The Chainlink

I'm a commuter biker along the LFP. I flaked out last winter but I'm mentally and physically preparing myself to try it this winter. I've had problems in the past with sand drifts along the path and I know ice and slick areas will be a problem going forward. Between Oak Street and Grand avenue the path was unplowed last winter, making it unpassable for a standard bike. Granted, I always have the option of getting off the path and riding along the streets but this has risks as well. Last week, I had to get off the path and ride surface streets to work. Overall, it wasn't that bad but riding over the LaSalle Street, metal grated bridge was no fun.

I remember seeing a Surly bike displayed in the window at Johnny Sprockets on Bryn Mawr a few months ago. A very impressive and expensive bike, the Hummer of bicycles. This bike will get you through just about anything and give you a good workout for your efforts. I found this link: http://fat-bike.com/. On the right hand side of the home page is a list of Fat bike manufacturers. Now the Surly Moonlander will set you back around $2300.00. This is a steel frame, yet surprisingly light weight bike as I recall. 38 Frameworks, a U.S. based company is selling what they claim is the first all carbon frame Fat bike. I can't find the prices but I imagine it sells for probably a little less than a distressed McMansion.

Anybody have any experience with Fat Bikes?

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"This bike will get you through just about anything and give you a good workout for your efforts."

That is a very friendly way of looking at it.  In my view, it better get you through just about anything if requires a workout :)  Are you sensitive to q-factor?  I wonder what kind of q-factor these fat tire bikes have..

If you've got the funds and are looking for something fun, by all means try one of these bikes, but I'm not sure the bikes you're looking at are going to help you much for the riding you're describing.  They're certainly not going to do much better on ice than any other style.  Thin road-style tires for winter commuting have more than a handful of proponents.  

The fat tires should do better than other bikes on rough/uneven pavement, which could be useful in some winter riding conditions.

We bought a salsa mukluk fat tire bike. Love it. It rolls easy and is aluminum.
looking forward to snow!!!!!

"This bike will get you through just about anything and give you a good workout for your efforts."

With the gearing and surprising light weight frame...along with the fact that the tires are mostly air, it isn't as hard as it looks to ride.

Best way to find out is to test ride one...maybe Rapid Transit has one. I saw DUG on one at a "snow ride" last winter.

You don't necessarily need the "fat bike" to run a fat bike.  I have a Surly 1x1 and run some pretty big tires on it.  Surly even makes the Large Marge rims in a 24" so you can run them on most 26" moutain bikes with discs and decent fork length.  I have some 2.3's on there right now and they really absorb everything, and I ride it singletrack without a suspension all the time.

The blizzard last winter really ramped up my Pugsley covetry. Yeah, ice is ice, and these aren't going to be a solution for that, but they are massively advantageous over deep snow. 

h' said:

If you've got the funds and are looking for something fun, by all means try one of these bikes, but I'm not sure the bikes you're looking at are going to help you much for the riding you're describing.  They're certainly not going to do much better on ice than any other style.  Thin road-style tires for winter commuting have more than a handful of proponents.  

The fat tires should do better than other bikes on rough/uneven pavement, which could be useful in some winter riding conditions.

my GT 26'er with 2" tires got me through every obstacle last winter. fat bikes look like a lot of fun, but in my experience, unnecessary. Maybe I'll change my opinion if we get a really big blizzard.

Dave Grossman said:

You don't necessarily need the "fat bike" to run a fat bike.  I have a Surly 1x1 and run some pretty big tires on it.  Surly even makes the Large Marge rims in a 24" so you can run them on most 26" moutain bikes with discs and decent fork length.  I have some 2.3's on there right now and they really absorb everything, and I ride it singletrack without a suspension all the time.

We have a Pugsley in at Rapid Transit for a demo bike; 16" at the Halsted store and 18" at the North ave. one.  Come by and take one for a ride they are super fun.

I also usually bring one of them to the snow rides if we have one in the shop and I have the time.

They are super fun in the snow but probably not the most practical commuter all but scant few days.  The standard Pugsleys with trigger shifters and a tripple are out of stock till Decemberish but the Neckromancer one can be retro fitted to that spec.

I never fall.

On

http://www.bikejournal.com/thread.asp?ThreadID={029BF13C-5D45-4995-...} (bad link, add the }), once people buy thier fat bike, they just keep riding it.  No one needs a suspension with that much air between the road and the rim.

Hmm, ice kinda scares me. Maybe I need chains over the tires, too? Problem is, I can't fit Gene's tricycle in my bike room stall.

Peenworm Grubologist said:

The blizzard last winter really ramped up my Pugsley covetry. Yeah, ice is ice, and these aren't going to be a solution for that, but they are massively advantageous over deep snow. 

h' said:

If you've got the funds and are looking for something fun, by all means try one of these bikes, but I'm not sure the bikes you're looking at are going to help you much for the riding you're describing.  They're certainly not going to do much better on ice than any other style.  Thin road-style tires for winter commuting have more than a handful of proponents.  

The fat tires should do better than other bikes on rough/uneven pavement, which could be useful in some winter riding conditions.

Here is a blog post by the Rapid Transit owner(s)(?) about the Surly Necromancer:

http://www.chicagobikeblog.com/2012/10/necromancer-fun.html

(I didn't see anything in there about bringing back people from the dead.)

notoriousDUG said:

We have a Pugsley in at Rapid Transit for a demo bike; 16" at the Halsted store and 18" at the North ave. one.  Come by and take one for a ride they are super fun.

I also usually bring one of them to the snow rides if we have one in the shop and I have the time.

They are super fun in the snow but probably not the most practical commuter all but scant few days.  The standard Pugsleys with trigger shifters and a tripple are out of stock till Decemberish but the Neckromancer one can be retro fitted to that spec.

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