Project Otso Voytek – building the perfect plus/fat with Industry Nine wheels, Maxxis & 45NRTH tires, Magura brakes, and more

Otso Voytek fat bike plus hard tail carbon narrow q factor wolf tooth components wtc-68

Otso Voytek fat bike plus hard tail carbon narrow q factor wolf tooth components wtc-23

In hindsight, I should have seen the Otso Voytek coming. As it turns out, Brendan from Wolf Tooth Components and I have similar tastes in fat bikes and the steady stream of questions about my likes and dislikes should have tipped me off. In spite of that, I was still surprised when he told me they were launching a bike company. First up? A stainless steel gravel bike and, yes, their take on a fat bike.

In typical Wolf Tooth Components and now Otso fashion, this wouldn’t be your run of the mill fat bike. The Otso team promised one of the best pedaling fat bikes around, plus it would be great for plus. The Otso Voytek has the potential to blur the line even further between a seasonal fat bike and a year ’round ripper, so of course I was excited to get my hands on the very first sample available.

To review the bike, first I would have to build it. After sending out what they have called the Frankset (frame, fork, headset, BB, and crankset), it was time to assemble a build kit. While my last fat bike build was fairly stealth, the blue/grey frame option of the Voytek inspired a more colorful parts selection. I can verify that the blue is hard to match with anodized parts, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome…

Continue reading “Project Otso Voytek – building the perfect plus/fat with Industry Nine wheels, Maxxis & 45NRTH tires, Magura brakes, and more”



In hindsight, I should have seen the Otso Voytek coming. As it turns out, Brendan from Wolf Tooth Components and I have similar tastes in fat bikes and the steady stream of questions about my likes and dislikes should have tipped me off. In spite of that, I was still surprised when he told me […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Components, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews5 Comments

Otso Cycles spins out of Wolf Tooth Components, Stainless gravel & clever plus/fat carbon bikes up first

Team Otso 1024px
All photos c. Otso Cycles

The team from Wolf Tooth Cycles has been quietly working on a new product range for years. But this time it’s not a new chainring, chainguide, or cassette adapter. Their newest project involves not only completely new-to-them offerings, but also a completely new brand. Otso Cycles is the culmination of that work, and by the looks of things it’s time well spent.

Named after the spirit of the bear in Finnish mythology, Otso seems to fit well along side Wolf Tooth Components for companies named after revered and respected creatures. Their first two bikes share similar naming inspiration with the Warakin gravel bike named for a mythical wolf/hyena creature and the Voytek fat bike taking its namesake from a war fighting, soldier wrestling, beer drinking, cigarette smoking bear (true story). Aside from the clever names though, Otso Cycles are noteworthy for more than just being new bikes from a well known component manufacturer.

Otso wasn’t created just to release another me-too bike into an already crowded marketplace. The bikes both have specific traits that make them stand out (game changing, even), and should make them quite desirable…

Continue reading “Otso Cycles spins out of Wolf Tooth Components, Stainless gravel & clever plus/fat carbon bikes up first”



The team from Wolf Tooth Cycles has been quietly working on a new product range for years. But this time it’s not a new chainring, chainguide, or cassette adapter. Their newest project involves not only completely new-to-them offerings, but also a completely new brand. Otso Cycles is the culmination of that work, and by the looks […]

Posted in Commuter, Cyclocross, Fatbike, Gravel Bikes, Mountain Bike, Road Bike8 Comments

Surly carries more people and gear with Flat Bar Cross Check, all new Troll, bags and more

Surly Karate Monkey troll flat bar straggler bags big dummy-21

The new Karate Monkey wasn’t the only thing Surly had to show from Saddle Drive. The new 27+/29″ mountain bike may have stolen the show with its ‘Gnot-Boost’ spacing and wheel and tire options, but Surly has been equally busy on the pavement side as well. I think it’s fair to say that bike launches often cater to the high end – after all, you want people to see the most exciting (read most expensive) new products in the line. But sometimes there are gems like the new Flat Bar Cross Check thrown in to throw you for a loop.

It’s not a new frame. It doesn’t use any new standards. But what it does offer is an impressive build for an unbeatable price if you’re looking for a new commuter or college cruiser…

Continue reading “Surly carries more people and gear with Flat Bar Cross Check, all new Troll, bags and more”



The new Karate Monkey wasn’t the only thing Surly had to show from Saddle Drive. The new 27+/29″ mountain bike may have stolen the show with its ‘Gnot-Boost’ spacing and wheel and tire options, but Surly has been equally busy on the pavement side as well. I think it’s fair to say that bike launches […]

Posted in Commuter, Fatbike, Road Bike6 Comments

45NRTH teases revised Hüsker Dü and Dillinger 4 fat bike tires

45nrth husker du dillinger 4 studded tire

Forget cross, winter is coming. And that means fat bikes on snow. To prepare, 45NRTH has been busy revisiting some of their most popular fat bike tires. They’ve been working on some completely new models as well, but those aren’t quite ready for a first look.

Instead, we got a sneak peek at the new Hüsker Dü and Dillinger 4 which both see revised tread patterns to help improve their ride and round out the line up…

Continue reading “45NRTH teases revised Hüsker Dü and Dillinger 4 fat bike tires”



Forget cross, winter is coming. And that means fat bikes on snow. To prepare, 45NRTH has been busy revisiting some of their most popular fat bike tires. They’ve been working on some completely new models as well, but those aren’t quite ready for a first look. Instead, we got a sneak peek at the new […]

Posted in Fatbike8 Comments

New Norco Ithaqua fat bike bloats a race-ready frame with 5″ tires

2017-Norco-Ithaqua-fat-bike-2

How do you create a contradiction on wheels? Take a lightweight, race-oriented carbon fiber frame and pack it with 5″ wide fat bike tires, that’s how. And that’s just what Norco’s done with the all-new 2017 Ithaqua.

The frame gets the same Power Chassis as their Revolver XC race bikes, but opens up the rear end to accommodate the largest of rubber thanks to 12×197 rear axle spacing and asymmetric stays. What really differentiates it from their Bigfoot and Sasquatch fat bikes is the geometry…

Continue reading “New Norco Ithaqua fat bike bloats a race-ready frame with 5″ tires”



How do you create a contradiction on wheels? Take a lightweight, race-oriented carbon fiber frame and pack it with 5″ wide fat bike tires, that’s how. And that’s just what Norco’s done with the all-new 2017 Ithaqua. The frame gets the same Power Chassis as their Revolver XC race bikes, but opens up the rear […]

Posted in Fatbike10 Comments

Salsa Woodsmoke delivers 3 wheels in one, New Mukluk, affordable plus, & other 2017 MTB highlights

Salsa Woodsmoke 27 29 plus

Salsa Woodsmoke 27 29 plus

By now, you’re sure to have seen bikes that advertise two wheel sizes in one. Due to the similarity in size between 29″ and 27+ wheels and tires, we’re seeing a number of new models that can run one or the other. As one of the highlights in their new 2017 lineup, the Salsa Woodsmoke is taking that to the next level.

Not content with simply 27+ or 29″ as an option, the new hardtail adds another dimension with the addition of 29+ wheel compatibility, all in the same bike. To make it all work the frame resorts back to the days of elevated chain stays and a wild bottom bracket junction to offer super short chain stays with some massive tire clearance.

Just one of a slew of new and updated models, Salsa is bringing a big line for 2017…

Continue reading “Salsa Woodsmoke delivers 3 wheels in one, New Mukluk, affordable plus, & other 2017 MTB highlights”



By now, you’re sure to have seen bikes that advertise two wheel sizes in one. Due to the similarity in size between 29″ and 27+ wheels and tires, we’re seeing a number of new models that can run one or the other. As one of the highlights in their new 2017 lineup, the Salsa Woodsmoke […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Uncategorized29 Comments

Week in Review: New goods from Specialized, Diamondback, Cotic and so much more!

week-in-review-bikerumor-2016-7-17

This past week we had two double headers, providing a doubly in depth look at the new Specialized Sequoia adventure gravel bike and the ultralight Easton EC90 SL cranks. But there were plenty more items worth highlighting, like the sweet new Diamondback Haanjo Carbon, which brings massive tire clearance and a svelte new carbon frame to the off road drop bar scene. Lots to catch up on, and all of it opens in a new tab for easy browsing…

Continue reading “Week in Review: New goods from Specialized, Diamondback, Cotic and so much more!”



This past week we had two double headers, providing a doubly in depth look at the new Specialized Sequoia adventure gravel bike and the ultralight Easton EC90 SL cranks. But there were plenty more items worth highlighting, like the sweet new Diamondback Haanjo Carbon, which brings massive tire clearance and a svelte new carbon frame […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Components, Cyclocross, Fatbike, Industry News, Mountain Bike, Reviews, Road Bike, Video, Women's1 Comment

First Impressions: RIP up and JET down from an Idaho yurt on Niner’s new bikes with 29 & 27.5+

Niner Bikes Idaho Yurt Trip

Niner Bikes Idaho Yurt Trip

What’s better than riding mountain bikes in the back country? Apparently riding mountain bikes to a yurt in the back country to spend the night, then riding back into town the next morning. Such was the opportunity given to us in order to test the latest rigs from Niner. Two days. Two bikes. Two different wheel sizes. If you haven’t seen the news yet, Niner is now on the 29/27.5+ bandwagon with two new bikes. For the ride up to the Sun Valley Trekking yurt we would be on the new JET 9 RDO. The ride down? That was reserved for the new RIP 9 RDO.

With the Ride Sun Valley bike festival done and dusted, it was time to pack an overnight bag and head out on the trails high above Ketchum, ID…

Continue reading “First Impressions: RIP up and JET down from an Idaho yurt on Niner’s new bikes with 29 & 27.5+”



What’s better than riding mountain bikes in the back country? Apparently riding mountain bikes to a yurt in the back country to spend the night, then riding back into town the next morning. Such was the opportunity given to us in order to test the latest rigs from Niner. Two days. Two bikes. Two different […]

Posted in Bicycles, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, ReviewsLeave a comment

Niner JET 9 RDO and RIP 9 RDO no longer 29 only; Plus tires, modern geometry part of (R)evolution

RIP9RDO-7

JET9RDO-18

It’s time for Niner to launch two completely new bikes. If you’ve been paying attention to current mountain bike trends, you probably know how this is going to go. Yes, the brand known as Niner will soon have two bikes capable of running wheels that are not 29″.

But that’s only part of the story.

More importantly, as Niner puts it, the new RIP 9 and JET 9 are the continuation of their “Big (R)evolution.” That encompasses both the evolution of their bikes and of the brand itself. This change started out with the new RKT 9 and continued with the AIR 9 as both bikes received new tech and modern geometry updates with shorter chainstays, longer reach, and a better ride overall. When it came time to redesign the bread and butter for their trail category, Niner wanted to offer consumers the best bike possible. If that meant going outside of the 29er box, then so be it. Frankly, when Niner came up with their “Niners only” tagline, Plus bikes weren’t even an option. Since then the company has expanded into gravel and cross with 700c wheels, Plus on the 29+ side, and now… 27.5+.

Using all of the engineering and development knowledge gained over the years building bikes around the big wheels, Niner is diving head long into the 27.5+ category with a mid-travel JET 9 and long-travel RIP 9. The results are still classically Niner, but offer a completely new way for the same brand to attack the trail…

Continue reading “Niner JET 9 RDO and RIP 9 RDO no longer 29 only; Plus tires, modern geometry part of (R)evolution”



It’s time for Niner to launch two completely new bikes. If you’ve been paying attention to current mountain bike trends, you probably know how this is going to go. Yes, the brand known as Niner will soon have two bikes capable of running wheels that are not 29″. But that’s only part of the story. […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike20 Comments