17 Jan Tech Tuesday: What the Heck is a Fat Bike
Here at Bike Shop Girl I want women (and guys) to feel empowered and to have a good grasp of what they are talking about when it comes to tech, mechanics and goofy bicycling slang. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!
One of the latest bikes to enter my fold as a demo bike for my outside sales position with QBP is a Surly Pugsley. As I bring the bike to more and more events or am seen on the side of the trails with this fine steed I’m often asked “WHAT THE HECK IS THAT??” If you can’t tell from the photos, the tires are freaking huge. 3.8 inches to be exact. Compare that to a normal mountain bike tire which is on average is 2.1.
Why Do You Need Tires So Big?
Think of a truck that goes through mud, rocks or dirt. Or think about any 4×4 vehicle. They have larger tires with more volume, right? The low pressure, high volume tires give you a great flotation across all types of loose terrain. You get better traction, can forget about worrying about that “perfect line” and pave new trails through the woods. Think of it as the true all terrain bicycle.
What the Downfalls?
The biggest downfall is the weight. While I know of some folks that have decked out their rides to be around 25-26 lbs for a fully geared bike. That is still pretty heavy if you need to hike a bike.
The selection is a bit limited. I personally know of only four manufactures that make bikes to fit this size of tires. Salsa, Surly, FatBack and 9:Zero:7. The only tires I know of are made by Surly or just released 45NRTH.
Finally, you won’t find this at most local shops. If you end up purchasing one I recommend to order a few extra tubes and maybe a tire or full spare wheel as most local bike shops won’t keep this type of stuff in stock.
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