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Mountain or Fat
With the other thread about using a bike to access hunting areas, I was wondering which bike would be better suited for this. I've got a good mountain bike, but do the wider tires and lower(?) gearing of a fat bike make it more desirable for hunting.
I was looking into a fat tire electric bike....I tried the "mountain bike" thing and some of those incline were more exhausting than walking up them. They have some that are reasonably priced or a quality used one looks good.
In my opinion, yes. I own a bike shop and have access to anything out there. I have tried 26", 27.5" and 29" mt bikes, hardtails and full suspension, and the 4"+ tired fat bikes and my favorite is the 27.5" x 3" tire "mid fattie" (Specialized Fuse).
Most of them anymore use a single gear up front with 10 or 11 gears in the rear, with some really low gears. You can ride up some steep stuff just spinning along. Not so say you couldn't walk up a steep hill any faster than riding it, but on the flats and downhills the bike makes for smoother and quieter travel.
The electric fat bikes are really getting popular, but they are heavy and expensive. Many that I have seen are $4K to $5K.
Plan on spending $1K and up for a decent bike without a motor with fatter tires.
The bigger softer tire changes everything. I don't believe I'd have crashed on a fat or mid-fat bike with low tire pressure.
Franklin, the e-bikes are cool but since you can't use them on USFS or BLM closed roads or bike trails you're really limited on where you can legally ride them - as in, only on ATV trails or 4WD roads (or private land) where "motorized vehicles" are permitted.
and even if the USFS sigh allows snowmobiles on the "trail"in the winter, one might believe that then a motorized bike can be also used in the summer. Not true if the sign states, no motorized vehicles. ie, in the spring, summer, fall.
Todd, are fat bikes actually geared lower than regular mtn bikes?
Kind of depends on the set up. Most fat bikes are geared really low, some regular mt bikes art starting to go with the lower gearing, but I think for the most part the answer is regular mt bikes will be geared higher.
Someone has stated before that some of the "trail regs" were based on "volts" of the electric bike....is that true or are they just banned. I also thought the E bike was kind of like a hybrid car....sometimes your pedaling and sometimes the electric is assisting. I hunt mostly private and looked at those "Kwiet Kats" and almost fell out of my chair...lol....not pocket book friendly.
I’m not sure how the final inches work out on the gear ratios of the real Fatties; there's the teeth to teeth comparison, but you have to figure in the circumference of the whole tire, rather than just the wheel...
Just remember that a bike is a Vehicle and not permitted in a WA...
I had to make the same decision this spring. After a few weeks and a ton of test riding, I decided on a Salsa Mukluk fatbike. The only time I regret my decision is while trying to keep up to my friends on the uphills of the local singletrack. For hunting, shrooming, and just riding for fun, I can hardly stop smiling when I'm on it. I love it.
I hit some nasty rocks, at high speeds, as it was getting dark this year while antelope hunting. I believe with about any other bike I'd have face planted hard (without a helmet). Those big tires with low pressure saved my butt in the midst of a really stupid decision that night.
I did test ride a Specialized Fuse (27+) bike a few times, but it just couldn't match the fun of the Mukluk for me.
The Salsa Timberjack is a good bike that falls in between like the Specaialized (Fuse) with a 27.5 + x 3” Tire. The nice thing about it is you can run a 29 on it as well.
It comes with a 1 x 11 as well. The funny thing when My last specialized bike I owned I had a 2 x 10 on it and never used the higher end on it. I was always in the lower 10 gears.
If you want lower gearing, just get a lower geared cassette for your bike. It takes a special tool to do it, but it’s easy. Or just have a bike shop do it for you. With my mountain bike in the lowest gear, I could climb a vertical wall if the tires would stick to it.
here is a question about tire pressure for you experts. I will not be purchasing a fat tire bike but have used my regular mt bike off road for pronghorn and turkey hunting. To get a "softer" ride, I think reducing the tire pressure may help but how much is reasonable without damaging the tire or rim and still maintaining the safety aspect? my best, Paul
Franklin, they are now banned in USFS wherever motor vehicles are prohibited. I'm seeing signs pop up on city and state bike trails too. Most are capable of either pedal-assist or full motorized. I would love to have one but can ride my ATV anywhere they are currently legal.
As far as fat tire versus mountain bike goes, it depends on where you are planning on taking it. The mountain bikes are typically lighter and easier to pedal, but I've had issues getting flat tires or bending rims by hitting rocks at speed. The fat tire bikes are harder to pedal for me, but better if you are riding over rocks, less likely to get a flat (I've never got one), or if you are putting a lot of weight on your bike (like yourself and an elk quarter).
Should be a range of pressures on the side of the tire. Most mountain bike tires will be around 45 to 65 psi. Some of it is dependent on your body wt. Also have to think about the terrain. Running over any type of hard bump with low pressure and you could get pinch flats. I would also look at installing the widest tires the bike frame will allow, and carry a small tire repair kit, with extra tire tubes and a small pump.
Tubeless tires run lower pressure and less flats.
"Someone has stated before that some of the "trail regs" were based on "volts" of the electric bike....is that true or are they just banned. "
The motor "voltage" laws used to say they're legal is a state motor vehicle regulation. Both the Forest Service and BLM are clear and consise...
36 CFR 212.1. E-bikes have a motor, thereby are self propelled, and are not covered by the exceptions in the definition. Therefore, e-bikes are motor vehicles and are subject to regulation under the TMR, which requires designation of National Forest System (NFS) roads, NFS trails, and areas on NFS lands for motor vehicle use. 36 CFR 212.51(a). Direction on e-bikes was included in a response in the Federal Register notice for the final over-snow vehicle rule.
The response states: “New technologies that merge bicycles and motors, such as e-bikes, are considered motor vehicles under §212.1 of the TMR.” 80 Fed. Reg. 4503 (Jan. 28, 2015).
Information Bulletin No. 2015-060 From: Acting Assistant Director, Resources and Planning
An electronic bicycle, also known as an e-bike, is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) classifies e-bikes as motorized vehicles, as defined at 43 CFR 8340.5 “(a) Off-road vehicle means any motorized vehicle capable of, or designed for, travel on or immediately over land, water, or other natural terrain, excluding: (1) any non-amphibious registered motorboat; (2) any military, fire, emergency, or law enforcement vehicle while being used for emergency purposes; (3) any vehicle whose use is expressly authorized by the authorized officer, or otherwise officially approved; (4) vehicles in official use; and (5) any combat or combat support vehicle when used in times of national defense emergencies.”