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Fat Tire Build....need a frame recommendation.

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  • Fat Tire Build....need a frame recommendation.

    Considering building a Fat Tire bike and using a Crystalyte TC4065 motor. Trying to find a relatively inexpensive steel frame to start the build...disc brakes are a requirement and eventually I would like to put a suspension fork on it if it doesn't come with one. I will be using this bike to ride off road 99% of the time....and yes, I know a mid drive would be better but I have the TC4065 already so I am going to try it.

    Some options I have seen are the Mongoose Malus, Aztec, Dolomite, and Hitch....does anybody know if there is a difference in these frames besides color?

    Any other recommendations for a frame?

    All comments and information are sincerely appreciated.


  • #2
    Gravity bullseye monster. Look on Amazon. I bought a pro frame with 170mm rear drop outs and a RST Renegate suspension fork for $280 earlier this year. They also sell the bare frames. Be aware of the different models because the drop width varies.


    • #3
      BBSHD is such a sweet match for fatties. Any hub motor would be my last choice.


      • #4
        I'm also still real happy with my Sturgis Bullet/BBSHD combo. As much as I like my eMontague folder, when I don't need the folding feature for transport, the fattie is hands down my favorite most fun ride.

        I am still a little surprised though, when riding it elsewhere and mixing with other cyclists (which I do rarely, most of my riding is in remote areas) , I am the ONLY one on a fat bike. I guess I thought that in general the fat bike was more generally "accepted", or maybe appreciated would be a better term. Not my problem, their loss!


        • ykick
          ykick commented
          Editing a comment
          Fatties being so much more difficult to pedal greatly limits their appeal to the pedal crowd, IMO.

          But when you hang 15-20lbs motor/battery on one it actually does make 'em "better" which isn't always the case with high-end, lightweight bicycles. Fatties with BBSHD have become my hands down favorite goto for ALL-terrain riding.

      • #5
        Harold....if I wasn't hung up on having to have a steel frame, the Gravity Bullseye Monster would probably be my choice.

        ykick....yes, you are correct. The BBSHD is probably where I will end up in the long run. But right now I have a Mongoose Terex with a BBSHD and a Terex with a MAC 12T. I laced a 20" rim on the MAC in a desperate attempt to gear it down and keep it from overheating. It helped but I still hit 110 C fairly often. I call it my "Clown" bike because with the stock 27.5 front wheel and the 20" rear wheel, it looks like it should be in the circus with 7 or 8 clowns riding on it. For riding single track off road, you just about can't beat the BBSHD on any bike. As an engineer I dislike the BBSHD just because it has more moving parts than a DD or a IGH but in reality it is the best choice.

        CPG...that Sturgis Bullet looks like a great way to go but I am too cheap to spend that much.....when in reality I'll spend more than that in the long run to get whatever I build up to par with it. You made a good choice.

        If anybody is going to build a fat tire bike with a high powered DD motor, West Coast Electric Cycles: sells some of the best torque arms I have ever seen. They have them custom designed and machined for the Mongoose Dolomite, Hitch, and Vinson as well as a few other bikes. If I was going to go "High Power Direct Drive", I would limit my selection to something they build a torque arm to fit. I didn't see them on their website but I know they have them for the Gravity Bullseye Monster and those may fit the Sturgis Bullet as well...just have to check. Of course if you go with the BBSHD, no torque arms are required.

        The reason I am considering a Fat Tire Bike is I am getting old (hurts to say that and admit it) and arthritis in my lower back now requires me to ride something with a little more cushion. I love my Terex...handling is great and it turns really quick but I need to go to either a Fat Tire and/or a Full Suspension if I don't want to hurt.

        The only reason I am including a DD option is because I haven't had one yet and from a reliability standpoint is doesn't get any better i.e. no moving parts, well one. But from a weight perspective it doesn't get any worse. The Crystalyte Crown is about 20 lbs just for the motor where the MAC and the BBSHD closer to 8 lbs.

        Thanks for all the responses and guys are wonderful. My plan is to try a 20" x 4.0" rear tire on the Terex with the 12T MAC and see how that does and then buy a Mongoose Hitch from Walmart with the motor still TBD. Why the Hitch....first and foremost it has a steel frame, West Coast Electric Cycles has torque arms for it if I ever decide to put a DD motor in it, and I can have it delivered to my front door for $241 and that includes tax and delivery.


        • #6
          More moving parts (spokes for example) with a hub motor due to large flange. Give it time you'll experience the true reliability nature. And possibly if using the usual threaded freewheel cover hub and you pedal with any significant force for any length of time.

          Not my idea of a party but I understand it's sometimes best to learn for yourself. And maybe those areas won't be a problem for your application and use as they were for mine?

          Click image for larger version  Name:	image1 (1).JPG Views:	1 Size:	220.2 KB ID:	47491

          Last edited by ykick; 1 week ago.


          • #7
            ykick...please elaborate a little more. I am not sure I follow....are you saying the spokes might be a problem with a large flanged motor? Why....I have no experience with the larger flang motors....yet.

            And the freewheel....what is the problem/issue? With the larger cover do you get more flexing and long term problems?

            I am a little hard headed sometimes and experience is a heck of a teacher but in my old age I am starting to try and listen to others that have experience I don't have instead of banging my head on the wall until it feels good.

            What DD motors do you have experience with? What are the pros and cons you experienced? I haven't bought a Crystalyte or a MXUS motor yet....the two leading candidates IMO.

            Thanks for any and all guidance and comments.
            Last edited by Bullfrog; 1 week ago.


            • ykick
              ykick commented
              Editing a comment
              Bicycle wheels/spokes aren’t made to be used with large hub flange diameter. Simple fact of the industry. If you desire a truly no-maintenance wheel/spoke build using a hub motor you need motorcycle/scooter rims/spokes.

              I tried practically everything in the “bicycle” realm to build a stout, trouble-free, strong as an Ox rear hub motor and they lasted up around 6-10k miles but eventually spokes start breaking and a rebuild required.

              Now maybe light weight and recreational riders won’t ever suffer from these problems? But I have and ‘don’t miss any of it.

              Yes, I’ve had MXUS DD’s and many other variations which use threaded freewheel screwed onto what is basically pot-metal cover.

              When you’re pedaling hard on a small outer threaded freewheel gear, a couple inches of leverage does strange things to motor covers. There's simply no outboard bearing to support the small gear end of the freewheel. Constantly flexing it as it goes round and round.

              Over time it takes a toll and eventually the threads can breakaway from the cover. Sucks to replace because they can be hard if not impossible to find correct replacement covers.

              Don’t take this as DD bashing because I have a lot of respect for the “idea” of the simplicity that a DD brings. But since I’ve used some DD’s to fairly high mileages I thought I would share the rest of the story. They simply don’t “run forever” at least from my applications and use.

          • #8
            ykick.....Thank You Very Much. I totally understand your comments now. You make an excellent point about large hubs.

            A couple more questions so I can put everything together:

            A. What motor is pictured above with the cracked cover?

            B. Have you had any other failures...if yes, what motors were they?

            The reason I am asking about the specifics on the motors is so I can determine how large "Large" is regarding hubs and covers....I only have roughly 1,000 miles total on an ebike and it is split about equally between my MAC and my BBSHD. You definitely taught me something I had not even considered....just another example of when I think I am getting smart, I learn how dumb I am and that about all I really know is how little I actually know.

            Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

            Alright I have to throw in a little know how to keep the cover from cracking which is probably due to fatigue that is caused by the flexing when you pedal???

            Don't pedal.

            I actually have an ebike and a pedal bike (no motor) and when I want exercise I ride the pedal bike....when I just want to have fun, I ride the ebike. OK so my joke may not be relevant but I like to keep things light hearted.
            Last edited by Bullfrog; 1 week ago.


            • #9
              Well this discussion is starting to change from frames to motors so I'll wrap it up with what I decided and start another thread for the motor selection.

              I ended up ordering two bikes from Walmart....a Mongoose XR Pro and a Mongoose Hitch Fat Tire bike. My objective is to get a bike that has good performance with some cushion for my old arthritic back. When the XR Pro arrived, I measured the rear suspension linkage and the maximum possible travel with the rear suspension is 2.5". Then the linkage will hit the seat post. So I am sticking with the Hitch and will buy a suspension fork one day to add to the bike. I went with the Hitch because it has a steel frame and Mongoose/Pacific Cycles has provided very good customer support for me in the past. The Hitch also comes with drilled rims which are lighter and I like the color of the Hitch better than the other bikes. From what I could find, the only difference between the Hitch and the Dolomite is the Dolo has a 17" frame and the Hitch has an 18" frame. t

              Thanks to everybody who provided a response....your knowledge save me immense time and money.
              Last edited by Bullfrog; 1 week ago.


              • #10
                I had two Crystalyte 4060s, and they overheated on almost every ride. I switched to a 50mm tall magnet, and that fixed the problem.