Posts Tagged "Fat Tyre Sand Bike"

Nine Reasons Why a Fat Bike Should be Your Only Bike Put a non fat bike believer on a fat bike for few months riding, pretty much to the exclusion of all other bikes. The results may leave you almost lost for words (which, in this age of hype is no small achievement). Flame retardant suit at the ready, here are nine reasons why I reckon a fat bike should be your only bike.   A fat bike as your only bike? That’s a step too far, isn’t it? They’re too heavy / slow / cumbersome / fugly / the preserve of the “look at me” extrovert / utterly pointless (delete as appropriate), aren’t they? Who in their right mind would consider having one as their only bike? You’d have to be a stubbie short of a six pack to go down that route. Next thing you know, you will be taking up a sport where you wear cardigans and have to mow the green… Ok, I’ll admit, it seems like a pretty tall claim to make but having committed to riding mostly fat bikes after discovering them four years ago I’m converted. Since taking delivery of a Diamant F2 fat bike with a 120mm Bluto suspension fork as my long term test bike it’s definitely opened my eyes up to what makes for a great mountain bike. Don’t believe me? Read on and I’ll try and explain. 1. No other bikes climb as well. Think of a hard MTB hill climb. One of those long, draggy affairs that seem to go on forever and really push the boundaries of what is rideable. Do you think of the rocky pinch climb out on Manly Dam ? The unfeasibly steep gravel road at Thredbo providing temporary access to the new All-Mountain trail which seems to get steeper and steeper the further up you ride it? Or some steep zig zaged single track in your own neck of the woods.  To my mind, these are climbs to be relished. Steep and unyielding climbs that you have to grind and grunt your way up, pushing body and bike to the limit in search of that elusive clean ascent in order to get the rush of the downhill. I have used every trick in the book over the years in my quest to clean them – a twenty tooth granny ring, deflating the back tyre, adopting the arse on nose of saddle / Quasimodo style hunch over the bars that looks like you are about to have the squirts, soft pedalling on the less steep section to regain composure – all have yielded success but at the expense of looking like a boiled lobster and feeling...

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Fat Tyre Sand Bikes or Fat bikes as they are commonly known have been in Australia for about ten years but became main stream about 3 years ago. Originally from Alaska, the US brands Surly and Salsa took them into the US mainstream. Diamant from Norway quietly developed it’s own fat bikes independently of the US scene (Norway has a lot of snow!) and this has lead to a 5th generation of fat bikes based on designs that are tried and tested in the real world. Fatbikes are designed to carry adventurous riders out into wild places not normally accessible to bicycles. Extra wide 4-5 inch tires on 80mm-100mm wide rims run at a low inflation give a large foot print and massive grip which helps the Fat bike float through sand, snow, mud and other variable terrain, opening the door to epic beach rides, untracked exploration and mid-winter expeditions on snow. When assessing fat bikes for beach or desert riding one of the primary considerations is tyre width and rim width. Just like on a 4wd, a wider rim and tyre combination will increase the tyres footprint and increase floatation on soft sand or snow. Bikes in the cheaper sub-$1000 end of the market as a generalisation have skinny 60-80mm rims, are single speed or often have gears but with an insufficient low gear range for soft terrain riding. Compare this to a typical modern fatbike see with 102mm wide rims combined with 4.8 inch tyres and a wide range 1 x 11 drive chain and you will see  an immediate performance advantage on soft sand or snow. 2 x front chain ring systems are still fine and provide value for money at a cost of slightly more weight but it is critical to ensure the front chain rings are about 36/22 in ratio or low range performance will be affected. Fat tires also provide maintenance simplicity to a bike, eliminating complicated rear suspension by giving a degree of free suspension. Drive and braking are improved, especially on less than ideal surfaces. Climbing hills on loose gravel or sand becomes possible without wheel spin. However it’s the sideways grip that really impresses, at speed cornering grip it is excessive. If the tyres don’t stick, it’s likely nothing will. Most importantly Fat Bikes are Fun! If you have any questions about fat bikes email me at   Find out more about fat bikes        ...

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