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K Trak vs Fat Bike

5616 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  campykid
I've been investigating different options for winter riding up here in Manitoba, and was originally sold on the K Trak package for existing mountain bikes, but then ran into these fat bikes.

The adantages / disadvantages that I can see right now are based on purely on-line research and nil / nodda / zilch hands-on, since I don't know anyone who has either of these set-ups. Those advantanges are as follows (and please feel free to add your opinions to help clarify ( or further confuse ....) which direction I should go in:

K Trak

Advantages: More affordable (for me!), Canadian designed (but made in China I think?), just plain frickin' cool!, better cross-country, simple swap-out between tires and the K trak package, could commute to work daily cross country and avoid the apparent 'no-bike in winter' bylaw here in Shilo.

Disadvantages: Not good for street use (doesn't matter for me here in Shilo, as I'd go cross country to work everyday anyway and could avoid the apparent 'no-bike in winter' bylaw)

Fat bike

Advantages: They're frickin' cool too!

Disadvantages: Expensive...I'm told $2000 + to build in Winnipeg. Could potentially avoid the "no-bike-in-winter" bylaw here in Shilo.

So, some questions:

Can I swap out the fats for some ordinary knobby tires for summer mountain biking? Ie, can I get two bikes in one with a fatbike?
Just how good are the fats in snow in a cross-country scenario?
How do the two bikes compare (if there is anybody out there who has experience with both)?

Steve (Ironbirdexplorer)
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Compare the reviews from other MTBR users. If you scroll through the reviews there's plenty of detail on what riders did and didn't like.

K Trak 3.78/5 chilies

Pugsley 4.69/5 chilies

I haven't ridden the K -Trak, but I'm sold on the Pug or any other fat bike shod with Endomorphs. It seems the most versatile and the most mobile.

You can trade out other wheelsets as you see fit, but for most fatbikes the wheels will have to be built specially to match the offset or hub width of your bike. If you look around the web (ie.,search flickr for "surly pugsley") you'll see fatbikes with cyclocross tires, 29er tires with and without fenders, 26er DH tires, and slicks. There are several users on the boards here that use their fatbike as their 'one' bike.

Pricewise, I feel the fat bike will be a far more sound and long term investment if you have a long and/or snowy winter (like anywhere in Manitoba). I'm in the maritimes, (PEI) and my fatty came to about $2000, but it could be done much cheaper if you have a donor bike that you can use for parts or if you ask nicely for access to your LBS's parts bin.

For detailed answers to your other questions about floatation, check the FAQ:
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ironbirdexplorer said:
Just how good are the fats in snow in a cross-country scenario?
What exactly do you mean by "cross-country"? Like deep, virgin, untracked snow?
Locals who have tried the K Trak fell down laughing.
if... absolutely need a k-trak, I think a buddy of mine still has his up for sale...
tscheezy said:
What exactly do you mean by "cross-country"? Like deep, virgin, untracked snow?
I know there is a limit, so I'm not talking deep powder, but recent snowfall, maybe 4-6 inches? Maybe the more appropriate question is how deep will a fatbike go without fighting too much?

Steve (ironbirdexplorer)
This is such a totally conditions-dependent issue it is almost impossible to tackle, but 4-6 inches of fluff over hardpack should be doable. If the new snow packs and sticks to the underlying stuff, even better. If the snow has high moisture content and packs into mush, then no. The only person who can answer your question is probably you with the bikes in hand. My gut reaction after seeing the K Trak videos is that the fatbike would do better. Maybe much better.
I can't believe that Ktrak is still in business. 100% rubbish, as in I bought one and it went into the landfill. I felt too guilty to sell it to anyone. To ride a flat, packed trail you're in your lowest gear going as hard as you can. WAY too inefficient for riding farther than a few hundred metres.

I was a fool thinking I could do something cheaper than a proper snowbike... Guess what, I wasted $500 and now I have a Pugsley anyways.
Ktrak: great idea, doesn't work

I am also a former owner of a Ktrak, and current owner of a Fatback. The Ktrak was useless to me due to it's weight and resistance. I'm pretty fit, and I couln't ride up an easy hill. I returned it for a partial refund. My Snowcats with Freddie's Revenze work much better. Now I have a Fatback and am in heaven.
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