So of all of the weeks to miss blogging, I guess last week was pretty big. There was this thing called NAHBS, and this other thing called Frostbike. That, and I missed a ton of Harlem Shake videos on Youtube.
I’ll run down a few quick favorites, since they’ve been blogged to death elsewhere.
Salsa Carbon Beargrease
With an XX1 build and Avid Hydro brakes, they’re supposed to list around $5500. With Husker Dus. 24 pounds stock. Go tubeless, and it’s probably 23 pounds. I just hope they keep the flat black on black setup. Thoughts?
It’s super hot. I’m guessing it is super stiff. I’m also guessing that it has better vibration dampening than an aluminum frame…but on a fatbike, that’s what tires are for. Honestly, it makes a great deal more sense to me than the aluminum Beargrease. My concerns? Durability given the conditions that fatbikes are used in. That said, I’m confident Salsa has tested it and the carbon stands up to the test. (Note: that’s my general concern about carbon on mountain bikes…and yes, I’m slowly being converted). I’m super excited to see Sram getting into fat bikes, and in case anyone’s wondering, yes, I think XX1 makes PERFECT SENSE for fat bikes. Lightweight, huge gear spread, single chainring for tire clearance.
I guess when Kid Riemer recently posted (in response to a less-than-flattering mass media review of fat bikes) that lighter fatbikes were coming, he was serious. Must start scouring facebook for more bike details.
Salsa also showed another variant of their tandem prototype, first shown here.
Recall that’s the prototype ridden in the Tour Divide last year. Here’s the current prototype:
Notable changes: opposing cranks (As compared to both cranks on the drive-side on the original variant), straight-through central support (as compared to the kinked support on the original), massive White Brothers Loop fork, and a few other updates (and geometry changes, apparently). More details here. I think that this could be a killer setup for gravel rides like the Gravel Metric, et al. For some reason, riding a tandem for a ride like that seems like it would be a blast. Perhaps Salsa will bring their prototype out to play some time.
Fearless prediction time: I think White Brothers is going to be the first to market with a fatbike suspension fork. (Yes, I know of the flame and other limited availability items. I’m talking full, commercial availability in North America). Make a wider Loop, and you’re done. But I digress.
There were a ton of lusty NAHBS bikes…including several tasty offerings from Calfee. There is also one that I’m going to briefly mention because I like the trend. What do these bikes have in common?
The Moots trail maintenance bike…and Scott from Porcelain Rocket’s new Rick Hunter custom fattie:
More details on that bike over on Vik’s blog.
What do I like about these?
Well, in my mind, fatbikes are heading in two directions. One direction is the lightweight, focused, competitive fatbike. Right now, I think the Carbon Beargrease is the bike most emblematic of that trend. Light, racy, fast.
The other direction is the more expedition oriented fatbike…for long rides. Bike camping. Expeditions. Touring. Come what may. For rides like that, a longer wheelbase, increased cargo capacity, wider drivetrain and more relaxed geometry make sense. I’m excited to see a few more fatbikes that are fatbike/cargo bike mixed-breeds. Long, stable wheelbases with lots of room for gear. It’s a trend I’d like to see more of. As much fun as my Big Dummy is, if Surly had a fat cargo bike (hopefully a hybrid of the two…a bit shorter than the Dummy, a bit longer than a Pugsley…but still long enough to hold an adult passenger), I’d drop my Dummy like it’s hot. Not because the Dummy is bad, but because the Dummy is fun. And fatbikes are fun. And a fatbike dummy…sounds like way too much fun.
That’s all we have time for today. We’ll have a few exciting things in the next few weeks, as we return to our regular programming.