Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been kicking around the idea of picking up a fat bike recently and can't decide if its the greatest thing I'll do or it will become a decision filled with buyer's remorse. I race gravel in the spring and fall/winter on the CX rig and road all summer so does a fattie fit in to my mix well? For some additional background, I do live in NE Ohio so our winter riding (this year aside being so mild) is usually limited to trainers and the random "warm" and "dry" days we sometimes get. A fat bike seems perfect. I just don't want the thing collecting dust the rest of the year. I do have a mtb background as well doing XC and a bit of DH and thought about another mtb (sold the last one for the CX bike which got way more use this year than the mtb would have). Anyway, running 40c tires on the CX makes it pretty trail capable so another straight up mtb seems redundant unless I race it which I don't see having time for with the road season.

All that said, what do you all think? Anyone own a fat bike in addition to the CX? How much use does it get (especially in the good weather season)? Really interested in everyone's response.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,333 Posts
Hopefully others will have more direct experience, but...

Jingle Cross included a fatbike cx field this past year. I think we'll see more and more of that.

Folks I know with fatbikes use them year round, even if most often in the snow.

I ski and run in the winter. If I didn't I'd be much more tempted to get a fatbike.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks John, appreciate your thoughts. I took a Specialized carbon comp out for a ride tonight to break my fatbike virginity and while I had fun on it, I'm not convinced its the right call for the type of trail we have here given my type of riding. I got a chance to ride it on sand, in mud, in snow, on gravel, and even a little "dirt" to see what I thought. I was really surprised how well it climbed it you stayed seated and just slowly ground up the climbs. I loved how it rolls over roots and rock and allowed me to ride in conditions that would have sucked on most (maybe all) other types of mtb. What I didn't like is how slow I felt. Even going downhills, it just didn't give me and feel of exhilaration. I'm not saying I won't buy one yet but I'm thinking that something more like the Specialized Fuse with 3" tires might be a better beast. If I wanted an adventure bike or had lots of downhill sections and/or rode with groups of guys on fatties, I might feel differently. Riding it solo on my local trails, I just felt a bit ambivalent which is not how I want to feel before dropping another $3k on a bike. Even though I would not have ridden (could not have ridden?) the CX bike in most of the conditions I was in today, I still find that I enjoy the local trails more on that bike than the fattie at this point. Frankly, I'm kinda surprised I feel this way since I thought I'd finish the ride thinking I had to go buy one immediately.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,297 Posts
I went from coveting a fat bike to coveting a 27.5+.
 

·
CX'er
Joined
·
863 Posts
I personally hate the feel of fatbikes because of how strange they feel in turns for me. There's just so much rotating mass that the steering input is all wonky for me.

I have a lot of friend that have fatbikes and love them. They usually get a lot of use, living in Michigan. I usually would just ride an mtb or CX bike with studded tires for my winter riding, more recently I'll stick with single speed so I'm not tearing up a more expensive drive train.

There's also the price factor for fatbikes, expensive tires and wheels. There are more and more options available and I see a lot more on the local classifieds so there's a better used market than their used to be.

I have demoed a full carbon fattie with carbon wheels and that felt much better to me than the heavier, cheaper models, but then you're talking about some decent cash. I would rather have a FS mtb than a fattie, so that's where I spent my money.

The 27.5+ has caught my eye as an alternative to a full fatbike. Haven't demo'ed one yet.
 

·
Mountain biker
Joined
·
315 Posts
I have been riding during winter snow and ice on a 29er hardtail with 2.1" studded tires for years. This fall I bought a fat bike and 4.8" studded tires to see how it goes. A month of trying it out on dry trails with the non-studded 4.5" tires it came with was enough to convince me that, in MY opinion, a fat bike is not going to be a year round bike. Not that it sucked, but my 29er full suspension is just way more fun on dirt and around 8 lbs lighter.

But on snow it was a different story and hell yes it is a worthwhile purchase for winter riding. It is still a case of needing the trails to be packed down a bit first, but the fat tires offer flotation on loose/unconsolidated stuff that would certainly be a lost cause for regular width tires. And it is usually a case of dropping the tire pressure even lower and suddenly you're floating and riding again instead of sinking in and struggling. I settled on 2-3 psi for loose/fresh snow, 4-6 psi on hard pack snow/ice, and 8-10+ for dirt/pavement. What is annoying is that 2-3 psi is terrible for dirt/pavement due to squirminess, rolling resistance, and self-steering and 8-10 psi is terrible for soft snow due to no float or traction. Snow covered gravel roads are another type of terrain where the fatbike opens up new opportunities.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again for more chatter on this subject. Figured I should chime in with an update. After being uninspired by my single fat bike experience (again, not bad, just not inspiring), I demo'd a plus bike (Specialized FSR 6Fattie). What an epiphany!!! It felt, well, like a mountain bike which the fattie did not. Oddly, I like the FSR better with the back locked out which is what led me to actually purchase a plus bike a few days later. I am still awaiting delivery but I went with something that would be really versatile and really FUN! Bought a Niner ROS 9 built with 650b+ wheels. I love steel, and the ROS lets me run it as a mid fat bike, a 29'r, geared, or single speed (which I love and rode/raced for many years). Obviously I won't get the float of a 4.5" tire but at 3" and 10-12psi, there will be plenty and it really will be an all seasons, all terrain kinda bike. I think it suits what I wanted more than the fattie and more than a more xc only bike so I'm stoked. Pics to come once I have it and I'll be sure to post a ride review as well if anyone is interested.
 

·
Bike Enthusiast
Joined
·
804 Posts
I live in Ohio as well and had the same questions and concerns that you have. I ended up buying a Trek Farley 6 in December of 2014 and it was the best decision I could make. I found new places to ride, extended my season of riding to year round and freely ride like a kid again with a big smile on my face. I love it! Enjoy your new ride
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top