If it wasn’t cloaked in hi-viz yellow this year at Interbike, chances are good there as a fatbike near by. Fatbikes have hit the industry in a big way, moving from a niche bike in the extreme North, to the next bike I need to buy after a cyclocross and an Enduro bike (once Enduro fatbikes hit the scene, it’s all over). Why so popular? Orginally designed for snow and sand, fatbikes offer gobs of traction and float in situations where other mountain bikes would flounder. That, and it’s impossible to ride one without a huge smile plastered across your face.
Love it or hate it, fatbikes are here to stay. Check out some of the highlights after the break.
No seat tube, no problem. This crazy fatbike is the result of 287s take on a fatbike. Known for some wild builds, Orlando Baker, the same guy behind Carver Surf Racks is launching 287 custom bikes. Built with wide plates for the top and down tubes, this fatbike stood out from the crowd.
Borealis’ radical 21lb 9oz Yampa SL build was spotted wearing a pair of prototype 45NRTH Husker Du tires with a white tread. Love it? Hate it?
Who’s ready for some serious fatbike touring? In addition to their new Whiteout Carbon fatbike, 9:Zero:7 had this decked out aluminum frame ready for a week in the alaskan wilderness, or beach, or desert. Whatever.
Some of the fatbikes rolling around had motors. This prototype from Lectric Cycles features a 750 watt continuous power motor with a 1200 watt peak which puts the power through a Nuvinci rear hub. Just hope the battery doesn’t die because this thing, like most e-bikes is heavy.
Felt is also apparently getting in on the upcoming (?) E-fatbike with their FatE prototype.
As one of the OG fatbike producers, Surly was on hand with an awesome booth, tall boy koozies, and Pugsley and Moonlander Fatbikes.
One thing that hasn’t quite caught up to the fatbike trend? Bike racks. Except for Softride (Thule has a nice option for the T2 as well). Softride got lucky in that their Hang 2,4 and 5 bike racks only hold by the handlebars and support the rear tires. The racks are sturdy enough for DH bikes, meaning fatties fit fine. This is one of the only racks on the market to easily carry 5 fatbikes that we’re aware of.
Origin8 sold through J&B Importers had the latest version of their Crawler fatbike on display equipped with a Nuvinci hub.
It was only a matter of time. Slap a Kawasaki or Polaris sticker on the side of a cheap fatbike and these will give the Mongoose a run for their money in WalMart.
Do these count as fatbikes? We’re not sure, but they were crazy looking and had huge tires.
KHS’ fatbike the Sport was hanging out in the back of their booth.
As was Norco’s Bigfoot.
Blackburn had a Fatback in their booth with their own Fatback branded FSA Double Cranks.
Of course they had their preview of the new carbon frame and rims outside as well.
Of course there were all of the bikes we’ve already covered like 11nine, Boo, and more. We know there were more including apparently a Salsa Beargrease carbon built up with Hed’s carbon fatbike rims (wish we could have gotten that on the scale!), but there simply wasn’t enough time in the day to capture all of the fatness rolling around the show floor.
This would probably be a good chance to point out that QBP has announced their 3rd Annual Global Fat Bike Summit which will take place in Ogden, Utah on January 24-25, 2014. The summit is a chance for dealers, consumers, land managers and bike manufacturers to get together and discuss the future of the sport. Day one will be focused on education with fatbikes low environmental impact as a key topic as well as potential revenue that can be generated by their use on public land during the winter. Day two will have an expo, test rides, and races. This year marks the move from Island Park, ID to the Mount Ogden Golf Course hosted by the GOAL foundation and Ogden City.