A while back, I wrote a post on this blog called Need...or...Want,
which was about my desire to get a "snow bike" or "fat bike" (depending on which term you prefer). Then, last Thursday, we had a snow storm which made me actually need one of those bikes. But, I still couldn't afford to buy a Pugsley or a Mukluk. And I certainly couldn't afford a custom bike.
Coincidentally, a bike rental shop in Florida was selling off its fleet of Fat Sand Bikes
, on eBay. They are a cheaper alternative, with a bit different design (particularly the long rear triangle). But, at $820.00 shipped, I could justify it as a Christmas gift to myself.
So, I ordered one up, and it was waiting for me when I got home from Tennessee, last night.
I put it together, today, but not in the exact set-up that they sent. For one thing, this weight-lifting equipment that they call a seat and seat post had to go:
I'm not sure what happened when I loaded this photo onto the computer. Maybe the gravitational field of the thing bent the light, or something. Anyway, that set-up weighs 6 or 7 pounds, so I stuck another seat post and an old Flite saddle on it, for now. It may end up with another seat. We will just have to see.
I also put some better pedals on it. I like the heavy-duty bmx pedals from performance, so I screwed a pair of them into the crankarms.
It has no front brake, out of the box. But, I had an old Avid BB-5 lying in the parts box, so I jacked it on. I had to put spacers behind the rotor to keep the caliper from pinging the spokes, but otherwise it went right on.
The fork actually allows for dual discs on the front. But, the fork is flexible enough that I don't know if that's a good idea. Plus, the single disc on front , along with the band brake built into the 8-speed IGH seems to stop the bike pretty well.
The long rear end makes wheelies a bit difficult, and that might come into play on a trail ride. If you need to lift the front end to get over an obstacle, it might be a drawback.
But, it is a blast to ride around, so far.
When I first decided to get a mountain bikes, I was in a similar frame of mind to how I now feel about the Fat Bikes. I wasn't sure how much I would use one, and I couldn't throw down the bucks for a high-end bike to find out. So, I went to Sam's Club and bought a Motiv, which was a pretty good beginner-level bike, at the time. As it turned out, that bike was a springboard into a very important part of my life.
My thoughts about this bike are that, if I get seriously into riding this kind of bike and the frame design becomes a hindrance, I have all of the parts I need to build up another frameset. So, I might end up buying a Mukluk frameset, in that case, and swapping parts over. I did that same thing when I got into riding 29-inch mountain bikes, too, and it worked out nicely.