Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
844 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to fat bikes. Currently run a stumpjumper with 2.3 in the back and 2.6 up front.
I was looking at the framed Alaskan 27.5 but worry about the tire size limitation. It comes with a 4” tire and max size is 4.25”.

is 4” wide enough for snow?

I am 250 lbs geared up if that helps.
 

· Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
41,092 Posts
For some days, sure.

For other days, no. In some cases, it'll rut-out the trails more, but everyone riding will be rutting out the trails, that kind of depends on the trail maintenance too (snow dragon?), etc.

I was talking with some friends a few days ago about how I don't see a point to the D4 tire, to me, it sucks everywhere in the winter, whereas the D5 seems to be decent everywhere, while not outstanding. A great all-around tire. My theory is that for many years, we were "stuck" with D4s and that's all people ran. I'm about 160-170, but I was corrected that lighter weight riders can probably get along fine with D4s. That makes sense.

IME, 27.5 doesn't get you better float. It gets you better uphill traction due to the longer contact patch, but that's the only significant advantage I've found running both and doing a lot of switching back and forth last winter. At your weight, for float, I'd be considering a 26" J5 setup, not a 27.5...unless you are riding some truly hard-packed stuff in the winter, where you don't need wider tires anyway. As you start prioritizing float, you also have to ask the question of how often you encounter the situations where it's really necessary. Sometimes it's nearly all the time on loosely-packed stuff that has foot-prints and not much traffic. Sometimes it's not often, because new snow is either too deep or too rare to hedge having more float for. Depends on how fast the trails get packed down, etc.

Cyclocross is wide enough for snow when conditions are right.
 
  • Like
Reactions: northy185

· Wanna ride bikes?
Joined
·
12,540 Posts
Wide enough? Barely but yes. You will be able to ride groomed trails and fresh powder that is not too deep, but the more challenging the conditions the less awesome 4" tires become... especially if you're over 190lbs.

You'd be better off with 26" wheels and 5" tires on wide rims. A bigger contact patch and BIG aggressive tread is what it's all about for tough conditions and/or anyone north of 200lbs.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
What they said! My 2 cents: at 240 pounds (before gear) I find 4" tires marginal. In fast hardpacked conditions they are great. But so are plus tires and 2.1 Ice Spikers.

If you can find one, it's nice to have a bike that can fit at least a 4.5 or 5.0 tire ('advertised sizing'). When winter starts I just put on my J5's and forget about it. Adjust the psi depending on the conditions and that's about that. I'm a bit slower on the fastest hardpacked days, but on all other days I'm grateful for the extra width and volume.

Edit: if you don't want to commit to the biggest meanest tires, then I've found a combo similar to Wrathchild front and D5 rear splits the difference on size, speed, weight, rolling resistance, and still gives you some off camber traction up front.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
I live in NE and ride fats at 4". They do fine on groomed. And of course pressure is super important. The lower the better.

I've never had much luck on ungroomed powder snow. I don't get much float. ~220 lbs on 26" wheels. Wet snow and frozen crust snow are better.



Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
844 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the quick replies. I guess I was just brain washed that 27.5 is better than 26”. I currently ride a 29” and the thought of going back to a 26 never crossed my mind.

Sounds like it is apples and oranges
 

· Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
41,092 Posts
Thank you for the quick replies. I guess I was just brain washed that 27.5 is better than 26”. I currently ride a 29” and the thought of going back to a 26 never crossed my mind.

Sounds like it is apples and oranges
26x5, as in Bud/Lou, J5 or 2XL on a 90-100mm rim has to be seen to understand how massive it is. 27.5 is not a huge increase in rim size and the tires don't end up all that wide, not to mention the rims available aren't all that wide either. The float you get out of these 26x5 setups is massive and better than 27.5. My 27.5 Cakeeater 4.5 is pretty big, but still not as much float as those giant 26 setups. That's where you want to be if you want max float.
 

· This place needs an enema
Joined
·
17,704 Posts
I am new to fat bikes. Currently run a stumpjumper with 2.3 in the back and 2.6 up front.
I was looking at the framed Alaskan 27.5 but worry about the tire size limitation. It comes with a 4” tire and max size is 4.25”.

is 4” wide enough for snow?

I am 250 lbs geared up if that helps.

Define "snow"?

Not trying to be cheeky -- that word means very different things to different people.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
All of this exists within the context of snow, local trail conditions, riding preferences and a myriad of other factors. I know my trails, I don't know yours. I've ridden a lot of 26 and a bit of 27.5. I like them both. But I would say that (for a bigger guy) getting a bike that is limited to 4" wide tires might be adequate...unless it isn't. In which case they only solution is a bike with more clearance for bigger tires!

My old bike could only run little tires. My current bike can run little tires or big tires. I'm much happier now.

Oh and another point: during the pandemic, perhaps the 'best' bike is the one that you can actually get!!!! Purchasing vapourware that won't arrive until the winter of 2023 won't help you much this season. So if you have a solid lead on a bike then perhaps that's the bike for you???
 

· Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
I’m in New England. I’ve ridden both 4” and 5” tires around here in the snow (as well as 4.5”). It REALLY depends on the conditions and snow type. How deep? How wet? Etc. New England can be messy as hell in the winter. I can get away with 4” tires a lot of the time TBH. I’ve actually never ridden on groomed winter trails so I can‘t speak on that.
 

· Stubby-legged
Joined
·
1,451 Posts
Wet heavy snow, groomed and packed snow, slick and icy snow.
All conditions you may find in one day while snowbiking in New England. (I'm in Maine)
I have never had 27.5+ so can't speak to that but, I have been fat-biking since the Endo and Larry were the only thing available.
4.2's will work anywhere in N.E. you would want to ride. 4.8's will work better. 4.8-5.0 studded will work almost everywhere.
I currently have two sets of Bud and Lou, one set self-studded and one non-studded on my Moonlander. Best combo I have used since I started. I would love to try studded D5's but the marriage of Bud and Lou work too well and last too long.
Such problems. ;)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,287 Posts
Keep in mind that a lot of bikes understate their max tire width, especially up front.

For example, my Beargrease will reportedly clear D5s quite nicely, even though Salsa says they will not fit. Some kind soul even posted up pics of his.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
45North Dillinger 4 and Dillinger 5
Surly Bud and Lou

Tire names. Not in New England but in a similar but less snow volume area. It really does matter the type of snow and trails. I do pretty well on studded D4s and 4 inch Jumbo Jims most of the time. When it gets deeper and fluffier the 4 inch tires struggle. (Un) fortunately for me that is rare.
 

· Wanna ride bikes?
Joined
·
12,540 Posts
The D4 is not an aggressive tire. The D5 is only slightly better.

I have Flowbeast/Dunderbeast combo in 4.6". Those are the most aggressive tires that will fit my frame. (Wednesday)

I wanted to switch to an ICT last year just so I could finally run proper 5" tires on wide rims but frames were hard to come by in XL, not to mention I would need to build new wheels... Sticking with what I got for another season I guess.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
On a Wednesday as well. Studs are basically mandatory where I am at. If I find a suitcase full of money maybe I will check out some Wrathchilds for a bit more float. I am a clyde so more is better but there are some conditions rideable by lighter folks that just wont work for me regardless of width. I tried for an ICT to go super fat but could not find one so I "settled" for a Wednesday. 99% of the time it is great.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
500 Posts
Also a fatty on a fatty in NE - my 2 thoughts

27.5x4 = Should be fine if trail is packed down or running up to 2-3 inches of unpacked snow. Find the biggest problem trailblazing fresh tracks with 4 inch tire is you have to run good amount of pressure not to bottom out the rim but too enough to benefit on lower pressure for traction (especially on the rear). Have run 27.5x3.8 in the snow and just doesn't cut it. Swap to 27.5x4.5 and its just blissful. If you not going to run out biking during a storm or right after, should be fine.

Sourcing 26x80mm rimes to run proper 26x4.5 or 26x.4.8 tires = Like this option alot if you can fund it. Better float, able to run lower pressures much better for winter packed or unpacked. More options for tires too.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top