The Lounge => Off Topic Discussion => Topic started by: motormike on February 07, 2014, 01:00:55 PM

Title: Fat Bikes!
Post by: motormike on February 07, 2014, 01:00:55 PM
Bicycles!  Not Harleys.

I think there are a few cyclists here (or over at the other place), so I was wondering if anyone is into the Fat Bikes?  You know, the mountain-bike looking things with really fat tires (3.7 inches and up).

With our winters and bike trails here, these look like a hoot!  There are several local companies here (Surly, Salsa) and at least one more that makes supplies like tires, boots, etc. (45Nrth).

I'm starting to see more and more of these around my town.  I don't have one, but plan on checking a few cycle shops and test riding one. (
Title: Re: Fat Bikes!
Post by: HipGnosis on February 07, 2014, 04:04:06 PM
I've seen them - I'm kinda in the market for a bike...
Can you put regular tires on them in the summer??
Title: Re: Fat Bikes!
Post by: motormike on February 07, 2014, 04:25:57 PM
I think some brands/models you can put different wheels on them and some maybe not.  By no means am I a bike builder or mechanic, but it seems the build specs are quite different among brands.  The last bike I bought was a mountain bike in 1989 or so.

I believe the gearing is completely different on fat bikes as they're intended to be pedaled at a slower pace so I'm not sure how well thinner summer tires and rims would work given their gearing.  I think many bike enthusiasts have multiple bikes for different applications, much like motorcyclists having different motorcycles for different uses.

The main point here is that, depending on how you ride your fat-bike there is bound to be a rim that will suit your needs. In fact, many fat-bike riders I know have two wheelsets so they can choose the set that will work well on a given ride! (

Title: Re: Fat Bikes!
Post by: Flyer on February 08, 2014, 12:25:48 PM
I guess they're OK if you can afford a bike for each day of the week, but practically, they're a marketing tool.
They're great for riding in a swamp, on a beach or through powder, but they're heavy, pedal like you're in constant mud, and your racing skinnies ain't gunna fit...
Not much fun uphill either.
Title: Fat Bikes!
Post by: fourstring on February 08, 2014, 06:58:31 PM
I did a race early-season a few years ago (Sylvan Island Stampede (, highly recommended) and the Maverick class started the same time as the exhibition fatbike race.  In the interest of not clogging the course with fatbikes, they started ten minutes after the regular start.  Just before downbeat, a brisk but short rain ran through the area.

...we were useless.  Slipping on wet roots, falling in the mud and sand, going nowhere fast.  The *&^ing fatbikes are singing at each other through the trees, telling fart jokes, and generally whomping our asses with relatively minimal effort.  When I go winter riding, if the fatbikes haven't stomped down a nice path in the singletrack, I park the bike and go running instead.

They've definitely got their place, and no, you can't swap out skinny wheels instead, which further puts them in a niche and prices one out of the market for me.  But if you're riding in conditions where they excel, nothing else will really do.
Title: Re: Fat Bikes!
Post by: fourstring on February 09, 2014, 03:11:05 PM
Edit- if you want to look into getting a fatbike but don't want to plunk down the coin for a new one, I highly recommend either your local MTB forum or Pink Bike (  Mountain biking is one of those sports, like motorcycling, where some sucker will buy a new model every year and offload their old and busted on the cheap.

Maybe not what you want to do with a race machine, but for plunking around like we do, it's great.