i have wanted a fatbike for a long time. i read about fatbikes, i like how they look, all massive and monster and tough; i look at all the models, and think about how i would ride one, where i would ride one. recently i moved near a snowy place, i could even need a fatbike.
now, i’ve been riding this excellent jones plus for a year. been slashing around steep tropical singletrack, and rocky dolomite trails; i took it for a spin around iceland (1000km wilderness, 300km ring road). when i spec the fatbikes, the only thing i am thinking is that i want it to ride like my jones.
so why not just stick with the plus? the jones plus is comfy, it’s heavy duty, it’s badass and unique. it’s 15 kilos, so what? i go to gym- 15 kg is a play-toy. i can climb with the jones from the seat, i can ride it downhill near vertical. its long, stable like a slab of granite, with the 70mm stem it slashes and carves, the OD+XTR drivetrain (39/22, 11-40t) just powers along through any terrain. any terrain, including snow and ice.
including snow and ice? yeah, the ride yesterday kinda made me want a fatbike less, and appreciate my jones plus more. sure, when it was really goofy knee-deep snow and we only had deer tracks to follow, or at the glacier’s edge in iceland melty slush, i couldn’t pedal, i had to push and carry. that’s adventure cycling, sometimes it’s like that. for most of the route, the right tyres roll over or bite down in, and chew their way along. surly dirt wizards got grip, yeah!
one problem i have with the fatbike idea is that it’s slow and heavy. sure, i’ve seen the guys zipping downhill on a fatbike, great. what the cool videos dont show is the long slow slogging crosscountry and uphill, and the inevitable pushing of a heavy-ass fatbike, the really tough part.
sure, carbon fatbikes aren’t so heavy, but no way i’d take carbon to iceland or peru. I lost my jones once, down a ravine in a rockfall. all i had to do was straighten out the cockpit, true the rear wheel, ignore the scratches, i rode away from that one. a carbon frame would have been left in splinters, and i wouldda been walking. walking sucks, and i’d rather push my bike for a bit, to get me where i can ride again.
today i think, to pursue more glacier travel plans: got this jones, dont need no fatbike