tomkaz

Help Me Buy & Outfit a Fat Tire Bike for the Beach

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Been thinking lately about buying and accessorizing a fat tire bike for running the beach here in Florida. I could use help determining price-point, possible models, accessories, fishing-specific mods, vehicle rack, and any advice on maintenance, etc. 

 

I don’t plan to ride this bike to the beach. While we are less than 4 miles from the Atlantic, my intent is driving truck to beach, setting up bike and running the beach. I am thinking tubes for 2-4 rods, possibly spin and fly rods. 

 

Budget: $200-600 for bike

Yeah, a wide range at the bottom of the range for fat bikes. I am not certain how much use this will get so I don’t want to spring for $1,000-1,700 for an aluminum framed bike from any of the leading companies. Yes, fully aware "buy once, cry once" and usually subscribe to that view. But when the range from box store Mongoose to a Surly, etc is 5-10X, it might be worth proving the concept by usage first before I splurge. At around $600 are models like the Momentum Rocker which is made by Giant. 

 

Oh, and the SO is not likely to support that price range, at least without knowing if I use it. And then there’s the whole e-bike category....

 

Usage: Distances one-way are 3-4 miles, tops. Sand is combination of soft sugary and wet from falling tide. No hardpack to speak of from autos, etc. Since this is almost all sand riding, I am not sure this is comparable to what guys use at the Canal (i.e. I need sand tires in the 4” range) 

 

Fishing-specific mods: Rod tubes, racks, bags, fenders? Tell me what you’ve done. This is where Canal bike mods will be helpful. 

 

Maintenance: Cleaning, lubes, maintenance, etc? 

 

So any help will be appreciated 

 

I went through the 2016 fat bike thread and found @YakDawg to have posted what I aspire to, except I don’t have the budget for a Pugsley. 

 

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I opted for a crate with two rod holders from vibe kayak, think it was around $35 bucks for the kit and a pizza style rack, around $50. 

Can't help with the bike, but the crate/rod holder set up works great for me. Living in Brooklyn, I went for the cheapest bike possible in case some one steals it. 

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two seasons later, looking a bit beat up but still going strong. 

IMG_1318.jpg.c2b0ae271338c51d4ae03ec0cf254373.jpg

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No problem. That one is meant to go on the front of the bike, but there wasn't a mounting hole on the front forks so I was able to get it to fit on the back. Works just fine. I'd imagine it might be tough with a front rack in the sand though. With those rubber bungees, the crate doesn't move on the wider rack no matter how loaded down it is. 

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Also check bikes direct for some of the off brands. My brother has an aluminum frame cruiser fat bike from them, I’ll get the brand. It pedals pretty easy, but I am too old to pedal through the soft stuff

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Make sure you devise an adequate kickstand, lest your rods and reels go tumbling to the sand, or worse, pavement/rocks. 

Long stick with a “Y” end that can be put on the crossbar or the racks is common on canal bikes. 

Also, many prefer a woman’s style bike with a low crossbar, so when wearing waders it’s easier to mount and unmount, though I’m not sure they are available for fat tire bikes or if waders are needed in your neck of the woods. 

 (Pro tip: don’t call it “women’s style”, call it “step through” or you will be excoriated)

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36 mins ago, G8trwood said:

Also check bikes direct for some of the off brands. My brother has an aluminum frame cruiser fat bike from them, I’ll get the brand. It pedals pretty easy, but I am too old to pedal through the soft stuff

I would be interested 

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33 mins ago, PlumFishing said:

Make sure you devise an adequate kickstand, lest your rods and reels go tumbling to the sand, or worse, pavement/rocks. 

Long stick with a “Y” end that can be put on the crossbar or the racks is common on canal bikes. 

Also, many prefer a woman’s style bike with a low crossbar, so when wearing waders it’s easier to mount and unmount, though I’m not sure they are available for fat tire bikes or if waders are needed in your neck of the woods. 

 (Pro tip: don’t call it “women’s style”, call it “step through” or you will be excoriated)

Yes, I noted the discussion of the step through in that older bike thread. I have worn waders here on the beach in December through February. 

 

I have noted all sorts of kickstands, traditional short, double short and the long Y version. Seems some user carry around a small 3x3" or 4x4" piece of wood to act as the base to widen the load. I saw another where the guy uses a 3 or 4-toe walking cane foot which apparently is the same diameter as the end of the stand. 

 

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When I got my fattie years ago there was only one "local" dealer (I had to go into NYC) that had them .  Now these are mainstream and you should be able to find a decent used one in the upper end of your price range.  People buy these thinking its easy riding on the sand and when they find out they need to be in somewhat decent shape to ride the sand they end up selling  them. I absolutely love my bike and the range it gives me.  This time of year on south shore LI beaches there can be hundreds of guys fishing and my bike gives me the ability to get away from the crowd as well as ride the beach looking for fish.  My pugs is steel so I use frame saver in the tubes every other season.  If the bike doesn't get wet then I use an air compressor to clean off the sand.  The tip on a bike stand is good you don't want to lay this baby down in the sand.  I use a small water bottle on the end of my stand so it doesn't sink in.  I like the single rear rack in the back with a milk crate as opposed to when I first started (see pic) when I used two racks with the rod holders (homemade pvc) attached to the rack.  The crate lets me carry my waders (and stuff)  although now I wear the waders riding since it's gotten cold.  I use dry lube that cyclocross and dirt bikers use.  I generally carry the bike in the bed of my pickup truck but will use a hitch mounted rack for easy on/off (only concern is the texting driver behind me).  Once fishing ends I'll enjoy a ride on a nice winter day when the beach is desolate.  One last comment a friend of mine bought a box store brand and it lasted 2 months on the beach mine is now 7 yrs old so like you stated you get what you pay for.  Good luck with your search.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

@yakdawg - Yeah, like in everything else, you get what you pay for. And, buying someone else’s expensive “Oh, I didn’t know it was exercise” mistake can be cheaper in long run than buying cheap. 

 

Question on Frame Saver, which I have read many suggesting, do you have to completely strip frame of all bolt-one to coat inside? Take off cranks, fork, etc? I should probably find a video.  

 

Thanks to all for the advice. 

 

Btw, know anyone looking for some high-end studio/home theater speakers? I am going to sell my three Bag End monitors and sub to help find this project. :)

Edited by tomkaz

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10 mins ago, tomkaz said:

Question on Frame Saver, which I have read many suggesting, do you have to completely strip frame of all bolt-one to coat inside? Take off cranks, fork, etc? I should probably find a video.  

I just shoot it in the vent holes of all the tubes I don't break the bike down.  I've been thinking of going ghetto (losing the inner tube) with my tires and may do that over the winter.  I just ride the sand though so flats have not been a problem.  While I'm on the subject I like the tires at 5 psi.  

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I stopped by a local bike shop on Saturday to see if they had any used bikes. They didn't but they did have this guy.

 

Giant has a sub-brand called Momentum that has their iRide Rocker at top end of my range. Aluminum frame, fork, handle bars, seat post, cranks, rims, and hubs. Mech disk brakes, Shimano 7-speed cassette with Shimano Acera derailleur. 26x4" tires. LBS has it for $620 with some support for the first year (cables, etc.). They had the color combo below on the sales floor and it is not nearly as ugly as you might think. The brown tires are interesting. 

 

 

qloia8ecusvd8vsi52gs.jpg

 

 

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37 mins ago, tomkaz said:

I stopped by a local bike shop on Saturday to see if they had any used bikes. They didn't but they did have this guy.

 

Giant has a sub-brand called Momentum that has their iRide Rocker at top end of my range. Aluminum frame, fork, handle bars, seat post, cranks, rims, and hubs. Mech disk brakes, Shimano 7-speed cassette with Shimano Acera derailleur. 26x4" tires. LBS has it for $620 with some support for the first year (cables, etc.). They had the color combo below on the sales floor and it is not nearly as ugly as you might think. The brown tires are interesting. 

 

 

qloia8ecusvd8vsi52gs.jpg

 

 

You want to make sure there are "braze-ons" also known as threaded eyelets on the frame for installing a rack. If you want to mount a rack on the front you'll need "braze-ons on the fork as well. I don't see any on the above bike. You can mount a rack without them but it's a PITA and generally not as secure. 

Check out Bikesdirect for some good deals on fatbikes. They have models that would suit your needs starting at $599 (Motobecane Boris X5). I bought a fat bike from them a few years ago (pictured) and set it up for beach fishing.

You need a fat bike specific rack so be sure it's compatible. I bought the Axiom Fat Liner Fat Bike Rack. It's one of the least expensive and very good quality. 

For a kick-stand I bought a "click-stand" bike stand that works very well for holding the bike up and comes with straps to lock the brakes.

You'll eventually want to go tubeless which is easy to do once you know how. You'll never have to fix a flat again because of the sealant and the wheel will be lighter without a tube.

I used to work in the bike industry and almost all bikes are made in a handful of factories in Asia regardless of brand. The bikes at Bikesdirect are no different and they do have some amazing deals. The bikes are shipped almost fully assembled.

If you have any questions on setup feel free to PM me.

Fatty.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

45 mins ago, beerdoh said:

You want to make sure there are "braze-ons" also known as threaded eyelets on the frame for installing a rack. If you want to mount a rack on the front you'll need "braze-ons on the fork as well. I don't see any on the above bike. You can mount a rack without them but it's a PITA and generally not as secure. 

Check out Bikesdirect for some good deals on fatbikes. They have models that would suit your needs starting at $599 (Motobecane Boris X5). I bought a fat bike from them a few years ago (pictured) and set it up for beach fishing.

You need a fat bike specific rack so be sure it's compatible. I bought the Axiom Fat Liner Fat Bike Rack. It's one of the least expensive and very good quality. 

For a kick-stand I bought a "click-stand" bike stand that works very well for holding the bike up and comes with straps to lock the brakes.

You'll eventually want to go tubeless which is easy to do once you know how. You'll never have to fix a flat again because of the sealant and the wheel will be lighter without a tube.

I used to work in the bike industry and almost all bikes are made in a handful of factories in Asia regardless of brand. The bikes at Bikesdirect are no different and they do have some amazing deals. The bikes are shipped almost fully assembled.

If you have any questions on setup feel free to PM me.

Fatty.jpg

Beer, 

 

Appreciate the comments. I think I saw your Moto in an older thread here. 

 

I worked in a bike shop back in the mid-1970s when I was in HS so I know just enough to be dangerous. Back then, Motobecane was a high quality racing brand. Raleigh was a premier maker of consumer bikes, and still made in the UK. I had a Raleigh Grand Prix that was "light" in the low 40s IIRC. And Campi was the high-end bike and component company (Shimano derailleurs were mostly plastic and consumer grade). Peugeot was also a respected brand. 

 

I fully appreciate the need for braze-ons or other mounting hard-points. I believe the Momentum has those, at least certain in the rear. Crappy screen grab images off the PDF of the Rocker's spec sheet. 

 

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5be9dfe131bd9_ScreenShot2018-11-12at3_15_58PM.png.47c07501b3a17e844071f9fdd7fd8e1d.png

Edited by tomkaz

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2 mins ago, tomkaz said:

Beer, 

 

Appreciate the comments. I think I saw your Moto in an older thread here. 

 

I worked in a bike shop back in the mid-1970s when I was in HS so I know just enough to be dangerous. Back then, Motobecane was a high quality racing brand. Raleigh was a premier maker of consumer bikes, and still made in the UK. I had a Raleigh Grand Prix that was "light" in the low 40s IIRC. And Campi was the high-end component company (Shimano was consumer grade). 

 

I fully appreciate the need for braze-ons or other mounting hard-points. I believe the Momentum has those, at least certain in the rear. Crappy screen grab images off the PDF of the Rocker's spec sheet. 

 

5be9dfe2f2cc5_ScreenShot2018-11-12at3_15_42PM.png.e1d6826ed48a100897313f108dcd999e.png

 

5be9dfe131bd9_ScreenShot2018-11-12at3_15_58PM.png.47c07501b3a17e844071f9fdd7fd8e1d.png

I had a Raleigh Grand Prix with Suntour components. It was a green one. I also had a Raleigh Robin Hood 3 speed. Those were cool bike in the day. Moto disappeared and someone bought the name. They are no longer a French company. 

Anyway I see the lower braze-ons on the momentum but didn't see any further up on the seat stays. There could be a mount on the brake bridge that you wouldn't be able to see. Regardless, I believe in supporting my LBS where I can but in some cases, the on-line deals are hard to pass up. Ask them to do a tubeless conversion for you to seal the deal. 

 

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