Taipei Show Round Up: Fat Bikes are Big

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (29)

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…

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (30) Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (28)

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.

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (9)

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (10)

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.

Taipei Show Fatbike Round up (1)

Speaking of fat bike choppers…

KHS Fatbike 650b all mountain bike DH bike (4)

KHS Fatbike 650b all mountain bike DH bike (3) KHS Fatbike 650b all mountain bike DH bike (2)

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.

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (2)

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (3) Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (4)

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?

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (5)

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.

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (15)

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (14) Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (13)

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.

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (16)

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (11)

Some times it was hard telling the bikes apart.

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (23)

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…

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (27)

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (19)

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.

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (26)

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.

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (25)

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.

Taipei Show Fatbike Round up (2)

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (24)

Not all fat bikes were super fat as there were a few 29+ and even 26+ or whatever you want to call it.

0307_0312

What about a fat 20″ cargo bike?

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (17)

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (22) Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (21) Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (13)

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.

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (12)

But we’re not sure you can ever beat a spider tread on a fat mag wheel…

Token Fat Bike Bb

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.

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (8) Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (6)

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.

taispons taipei bike show coverage 2014

Comments

Joe Schmo - 04/02/14 - 4:31pm

It should be noted that neither Fuji nor KHS did a single lick of engineering or design work on their Fat Bikes. They just bought a mass produced generic bike that manufacturers are offering to other brands. You can already buy these same bikes for less money from other companies. Spend your money with companies trying to progress this category rather than hanger ons just trying to profit from it.

Mindless - 04/02/14 - 4:51pm

Why would you care who is trying to do what? Just buy what is the best bang for your hard earned dollar.

Stew - 04/02/14 - 5:00pm

*** News flash*** they are all trying to porfit from the category !

AdamM - 04/02/14 - 5:11pm

There is still a legitimate use for offset 135mm frames, and that is for anyone wanting to use an IGH in their fat bike. Sure, this might not be that common, but it’s an option that would be removed completely if all fat bikes went 170mm or wider frame spacing.

Zach Overholt - 04/02/14 - 5:15pm

Good point AdamM, forgot about those.Though to be fair, if you’re designing an offset fatbike just to use IG Hubs, you should make it a split frame so you can run belt drive while you’re at it.

Fanboy - 04/02/14 - 5:55pm

to be fair to KHS, they actually build their own frames. United Engineering is the parent company and is their production division.

If you’re seeing the same frame, then KHS parent company made it.

Fanboy - 04/02/14 - 6:25pm

the reason for all the 150/15 fat bike forks is that there just might be a suspension fork coming out very soon, that just might use that fork spacing.

supposedly.

but you’d need to ask Sram about that.

aaron - 04/02/14 - 9:43pm

ohh….fat bikes. i want. also i want a modified lefty on a fat bicycle. oh yah has to be carbon everything. i am so cool i love it. fat bikes are too rad.

Gunnstein - 04/03/14 - 3:27am

@Joe Schmo The Fuji is not a licenced generic bike, it’s an unlicenced illegal copy of the Norwegian developed, dual branded Diamant Mammut / Nakamura BigBob. That’s what the forums say, anyway. This year’s version of it is 190 mm non offset btw.

F - 04/03/14 - 6:56am

Does anyone actually own a fatbike?

I don’t know a single person who has bought one. I also has never seen anyone riding one.

Once I have seen one in the flesh in a big sports store. None in a regular cycling shop though.

Fat bikes seems like something manufacturers and brands like to take to trade shows to get attention to their brand. Real life applications for them seem to be slim, even if I would love to at least test ride one on a snowy winter day.

Gunnstein - 04/03/14 - 8:06am

@F I do. Great fun on snow, and works well in soggy swamp conditions.

I hear about 1000 fatbikes were sold in Norway last year, to a 5 mill. population. I guess you’ll see them more often in places where A) there is regular snow and B) the population has money to spare.

Dustin - 04/03/14 - 8:10am

Last week on the Fat Bikes Facebook group there was someone offering a carbon fat frame/fork direct from Asia with a 150mm fork spacing. They said they would be offering a hub soon, but it was not ready yet. I can’t find the post now, though.

Geoff - 04/03/14 - 8:45am

What is itek? Looks like Trek?

MikeC - 04/03/14 - 9:02am

@F: had a fatbike last year, sold it. Loved it, but needed a tank of heating oil at the time…

Also work in a Trek shop and we’ve sold about half a dozen of the new Farleys and a couple of 9:zero:7 builds.

CBR - 04/03/14 - 9:07am

For what it’s worth.. Fuji is manufactured by Ideal, which owns a percentage of Fuji… So I really doubt the “off the shelf, generic” story.

MikeC2 - 04/03/14 - 10:34am

@F, It might depend where you live. I see fatbikes on the trails year round in Wisconsin. Our local shop carries 616, Specialized, Surly, and Salsa fatbike. We have several dedicated fat bike only winter trails in the area. They are very versatile bikes.

nanci djreaux - 04/03/14 - 11:17am

@F: i have a (apparently now “old skool”) pugsley. this article does seem like madness though. I got a kick out of the trek/saso(sp?) clone bikes. I’m going to stick with my steel pugsley for now. Don’t have th dough to go carbon and aluminum sounds really bad. I am more excited about all the new tires coming out. Larrys are OK but not great. I need the price of rubber to go way down.

CBR - 04/03/14 - 1:08pm

@joe and @Gunnstein. reading forums will get you in trouble. Fuji is manufactured by Ideal (who owns a percentage of Fuji) so why you would think it was an “unlicensed” version of a bike in Norway beats me. Maybe Ideal made the bike for those guys? I mean they do make a lot of product for other folks….

ronnie west - 07/20/14 - 9:35pm

love fat bikes want to get one but need a 29er fatbike

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