ok, so i know this is the wrong place to look for pros/ cons because it will be unanimous “buy it” BUT..the LBS has a fat bike deal that is in our budget and I cant tell if this is a “want” or “need”. I ride Jerseys finest trails 5 or 6 days a week so we get some weather that could sway the argument but I did ride all last winter on my regular whip without issue
Here’s the question..will this purchase be life changing and make me enjoy winter riding more or is this an impulse buy thats unnecessary?
TBH this sounds closer to a want than a need. The fact that you rode all last winter on your regular bike means you can get along without a fattie. (It was a pretty mild winter though…)
From an economic standpoint, having a winter bike will save you $$ on maintenance for your regular bike through reduced wear and tear. Still, this doesn’t mean you need a fat bike, but it could help justify the purchase.
Finally, do any of us really NEED a mountain bike to begin with? I mean, in general, mountain bikes are used for recreation which doesn’t count as a basic need (though some of us may argue that–ha!)
A fatbike can add variety to your regular riding trail. I ride mine year round. For fitness but slow? Theres a fatbike for that. Long and fast? Theres a carbon HT for that. Rowdy and fun? theres an FS for that.
Nowadays I’m more into fitness and slow, with age comes a different priority.
If your trails don’t get covered in snow in the winter I don’t know why you’d get a fat bike. The wife and I bought 907 Whiteouts this fall and they’ve been super fun in AK but as soon as the singletrack is dry I’ll hang it up and get on the trail bike.
Zmodica, I’m on the fence about purchasing a fat bike as well. I’ve been wrestling with the pros/cons for several weeks and here’s what I think it comes down to (at least for me):
Having a bike to ride in the snow. Whereas I push my XC bike to its limits I’ve come to realize that riding in snow over an inch in depth is an exercise in utility. However, snowfall is highly variable in NJ from year to year so it’s hard to justify just for that reason, probably even more so for you since you rode through last winter (I did as well but only when the ground was frozen with no meaningful snow accumulation)
Will you ride the fat bike year round or for certain trails? If so this would greatly increase the utility. Depending on where you ride there are some sandy trails in NJ where a fat bike may be a better whip especially in the summer
Related to #2, does the fat bike you’re considering allow for different size wheelsets? For example, I’ve been looking at the entry level Salsa fatbikes (Beargrease and Mukluk). They allow for 26 (up to 4.8mm tires), 27.5 (3.0 to 4.0mm) and 29 (2.25 to 3.0mm) wheels. Obviously, an extra wheelset would increase the cost but could certainly increase the utility of the bike and the frequency you ride it.