First Look: Michigan Made 616 Fabrication Prototype Fatbike Hubs, Stainless Bikes

Michigan Made 616 Fabrication Shows off Prototype Fatbike Hubs, Stainless Bikes

Founded in 2011, 616 Bicycle Fabrication has been building custom bikes and producing their own hubs, all in their Western Michigan head quarters. 616 has been making both standard mountain and fatbike hubs out of their machine shop since they started, but by the looks of things their fatbike hubs are up for a major redesign. Completely new from the ground up, the hubs will present yet another option to the growing fatbike market, and like the rest of their wares, will still be made in the US.

In addition to the hubs, 616 is now offering stainless steel frames, as well as a tandem fatbike that will be available this summer!

Michigan Made 616 Fabrication Shows off Prototype Fatbike Hubs, Stainless Bikes

616′s original fat hubs were much like their mountain bike hubs – 6061 Aluminum hub shells, a 7075 front axle, and a rear 4130 chromoly axle with Center Lock rotor mounts and a Shimano Freehub. The new hubs feature a much larger tapered shell and wider flanges for improved strength and a stiffer wheel build. The Shimano freehub is gone in favor of an Easton model – which means they no longer have to modify the Shimano freehub with their own bearing retainer to run a sealed bearing instead of the cup and cone. The hubs will move to a 4 bearing design from the previous 2, and will feature a 12mm thru axle design that will still accept a standard QR. Brake mounts will move to 6 bolt instead of Center Lock, and there will even be an option for an 11 speed compatible freehub later this summer for 1×11 builds.

An interesting note with the front hub, is that it will accommodate both a 10 and 15mm rotor offset, meaning they can be run with any fatbike fork on the market – which I believe might be one of the first hubs to do so.

Michigan Made 616 Fabrication Shows off Prototype Fatbike Hubs, Stainless Bikes

Aaron was quick to point out that the hubs are still very raw – these are lacking the holes in the flanges to reduce weight, pre-anodization, and pre-laser etching, but give a good idea of what’s to come. Weight is not yet known, but Aaron assures us it will be less than their current hubs (he called them SUPER LIGHT). Like the previous hubs they will be available in a range of colorful options.

Michigan Made 616 Fabrication Shows off Prototype Fatbike Hubs, Stainless Bikes

Their new hubs will go great with 616′s new tandem fatbike, as well. Fat tandems will be rolling out of 616 this summer, with the price TBD. 616 mentioned they only sell through dealers and are currently looking for dealers in all major markets they don’t have one currently.

Michigan Made 616 Fabrication Shows off Prototype Fatbike Hubs, Stainless Bikes Michigan Made 616 Fabrication Shows off Prototype Fatbike Hubs, Stainless Bikes

Don’t worry, if fat bikes aren’t your thing, 616 builds mountain and cyclocross bikes as well in steel, and now stainless steel. With multiple stock sizes to choose from or custom sizes and paint, 616 has a ton of options to build up your next bike. Stainless frames are available in all of their options, with 616 making their own stainless BB shells and head tubes in house, and the rest of the tubing sourced through KVA stainless.

 

 

Comments

jason - 03/29/13 - 10:07am

Tandem fat bike, somebody was going to do it sooner or later.

Collin - 03/29/13 - 11:03am

Sweetbikes made one this fall and has been racing it all winter:

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/three-for-thursday-sweet-bikes-36659/

wheelguy - 03/29/13 - 11:12am

Pretty cool. Full suspension tandem fatbike will be next. Might as well do carbon too.

Maarten - 03/29/13 - 12:50pm

Sandman has a fat tandem already for several years, the sandman Outback.

I ride with 616 fat hubs for almost a year. They are very light and you do not have to look after them.
with the closed bearings they are just a perfect option on a fatbike!

David French - 03/29/13 - 1:51pm

Apart from I can’t stand the cold, I wish it snowed heavily for a few months where I live, just for the excuse to buy a fat bike :-)

slick - 03/29/13 - 2:03pm

David – They offer some really nice Cyclocross bicycles also and if you don’t have snow… You can always use a fatbike to ride in sand!

Ripnshread - 03/29/13 - 3:15pm

Love these guys but come on…616 is a small area code in Western Mi. 231 is much larger and where most of the ridding is…lol..keep it up guys…but us 231ers know the deal.

KC - 03/29/13 - 5:50pm

I really hope 616 have improved their framebuilding in the past year. They made 29′er frameset for me for a different bike brand and it’s the worst frame I’ve seen in the past 20 yrs I had custom bikes.
Welds (all of them) are really crappy, allignment is off on several tubes, seattube not reamed (had to had this done because the post wouldn’t fit), tubes are badly mitered at seatstays (welds were used to cover the gaps), seatstay bridge isn’t welded in straight. Fork is so badly welded that the welds even show holes after paint. Fork also has odd bumps where the legs have been bent. Worst thing is, they don’t stand by their product. Still stuck with a worthless frameset.
As I said, I hope they are better now because the design they carry is nice.

DK - 03/30/13 - 12:48pm

KC, Sorry to hear about your issues. Could you email me directly? i would love to chat with you. I replaced the welder/machinist they had when they first started and can assure you the work we do, and have been doing, sinse i started has greatly improved. daniel@616fab.com

Would love to hear from you.

mack10 - 04/03/13 - 1:48pm

I indirectly know a guy who purchased a singlespeed frame a few months ago who had the dropout snap in his garage. Not sure if it was from the bird turd welds or the fact I heard it was ti welded to steel… Other than that the pant looked amazing and the frame looked excellent. hope they have solved their welding issues and it seems like DK has it figured out.

DHR - 05/31/13 - 3:28pm

My close friend and riding buddy purchased a 616 fatbike late last year. The welds were mediocre, and the frame was slightly off center…but the paint job was outstanding and the cut six1six bridge was just awesome looking. I ultimately went with an off the shelf Mukluk at the time because of those issues. I hope they fixed the issues as stated in the post because I am looking to upgrade from my Mukluk very soon, and I am eyeing (more like salivating) a stainless steel fatbike!

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