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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not as up on fatbiking as I once was so I may have missed some ride reports...so please excuse my ignorance should my question prove to be goofy!....:p

So when the Pugs first came out and then the other 4" fatbikes there was a slew of expedition tour reports of people going places that weren't easy to ride before. It felt like the boundaries of what was possible for exploring on a bike were pushed back significantly.

The Moonlander has been out a while now and I haven't seen that same sort of thing happen. Where folks using the floatation capabilities of the 5" rubber on 100mm rims did some interesting tour into regions previously not rideable.

The Moonlander ride reports I've seen are either folks riding around beach/bogs for a few hours or MTBing with them. I have read one AK expedition report, but other riders in the group were on Pugsleys so by definition no new fat tire riding ground was broken.

I guess it comes down the difference between a Pugs and a ML is 5" rubber on 82mm rims and 5" on 100mm rims. What does that mean in practical terms when it comes to expedition touring?

Is the difference enough that we'll see fat bikes go where nobody's gone before or will people just ride the same terrain a bit more easily?

Or have I missed some tour reports where Moonlanders have already done some amazing new explorations?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
and as a follow on to my own post...if the difference between 5" rubber on 82mm and 100mm isn't enough to explore that much further what's needed that can reasonably be used? How wide a tire/rim do we need to really push the exploration frontier that can still be pedaled by a human?
 

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I think I recall a MikeSee post at some point about a ride in CO where he talked roughly about this topic. I can't remember the details, so it may not be worth it to go dig up the post--so hopefully he'll pop in here:thumbsup:
 

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Maximum floatation, w/ any given tire, is obtained when the width of the rim approaches the width of the tire/tread. We don't yet have any 5" rims so the BFL's max. floatation level hasn't been reached yet (theoretcally). I prefer my 65mm LM's unless I'm going to encounter lots of sand or snow (or pea gravel or ?). The extream stuff is for just that- extream stuff. If your spending lots of time riding in big dunes, hunddies will make a huge difference!! I can't say if the BFL will help 'cause I don't yet have a pair. But they do increase volume and footprint which should make a difference. However tread does "saw" into the surface and creates resistance and the profile gets rounded due to the rim being narrower than the tire... not plus' for floatation or "rollability". I don't think I'd choose a Moonlander for expedition/bike packing unless there was going to be LOTS of sand or snow. Just like w/ Jeeps, Quads & other ATV's there's always a bad a$$ set-up that rules in specific conditions, but is hardly usefull anywhere else but those conditions... that's kind of how I see the BFL's... like the sand rail or rock crawler jeep that get's trailered to the dunes... (nothin' wrong with that:))
 

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the BFL are more about increased efficiency in very soft stuff then it is about going some where that a 3.8 tire will not go.
 

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I've talked to one local, a big dude, and he thinks the current offerings fail a basic physics equation. By extension, fully loaded soft conditions touring for a middleweight guy? I'm not the guy to ask given lack of snow bike camping experience.

I'm concerned that developing an even larger tire with an even larger frame might experience a sudden falloff in buyer interest. Biggest problem is chainstays, crank, tire... all share space. With chainstays out of the picture, you can run an enormous tire at our current Q factor, but you pretty much need to have a high pivot suspension frame (which I'm building, lol).

Or else long chainstays a la Hanebrink.

I think a large-diameter-but-same-width tire version of a Hanebrink would be an interesting ride for extreme surfaces. Take a 30x12-14 ATV tire, carve the lugs down quite a bit, build a frame around it.

OR a compromise of the idea. Instead of applying that extreme to both ends, apply it just to the front where you don't have so many human parts to deal with, ending up with an extremely floaty but front heavy bike. Pack and steer with the front, conventional 4" or 4.5" wide rear end.

Dunno. Just ideas. It wouldn't be a singletrack worthy bike on packed dirt, that's for sure.
 

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Can the Moonlander accept a wider tire/rim if one was released? How much clearance is left with the current 5" on 100mm setup?
I think it just needs (or wants) a wider rim, to "staighten up" the profile and flatten it a bit accross the top (keep in mind I'm talking about Max. floatation here). The tires already big enough. Any bigger and we'd probably have to build a wider BB.

A 5" rim to a BFL would be like a 100mm is to a 4" tire's profile (cross section shape) wise... Profile has more to do w/ floatation than folks like to think. The problem is, with two wheeled vehicles anyway, that max. float. set-ups don't handle as well out of they're element (soft sand, snow, etc.) and that makes them a tougher sell to the mass'
 

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I have too short of an attention span to do ride reports. Last week I went on a 47 mile ride, mainly on sandy single track at the mn river bottoms. Had 2 people on pugs with larry/endos, 1 mountain bike, and me on my moonlander with dual nates. Mountain biker fell a dozen or so times. Pug riders each fell at least once. I didn't fall at all.

Which is amazing because I can barely even ride a bike.

And Vik, Without getting up to go check, I'd say there's almost half an inch on each side of the tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anyone spent time on a Pugs with BFLs on 82mm rims and a Moonlander with BFLs on 100mm rims that can comment on how different the floatation was?
 

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i only briefly compared my pugsley with my moonlander, sometimes taking both bikes out and riding the same tracks and areas to see how they coped. it did excel on soft ground and boggy areas....but also on rocky sections too.

the main thing i have noticed, is on a few occasions with other fatbike riders, they said folowing me through certain places they struggled to keep up with me.

id still say the pug can do 98% what a moony can do, just the moony has it easy on many various terrain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i only briefly compared my pugsley with my moonlander, sometimes taking both bikes out and riding the same tracks and areas to see how they coped. it did excel on soft ground and boggy areas....but also on rocky sections too.

the main thing i have noticed, is on a few occasions with other fatbike riders, they said folowing me through certain places they struggled to keep up with me.

id still say the pug can do 98% what a moony can do, just the moony has it easy on many various terrain.
How big a tire/rim did you have on your Pugs? Were you running BFLs on 82mm rims?
 

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Large marge with endo & larry, then nates front and rear. I did have a mukluk too, that floated well on snow with the larrys and 80mm rims.

I briefly had BFL front and rear on the pugsley when I stuck the nates onto the moonlander, though I never noticed any improvements than the stock tires.
 

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This conversation reminds me a bit of when I used to be a more serious musician. A beginner instrument and a professional model are thousands of dollars apart. But a professional can get 95% of the same sound out of the cheaper instrument. So why spend the money on the pro model? It just makes it so much easier.

The difference is even more profound for the amateur.

I'm not a great bike. For what I bought the pugsley for (smiles on beaches, snow and nasty pebbly terrain), yes I could get by on it. But the moonlander is so much easier. In the end, more smiles. Which is why I bought the bike in the first place.
 

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I think the question would be a non-issue if the Moonlander would not have the absurdly big offset. The option to have wider tires/rims is better, though the difference is probably quite small. For bigger guys and/or some conditions it might be all that it takes to be able to ride.

However, the Moonlander is less versatile, since you have limited options to put narrower rims on it.
 

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For me, versatility is about what it can ride over not what wheels I can swap in and out.

And for that, the moonlander wins :thumbsup:
 

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Excellent discussion! I'm not sure if this reply warrants a new thread or is staying on topic enough...

I'm planning on a fatbike for Xmas, but haven't decided whether to go with a Pug or ML.

I already own a Giant Reign X1 for all-mountain and DH, so there's no need to fill that hole.

My Surly Troll can't decide if it's for XC, bikepacking, commuting, or all three lol

My thought process is that the ML would fill the hole where the other two bikes can't. The Pug wouldn't be different enough and I'd end up wishing I had wider tires and rims when out in the snow and mud (very little sand around here). I don't want to feel conflicted about which bike to ride, which is why the Pug may not be the right one. Yet on the same coin, I imagine the Pug would have me moving completely away from anything less than 3" on wide rims for all MTBing, thus making me want a FS fatbike to replace the Giant. :madman: AHHHH!

I've also seen very few 4.7+ inch tires out there, while there's a nice variety of 3.7+ inch tires for the Pug and friends. I don't want to end up with an ultra-niche bike like the ML that has so few options.

I guess I may have already made up my mind to get a ML even though I'm still not entirely convinced I should get one... :???:
 

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New 4.8" tires due anytime, from surly and husker and no doubt others.....

I don't ride my moonlander to its potential very often, but I do ride it very often!

Infact I ride it everywhere...
 
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