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Fat Tire First Impressions - Share Yours

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    Fat Tire First Impressions - Share Yours

    I recently bought a 20" fat tire bike, so really 22" diameter with the 20x4" tires. At low PSI, like 10, the tires smooth out just about wnything I care to ride over at speed. But, the ride is very bouncy, if I try to pedal at higher cadence. And disturbingly noisy too, due to the knobby far tires. I will probaly swap the knobbies for smooth tires like Sunlite Stingray

    For comparison, I run my 26x1.95" mountwin bike at 30-ish PSI and, while I do feel slightly more of the small stuff that the 4" fat tires absorb, the full suspension absorbs bigger bumps much better and overall the ride is more enjoyable on the FS bike vs the fat tire.

    The fat tire also induces torque steering, which I am getting used to, but was wierd and unnerving initially, especially when the tires are at very low PSI as they tend to do it ore then.

    So, unless one needs to ride over sand, gravel, snow, grass a lot, I think skinnier tires, maybe 2-2.5" work better, especially in combination with a good full suspension setup.

    Where I live inthe DC area, there are virtually no fat bikes. People stare at my "wierd looking" bike.

    I think the fat 20x4" folder still works better for me than the equivalent 20x1.75" as it rides smoother over uneven terrain. And it seems the frame is slightly bigger, so the skinny-tired version would have been too small for my height. So overall plesed with the fats, but not completely satisfied due to lack of suspension dampening. I wonder if some of the seat post supension options offer dampening?

    The torque steering i definitely noticed when I first started riding mine. (standard 26x4") I primarily ride singletrack with it and sometimes i have to really slow into the corners more than on my full squish in order to muscle the wheel to steer where i want. It also certainly does have a lot of bounce to it on the roads, which like you ive just learned to handle and accept as part of how this bike rides. For what its worth i still seem to go for my fat bike when i go out exploring, just knowing that I can go explore any area or nook as i see fit. Look at the thudbuster seat posts. I know they have a short and a long travel version. I personally have never seen anyone using the short travel so i cant speak on its performance, but needless to say the idea of either of them sounds like it would help wonders on keeping the hind quarters comfortable!


      I've got a full-size fattie with a Thudbuster seatpost and a bluto suspension fork and it's dream. Not really sure what you mean by torque steering but steering forces on this bike are remarkably light and it handles like a dream. At least until I wore the tires out and then it needed a little extra to push it off the now flattened mid-portion. Just put the new tires on a couple of weeks ago and I'm back to the awesome all-around handling.

      Some fat-tires tend to oversteer I guess. Some bike geometries create higher turning forces or instability. Variables to consider but you didn't say which tires you were using and some have more reputation for steering quality concerns than others...