I had 4 emails yesterday from people wondering why I wasn’t furiously blogging about the new Specialized fatbikes revealed yesterday.
Here it is, on bike rumor:
I saw the releases coming out (and I saw a lot of shops twitter-rhea of pics from the Specialized dealer camp), but didn’t post it up. Why? There’s a panoply of reasons.’
I was busy. True. Yesterday, I was swamped. But I could have made time for a quick post and link, so that’s not the real reason.
I’m not impressed. Also true. One of the biggest manufacturers in bikes gets into the fatbike scene, and there’s no innovation? Aluminum frame + carbon fork. That’s it. No nifty drivetrain, no new ideas. On top of that, it uses 190mm rear spacing. 190mm. Go look at a 12×142 mountain bike. Now add nearly 2 inches in width. In my mind, that’s ridiculous. (And Speshy isn’t even the first to go to 190). I think riders will be spending a lot of time clapping their heels against the chainstays…and I’m curious to see what the Q-factor will be. Will there be innovation in the future? Maybe. But for their ‘first out of the gate’ effort, I’d expect more. I’d expect something more thoughtful and more innovative. Specialized, who has made a practice out of suing others who do something even remotely like what Specialized does, has come out of the gates swinging with…a fatbike that just copies what everyone else does. If you slapped a Salsa sticker on it, I don’t think anyone would look twice. (Hey, it even has matte olive drab powdercoat). I didn’t feel compelled to go write about it, because I don’t see any there there. I don’t view this as a company coming to market to bring new and exciting technologies. I view this as a Speshy wanting to glom onto a niche that they’re not in, so they copy existing technology and start mass-producing unremarkable fatbikes. I view it as one step up over a Walmart fatbike.
I’m not sure where the blog is going. I’ve grown tired of posting news snippets here with links to bikerumorradarmtbr. That’s taken on the feel of those bozos on the interwebz who line up to comment “first” on a story or post. I started writing the blog as a catharsis…and because I enjoyed documenting what I was doing. Now, I try to avoid situations where the blog gets in the way of the ride. Saturday, I had what was probably the best gravel ride of my life. 53 miles, average speed over 18mph, and I rode amazingly well. I didn’t bring a camera. Why? Because I wanted to enjoy the ride…not worry about composing pictures. I’m still going to write about things that I enjoy, and I’m still going to document some rides…but I won’t fell compelled to write 5 posts a week. I’m not going to worry about how quickly I’ll hit 500,000 views, or why I didn’t have 1,000 hits on a given day. I am going to ride my bike more (SAW), and I am going to work on Axletree more.
I don’t know what’s good for fatbiking. More fatbikes probably means that parts are more available, and prices come down. But I don’t know what else it means. I get away with a lot of trail ‘poaching’ in the winter, riding in forest preserves and other areas where it is technically legal, but not often practiced. I don’t know what happens if 20 other fatbikers start riding in these areas. I’m not saying that I don’t want others to find out about and enjoy fatbiking, but I am saying that as a trail advocate, I have to wonder what happens next.
So that’s it. Not a carbon-fiber fatbike…more like a carbon-copy fatbike.