for my 5'10" height. However, looking at the fatbike geo charts it looks like the geometry tends to be much more conservative - slacker seat tube angles, steeper headtube angles, and shorter reaches.

I can figure out what's going to "fit" the same as my current bike, i.e. what my rider triangle is going to be, but what I CAN'T figure out is whether one wants a different riding position for riding on snow vs regular trail riding. Similarly, I can test ride a bike in the shop parking lot, but that's not going to translate to what it feels like on the trails. From what little fatbiking I've done, the riding has been slower and less aggressive, so I can see a more upright riding position being beneficial, or at the very least not detrimental.

Curious to get everyone's thoughts on this. Excited to get on the trails this winter!
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Standover height is much more important riding in the snow, especially if riding where a lot of snow accumulates. The trail you ride on will be packed down and raise your wheels off the ground, while the snow on the ground will be unpacked and give way when you foot down. So it will drop your foot lower than what you are expecting. A little extra room could be the difference between getting a foot down and just tipping over in the snow. General riding position is about the same as when you ride on mud, expect the bike to sway under you a little bit and just let it go. I find I don't need to change much, set-up wise. I am just glad to have a frame with nice standover clearance (the old style Framed Carbon Alaskan, now marketed as Wolftrax Carbon).
One thought too is that fat bikes are generally not used for “long climb up, long descent down” type riding. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite most of the time. The above style lends itself more to steeper STA where you aren’t riding for distances and lengths where extra pressure on your hands from that steeper STA is an issue. IME, it is an issue at times. Hard tails do not need as steep to start with because they aren’t sagging backwards on climbs like long travel FS, but arguably fatbikes need it even less due to how they are used.
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Most the carbon fat bikes "seem" to have a little more race geo. Surly makes some great do everything fat bikes. Ice cream truck and Wednesday are popular. Wyatt has some more aggressive geo for hard tails, and growler (what I ride) has a great fat bike and superb customer service.
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