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Fat Bikes
#1
Interesting Blog Post here for those of us who live by the sea :

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://allseasonscyclist.com/2012/05/30/surly-pugsley-the-ultimate-beach-cruiser/">http://allseasonscyclist.com/2012/05/30 ... h-cruiser/</a><!-- m -->

Now, if I had one of these, maybe Camber Sands would be a much better bet through the winter than Bedgebury...  Would imagine a ride from Hastings to Bexhill at low tide would be a lot of fun with one of these too.

All I need is £1,400 to spend on a bike that's redundant when the tide's in and it's not snowing...  ;D
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#2
One of the best bikes ive owned was a £5 3 speed folding bike. A friend had a singlespeed one with pedal back brake. We rode them round woods etc and it was far quicker across bumpy trails than my rigid MTB due to the amount of frame flex!

Rode them along the beach a lot as it didnt matter what happened to them. It is surprisingly difficult to ride far enough into the sea so that the bike is fully submerged due to the resistance. Then of course you fall off and have to find the bike which by then is under nearly a metre of water..
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#3
A few years back I went on a work weekend "jolly" to the Isle of Wight.  We hired bikes there and rode them along the beach at low tide for miles, on a Sunny day it can be a lot of fun riding on wet sand, doesnt hurt when you fall off either  Tongue

Shame those fat bikes are so expensive really.  Not as if you can just grab a crappy old frame and fit it with fat tyres cause there wouldnt be enough clearance at the back for the tyres, even if you spent £££ on a fat-specific fork.  

I reckon a beach at low tide would be a lot more fun in the winter than Bedgebury or Friston.
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#4
These bikes are not from this earth!

I want one and i think we should refrain from judgement untill tested. At least here in the uk we have stoney beaches and not much snow.
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#5
It's been ages since there was a post in this thread (my birthday 18 months ago to be precise) but about a month back I was FatBiking it up. Here's what I thought.

I don't live in Kent, so this link may not be much good to most, <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kineticcycles.co.uk/">http://kineticcycles.co.uk/</a><!-- m --> but the guys at Kinetic Cycles had a demo day recently, they are a Surly Bikes dealer (But their website doesn't say this) and Surly like 'em fat. I took out a Moonlander for a short spin around the woods.  

resim

This thing has 4.8" tyres, it's totally unnecessary (is it?) but it's fuuuun. Once the beast was rolling I discovered it could be hopped and generally messed about on just fine, hoisting a fat wheelie was no problem, just requiring a little more initial heft than a 'normal' bike. The route took us to a steep and nasty off-camber slope, after a few dry days the ground was dust and loose sticks and the slope didn't look promising. I rolled in gently and within only a few feet could feel that the bike had a hell of a lot of grip, the monster tyres grappling like a randy wrestler. Despite the tyres' width, the bike could be leaned over with no problem and shortly the off-camber section was conquered.

resim

Next up came a short, sharp climb, the Moonlander was built quickly for the show and was running some THUMBSHIFTERS (I forget the name) but they worked and I decided to let the bike do the work, dropping it into 1st gear. This is insanely low (though maybe no less than a standard 2x10) but, again combined with the mega grip, allowed us to crawl at walking pace up the nasty dusty climb. On a regular bike I'd have launched myself at it in a higher gear, but not with the Surly, whilst it's playful enough there are times to take advantage of the fatness, like that time when me and Vanessa Feltz....

resim

Soon we came across a big bombhole. I launched off the lip into a big old patch of nettles, RAAR! The bike just hurls straight through crushing all in it's path. My scrawny legs wiped out any surviving nettles leaving a clear path for the others to follow, so that was nice. For them. At this point I discovered a downside to the Moonlander. The tyres were fully inflated (dunno what pressure, but pretty hard) and it had rigid forks. Despite the beefy rubber, I was taking a bit of a pounding, just like that time when me and Vanessa Feltz...

resim

I think that the shop guys had set up the demo bikes with pretty high pressures so that they rolled a little faster for the occasional riders who were at the show. If you were running this bike then you'd probably take advantage of the option of lower tyre pressures and the increase in comfort and even more grip that they afford.

Then we had a quick blast around an area of flattish singletrack where I struggled to keep up with the young and fit Clay, but that's due to me and not the bike. Again the Moonlander was grippier than a Velcro limpet but I like a little excitement in my ride and less is sometimes more.

All too soon were were back in town and I had to return the beast, but not before a lady thought I was stealing it. Do I really look that shifty?

Pluses

Loads of grip
Ride where you didn't before
Confidence Inspiring
Kinda funky looking

Minuses

Not so lively on singletrack
Expensive tyres at £90 each end
Kinda funky looking.

So, do I want a fatbike? Hmm.
Do I want another blast on a fatbike? Hell Yeah!

If you want to ride in filthy, slippery, muddy conditions, explore sandy beaches or have a a bike that feels unstoppable then get on a fatbike, they're more 'normal' than you'd expect and capable of anything.
Keep it foolish...
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#6
Great review Mike, although i wish you'd kept the you and Vanessa Feltz bit to yourself ??)
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#7
I like the look of these behemoths. If I lived by the beach I'd definitely have one. Nice review.
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#8
great review as always  Big Grin  i went to whistler snowboarding last winter, with getting a go on one of these bad boys a must on the trip list  ;D only to find no one riding one and no shops selling them  Undecided man iv seen more of these riding around kent than in the snowy climbs of Canada Undecided  they do bring on the grin factor just looking at them, but from talking to people that have owned them i though riding in the winter kent mud would be bril. but apparently its like gliding around on top of a blancmange  :o so unless i lived in the sahara desert or Alaska, i think i leave the huge 1.8kg tyre to maybe a days hiring of the bike when i go to one of these places.
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#9
Blackers and I were discussing the benefits of these for mereworth/bedgebury/BBH mud plugging in the depths of winter. Would love to have a try on one.
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#10
They are the latest fashion accessory round surrey, seen quite a few now.
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