I’m several days into my fat XC project and I gotta say I am pretty darn pleased. I rode both Saturday and Sunday at Lebanon Hills and tonight I showed up at Murphy for a largish group ride put on by Ben Witt of Milltown Cycles. I had planned to go slow to have fun and take some pics, but I felt pretty darn good and the weather was perfect. I kept finding myself going a bit faster and pushing myself a bit more. The next thing I knew, I was flat out flying around Murphy chasing the fast dudes and I found myself pushing red line for quite some time.
Overall, I am astonished at how good fat XC feels. Traction is endless. Comfort is king. I found myself running 8-1o psi in the rear for cush and about about 10-12 in the front for comfort and a bit more stability so the 4″ tire doesn’t roll over in the corners. I found I can push the bike into a corner as fast as I dare and it essentially will not give up traction and let go. On lap one I was riding behind a guy on a 29er and we were going at quite a good clip. I found that I could dig in on a turn a bit harder and avoid certain rocks and roots that he was bouncing over because he couldn’t maintain the line that I was on. When I couldn’t avoid the obstacle, I just lightened the front end and monster trucked over it. I called my bike the fast bull dozier last night. It was incredible.
I also found out that I can go quite fast on a course like Murphy. Way faster than I thought. I’m sure that has to do with my light fat XC wheels I put on my bike. Ben Witt at Milltown Cycles built me some new wheels not too long ago. I gave him Surly Marge lites and Salsa fatbike hubs and he built them with nice Sapim spokes and brass nipples. I know I could have gone lighter, but I am not light and I won’t do alloy nipples any longer. I topped off the wheels with some nice 45North Husker Du’s and Michelin DH 26″ inch tubes. Lovely wheels and tire set up for a fat XC bike.
One other thing that I really like about my fat XC bike, is that it provides some pneumatic suspension, but it still handles like a rigid bike. I like how it feels when I stand up on the pedals. It’s solid and it goes forward like a rigid bike. No motion in the frame. Sure I’ve got to get used to the hum of the big tires and accept it takes a while to spin them up to speed. But, I think I can live with that. Please don’t take what I say as a rigid fat XC is a replacement for a good suspension bike. It is not. I just like the feel of the fat XC bike on the trails I ride here. That’s all.
I am pleased so far with my choice of summer Fat XC bike. I just need to get a bit more endurance and strength and I think I’ll surprise quite a few skinny mtbers with my fat XC bike. Right now for the trails I ride, I really can’t imagine riding another bike. I am having just too much fun.