Intro to Fatbikes: Don't Knock It 'til Ya Try One

Apr 9, 2014
by Jordan Carr  
Introduction to
Fatbikes

WORDS Jordan Carr
PHOTOS Tal Roberts and Will Snyder

Snow fell quietly as beams of sunlight scattered about in the cloud filled sky. As I crested the gradual, snow packed hill I excitedly anticipated the flowy descent with its layer of fresh snow. Approaching my favorite sweeping corner, I quickly transferred my weight, drifting both wheels effortlessly outward through the soft snow. As I hit the apex of the corner a smile plastered my face as I fought to keep the bike in control and prepared myself for the next turn. I was reminded of my friend's comment as I headed out of town, "Fatbikes are like fixed gears, accessories for hipsters and want to be hipsters." But little did he know how rides like this bring a new level of confidence to my riding and bike control and he is the one complaining about how it's such a bad snow year. Their massive, 4"+ wide tires give turns and descents a whole new level of uncertainty, especially in a few inches of fresh powder. It is no doubt that fat bikes are a niche that has continued to grow in popularity around the globe. Their unique looks, utilitarian attitude, and unrefined playfulness on the trail has brought them to a whole new level within the industry. Manufacturers from Specialized and Trek to smaller manufactures like Borealis and Fatback are offering a smattering of fat tired options with a multitude of price tags.

But what is the point of fatbikes and what do they have to offer the avid mountain biker?
With fatter tires, ranging from 3.8-4.8" in width, fatbikes offer a whole new experience on a bicycle by allowing riders to explore new environments and new seasons on two wheels. Sure, many hardcore mountain bikers either are lucky enough to ride dirt all year, or they hang up their bikes in favor of skis in the snowy months. But living in a mountainous region, especially with the recent fluctuations in winter weather condition, many of us are subject to growing shoulder seasons. Those times when the trails are wet or snow covered and either the skiing sucks or winter recreation isn't easily accessible. Riding in these types of conditions is not only a nice change, but it helps to hone one's bike handling skills, pedaling technique, while also keeping you in shape. With many fat tired options cropping up all over the market, we wrangled up three options to help educate readers who are curious about the trend. Though these seemingly simple rigs don't feature varying suspension designs, their geometry, rear hub spacing, and build specs combine to create very different personalities in each bike. The goal of this piece is to help broaden the perspective of Pinkbike readers, while offering a quick introduction to fatbikes and three options we were able to get our hands on.

Borealis Yampa
  The Borealis Yampa offers a sleek, clean looking carbon frame with understated graphics and thoughtful frame features.

Borealis Yampa Carbon
Growing up in snowy Alaska, the birthplace of fatbikes, Borealis founder Adam Miller was initially involved with Anchorage based fatbike brand, 9 Zero 7, where he gained an extensive understanding of the wide rubbered machines. Soon after graduating high school, Miller moved to Colorado to attend college, and while continuing some outside work with 9 Zero 7 witnessed the rapid growth of the segment. After meeting his business partner and discussing his ideas, Borealis was transformed from an idea to a reality. Miller utilized his extensive fatbike knowledge to help up the ante of fatbiking with Borealis by pushing current technology of building materials and weights. Given the recent explosion of carbon fiber all over the bike industry, Adam chose to position the brand around high end carbon bikes, focusing mainly on working with expanding carbon use in fatbikes.

With the ability to capitalize on booming carbon manufacturing overseas, Adam was able to create his dream fatbike. This current dream bike weighs in at 21 lbs, featuring a full carbon frame, fork, and wheels - in short, a fatbiker's dream bike. Designed using Miller's expertise combined with development help from a variety of experienced riders, Adam explains the brand's continued development is done through riders. The Yampa is Borealis' first production bike and has developed quite the buzz within the fatbike community due to its low weight, geometry, and lustful appeal. But good geometry doesn't just happen; Miller spent many hours aboard a variety of fatbikes to develop his geometry. "I have ridden just about every 'fat bike' and 'snow bike' out there, and so I knew pretty quickly what I wanted. A slightly shorter head tube and longer top tube than some of the existing models so the rider is positioned more like a standard 29er XC bike’s geometry. Also, I believe our chain stay length is ideal," Miller explains. "A lot of the other snow-specific fat bikes out there have very long chain stays for extra stability, but this makes the bikes feel slow in tight, fast single track." But there are many other characteristics to consider that a different than a regular mountain bike. "It naturally handles much differently than a mountain bike because of the massive gyroscoping weight of a 5” tire and rim," Adam continues. "This requires longer chain stays than a standard mountain bike in order to maintain stability. I believe we have the optimal CS length that balances fast handling and stability for all types of riding."

The Yampa frame and FF1 fork is the lightest fat bike frameset currently on the market and is comfortable to boot, with its thin yet wide seatstays it is relatively plush vertically, yet very stiff laterally. At 26lbs, the stock XX1 Yampa is extremly light for a stock fatbike with tons of room for further lightening, this minimal weight translates to easier maneuverability on the trail in the variable conditions often encountered when riding in winter. 3 water bottle mounts and rear cargo rack mounts offer versatility for carrying gear on longer bike-packing adventures or for equipping your Yampa for winter commuting. Versatility continues with the compatibility to run any fat bike tire and rim combination, including 29+, as well as up to a 36tooth single ring up front. Our test bike featured Borealis branded aluminum rims, though we were hoping to get a chance to spend some time aboard the carbon/tubeless rims Borealis is known for. With a retail price around $5500 USD, the Yampa is far from a cheap starter fatbike, but a top notch carbon frame combined with quality components makes it the seasoned fatbiker's dream rig. Available in sizes S-XL in Black/White and Black/Red color options. Weight: 26lbs - Medium w/o pedals MSRP: $5549.00 USD (Full XX1 Build). www.borealisbikes.com

Borealis Yamba - details

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotes You're right, $5k+ for a fatbike may be a bit absurd, but like anything, if you can't afford it, it's not for you. But the Borealis Yampa offers a ton of benefits for seasoned fatbikers and weight weenies. Its light frame paired with a SRAM XX1 build kit creates a racy, monster truck feel with surprisingly nimble handling. Its balanced geometry created a feel more similar to that of a traditional XC'ish mountain bike, allowing for an easier transition than other fatbikes. Like to get loose and drift corners? The Yampa brought a new meaning to this as we were able to skim its 4" wide tires through our favorite trails with little effort in the right snow conditions. The angles seemed well thought out and the bike fit us nicely. The wheelbase is short enough that the bike feels playful and nimble, while featuring a longer chainstay to accommodate extra clearance 5" tires. This combo lead to extra stability, but at the expense of wheelie fun. For smaller riders, or those with a narrow stance, the 190 rear end is a bit too wide and a few friends I lent the bike to complained of this. We swapped the stock 100mm stem for a 70mm, which we found gave the bike an even more playful feel we were preferred with the bike's 604mm top tube. At the center of each wheel, thru-axles provide even more stability and stiffness. The Yampa is the creme de la creme of fatbikes, but its price tag obviously reflects that. There is no comparison for ripping around on a 26 pound carbon Yampa on your favorite local trail with the addition of a few inches of fresh snow. Aboard the well-equipped Yampa we felt comfortable and in control no matter how drifty things got. The Yampa combines fun trail riding with a fatbike's versatility, and it definitely got us hooked on pushing around big tires with endless traction. - Jordan Carr




Trek Farley - drive side

Trek Farley
Based in the Midwest, where fatbikes are showing an extensive growth in popularity as of late, it was only a matter of time before Wisconsin based Trek released their first fatbike. With the brand's massive development resources, we were excited to spend some time aboard Trek's first fatbike offering. Launched for 2014 production, the Farley is a relatively simple jaunt in to the fatbike market for the billion dollar plus brand. Opting to spec Surly rims, hubs and tires, Trek chose not to invest as much development money in to their first fatbike, though its frame development did see plenty of design and engineering hours. Constructed around an Alpha Aluminum frame, utilizing what Trek classifies as their most sophisticated tube shaping, the Farley is designed as a speedy, race oriented fatbike. Up front, a tapered suspension corrected fork is mated to the short E2 tapered headtube. The Farley comes standard with the 82mm wide Surly Holy Roling Darryl rims, 135mm Salsa alloy front hub, 170mm hub on the rear and Surly Knard 120 tpi 26x3.8" tires. The wider rim offers a nice solid platform for the narrower 3.8 tires."The overall bike design and the geometry are a reflection of our commitment to performance race bikes. We wanted to emphasize a fast, race-oriented geometry that would still be versatile," explains Ross Rushin, Trek's Asst. MTB Brand Manager. "We chose to stick with 4" tires to stay true to our racing focus, keeping the weight and rolling resistance as low as possible." Trek product managers and frame engineers spent months riding a huge variety of different fat bikes in a variety of conditions on several types of terrain before settling on the desired handling characteristics, finally deciding to implement short chainstays (440mm) with a steeper, 70 degree head tube angle, in order to keep the handling of the bike nimble and lively. Designed as a go-fast "race" fatbike, the Farley fits another niche within the already nichey fatbike segment. Available in sizes: 14.5", 15.5", 17.5", 19.5", 21.5". Both complete bike and frameset options are available, the frameset offers two color options, Black or Powder Blue. Weight: 31.2lbs - 17.5" w/o pedals MSRP: $2629.00 USD. www.trekbikes.com

Trek Farley - details
  Color coding gives the Farley a nice look but sleek touches like internal cable routing show Trek's forethought with the bike. Custom matched RaceFace cranks house the 2x drivetrain up front with a SRAM X9 10-speed setup in back. Opting for a suspension corrected geometry, Trek hopes to be ahead of the trend, though the bike's handling suffered because of the fork's offset.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesOut of the box, the Farley offers a nice stealth color scheme with green accents throughout. Our size medium (17.5") test bike we received seemed extremely small at first glance, but once set up, the bike offered a comfortable geometry with a nice low standover height and tight cockpit. The former of these traits proved effective in softer snow, where we found the Farley much easier to hop off in a pinch than other higher standover fatbikes. Once out on the trail, we noticed the Farley's nimble front end, this is due in part to its offset suspension corrected fork. Standing up climbing felt a bit awkward but after a bit of shift in weight, we found the sweet spot for out of the saddle climbs. Though we found ourselves sitting and spinning most of the time aboard the Farley, we still had a bit of an issue with this unique design characteristic as there are currently no fatbike specific suspension forks available. Trek explains they are just hoping to be ahead of the curve with the suspension corrected geometry. On slow techy trails, the Trek was fun to ride, due to distinctive attributes like its shorter 1090mm wheel base and 44mm chainstays, it was very maneuverable at low speeds. With a 603mm top-tube our 17.5" test bike was much smaller than the other two medium bikes we rode, we found ourselves wanting a little more length when it came to comfort aboard the Farley. This could be as simple as sizing up to a 19.5" frame, though the dimensions on the larger frame look a touch too long. Overall, the Farley is a great choice for riders looking for an entry level fatbike. It features a quality 2x10 build, full Bontrager components, and a decent geometry. If you plan to spend more time shredding snowy singletrack or techy dirt trails, the Farley is the bike for you. Riders looking to get out and spend hours slogging away on wide open groomed trails may find the Farley lacking in stability and all day comfort. - Jordan Carr


Specialized Fatboy Expert - drive side
  Sporting the widest, knobbiest tires mounted on the widest rims in our test bunch, we were drawn to the monster truck looks of the Fatboy.

Specialized Fatboy Expert
Not the Specialized BMX bike you had as grom, the Fatboy is Specialized's first step into the fatbike market. Developed around large 4.6" tires, the Fatboy features custom Specialized Ground Control tires with the largest contact patch of the three bikes previewed here. An M4 aluminum frame with 190mm rear end and FACT carbon fork gives the Fatboy a stout yet well balanced aesthetic. A custom e*thirteen 2×10 crankset with Pressfit30 bottom bracket with a 100mm spindle bottom bracket offers a stiff pedaling platform, while a XO 10-speed rear derailleur rounds out the drivetrain. GripShift shifters provide easy shifting whether the riding is wearing big winter gloves or mittens. Stopping power is provided by Tektro Draco 2 hydraulic brakes with a 180mm rotor out front and a 160mm rotor in back, offered a nice lever feel and ample position adjustability. 90mm hookless rims give the Fatboy a monster truck look especially when paired with the monstrous Ground Control tire. Available in two build options, the Fatboy starts at $2000 for a entry level model with a lower component spec while we tested the $2600 Expert version. Both builds feature the same frame, fork, and wheels. Weight: 30.4lbs - Medium w/o pedals MSRP: $2600.00 USD. www.specialized.com

Specialized Fatboy Expert - details
  Up front Specialized's carbon fork mimics the aluminum frames stout stature. Mid-level SRAM gripshifts allows for easy shifting with winter gloves while Tektro Draco 2 hydraulic brakes offered ample stopping power.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesIt goes without saying that Specialized probably put some development dollars in to the Fatboy and it was obvious out on the trail. At first glance, the Fatboy looked true to size and offered a quick easy setup. The enormous tires and rims give the bike a burly look that we appreciated. Once on the trail, the Fatboy's trail manners came alive as its wide tires gave us traction and kept us afloat in most conditions. Meaty, with tons of grip, the Ground Control tires were a nice departure from the semi slick tires on the other rigs and we appreciated the additional volume they offered. Geometry on the Fatboy was aggressive yet functioned really well on the trail. With a longer chainstay (a touch shorter than the Yampa), the Fatboy tracked well on the trail and kept us confident on both ups and downs. Though we understand the obvious choice for GripShift, we preferred the trigger shifters found on the other bikes. Spot-on geometry and big tires, paired with a modest build and quality frame give the Fatboy many great qualities in our eyes. Dropping more than $2600 on a Fatbike is a huge commitment, but the Fatboy offers top notch design and geometry with a reasonable price tag. It is a great option for riders looking to try out the fatbike trend, without plunging entirely into the deep end. - Jordan Carr




149 Comments

  • 346 27
 Fat bikes are like fat chicks. Fun to ride.You just dont want to be seen doing it.
  • 47 6
 I don't think there is a fat bike article out there that doesn't have something like this as the top comment.
  • 32 4
 the difference is I would actually ride a fat bike
  • 10 5
 I see fat man with fat chicks often.
  • 6 12
flag Quesadilla34 (Apr 8, 2014 at 22:49) (Below Threshold)
 Rigjt with ya narwalrus, and id feel badass doing it! And in response to chyu, u totaly burned him lmao. But fatbikes have alot of advantages and really arent as cumbersome as they seem. They are becoming sorry of mainstream in the sense that now companies are makong cheapies. The other day i saw one with smooooooth road-tread! That destroys the point of having a fatbike because now it can't be ridden on sand, snow, or the majority of dirt! And its just a hard tush roadbike, with defeats the main atraction to having a convenient and quick roadbike! Some people.... But what fat bikes that are done right, are awesome!
  • 2 0
 that's nuts, litterally, would love to have a play on it though
  • 4 3
 Don't forget the clown...DON'T FORGET THE CLOWN!
  • 7 3
 someones missing out. I love mine!
  • 4 5
 If only people would buy more of those, their technology would evolve, tyres and wheels would get lighter. Look how it could look like if we just got out of our comfort zone: waki-leaks.blogspot.se/2013/12/cedric-gracia-tribute.html#more
  • 22 9
 f*ck harley davidson should sue Specialized for name copyright infringement. Fatboy? really thats a big time ripoff. They sued mountain cycle for using "stumpy" said it was too close to the "stumpjumper" well "fatboy" is real close to "fatboy". Way to go "Fecalized" u bunch of capitalistic wieners.
  • 5 0
 pinkkrow - Harley uses the term Fat Boy and Specialized has Fatboy, both copyrighted around the same time... 1992
  • 2 0
 in the '90s Specialized had a BMX bike that was also called fatboy... so they must have rights to the name... could be an apples and oranges thing... but if it were another bike company they probably would...
  • 2 2
 is it fun to ride a fat chick? didnt know
  • 1 0
 i don't get it, is the tire acting as the suspension?
  • 1 0
 Phil wood already made that @wakidesigns
  • 1 0
 indeed
  • 1 0
 most of my bikes are Fecalized, but 1 and i will ride them without pride. I will continue riding until i get a different brand. If Specalized owned Block 8 bikes Im sure all the tradesmen would be getting sued for calling themselves a Journeyman, Thank god they dont and i can go ride my Block 8 Journeyman without worry. And as far as fatties go they are total awesomeness.
  • 1 0
 Can't they make Fat bikes with smaller wheels to make them handle closer to MTBs How well do these corner on dirt?
  • 1 0
 They hold a two wheel drift great!
  • 1 0
 Had the most fun I've had on a bike in YEARS on a Farley last weekend.
  • 48 1
 "Don't Knock It 'til Ya Try One." This is Pinkbike, people here take pride in knocking things before they try them.
  • 28 2
 That's like saying "don't call yourself straight until you tried having sex with another man"
  • 17 6
 You're only gay if you push back.
  • 5 8
 Everyone's gay till it's their turn to take it.
  • 2 0
 This thread went very far very fast....
  • 22 0
 You don't get to tell me what to hate! Only we get to tell other pinkbikers what to hate!

/s
  • 20 1
 I still don't understand why fat bikes with no suspension cost so much, even the Norco at $1500 is still to rich for my blood. They day I can get into a decent fat bike for $800 I'll probably buy one, until then I'll pass.
  • 5 0
 this is my reason for not getting one yet. especially when some are just a steel frame.
  • 3 0
 There are several more affordable options. (Bikes direct has lots, Minnesota, etc.) Just poke around the fatty forums and you can find the full list.
  • 1 0
 I agree it is pricey, but the parts are probably what brings the cost up. I think i heard the tires alone can be a hundo a piece, i heard that last year, so i could be wrong now since they are growing in popularity.
  • 2 1
 Well, being some good road bike tires cost $70 and mountain bike tires the same... and fat bike tires are 3x as wide with lower production runs........ it doesn't take a genius to figure out why they are so much more money. Then add to that rarity the wide rims, hubs, cranks.
  • 1 0
 Cost is the main reason why I dont get one of this funny fat bikes. Perfect for trail riding or enduro, or whatever you call it : just bike riding...
  • 14 0
 Really PB? Fatbikes were born and raised by smaller companies, and you review only one such bike and then go on to Spec and Trek... as if they don't already have enough market share? Poor showing.
  • 12 0
 Agreed. How is Surly not included?
  • 1 0
 or Fatback.... the corvus just smashed the previous anchorage to nome race
  • 1 0
 Seriously. The Trek and Spesh bikes might be nice, but they literally jumped on the fatbike bandwagon like last year. Others have been doing it for years.
  • 13 1
 I love my fatbike. I too was skeptical, but it keeps me on a saddle 12 months of the year in an area with real seasons. That alone justifies the medium.
  • 1 0
 by real seasons, do you mean long winters and rainy summers?
  • 14 2
 Fatty fat fat. Haha fatty
  • 6 1
 I will admit....if I lived in a climate/area that even remotely justified the need for a FAT BIKE I would jump all over it. Mountain bikes were a transformation of what was currently available. It hardly met the needs of what they were trying to accomplish but ....ignorance is bliss. We worked with what we had. Since then the mountain bike has become a marvel of dedicated purpose. My issue.....is the exploitation of case specific bicycle catagories. I love the fact that bicycles have become so broken down that I can send a client out the door with THE right bike. My issue resides in the fact that I've seen too many fat bike owners riding down the STREET with their wives on a sunny Saturday afternoon???? I feel that the bicycle industry has failed these people. Sure, you cant convince them that the FAT bike goes against everything the modern day mountain bike is trying to attain. Efficiency, capability, confidence, and cost effective recreation? Sorry, but if I'm not buyin it...I'm not sellin' it. My goal is to make sure that the customer gets into the right bike....not the bike that tops the charts in popularity. Bikes these days are purpose driven...my first question is "what type of riding do you do"? Based on where I live....I've yet to find myself in the position to recommend a FAT bike. It's a trend and I will treat it as such
  • 4 0
 The shop i frequent just got their fatboy in, took it for a spin round the carpark and was shocked at how light it was! I too didn't like the gripshift but thats a personal thing, but i did think it needed wider bars considering how the tires let you turn in so well. Need to ride one on-trail before i commit to one, my mind cant put it together as to how it will ride. Massive tires but still light, 8psi in the tires felt so solid, just so different from the norm but every time i see someone on one they're smiling from ear to ear!
  • 7 0
 Can I borrow your bike?!! Cause I spent my money on carbon wheels!
  • 10 0
 Don't you mean "wheel"?
  • 1 0
 Yes, I stand corrected- a wheel. Haha
  • 4 1
 excellent bikes, dont dump your 26 for an extra 1 second get one of these to add to your collection, i guarantee they wont feel "the same" as what you have currently got - fun bikes and they will keep you fit and make you smile - although all these are a little BORING - look at the on-one fatty in white with their new coloured FLOATER tyre collection if you want to go the whole nine yards
  • 3 0
 Personally I think fatbikes are awesome if you live in the right conditions for it. If I'd live in or near a desert or a very sandy area, or in a place like Canada which is covered in snow for several months, it's really the bike you need to have in your collection. But here we don't have deserts, and usually only one day of snow a year (which is like half an inch, this year we had no snow at all), so there's no point in having one over here.
  • 5 0
 no salsa or surly featured? thats rediculous.
oh, and dont ride these in the spring in New england. It pissess off the trail guys. these things make big ruts
  • 4 0
 Agreed. Surly and Salsa--two companies who have more experience with fatties than any other, not to mention a cheaper point of entry and continue to push the boundaries of what a fat bike can do.
  • 2 1
 Thanks for the input gents. We just chose these three brands because they were the first ones to offer bikes. We will see what we can get in the future.
  • 2 0
 oh, well that makes sense. i just thought it was weird. I forget about the "real life" side of things.
  • 3 0
 I just traded my giant reign x 2013 for a fat bike and I love it to bit's. I live in the interior of B.C.Canada and we still have a foot of snow but I ride my Fat bike except when it's really cold and at 30 lb it is easy on climbs . Try one ,You be surprised how easy it pedals even on snow.
  • 5 3
 I love my fatbike. Works well where i live where we have long winters and right now when it is wet and muddy its working great. Hard to get used to the turning cause of the wider tires but after you get used to them they are tons of fun.
  • 3 1
 Actually I held out on getting my Norco Bigfoot Fatty( retail $1500) and after a winter like this in Ontario have had some super fun rides on it, i have snomobile trails right out my cottage door so i can ride places that i don t get to see in the summer - ie ridind over swamps/ ponds etc.....
Like it says don't knock em till you try them
  • 2 0
 Living in a place where I could ride almost year round I made fun of fat bikes like anybody else but one winter spent in the snow with almost no riding really makes me want one, especially now that they make suspension forks for them.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, we should see the rock shox bluto to at sea otter.

The article incorrectly states that no suspension forks are available. Many companies have been selling/rebranding what some people call the fork of many names. It's an inverted fork that companies like carver sell.
  • 2 1
 @dfiler Yes, there is the Carver fork, but there has been limited acceptance and distribution of it. I think we will be seeing a big push by some larger brands to develop more readily available options.
  • 1 0
 I'm hoping for an announcement on the Rockshox Bluto to go something like this... i.imgur.com/jsS6q2d.png
  • 2 0
 Come on PB! You throw this Fat things to us during the off season and no one really cared about them. Now the season is started and you are throwing the snow theme and the fat things again. Are you serious? Is Canada still not rideable?
  • 4 0
 Lots of Canada and other northern countries are still in snow (whistler is still open for skiing). But these aren't just for snow, we just chose to enjoy them in the late winter months.
  • 1 1
 Ouch, I'm sorry for you guys. Well, Canada doesn't always sounds like a mountain bike heaven, then Wink
  • 2 0
 Hello Brule, this kind of bikes were also developed in northern México to race in the desert some 20 years ago.
They are also fun in the sand, not only snow.

Cheers.

When you get tired of so much snow come to México, lots of beautiful places to ride and with the canadian dollar exchange rate you guys are close to rich.
  • 2 0
 wouldnt mind a fat bike but for now i have one do it all bike, and i can use it somewhat in winter also, have some trails which are made by people walking up the mountain in stead of skiing these trails become hardened and carries the weight just fine on narrow tires as well, its the funniest supernarrow singletrackexperience, for some conditions use spiked tires and it surprises me how much of the winter could actually be rideable on a normal bike as well, its a matter of motivation and the half-full glass
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I'll go ahead and say it looks like they have potential to be fun. I wouldn't mind renting one and trying it out; it might be a blast once or twice. But I just can't see myself getting into these. I don't have much of a desire to ride in snow. Or loose sand. The practical applications are just too limited. Companies are putting a lot of development into these, but I see them as niche at best, fad at worst.

They do look cool, though. There's something fun about the fat tires -- especially the ones named after one of the greatest American punk bands of all time.
  • 2 0
 Now these interest me. I do not want one. But if I lived in a more wintery weathered area I would consider it. I agree with others that the price seems high at the moment. But it is understandable. And I can never forget the clown. Best vid ever!!!
  • 9 3
 im waiting for 650 b
  • 5 0
 I'm holding out for an enduro specific fatbike.
  • 2 0
 There you go salsacycles.com/bikes/2014_mukluk_ti/overview
Enduro colors and everything :-)
  • 2 1
 Look the thing is, it's great to have all these different segments, but for a normal Joe that has money (saves up) for just one bike, this is useless. If i had all the money i wanted to spend on bikes i'd have an all mountain bike (as i do now), a freeride bike, a xc ht 29er and a beat up shit for commuting (as i do now). But if we had the terrain for these things, they could be an option.
  • 1 1
 This is a good bike for most of mtb stuff : except dh
  • 2 1
 i'm building up my own version of a fatbike... in most cases where i ride huge fat tires won't help that much and will get bogged up with clay. so i decided to build a hybrid using a cheap on-one phatty ht, 26" 45mm wide trials rims and some nokian 296 studded tires. will have tons of clearance for the mud/slush/clay, can run regular 26" 2.4 tires also, and have enough traction to play on the ice...
  • 1 0
 If someone who rides a mountainbike is a mountain biker, then what do you call someone who rides a fatbike? www.lolpix.com/pictures/9/Funny_Pictures_816.htm

Also, if the guys at Harley-Davidson were anything like Specialized, they would sue the big S for using the name "Fatboy".
  • 1 0
 big time, i was blown away with the name usage I was a big fan until i started reading bout their legal history. Bunch of money grabbing a-holes.
  • 1 0
 Harley Davidson "Fat Boy" and the Specialized "Fatboy". Both trademarked as such around nearly the same time.

www.bmxmuseum.com/bikes/specialized/969
  • 2 0
 Fair enough, I should have done my BMX homework.
  • 1 0
 In Ontario we had a great winter for riding, except for the odd week of -25c or colder. The snow was plenty. As long as the trail was well traveled by hikers, skiers, or bikers you could ride your usual all mountain, enduro, 559, 650b, or 29er with just as much ease as the fatties. The fatty doesn't offer any particular advantage in well packed snow and is no more rideable in fresh snow or powder than your regular rig. It's just different. Just drop your tire pressure on your regular rig to about 20psi for softer snow conditions and firm condition ride at 30-35psi. If you got got the space in the stable and the dosh in the wallet for another rig go for it.
  • 1 0
 My fatbike is my only ticket to cabin-fever cure, especially after this nasty winter season we are getting out of. I also us it during the wet/mud days of spring to minimize the damage to soft dirt trail. Puts a smile on my face.
  • 3 1
 Oh great another wheel size the industry is FORCING US TO BUY. I for one planned on never buying another frame ever and now I can't get wheels for it? This article is just propaganda. Enduro enduro enduro enduro enduro
  • 2 1
 I've had zero interest in fatbikes up until a couple weeks ago. A member of another forum just ran Mojave Road on a fat bike, a trip I've wanted to do forever, but can't deal with 130 miles of sand and silt on an XC bike, now I'm seriously on the hunt for a fat-bike. I doubt I'll ride it much, but I only ride my DH bike 8-10 times a year, and somehow justified spending $5k+ on that, a $2k fat bike to take on a couple adventures every year doesn't seem too bad.
  • 2 0
 in Edmonton you can see these bikes everywhere. Honestly I would like one, but all disposable income goes into DH and all mountain riding. Fat bikes are a cool idea, I just really can't afford one.
  • 2 0
 I love this concept of riding in the worst snow or mad sand....wen I go snowboarding I wish I had a bike wiv me....and wen I go on holiday abroad in the sun I wish I had a bike wiv me too.fatbike is the answer
  • 1 0
 All of these bikes are pretty sweet. I would like to ride one to see how it would feel with those massive tires, but here's why I'd likely never buy one.

1) They cost too much. Not too much as in I'd never pay that much for a bike. Too much as in I can get so much winter gear (snowboards, jackets, boots, bindings, goggles, etc.) for the cost of these rigs. Or just forego the FatBike in favor of a nice FS rig to use all year long!

2) A normal HT MTB can do just about everything these bikes can and get you there without the extra weight. After living in Boston for a few years, I got used to riding in the snow and even my feeble 2.1 in. tires on my old hardtail got me through everything just fine. Heck, there were guys on fixies slicing through the snow on their tiny tires. Granted that was on pavement, it paints a picture. I think the weight weenies for the first bike is especially absurd since depending on the conditions your riding in, a few ounces here or there just aren't gonna help you.

Side observation: Since these bikes are built for riding in snowy, muddy conditions, why aren't there any fenders? Surely you can add some after market fenders to any MTB, but these are built to ride in the mucky stuff, so I would think they'd be included to keep all of the crud these massive tires are going to sling in your face and all over your back. Just a thought.
  • 2 0
 "The goal of this piece is to help broaden the perspective of Pinkbike readers"

funny how they hinted at the narrow-mindedness of the general anti-29er, anti-650b anti-change pinkbike community
  • 1 0
 I rode a couple of them and so far have really not been impressed. Of all the ones I tried (salsa beargrease carbon, moonlander, pugsley, kona wo, etc.) the only adjective that springs up to mind is sluggish. Even if you're in decent shape, the bulk, weight (except for fully xx1 kitted and carbon everything) plus the added rolling resistance just makes you feel like you're riding a tractor. They are decently fun on hard-packed snow (like cross-country ski trails) but for everything else, meh. I won't really go further into details but this review really sums up my view about those bikes reviews.mtbr.com/the-angry-singlespeeder-fat-bikes-meh

I work at a shop were we sell a lot of them over winter (most of the time fully kitted out with dumb accessory pouches and stuff like that) and have a really hard time seeing how average joes can actually enjoy riding them, they are a freaking workout just to push up the hill...
  • 1 0
 There are some cool fatbikes out there, but they're SO damn expensive for what you get. There are no less than 6-7 types of bike I'd be adding to my fleet before I'd consider a fatbike, and even thing I'd probably just double down on trail bikes (having an S-Works Enduro AND a Niner WFO does sound pretty nice).
  • 1 0
 I had the good fortune to demo a Farley on an entire set of snow-covered trails, and while it was fun for what it was, I would never ride one at any other time. They're also a lot like riding a 29er, where you've got to stay more upright and hit the outside of every turn. Fun, but very different than carving a trail on your favorite 26. Overall, I'd recommend maybe renting one if you want to ride over the winter, but skip it as a main bike.
  • 1 0
 Just road one for a few hours yesterday on frosty not snowy trails .... Compared to my stumpjumper full suspension with studded tires the day before that? Waaaaay more fun! Rolled over a lot more then previous day... no need for front suspension. Really I thought they were just another industry ploy to buy more. I prefer to support the local bike shops .. but Fat Moose out of Ottawa is selling for around 900 Google them
  • 2 0
 I would use one for snow biking, but would have no use for it any other time. And where I live, with snow comes -20. Don't think I would use it much...
  • 4 0
 Hüsker dü was a great band.
  • 2 0
 Long live Bob Mould!
  • 1 0
 How about a test of the lower priced models, like the Norco, Kona, and RSD who makes the one called the Mayor? All of these models are under $2K, that's more of an entry level than any of these models.
  • 1 0
 We were supposed to get a Norco, but the demand for the bike was too high. We will review a few more in the future I'm sure.\
  • 1 0
 I tried the KHS which is also under 2k and it was pretty good. Not much stand over much like the specialized. I ended up getting the only medium Norco Bigfoot to hit Kamloops and I love it. Low top tube which is good in snow cause you have to divorce your ride once and a while on the steeps. The price point is good if your not sure that fat biking is for you. For me it is better than not riding and in snow your not going to break any land speed records anyway especially with any gear and winter wear. Now that our snow is gone I still find myself riding it cause they are capable in technical stuff at low speed because of the traction they have. Like it says Don't knock it til ya try one.
  • 2 0
 I have 4 bikes, 3 of them are Fatbikes. My lightest one is 34lbs, and thats with a steel frame. They are all a blast to ride!
  • 2 1
 Fatbikes remind me of the mini moto bikes they had back in the day that had the wide tires and no suspension,and were so good in the sand.
  • 4 1
 I really want to try one... Am I okay?
  • 1 1
 I'd love to try one, might actually be a fun change after riding with a fully for 3 years. But I think I'll stick to skiing and snowboarding when there's too much snow for my Niner.
  • 3 0
 I enjoy riding bikes no matter what kind it is. Sign me up!
  • 1 0
 The Morrisey video for "You're the one for me fatty" would have been a lot more interesting if it had featured a bike instead of a fat woman.
  • 1 0
 Hey Jordan Carr, you should talk to Mitchell Scott - www.pinkbike.com/news/Fat-Bike-Seriously-mitchell-scott-2013.html
  • 2 1
 I'd like to get a fat bike, but I'm against the rigid business. I want some suspended travel all the way around on it,80/100 mm at least
  • 1 0
 Just wait. I think you will see fatbikes with suspension in the near future.
  • 1 0
 Interesting, for me that was the rigid thing I enjoyed
  • 1 0
 If I ever buy one of these bike, I'd put on some suspensions and name the bike "FatChick". Make for long enjoyment and soft on the ride!
  • 1 0
 there is only one kind of fatty when I'm riding....and it isn't the bike, unless minion 2.5's are your idea of a fatty then we might say we have tree fatty's aboard!
  • 2 1
 Pinkbike should do an article on Dan Burton. He rode a fat bike to the south pole and he owns a local bike shop in utah.
  • 3 2
 Tire = how I felt after reading.
Tyre = circular rubber rings within which wheels roll.
  • 3 1
 I'm pretty sure one is the English spelling and the other American
  • 1 2
 I'm pretty sure you're right but I couldn't help poking fun since I, as an England, invented how to speak proper.
  • 5 0
 We stole English just like we did James Bond. You now speak Americanese with an accent.
  • 2 0
 At least were not all speaking german
  • 1 0
 I just remembered a Spanish verb that has a completely different meaning depending on where you are. COGER means TO TAKE, TO CATCH in Spain.... but COGER means TO FORNICATE in many countries of America
  • 1 0
 I have tried it.... Not a fan... Everyone I know who ownes one is very proud of theirs though... So that's good..
  • 1 0
 Is the rear triangle on the Yampa really that terrifyingly thin? Maybe the oversize tires just make it look that way...
  • 2 0
 We love all mountain bikes_____O^O_______
  • 1 0
 "fat things need riding too" but sorry guys im sticking with my downhill
bet its fun to ride ........
  • 2 0
 Perfect timing to release this article in Spring
  • 1 0
 Saw a rider on A-line in Whistler riocking a Surly Instigator- just sayin.
  • 1 0
 Was this here in Steamboat? Yampa valley?
  • 1 0
 Company is out of Colorado Springs, but they did name the bike after the Yampa river valley. They've been to Orange Peel before and the bikes are pretty cool.
  • 2 4
 can't help point out that each one of these has an identical black paint job with bright one-color accents. This is flashy-meets-murdered-out design-by-focus-group taken to extreme. I feel sick.
  • 1 0
 there is not enough snow around here to justify the expense of a fat bike!
  • 1 0
 I will keep riding mine I will let the noobs and kooks hate!
  • 1 0
 why these three models especially
  • 2 2
 Can't wait to see fat 29ers!
  • 2 0
 The tires are so big, they are already 29+
  • 1 0
 Already been done. Check out the Surly Krampus. 29+ and rides like a trail bike.
  • 1 1
 I have a Kraus and love it.
  • 2 0
 Krampus - dang spell check.
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