Who has a fad, sorry, FAT bike then?
Singular Puffin here (currently set up single speed to make a silly bike even sillier). Unlike the earlier poster I find it OK. Does drag on tarmac but then it also sounds like an approaching platoon of stormtroopers! Got a few PBs on mine, downhill obviously, and not too far off on quite a few other segments.
The worst conditions for them are a thin layer of mud on top of a harder substrate – they float on a frictionless layer rather than cutting through – you get very good at slow motion comedy dismounts!
I wouldn’t have one as my only bike but they are sufficiently different to make sense for N+1.Posted 9 months ago
I’m on a Specialized Fatboy, and whilst it’s not my go to bike, it does get used for bikepacking duties and when there’s snow on the hills. Like others, very sensitive to tyre pressure and self steer on tarmac. Definitely no plans to get rid either, great bike to have for the things I use it for.Posted 9 months ago
Question re tyre pressure as it sounds like it’s crucial to getting the best out of a fat bike. How do you measure the pressure? Track pump gauge, proper tyre pressure gauge or just feel and gut instinct?Posted 9 months ago
Digital pressure gauge every time!Posted 9 months ago
Which one? Topeak?Posted 9 months ago
As I’ve said in another thread, I just a standard track pump for the tyres and go by thumb pressure.Posted 9 months ago
Cheers Colin.Posted 9 months ago
When you get down to these sorts of pressures, probably 2psi, it’s more a sort of feeling than an accurate figure.
Though that’s a bit low for conditions like this:
Posted 9 months ago
How do you measure the pressure?
You need to be able to resolve to better than 1 PSI. 5.5 front / 6.5 back is my go-to, but reduced from that for soft sand of snow (considerably in the case of snow – maybe 2 or 3 PSI, but it’s trial and error in those sort of conditions!)Posted 9 months ago
Posted 9 months ago
My lads have the original On-One Fatty’s &, whilst they ride well, they are not a patch on my second gen Puffin.Posted 9 months ago
It was interesting to read the comments on the Puffin ^^ up there.
I must have low levels of expectations because mine is most definitely a keeper.
Mine is set-up with low rent On-One wheels & singlespeed drivetrain. Apart from the Cargo Bike, its the most grin inducing bike I’ve owned.
Regards pressures, the first year of ownership I used a topeek, now I use my thumb….Posted 9 months ago
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2jQVmKY]IMG_0120[/url] by Tony Hall, on Flickr
Here’s ours, Ice Cream Truck and a Wednesday, had them a few years now changed colour of the truck a couple of times, great bikes ride them at trail centres and in the Peak in winter.Posted 9 months ago
I have a Lezyne digital track pump at home – once I’d ridden my fat bike a few times, I knew what tyre pressures worked and just go from there. The only time I’ve ever adjusted pressure on a ride has been in very soft snow i.e. let the tyre down until you’ve just got enough to stop the rim bottoming-out – if you’re still slipping, see if you can let more air out; if you’re bumping the rim, put some air in.Posted 9 months ago
For pressure I bought a trials bike tyre gauge. My digital topeak only reads in whole psi, 1 psi in tyres that size is a lot of air.
For general biking I think I settled on 5.5ish front and 6.75ish rear.
I managed a 35 minute lap of Whin north on my fatty, so only 3 minutes off my best time and that was when I was quite a bit fitter.Posted 9 months ago
Fraser – that shot above of my tyre is what I was running with in Rovaniemi last year, I might have been even lower. Soft, wet snow with ruts that was all but unrideable with “normal” pressures.Posted 9 months ago
I think gauges depend a lot on the usage and tyre. Like, I had a big Surly on the front at one point, and if the pressure wasn’t exactly right, it was horrendous- selfsteer all over the place. But if it was right- 6psi basically for me- it was awesome. half a psi either side, you just wanted to put it back in the garage after 2 minutes. That was all trail use, no doubt for proper snow or soft sand use your requirements’d change
Something I forgot to mention yesterday regarding my fat bike was that as a bit of an experiment, last year I used mine in an XC race. I then did a lap on my 11kg carbon 29er hardtail. There was barely any difference in lap times on a 40 minute lap.
I got my second best result at the glentress seven on the fatbike- basically ran out of time for one more lap, didn’t run out of leg as I’d expected. But I am slow and shite.Posted 9 months ago
Funny this thread has popped up as I’ve just been thinking about this. I’ve just moved to the Alps so I’m torn between getting a ‘normal’ full suss trail bike or a fat bike.
With all the snow over the winter I’m thinking I’ll get more year-round use out of the fat bike but I’m just not sure I’ll get frustrated next summer once all the runs open.Posted 9 months ago
Fraser – that shot above of my tyre is what I was running with in Rovaniemi last year, I might have been even lower. Soft, wet snow with ruts that was all but unrideable with “normal” pressures.
I read somewhere from an experienced ITI participant that 2 creases in the tyre sidewall is for difficult conditions and 3 creases is for when it gets serious…Posted 9 months ago
Sorry, but another fattie related question. Mud protection at the front, what do you use? Mudguards or one of those things that attach across the forks or what?
Cheers.Posted 9 months ago
I use a FathuggerPosted 9 months ago
Fathugger / mudhugger combo herePosted 9 months ago
What are they like in deep snow, and why would you not xc ski instead? I’m tempted for deepest swedish midwinterPosted 9 months ago
Depends on the quality of the snow. It really needs to be compacted or to have been through a few freeze/thaw cycles to firm it up. Once it’s too deep you sink in and, firstly, reach a point where your feet are sinking in the snow as you are pedalling (pedalling will be tough by then) then you eventually just sink in too far and there’s too much “bow wave”. It can still be fun (thoigh sketchy) heading downhill when it’s like this. It’s the getting uphill that is the issue.
Snowmobile tracks are ideal. Pisted ski slopes work too.Posted 9 months ago
Cheers @scotroutes , thought as much. Litany if snowmobile tracks here so could be worth a fat-dablePosted 9 months ago
On-one fatty here. Its really good fun. Rolls just fine and will blitz through berms like its a rodelbahn kart: there is SO MUCH GRIP.
The on-one wheels are crap though & I keep meaning to invest in better, but baulk at the price (it’ll easily cost me £600). They need suspension. Only fork lifts and bobcats do not. If you’re cruising along a fire road they bounce up and down like a JCB with each pedal stroke
My on-one fatty did that as the hopeless stock rims and tyre combo took 40psi to seat and then you couldn’t go below 7-9psi as the beads would slip again and make the wheels oval.
My moonlander (that I just sold today, sniff) happily ran smoothly at 5psi and was comfier than anything I’ve ever ridden over stuttery bumps. The moonie surpassed the Fatty in every way. For a steel bike with huge wheels it didn’t even feel that heavy.
If I lived oop north with more regular snow I’d not have sold it.Posted 9 months ago
What are they like in deep snow, and why would you not xc ski instead? I’m tempted for deepest swedish midwinter
Once you get above 200mm you really need a firm base unless it’s fresh powder – a snow mobile track is OK but can be choppy. Having ridden alongside XC skiers a lot depends on track and snow conditions, but generally there isn’t a lot in it. The benefit of a bike for multi-day rides is you can carry your gear on the bike – with XC skis you’re looking at a pulk which slows you down a lot and even then in deep snow, it’s either skins or even snowshoes. On a multi day, I could ride for 16 hours and sleep/eat for 8 hours whereas the guys on skis were getting less rest.Posted 9 months ago
Fathugger too. Fatbikes are horrendous in the wet and especially in snowmelt without a big mudguard, the tyres just throw so much water. I raced mine in the innerleithen Alistair Lees mountain timetrial, which is a sort of half XC, half enduro race, and people thought I was daft but literally the only thing I had a real issue with was water in my eyes on the final descent down the downhill trails, it was like a firehose.Posted 9 months ago
Thanks for the mudguard tips. Will check those out.Posted 9 months ago
I read somewhere from an experienced ITI participant that 2 creases in the tyre sidewall is for difficult conditions and 3 creases is for when it gets serious…
Ah, Mr M.C. 😏 I only got that low on the last lake you cross on the 150 before crossing back over to the river. I didn’t realise I’d let so much air out until I got on the road by the lake and the back end went all over the place!
Interestingly on the first lake, Sinnetajarvii, there was a lot of fresh snow plus quite a bit of overflow interspersed with some short firmer sections. I kept getting close to a rider in front before they’d pull away on the firmer bits. Eventually I overtook her – her tyres were pumped up rock hard so she was walking quite a bit of the lake where she’d just dig in.
Posted 9 months ago
@howsyourdad1 – You do need a reasonable base to be able to ride but there’s no hard and fast rule, you just have to try it to see what is rideable and what isn’t. Snowmobile tracks are fine once they’ve had time to freeze up, they are like riding through soft sand and table tennis balls immediately after the machine has been through.
Mudguards, my favourite fatbike accessory.
When it’s wet and slushy you risk hypothermia unless you can keep the wetness away.
This is my Pug set up for the StrathPuffer 24 hour a few years back. Those are motorbike mudguards, and if you look closely, you’ll see I’ve extended them.
Edit: the red things sticking up on the handlebars are to hold the top of my pogies off my hands.
Pogies are another vital accessory.
As for snow riding, once your pedals start scooping up snow it becomes seriously hard work. still fun though, but sweaty, and that can get dangerous if things go wrong.Posted 9 months ago
When you get to the frozen north you soon understand why the Inuit have 16 words for snow as it varies so much depending on how fresh the snow is, ambient temperature, what’s underneath, how windy it is etc. The winning times for the Rovaniemi 150 give an indication of how much it can vary from 8 hours to 35 hours for the exact same course in different years. For the latter, it’s definitely type 2 ‘fun’ like 2016 where I pushed the bike for nearly 100km – fresh snow and overflow are a fun combinationPosted 9 months ago
I’ve ridden one and really didn’t get it for trail riding. The undamped nature of the ride was off-putting.
Would love to try one in snow or sand though…but living in the South of England…Posted 9 months ago
From my very brief ride of a Genesis fat bike I couldn’t see me trading in my 27.5 half fat Stooge for one, the self steering thing was not a trait I liked. Could see the appeal if I either lived next to the coast, a desert or glacier.
One time I was riding at the Whinlatter and there was this loud noise that suddenly up from behind me, it turned out to be a guy on a fat bike, after a chat, he said he was smitten and couldn’t see himself riding anything else.
Coastkids videos are very good as well IMOPosted 9 months ago
Self steer and bouncing mean your tyre pressures are wrongPosted 9 months ago
I have a stooge ti fat bike, adore it when fit and Hale, handles brilliantly, set some descent times for me on it, makes me laugh and on a trial centre is really capable.
Downside well the attention….and witty roadie jokes… It handles rock gardens well but it still fatigue you over a day.
Speed on the road get the tyres rolling and it is fine – running a 30t front and 10- 42 rear, always nice to overtake a roadie and see them speed up PAST you
Love it and makes me smile.Posted 9 months ago
From my very brief ride of a Genesis fat bike I couldn’t see me trading in my 27.5 half fat Stooge for one, the self steering thing was not a trait I liked.
That’s understandable but not all fatbikes handle the same and tyres/tyre pressures have a huge effect on the handling too. Ideally, you’d get to try a few in various locations before making up your mind.Posted 9 months ago
I had a half fat stooge before my full fat…no issues with self steer on either.Posted 9 months ago
For those of you with Mudhuggers on the rear wheel, is the Medium Rear Mudhugger alone enough to cope with 4 inch tyres, or do you need the extension kit?
Reason I ask is that the extension kit requires drilling, and given my pitiful lack of mechanical ability I can only see it ending up in disaster.Posted 9 months ago
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