Fatties, pros and cons

I’m looking at getting a 26x4.8 Hatchet and am just wondering what the current opinion on fat tire unis is. I will probably be riding in sand and snow for only about 4 days a year, so while excelling at that will be nice, it’s really not a high priority. What I do ride on almost a daily basis however are short, hilly, rooty and uneven trails. Most of my climbs or descents aren’t particularly long, but they often are steep with 25% grades not being unusual. I’ve been reading through the archives about Hatchets and Oregons and I’m wondering if peoples opinions of fatties has changed from back in 2012-2014 and for those of you who have ridden them extensively what tire and crank size you have come to prefer.

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So as someone who just got into Muni this year but lives in Canada and wanted a year round uni I got the M4O Fat 27.5, it came with a 3.8 that measures at 3.3 in the frame but lets me ride on the groomed fat bike trails near my home as they require a certain size.

Pros, the wheel is very stable and forgiving, when you’re running it low it’s very bouncy (5-10 psi) and compliant and say FU to technical terrain as it rolls over most trail features. I also love that at fuller psi you get good speed due to the wheel diameter ( about the same size as my 29) and it takes out the bouncing so you can play around with that. You always have the option to mount a thinner tire if you want a non fat riding days

Cons is that the wheel is heavy and I suck at muni climbs with it. When I’m riding with my waaaay more experienced buddies I’m usually walking hills but that’s just a matter of me never practicing my climbing with it.

I don’t know if I’d get a hatchet instead if given the choice as I like all my wheels being 100mm bearing pitch, and this uni was a bit cheaper and came in lovely colours as opposed to grey. It’s my only muni and having ridden a thinner tire a few muni days, I love this one to start out, the extra weight and tractions keeps me very stable in the days I do muni. It’s probably about 10-15% of my riding though as I usually prefer long days on my 36" or 29". Overall I’d recommend it if you’re not as experienced at Muni, or have extra money and just want another uni.

A point to note as well, the M40 wheel also fit in my 29" Oracle frame, so it is around the size of the 29 x 3.0 Duro tire.

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Thanks for the response. I went ahead and ordered one. I figure the only way to really find out whether I like it or not is to get one and ride it. I just sold my Quax, so I have some space in the garage and an excuse to buy. The only problem is that my daughter seems to have laid claim to the handle saddle that I had on the Quax.

Nice, did you go for the hatchet? How big is your fleet?

When the Hatchet arrives, I’ll have 4 and my daughter will have 3. We’re going to be heading down to the ocean over presidents day weekend, so hopefully it arrives in time for me to try it out on the dunes.

And if I hadn’t gotten the Hatchet, it definitely would have been a M4O. I’ve got 2 already and am a huge fan of M4O.

I asked a similar question some years ago, and got some good answers: Are you riding your fatty?


That’s a good thread and I read a number of similar ones. The reason I asked what looks to have been an oft repeated question is because fat unicycles are a bit of an oddity and I find that what often happens among enthusiast groups is that something new and weird comes out and and people are fascinated by it for awhile, enthusiastic and try all sorts of different things, but then after a few years a consensus develops about what does and doesn’t work and whether the whole concept is a good idea or not.

What swayed me to order one was the fact that with the current supply chain issues they probably won’t be available again in the near future and if it turns out that I hate it I can probably resell it at a minimal loss. Also, the only way I’m going to find out for sure is to buy it and try it and it is an extremely versatile platform. So long as you’ve got that 125mm hub you can fit any rim/tire smaller than a 32 in there. It’s a pity they didn’t make it 1cm taller, because then that would be an option too.


I still have the Hatchet, but after getting a 27.5 with a Duro Crux 3.25 wide tyre, I no longer ride it in the summer. I absolutely love to ride it in the winter though, so I have a studded Dillinger 5" installed on the Hatchet at all times.

I had a light fatty setup (26x4) between 2014 and 2016 or so for downhill. Its large diameter made it quite fast on straight courses. It was quite bad on twisty trails and sections requiring precision. Also, it was quite sandy where I was living.

Since then, I had a period where I liked Plus tires (27.5x2.8), but now I prefer traditional tire widths (29x2.4-2.5) due to the much better control they offer. That’s all for downhill riding, for XC I’ve always liked 2.2-2.4 wide tires.

Still, in the snow or sand, a fatty can make sense. I now have a Maxxis 27.5x3.8 fat tire that I can mount on a rim with 45 mm inner width, but I don’t need a dedicated setup. Last winter, I had a few rides like that when there was a lot of snow for weeks. This winter, there has not been much snow and I’ve never mounted my fat tire.

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I started riding Fatty tires 3 years ago. They were never larger than 4 inches. I’m a fan of the Surly Nate 26x 3.8. I ride it on a 45mm rim, so it can’t be ridden below 0.7 bar (you can probably ride it around 0.5 bar on a 65mm rim). On paper it’s worse than my other tires in terms of weight. I still often ride the Surly Dirt Wizard 26x 3.0, which clearly has even more grip. Funnily enough, I climb better with the Nate 3.80, although it’s still a bit heavier and requires a heavier tube. I think it’s because of its inertia, which gives a very comfortable ride, even when riding uphill. I pedal rounder, slower and more relaxed. That probably eliminates the disadvantage. The tire offers pleasant cushioning and good rolling characteristics. However, the steering is somewhat imprecise when the air pressure is low. Grip and steering behavior is better with the Dirt Wizard, but overall I like the Nate 3.8 better. It enables a more comfortable and relaxed driving, especially now that the ground is still very soft.

(Translated with google translator)

I liked the 27.5x3.25 Duro Crux on my Quax, the only problem was the limitation of the Quax axle and the lightweight frame construction. I felt that the 145mm cranks were just a little too short to give good hill climbing ability and the 170mm ebike cranks I had were too long and had a massive q factor. Also, with the 170mm cranks there was enough frame flex that I was experiencing tire rubbing on the frame while climbing.

I guess I’ll see how the 170mm cranks do on the Hatchet, but with such a massive tire to spin they sound like a sensible choice. Also, they’re 3 hole cranks and I’ve got a spare set of 150’s if they prove to be too long.

I tried a 27.5 on the sand, And I went no where quick, unless the sand is wet.

Have you seen these custom lightweight fatties? Login • Instagram
Quite cool…

Oh now that is a nice toy

Whoa, rather impressive!
Someone we know here?

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I know a friend of mine who is building his own 36" but it seems it will be heavier than 4.9 pounds


That’s crazy light. Mine is 3.3kg. I guessing the spokes are different. As the hub looks the same, the tyre is also the same

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OKay, so the consensus. Fat tires 4.0" + sucks for all around riding(street + muni).
I hate to be fighting wheel geometry for steering precision, if I am going down a technical trail.
Any peeps, out there? Say otherwise

What caught my attention is that it’s “supposed” to be able to roll over anything. Like going up a 6 inch sidewalk curb…but I suspect that’s more skill than design capability.

At one time, I had a chance to buy a hatchet for only $500 on amazon.
I’m glad I didn’t.


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What tube are you running now?

Mine was only marginally over 3kg when assembled with the KH Spirit hub.

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So I’ll say for Canadian winters where fat biking in my city is popular, the fat uni (27.5 x 3.8) I rode this last season handled phenomenally on ice, deep snow, and the places I’d expect a fat bike to rock. It was also incredibly stable on the muni I did do with it.

Sadly though the wheel was heavy and I mostly do distance riding so climbing on Muni days was hard.

Though I see the niche for fat Tire uni’s, it’s not my preference so I’ve sold the wheel in favour of doing a 29+/29" build around the new Nimbus 55 rim. Still need my 36" to seek so I can get the 3.0" tire for it but I’ll be riding my 2.6" on it in the mean time.

A fat uni is a wonderful thing, but like all builds they have pros and cons. I’d be curious to try a 26" x 4.0 of a similar weight as my previous one to see what the difference would feel like, but I’ve always been a fan of 27.5" fat over 26" fat for the added diameter for emotional reasons I can’t really define well.

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