Taipei Show Round Up: Fat Bikes are Big
There were two overriding themes as you walked through the aisles at the Taipei show, one was e-bikes – specifically frames designed for the apparent invasion of Bosch Drive motors. If you didn’t have a frame or a complete bike with the Bosch system, then chances were pretty high that there was a fat bike somewhere in the booth. This was in spite of the fact that many locals stared puzzlingly at the behemoths, indicating that fat bikes are still an oddity in many parts of the world. But it was also an indication that fat biking is just now hitting the industry in a big way, and everyone seems to be taking notice. In addition to the big products we’ve already seen from Vee Tire, Sarma, Kenda, Maxxis, Panaracer, and others, there was plenty more where that came from in Taiwan.
Check out new bikes from Fuji, Ford, and plenty more, with some speculation on new standards, next…
Posing in the Fuji booth was their take on a fat bike which looked like an aluminum version of a Pugsley with an offset rear end. Honestly at this point, with the availability of 170mm rear hubs I can’t see the reasoning for building an offset rear end, especially when the fork is symmetric which means you can’t swap the wheels. It seems that a 170 rear provides better frame dynamics and easier wheel changes in addition to stiffer wheels. But as this may just be a prototype, it may see changes for production.
The Fuji Fat looks to be running this interesting rim we spotted in the Weinmann Booth. It appears to be a drilled out version of their HL102 fatbik rim, which is listed on their site under the “chopper” category. Regardless, it looks like a very strong yet light rim that probably won’t break the bank.
Speaking of fat bike choppers…
KHE also had their 4 Seasons 3000 fatbike on display which looks like a great bike. The shapely aluminum frame uses a 170mm sliding dropout for geared or single speed use, and the spec looks good. Don’t count out KHS before your consider your next fatbike purchase.
There were some cool looking bikes around like this Infinite Zeal fat bike that had riveted graphics and some nice lines. I think it was probably a typo, but the info card for this bike listed 26″ fat bike frame as well as 650b frame, both with triple butting process. Maybe the frame is available in both fat bike and 650b?
Let it snow – the concept of a fat for use as more than a snow bike is still catching on overseas… I like the rims.
The graphics could use some work, but this Dodson looked pretty good. This bike was sporting the new Kenda Juggernaut tires. Not be confused with the Rungu Juggernaut 2 headed fat tire monster.
Some times it was hard telling the bikes apart.
Even if you weren’t selling fat bikes, there was still a good chance you had one in the booth. Chummy specializes in graphics and decals…
Even Ford wanted in on the action with their F-150 SVT Raptor Fat Bike. which basically appeared to be a geared version of the Mongoose Beast.
Sleek and carbon – and positioned in front of a Dura Ace equipped aero road bike. Gives you an idea of what they thought would attract the most eyes.
Of course there were a few fat-e bikes as well. This guy had a sleek battery shaped like a thermos that attached to a flat downtube which looked like it would act as a fender. The unmarked fork looks pretty good as well – like a Niner carbon fork that fits fat bikes.
Not all fat bikes were super fat as there were a few 29+ and even 26+ or whatever you want to call it.
What about a fat 20″ cargo bike?
Did we mention the tires? After the releases from Taipei, and a few rumors circulating, it won’t be long until almost every major tire manufacturer has at least one fat bike tire.
But we’re not sure you can ever beat a spider tread on a fat mag wheel…
Token had a 100mm version of their excellent bottom bracket that we’ve been testing. Basically it’s the same cups, but now available with an internal spacer for a 100mm shell.
Here’s where a bit of speculation comes in – there were quite a few new forks with 150x15mm thru axles like the green fork on the right (the left was a 135mm stainless fork). To our knowledge, there aren’t any forks or even compatible hubs that would fit yet (save for a random Origin8 hub we found on ebay). Is this the future? Does it indicate something to come in the fat bike world? Time will tell.