Fatbikes - everything you need to know

#1 Jul 1st, 2017, 15:27
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  • inditramp is offline
#1
WHAT IS A FATBIKE?
A fatbike is an off-road bicycle with oversized tires, typically 3.8 in (97 mm) or larger and rims 2.6 in (66 mm) or wider, designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on soft unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, bogs and mud. Fatbikes are built around frames with wide forks and stays to accommodate the wide rims required to fit these tires. The wide tires can be used with inflation pressures as low as 5 psi to allow for a smooth ride over rough obstacles. A rating of 8–10 psi is suitable for the majority of riders.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE
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WHY FAT BIKE?
Fatbikes were invented for use in snow and sand, but are capable of traversing diverse terrain types including snow, sand, desert, bogs, mud, pavement, or traditional mountain biking trails. In several US states and provinces, fatbike-dedicated groomed winter trails have been created.

FATBIKE HISTORY IN VIDEO
See on Vimeo

FATBIKE POPULARITY INFOGRAPHIC
See infographic on Gearjunkie

INDIAN FATBIKE BRANDS
Montra
FitTrip bikes
Marlin fatbikes

FITNESS
On a fat bike, you can burn up to 1,500 calories an hour in soft conditions—seriously. But you’ll also recover faster than if you went for a hour-long run.
“Because it’s not weight bearing, the recovery time is less despite the balance and core strength it requires,” says Andrew Gardiner, former head Nordic Ski Coach for Middlebury College.

More on fitness.

WHY THIS THREAD
I live in the Himalayas and we get over two feet of snow every winter. Fatbike is the only alternative for me to get out cycling in summer. Over time I’ve realised that a fatbike is a bit more versatile than just a winter / snow alternative. It can be used across the year as long as your aim is not to ride fast. It suits my style I never race anywhere on a bicycle, I usually stop often and enjoy places and the people.

WHAT NEXT?
Can we use a fatbike for a 1000 kilometre bicycling trip in India? Stay tuned for more on that!
"I listen to the tramp, tramp of my feet, and wonder where I was going, and why I was going."
#2 Jul 6th, 2017, 19:43
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  • kessje is offline
#2
I saw these a couple of times, but they seem to be extremely heavy, and I worry it's hard to ride it. Does it differ much from a regular bike?
#3 Jul 6th, 2017, 19:55
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  • jituyadav is offline
#3
If you were to quantify, how hard is it to ride it compared to usual bike? Double the effort? Also, is 10 psi not too low, it seems wide tiers and such low pressure may make it even harder to ride. I go with 45 psi in my bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inditramp View Post Fatbike is the only alternative for me to get out cycling in summer.
You mean to get out cycling in winter?
If you find my posts confrontationist, please bear, I am an old frustrated guy who has nothing better to do than sit on rocking chair and curse the world whole day
Last edited by jituyadav; Jul 6th, 2017 at 21:28.. Reason: Addition
#4 Jul 6th, 2017, 21:17
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  • hfot2 is offline
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by jituyadav View Post ... You mean to get out cycling in winter?
I think he does.

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Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
#5 Jul 6th, 2017, 22:57
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  • inditramp is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by kessje View Post I saw these a couple of times, but they seem to be extremely heavy, and I worry it's hard to ride it. Does it differ much from a regular bike?
References - Steel frame road bike 12 kg. Aluminium frame road bike with carbon rigid fork 10 kg. Aluminium mountain bike - rigid fork 13-14kg. Aluminium fat bike- rigid fork 17-18 kg. These are estimates but relevent to put things in context.
Hard to ride. Yes and no. Its hard to build momentum as compared to a road bike yes. But when you do, it ploughs over bad roads. This is an advantage on bad roads and single tracks. Most Himalayan roads are bad roads or turn into one after monsoons and winter snow. So what you trade off in speed you get in relative comfort and trail accessibility

Quote:
Originally Posted by jituyadav View Post If you were to quantify, how hard is it to ride it compared to usual bike? Double the effort? Also, is 10 psi not too low, it seems wide tiers and such low pressure may make it even harder to ride. I go with 45 psi in my bike.
In winters I go down to 8 psi over fresh snow. But it's the only bike that "floats" over fresh snow. Tried it on a 29er mountain bike with 2inch + wheels with 25psi. Didn't work. The effort is more yes but on the flipside you get out in snow and it keeps me in reasonable fitness for my spring summer jaunts 😀

Quote:
Originally Posted by jituyadav View Post You mean to get out cycling in winter?
Winter it is dear sir!
#6 Jul 7th, 2017, 02:42
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  • dcamrass1 is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by inditramp View Post References - Steel frame road bike 12 kg. Aluminium frame road bike with carbon rigid fork 10 kg. Aluminium mountain bike - rigid fork 13-14kg. Aluminium fat bike- rigid fork 17-18 kg. These are estimates but relevent to put things in context.!
Takes me back many many years ago ( was younger) when mountain bikes were just coming in. Had a steel frame bike was well over 20 Kg ( my racing bike was 18 Kg) used to cut out the center part of a old tyre to make a strip , put it inside a 2.2 tyre to save snakebite punctures and have it inflated to a low pressure, no idea of psi, was by the feel of the hand, to go over rough or soft ground . I have moved on since then and have full suspension and easier terrain (the age!) . Apart from that we don't have snow but sand yes
#7 Jul 7th, 2017, 16:26
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  • jituyadav is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by inditramp View Post In winters I go down to 8 psi over fresh snow.
I knew this concept works in powered vehicles, but thought that on bike this would be difficult ride, wonder why I missed the low friction thing where one can get a good traction by lowering pressure Sometimes you miss the obvious.
#8 Jul 10th, 2017, 09:22
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  • inditramp is offline
#8
49mph wind -19F temperature - inspiration!

more details here
Last edited by inditramp; Jul 10th, 2017 at 09:23.. Reason: added a details link


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