IB13: 11Nine’s Prototype Fatbike – Plus Size Titanium Full Suspension

11nine fat bike titanium full suspension (2)

While the fatbike world seems to be going crazy over building the lightest fatbikes, full suspension continues to be not far behind. The stumbling block for full suspension fatbikes has been the availability of a front fork, as the rumors of a fatty fork from a major manufacturer haven’t yet materialized. However, with a few companies now offering what appears to be the same inverted suspension fork as others on the market (though 11nine was the first to actually offer them for sale) perhaps full suspension fatbikes will soon flourish? 11nine thinks so and has put forth not only their prototype Direwolf full suspension frame, but their new LuLu inverted fork as well. Curious about the names? Well, Lance is a family man and at the time of picking a name his kids were 11 and 9 while LuLu is a nickname for his daughter.

This titanium prototype is a beauty, but what does production hold? Find out, next.

11nine fat bike titanium full suspension (4)

11nine fat bike titanium full suspension (5) 11nine fat bike titanium full suspension (6)

Based on 120mm of travel, the frame is currently a four bar design with a Horst Link style rear pivot and a floating lower shock mount. We say currently because Lance mentioned the pivots may change for the final production. The frame is currently running a 170x12mm rear thru axle and a 100mm threaded bottom bracket and a single front chanring. Lance also mentioned that the eye-to-eye on the shock will be a standard size which is important because the frame only will likely not include a shock so you can pick your own.

Tire clearance on the Direwolf is said to be adequate for a 4.25″ tire on a 65mm rim, and weight for the bike pictured was 35.48lbs without pedals though Lance thinks sub 33lbs would be possible.

11nine fat bike titanium full suspension (7)

11nine fat bike titanium full suspension (8) 11nine fat bike titanium full suspension (9)

The ti frame was very well built, but don’t expect ti for production – currently the only plans are for aluminum bikes down the road. The production frames will have a tapered head tube though allowing multiple options for forks, including the 11Nine LuLu. At $899, the LuLu maxes out at 110mm of travel and includes the 135x15mm front hub. Weight of the fork is just under 5 pounds and has rebound, and compression adjustments as well as a lockout.

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The included hub is a 32 j-bend spoke design with 6 bolt rotor mounting and uses an internal cam thru axle.

11nine fat bike titanium full suspension (1)

11nine also had their titanium hardtail the Simus on display even though it was getting quite a bit less attention than its full suspension brother. Lance said production plans were definitely in place for the Direwolf, but Simus he didn’t sound so sure of. What do you think, should 11nine bring this bike to life? *Update: Lance told us he has decided to produce the Simus rigid out of aluminum.

 

Comments

EricNM - 10/07/13 - 11:29am

In all seriousness, I would like (non-snarky) explanations as to why you would ever want a fat bike with front suspension, let alone full suspension. Please enlighten. : )

Colin - 10/07/13 - 11:39am

less rider fatigue

cio - 10/07/13 - 11:40am

@eric- Because it is useful when you start off by jumping out of an airplane.. :)

dan - 10/07/13 - 11:43am

Kill it in the fires of mordor

G - 10/07/13 - 11:53am

sweet jumps

Mowikan - 10/07/13 - 11:54am

Was there a clown killed for that rim tapes?

shafty - 10/07/13 - 12:07pm

@Eric—Even though those tires are huge they don’t provide independently adjustable rebound AND damping. While you can easily adjust both simultaneously there’s no way to increase rebound speed while retaining shock absorption.

I’m left wondering why the shock is mounted upside down. You want oil on the seal!

Gene - 10/07/13 - 1:23pm

@shafty

That shock is upside down for marginally lower center of gravity, due to weight being lower to the ground.

Topmounter - 10/07/13 - 1:56pm

Suspension on a Fat Bike allows you to run higher tire pressures for lower rolling resistance while maintaining a comfortable ride.

Quickie - 10/07/13 - 1:58pm

Uh oh, looks like they hatched.

Tim A - 10/07/13 - 2:44pm

With two pivots between the BB and dropout, isn’t that a “four bar” rather than a “faux bar” (single pivot)?

MG - 10/07/13 - 3:02pm

This looks like a great start… If you don’t think it’s desirable to have suspension on a fatbike, try riding more challenging terrain at higher speeds. You’ll get it…

Smokestack - 10/07/13 - 3:54pm

Sorry, but that fork scares the heck out of me. And yes, that’s with personal experience working on one for a local dude. Though to be fair is wasn’t the 11Nine logoed fork.

Dr. Monkeypants - 10/07/13 - 4:29pm

@Gene – Wouldn’t a non-inverted fork have more of an effect on lowering the CG? But seriously, I realize you’re being sarcastic and these guys have no idea what they’re doing.

Big Cow - 10/07/13 - 5:29pm

[deleted]. Even though the can looks bigger, that is actually the lighter end of the shock.

Duncan - 10/07/13 - 5:58pm

A show bike without XX1 – who are these noobs?

SmooveP - 10/07/13 - 6:43pm

@EricNM: For the same reasons you’d want suspension on a skinny tired bike. I’m guessing you might view fatbikes = snowbikes? I have no stats to back it up, but I’d guess more people are riding their fatbikes on dirt than on snow.

Mark - 10/07/13 - 8:07pm

Needs some stanchion guards…

Drew Diller - 10/07/13 - 9:44pm

@EricNM: Here is my explanation, serious, of why you’d want a FS or any suspension on a fat bike.

1) Suppose you like riding fat bikes, but you get sore wrists and lower back etc. This is a solution.

2) Suppose you are a mere mortal like myself, and you make riding mistakes. Suspension blurs those mistakes. This is also a solution.

I went with a modified Lefty fork on my fat bike pretty soon after they were first offered by MendonCycleSmith. It’s an awesome front end. I ride fat bikes during summer because I’m a stupid klutz who cannot get enough grip. I also have tested a smattering of full squish bikes and keep thinking, “This is sweet, now make it fat.”

There must be enough people who think similarly for this thing to exist :)

The 29+ Dirt Wizards coming out soon may mean I’ll move to 3″ wide tires instead of 4″. Maybe they will let me keep some of the insane grip while shedding some weight.

bbb - 10/07/13 - 11:03pm

Topmounter – 10/07/13 – 1:56pm
“Suspension on a Fat Bike allows you to run higher tire pressures for lower rolling resistance while maintaining a comfortable ride.”

Higher pressure doesn’t reduce rolling resistance.
Quite the opposite, especially in the terrain that requires suspension.

PaulM - 10/08/13 - 4:31am

“run higher tire pressures”
defeats the point of a fat tire doesn’t it?

Love the look of the hardtail. As much as I appreciate pushing the boundaries of design, I’ve never understood why anyone would want to use titanium for a full-sus frame. Ti is a good material as it flexes. No need for that flex if the frame itself moves, and actually can lead to unwanted side loads on the bearings. Aluminium or Carbon is a much better choice.
At least this is only ti for the prototype bling factor.

Hunter - 10/26/13 - 9:15pm

I cant wait to put this fork on my fatbike. I am doing 8 ft drops on my fatbike at the bike park and my ankles and wrist hurt. I also would consider a full suspension one bike for everthing!!!

JGerken - 11/26/13 - 12:08pm

I too can’t wait for a wave of full squish fat bikes. On rougher technical trails I find myself just bouncing off rocks and ruts as the tires have way too much rebound to retain good rolling resistance. I think this is a great start, I commend 11nine for being one of the first.

Coming from a dirt bike background though, I would like to see fork guards on those inverted stanchions.

I can’t wait until they have sub 28lb carbon full squish fatbikes you can just swap wheels from 26×4-4.8″ tires in winter to 29×2.2-3″ in summer. Would make a great one bike solution.

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