Opinion: The Bearded Woman

Jan 15, 2015
by Mike Levy  
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A short time ago, I wrote an article about Salsa's fat-tired fun machine, the Bucksaw, and found myself steering the intro and closing statements in a much more defensive tone than I would have preferred. Rather than explaining the hows and whys, I was saying things like, ''those who talk shit about fat bikes have almost certainly never spent any time on one,'' and it just felt odd to be defending a bike's existence before I got around to telling people how it performed. My efforts to inject some sanity into the comment section did work, for the most part, but there were still a few readers in there who, judging by their comments, would prefer it if women hadn't got the vote and evolution was only talked about in hushed tones.

The vitriol was actually impressive in a way, if only because a small handful of commenters seemed to hate the bike so much that it made me wonder how they feel about things that actually matter in this world. I can just imagine the blue veins popping out their foreheads if I ever questioned them in person about gun control, global warming, or everybody's favourite touch paper, religion. Then again, I've been told that it's not polite to ask strangers their take on such things. Also, I don't have one of those neat bang sticks that divers use to keep sharks away, so I'd not likely bring any of that stuff up. Anyways, I already got my monthly dose of heartwarming hate in the comment section of that one article (no need for me to go into any of the PB Awards pieces then, right?), and I picked out a few proper gems that I've pasted in below, mistakes and all so as to get their full effect.

Salsa Bucksaw review test Photo by Mike Kazimer

With the exception of maybe mini-golf or drunk Twister, looking like a dumbass has never been so fun.



''Absolute piece of shit. These absolutely ridiculous fat bikes need to disappear very quickly,'' exclaimed matt76. Good 'ol Matthew is a bit of a grumpy goose, but it seems that he still uses his pleases and thank you's so long as he agrees with a hater that's in the same camp as him: ''Thank you. I'm glad someone else on here sees sense for a change. These are total shite and are an eye sore on the trails,'' he said in a reply to a fellow member of the fun police. Hey Matthew, if you leave your contact info below, it would allow companies to consult you before releasing a bike so that they can be sure that you approve of its appearance. Then everyone would eventually be on a good looking bike, right?

PB user torero decided to go down the anti-corporate, it's-just-a-fad road, by saying, ''another stupid fashion that people do not stop consuming; that are fatbikes.'' Torero, if you think that anyone riding a fat bike is concerned about fashion, you've likely been drinking too much Stan's sealant. Did you see how stupid I look in the photos of the Bucksaw review? Anyways, we're riding bicycles in the bush, so who gives a flying f*ck what we look like? All I care about is how long my last skid was. And while I'm all for everyone not spending money on huge televisions that they don't need or an iPhone, I also don't suspect that fat bike sales are lining anyone's pockets with cash or paying for Ferraris. I'm sure that fat bike sales are dwarfed by the number of ATVs and side-by-side vehicles with beer coolers, so we've got bigger problems to worry about than Jim from down the street looking like a tool on his Surly Moonlander.
bigquotesA fellow mountain biker shitting on fat bikes is a bit like being the bearded woman in the circus sideshow and calling the sword swallower a freak. We're riding bicycles in the bush, guys... we ARE the sideshow to the large majority of the stick and ball-loving public, and that's a good thing.

My personal favourite was from Intense4life, a dude who's maybe just a little too intense for me. ''WTF. This is rediculous. The question is why? If you buy one of these rediculous bikes your an idiot. What an embarrassment to the bike industry. Like anybody is going to make one of these the second or third bikes in their stable. Mike Levy and PB... Give your head a shake.'' I am shaking my head, Mr. Intense4life, but it's not because fat bikes are a so-called embarrassment, but rather because I can't believe how closed minded someone can be. I want to go on a tandem bike ride with you - I'll even be the captain if it makes you more comfortable - and just talk about why you feel the need to aim your misdirected sense of manly toughness at what type of bike people want to ride. Afterwards we'd take the tandem through a Dairy Queen drive-through to get ice cream cones to eat on the beach together, comfortable with the silence between us. You'd then admit that yes, you too just want to have fun like the girl in that song, but you're scared that it might lead to you smiling by accident. I want to smile with you, Intense4life.

My point is that there are better things to growl about than what kind of bike a complete stranger is riding in the woods, aren't there? Complain about how almost every riding ''edit'' is actually a disguised commercial, or maybe the old fallback that everyone hates, so-called bottom bracket, seat post, and axle standards. There's also puppy mills. No one likes puppy mills, but you'd rather complain about fat bikes than tiny, cute puppies locked in cages? So much of the hate that could be aimed at puppy mills is being wasted on fat bikes. Sure, the bikes don't go anywhere fast, so maybe they're not for you if that's your ultimate goal on every single ride (I bet you're a real joy to ride with if that's the case), but taking them to task for being different isn't the right move.

A fellow mountain biker shitting on fat bikes is a bit like being the bearded woman in the circus sideshow and calling the sword swallower a freak. We're riding bicycles in the bush, guys... we ARE the sideshow to the large majority of the stick and ball-loving public who still have images of old Etto helmets, Factory Pilot Eyeshades, and pink Spandex in their collective head. I feel like the bearded woman would have to be nice to everyone without exception, given that all she's got is her personality to win other people over, and that we're all under the same circus tent so we should do the same.



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242 Comments

  • 226 8
 Wo wo wo wo!!! You became my favorite article writer and reviewer last year Mike and now it looks like in 2015 you will take that to eleven Big Grin
  • 17 6
 the laid out articles are always pretty good in my opinion, this one is no exception. axle standards though....
  • 23 6
 Hey, if there weren't so many overly-serious douches out there, we wouldn't have $10K bikes. Thank you douches!!
  • 37 2
 Very well written piece. Had me laughing. Trolls need to have their BS called out.
  • 65 10
 Mike,

I've found that I dont care how long my skids are while i'm fatbiking. I never try to skid, ever.

It's like rubbing a $100 bill against a rock.
  • 40 90
flag scott-townes (Jan 15, 2015 at 18:39) (Below Threshold)
 This is like the manifesto of the kid who takes the internet way too seriously. I mean really? Your idea of an article is responses to random people's posts? I love fatbikes and anyone with a brain would love them also but this is stupid. Telling others to be more carefree, positive and fun towards subjects relating to biking by taking silly posts this seriously is quite the contradiction... don't ya think? "Stop taking biking so seriously and being negative... so I can stop taking your internet posts about biking seriously and can stop being negative towards them!!" That's what I heard over and over while reading this.
  • 20 1
 And with your comment, the circle continues.....I think he picked comments that represent a good cross section of closed minded readers, and challenged their thinking.
  • 12 1
 I'm not trying to create any sort of parallel, but Taylor Swift comments on her fan's posts. Her fans like that.
  • 7 0
 Amen - Biking is biking. If you enjoy it, then keep supporting it in any form, if you don't, then just don't do it.
  • 6 3
 Nobody likes fat people because they haven't been with one. You might lost the aesthetic feature but what you are getting is unbelievable. Haha
  • 4 40
flag tonkatruck (Jan 15, 2015 at 21:19) (Below Threshold)
 dont care, still think those things look stupid.
  • 14 39
flag nouser (Jan 15, 2015 at 22:36) (Below Threshold)
 Sooo.... Mike can you summarize the point of this article for me in two sentences? That us mountain bikers are viewed as "sideshows" to the general public, so therefore we shouldn't judge or have opinions about "sideshows" (fat bikes) within the mountain bike industry? You work for pinkbike, you understand how things work. Posters post, commentators comment, haters hate, brown nosers nose, proppers prop. If a few people hating on a bike has you so heated that you spend hours writing a rebuttal to call them out then you might need a different job bro. @mikelevy
  • 11 0
 @Swides , what did she reply to you ?
  • 3 0
 i love hate ... seriousness isnt for pinkbike
  • 7 7
 BOOb design - when someone says things like "there is SIGNIFICANT difference between geometry of 26 and 275 bike" or "I want to know how different Enduro is from Nomad", " how does 36 compare to Pike" then I find him so serious about bike gear that it gets funny to me Big Grin
  • 3 0
 fapbikes? why not? they are just bikes for fapping around on. Razz
  • 4 2
 Here's a better question, why is fatbiking even an option? Ski-touring is my winter mountain biking, so much more efficient. I guess fatbikes are good in the snow in places where there aren't mountains though.
  • 5 4
 Jeromev - God bless you for doing mountain biking and ski-touring, I am more than jelaous. But If you are so rational Jerome that you can't see the reason why Fatbikes exist then, how about you tell us why do you ride mountain bikes? What's in it for you to climb a mountain to ski down from it?
  • 2 0
 Well, I guess that statement came off a bit pedantic. In Utah, ski-touring has really taken off, and I personally love it. I started just to keep in shape during the winter, but have grown to love it equally with mountain biking. You can get an AT setup for cheaper than most fatbikes. The terrain that is available to you really opens up on a touring setup.
  • 3 1
 I've been off of pinkbike for a while, but I'm glad to see WAKIdesigns is still making top comments. This one just wasn't as outrageous as u remember....
  • 3 0
 I'd like to see fat bike edits on skinnies
  • 8 1
 I never agree with @scott-townes... but I actually agree with him on his post--not sure why the neg props. Why would you call people out on your articles? Pretty unprofessional on a journalistic platform. Kinda of Axel Rose esque with Get in The Ring... look where it got him. Mike, you write good aritcles, who cares about the comments? Just write and let the small folk yak.
  • 1 0
 If you don't live in a cabin in the woods with no electricity and watch television or movies, you need a huge one. Yes, the new ones are that good.
  • 3 3
 @bighucker503 i agree, too many people troll this site that have one bike or none at all and have some overwhelming urge to fit into the MTB community by nodding their heads yes whenever presented with a product. Fat bikes are great on sand at the beach, maybe super soft mud and "maybe" snow. Must you MTB all year, if you want to play in the snow get a snowboard. Has this site turned into a FanBoy page where you can only stroke off every product regardless of how good or bad it is. I bought a Knolly(PB.com Parter) Chilcotin years ago. I waited way too long to get it and once i did the suspension was average and it was way over priced for an aluminum frame bike. I would let it be known that i thought for $2800 there were better frame options out there and even carbon frames for that price. However I was always flamed for reviewing a bike I actually owned. Dont people come to this site to get objective information? I hate to think of this site as a Billboard for rent instead of being a good resource for actual user feedback. PB.com is amazing, I think they do a great job and they add to my MTB lifestyle with so much positive information and ideas. Lets just not let it become a haven for bootlickers. I have tons of respect for Mike Levy, but he should have risen above this.
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns sorry but i didnt read the whole article. i cant follow.

btw are you THE waki... ? did you change your flag or are you simply a imitator of the real waki?
  • 7 1
 This is Waki bot, posting randomly generated comments with minimal relation to the subject
  • 1 0
 i knew it
  • 2 2
 Fat bikes are like fat chicks more cushion for the pushin!
  • 77 6
 Don't feed the trolls. The community can see them for what they are, and complaining about them just emboldens them. Finally, if what people write on the inter-webs fires "you" up so much, maybe it's time to take a step back from the keyboard and go shred some gnar. Mark Twain nailed it: “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
  • 29 1
 “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

Or to put it another way, the problem with a pissing match is that afterwards, both parties smell like urine...

Except that's really not what Mike is doing here, is it? I mean, yes, feeding the trolls is a bit like giving a bratty kid throwing a temper tantrum a bunch of attention. (Come to think of it, it's really more than just a bit like that). But completely ignoring lack of civility has a way of backfiring as well. I think sometimes calling people on their shit is not a bad idea.
  • 9 2
 Or as another brilliant writer put it: "Haters gonna hate and ain'ters gonna ain't"
  • 4 2
 Well for some, the internet is their real world. hahahaha
  • 4 0
 I believe it's potatoes gonna potate but hey, tomato to some tomatis to others
  • 7 4
 Honestly Aaron chase's fat bike video from highland last week showed that a rigid fat bike is more than capable for everything even the most experienced riders could throw at it
  • 4 0
 Never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty and the pig likes it. ---George Bernard Shaw
  • 4 6
 You are totally correct. Why in the world he'd call people out in an article. About the classless thing a writer could do.. maybe that's just it... he's a blogger for PB. I really enjoyed his work until this.
  • 2 2
 I think he's got balls for writing this. And good for him. It sure as f*ck would be a lot easier to sit and say nothing for fear of upsetting the real "trendy" people.
If you look past the specific topic at hand, ie fatbikes, what Mike is really saying in this article is that there is more than one way to enjoy riding a bike. If your gonna call out someone for enjoying it their way, you are in turn calling yourself out for enjoying it your way.
If seeing other people riding a bike differently than you enjoy riding yours motivates you to start putting that person down, and inventing reasons in your mind that justify those actions, then you might want to take a step back and ask yourself who's the ass in that scenario. Just some food for thought.
  • 2 3
 ^ Getting upset over what people post on a website to the point of having to write out an article about it (all over a bike with wide tires, mind you), is the exact opposite of ballsy. There's nothing ballsy about this.

The internet is not the real world and a fatbike is another type of bike to purchase- that's all. Its not a person, its not an organization, its an inanimate object. You can turn off your computer and go riding whatever bike you want without issue, regardless of what a few people write on a website. Just some food for thought.
  • 61 1
 I came here expecting bearded ladies and I am leaving disappointed.
  • 1 0
 Massive disappointment, Killed the mood.
  • 3 0
 Now Mike's gonna call you out in an article.
  • 30 1
 Give anyone a fatbike and sit them atop a ski hill or sand dune and watch the hate disappear into big smiles.
  • 14 3
 and they will continue to smile all the way down. That smile will slowly fade as they reach the bottom and start pedaling up the other side however...
  • 2 0
 Ive been at a marathon MTB race that included two Olympic Gold medalists and multiple XCO world cup riders and the only rider that made it up the steep climb during either the elite or support races all weekend was riding a fatbike. He went on to finish not very far behind others of similar fitness that were on regular bikes. At most he would have been 15 mins faster over a 4 hour course on a regular bike. Contrary to popular belief they are not that hard to pedal uphill.
  • 29 6
 Hahaha. I don't like tandems either Mike. Especially riding shotgun with a dude as " the captain". If your name was Michelle maybe. and if you rode the tandem in your bikini to the beach, and if you were a "girl who just wanted to have fun" , then I think we could make this a date. But you know what Mr. levy.. Your right I do just wanna have fun, and if these wacky bikes give people enjoyment then have at it. Ride on brother.
  • 8 2
 Michelle is a dude's name i n many European countries. That gave me a funny image. Cool of you to handle this well. Good man.
  • 6 1
 There's Michel in French or Michele (with a 'k' sound) in Italian. If there's a double 'l' and the ending 'e', it's a female. You're welcome.
  • 4 2
 Thanks. Shows what I know.
  • 2 1
 Just use your "imagination" and Mr. Levy will be anything you want him to be. #tandemfatbikes4life
  • 2 1
 so, that explains why that dude i was talking to in europe over the phone sounded like a guy. FML!
  • 21 5
 Good shit. I started reading this article thinking you were going to try to appease these people. The pleasant surprise that you are in fact denouncing them and pointing out their ignorance is something I not only find entertaining but also fundamentally correct and entirely necessary. There are far too many people who complain about miniscule and ultimately meaningless things in this world. People get too worked up and are way to quick to hate things that bear no weight in their day to day lives and will never affect them whatsoever. Those are the people I hate most and when you publicly point out their intellectual downfalls, it makes me smile. A+ to you Mike.
  • 7 2
 Preach on brother!! Mike Levy coming out swinging 2015 Its going to be a good year
  • 4 0
 I guess people can't complain now because we'll get called out for our comments. Let's make sure everyone agrees with Mike.
  • 4 0
 I just hope everyone understands the irony and subjectivity of hating "haters". It's the internet. None of it is real life. There is no objective standard for these opinions that would make any of them more valid than another.

Mike Levy didn't decide to make abolishing puppy mills his work. He is a writer sharing his opinion about an industry that supports recreation. The comments are the same. One does not add more to society than the other.
  • 20 3
 If you hate on fat bikes, that's cool, but make sure that your head remains fully lodged in your ass so no one else can hear you talk shit about them.
  • 3 0
 can't stop laughing, bravo my friend
  • 2 1
 Can I hate on a unicycle, fat-tire, e-bike (if such a thing existed) without situating my cranium as described above?
  • 24 9
 About time someone answer those destructive cyber bullies. We should have our name and adress when we write a comment, maybe we would behave a bit more. No one is accountable anymore in this new society.
  • 20 3
 And your real name and address is...
  • 10 12
 Well I don't think I offended someone with my comments...And it would be a one way situation in this case and I dont see the fairness of it
  • 16 2
 thats a great idea! And then someone comes to your house with a bat because youre selling your really expensive bike.
  • 2 0
 That should spawn great new innovative ideas to be spread around the Internet! Great idea bonowanabe
  • 14 0
 When I bought a pugsley 4 years ago, it doubled my riding season. I pretty much gave up xc skiing. On the fat bikes, my crew gives up riding fast and chasing KOM's and starts bringing whiskey flasks along on rides. How could this be a bad thing?
  • 2 1
 lol i have my whiskey, kill the koms, go home and finish the bottle off. youre doing it wrong
  • 10 1
 Why does it matter to such extreme degrees? We are ALL mountain bikers from all different walks of life with the exact same goal... to have FUN riding our bikes! I have seen everything from unicycles in the North Shore, to most any type of riding discipline on 26", 27.5" and 29" wheels. Now, Fat Bikes have been around a while and are now taking the big stage in our global community as of late, and personally, I am excited about it like many others are. Progression, growth and change happen in all our lives regardless if we are ready for it, wanting it, or not. I'm just speaking for myself, but I have found it easier to just roll with the trivial things we encounter throughout life. Albeit, it does take some years/miles/life lessons to get to that mindset, but its worth it. By all means DO take a stance on things when they really impact you and your life. A Fatty on the same trails that we ride won't cause failing economies, war, hunger, improper land management, puppie mills or the like. Every year I see more and more people on the local trails I ride with the kind of smiles that only riding a bicycle in the woods can plaster on your face... and I love it. There are plenty of "hot topic" issues and ideas to get worked up over but bikes, components, etc. reviewed and shared on PB aren't if you take a second to think about it. DH, AM, FR, XC, DS, 4X, Super D, Enduro, Trail, Trials, Unicycles in The Shore and Fat Biking all have one awesome thing in common. Mountain Biking. Just like all of us on here and out in the rest of the world... we're all mountain bikers. Opinions are great, and brought up in thoughtful, educated and engaging ways are what keeps this world fun and spinning around, but disdain just causes damage and shows how narrow minded we all can be. I'm grateful our sport keeps growing. I'm excited that things are ever changing... and I can't wait to see what's next! Smile! Life is good my friends Smile
  • 12 3
 We are "all mountain" bikers, sorry I do #enduro
  • 2 0
 @tomorrowillbeyou well said I've been around a long time and have heard all the rederick about disc brakes to heavy blah blah look now their mainstream, suspension-dual suspension your crazy way heavy makes your bike uber heavy and slowwww can't remember that last time I seen a rigid on the trail. Fat bike, e-bikes, enduro are all changes in the biking world, all haters are small minded and are only thinking about there little piece of terra ferma. There is a place for all of us. We all ride to have fun. Life is Good.
  • 14 2
 I love my fat bike. So much Damn fun! Let 'em have it Levy!!
  • 10 4
 You also like unicorns and coors....
  • 8 1
 Coors?? BUD LIGHT!! Remember that!
  • 16 0
 Who doesn't like unicorns?????
  • 17 1
 People who were raped by unicorns such as myself. I hate those mythical bastards.
  • 3 0
 Rainbow Dash
  • 9 2
 youre a unicorn who raped people? no wonder the self-loathing.
  • 2 0
 Pinky Pie
  • 6 2
 I am actually the leader of the band of rapist unicorns. We do it because it's who we are, not because we want to.
  • 4 0
 One comma can make you the unicorn or the rapie, apparently.
  • 6 0
 I am both a unicorn, and a victim of unicorn rape. My poor use of punctuation was unfortunate nonetheless.
  • 14 4
 Great concept for a write-up - public shaming of comments is long overdue. Some of them are just plain tired. Amusing way to call them out without feeding the troll.
  • 11 3
 What a great Article mike! I felt everything you thought as I read the comments over the last few fatbike articles. It's about the smile on your face not what some douche thinks should or shouldn't be aloud on OUR trails not HIS trails. It's about fun guys so loosen up and just enjoy the ride
  • 9 0
 Gotta love anything with two wheels! At the end of the day if you enjoy riding you could be on a Raleigh chopper and have fun.
  • 13 6
 I get it. Everyone gets sick of trolls, Mike. Respond back in the comments if you must. Writing an article about 3 particular people just because you can? That's kinda lame. Not to say those three asshats don't have it coming, more that it kinda shows a lack of integrity on PB's part.
  • 4 0
 Typical of today's world Fatty. The loudest, which is most certainly the minority, gets the most attention. While the majority has to just read about how 3 people barking get the whole place all jacked up. I myself prefer to smile at those folks and pretend like they don't even exist.....exactly what they DON'T want...
  • 2 0
 Guys, chill out. It was a very entertaining article that many of us got a huge kick out of. It's not like pb is doing this every day. Plus, the article brings up some very valid points with regards to all the flack fat bikes get.
  • 2 0
 I hear you sam. But I also know that fat bikes are flying off the shelf and at this point, probably don't need much defending.
  • 1 0
 I think the point of this article doesn't just apply to fat bikes. The mountain bike community loves to hate anything new or different (29ers, enduro, 142x12, 650b), and it really needs to stop. All it does is make us seem childish and argumentative.
  • 7 0
 The frequency that my friends call me weird or crazy for going mountain biking, whiping by tree's and hitting jumps and drops in the woods is honestly concerning, my friends can be kinda lame... Ironicly none of them have a problem with fatbikes. Most think they're cool/ beastly looking.
  • 7 1
 My opinion on other peoples bikes: I don't get to have an opinion. Its their bike. Some things are sacred. And Mr Intense for life is waaay to intense for me. I can feel waves of ferocious intensity coming at me through the monitor.
  • 6 0
 I rode bikes before it was cool. Just like a lot of the pinkbike community. I'm just going out on a limb to guess that the fatbike hate committee members probably did not. They probably would have been too concerned what the neighbors thought. Remember when you couldn't ride to the trail or down the road without getting called a f** or having shit thrown at you or having rednecks or highschool kids swerve their car towards you? I agree that the fad/fashion argument is probably the most asinine one out there. It only takes stepping out of your comfort zone out on the trail to realize a bike like the Bucksaw will allow you to get more out of those awkward backcountry trails that would be miserable on a typical trail bike. And for fat bikes in general; extend the riding season for those of us who are truly nuttier than squirrel terds for shredding singletrack.
  • 2 0
 Agreed.
  • 7 0
 I enjoy the rawness of your opinion pieces, just laying out what your thing it's good to have at least on column like this every now and then
  • 10 1
 Ahahaha this was hilarious, people just got roasted xD
  • 8 3
 word man, word. i wish you used this kind of honesty and straight forwardness in your product reviews though. just joshin ya man, dont take it too serious, I really do appreciate the reviews and articles, you do an excellent job of getting information to us PB'ers and its not taken in vain. the naysayers wont admit it but, they appreciate your articles and reviews just as much, but in more of a negative demeanor. any feedback is good feedback for a writer/reviewer.
  • 5 0
 I experience Mike as a quite honest reviewer. He also writes in entertaining way.
  • 4 0
 Not to be a kiss ass, but I find @mikelevy 's reviews to be better than most...I mean take a look at bike mags 1 paragraph reviews in the bible of bike tests or the horrible reviews put out by the guys of enduro mag (who do make an effort but are shit writters) I've been reading reviews intensely for almost 10 years now and, although I do not always agree with them Mike's reviews do seem honest...a plus is that they are entertaining... so yeah @WAKIdesigns I agree.
  • 6 1
 I think if you read Mike's original review of that Salsa fat bike it somewhat validates what the anti-fatbike crowd is saying in a way. Because in one breath he said "I had more fun on the Bucksaw than on any other bike I've ridden in the last few years", but then a few sentences later says "it's still relatively slow and ungainly compared to a traditional mountain bike. It does make complete sense as an extremely entertaining second or third ride in your stable".

I've always kind of seen these bikes the same way. They look super fun as a change of pace or in certain specific conditions (snow, mud, sandy trails etc) but they aren't really on par with or something that will every be able to keep up with or replace the traditional mountain bike. Like a luxury if you can afford 3 bikes. Sort of like a swallow tail snowboard. Awesome if you happen upon a day when you have thigh deep powder, but pretty much useless compared to a more traditional snowboard in normal conditions.
  • 5 0
 Dear mike. I would happily ride a tandom fat bike with you. We can swap being the pilot so we can both enjoy my favorite pass times, skidding and ice creams. Great read. Cheers Matt.
  • 5 0
 What's your opinion of unicycles Mr. Levy? I'm a pretty open minded type, but when I see people on them (and there's quite a few in Santa Cruz) I just think to myself, "how can that be fun?".
  • 5 0
 I think asking, "how can that be fun?" is being closed minded. You're understanding that the person on the uni is having fun, but you don't understand what the fun part is. You're not saying. "I have never done that, thus, its stupid."

Being open minded is understanding that other people see the world differently than you.
  • 2 0
 As a unicyclist who used to be quite avid, It is fun for different reasons than biking!
  • 2 1
 I'm also a unicylist (mountain) and biker (DH, XC and road) and agree with Xyphota. Mountain unicycling is a lot more like trials riding or rock climbing (I'm also a climber). I understand why people look at it and think it wouldn't be fun, but it's really something you just have to do to understand.
  • 1 1
 jojotherider1977: disagree entirely. I am not understanding that the person on the unicycle is having fun, but I expect that there must be some appeal. Walking on stilts, or slack-lining (interestingly all things associated with the circus) are all things that I haven't done either, but think the appeal or gratification must come from executing something that is difficult. Snowbiking, deep sea diving, and kayaking are also things I haven't done before but can easily see the "fun" involved. I would think unicycling would fall into the former.
  • 2 0
 uh, I can't edit my early, but I clearly have a typo there. The first sentence should say:

I think asking, "how can that be fun?" ISN'T being closed minded...
  • 5 1
 im all for fat bikes and love riding mine but this article is kind of hypocritical. the guys ripping on fat bikes were giving their opinion and this whole article series is called opinion.. and even though they were mostly retarded comments why bother making an opinion piece to mock someone else's opinion and possibly loose those commentors as visitors to the site.
  • 8 0
 Holy shit this was so good
  • 4 0
 "...we've got bigger problems to worry about than Jim from down the street looking like a tool on his Surly Moonlander."

Looking like a tool and acting like a goon on the trails makes for some of the most ridiculous fun you can think of. You could probably even get a giggle out of Kenny Smith if you sat him on a fat bike and rolled him down a hill.

And frankly, I personally wouldn't mind rolling through Dairy Queen on the back of a tandem with Levy.
  • 4 0
 i dunno, kinda like the trolls on PB. makes things entertaining sometimes. i also like fatbikes...and unicycles, and unicorns-not the rapey kind. i also like seeing idiots called out, i like it even more when idiots realize the error of their ways. there's a place in my stable for a fatty soon. too bad the RM blizzard sold out so fast...oh well. next season
  • 7 0
 There is only 3 rules to MTB.

1: Get a bike.
2: Get a Helmet.
3: Go and have som fun.
  • 5 2
 oh man, now if you could just do a writeup that highlights all of the armchair engineers who can tell you for certain why a design is going to fail, or can point out the 200 ways that something could have been done better. News for that gang, engineers design these things, smart people who are paid to think about that stuff, chances are, they thought about your option Z and there were three reasons against it, so it didn't fly. If you don't like something, let your wallet do the talking.
  • 3 0
 What a hero! Tell it like it is! I've been following pinkbike for over 10 years and the site keeps getting better. It is unfortunate the the users are not of the same caliber. You now have my undying respect Mr. Levy. Remember that some of us have your back!
  • 3 0
 I sure am glad that I am new to mountain biking. I can't get enough of all forms of riding whether it be fat bikes or XC rigs. I just love making brapp sounds while riding my Kona process. Oh yeah, my Kona has been the subject of many people who I have ridden with about how crappy it is and why anyone would want an aluminum bike. Haters gone hate, and I am going to be loving every second I get while riding any bike I can.
  • 4 1
 C'mon, not cool for naming and shaming people for their views whatever they maybe. Childish. I'd thought people were above the idiots talking crap.
I'm sure that those folk are either either trolls or a bit young and green to understand the world, perhaps both?

If you don't like something a company sells, don't buy it. Fairly simple to understand. Market forces will dictate whether they survive or die. Unicycles are niche, just like fixies and recumbent bikes, but they have a following albeit not the same size as the mtb market is.

Chill out!
  • 3 0
 I understand there might be frustration when an individual with a different level of awareness and communication skills presents a conflicting opinion to that of ones own. However, like I tell my 12 year old daughter, "when you let an exterior source determine your emotional state you then become it's puppet. The only two things we have control over in this life is our attitude and our action." Furthermore, reiterating the "interesting perspectives", even if to disqualify them, only perpetuates the existence of those opinions. I think there is enough intelligence in this community to sort through the dirt (pun intended). BUT... in believing this, there is a selfish benefit to said opinions being perpetuated.... The hate might create a price break on these Awesome Beasts!

I rode one at a demo getting bugs caught in my teeth from a cheek hurting grin while listening to the sound of the tires hummm down the trail like the sound of a jacked up jeep blazing down the freeway. It reminded me of when I was 8ish and I was so excited to spend the day on my bike with my buds that I showed up at my friends doorstep after racing down the street to his house, knocked on the door, looked down and realized I was only sporting my Heeman whitey-tighty's cause in my flurry, I forgot to put on pants.

Yes, the bike in my opinion is Rad!
  • 6 2
 I'm glad this article has been written! Nice one dudes. Got to say I was expecting something like this after all the hate on the pinkbike awards!
  • 4 2
 I think one of the reason there are so much poor comments is that there are likes and dislikes on every comment, that allows shitty sterotypical, unfounded comments to spread widely (like on 29er, enduro, 650b, fatbikes...) On the other side it allows to see the best comments, jokes, first. This adds some credibility to the news. Mike, you shouldn't take bad comments seriously, just ignore them when they're not constructive...
  • 3 1
 'A fellow mountain biker shitting on fat bikes is a bit like being the bearded woman in the circus sideshow and calling the sword swallower a freak. We're riding bicycles in the bush, guys... we ARE the sideshow to the large majority of the stick and ball-loving public, and that's a good thing.' - Its a GREAT thing. We do it because it is fun, and because we love it.
  • 4 0
 It's not about what kind of bike they're riding, rather what kind of enjoyment they're experiencing, isn't it? Well is it, yes or no?
  • 2 0
 I initially didn't like fat bikes, but now I think I am starting to enjoy them. Also, great article, very well worded. But where does this leave E Bikes? I feel that fat bikes and regular bikes fall into the same category, but E-bikes are a different breed.
  • 2 0
 E-bikes, e-scooters, e-skateboards or anything else that isn't 100% human powered is in a different category from "bikes." It's a really easy, black-and-white distinction in my opinion.
  • 3 1
 I've ridden fat bikes and in certain applications they are loads of fun, but commuting is not one of them! I commute all winter, every day, using 35mm studded tires are rarely have traction issues on Calgary's beautifully cleared pathway system. This year I'm seeing lots of fat bikes - just today (dry pavement, +7 and sunny) I counted four fat bikes! Interestingly on Monday, after a 5cm snowfall the previous day, I counted only one fat bike. Did everyone put their fat bikes away when it snowed? What are they afraid of? Surely my 35mm tires can't be superior in the snow? Am I missing something here?

The only logical reason is that the fat bike boosts their confidence enough to attempt winter commuting and without this bike, they wouldn't be on a bike in winter. So good on them for getting out, having fun and riding their bike...that's what it's all about.
  • 5 0
 From all the negative props, it seems like fatbikers are particularly sensitive to criticism...maybe it's their weight?
  • 2 0
 Fat bikes have been around for ages, they have been fun for ages. Just keep them real and don't "americanize" them. No suspension and 8 psi in the tyres. People riding up heather tracks where the best full sus can't dream of or on the sand dunes. Would love one if the wife would let me.
  • 2 0
 I agree with not feeding trolls. However when it comes to bike talk, I have always had fun with it. and it has always felt a bit more tounge in cheek than trolls grumbling about gay marriage. The I had a ball when it was en vogue to hate on 9ers. I have never ridden a fat bike, mostly cause the style of ridding is more xc and well im fat.... but i will defend them just because it is new tech to the sport I love and I may bennifit from it one day soon, and also because it is gosh darn fun getting ppl up in a knot. I am from the time when snowboarding was banned at most resort and ppl on skis hatted me because i had a different kind of fun. I loved making the hatters mad, and the change brought new tech to both snowboarding and skiing, and really saved the sliding down an icy hill industry.
  • 3 1
 but Unicylces..... DONT EFFIN GET ME STARTED ON THOSE BASTARDS WHO ONLY HAVE ONE WHEEL!!!
  • 3 1
 "I only care how long my last skid was". o.o You really wanna get me started on environmental destruction there Levy? O.o

That was a joke.

Yeah shitting on a stupid looking fad that happened for the sake of "new" is probably not the best use of anyone's time, but your criticism of other's opinions that conflict with your own is exactly the same thing. They have as much right to hate it as you do to love it. Wasting PB space for the sake of your own crusade to sway the opinions of what you call a few is just as stupid as you think they are for having the opinions that they do. I'm with you on the BB, post & axle problems, along with plenty other things that piss me off about the MTB industry *cough* derailleurs *cough*, but puppy mills? Sure c'mon guys let's all head over to Pinkpuppymillprotest.com to protest puppy mills rather than spend it here on PB talkin' bikes. :s You could be doin' the same thing with your time instead of using PB as your own personal protest sign against other bikers having opinions different than your own.

Claiming that that those users seem like the types that would deny women the vote & shun the theory of evolution is like them saying that you seem like the type of idiot that's in favor of having a hundred different seat post diameters. Of course we all know you're smarter than that, right? Blank Stare
  • 5 1
 it's genetically impossible to hate any wheel on dirt. nice write up, mr levy.
  • 3 1
 maybe its time to link people's PB profiles to FB or Twitter or something else, make people use real names... might cut down on the vitriol and stupidity and make the forums and comments generally more pleasant.
  • 10 0
 I've always said the way to add more fun is to add more rules and regulations.
  • 1 0
 I'm member of a local site and the vast majority voluntarily use their real name, and if not, everyone knows who it is because we know them through the social rides. I've never seen a harsh word on that site. The one person who went 'pinkbike' on someone else's opinion was shut down by the crowd. It such a different vibe there... so take that you carpark-skidding recumbent-riding full-retail-price-paying slowpokes!!
  • 4 1
 This reminds me of an old joke..."What do fat bikes and big girls have in common? They're fun to ride but you wouldn't want your friends to see you!"
  • 3 1
 An old joke that's been shared in every comment section of every fatbike article or release over the last 2 years...... sorry, crisco. But I laughed at it 2 years ago.
  • 2 1
 This was great! I think my issue with the entire Fat bike craze was that there were people who actually considered the fat bike a more capable bike than enduro bikes and high performance trail bikes. I just naturally fought against them. Needless to say, but while it won't be soon I will have a fat bike in the stable...
  • 1 0
 I see bikes like I see tools in a shed. Some do one thing and one thing only, albeit very well if it is a well made tool. Some things are incredibly versatile. What tool is more capable than the other depends on the task. Which tool you invest in and choose to carry should depend on what task or tasks you are going to be doing most often. My RM Blizzard is much more capable than my Tallboy LTc for some things, and much less for others. The Blizzard has been eye opening though in terms of just how many things it is good at in any f'ing weather, terrain, trail and off-trail riding whether it is dry or wet or frozen. Neither bike is a one trick pony. They each excel at a very wide variety of trails and conditions. I can't really afford to have too many tools in my shed, so I chose two really good ones in my opinion, for my terrain and local weather throughout the year.
  • 5 1
 Now searching the comments for all user names called out in the article for max popcorn consumption.
  • 2 0
 Wow take it easy buddys it's all about having fun on a bike I tell you guys something go out and Roll a fatty today and see how high you will get on it fat bike, thay are here to stay. _____O^O_____
  • 7 2
 Unless they're riding an e-bike. Then hate on.
  • 1 0
 ^^^^um.... this^^^^ nothing to really bitch about until I see an e-bike on my trials. F*ck you e-bikes.
  • 4 0
 Georg Carlin said it best.

" Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things."
  • 1 0
 I think it was "Don't sweat the petty, but pet the sweaty."
  • 3 2
 My stance on Fat Bikes is this: They look stupid. BUT they are really fun to ride and they open up a whole new season of riding (6 months of the year where I grew up). That makes them pretty awesome, but people riding them should be self aware that they are in fact pretty goofy looking--and lets face it, grown adults riding around bicycles in circles through the woods is goofy enough as it is these bikes take that to a whole new level! Does that mean we shouldn't ride them? Absolutely not! But I personally believe that we should remember that they do look pretty goofy, but there isn't anything wrong with looking like an idiot from time to time. I liken fat bikes to a scene from Nitro Circus III where Travis is riding around on a 50cc bike in a foam cowboy hat, sunglasses and cargo shorts. He looks like a complete dork but you can feel how much fun he is having. Fat bikes are the same, yeah they look stupid, but if you are having fun and don't take yourself seriously they are pretty great. They aren't cool like Led Zeppelin or The Clash are cool, they are like Carly Rae Jepsen, really fun if you recognize the fact that they aren't meant to be taken too seriously.
  • 4 0
 If it looks stupid and it works, it's not stupid. One of my favourite maxims.
  • 3 0
 I am realizing now that I've been taking you all wrong, Mike Levy. This is easily my favorite article of the year, and one of best opinion pieces I have read.
  • 1 0
 I'm a previous salsa bike owner, and they're artistic attention to detail in frame design is second to none. I'd grab one of these in a heartbeat if I had they extra coin laying around. they seem to be the perfect balance between a "full on" massive fat tire beast and a "normal" tire trail bike. I imagine blasting through a chunky jagged rock garden aboard one of these would be a nothing but perspective changing experience.
  • 1 0
 Anything you do anywhere there will always be haters trying to tell you its a bad idea or its stupid people just need to mind their own business nowadays and stop trying to change everyone elses lives other than their own just because its somthing they know nothing about they want to judge it or says its wrong.Even other than in the biking world everyone is raised their own way everyone is different . Some people chose to go out and hunt and fish for their own organic food, others chose to go to specialty stores and pay thru the nose for the same "organic" food thats at market basket neither is rite or wrong, what ever you do is rite for you and it doesnt matter toajyone else. Some people ride road bikes some people ride downhill whiles some people ride bmx its all for the same cause though because we all love riding on 2 wheels wether their fat or not. Some people ride in spandex some people ride in full downhill gear dosnt make either rite or wrong. I dont post much or at all but I couldnt help myself on this one.
  • 1 0
 Such a great article!! It never ceases to amaze me at the hate in the cycling community (not just PB) for anything that doesn't fit into someone's pre-conceived notion of what's cool. And for the record, fat bikes can be fast, I've set a number of PRs on mine on dry trails. If fat tires were a good idea 30 years ago, then why is it that fatter tires suddenly must suck? I bet every single one of those posts has never ridden a fat bike either.
  • 1 0
 Well put Mr. Levy. I don't ride DH, XC, or urban. I'm not a commuter, or a fatbiker, I'm a cyclist. I ride bikes. It's time we grow up a bit/ (but juuuust a little)

I get some of the hate, a lot of fatbikers have never ridden off road before, so dealing with new riders who don't always know/follow trail etiquette can be frustrating. I look at is an opportunity to educate new riders so that we all get along. Remember, in the end, we choose spend our free time riding our bikes in the woods with friends.
  • 1 0
 What I don't understand is if they are that mad, pissed off, whatever - then why read the articles? I am in Wisconsin and it has been cold since the 1st of the year - and my Pugsley allows me to get out and ride the snow covered trails. If you don't like/understand fat bikes - great, turn the channel, read a different article. Please continue to do in-depth reviews on the bikes and parts.
  • 3 0
 Great article. We all look foolish riding our bicycles thought the woods, so who cares how big the tire's are. All that matters is that you're having fun while riding.
  • 2 0
 A buddy of mine was crapping all over fat tire bikes at a party a couple years back, talking loudly and making look like I was a fool for thinking it was the next new thing. what a dick.
  • 2 0
 Great write up! Calling those three guys out was awesome and I bet their well ashamed of themselves now! Why can't peak ole just adopt new ideas more easily and realize were all in this sport just to have fun.
  • 2 0
 I love fatbikes and I've never even ridden one. It's great they are becoming so popular though because they pack down all the snow on the trails so I can ride my regular trail bike
  • 1 0
 Mike, it looks like you took quite a bit of heat for this article (and the Bucksaw one). I'm not sure you sold me on the fat bike for the use in North Vancouver, but I did appreciate the honest review. It gave me a good sense of what it would ride like.

I also thought the 36 was a good pick for the suspension product of the year. Those who have ridden the Pike and the new 36 back to back can comment. The Pike is an awesome product, but I think the new 36 edges it out when riding really hard.

Mike
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Ill ride a tandem bike with you, but not to DQ, I say we hit up the Vortex and see if we can't find someone to help us eat our food that special way you talked about.
  • 4 0
 Don't ever make fun of a sword swallower. The more the better.
  • 5 0
 Bikes are fun, mmkay.
  • 2 0
 So... nothing about unicycles? It's still okay to make fun of unicycles, right?
If that's not okay, just tell me. I'll stop, but I won't want to live on this website anymore.
  • 2 1
 I have the same question, what are we hating now... Looks like we can't hate on #enduro either. What about cx, scooters, e-bikes and roadies?
  • 2 0
 Meh whatever you like...pick ur tire size that works for you, just as we do for religion(philosophy), self defense/hunting devices, and preferred climate zones.
  • 2 0
 The only thing I hate is not having enough time and money to try all the different types of bikes and all the crazy trails around the world. Ride what you like and have fun!
  • 3 0
 Fatbikers pack the trail so I can ride them on my 2.3's. Thank you fatties!!!
  • 3 0
 Great article! Fat bikes are awesome!! They ride so differently than any other type of bike and can be pretty fast.
  • 4 2
 I'm itching to try a fat bike. Not into hard tails normally but they just look fun.
  • 6 3
 those puppy mills though,,,
  • 2 4
 Free the puppies !!
  • 5 0
 Freakin love Coors and unicorns!!!
  • 4 0
 WTF is a puppy mill? Is it a US thing? The image I see a conveyor belt feeding puppies into a massive crushing machine!
  • 3 1
 Never ridden a fat bike. Don't personally like the look, but respect the ride.
  • 3 0
 Think of all the complaints when the 29er fat bikes get designed......
  • 1 0
 It already happened long ago...
  • 2 0
 **cough cough** Surly Krampus **cough cough**
  • 1 0
 plus many others... cough cough...
  • 1 0
 I get people shouldn't "talk shit" on bike but to be honest I don't see what is so revolutionary about wider tires and rims..
  • 1 0
 Honestly I really don't have an opinion about Fat Bikes. I just want to know if you enjoyed writing the article. Nice work.
  • 2 0
 i don't find fault in these people expressing their opinions, it is going to happen, so just let the trolls die hungry.
  • 1 0
 I'm totally planning on making a fat bike the third bike in my stable I don't understand why there's so much hate towards them
  • 1 0
 29ers for life! I don't care if they are huge! They are darn fast and I love them! I don't care who knows it! Fatties are awesome too in their own hilarious way!
  • 1 0
 So glad this got published, but what if I wear pink spandex while riding my mountain bike? Does that put me in the tent or out of it?

Also, I still want to ride that bike.
  • 2 0
 How about a review of some steel rigid 29+ bikes... that'll be sure to stir some bile Razz (ps am lovin' my krampus)
  • 1 0
 If i keep eating pies like i am then i will need a fat bike for a fat boy if not then they are just for sand and snow and they is neither here in Essex land
  • 2 0
 I know all the haters are curious about what if feels like for a fatbiker..... like that song by Madonna.
  • 2 0
 Excellent article Mike! I dig your consistently well written and thoughtful work. Smiles all around.
  • 4 2
 Now I have to buy another bike! Drat! Don't ya hate when that happens!
  • 5 3
 Why is there progress ? Can everything stay the same please ! The 3 wheel size is already costly enough

I want my black and white TV and my 8 track cassette
  • 3 2
 A Fat bike would be fun on Washington trails in the winter. Wide tires would be super grippy. I want one.
  • 3 1
 Awesome article Mike... thanks!
  • 2 0
 Hahaha love this article!!
  • 2 0
 Where's the Bearded Women? So disappointed.
  • 1 1
 I think I understand where you are coming from with this article, but it seems like there are a lot of ideas in it that are not fleshed out.
  • 2 0
 Love this article so much!
  • 1 0
 I like the comments more than the article! But thanks for stirring the pot a little more Dr. Levy! You must be kohai of Dr. Spaceman.
  • 2 0
 I'm not sure how any one could hate a bike..
  • 1 0
 i had a kona scrap that i wasn't that fond of, but i get your viewpoint. (people would think im nuts if they saw how i interact with my bike)
  • 1 0
 I'm a circus freak for many other reasons in addition to being a mountain biker.
  • 1 0
 What A great read and on point! Just ordered myself a Fatty to keep myself busy while I´m not backcountry skiing.
  • 1 0
 Levy is right. No matter your steed, we'll all circus freaks, so show your brotherhood/sisterhood.
  • 3 0
 you got some balls !!
  • 2 0
 Nice article Mike. I wish people were more tolerant too.
  • 4 1
 Terrible write.
  • 2 5
 Well written Mike... at first i thought you were taking it too personal....but no, i totally agree with you.
In my opinion PB should be at slightly more strict on banning users, some spoiled bratts are just boring and exhausting.i've been banned from PB before so i know what i am talking about.

The question is how strict?
  • 2 1
 Seriously talented dude.....maybe Mike should read it too.
  • 1 0
 NEVAR READ TEH COMMENTZ ...but when you do, don't be surprised.
  • 4 3
 Y'all sound like roadies. Criticizing equipment and giving lame opinions.
  • 1 2
 I look at fat bike guy the way xc guy gives me the look when I'm on my DH... they don't get it... well guess what? It's not for you... and that's OK.
  • 2 1
 I gotta tiny penis. But huge fackin balls
  • 1 0
 I'm still guns group them with e-bikes and off road segways!
  • 3 2
 I'd ride a fatty any day over a 29er.
  • 1 1
 Not sure about You defending FAT Bikes but not sealed drive bikes so how about Fat Sealed Drive bikes?
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of the song The Trees by Rush.
  • 2 0
 i hate puppy mills.
  • 1 0
 Great article. I want to smile with you.
  • 2 0
 Gold. Pure gold.
  • 2 0
 Bang on.
  • 2 0
 fat bikes are rad.
  • 1 1
 Hey @mikelevy ... are you justifying hating on Etto helmets, Factory Pilot Eyeshades, and pink Spandex ? Wink
  • 1 0
 It ain't over till the fat lady sings.
  • 1 0
 Atta Boy Mike! Hilarity.
  • 1 0
 So good.
  • 1 1
 Did I get it right, pink spandex on 29" enduro fat bike is the future? Smile
  • 1 2
 So what about unicyclists? Men with tits? Smile
  • 2 5
 Hey Mike! Maybe you evolved from monkeys, but I am God made.
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