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Old 25.08.2020, 07:24
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Bike with fat wheels

Hi,

I want to buy a bike with fat wheels out of fear of getting stuck on the tram lines. Does anyone have any bike recommendations for this? And are there any drawbacks to buying a bike with fat wheels riding through the city? Like are they slower?

Thanks

C
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  #2  
Old 25.08.2020, 07:34
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

A fat bike is not a solution as it would feel similar to a motorcycle. Yes, they can't get stuck but the rails are still slippery.

Just use a normal bike. The chance you fall because of tram rails is not so big if you pay a little bit attention.
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Old 25.08.2020, 07:41
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

I like them. Are they softer on bumps?
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Old 25.08.2020, 08:17
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

I wouldn't buy a fat tire bike, get a mountain bike...my favorite mode of transport and perfect for tram lines. (You still need to be cautious however)

They are slower than ultra light long distance street bikes...but unless you are looking to be a bike courier, it won't slow you down too much.
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Old 25.08.2020, 08:30
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

It does slow you down a lot. The energy you need to move forward compared to road race bike is immense
Also let it roll out compared to road race bike is huge difference.
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Old 25.08.2020, 10:08
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

As Basel is flat, I think a fat bike would be fine. Especially if you are just cruising around and your commute distance isn't too great. But, for the reasons stated above, it will require more energy to move yourself around.

If I lived in the city, I would seriously be looking into one of these: https://garth.at/
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Old 25.08.2020, 10:31
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

Well, it depends Fat tire mountain bikes have tires wider than 10cm (4 in). It takes a lot effort to make them spin and once they spin the large tire knobs slow you down quickly.

There are city bikes that have wider tires 3.5-4.5cm like this one ( https://www.canyon.com/de-ch/hybrid-...-5.0/1955.html ). It's a nice compromise between tires wide enough to be comfortable on the city, relatively low rolling resistance, and it has mudguards to keep your rear dry. The only downside is the price, they offer more or less the same as mountain bikes but usually at twice the price.

That brings us to modern mountain bikes that have tires between 5-6.5 cm width. A bit more rolling resistance that a city bike but also more comfortable because tires work at lower air pressure. Mountain bikes also brake better in the wet, you don't have to be a expert in braking to avoid sliding and falling. They're also cheap because everyone is selling one that has been forgotten on the cellar. Another upside of a MTB is you can bring it to the dirt any day, no worries.

Finally, rent bikes and test them until you find the right one. There are bikes for rent in local shops, train stations, bike fairs, etc.
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Old 25.08.2020, 12:10
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

Thanks everyone for your super helpful suggestions! It sounds like a mountain bike would be my best bet as well as ensuring that I don't ride alongside tram lines to avoid getting stuck. Luckily Basel Stadt is quite bike friendly so hopefully I don't have any accidents!
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Old 25.08.2020, 12:42
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

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Thanks everyone for your super helpful suggestions! It sounds like a mountain bike would be my best bet as well as ensuring that I don't ride alongside tram lines to avoid getting stuck. Luckily Basel Stadt is quite bike friendly so hopefully I don't have any accidents!
While a mountain bike sounds as though it would be appropriate for you, keep in mind that you don't need or want the type of suspension most mountain bikes have. I think you also shouldn't have knobby tires for riding in the city, as their rolling resistance is very high, you need to pedal like heck to keep your speed up on tarmac.

Also consider how you will transport your stuff while on a bike. I personally hate having anything on my back. I have a rear rack on which I can mount panier bags, but some people like having an rear-mounted basket in which you can throw e.g. your laptop back or handbag.


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Old 25.08.2020, 22:15
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

Sorry to get nerdy, but I feel that it is my duty to debunk the wider tyre equals more rolling resistance myth. Wider tyres actually offer LOWER rolling resistance. It's a bit complicated to explain, but basically a wider tyre will have a shorter contact patch than a narrower tyre inflated to the same pressure, and hence less tyre deflection. There has actually been a general trend amongst road bikers moving away from 21-23c width tyres and towards wider 25c-28c tyres in recent years.

Of course, this is not to say that wider tyres are faster, as this will also be determined by a number of other factors, notably, rotational mass (a wider tyre not only requires more material, but also a wider rim), tread pattern and rubber compound.

As for the type of bike, the world's your oyster. Depending on your riding style, at one end of the spectrum, you could go for a classic Dutch bike (they typically run fairly wide tyres), you could get a mountain bike and fit it with slick tyres (which will still be wide), or you could even get a 'gravel' bike which is essentially a road bike with wider tyres to cope with a wider variety of terrain. You'd be looking at 1.5-2.5" tyre width in most of the above-mentioned cases. Of course, you could go extreme and buy a fat bike, which will come with 4-5" tyres (you can actually get replacement slicks for those as well), but that will of course be complete and utter overkill.

The bottom line is that anything over 1" in width will be more than capable for riding on bumpy city roads, but 1.5-2.5" will give you better comfort and traction. As for the tram tracks, just look ahead and approach them as square on as possible. I'm sure that your fear will dissipate after a few rides.
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Old 26.08.2020, 08:12
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

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Sorry to get nerdy, but I feel that it is my duty to debunk the wider tyre equals more rolling resistance myth. Wider tyres actually offer LOWER rolling resistance.
Ah so this is why the Tour the France rides around on fat tires ?

OP, if you want to feel safe, have you thought about a bike with 4" wide tires and an electric motor ?
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Old 26.08.2020, 14:23
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

Hehe, a lot of non-believers out there - this article explains the concept of wider tyres having lower rolling resistance quite nicely:

https://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/...ng-resistance/

Of course, as said previously, rolling resistance isn't everything - many other factors play a role in how 'fast' a tyre setup is in the real world. There's a reason why roadies don't race on fat bikes.
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Old 26.08.2020, 14:48
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

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Hehe, a lot of non-believers out there - this article explains the concept of wider tyres having lower rolling resistance quite nicely:

https://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/...ng-resistance/

Of course, as said previously, rolling resistance isn't everything - many other factors play a role in how 'fast' a tyre setup is in the real world. There's a reason why roadies don't race on fat bikes.
It's not only resistance. Don't underestimate the factor of the additional rotation weight.
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Old 26.08.2020, 14:50
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

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Hehe, a lot of non-believers out there - this article explains the concept of wider tyres having lower rolling resistance quite nicely:

https://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/...ng-resistance/

Of course, as said previously, rolling resistance isn't everything - many other factors play a role in how 'fast' a tyre setup is in the real world. There's a reason why roadies don't race on fat bikes.
Nice piece of theory. 23 or 25 mm wide wheels are for races or highly motivated enthusiasts. I'd hate to ride in a fat 25 mm wide tire on a rainy day.

The discussion around here is between city bikes (35-40mm wide tires), MTB hardtails (50-60 mm) or fat bikes (75-100mm). Try pedaling to gain speed with 100m wide tires after every time you need to stop at a traffic light or let a pedestrian cross the street. Mind the tire width and rolling resistance, the challenge is in spinning all that rubber mass from zero. It's really hard to maintain constant speed in a urban setting, you're accelerating from zero to something most of time.
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Old 26.08.2020, 14:57
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

On the flip side of slow acceleration you get a flywheel effect instead. Great for cruising around on your cloud tyres.

In the end, I'd say the OP would be fine on any bike that's not running tyres under 30mm, I mean you could stick a wider tyre into a tramline but you'd want to be aiming for it.
If you're riding along tramlines just make sure to cut across them when leaving instead of drifting across them, the more perpendicular you are the better.
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Old 26.08.2020, 14:59
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

You're absolutely right - at a point, the higher rotational mass of a wider tyre will offset the benefit of its lower rolling resistance. Its larger surface area will also create more drag, which would become perceivable at higher speeds (which most wouldn't reach in day-to-day city riding scenario).
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Old 26.08.2020, 09:40
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

True when you are talking about road racing and running the fastest race tyres (I'm running 32s on my commuter and 25s on my race bike now for the reasons you mention) but not really relevant to this discussion. Have a look at https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/ and click on the Road Bike, Mountain Bike and Fat Bike tabs at the top to see the rolling resistance results - the absolute best Fat Bike tyre is costing over 30w extra (for a pair) in drag vs. the top Road Bike tyre.

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Sorry to get nerdy, but I feel that it is my duty to debunk the wider tyre equals more rolling resistance myth. Wider tyres actually offer LOWER rolling resistance. It's a bit complicated to explain, but basically a wider tyre will have a shorter contact patch than a narrower tyre inflated to the same pressure, and hence less tyre deflection. There has actually been a general trend amongst road bikers moving away from 21-23c width tyres and towards wider 25c-28c tyres in recent years.

Of course, this is not to say that wider tyres are faster, as this will also be determined by a number of other factors, notably, rotational mass (a wider tyre not only requires more material, but also a wider rim), tread pattern and rubber compound.

As for the type of bike, the world's your oyster. Depending on your riding style, at one end of the spectrum, you could go for a classic Dutch bike (they typically run fairly wide tyres), you could get a mountain bike and fit it with slick tyres (which will still be wide), or you could even get a 'gravel' bike which is essentially a road bike with wider tyres to cope with a wider variety of terrain. You'd be looking at 1.5-2.5" tyre width in most of the above-mentioned cases. Of course, you could go extreme and buy a fat bike, which will come with 4-5" tyres (you can actually get replacement slicks for those as well), but that will of course be complete and utter overkill.

The bottom line is that anything over 1" in width will be more than capable for riding on bumpy city roads, but 1.5-2.5" will give you better comfort and traction. As for the tram tracks, just look ahead and approach them as square on as possible. I'm sure that your fear will dissipate after a few rides.
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Old 26.08.2020, 10:00
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

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Sorry to get nerdy, but I feel that it is my duty to debunk the wider tyre equals more rolling resistance myth. [...]There has actually been a general trend amongst road bikers moving away from 21-23c width tyres and towards wider 25c-28c tyres in recent years.
Those numbers denote diameter? Diameter is not "wide", and a larger diameter does not mean "wider".
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Old 26.08.2020, 10:08
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

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Those numbers denote diameter? Diameter is not "wide", and a larger diameter does not mean "wider".
I'm assuming they mean mm width.

There has been a trend to widen tyres and lower pressures over the last 15 years with the 21's being replaced by 23's, then 25's and I think the current TdF bunch are mostly running 28mm width. There is some stirrings to go wider again as with disc brakes there is less of a clearance issue for brake calipers.

With regards to rolling resistance, in lab conditions on a smooth wheel higher pressure skinny tyres work well, on rougher roads lower pressure wider tyres work better. So if you're in the velodrome you can run your 23's at 150psi, on the road you'd be bouncing around all over the place.
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Old 26.08.2020, 10:13
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

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Those numbers denote diameter? Diameter is not "wide", and a larger diameter does not mean "wider".
I think you might be confused here. We aren't talking about wheel diameter but a cross section of tire itself, the width.
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