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Self steering FAT tires

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  • millervideo
    replied
    The KHS-500 came with no-name tires. I called KHS and the tech said they were undoubtedly lower end tires because that's what you get with a $1000 bike (no motor). He said most people upgrade tires anyway, so it's not worth it for them to put high end tires on. I don't know much about tires, but I suppose it's similar to cars. High quality car tires make a big difference in handling. Actually, I was really amazed by how much the Jumbo Jim's made. They are a very well reviewed tire. My bike handles so much better now that it gives one more confidence to dance around objects. With the stock self-steer tires, it was a bit of a terror to ride. Now it's like a Porsche Mecan. Well, sort of. Also, special thanks to AZguy for steering me in the right direction to get higher end tires. It was totally worth the extra cash.

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  • AZguy
    replied
    I'm definitely in the camp of it's all about the tires and little to nothing to do with their weight, TPI, etc... Some heavy tires and also high TPI tires I've used have almost none of the tendency even at very low pressures, and some lighter ones and others with low TPI do, even at higher pressures... tire tech

    I rode a buddies KHS500 and I was pretty impressed by the stock tires... but not in a good way LOL... Then again often stock tires are... well... just plain cheap... at least they usually don't last long!

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  • 73Eldo
    replied
    Do you recall what model tire the Luna came with? Looking at the Jumbo Jim it looks similar to the Knard. Its got not especially big square knobs and it looks like the center ones are shorter then they get taller the further away from the center you get. I'm thinking its got very little to do with the knobs/tread and more to do with the overall shape you end up with which can greatly be effected by the rim width. In my case and when the Knard came out in a 26" Surly only had 2 rims and I have the more narrow of the two which I think is 80mm. The other one was wider and I think only took the 4.8" ish tires. I believe the Knard was designed as a 29x3" tire for their new at the time Krampus bike and that appears to be the only size they still make it in.

    I hate to think of how many fat bikes were sold last year and likely this year with a tire that had not been tested just because they could not source the tires the bike was designed for and tested with. Could be many people out there thinking fat bikes are the dumbest thing ever. Wonder if that is what happened to the Luna one?

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  • millervideo
    replied
    I got the KHS-500 new from Lunacycle. The 4" tires It came with self-steered like crazy. It was bad. Then I got Jumbo-Jims and the bike was a different animal. It went from being a poor cornering bike to a fast cornering bike. Just for swapping out the tires. It makes THAT much difference. Of course the new tires were relatively expensive at about $75 each, but the difference was huge.

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  • 73Eldo
    replied
    Seems logical, some gyroscope action? I would have to look up or weigh the tires I tested but I don't think there was a huge difference in the weight of the tires and they were all on the same wheel with the same tube on the same bike.

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  • EP3Zee
    replied
    My two cents on the "self steering" fat tires..
    From my experience as a bicycle mechanic is that it comes down to rotating mass. I feel it alot when I ride the cheaper Wal-Mart fat bikes and Motobecanes and whatnot. Much less with tubeless setups on lighter wheel / tire setups.

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  • 73Eldo
    replied
    I settled on the Knard on the rear and a Larry 120 on the front. Done several laps at the local park and so far am very satisfied with that combo. Have not noticed any self steering. Both tires seem to have plenty of grip both brake and climbing even over rocks. Both of those are reasonable for noise and control on pavement too which was a factor for me since I often ride pavement several miles to the trails. I'm still amazed that a tire could have had that much effect on the steering.

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  • 73Eldo
    replied
    Tires tested again on my 2014 Large Surly Pugsley which does not have the offset fork. All 26' fats. All at 15 psi and 7. 7 was a little worse as expected.

    Worst self steering worst to less bad:
    Surly Knard 3.8" 120tpi
    Surly Endomorph 4.0 120
    45Nrth Husker Du 4.0 33

    Slightly self steering to hardly noticeable:
    45Nrth Dillinger 4 120 w/240 carbide studs
    Surly Larry 3.8 120
    Surly Larry 3.8 33
    Surly Nate 4.0 120

    Really noisy and vibrate to pretty quiet for a non slick:
    Dillinger.... 240 studs duh.......
    Nate
    Husker Du
    Endomorph
    Knard
    Larry's

    Can anyone tell I live in the home of Surly and 45Nrth? There was other stuff available used but I didn't know the brands as well to know if the prices were crazy or not.

    These tests were just a short pavement lap around my house so I think for a proper test I'm going to leave the Knard on the rear and try one of the Larry's up front. We had rain earlier in the week and again tomorrow so I don't think there is going to be any off road riding anytime soon but since this combo should be alright for pavement I may do a medium length ride to see how it goes.

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  • 73Eldo
    replied
    I just scored 3 different tires to try off facebook. Pair of Larry's, single Husker Du, and an Endomorph. Read some people run all 3 of those on the front and Knards on the back so if that works I'm set.

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  • AZguy
    commented on 's reply
    I'm really surprised how well the latest set takes corners on hard surface even though the knobs are super aggressive and tall, they are clearly stiff (vs. felxi) but soft (vs. hard) at the same time if that makes sense... they are dual compound but I've had other dual compound that cornered on hard surface as well but weren't as aggressive, didn't do as well off-road, didn't like the low pressures as much and didn't last as long...

    I don't mind a little squirm on the rear, it can add some predicitability

  • Dshue
    commented on 's reply
    The downside to many fast rolling mtb tires on smooth hard surfaces is the aggressive shoulder tread. They can be too squirmy.
    I have them on my acoustic Specialized and they tool some getting used to.. And for that reason I'm not putting them on the e bike.

  • AZguy
    replied
    Most fat tire bikes seem to ship with crap tires - certainly the cheap ones do... noisy, don't handle the low pressures well, not as much "stick" in the corners and worse handling when cornering hard overall

    Novice bike riders may not notice and if it's their first fat-tire bike may have little to compare to

    I look at my chicken strips on the different tires I've run and it's clear I corner my latest tires harder although there's clearly room for harder and they are much larger than what was on my motos... but then again I'm a lot older now and don't push things as hard although from what I can tell by measuring the tire contour against the edge of the chicken strips ~45° lean (~1.4G) is where I frequently go... funny thing I've always cornered harder to the left too although it's not as apparent on the bikes as it was on the motos

    I think the large side knobs on the aggressive MTB tires go further around than you'd ever use on hard surface (looked just shy of 55° on mine) for bite in the loose stuff - I doubt I'll use those far side knobs much on hard surface

    Was on some silly smooth hard surface this weekend with the knobs and took a turn hard enough that I could feel both tires break... just lucky I was on my game and the old moto reactions kicked and didn't go down...

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  • 73Eldo
    replied
    This new discovery also makes me fear for people buying new fat bikes these days. With how difficult it is for the manufactures to get parts you wonder how many fat bikes are getting shipped with tires that no one has tested. If I had not ridden my bike before these tires I would have said fat bikes are the dumbest thing ever. At least I knew the tires were the only change and was able to change back to prove it. Actually that is a lie, I did also change the hub so that is one reason I went back to the Nate just to make sure that somehow I didn't build the wheel wrong.

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  • 73Eldo
    replied
    The note about seeming maybe worse after some wear is interesting. That fits with what I think I see on those Knards where the center knobs are not as tall as the side ones. Most of the wear tends to happen on the center ones so if they started out all the same it would make sense that as the center ones wear you are getting a larger contact area than you did before the wear because the side knobs would start to make more contact.

    What makes me think that isn't all it is I didn't notice as much difference with the pressure change. At higher pressures you are going to have a smaller contact area and the knobs are not going to depress as far so your only contact may be the actual knobs down the center. Lower pressure I assume the first thing that happens is the knobs tend to get depressed more so you get a little contact with the main casing but still a similar footprint. Lower the pressure more and with some tires I bet the knobs pretty much disappear and the foot print gets bigger.

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  • AZguy
    commented on 's reply
    I haven't pulled out a ruler (or a durmoeter) but pretty darn sure that 4.8" FBF's (and FBR's - some do run those on the front) have taller side knobs and they are a different compound (very soft but stiff)...
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