FAT bike love!

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1,894
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Middle of Iowa
Where are my fat bike riders? Man, I just picked one up two weeks ago...and I LOVE IT! I used to amateur race MTB, and had a ton of fun. My MTB is still in the garage...and I actually just upgraded the tires and brakes again. In the last two years I have switched to road bikes...and have really enjoyed pounding out some very quick multi-mile trips on a much more efficient ride. Moving once again into winter I wanted this year to keep riding...and so began my search into fat tire bikes. I finally pulled the trigger on one...and even though there has not been snow yet, I have not spun a wheel on my road bike in the last two weeks, and I don't see pulling the MTB down off the rack. I love riding my fatty! The best part is that I live on gravel, and close to "level B" roads...so I can just hop on at my front door and go! No more loading up the bike for a trip down the gravel to find some pavement. Yes, my distances are less, yes my pace is slower (just over half), but I am having a ton of fun, and keeping my cardio up as we turn into winter. What a blast! PS...running around 20PSI and already had a flat from a thorn...normal to have higher flat tire rates of a fatty? I already bought several tubes to keep her running...just wondering if that is normal to get one so quickly?
 
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First off, pics or it didn't happen. And brand and model is always welcome if no pics so we know what you're talking about. I've been riding a 27.5x3.0 mid-fat(+) for 3 years and run 12-13 front and 13-15 rear, if you're riding a true fatty, 4.0 or more you're way over inflated, the whole point of the fat tires is the low pressures you can run. Go tubeless if you can, you'll never look back. Go to the forums on mtbr.com, there's one for + bikes and one for fat bikes. Big tires are a hoot! Edit: if thorns are a problem and you want to run tubes then by all means get Slime or Stan's sealant.
 
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DriveHard

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Middle of Iowa
Originally Posted by AZjeff
First off, pics or it didn't happen. And brand and model is always welcome if no pics so we know what you're talking about. I've been riding a 27.5x3.0 mid-fat(+) for 3 years and run 12-13 front and 13-15 rear, if you're riding a true fatty, 4.0 or more you're way over inflated, the whole point of the fat tires is the low pressures you can run. Go tubeless if you can, you'll never look back. Go to the forums on mtbr.com, there's one for + bikes and one for fat bikes. Big tires are a hoot! Edit: if thorns are a problem and you want to run tubes then by all means get Slime or Stan's sealant.
Fair enough...here she is. I will get some muddy pics maybe later tonight...hope to get another dozen miles in.

fatty.PNG
 

DriveHard

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Originally Posted by AZjeff
Those look like 4" tires. Do some research but you'll probably want to be running under 10 psi in the snow, 10-15 trail riding and 20-25 gravel road riding. 20 psi on dirt defeats the purpose of the fat tires.
they are 4" tires...and all but about one mile of my ride are gravel roads...so I thought ~20psi to be appropriate.
 
Originally Posted by DriveHard
they are 4" tires...and all but about one mile of my ride are gravel roads...so I thought ~20psi to be appropriate.
The hottest new bike of the past couple of years is the gravel bike, basically a road bike with 45mm wide knobby tires and disc brakes, for riding fast on dirt (gravel) roads. Did you check them out? You bought a Jeep with big tires, these are rally cars. [Linked Image]
 

DriveHard

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Originally Posted by AZjeff
Originally Posted by DriveHard
they are 4" tires...and all but about one mile of my ride are gravel roads...so I thought ~20psi to be appropriate.
The hottest new bike of the past couple of years is the gravel bike, basically a road bike with 45mm wide knobby tires and disc brakes, for riding fast on dirt (gravel) roads. Did you check them out? You bought a Jeep with big tires, these are rally cars. [Linked Image]
I did, and my mountain bike seems to fit that bill when I put crossover tires on it. I got the fat bike to keep riding in the winter - in the snow and ice that we are already getting here in Iowa. Fat bikes excel in those conditions.
 
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NY, NY
20 psi is way too much for fat bike tires. You want the sidewall to bulge a little bit when you ride the bike to increase the footprint, if that makes sense. I'm in full agreement with you about fatties being so much fun. I used to ride a full suspension 29er. Around 2011 or 2012 I got a taste of fat bikes and now I won't ride anything under 3 inches wide. To address your thorn... You need to go tubeless. I believe that bike comes with Weinmann rims which are not really suitable for tubeless. It's a bit of money but if you want to have trouble free riding and maximum traction, tubeless is where it's at. When they're available, Alex Blizzerks are excellent, cost effective rims. They do tubeless perfectly. I've been riding tubeless since around 2009 and have never had a flat since. My fat bikes have only ever been tubeless. No issues. I run 5" tires on the bike below. I run 9 psi in the front tire and about 11 in the rear. Less for beach sand or snow. Don't be afraid to experiment a little. [Linked Image]
 
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What bars are you running NYE? Due to wrist problems I'm running carbon Answer 20/20s on my + bike and Origin8 OR2 bars on my 26" converted gravel bike and won't ever run shallow bend bars again. Tubeless is the real deal but the OP shouldn't have any more or less problems with his 4" tires than any other. Slime or Stans.
 
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NY, NY
Originally Posted by AZjeff
What bars are you running NYE? Due to wrist problems I'm running carbon Answer 20/20s on my + bike and Origin8 OR2 bars on my 26" converted gravel bike and won't ever run shallow bend bars again. Tubeless is the real deal but the OP shouldn't have any more or less problems with his 4" tires than any other. Slime or Stans.
I run Jones H Bars on all of my bikes. I have a poorly done right forearm repair and straight bars make my wrist hurt after a short time. Now, I run the Jones Loops with 2 1/2" of rise. Great bars plus, they have an awesome space for a bag. Lots of people say the Jones bars are for touring and you can't ride singletrack with em. It took me a few rides but now I can ride the gnarliest tech with them just fine. My fifteen year old son runs em too. https://www.jonesbikes.com/jones-h-bar-loop-sg-2-5-aluminum-loop/
 
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Originally Posted by NYEngineer
20 psi is way too much for fat bike tires. You want the sidewall to bulge a little bit when you ride the bike to increase the footprint, if that makes sense. I'm in full agreement with you about fatties being so much fun.
I was going to post the same thing. 20 psi is way too high. If you're not riding on snow or sand 15 psi is probably the most you'd want. Also, lower psi = less pressure between the tire and the ground because your weight is spread out over a larger area which generally means less chance of punctures (less force to push sharp things through the tire). Tubeless is an option if you ride your bike a lot but it's a bit more maintenance-heavy than tubes (the sealant dries out over time and the tires lose pressure faster between rides).
 

DriveHard

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Originally Posted by Surestick
Originally Posted by NYEngineer
20 psi is way too much for fat bike tires. You want the sidewall to bulge a little bit when you ride the bike to increase the footprint, if that makes sense. I'm in full agreement with you about fatties being so much fun.
I was going to post the same thing. 20 psi is way too high. If you're not riding on snow or sand 15 psi is probably the most you'd want. Also, lower psi = less pressure between the tire and the ground because your weight is spread out over a larger area which generally means less chance of punctures (less force to push sharp things through the tire). Tubeless is an option if you ride your bike a lot but it's a bit more maintenance-heavy than tubes (the sealant dries out over time and the tires lose pressure faster between rides).
was running 15 psi on my last ride...totally different roads/trails and got another flat :-(
 
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Winnipeg MB CA
Originally Posted by DriveHard
Originally Posted by Surestick
Originally Posted by NYEngineer
20 psi is way too much for fat bike tires. You want the sidewall to bulge a little bit when you ride the bike to increase the footprint, if that makes sense. I'm in full agreement with you about fatties being so much fun.
I was going to post the same thing. 20 psi is way too high. If you're not riding on snow or sand 15 psi is probably the most you'd want. Also, lower psi = less pressure between the tire and the ground because your weight is spread out over a larger area which generally means less chance of punctures (less force to push sharp things through the tire). Tubeless is an option if you ride your bike a lot but it's a bit more maintenance-heavy than tubes (the sealant dries out over time and the tires lose pressure faster between rides).
was running 15 psi on my last ride...totally different roads/trails and got another flat :-(
We're running 10 PSI, and may drop that a bit - we've had some really bad ice here, and need a larger contact patch. This is our 5th winter with two fat bikes, and together we've only had one flat over those 10 collective bike-winters. That was due to a very large spike sticking up out of a piece of wood, half-buried in slush a few years ago. Didn't see it coming home from work in the dark.
 

DriveHard

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Middle of Iowa
ran into some mud...got so gunked up I literally could not pedal in the highest gear. It took me a good 30 minutes to clean it up enough to keep going....

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1,446
Location
Winnipeg MB CA
Originally Posted by NYEngineer
35, have you ever tried studded tires? I have not. Might be worth a shot since you get lots of ice.
NYE, yes, bought a set for both bikes after my wife had a nasty fall near the end of the winter in March 2017. They are excellent (45Norths w/ carbide studs), and allow us to run much higher pressures for comparable conditions. 4.0" on my wife's bike and the rear of my bike, and 4.8" up front on mine. Not cheap, but it's great to have them. Just in from riding 16 km, and even with the unusual amount of ice we have this year, the bike was great.
 
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