nahbs 2011 watson cycles fat tire big bike snow bicycle

Watson Cycles brought out the big bike with their all-terrain snow bicycle. Complete with integrated flask holders on the fork legs, custom wood racks in the front and rear and some other trick touches, this one would be right at home on social rides where the roads are fine but you still get plowed.

We’ve got some other bikes from them and Sycip and Threepenny’s unique bamboo/carbon/mesh frame after the break…

The Fat Tire is an Expedition Bike, designed for things like the Iditasport after talking to Rick Ely who’s competed in the event. They build wood into the bikes to soften the lines a bit. Front rack is designed to hold about 8lbs, like a sleeping bag. Alcohol doesn’t freeze, so it’s left out in the elements. Phil Wood made the hubs custom for this bike, and the Phil Wood BB is a 100mm shell with a 144 square taper BB spindle. Starts at about $4,000 to $6,000. 38lbs frame and fork is $2,100.

Watson’s headbadges vary from frame to frame. The front derailleur clamp has a very cool “No Step” etching on the top it.

FinestKind Road Bike – True Temper blend with S3 main tubes. Bi-oval down tube and teardrop top tube. Rides a little stiffer than traditional steel bike and has aggressive race geometry. PFBB30. Built with chris King hubs and headset, DT swiss spokes and rims, SRAM Red and Thomson post and stem it comes in at 15.5lbs. Frame is $1700. Standard steel road bikes from them are $1450 and gets more standard geometry with round tubes.

Mudbock Cyclocross Bike – Aggressive race ‘cross bike. Top tube is slightly dimpled where the shoulder hits, and Andrew rides with each customer to see where their shoulder hits and how they ride. It’s pretty stiff because of the design. True Temper OX Platinum, frame set is $1600 plus $375 for the segmented fork.

Gets the new Medusa head badge, but customer can choose what they want. There’s also a Moby Dick, Abominable Snowman and Leviathan (octopus). All bikes are US made tubing. Lead times are about four months.

Threepenny uses locally based bamboo from Virginia that’s flame treated in house and with tongue oil. The heat caramelizes the sugars inside the wood which helps preserve it, and the tongue oil absorbs into it and waterproofs it. Then they’re dried for three months to fully cure and weed out any pieces that crack.

Black Bamboo is good for seat stays and looks good. Mexican Weeping bamboo is solid and can take impact well, it’s used in the chain stays. Stone bamboo is bigger and used in the main tubes. Metal steerer and seat tube inserts are titanium. Carbon fiber with aluminized fiberglass woven into it to add reflectivity and design features. Some bikes have Kevlar woven into it for protection, too. Frames start at $1,400 and he’s built mixtes, fixed gears, touring bikes and road bikes.

nahbs 2011 sycip cyclocross bike

Sycip’s folks were pretty tied up so I just snapped some quick photos and went on about my biz-nass.


  1. This is the third NAHBS bike I’ve seen with a Ritchey carbon disc fork (Eriksen and Ritchey had the others). However, when you go on their site, the only disc fork they have is listed under the mountain bike section, and based on the geometry being made for an 80 mm sag equivalent, it looks like it’s only for 26 inch wheels.

    Do Sycip, Eriksen and Ritchey have a special prototype run of 700c cross forks?

  2. The Ritchey fork is indeed a 26″ mountain bike fork designed around replacing an 80mm travel fork. However, it’ll work on a road/cyclocross bike, too, they just don’t promote it as such. Pay attention to the rake when ordering and get it as close as you can to your current setup if you want the handling to be similar.

What do you think?