First Look: Borealis Builds a Fat Bike for the All New RockShox Bluto Fork!
Possibly one of the worst kept secrets in fat biking, RockShox’ first fat bike suspension fork is now official. A better kept secret is the new Borealis Echo, the first bike we’re aware of to be developed specifically for the new fork. Built with a suspension corrected geometry that is designed for more of all around trail performance, the Borealis Echo further blurs the line between between fat bike and mountain bike.
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Using the excellent Borealis Yampa as a starting point, the new Echo is a carbon frame that Borealis thinks will usher in a new appreciation for fat bikes in all conditions. Borealis co-founder Adam Miller says, “Our vision with the ECHO was to create an entirely new class of fat bike that provides the rider with nimble shredability they just can’t find on another fat rig.”
Continuing their naming trend, the Echo is named after Echo park in Northeastern Colorado. Utilizing their proximity to RockShox’ Colorado Springs development facility, Borealis was one of the first fat bike companies to see the first prototypes of the Bluto and has designed the Echo especially for the fork.
Unlike the Yampa, the Echo utilizes a 192x12mm rear axle using a RockShox Maxxle. Up front, the Bluto reportedly runs a new 150x15mm hub standard. Borealis has introduced a new set of their very own, very blue hubs that will match up with the standards. Why a new standard for the front hub? We’ll get the official word from SRAM later this week, but our guess is that if you want clearance for 5″ tires on 100mm rims, the legs have to be spaced farther apart, and you can’t curve suspension fork legs like a rigid. We figured this is why we were seeing a number of 150mm spaced rigid forks in Taipei, and this seems to confirm it. Hopefully, this will settle down into a standard for front fat bike hubs in the future.
In addition to fully guided internal cable routing, the Echo also has guided internal routing for a dropper post. Like the Yampa the Echo has clearance for 4.8″ tires on 100mm rims. A third bottle cage mount has been added to the bottom of the down tube for extra long adventures.
To test the all conditions ability of the Echo and Bluto combo, Borealis have ridden all over US, from Moab to Alaska. No snow required.
We’ll have more details on both the Echo and the Bluto soon!