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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sort of a newbie and would like to know if there is any advantage to running a skinnier front tire (2.5-3.0) on the front for non-snow/non-sand/non-soft-stuff trail riding and/or trials type technical riding....
Ya got to save a couple of pounds on the front don't ya which would make it easier to throw around?

RJS
 

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Anchorage, AK
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I have run a slightly narrower rim in the front for the last two winters 80mm in front, 100mm in rear--Dillingers on both. Seems to work okay in snow, but for your type of riding, I am not so sure.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have run a slightly narrower rim in the front for the last two winters 80mm in front, 100mm in rear--Dillingers on both. Seems to work okay in snow, but for your type of riding, I am not so sure.
Given the Surly price gouging I might as well as buy another bike....but I can't afford another bike...I can't afford another set of wheels and tires...So i'm stuck with the thought of trying to find better technical trail control with tires...
The 3.8 Nate on the back has absolute traction which is what I need. But a 3.8 Nate on the front leaves a little to be desired in steering precision...

Anyone have any ideas (about front tires on a fat bike)?
 

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Thingamejigger
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3.8 Knard? I ride them a lot of the year as my riding see's a lot of Tarmac and I like them a lot.

I have seen a few do knard on the front, Nate on the rear.
 

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Have you tried running higher PSI in the front on the Nate? Try running 12-15 lbs and it should steer plenty fine.
 

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I'm surprised you don't like the Nate on front. My summer setup is a nate front and larry in back and the bike is on rails in all but the slipperiest of mud.

Skinny front tires should turn better in theory but I don't see the point in going skinny in front unless you are adding front suspension. You could buy a used fork and 29er wheel/tire for about the same price as a new fat wheel/fat tire. Doing so would drastically change your riding experience. I've thought of doing this on my Pug but it seems redundant since I already have a 29er with a fork on it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm surprised you don't like the Nate on front. My summer setup is a nate front and larry in back and the bike is on rails in all but the slipperiest of mud.
I guess your definition of "rails" is different than mine. I don't believe FatBikes of any kind handle like they are on rails....ever.;)

Skinny front tires should turn better in theory but I don't see the point in going skinny in front unless you are adding front suspension. You could buy a used fork and 29er wheel/tire for about the same price as a new fat wheel/fat tire. Doing so would drastically change your riding experience. I've thought of doing this on my Pug but it seems redundant since I already have a 29er with a fork on it.
Thanks for your input.

Wouldn't a suspension fork simply offset the weight of a Fat Tire and wheel?

I guess I see your point if you're flying down a trail (without regard to anyone else's safety on the trail), or like when you're racing (on a sanctioned closed trail), then I guess suspension is a good attribute to have. Also,aren't suspension forks/bikes also known for not being good at following the path you have picked trough technical stuff. They just help you bounce through.

And if you're climbing/crawling up steep, lose, rocky, rooty $hit (with or without mud) I don't see the point of front suspension as most of the time I have to lock mine out on my RZ120.
 

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Mine does.

I guess your definition of "rails" is different than mine. I don't believe FatBikes of any kind handle like they are on rails....ever.;)
Sometimes on steep, lose, rocky and rooty terrain suspension allows the wheel to follow the ground better, keeping you on line and not mis-directed.
And if you're climbing/crawling up steep, lose, rocky, rooty $hit (with or without mud) I don't see the point of front suspension as most of the time I have to lock mine out on my RZ120.
 

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I guess your definition of "rails" is different than mine. I don't believe FatBikes of any kind handle like they are on rails....ever.;)



Thanks for your input.

Wouldn't a suspension fork simply offset the weight of a Fat Tire and wheel?

I guess I see your point if you're flying down a trail (without regard to anyone else's safety on the trail), or like when you're racing (on a sanctioned closed trail), then I guess suspension is a good attribute to have. Also,aren't suspension forks/bikes also known for not being good at following the path you have picked trough technical stuff. They just help you bounce through.

And if you're climbing/crawling up steep, lose, rocky, rooty $hit (with or without mud) I don't see the point of front suspension as most of the time I have to lock mine out on my RZ120.
The fork would offset the weight of the fat front wheel but you would get dampening benefit and have less rotating weight.

Also, suspension gives you more control regardless of how fast you are going. If my braking distance does not exceed my line of sight and skill level then I am safe.

I don't have suspension on my fatty because I appreciate the difference in riding experience compared to my 29er but I can't see the benefit of going to a smaller front wheel without adding suspension. You can always put a narrower tire on the front but if you are unhappy with a nate up front, I doubt you'll be happier with most of tire offerings except maybe a husker du. So I guess the short answer to your question is that no, I don't think that it will be much easier to "throw around" unless you get a significantly lighter 29er wheel. But if you wanted to really increase you ability to ride technical terrain then adding a suspension fork and a 29er wheel would probably be a better option than just a skinnier tire to your fat rim. Of coarse, your equipment requirements will be based on your location and skill level. A nate may not be the best tire for you but I don't think adding a thinner fat tire is going to give you what you want.
 

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turtles make me hot
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I've ridden my bike shop boss' Muk with a Marge Lite, HuskerDu and Carver suspension fork on tight, dry singletracj and it was a total blast.
More fun than my Clownshoe- Bud, Lou rig.
 

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Did I catch a niner+?
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I do not think this would make much of a difference, if anything I think you would be worse off with a skinnier front tire. Less tire with less grip to hold the corners, the front would give well before the rear. Plus rear tires wear out faster than front tires. I assume you are looking at the front because it's a 135 vs your rear being probably a 170/190 setup.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So this is what I did.
I tried a Marzocchi All Mountain 3 Fork with a 26x2.5 Specialized tire. I did this because i had/have access to it easily.
It really slacked out the head angle. Going down hill it was ok but difficult to keep on the line I picked but rolled over stuff well.
Going uphill was a different story. It SUCKED. Even when locked out, the bike just wouldn't go where I wanted it.


Then I stuck a 29er rigid fork on it with a 26x2.25" tire. Downhill, I was able to pick my line through rocks and roots with ease. Going uphill I also was able to point the bike where I needed (pick) and go there, something I couldn't do with the suspension fork. Of coarse, for those who need me to say so, it let me know it was a rigid fork. It also shaved about 3-4 lbs off the weight of the bike.

I also put the Nate back on and pumped it up. Bad Bad Mistake. 15 psi and it was like dribbling a basketball.
10 psi and It was better but still bump steered a lot.

So my next outing will be with 6-8psi. I hear that this may suck up the bumps more without bouncing at the expense of being slower.
I still have the issue of the bike not always following the intended line I picked.

So I'm still experimenting.




Sent from somewhere
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So I was talking to a person who really seemed like they knew what they were talking about and they said I was probably experiencing something called Wheel Flop. the bigger the tire diameter increases trail and increases wheel flop while the smaller diameter tire reduces the flop to what appears to someone like me to be acceptable. larger trail makes it feel like the bike wanders, especially at slower speed.

I've never heard about wheel flop.

How can you minimize it and still run larger diameter tires?



Sent from somewhere
 

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hmmm...

Have a pugs with lefty...see here; fat bike play on Vimeo
my attempt to ride trials...its not really the tool for the job (still fun)
As for trail riding, the suspension fork is a huge difference in control, speed and fun!
I would just lighten up the front tire while keeping the width, it is what it is...its a fat bike!

I think this;


So I was talking to a person who really seemed like they knew what they were talking about and they said I was probably experiencing something called Wheel Flop. the bigger the tire diameter increases trail and increases wheel flop while the smaller diameter tire reduces the flop to what appears to someone like me to be acceptable. larger trail makes it feel like the bike wanders, especially at slower speed.

I've never heard about wheel flop.

How can you minimize it and still run larger diameter tires?





Sent from somewhere
 

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The biggest variable here is personal preference, so all these conflicting opinions have limited value. For what it's worth, here is my take after trying all the combinations. Coming from 4" tires on a 80mm rim I tried the same tires on a 47mm rim. For the front I liked it better for all conditions that didn't require float. 80 is overkill for dry trails and the width just makes them more likely to be hit by rocks. 60mm width is also be a good compromise. Then I tried 29+ on a 47mm rim. For me this is the sweet spot, I just like how these roll. I find that, unlike the rear, I cannot fully take advantage of a 4" tire's volume on the front because at 6psi the steering suffers. At 8 psi I get just about the same squish on the 3" tire as the 4. In the rear downsizing to 3" definitely decreases the squish and bump absorption. My solution is to have multiple set ups for different trails. My favorite for dry trails is 47 x 4" on the back, 47 x 29+ on the front.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The biggest variable here is personal preference, so all these conflicting opinions have limited value. For what it's worth, here is my take after trying all the combinations. Coming from 4" tires on a 80mm rim I tried the same tires on a 47mm rim. For the front I liked it better for all conditions that didn't require float. 80 is overkill for dry trails and the width just makes them more likely to be hit by rocks. 60mm width is also be a good compromise. Then I tried 29+ on a 47mm rim. For me this is the sweet spot, I just like how these roll. I find that, unlike the rear, I cannot fully take advantage of a 4" tire's volume on the front because at 6psi the steering suffers. At 8 psi I get just about the same squish on the 3" tire as the 4. In the rear downsizing to 3" definitely decreases the squish and bump absorption. My solution is to have multiple set ups for different trails. My favorite for dry trails is 47 x 4" on the back, 47 x 29+ on the front.
Thanks. best advice yet.
I have Marge Lite rims now.
I've actually mounted 2.4 and 2.5" tires on them with no issue.
I haven't had a chance to try it on East Coast tight singletrack full of wet roots and rocks.

With a 26x2.5" on a skinny rim and a 29er fork, it tracks where I point it.
That's the way I like it. Personal preference indeed.
I would try a lefty if someone let me borrow one.
(Why don't they make a Righty?!?!?)




Sent from somewhere
 
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