So after about 18 months of prevarication I finally bit the bullet and bought a fatbike, mainly for snow touring and some adventure biking in the summer months on trails that the 29er would struggle on.
I built it from the ground up using some stuff I have been “bottom drawing” for a while, some gear I had from other builds and a little new stuff. I used an old Alfine8 hub for the rear, with a singlespeed Surly for the front, and as the bike is offset (Pugsley) it means I can swap wheels over if I have an issue with the Alfine. The drive train is a Surly Whirly crank set running 24/22, this gives me plenty of scope for soft snow etc, which has been very useful through Glenfeshie and the Laraigh Ghru in particular. Avid discs and that is about it, pretty lean build as they can get quite weighty in no time!!! I finally finished building it around mid Jan, it snowed the very next day! which I took as a good sign, of course.
So while not the lightest build it is quite reliable and a great load carrier, I have done a few overnighters and lots of riding around the local trails while there was enough snow around for ski tracks to be pressed even! So far I am very happy with how it is riding, though I think it may not be as useful for the adventure biking as I was hoping as its weight makes t hard work when the inevitable portage is required, and it has quite a bit of rolling resistance in mud etc, I read a lot of guys posting that it is great in these conditions but I am inclined to using a proper mountain bike in summer etc rather than trying to make the fattie a “do anything” steed.
So a few pictures of the trips so far….
The first trip was around the local trails, in the Rothiemurchus estate, which is just over the road from me.
After a couple of short day rides I figured that I should try it a little further afield if I was going to see how it would fare over the distances I wanted to cover while touring. From home I can go through the Ryvoan pass and on through Nethy Bridge, from there I went over the Sluggan and back to Glenmore via the Badaguish trails which end at my door pretty much.
The ride up to the bothy was fine but the next 1.5km was pretty deep, thus a bit of pushing was called for. The snow coverage was pretty consistent for the remainder of the ride, a steady 7-10kph got me back just after dark. The ride through Badaguish was interesting in that it was the dog sled weekend and so I kept running into on-coming dog teams, often to surprised faces, for biking on the trails, and of course the “double take” when they noticed the tyres….. I have found the bike to be a bit attention seeking which can make a short ride a time consuming affair. I have often thought a FAQ t-shirt or bib would be useful, you can just turn around and call out a number when asked a question, the tyres being the most asked about.
Multi day trips next….