Fatpacking Utah…

3 11 2011



12 responses

3 11 2011

So… my wife and I don’t own mountain bikes. Well, we do own touring bikes that have spent time on gravel roads and “easy/short” singletrack. We enjoy bike touring away from campgrounds and such much in the way we enjoy backpacking.

My question is… if we were to buy a mountain bike to ride local trails, gravel roads, and to load up for bike packing… would we do wrong by buying a fat tire bike like the Pugsley or similar?

I’ve asked friends, none of whom have ever seen a Pugs in person, and they are all horrified at the thought of owning one as their only mountain bike. Most of the complaints are that it’s not full suspension and it’s heavy.

Thoughts? Would you ever recommend someone own a Pugsley as their only mountain bike?

Additional info… we don’t fear doing things differently than our friends. I ride a LHT with 1.6″-2.0″ tires for everything except bike polo. No lightweight, speedy carbon thing in my garage. We also owned a tandem recumbent trike for a few years (talk about weird/different)!


3 11 2011

@Bryan – as long as you are not a speed demon XC rider or a DH 8″ travel geek there is no reason not to own a Pugs as your only MTB. It will go anywhere a “normal” MTB will go and those fat tires only look slow. They provide a nice suspension effect when inflated properly. Unlike when I started in fat bikes there are a lot of tire choices. You can build up a 2nd set of 29er MYB wheels if you want a “normal” wheel set to commute on or paved tour on. It’s not needed, but it is an option.

The real downside to a Pugsley isn’t the tires, the weight or the odd frame – it’s the misunderstanding of this fine bike’s potential.

Go fat. Go far. Go smiling my friend!

3 11 2011
Todd S.

If you aren’t going to do much single-track I don’t see why a fat bike would be bad. I don’t have one, but my MTB is a hard tail, so your friends would probably think I’m crazy, too. From what I understand, the huge volume of the tires acts as pretty good suspension.

3 11 2011

@Byran – I will also point out that on our CDN GDR tour we were no slower on 8 spd Pugsleys than guys on rigid MTBs, FS MTBs or hard tails.

As a note the Black Ops Pugs gets the wider 82mm rims which are cool. I’d shoot for that bad bay if I was starting over.

3 11 2011

would you go Moonlander if you were starting over?

3 11 2011
Val Garou

I ride singletrack all day long on my Pugs.

I wouldn’t try to win a race on it, and I wouldn’t huck it off big jumps or drops, but for anything else a mountain bike might do, the Pugs is up to the task.

3 11 2011

Fatties are the ultimate bike (apologies to the Big Dummy, but it’s more specialized). It’s perfect for your only bike.

3 11 2011

@Paul – the Moonlander only offers one additional setup compared to the Pugs – 100mm rims + 4.7″ tires. Since my Pugs is an IGH beast it doesn’t have most of the drivetrain issues that the Moonlander solves. The Moonlander also doesn’t offer one feature I like about my Pugs which is the front wheel can swap into the rear. My front is a fixed gear so if my Alfine packs it in I can just keep rolling.

All that to say I wouldn’t buy a Moonlander as my only fat bike, but if you gave me a Moonlander I’d install the fattest tires/rims and I’d see what trouble I could get into.

@Todd – the Pugs can slay singletrack no problemo…winter, summer, spring or fall!

3 11 2011

Pugsley singletrack…

3 11 2011
Todd S.

Well, dammit. I had just convinced myself that I didn’t want a fat bike. Now you all go and tell me that they handle even single track fine. I should probably get rid of 3 or 4 of the bikes I have sitting around here anyway. Okay… 5.

4 11 2011

Getting a fatbike has been the most fun thing I’ve done in a long time. They are so much fun it’s hard to explain. Stoked to see all the coverage that they’ve been getting lately. Thanks for sharing.

10 11 2011

Thanks for everyones replies. We’re looking forward to the next six months when we’ll pull the trigger. Now it’s time to research IGH’s for a Pugs.

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