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Challenging trail - mountain bike vs. fat bike #5227987 10/01/19 10:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
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Number_35 Offline OP
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We've ridden the West Hawk - Falcon Lake spur of the Trans Canada Trail twice in last few weeks, the first time with our mountain bikes, and then again with the fat bikes. Part of the trail includes short steep hills with a loose gravel surface. With the mountain bikes, we spun out climbing several of the hills and had to dismount and push. Descents on the mountain bikes were scary.

The fat bikes were slower on the flats, but did grind up the hills fine. Descending was a lot more fun on the fatties, with the bikes feeling way more under control.

The photos are from my favourite part - a pine section planted in 1959. Seeing the deer was a bonus.

IMG_8388 - Copy.JPGIMG_8391 - Copy.JPGIMG_8398 - Copy.JPGIMG_8401 - Copy.JPGIMG_8406 - Copy.JPG
Re: Challenging trail - mountain bike vs. fat bike [Re: Number_35] #5228048 10/02/19 02:22 AM
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pitzel Offline
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What sort of tyres on your "mountain bike"? Full suspension, or just a hard tail?

Re: Challenging trail - mountain bike vs. fat bike [Re: Number_35] #5228081 10/02/19 05:11 AM
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NYEngineer Offline
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Yep. I find exactly the same thing,. In fact, I'll ride my fattie or my 29+ bike at specific trails. The one trail that got me started mountain biking is so sandy and loose that I almost exclusively ride fat there year round. The 29+ bike works ok there as well but a 2.3" tire at that place is almost no fun.
There's a section of gnar on the back of this one trail there that I can clear flawlessly on my fat bike. I do a fair job on my plus bike and can't remember making it ever on my Stumpjumper.
I carve corners on my fat bike like a surgeon and I ride it as fast downhill as it will go. It is my most fun bike.

Re: Challenging trail - mountain bike vs. fat bike [Re: Number_35] #5228103 10/02/19 05:54 AM
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Rat407 Offline
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Nice!


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Re: Challenging trail - mountain bike vs. fat bike [Re: pitzel] #5228119 10/02/19 06:25 AM
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Number_35 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by pitzel
What sort of tyres on your "mountain bike"? Full suspension, or just a hard tail?

The mountain bikes both have front suspension forks and hard tail, and both run 1.9" in the back and 2.1" in the front. They might have done better if I'd lowered the pressure. Had them at 50# for our usual city riding.

The fatties have no suspension beyond what the big tires provide. We were running them on the hard side, around 10#.

Re: Challenging trail - mountain bike vs. fat bike [Re: Number_35] #5228166 10/02/19 07:51 AM
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Wheel Offline
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Do you have a way to lockout the suspension on the mountain bike ? I wonder if that would help the feel ?
I've got an old (87) 'dale with no suspension. I love it on technical stuff at reasonable speeds, but I like my son's Growler fat bike for bombing around rough stuff.


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Re: Challenging trail - mountain bike vs. fat bike [Re: Number_35] #5228172 10/02/19 08:06 AM
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Prydain Offline
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It's a traction issue. The fat bikes have it in gobs with the huge tires and lower pressures. They also weight a ton so are a grind uphill. The fact the fat bike descends better than mountain bike makes me think it's not set up correctly. Not knowing what you're riding here are a few things to look at. 50 pounds in a 1.9" seems like a ton of pressure and you could stand to lower that a bit. As you said you had it set up for city riding. I run high twenties in my rear 2.35 on my full suspension but I'm set up tubeless and a bigger rider. Your suspension sag could also be off, should be somewhere between 20 and 35 percent.

From the pictures it looks like a good gravel or cyclocross bike would have a fun time on the trails as long as the downhills aren't too technical.

Re: Challenging trail - mountain bike vs. fat bike [Re: Number_35] #5232464 10/06/19 09:27 PM
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UG_Passat Offline
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Not to hate on your definition of challenging, but your pictures don't say challenging to me. They look like smooth fire roads to me. Expecting to see technical climbs and descents as challenging, including some logs to hop over


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