Posts in the category Fatbike

Borealis Fat Bikes Releases The Echo Fork, A Carbon Rigid Match To The Rockshox Bluto


Borealis Bikes has announced today the release of the new Echo Fork. Designed to match their Echo trail/fat bike, the fork has specific dimensions that match the Rockshox Bluto that the frame was designed around.

Coming in at just 640 grams, and exceeding their strength standards, the fork seems to be the first carbon fork on the market that matches the Rockshox Bluto’s hub width and axle-to-crown length, as we thought would happen soon. This means it will work for a whole lot more bikes than just the Echo, being an easy swap in for bikes that were designed around the Bluto, or already have one installed. Using 150mm spacing and a Rockshox Maxle means there will be no end cap switching, it will plug right in for rigid use on these bikes.

Adam Miller, owner of Borealis told us “Fat bikes are all about versatility, and are used in so many different terrains by riders of all types. My goal is to create products that allow people to ride their fat bikes wherever and however they want. Many riders love their Bluto fork, but many also want a lightweight rigid fork option.”

The Echo Fork is shipping now for $499, and is available with blue or silver graphics. Axle to crown length is 490mm, which is the equivalent of a 100mm travel Bluto at sag, and offset is 51mm.  Jump past the break to see the fork installed on the infamous Fixie Dave’s personal bike….


First Look: Vee Tire’s Trax Fatty 29×3″ Gets Plus Sized Options On The Market


Vee Tire has been attacking the market lately, rapidly building a line of very compelling fat bike tires at prices much lower than the other brands on the market. The Trax Fatty from Vee Tire is their offering for the 29+ format pioneered by Surly for use on their Krampus model. Zach first got a look at this tire at the Taipei show, and now we have a pair for a test ride.

The plus-sized tires are not necessarily intended for fat bikes, although they have taken off rapidly because the 29+ platform easily fits into most existing fat bikes, so riders were able to give the idea a try without buying a whole extra bike. Thats exactly what we did, by mounting them to Sarma Naran 29+ wheels and the Sarma Shaman test bike. With firm conditions lately in the midwest, we tried them on snow covered trails, back to back with a 26×4.25″ tire.

Check out the weights, details and our first thoughts after the jump…


Hands On with the Beaver Guard Fat Bike Fender for Bluto

Beaver Guard fat bike bluto suspension fork fender (1)

After seeing the Beaver Guard fender and the D.Fender around the same time, I knew I needed one for my bike. Out of the entire fleet, my fatbike is the most likely candidate to encounter mud, slush, salt water, and lately – a lot of dog poo. Having something to keep the spray out of my eyes and off the stanchions and seals seems like a great idea, especially when the trade offs are few and far between.

As the first RockShox Bluto fat bike fender available to us for review, we tied on a Beaver Guard and hit the trails for some not-so-muddy but telling riding…


First Ride: Schwalbe’s Superlight Jumbo Jim 4.8″ Wide Fat Bike Tires


Photo Credit: Ryan Krueger

One of the biggest pieces of news from Eurobike this year for fat bikers was that Schwalbe was finally coming to market with a fat bike tire. And not just a single tire, but a 4.0″ and 4.8″ tire in Liteskin (lightweight) and Snakeskin (tubeless easy). The excitement was because of a large player entering the game and bringing tire technology and experience to these large tires, where the weight of a single tire can sometimes be more than the frame they are mounted to.

The actual weights are only a few grams heavier than claimed, which were pretty impressive. We tested the 4.8″ Liteskin version on a Surly Ice Cream Truck, and ripped around the amazing boreal forests of northern Wisconsin on a day with a fresh dusting of 3″ of snow, and more continuously coming down.

Check out our thoughts on this highly anticipated tire after the jump…


Just In: Battle the Cold with the Lake MXZ303 Winter Cycling Boots

Lake 303 winter boot bike spd clipless (1)

Winter has officially started, the New Year is about to be rung in, and for a lot of us – it’s cold. For me, a good pair of winter boots has always been one of the most important pieces of Winter equipment. If your feet are cold, you’ll be cold. Not to mention that even when our trails are frozen, the stream crossings are often still wet. Keeping your feet dry and warm is critical for end of the ride comfort.

No stranger to winter boots, Lake has been making SPD compatible shoes to handle the cold for years. Stepping in at the latest and greatest, the MXZ303 is Lake’s true Winter boot. Rated to temperatures below zero (f), water resistant, and fitted with a chunky Vibram outsole, the MXZ303 looks ready for snow business.


How To Build A NAHBS Bike – Part 3: Working With Your Builder And Agreeing To The Design


The next step in creating your custom bike, after you talk through your wants and needs with your builder, and are sure of your proper fit dimensions, is to agree with the builder what is to be done. This is typically done with a drawing, especially if you are of a more technically inclined person who wants the nitty gritty. A line drawing picture of your new bike is also kinda fun, bringing on the dreamy thoughts of where it will take you.

A drawing is also helpful for the builder, as they will typically consider it a contract. Since many custom bikes take time to make, there is a constant threat of a customer changing their mind on something, or wanting the bike to now be compatible with whatever new hub standard comes out next week. Part of working with a small custom builder is also being a good customer. Most of these guys are one-man-shows, and it takes a lot of time to talk through the process, and a lot more time to make changes. Every time you make a change, they have to put down the torch to answer the phone, boot up the computer to change the drawing, and possibly scrap materials and buy new ones. Some builders are even taking new approaches because of this amount of time, such as Steve Garro of Coconino Cycles, who only accepts orders from January 1st-15th of every year, for that entire following year.

So Collin and I have agreed to a drawing of the Benefat. More than just an assemblage of numbers, a good custom builder has a reason behind each choice they made, and those good reasons should align with what you want out of the bike. Jump past the break to see what the man behind Matter Cycles thinks in each area of geometry…


Hands On: Sarma Naran 29+ Carbon Fiber Mid-Fat Wheelset


By way of Siberia, Sarma continues to push the envelope for fat and mid-fat products. One of the first carbon 29+ rims, the Naran 29+ is double-walled, 50mm wide, and made for the big beastly traction of a 29″x3″ tire.

Zach saw them at Interbike, and now we have a set for testing. There are very few 29+ specific bikes on the market, so many riders are resorting to running the tires in a fat bike frame, since they fit in most. Doing exactly this, our test wheels are built to Sarma’s fat bike hubs, and we will be testing them on the Shaman fat bike we have on long-term test.

Click past the jump for our first thoughts on their construction, as well as actual weights…


Fat Free: Gulevich, Simmons, and Tippie Try out the Rocky Mountain Blizzard Fat Bike

Rocky Mountain Blizzard Fat Free

In what’s starting to become a common story line, within the Rocky Mountain Bicycle office they were a little skeptical about the incoming storm of fat bikes. That skepticism continued as the design for Blizzard fat bike started to appear around the office. Apparently Wade Simmons was on board immediately saying, “everyone thinks they’re so f*cking cool and serious, but it’s really just about having fun on your bike.”

After more of their test riders started to enjoy their testing of the Blizzard more and more, they came up with the concept for Fat Free. Can you freeride a fat bike? After doing some experimenting in British Columbia’s coastal mountains, the answer was clear.

If it was ever even a question, the answer is yes. You can and should freeride a fat bike.”

You’re gonna want to see the results next…


Chromag Shores Up a Fat Bike with Nice Dreams

Chromag Nice Dreams fat bike  (2)

Based on the fact that their warehouse and office is hidden within Whistler’s Function Junction, it’s safe to assume that Chromag is a North Shore brand through and through. Because of that, you might not expect to see a fat bike from Chromag, but that’s exactly what we have with the Nice Dreams. Looking at the bike though, it’s clear that this is a fat bike with plenty of influence from the shore.

What started as a prototype frame after getting their hands on an early sample of a RockShox Bluto suspension fork, eventually turned into the production bike you see here. After enough desire was expressed both within the company and from potential customers, the first 10 Nice Dreams frames were made…