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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am running snowcat rims on a standard frame and fork right now. I am considering "going big" with large marge/speedway rims and a fatbike, but not sure if it is worth spending the money for such a short winter riding season.

Can anyone tell me how much 'better" fatbike tires are compared to snow cat rims with 2.5-2.7 standard tires? Right now I can ride on well packed snowmobile trails pretty well, but have difficulty in even thin drifts of snow over the trail or areas that are softer for whatever reason. Also, I wonder if a fatbike would be faster over even the hardpack snow since they woud sink in less.

Thanks,
 

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Fatback
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Most of us that ride fat tired bikes started off this way and eventually made our way to Endomorphs. For the conditions we have locally (AK) there is no substitution, but I have talked with riders in other areas who say they are slower in really cold conditions, like -20 and colder.
The ride quality offered by the large volume of air is unmatched. If you can beg, borrow or rent one, I think you would be hooked.
 

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Can't help you decide if it is worth the money at all...that part is up to you.

But...

The bottom line is that the fatties will work over a much wider range of conditions. I have snowcats on a 26" mtn bike and a Fatback with Endo's. I'm in Fairbanks and ride on snow 6-7 months a year and I *could* probably ride snowcats 80% of the time on most of the trails. But I rarely ever ride them...walking a bike sucks. Especially when you could ride if you'd brough the right bike.

There are some conditions (climbing, extremely cold...like -20's and down, or very hard packed trails) where a snow cat with a lighter weight tire will be a little faster. But over the majority of trail conditions that you'll see the fat bike will be faster, sometimes much faster. And you'll ALWAYS have to push a snowcat long before you'll have to push a fat bike.
 

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a fatback is no pug and i rode my pug all year last year. my fatback is a way better feeling bike hands down. i swapped over all of my parts so the only thing that is different is the frame. a pug is a touring tank. with the right tires it will go anywhere. with my 50mm umas i rode it(not raced) all year around and had no problem.

what i would do is get a fatback, Ti of course:rolleyes: . i would make some winter wheels according to your expected usage. if you get light snow like we do in NJ you can run 50's. if you get more try 70's. you know if you need 100's.

you can make up a set of 29er wheels for the summer if you dont like the endos in the spring. you can also put a 29er suspension fork like the Mav sc32. it's a way better fork then it gets credit for. you can add any fork for the summer if you are only using the 29er wheels. you can have one bike and the fatback is it. think of it as this bike but fatter.
http://www.lynskeyperformance.com/a/pages/2009-products/29er/29-houseblend-pro29.php
 

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Fatbikes are not "just for winter". They are great fun all year round. Especially in the soft muddy spring conditions. Get one, you won't be sorry.
 

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Fatbikes

FishMan473 said:
I am running snowcat rims on a standard frame and fork right now. I am considering "going big" with large marge/speedway rims and a fatbike, but not sure if it is worth spending the money for such a short winter riding season.

Can anyone tell me how much 'better" fatbike tires are compared to snow cat rims with 2.5-2.7 standard tires? Right now I can ride on well packed snowmobile trails pretty well, but have difficulty in even thin drifts of snow over the trail or areas that are softer for whatever reason. Also, I wonder if a fatbike would be faster over even the hardpack snow since they woud sink in less.

Thanks,
Any sand nearby? I've not ridden Kettle Moraines but I'm told it's similar to a trail I ride here in Michigan with my Wildfire on all year round. Previously I made up a "sneauxbike" with 47MM wide Tryalls, and going "fat" is a major difference. I find it takes far less effort to pedal and the float is pretty significant regardless of sand or snow. Really nice when sandy trails get baked around August. Regardless, sometimes it's just fun to go out and ride any trail with it. Also look for beaches (rocky or sand) or anywhere else with loose or really bumpy terrain.

When snow gets deeper, fatbikes handle snowmobile trails far better. Also a great bike to carry gear with. If I want to tote some camera gear or other items in a handlebar bag or even a large backpack, I have more confidence using the fatbike taking things out on the trail, regardless of season.
 

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i would recommend a fatback if you can afford it as per big hits recommendations...
if you cant afford that a pugsley build....
alu 9zero7 frame another cheap option
now...i own a 26" hardtail...a karate monkey and a pugsley..all built over 3-4 years..i could though just have a mav forked fatback with 29er wheelset,if you own no bikes or have just sold some/all thats worth considering...:)
 

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i have a Mav hub laced to a Stan's Flow 29er rim and a kenda karma tire set up tubeless. i use it for the toe paths and the road. i have the matching rim from the rear of my pug. when i get some cash i am going to buy another fatback hub and build one for the rear.
 

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joatley said:
The bottom line is that the fatties will work over a much wider range of conditions. I have snowcats on a 26" mtn bike and a Fatback with Endo's. I'm in Fairbanks and ride on snow 6-7 months a year and I *could* probably ride snowcats 80% of the time on most of the trails. But I rarely ever ride them...walking a bike sucks. Especially when you could ride if you'd brough the right bike.

There are some conditions (climbing, extremely cold...like -20's and down, or very hard packed trails) where a snow cat with a lighter weight tire will be a little faster. But over the majority of trail conditions that you'll see the fat bike will be faster, sometimes much faster. And you'll ALWAYS have to push a snowcat long before you'll have to push a fat bike.
Hey Fishman ditto this. After 12+ yrs on snowcats and mostly sled trails the upgrade to Fatbike whether Ford or Toyota or Audi is likely well worth it as it has been for a lot of us. Yes even on fairly packed trails the fat tires sink in much less and except for really hard packed freeze-thaw trails the effort on a fat is less plus you can look around at the nice scenery more. You can count on trails being rideable most of the time versus some of the time.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thats the most straightforward and convincing reply yet. Now I just need to start riding in the winter more to justify it. Winters are short and XC skiing is another popular option for recreation around here.... thanks for the input guys.
 
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